LAST UPDATED: 7th December 2013 at 11:50am

At some hotels you unwind from the second you set foot in them; Huvafen Fushi is one of those elusive places.

The staff are ever-attentive, the rooms are huge and refurbished in an easy-breezy modern style, and the island itself has one of the best house reefs in the Maldives. And everything is so easy.

Laze in your private plunge pool sipping champagne, or spend a long lunch under the palms at Fogliani's before tucking into seafood at Salt in the evening. And it's incredibly easy to lose yourself for hours in the world's first underwater spa.

In fact, the only thing that's not easy is leaving.

WOW FACTOR: Book an exclusive and gastronomic Vinum dinner in the Indian Ocean's largest wine cellar.

FLIGHT TIME: 10 hours.

GO: Book with Turquoise Holidays; call 01494 678 400 or visit for more details or email

LAST UPDATED: 1st November 2012 at 2:35pm

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

GO: Book with Turquoise Holidays; call 01494 678 400 or visit for more details or email