Of all the exotic islands under the sun, the Maldives are the paradise isles of our dreams. More than a thousand perfect ‘Robinson Crusoe’ atolls are scattered across 35,000 square miles of warm, crystal-clear blue waters in the Indian Ocean, and guests are invited to live as close to the water and the natural world as they desire: it is unadulterated bliss. But with so many islands to choose from, the question is, Where to stay?
Our travel editors have selected an award-winning five-star resort for those who like their unadulterated tropical-island bliss to come with plenty of space and style—but also some action. Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is the only island in the Maldives to have a marina, for example, and it combines the fabulous peace and tranquility of overwater pool villas jutting out into the ocean with all manner of water sports, including fishing, kitesurfing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, motor-boating, tennis, basketball, and of course snorkelling and diving—the on-site Padi dive centre offers knowledgeable instructors to help you explore the island’s reef and lagoon—and this is the perfect jumping-off point for a few days on the fabulous motor launch Sultan of the Sea (see separate article).
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa lies in Haa Alif, one of the northern atolls, an island which really is hidden away. A white-sand, palm-fringed crescent 1.5km long, protected by a double reef running the length of the island, just yards from the beach, it is one of the largest islands in the entire Maldives. It is a haven of 103 large thatched overwater villas and beach villas which, because of its size and layout has the knack of remaining tranquil even when fully occupied.
There are 10 villa categories, and even the first of the overwater villas, the Deluxe Water Villas, provide overwater sundecks with easy access to the calm lagoon and the house reef, so you can swim and dive from morn til night. All the villas are large—In fact, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa has some of the largest suites in the Maldives. Even the smallest is spacious at 2,110 sq ft, light and airy, Maldivian in style, beautifully appointed and with everything from open-air living rooms with daybeds and dining areas to sundecks with 18 sq m private infinity pools. The private bathroom comes with a spa bath, rain shower and toiletries by Bulgari.
At the heart of this network of private villas are four excellent restaurants and wide-ranging cooking styles, from haute cuisine at the oceanfront Matheefaru, with its two overwater private dining pavilions, to the Meeru Bar and Grill for lighter dishes and snacks—or prime steaks and fish—while spotting stingrays, baby sharks and other fish in the ocean. Then there is Samsara for an oriental fusion of Thai, Indian and Japanese dishes, and the Sunset Pool Cafe Beach Club for poolside dining on Asian and European influenced dished with stunning views of the island. Private dining is another speciality—you can order anything from a romantic candlelit dinner under the stars to a picnic on a deserted island, a private barbecue on a secluded beach or an intimate seafood feast in a dining pavilion over the water or in the seclusion of your villa.
But many retreat to this exotic paradise for the treatments and yoga breaks at The Hideaway Spa and Beauty Palace. Internal waterways, sand covered floors and coconut and teak timber furnishings set a serene scene where 12 treatment rooms, a steam room, hair salon, beauty salon and nail spa deliver some serious pampering. A resident yoga instructor teaches both private and group classes, and also leads four to 10-day yoga programmes. Further facilities include a beach club, tennis academy, volleyball court, water-sports centre, high-tech gym and two infinity pools with ambient music, sun loungers and bar service.
When to go? The Maldives enjoys an average temperature of 30°C (86°F) all year round, with two distinct seasons: ‘dry’ (December-March) and ‘wet’ (May-November). February-April is peak season and Christmas/New Year are the most expensive. Diving is good year-round. There is no bad time to go—average rainfall even during the worst ‘wet’ months is five days—but perhaps the best time is mid-December to April, when the weather is hot and there is little wind.
Haute Grandeur Awards 2017: Best Beach Resort in the Indian Ocean. Hideaway Spa & Beauty Palace won the Haute Grandeur Global Spa Awards 2017 as Best Spa Retreat in the Indian Ocean.
World Travel Awards’ ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Boutique Hotel’ in 2012 & 2013 and runner-up in 2014, 2015 & 2016.
Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2017 – ‘Best For Couples’
Members receive exclusive preferential rates on all villas throughout the year, as well as a VIP welcome, with savings off rack rates of up to 60%.
Call Member Services on 020 7399 2960 to check availability for your dates, or use the form below to email your request.
Haa Alifu Atoll