It was so good to return to the Maldives for a luxury holiday after 12 years since previously visiting the region; I had forgotten just how beautiful the islands are.
There are so many new resorts since my last visit, and really something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a small island for total relaxation, a family friendly resort or a slightly larger island with more going on.
Our first stop was Cocoa Island where we were met on arrival at the airport and joined a waiting boat for the seamless 30 minute journey. This island is small with beautiful beaches and offering all overwater accommodation in Dhoni boats. There is an excellent restaurant, a lap pool and hydrotherapy pool adjacent to the excellent Como Shambahla spa and I had a superb massage on arrival which really sorted out the jet lag. All in all Cocoa Island was the perfect spot for total relaxation with its informal and low key but fantastic service.
Our next stop was Four Seasons Kuda Huraa and we were very lucky to see a school of around 50 dolphins en route; it was quite a sight. The island is a short 25 minute boat journey from Male and offers private beach accommodation and overwater villas. There is a great choice of four restaurants with an award-winning Indian restaurant, a family pool, adult only pool and fantastic spa on an adjacent island which is reached by Dhoni boat. There are excellent land and water activities for adults and children, with tennis, a children's club, gym, yoga classes, superb diving, a marine research centre, turtle rescue and breeding centre, motorised and non-motorised watersports, as well as being one of the only areas which offers surfing close by. You really can do as much or as little as you want on this wonderful island and the service was truly exceptional.
We then flew by seaplane to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru which was spectacular for viewing the islands and reefs. A boat was waiting for us on arrival to whisk us off on the two minute journey to the island which is larger than its sister property and again offers beach and water accommodation. I really loved the Beach Villas with Pool which have a good sized pool and great mix of indoor and outdoor living, just steps away from the beach but also very private. We had a lovely lunch at 'Blu' overlooking the most spectacular beach which seemed to go on forever. The island also has lots going on for an active holiday including tennis, a children's club, several pools, gym, excellent diving and watersports and a superb spa offering a fantastic selection of treatments including Ayurvedic packages for 7, 14 and 21 days.
Our last stop was the wonderful One&Only Reethi Rah; reached by yacht which takes just 60 minutes from Male. A beautiful lush island and larger than I had expected, it has a great selection of beaches to choose from. The accommodation is spread around the island and includes beach and overwater villas.
The island was actually fully booked during our stay but you would not have known as there was so much space and privacy. Amenities included a great selection of restaurants, a beautiful tranquil 'Espa', superb gym, fitness and yoga classes, children's club, golf simulator, rock climbing wall, football, volleyball, watersports, diving and much more. A fantastic stay and a great way to end our trip to the Maldives.
I don't think I will be leaving it another 12 years before my next visit!