Hurawalhi, the Maldives

Hurawalhi, the Maldives

LOCATION: This slice of heaven is a 40-minute scenic sea plane ride from the capital Male. It is on the Lhaviyani atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Upon landing I was welcomed on the jetty by a band playing traditional Maldivian instruments, and I instantly felt at home. This feeling deepened as I wandered through the reception area with sand beneath my toes and a glass of champagne in hand.

THE FACTS: The resort has 90 villas, 60 of which are ocean suites and 30 beach suites. All are identically decorated, and the only choice the customer has to make is whether to upgrade to have a private infinity pool. Each of the 60 overwater villas comes with its own stairway into the ocean.

With countless water sports, a tennis court, football pitch and excursions – as well as the ocean as your playground – there’s plenty to keep guests occupied.

Three dining options are available: underwater restaurant 5.8, buffet venue Canneli, and Aquarium, which serves seafood and teppanyaki-style cuisine. All three allow diners to bask in stunning views while enjoying food of the highest calibre. Recommend dining at sunset for the ultimate picture-postcard moment. There’s also the 24-hour Coco Bar, serving an extensive list of delicious cocktails to sample while relaxing on the deck.

A GOOD BASE FOR: Couples desiring a dose of romance. Hurawalhi is an adult-only private island, providing a peaceful backdrop for guests. The resort is also perfect for newlyweds wanting to spend their honeymoon relaxing in paradise. Watching the sunset in the champagne pavilion at the end of the jetty is the perfect way to toast their nuptials.

Recommend clients head to the Duniye Spa to fully embrace island life. It’s the ideal place to enjoy a pampering session while looking out across the lagoon.

Keen divers and snorkelling fans will also feel very at home, because the waters offer spectacular marine life. Hurawalhi is surrounded by its own house reef, with tropical fish of all shapes and colours. A dolphin passage way is close to the island, and sea turtles and manta rays are often seen gliding through the waters.

WOW: There isn’t only one – the whole island has wow factor. Guests will be impressed by 5.8; it’s the world’s largest underwater restaurant but still intimate, accommodating just eight couples. It’s a dining experience like no other, and descending the spiral staircase you feel something special is about to happen. The culinary offering is nothing short of perfection, with a seven-course menu sampling the finest cuisine.

Another big wow is the Hurawalhi staff, who are the friendliest and most attentive you could wish for, helping to create the sense of peace and high class that permeates the island.

BOOK IT: £350 per night on a B&B basis. Full board is available for £115 per person per night extra.

Joshua Merrick

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