We’re not sure life gets much better than when spending your days soaking up the rays in the Maldives. Composed of 26 ring-shaped coral ‘atolls’, the Maldives in the Indian Ocean really is the best thing since sliced bread. White sands and crystal-clear waters simply make this heaven on earth. And there’s good reason why it’s one of our most popular holiday destinations.
Split into two atolls – the North and South – the islands are only accessible by speedboat and seaplane. Don’t expect any hills here. The Maldives are one of the flattest countries anywhere in the world rarely reaching a few meters above sea level. Hence, perfectly designed for lying flat all day. The Maldives has a hot, tropical climate with sunshine all year round. You’ll find the best weather between November and April during the north-east monsoon when it is dry with very little wind.
Ideal for loved-up couples and those looking for the perfect honeymoon spot. The Maldives also is surprisingly family-friendly with many of the hotels boasting fantastic kids clubs and activities to keep everyone entertained. Unsurprisingly, we wouldn’t recommend it for those travelling on their own. It will feel like when you’re out alone on Valentine’s Day. You might just feel a little bit like a third wheel in this romantic haven.
If Carlsberg made holidays
For chic beach goers, it really doesn’t get better than the One & Only Reethi Rah luxury hotel in the Maldives. Located on one of the largest islands in the North Male Atoll, the octopus-shaped Reethi Rah encompasses an extraordinary six kilometres of coastline. Here, in beautiful landscaping by the turquoise bays, lie discreetly placed villas, each with their own secluded piece of sugar white shore or private deck with direct access to the lagoon, boasting high, airy ceilings and generous exterior space some with private pools. Choose between the chic Keynote restaurant, Tapasake for Japanese and Fanditha for an Arabian lounge. At the tranquil One & Only spa they specialise in Ayurvedic therapies. But there’s plenty to do if you’d prefer to keep active; swimming in the main pool, tennis, volleyball and indoor games, diving at the PADI Gold Palm resort dive centre, deep-sea fishing or deluxe desert island picnics. Children and teens are superbly catered for with the KidsOnly and One Tribe clubs.
Spend your days on the privately owned Olhuveli island in the Laamu Atoll. Benefiting from being the only resort in the Atoll and so avoiding all local boat traffic, this shows the unspoilt bliss of how the Maldives looked 15 years ago. Blending luxury with eco-friendly credentials, a large stretch of the beachfront has been left completely untouched. The Lagoon Water villas have upper and lower decks with direct access to the ocean and glass overwater bathtubs. With a panoramic bar, magnificent overwater restaurant, fantastic sushi and laidback Sip Sip bar there’s plenty of options for all day dining. The Six Senses Spa focusses on holistic wellness and there is a wide variety of water sports including sailing, water-skiing, surfing and wake-boarding. Additionally, there is also an open-air cinema for evening entertainment.
Arrive by speedboat into the stunning beachfront setting where your Water Villa boasts incredible views of the Indian Ocean. Suspended on stilts over the water with direct access to the lagoon, the water villas all boast private sun decks. There’s an amazing spa (four of the fifteen treatment rooms are suspended over water), a PADI dive centre and 7 fabulous resturants. Furthermore, they also have Beach Rouge, one of the only fully fledged beach clubs in the Maldives. But even though this is a great option for couples, kids are in fact allowed and will enjoy the kids’ clubs on offer.