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Ahh, the Maldives. It’s the destination at the very top of many travellers’ bucket lists, thanks to its postcard-perfect, powdery white sands, lagoons that blend from crystal-clear to perfect aquamarine and spectacular colourful marine life. In a destination that’s seemingly perfect at every turn, with resorts and experiences that are continually raising the bar when it comes to unadulterated luxury, how do you choose the best places to eat, drink, stay and play? Allow us to give you a helping hand…

Image courtesy of Conrad Maldives

Eat & Drink

On a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, invest in once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences – because the memories are priceless.

Dine under the sea: The multi-award-winning Ithaa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort is the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant, where guests can dine five metres below the surface of the lagoon surrounded by coral gardens and tropical fish. Six courses of pure indulgence feature foie gras and truffle dumpling and reef lobster.

Dine in the ocean: The Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru resort offers a selection of private dining experiences including dinner on a floating platform in the middle of a lagoon, accessible only by boat.

Picnic in a hidden cove: Amilla Fushi’s range of destination dining options includes the opportunity to have a romantic picnic in a variety of locations, including the beach, hidden coves and secluded sandbanks. Tuck into a seafood barbecue of grilled reef fish, squid and oysters.

Image courtesy of Finolhu

Stay

From Ibiza-style chic to classic luxury, the Maldives has all bases covered when it comes to premium resorts.

Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives: Think: World-class diving, pillowy white sand, Bombay Sapphire waters, flaming sunsets and seemingly endless ocean views. Welcome to the highly-anticipated Mövenpick Resort; located on the private Kuredhivaru in the Noonu Atoll, where strings of overwater wooden pathways link iconic, thatch-roofed villas that exude celebrity-style seclusion and are drenched in warm island sunshine. This quintessentially Maldives getaway floats above the glistening lagoon, oozing barefoot luxury that’ll prove difficult to rival thereafter.

Kanuhura: One of the Leading Hotels of the World, the exclusive Kanuhura offers dreamy barefoot luxury. More intimate than some Maldivian resorts, it takes form across both the main Kanuhura resort island and two neighbouring deserted islands (one complete with a marooned restaurant accessible only by boat), bordered by stretches of pristine beaches. Complete with an award-winning spa and exquisite dining, this is a true island paradise you’ll never want to leave.

Finolhu: Located in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Baa Atoll, the five-star Finolhu resort is a glamorous island playground where the beautiful people come for the white sand and turquoise waters and stay for the chic style and vibrant Ibiza-style beach club 1 OAK. Overwater villas offer quirky, retro-style luxury.

Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa: Surrounded by a striking coral reef, the boutique-style, all-villa Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa is home to more than 17,000 coconut trees, over six km of picturesque coastline and two km of white sandy beaches, as well as six bars and restaurants, a nine-hole golf course and luxurious spa.

Image courtesy of Jumeirah

Play

The Maldives isn’t all glass-bottomed-bathtubs and snorkelling: there are many experiences besides, some of which are wholly unexpected.

Go ice-skating: The Maldives is probably one of the last places on earth you’d expect to go ice skating, but the Jumeirah Vittaveli resort has made the impossible possible. The 170 sqm ‘ice skating rink’ is made with artificial ice plates and offers tropical views of the lagoon and swaying palm trees.

Party under the sea: Subsix is the world’s first underwater nightclub off the shore of the Niyama Maldives resort. Head out by speedboat for the bi-weekly Underwater Glow Party, where you can sup on champagne whilst partying alongside the tropical fish.

Go stargazing: The first of its kind in the Maldives, Soneva Jani’s overwater observatory is perfectly situated to admire constellations in the Northern and Southern hemispheres with minimal light pollution, with resident astronomers on hand to share their knowledge.

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