With villas perched on turquoise lagoons that brim with marine life, the Maldives spoils you silly. It offers luxurious living and ample space for unwinding. By Aindrila Mitra

“Happiness doesn’t require much,” the general manager of a resort in the Maldives had once told me over a sumptuous lunch during my first visit to the archipelago in 2018. When your everyday setting is made up of azure waters, white-sand beaches, the sound of waves invoking Zen-like calm, luxurious facilities, and hospitality that ranks among the best in the world, there’s no reason why your reality can’t be your happy place.

#MyThrowbackTrip: Maldives
Choose from one of the beach or water villas of OBLU SELECT at Sangeli.

Over the last 18 months, I have visited the Maldives twice. The first time, I checked in at the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa. As the name suggests, it is probably one of the farthest private islands in the archipelago, located in the northern Haa Alifu Atoll. If you’re looking for isolation, then this tops my list of all the places I’ve travelled to so far. And travelled I have quite a bit. At Hideaway, I felt uninhibited, stress-free, and at peace. At a time when social distancing is the keyword, I can’t dream of a better spot in the world than this tiny slice of heaven.

On my second visit last year, I found myself ensconced in the luxuries of the then newly opened The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort in the Baa Atoll. It was July, and our seaplane battled a storm. Fifteen of us, including our cover star for August 2019, Malaika Arora, were cooped up in a 20-seater for more than an hour. We weren’t sure how we would land on choppy waters, but there was palpable excitement rather than fear. We knew that once we landed on the island property, we would find our happy space.

It’s no surprise that the Maldives has become the playground of A-listers and honeymooners. From stunning marine life to great adventure sports, scuba diving, snorkelling, and fresh grub (most of the resorts practise farm-to-table), the archipelago is wondrous. Whether it’s a private cocoon you’re seeking or a large villa for family time, these island-resorts let you unwind and rewind.

#MyThrowbackTrip
“At a time when social distancing is the keyword, I can’t dream of a better spot in the world than this tiny slice of heaven.” – Aindrila Mitra, Editor-in-Chief.

WHERE TO STAY

OBLU SELECT at Sangeli is a 50-minute speedboat ride away from Malé. Choose from their standalone beach and water villas (with or without private pools), and enjoy their speciality dining options at Just Grill and Simply Veg.

Lily Beach Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive resort nestled on a private island, just 25 minutes by seaplane from Malé.

At The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, luxury meets traditional Maldivian culture. There are 15 dining and bar destinations to boot.

Looking for some unadulterated ‘me time’ or a romantic getaway? Heritance Aarah is your answer for a luxurious island experience.

Related: This Newlywed Couple Is On An Indefinite Honeymoon In Maldives, Courtesy: COVID-19 Lockdown