The Maldives

The Maldives is famed for the stunningly glorious beauty of its crystal-clear turquoise seas, seemingly unending azure skies and the tiny sandy atolls that host a range of uber-luxury resorts, each one a self-sufficient hideaway that caters to its guests’ every need. Scattered across an expanse of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a tranquil, pristine and peaceful paradise that has entranced visitors for years.

Surprisingly easy to reach, despite the isolated nature, the majority of visitors land at Malé airport, then transit to their chosen island resort by either boat or seaplane. The most famed, luxurious and opulent brands all have unprecedented destinations in the Maldives, including the recently opened Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, a luxurious 30-minute private yacht ride from the airport. Sprawled across three atolls, this outstanding resort boasts 11 incredible restaurants and bars and even its own private island with two villas, a residence, five pools and a club house for secluded parties and holidays.

Fancy living like a rock star? Hard Rock Hotel Maldives is just a 15-minute boat ride from the airport. Hop on a seaplane and book yourself a stay at the exquisitely beautiful The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort and indulge in true Astor tradition. Or go all-inclusive and indulge in the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant at the adults-only resort Hurawalhi Maldives.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that sunbathing is all there is to do in the Maldives. Every resort offers a wealth of culinary offerings, each has its own alluring spa and other activities to keep you as busy as you like. Doubtless, the sea is the most captivating attraction and there is nowhere better to indulge in snorkelling, diving and boat trips to find turtles, manta rays, sharks and a myriad fish swimming through the coral reefs.

Be sure not to miss a boat ride to find the resident spinner dolphins and be dazzled by the shimmering silver flying fish as they leap out of the water around your speedboat. Go jet skiing and marvel as the bright blue sea suddenly turns black as the sea floor plummets and take the opportunity to visit one of the dazzling soft white sand banks for a picnic, BBQ or a glass of champagne as you share an intimate moment with your beloved.

Surfing is also hugely popular in the Maldives and avid surfers can be taken out to the breaks, or stay at Niyama Private Islands Maldives which has the high-quality, classic Vodi surf point breaking directly on the island, as well as Kasabu with its right-handers and barrelling sections just five minutes away by speedboat. 

Asia Dreams November 2019 – January 2020