Like scattered gems in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a magnet for the UAE’s jet set, with short direct flights and hundreds of postcard-worthy floating island resorts to choose from. It’s said there’s no such thing as a bad Maldivian resort, and the person who gets to test that theory is very fortunate indeed. What we do know is that transfer times and modes of transport differ, from a 20-minute boat trip to a 90-minute seaplane flight, so factor that in. During summer, many islands experience monsoon rains – but downpours are often short-lived, the weather is still warm and there are bargains to be had outside of August’s school holidays. Also, we highly recommend paying extra for an over-water villa, as they tend to attract fewer bugs than beach- or garden-based suites do.
WHERE TO STAY:
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is your quintessential five star luxury Maldivian resort. Expect pristine beaches, a translucent ocean stretching as far as the eye can see and colourful fish. Dive, snorkel, tackle water sports, sunbathe, read and explore the greenery – Hideaway Island is home to banana, coconut and breadfruit trees. A few sessions at the spa should help ease you into island life, with Natura Bisse facials, exotic scrubs and five kinds of treatments (Swedish, Balinese, Thai, hot stone and shiatsu). Matheefaru is the main restaurant boasting one of the biggest breakfast buffets in the Maldives, with themed buffets by night, while Sunrise Pool Café and Meeru Bar & Grill cook up casual bites by the pool, and Samsara serves Asian-fusion fare on an al fresco terrace above the lagoon.
INFO: Beach villas cost from Dhs2,000 per night; Dhonakulhi Island, Haa Alifu Atoll, North Maldives, +960 650 1515, hideawaybeachmaldives.com