The attraction of the Maldives over other island destinations is simple: more fish, less people! They offer a technicolour underwater panorama that is hard to beat, whether you are a rank amateur snorkeller or a hard-core diving enthusiast. Visiting the Maldives without diving, they say, is like walking through the Sistine Chapel without looking up. They have the most species-rich marine life in the world: 250 kinds of coral; 63 kind of algae and over 1200 species of tropical fish have been recorded. The impact of man on the environment has been negligible. No wonder the water in the Maldives is said to be the clearest in the world. Tourism is neither placing undue stress on the environment nor disrupting traditional ways of life. And travellers get what they came for – a palm-fringed island that they can (almost) call their own.
5 Hip Hotels in Maldives
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Cocoa Island is for people who want their paradise experience pure. No bling, no shopping, no underwater bars; just a great beach, great snorkelling and simple but delicious food.
The beach, in fact, is better than great. It is possibly the whitest sand ever seen and it takes up more surface area than the island itself. It is, literally, brilliant, particularly when combined with the turquoise shade of the surrounding water.
The snorkelling is definitely pure – pure Nemo. Just swim from your terrace and you will soon be in a giant aquarium. Big turtles, fish of every colour and pattern, and the odd baby sharks just to keep it interesting.
Explore the water, explore the beach, read all the books you thought you never would, and that is the closest you will get to an agenda on this island.
A pure paradise experience.
Photos of Cocoa Island
£1,999 per person
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The first among these is the underwater spa. The LIME spa has glass spa treatment rooms that are literally underwater, so that guests can be surrounded by the world that makes the Maldives so special. Then there is Vinum, the underground wine cave with one of the best collections in Asia. There is a private beach residence called Cube, the library/lounge called The Lair and glass bottoms feature in all the water bungalows as well as in the hotel’s kayaks.
If you imagine these are the main reasons for going to Huvafen Fushi, you would be wrong. The real star of this retreat is the Maldives, a collection of amoeba-like islands surrounded by startlingly white beaches and incredibly turquoise waters.
If this hotel had been around in the Sixties the Beatles surely would have dedicated a psychedelic song to all its strange and dream-like qualities.
Photos of Huvafen Fushi
£2,449 per person
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Hedonists rejoice; you will fulfil all your desires at NIYAMA.
Photos of NIYAMA
£2,389 per person
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This really is the ultimate in beachside luxury and no ocean polished pebble has been left unturned with regards to your well-being and comfort.
Photos of One&Only Reethi Rah
£2,599 per person
Hip List Member Extra 30 minute spa treatment per person
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It just may be the best example of barefoot luxury in the world.
Photos of Six Senses Laamu
£2,499 per person
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