Hurawalhi, Lhaviyani Atoll
Yes, it may not be at the ‘cheap’ end of the affordable scale, but for a five-star property, its rates are genuinely brilliant value. So with that in mind, you can expect luxe touches everywhere, from the chic, Riviera-style blue-and-white-striped fluffy towels elegantly rolled into place on every sunlounger, to 24-hour afternoon tea, to the Champagne Pavilion, where, because it’s positioned on the resort’s westernmost spot, the sunsets are jaw-dropping and the dolphin-spotting radar is set to HIGH. There’s not a plethora of restaurants at your fingertips like on other, more buzzing islands: there are just the three, in fact, and if you’re on a budget, the main buffet-style one (Canneli) is where you’ll have every meal (food changes daily, so don’t panic).
But there’s also an undersea restaurant…yep, you’ll be dining on fresh ceviche whilst surrounded by an all-natural aquarium. Totally surreal, utterly magical. We’re not going to lie, this restaurant will cost you extra pennies – but really, it’s oh-so worth it, if only to try chef Bjoern’s take on a mini lobster roll (meringue being one of the main ingredients). Don’t expect to do too much here – as it’s adults-only, it’s all about soaking up the endless honey-hued sunshine in total quiet. Turns out silence really is golden.
The free, regularly scheduled assisted snorkelling trips are a real bonus. Book onto one when you first arrive and learn the best entry points onto the reef for fish and turtle spotting. Then you can go it alone for the rest of the trip. Ideal.
GO: From £250pp per night for a beach villa; hurawalhi.com