Sister resort Niyama might be the hip new kid on the Maldives block (what with its 24-hour spa and underwater club), but this original luxury retreat still shows its rivals how the cool castaway vibe is done.
The 44 villas all have their own plunge pool and deck area, plus a sleek urban style, and are subtly gadget-tastic: Bose surround-sound music system, plasma TV, Bang & Olufsen phones and remote-controlled curtains.
The spa grabbed headlines when it opened in 2005 with the world's first underwater treatment rooms - being buffed and pampered while technicoloured fish float by is supremely soothing.
For its relatively few rooms there are plenty of dining options to keep your taste buds on their toes - from wood-fired pizza to fine-dining seafood. And an advantage this established retreat has over the newcomers is its proximity to the capital Malé (the more recent openings have had to find space in further-flung atolls, an internal flight away from the international airport).After just a 30-minute speedboat transfer you'll be digging your toes into Huvafen's super-soft white sand, cocktail in hand.
WOW FACTOR: Ocean Bungalows have a glass-floored lounge for your own private multicoloured marine show!
FLIGHT TIME: 11 hours
WHEN TO GO: Winter, Spring