The Maldives, a scattering of tiny islands south of Sri Lanka, have long been deemed an idyllic destination. Known for secluded, uber-luxury resorts, stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise seas, there is plenty to do beyond sunbathing and sipping cocktails.
Where to Stay
No two islands are the same, but all are beyond exquisite. When choosing, consider all the facilities as you’re likely to stay put on one island for your entire holiday. The Maldives are home to every luxury brand available, from the Four Seasons, to Six Senses, the Ritz-Carlton and The St. Regis. In addition, you can find smaller, specialist brands offering a wealth of fun and indulgence, like Niyama Private Islands in the southwestern atoll of Dhaalu.
What to Do
Dive or snorkel among the teeming tropical fish, manta rays and turtles. Relax and be pampered with a spa treatment in an overwater treatment room. Have a gourmet bonfire picnic on a deserted island. Surf uncrowded waves. Take up water sports like jet skiing, water skiing, wake boarding, parasailing, fun tubes and more. Kids have their own kids club with safaris, gourmet master chef classes, scouting for dolphins and other thrills.
Where to Eat
If you are looking for Maldivian food, then stop in Male. On the islands, the lavish resorts vie to present the most extraordinary experiences. Niyama Private Islands offers nine choices, including Subsix, six feet undersea where you can revel in Champagne breakfasts, subaquatic lunches, gourmet dinners and glow parties that illuminate the dramatic night reef. Or head to Tribal, a Latino-African restaurant where you are welcomed by a Maasai warrior, or dine in a treehouse at Nest for avant-garde Asian food.