This island nation in the Indian Ocean is dispersed over a ‘double chain’ consisting of 26 atolls. Resorts are reached either by speedboat from Male, where the international airport is located or by seaplane – both ensuring a glamorous and exciting arrival into your destination of choice.
The Maldives is a wonderful stand-alone destination for those looking for complete recuperation of mind, body and soul but also is a perfect addition to the end of a perhaps more active holiday due to connecting flight routes with Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East.
Design styles range from contemporary and modern to the more rustic, however in a fiercely competitive market, and thus with resorts striving to be the best, one will always be hugely impressed by the imaginative use of space and materials and the impeccable standards of accommodation, service and cuisine.
Room options range from beach bungalows and sumptuous villas, often opening directly onto glorious white sand beaches, to overwater accommodation where rooms and suites perch on stilts over the water allowing guests direct access to the sea and uninterrupted views of the ocean. Even if sea swimming does not appeal, many resorts also have stunning swimming pools and options for private pools.
Facilities are often outstanding with both large and small spas created by renowned world-class spa product brands, all with superb therapists on hand for treatments from just one massage to entire programmes designed for your stay. On the active side, diving and snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters will appeal to both beginners and experienced divers.
Dining is a delight in the Maldives in terms of both the standard and variety of cuisine often available and the ambience whether dining privately on the beach or on in your room or in one of the stunning restaurants. Many resorts have butler service allowing for a very personalised experience.
Some of our favourites include Christina Ong’s heavenly Cocoa Island, with its Shumbhala Retreat and 33 dhonis (house/fishing boats), where one can experience ‘over-water’ suites, Soneva Gili, the first villa resort in the Maldives, or the more down-to-earth and traditional Soneva Fushi who use the slogan ‘no news, no shoes’ to describe the atmosphere there.
Dhoni Mighili is a little spot-of-paradise island that can be privately reserved. Apart from their six gorgeous beach bungalows, they come complete with their own 65-foot dhoni. The order of the day is complete relaxation – you can dine at anytime and anywhere, and order your own personal favourites or something the chef recommends.
At Huvafen Fushi accommodation are either stylish cottages dotted along the beach or ocean pavilions set out over the sea – with underwater glass spa treatment rooms and an underwater wine cellar where you can enjoy a fabulous wine tasting experience from the 6000 wines available!
The Four Seasons is also excellent and has the Four Seasons Explorer, possibly the world’s most luxurious diving boat with twelve cabins.
There are few places better than the Maldives for indulgence and relaxation.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
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