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The 8 Luxurious Hotels of the Orient World

For many centuries, history has recorded that the Orient has consistently been among the most opulent parts of the world. From palaces to artisan works, the Oriental world continues this tradition in a way which is still relevant in the modern day. Over the last 10 months, I have been travelling to the ancient city of Byzantium (now is Istanbul), all the way up to 3,000 meter above sea level to another ancient city of Lijiang, down to the shore of the Lhaviyani Atolls in the Maldives, and finally to Singapore to find eight luxury hotels that still keep the spirit of Oriental world opulence.


Hurawalhi Island Resort:
The Unique Nautical

Among the thousands of atolls in the Maldives lies a beautiful and newly open eco-conscious establishment called Hurawalhi Island Resort. Located in one of the Lhaviyanni atolls, Hurawalhi is an exotic private island surrounded by a beautiful lagoon with an amazing underwater reef and a white sandy beach that stretches as far the eye can see. As the seaplane is approaching to land on the water, we can already see the magnificent view of the island and its contemporary ocean villas bounded by the crystal blue sea. As one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, the Maldives is known for its many luxury resorts that let you get close to nature at its most beautiful. The architecture and design are two important elements that can be the game changer in this highly competitive market. Crown and Champa Resorts, as the parent company of this resort, understand the situation and appointed the award-winning designer Yuji Yamazaki of YYA New York to collaborate in creating a unique and original design for Hurawalhi Island Resort.


Moving from the main lobby to the restaurants (the all-day dining Canneli Restaurant, over the water dining at the Aquarium Restaurant, and the spectacular 5,8 Undersea Restaurant), Yuji Yamazaki created a special ambiance with an inviting colour scheme using natural wood materials, including Indonesian balau and Canadian cedar wood. He also stylishly designed an array of solar panels on the arrival jetty rooftop in collaboration with T&D, a water technologies and development company from Italy, to increase the electricity supply. Yuji Yamazaki’s design approach is simplistic yet contemporary with a tropical design and an eco-conscious focus.


Hurawalhi Island Resort has over 90 villas, including 60 over-the water ocean villas and 30 beach villas spread around this 6,5 hectares island, featuring a contemporary tropical chic design with clean lines, earth tone colours and wood elements. Each villa (ranging from 105sqm to 132sqm) is equipped with state-of-the-art modern comfort including private sundeck, chaise longues, and some villas also have an infinity pool.


One of the biggest highlights at this resort is the 5,8 Undersea Restaurant that is literally located 5.8 metres down under the sea. The 415-tonne structure restaurant was built by Fitzroy Engineering in New Plymouth and is the biggest of its type in the world. It was shipped all the way to Hurawalhi and sunk on top of piles that go eight metres below the surface. Water depth and clarity, seafloor condition, the power of the tides, and height of the waves and keeping the surrounding coral reefs intact were just some of the challenges in making what is now known as the world’s largest undersea restaurant. Hurawalhi Island Resort is definitely not your ordinary kind of resort.

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