The Best Luxury Resorts and Spas in Maldives - By: Gregory Smyth
The Maldives is a group of twenty six atolls, and the country is comprised of over 1100 islets - and when you understand this, it makes the fact that on luxury vacation in the Maldives you enjoy the privacy of your own entire island, a lot more credible! The hundreds of islands of the Maldives range from about 2.5km to just 150m across, and you can stay in luxury on your own desert island in any number of places. Understandably, tourism accounts for around 28% of the Maldives' GDP, and there is a larger concentration of luxury hotels on these islands than just about anywhere else in the world. This is why we have compiled our guide to the cream of the crop.
When looking at staying in the Maldives, it is important to note that the facilities at the hotel you choose to stay at are the only ones you have access to for the duration of your trip - unless you choose a resort that also offers boat hire, in which case you can transport yourself around the islands. This makes it incredibly important to make sure that the luxury resort in the Maldives can take care of all of the equipment for your stay. Will you want to go scuba diving? Do you want to fish, and will you need to rent gear for that? What else do you want to do? And how well planned are you when you pack your suitcases?!
If you are looking to get away from the world, the Maldives is one of the best and most luxurious and beautiful places to do it. You will want to make sure that your hotel caters to few people - generally the upper end of the price scale when it comes to luxury accommodation in the Maldives means that the resort is smaller.
One of the closest luxury hotels in the Maldives to Male International Airport is the Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. You reach the resort by speedboat, which you will find to be intimate and eco-friendly. At this resort you can scuba dive, wind surf, sail a catamaran, canoe, play beach volleyball, and also go big game fishing. The accommodation at this Maldives luxury resort is in bungalows. Thee are 48 of these, and they feature an open terrace per villa, a private landscaped garden and private sundeck. The recessed sitting area and four poster bed make you feel in the lap of luxury for every minute.
Holiday Island is another excellent Maldives luxury resort, located on Dhiffushi island in the southern Alif Atoll. This is a more secluded island than Vabbinfaru, up to 2 1/2hrs from Male by speedboat, although you can reach it in 30 minutes by seaplane. The accommodation at Holiday Island features antique furniture and paintings by local artists, helping to support the local economy in areas other than tourism. There are 142 beautiful seaside rooms with luxurious amenities. There is also a wealth of activities here, including diving, wind surfing, catamarans, parasailing, wakeboarding, ringo riding, submarine diving, aerobics and tennis, just to name a few.
Shangri-La's Vililingi Resort in the Maldives, due for completion in the end of 2008, is set on a three kilometer long island with almost two kilometers of white sandy beaches. The accommodation will range from tropical treehouse villas to private ocean retreats, and there are three natural lagoons on the island as well as the ocean to make use of. The luxury accommodation will be appointed in five distinct styles, and will have ipod charging docks and units, among other luxuries.
If you are travelling to the Maldives, it pays to do a little research, as it isn't possible to walk to the next hotel over if you aren't satisfied! Go for the Maldives luxury spas for an unforgettable experience.
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Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently owns and manages 54 hotels under Shangri-La and Traders brands with a rooms inventory of over 27,000. Shangri-La hotels are five-star deluxe properties featuring extensive luxury facilities and services.