Set at the heart of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll, the Vakkaru is a lavish island resort of 113 villas and suites. Boasting five restaurants, two bars, a wine cellar and an over-water spa, here there is everything you need to live a castaway life of luxury.
Vakkaru’s setting is gloriously verdant, the island a green interior fringed by soft, white sands, rows of mature coconut palms – part of its history as a plantation – waving lazily in the tropical breeze. There’s also a house reef, an underwater world of kaleidoscopic colours, that can be dived or snorkelled with the help of the hotel’s dive centre. Other facilities include kids' clubs, sports grounds and an over-water gym for those lulls in the daily relaxation routine.
Nestled in the foliage on the edge of the beach or on stilts over the azure waters, the villas are elegant in design with natural elements, such as wooden artworks and colourful fabrics, tying them to Maldivian culture. There’s plenty of outdoor space, plus a private pool, while the comfortable, contemporary interiors are set behind floor-to-ceiling windows that draw in your surroundings, be it lush foliage, or sparkling seas.
The Merana Spa also sits over the water, with indulgent treatment rooms offering a diverse range of treatments, from Ayurvedic to a hair and nail salon. After a session in the wellness area, you’ll float like a cloud to the poolside Cabana for a bespoke cocktail by the in-house mixologist. Pure bliss.