If your idea of paradise is a lush palm fringed island fringed by a deep powdery white sand beach, turquoise lagoon and coral reef teeming with multi-coloured tropical fish then the Maldives is the perfect destination for you. Add to that romantic five-star luxury, superb food, impeccable service, and the most beautiful spacious villas you could ever dream of and Milaidhoo is the answer.
Milaidhoo Island is the epitome of how you imagine a perfect Maldivian island to be and I was forever pinching myself to check I wasn't dreaming. Located a mere thirty-five minute seaplane flight from Malé, and in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this tiny, quiet (no children under the age of nine) island is the perfect choice for those looking to relax, unwind and enjoy barefoot luxury at its best.
After the warmest of welcomes from the General Manager who calls his staff 'family' you instantly feel at home due to the sheer friendliness of the staff. Your island host is there to ensure your every wish comes true. Nothing is too much for them and you really are treated like royalty without it feeling overbearing or pretentious. The service is intimate yet discreet, and their attention to detail is just mind blowing.
The villas here are all about outdoor space and whether you choose to be standing on stilts in the idyllic lagoon or hidden amongst the lush vegetation, they are the perfect mix of contemporary design and quintessential Maldivian-inspired furnishings. Open up the 180 degree sliding doors and enjoy the panoramic view out over your private deck and personal pool big enough to swim in. The indoor bathrooms are instagram-worthy, huge and luxuriously appointed with Aqua di Palma products. Everything here is really well thought out and small touches such as sliding picture frames which revealing the hidden TV behind and an outdoor fridge with cool water to save you from tiptoeing back inside go a long way.
The three restaurants are just what you would expect from a five star resort. Ba'Theli, the only fine dining Maldivian restaurant in the world, is a very special and unmissable experience. Laid out across three connected traditional boats in the lagoon, you can choose to sit outside on the deck listening to the waves lapping at the boat or inside where you can spot stingrays and sharks through the glass floor. Try the Shoreline Grill with its beautiful private tables outside and indoor tables overlooking the open kitchen, as well as the teppanyaki chefs table. Ocean is where you will find the never-ending buffet breakfast and don't forget to try the smoothies - they are to die for!
…And The Cocktails
The Compass Bar and starlit pool (not in a tacky way!) are the perfect spot for a sunset cocktail (try the passionfruit mojito) and canapés. A beautiful, calming, over-water spa offers daily over-water yoga and the gym and games room look out to sea. Despite taking just five minutes to walk around, there is a multitude of activities to keep you occupied - make sure you try out the see-through kayaks.
If you can tear yourself away from the comfort of your villa, the diving here is suitable for all and you will find reefs teeming with colourful fish life and the bleached coral slowly making a comeback. The dive team are friendly, efficient and professional and you won't have to lift a finger as your gear is assembled, and returned washed and dried on your departure. You can expect to spot eagle rays, nudibranch, mantis shrimp and don't forget, it is just a short hop to the world renowned Hanifaru Bay, famous for its seasonal concentration of the playful yet graceful manta rays. There's also a 'be a marine biologist programme' where you shadow the resident biologists (for all the budding David Attenborough's out there).
Milaidhoo is not just another luxury resort and I was blown away by my entire experience here. It is hard not to fall in love with this lovely little island and for those looking for ultra-luxury with world class service, look no further!
Villa 215 is the most private villa.