The Maldives

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The Maldives. It is all about choosing the right island.

I still remember my brother’s nervous shriek when I excitedly told him I could see a shark whilst we were snorkeling in the Maldives. I followed it, while he quickly swam for shore, his sun bed and a good book. Our reactions sum up what to look for in the right island for you. They all differ dramatically even with the palm trees, sand and turquoise sea as a backdrop.

I am writing this first part from Niyama, a new island with a fresh and modern style. My brother would love it. It has incredibly fast Wi-Fi, Nespresso machines in the rooms and a mini bar to make anyone’s eyes bulge. The food is really wonderful and service is very attentive. The Beach villas are just amazing and water villas are secluded and romantic.

It has a focus on style and design with beautiful touches like the outdoor showers and infinity edge private plunge pools. The bar is on the top deck overlooking the pool with hundreds of little lights that shine like stars and the view for a sundowner is wonderful.

They also have a restaurant only accessible by boat and underwater nightclub so for an uber cool experience and style conscious client this is a lovely island.

The one thing it does not have is a house reef you can snorkel along without taking a boat ride. This would not upset my brother in the slightest as he is keen on the pool, the beach and a comfortable sun lounger with an I pad. It is something to be really aware of when choosing an island. If you are a big fan of snorkeling a good house reef is a real plus.

This is what will change a great holiday in the Maldives to a completely brilliant one. You have to know what is important to you in terms of experience and then match that to the island but there is something to suit everyone if you know the properties well.

Then it was back to Male by seaplane and a 30-minute speedboat ride to Huvafenfushi. This is a rare combination of stunning, hugely luxurious island that has retained a sense of place, which is sometimes lost on the top end islands.

Huvafenfushi has just reopened after a refurb and is looking even more amazing than before. The restaurants are all brilliant (you have to try the raw tuna pizza or reef fish with avocado at Raw if you like Sashimi– trust me), the staff is efficient and very friendly and the suites are without exception stunning. I am an old fashioned Maldives fan and still like a beach villa but the water villas have a serious wow factor. If you are looking for the top two-bedroom water suite that James Bond would approve of they have it here.

This is a tiny island with a beautiful house reef. I think it is more suitable for couples but we visited in August and there were some families. They have added a small room with Nintendo and various games, which is a nice touch.

Huvafenfushi has found a way to combine being a top class resort with the feeling of relaxation. This is for a client who wants to eat the best lobster, sushi or pizza, drink the best Champagne but with their feet in the sand. There are no high heels and no mobiles ringing on the beach here. This is real down time.

If you have a spa treatment you need to ask for the underwater room, as it is amazing. No photos of this as I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

I hope the slideshow above does the place justice as it is breathtaking but the rest should be discovered whilst at the resort as I will definitely be sending anyone interested there.