Sprinkled across the Indian Ocean like precious gemstones, the 1,200 or so islands that make up the 26 coral atolls of the Maldives are a blaze of pure white sands, Tiffany-blue waters and decadent resorts. As your seaplane touches down, or you arrive by speedboat, it’s quite clear that this is going to be a special holiday.
Sumptuous suites sit on stilts over the warm indigo waters, stylish à la carte restaurants serve up gastronomical delights, and luxurious spas are primed to rejuvenate your body and soul. Each resort is on its own private island for that added touch of castaway bliss, so this is the perfect place to come and unwind with that pile of books you never get round to reading. It’s an enchanting destination for honeymooners and couples, and a safe haven for families looking for watersports, beachfront living and warm hospitality.
Service is flawless and accommodation consistently excellent, with everything from private infinity pools to your own butler on call 24 hours a day. Unspoilt palm-fringed beaches are sugary soft and super white, the coral reefs are abundant with marine life, including turtles and manta rays, and dolphin watching and deep sea fishing trips can easily be arranged. You can also take a PADI dive course, help with conservation projects, or enjoy a private sunset cruise across the unbroken Indian Ocean.
With influences from around the world, Maldivian cuisine blends Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental flavours to create a unique culinary identity of its own. Prior to the arrival of tourism, fishing was the mainstay of the Maldivian economy, so it’s not surprising that seafood plays such a prominent role on local menus, and the ubiquitous fish curry is a particular highlight. You can also enjoy lobster and Champagne banquets, romantic private beach dinners, al fresco feasts and intimate.