A vacation hideaway by Miaja Design Group and Onestop
Accessible by private speedboat from Malé, the sinuous lines of LUX* North Malé Atoll evokes the silhouette of a superyacht at first glance—bringing a breath of fresh air to the Maldivian landscape with a cutting-edge design courtesy of Miaja Design Group and Onestop.
“The whole concept began with a question,” says Isabelle Miaja, the interior designer of the resort residences. “If James Bond were to come to the Maldives, where would he stay?” Drawing inspiration from the form of Riva boat and the furnishings within, Miaja conceptualised the design for a residence the famed fictional spy would deem worthy as his hideout.
Sequestered away on Olhahali Island—a six-hectare island in the Maldives—the 67 double-penthouses of the LUX* North Malé Atoll do away with the rustic thatched villas that are ubiquitous in the area. Instead, a bold colour palette of white and bright fuchsia underpins the resort. Each penthouse resembles the sleek lines of a luxury yacht and is topped with its own contemporary wooden “sky lounge” decking and a private pool.
This nautical inspiration is translated from the architecture to its interior as well. “The curves and lines of the property are shaped like a luxury boat, and the furniture had to compliment this design,” explains Miaja. For this project, the Miaja Design Group worked with custom furniture manufacturer Onestop to design and produce furniture for the residences.
With the project ambitiously dubbed “James Bond Island,” Onestop rose to the challenge of delivering pieces that exude a curated luxury while balancing the demands of a humid Maldives landscape. The pieces needed to complement the novel curves and lines of the property, while staying true to the Maldives’ luxury resort DNA—with a nautical twist. The result is a series of indoor and outdoor furniture that demonstrate versatility and attention to detail.
Intricate craftsmanship features prominently in the pieces that blend clean lines with organic wooden details or traditional patterns. Onestop tapped on the best of both its Chinese and Indonesian manufacturing divisions—speed and precision, and local craftsmanship respectively—to coordinate the construction of the furniture. More than six months were spent finessing the interior to complement the unique architecture of LUX* North Malé Atoll, and to provide guests with the luxurious experience of residing upon a superyacht.
Noteworthy pieces include a table that mixes volcanic stone and a wooden tabletop, as well as a curved living room console backing the sofa crafted by Indonesian artisans out of Indonesian rainforest wood.
While the exterior of the property sought a cutting-edge look to stand out in the Maldives, comfort remained the focus for the guestrooms. Neutrals with a peek of fuchsia—a thematic colour running through the entire resort—served as the foundation for a design that paired glamour with state-of-the-art technology synonymous with the indulgence of luxury travel.
“It was a successful collaboration for a very unique project—this is a one of a kind resort that pushes boundaries of design,” says Miaja, of the collaboration with Onestop for this project. The opening of LUX* North Malé Atoll Resort no doubt reinvents what hospitality can look like in the Maldives while maintaining the breathtaking tranquillity that the locale is known for.
Hotelier Maldives sat down with both Onestop and Isabelle Miaja for a behind-the-scenes look into the design process of the guest villas.
Hotelier Maldives: Did the LUX* North Malé Atoll project call for any special considerations?
Isabelle Miaja: I first met the owner of the resort some 10 years ago. He is a keen diver, so he wished to create an island resort to be a unique experience, for guests to enjoy a lifestyle of luxury, combined with respecting the simple beauty of island nature. It has taken years to painstakingly perfect this resort on Olhahali, an island surrounded by unspoilt nature—it is a project I am very proud of.
HM: With this sailing-inspired theme for the architecture of the residences, was the interior designed along the same vein as well?
IM: Yes. The details and fittings of the interiors are reminiscent of Riva boats & luxury yachts: angled, clean lines, with beautiful craftsmanship.
For the furniture, I like to play with the eclectic; in this case, a contemporary look, complemented by traditional patterns or organic pieces of furniture. The constant colour accent present throughout the design is fuchsia, a colour I associate with being timelessly stylish, fashionable destinations like Miami and the Art Deco areas of South Beach.
HM: Having embarked on past projects with Onestop, what made you want to work with Onestop again for LUX* North Male Atoll?
IM: It is always a wonderful experience working with Onestop and its highly professional team! There is always great communication and understanding of the final design goal.
There is a constant focus on making our designs viable. At Miaja Design Group, we need to work together with a skilful furniture company that can understand our project vision and goals and enhance our designs with their beautiful craftsmanship—this is what Onestop does so well.