Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

A charming 'no news, no shoes' policy at this tropical hideaway means that from the moment your feet hit the sand, you're encouraged to surrender to island life.

Breathtaking villas built from reclaimed wood and accessed via a rickety jetty stand on stilts over a huge turquoise lagoon, with permanent sea views. These are among the largest villas in the Maldives, with giant bathrooms, open-air sitting rooms, private sundecks, and steps directly into the sea. Consider it paradise found.


The hotel prides itself on being 'a Maldivian hotel, not merely a hotel in the Maldives', committed to preserving the environment and drawing your attention to the natural beauty of the islands; there's even a marine biologist in residence, and an organic garden. But don't be fooled by all the hippy-speak - there's no denying this is the height of luxury.

Each villa has its own butler to assist you with the finer details of your stay, allowing you to focus completely on unwinding. There's little need to move, although you should definitely hop on your bamboo bicycle (you're provided with two) and head off for a superb massage at the spa, which has a porthole through which you can watch the fish swim by.


WOW FACTOR: In the unlikely event of rain, take refuge in the Bond villain-style underground wine cellar for a wine and chocolate tasting with the sommelier. Or, for a special treat, hire the jungle cinema for the evening and enjoy a three-course dinner while watching your favourite film.

GO: The Turquoise Holiday Company ( offers seven nights from £3,089 per person, half board. Includes flights and transfers.

FLIGHT TIME: 10 hours, 30 minutes.