Eid Travel: The Maldives
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 recommend paying extra for a water villa, as they tend to attract fewer bugs than beach- or garden-based accommodation.
WHERE TO STAY:
Hideaway Beach Resort and Spa is your quintessential five-star luxury Maldivian resort. Expect pristine beaches, 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 massage (Swedish, Balinese, Thai, Hot Stone and Shiatsu, starting from $162 for 50 minutes).
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 alfresco terrace above the lagoon. After dinner head to Waves Disco for shisha.
Beach villas cost from Dhs2,226, family villas cost from Dhs4,374 and water villas cost from Dhs3,052 per night; Dhonakulhi Island, Haa Alifu Atoll, North Maldives, +960 650 1515, www.hideawaybeachmaldives.com
APPROX FLIGHT TIME & COST: 4 hours 20 mins, Dhs2,000-Dhs2,500, (Emirates and FlyDubai offer direct flights), transfers from Malé Ibrahim Nasir International Airport by seaplane to the resort take 45 minutes and cost Dhs2,387 per person.om