Best of the Best 2002: Travel: Best Destinations: The Maldives

  • Bobbie Leigh

The Maldives, a chain of low-lying, palm-fringed islands and atolls scattered across the equator in the Indian Ocean, is the ultimate locale for an aquatic escape. With crystal-clear lagoons, white powdery sand beaches, and pristine coral reefs, the Maldives are a mecca for sailing, surfing, snorkeling, and diving. Deep-sea fishing is another large draw, but it is the islands’ laid-back luxury as much as the thrill of catching a 250-pound tuna with a bamboo pole that makes the Maldives so enticing.

The natural beauty is best experienced by staying at one of the resorts erected on stilts over the tranquil blue waters encircled by spectacular coral reefs. Villas with rooftop terraces for moonlit dining, the bar, and even the spa are all built above water at the Soneva Gili Resort and Spa (www.sixsenses.com/soneva-gili). Equally delightful is the Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa (www.fourseasons.com), with beach suites and bungalows situated over lagoons.

Read Next Article >>
The 251-year-old French crystal house opens its first hotel…
Photo by Ken Seet
From private-island villas to overwater bungalows, the Maldives offers no shortage of over-the-top...
Photo by Mark Wieland
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples reopened to guests last October after a two-month renovation...
The river cruise line Uniworld will christen the S.S. Catherine, a 159-passenger ship set to sail...
Photo by Mark Wieland
L’Apogée Courchevel opened in December atop the highest point of a former Olympic ski jump...
Photo by Roberto Bonardi
The Palazzo, which is set within a former noble residence, celebrates Milan’s architectural...
The historic Knickerbocker hotel reopens as a hotel for the first time in nearly a century…
Photo by Michelle Chaplow
A new boutique hotel was built on the original site of the Hyde Park Corner tube station...
Photo by Brent Madison
Every one of the resort’s 141 guest accommodations features beautiful ocean views…
The new hotel offers easy access to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China…