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Three New Maldives Retreats That Embody High-Design – Architectural Digest

No place ticks all the boxes of a perfect exotic island vacation quite like the Maldives, the archipelago of some 1,200 tiny coral outcroppings in the Indian Ocean, a few hundred miles southwest of India and Sri Lanka. Here, not far from the equator, powdery white sand lines wide beaches and shallow lagoons, and impossibly turquoise waters extend for miles, providing enticing opportunities for sunning, surfing, and sailing, plus scuba diving and snorkeling around UNESCO-protected reefs that teem with neon-hued fish, turtles, and rays. Sure, it’s a hike to get here, requiring a long-haul trip to the Middle East, followed by a flight to the capital, Malé, and then a puddle-jumping seaplane or speedboat to your private island resort. But it’s worth it—and now more so than ever, thanks to a wave of new high-design hotels that is just cresting. For sybarites in search of a barefoot- chic retreat that doesn’t sacrifice style in the name of a castaway vibe, these are the places to be right now.

  • Soneva Jani: Across its five islands and scenic lagoon, this resort has just 25 driftwood-hued villas (all but one overwater) connected by playfully snaking boardwalks. The whimsical design surprises with en suite waterslides and retract- able roofs, plus an out- door cinema suspended over the ocean and an alfresco observatory-cum-restaurant. From $1,870/night; soneva.com
  • The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort: Dotting the 22 jungled acres of this contemporary, quasi-futuristic getaway are 77 glass-walled villas by Singapore-based architect Wong Chiu Man. In conceiving the bungalows and the public pavilions, he took inspiration from the surrounding sea, conjuring overwater accommodations in the shape of manta rays and a bar in the form of a whale shark. From $1,976/night; starwoodhotels.com
  • Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah: Four Seasons just debuted this lavish seven-bedroom compound, set on its own tiny isle 20 minutes by boat from the brand’s Landaa Giraavaru resort. Designed by an acolyte of famed Sri Lankan modernist Geoffrey Bawa, the villa comes with its own motor yacht and a staff of 28. From $38,000/ night; fourseasons.com

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Source URL: Google News

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