If money didn’t matter (and pigs did fly) you could opt for an all-inclusive holiday to some of the most luxurious islands in the world, not because all inclusive is necessarily more expensive but because it means room, board and bliss can be wrapped up in one enticing package.
A trip to the ‘honeymoon republic of the Maldives’ is right up there with some of the most priceless luxury items in the world and why? Because it’s practically guilt free. If you’re planning to spend the majority of your beach holiday sitting by the pool with a cocktail in your hand, this is one of the few destination where you can do that without feeling like you need to visit holiday theme parks, rows of museums or entertainment districts that are often less appealing after 9pm than they sound.
As your plane descends over the double chain of islands and turns towards Male’s international airport, it’s easy to see why so many people book their honeymoons in these incredible coral atolls, which are ringed with luminous water, standing serenely in the Laccadive Sea.
Here are five things for you to do if money was no option in the Maldives. But if you’re pinching your pennies (it’s nearly Christmas, after all), enter our Dolls Life caption competition and stand a chance to win a £100 travel voucher or a £500 jackpot prize.
Night diving in the Maldives’ clear water
A four-star island resort, Vakarufalhi is on the south corner of South Ari Atoll, home to a beautiful reef that’s accessible from the beach, 35 dive sites and 15 thilas (submerged hills). Divers can see snappers, soldier fish and batfish and explore plenty of superb soft coral, caves and overhangs, while certified dive masters provide dive training, guided boat trips and night snorkelling.
Sleep in a dhoni on Dhoni Island
If you’re looking for privacy and exclusivity, this is the place to go. Accommodating a maximum of only 12 guests but with 60 staff members to cater to your every need, Dhoni Island accommodation is in the North Ari Atoll and places guests in secluded glades near brilliant white-sand beaches, often just a few paces from the lagoons.
Visit the spa at Reethi Rah
Difficult to make a list of the most luxurious places in the Maldives without mentioning the One and Only’s exclusive Reethi Rah, which is an all-villa resort (consisting of 130 private resort villas!) in the North Male’ Atoll, either on the beach, among secluded greenery or above the water of lagoons. Opting to stay in this grand and glitzy resort is certainly one way to guarantee you get the full Maldivian experience.
Take an air taxi over the atolls
Sea plane companies operate out of the larger resort towns and provide unforgettable tours that fly over the atolls (1,190 islands from north to south, measuring a total of 500 miles). Not just a panoramic flight, however, the services can include lagoon landings, photo opportunities and buffet lunches – but for amateur photographers, the view of the islands from above is surely one of the most memorable souvenirs to take home with you.
Dine undersea at Ithaa
Renowned as the first underwater restaurant in the world, Ithaa is 16 feet below sea level on Alif Dhaal Atoll in the Maldives. Opened in 2005 and housed in an acrylic shell, the restaurant is accessible via a spiral staircase in a thatched pavilion at the end of a jetty. The 270-degree panorama is filled with underwater creatures, such that it’s hard to concentrate on the blend of Maldivian and western food on offer, and even harder to complain about the £200 bill.