1. An all-villa resort with a range of options
Take your pick from the resort’s 120 luxurious villas: Beach Villas are ensconced by mangroves; Water Villas are perched above the Indian Ocean; and Tented Jungle Villas offer next-level glamping for families.
The rustic-chic Sunrise and Sunset Beach Villas each come outfitted with a California king bed with a crocheted mat that sits at the foot; a copper bathtub; and glass buoys that decorate the bathroom mirror in a cascade of knotted rope. Outside, a deck leads to a day bed, a private plunge pool and the lagoon.
2. A first-in-the-world semi-submerged art space
The Coralarium is the brainchild of renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. The resort’s swimming pool forms the entrance to the gallery; visitors snorkel 50m along an undersea pathway before entering the semi-submerged space. The installations here are designed to highlight climate change, but deCaires Taylor also showcases the special connection that locals have with the ocean. “The sculptures are based on casts of people, but the bodies are also [filled] with dead coral,” he says. “This represents the idea that coral is in the DNA of the people here.”
3. A wealth of on-island activities
The Willow Stream Spa offers treatments designed to sync body and nature, including massages, facials and Ayurvedic therapies, along with yoga and meditation.
You can also try your hand at becoming the next Jason deCaires Taylor at the Art Studio located in the centre of the island; participate in coral restoration efforts with the on-site marine biologist; or take cooking classes with the resort’s chefs.
4. Maldivian and international cuisine by the sea
All-day dining restaurant Raha Market offers a la carte dishes like Maldivian tuna curry, Malaysian laksa and an array of Western options. There’s also sushi and robatayaki specialist Kata, as well as fine-dining spot Azure.
5. Incredible underwater sights
Shaviyani Atoll in the north of the Maldives was selected as the resort’s base because of its unspoilt marine environment and 9km of reef – complete with several manta ray cleaning stations. Professional water sports outfitter Sub Oceanic runs guided reef dives and snorkelling expeditions, during which you can glimpse blackback butterflyfish, blue triggerfish and several species of unicorn fish cavorting in the coral.
Singapore Airlines and SilkAir fly to Male daily. To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com