The Maldives archipelago on the Indian Ocean is a heavenly retreat across the equator, a paradise comprised of 1192 reef islands grouped into a double chain of 26 atolls. The beaches that outline the tiny islands are soft white sand, stroked by the lapping waves of the clear turquoise shallow waters that surround them.
The Maldives host five per cent of the planet’s reefs, with a rich and colourful habitat of soft and hard corals home to a thousand species of fish. Whether snorkelling, diving or yachting, you can watch them swim in these pristine waters and catch a glimpse of the dolphins, manta rays and whale sharks which also populate this stretch of ocean.
Where to stay
There is no shortage of remarkable places to stay in the Maldives. Only 200 Maldives islands are inhabited, with the capital Malé as the business centre. Many inhabited islands are luxurious, all-inclusive resorts, and others can be booked privately. Most resorts offer transfer by boat or seaplane.
As there is so much to see in this archipelago, booking a liveaboard yacht to call home for your stay is also an excellent option, freeing you up to explore more the wonders of nature around you.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Connect to the wonders of the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru: a 44-acre (18-hectare) wilderness that links land with sea, conservation with culture and wellness with innovation. Snorkel with the world’s largest population of manta rays, engage in bespoke therapeutic programs at AyurMa, dine on sandbanks, learn to kitesurf, rehabilitate injured sea turtles and connect to a natural playground of possibility.
Cheval Blanc Randheli
You’ll lack nothing during a dreamy stay at the Cheval Blanc Randheli. Book one of the luxurious private overwater villas or your private island residence. Enjoy the gourmet delicacies at one of the resort’s five restaurants and three bars. Try the island-inspired menu at The White, Italian dishes at Deelani, Japanese and East-Asian treats at Diptyque, or indulge in a symphony of French gastronomic courses at Le 1947. Or take advantage of Carte Blanche to satisfy your cravings in your villa or on the sands 24/7. Cheval Blanc’s Spa Island offers a wide range of wellness treatments and Guerlain products. You can refresh your hairstyle at the beauty salon by Parisian hair stylist Leonor Greyl.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The Conrad on Rangali-Finolhu Island offers a unique combination of experiences, including the MURAKA undersea family residence, which allows guests to sleep on the seabed or above, as they prefer. The Conrad is all about choice, with various luxurious villas and suites dotted along its atoll, both overland and overwater, suited to couples and families. Dining options extend from a memorable meal at the ITHAA undersea restaurant to Chinese delicacies at UFAA BY JEREME LEUNG, alfresco surf and turf at the Sunset Grill, six-course Japanese dining outdoors at Koko Grill, plus seven other bars and restaurants. Private beach catering is also available. The Spa offers nine couple’s treatment rooms, some with private steam, sauna and jet baths, a Vichy shower, a hair and nail salon, a boutique, and the Mandhoo Restaurant, which serves nourishing organic meals.
Contact LunaJets to book a long-haul private jet, such as the Dassault Falcon 2000LXS or the Bombardier Global 6000, to fly you directly from your point of origin to Velana (Male) or Gan International Airport. From there, you can connect to the speedboat or seaplane service offered by your resort. Be sure to consult with your LunaJets advisor on flight arrangements and transfers, and don’t forget to specify your catering and in-flight entertainment requirements for the flight.
(photo credit: Elite Voyage)