If there is anywhere on Earth that could be considered paradise, it has to be the Maldives. Nature plays the starring role here, with turquoise water, reefs brimming with marine life, the sky full of rare migrating birds and larger islands offering diverse flora and fauna and a natural habitat for green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles.
It is thanks to fervent aquatic activity by coral polyps that this natural cornupocia of small islands in the Indian Ocean was formed, leaving us with exquisite powder white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and a tranquil turquoise sea, that could be confused with the biggest infinity swimming pool known to man. What’s more, most islands still conserve their coral reefs with marine life to rival the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. Amazingly, you only need to swim a few yards to view your very own exotic aquarium.
Perhaps less associated with the islands - for those that have never ventured there - is the inspirational beauty of the night sky. Star-gazing is a Maldives-must and several resorts have built observatories and the latest, Soneva Jani, even offers retractable roofs in their villa master suites, so you can watch the stars from your pillows.
A private paradise for two, or for many more
It is no surprise, then, that the Maldives is synonymous with romance: romatic escapes, wedding proposals and honeymoons, but the islands are also a wonderful destination for families, with some resorts offering 3, 4 and 5 bedroom beach villas, plenty of children's activities and some overwater retreats even have their own water slides into their shallow lagoons.
When Soneva Fushi opened 25 years ago there was little choice available for a luxury, sand-between-your-toes experience. Today, things are rather different with 121 resorts now open and another 21 applied for, the Maldives is awash with luxury resorts.
To ensure you strike bull's eye with your choice of resort, Luxury Explorer has handpicked five Maldivian treasures to appeal to discerning desert island explorers; laid back, authentic sand-between-your-toes relaxation at Soneva Fushi or overwater villa privacy at Cocoa Island, and Taj Exotica and, now, Soneva Jani which you really have to see to believe. During March we are also visiting Six Senses Laamu which we are sure we will add to our collection in the coming weeks.
We guarantee each of our hand-picked resorts can turn your dreamiest daydreams into a deeply memorable real-life experience to savour for a life-time.