Time may not stand still at the Viceroy Maldives, but it certainly slows down. Guests arriving at the resort, which opened last April on a 17-acre private isle, are reminded to set their watches back an hour to the local "island time." The delayed zone—designed to maximize daylight during guests’ waking hours—sets an alluringly languid pace at this 61-villa retreat in the far-flung Shaviyani Atoll.
Set overwater or on the beach, the Viceroy’s villas are among the largest in the Maldives. Thatch roofs shaped like the hulls of the island nation’s ubiquitous dhoni fishing boats shelter modern interiors by the design firm Yabu Pushelberg. Seven overwater pavilions house the resort’s spa, yoga, and fitness facilities, while dining options include the Swiss Family Robinson–esque Treehouse restaurant, a poolside grill, and an indoor-outdoor bistro. By spring the resort plans to debut a formal Italian restaurant that will host private dinners in an 800-bottle underground wine cellar.
Whether underground or overwater, many guests at the Viceroy tend to lie low. Others, however, make the most of their island time with such activities as deep-sea fishing, diving, sailing, wakeboarding, and kayaking. Guests in the overwater villas can enjoy the best of both worlds by snorkeling directly from their back decks, which open to waters—filled with manta rays and sea turtles—that fan out to the horizon in every direction.
Viceroy Maldives, +960.654.5000, www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com