Each one idyllic but uniquely the Indian Ocean’s big hitting holiday islands make for the ultirnate escape, if only for a long weekend (although it’s a fact you’ll wish for more when time to pack your bags). But which of these islands is ideal for you? Awash with history and with outdoor adventures on tap, Mauritius has much to complement its spectacular scenery, while in the Seychelles can hilæ lush trails and snorkel over colourful sea life in the space of an afternoon. Culturally vibrant Sri Lanka, offers abundant UNESCO World Heritage sights and an ever-expanding list of luxuryresort hotels. And then there’s the Maldives, home tothe over-the-water villa, sugar-white beaches and sunsets so beautiful your heart melts. Across the few post we’re going to take you to paradise. What better way to ease yourself into 2019?
I’ve heard that some resorts are more than an hour’s seaplane flight from Malé. Which ones are close to the airport?
Despite being a mere four-hour flight from the UAE, some Maldives resorts are remote enough to require a further scheduled domestic flight or, more commonly, a seaplane taxi, which will likely stop at one or two other resorts along the way to your own island escape. This can mean your actual travel time clocks in at over five hours or more, so if you’re intent on squeezing in every possible moment in paradise, you should consider a resort that doesn’t require you to take to the sky once more. One such place is Jumeirah Vittaveli, which lies atop the ocean only 20 minutes (via a transfer aboard a motorised catamaran) from the airport. This is a place that adds a splash of wow factor to many of its offerings: the first ice rink in the Maldives and the newly opened Private Ocean Retreats with Slide (yes, a slide, which winds down from the upstairs balcony into the ocean).
I ant to stay somewhere brand spanking new. high places have just opened?
Comprising only 15 villas – all of them on stilts over the ocean – the feeling of exclusivity at this all-inclusive resort extends to being able to have Dream Island, a neighbouring slice of sand owned by Kudadoo, all to yourself.
LUX* North Malé Atoll
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
Water babies take note: Meaning ‘Secret Water Island’, Sirru Fen Fushi boasts one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives and a huge, 200-metre-long swimming pool. Rest assured it won’t stay secret for long.
Why slum it in a villa that has only one swimming pool when you can have two? Here, two-pool villas are available on the beach or over the water.
OUR FAVOURITE ‘ONLY IN THE MALDIVES’ MOMENTS
1 Snorkelling or diving are the obvious ways to familarise yourself with Maldives’ enchanting underwater world, but there are a few more unique ways to do so. It’s home to the world’s first underwater spa (Huvafen Fushi Maldives); underwater bungalow (Conrad Maldives Rangali Island); and underwater nightclub (Niyama Private Islands Maldives).
2 Dining is a big deal in Maldives, with some resorts even flying in Michelin-starred chefs to rustle up one-night-only dinners for guests. Yet a dining experience you’ll cherish for reasons beyond what’s on your plate is a sandbank dinner – you’ll dine by flaming torches on a private slice of sand just for two. Heart melting.