by Mac Qin
Luxury Resorts in the Maldives
The Maldives, southwest of Sri Lanka and several hundred kilometers off the coast of India, are one of the world’s most beautiful, historic and tranquil holiday destinations. White sandy beaches, transparent blue waters and palm tress are inescapable in the Maldives – but why would you want to escape such luxury and beauty?! There are approximately 300,000 permanent residents of the Maldives, and many years the number of tourists is 1 and a half times this. With your pick of eighty-seven tourist resorts, in a country where the biggest single economy is tourism, where are the best places to stay if you are looking for luxury in your holiday?
The Four Seasons Hotel brand has established itself fairly recently as one of the ultimate hotels for luxury and decadence. With Four Seasons hotels recently opening in India and China, the chain will soon be known in every major country. The Maldives Four Seasons Hotel features thatched-roof bungalows set on stilts above the beautiful blue lagoon, and a spa that takes up the entire space on one of the 1192 islands of the Maldives. Watersports are a focus of the Four Seasons here -a certified dive centre is available, as well as skiing, surfing and boating.
Taj Hotels, one of India’s oldest and best recognized names in luxury hotels and resorts, also has a hotel in the Maldives. The Taj group recently partnered with Orbitz, an online hotel search and booking facility, to make their Maldives resort even more accessible and prominent on the web. The Taj Coral Reef resort in the Maldives stands out among the 87 resorts of the island. It is only 32 km from a main airport, and has its own shipwreck for diving enthusiasts.
Shangri-La is a name synonymous with perfection and beauty, and the Shangri-La resort in the Maldives is truly a haven or pristinity and tranquility. The resort here has fresh water lagoons, a sea sports and diving centre, spa treatments, and its own retail centre. It is on the Addu Atoll, where several other large hotels are located -though not close enough to disturb your peace and quiet! However, there is enough nearby that you will never be short of an activity.
The Banyan Tree luxury resort in the Maldives recently made the top of a hit-list compiled by Travel+Leisure, beating out other luxury hotels such as JK Place Capri in Italy, the Regent Bal Harbor in Florida, and Six Sense Hideaway in Thailand. The accommodation is in elaborate tents in a jungle setting, and the resort has its own aquarium at the beach side. If you would like to experience the most luxurious camping available in the world, the Banyan Tree is the place for you.
As to the times that it is best to travel in the Maldives, while it is truly a year-round destination (it doesn’t matter how wet, blustery, snowy or miserable weather at your home is, it is sunny and warm in the Maldives!), if you prefer a little moisture I the air, you should visit between May and November. This is the wetter season, and slightly windier. If you prefer warm and dry weather, then between November and May is the best time to visit -however you should keep in mind that Christmas and New Years are peak travel periods and your accommodation expenses can be up to twice what they would be in off-season times.