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Malé, Maldives Attractions

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Malé, Maldives Attractions
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Nearly 200 Maldivian islands are inhabited or designated for tourism, typically with only one resort per island.

The idyllic setting has given rise in recent years to extreme decadence offered by hotels and other businesses: underwater eateries, resident marine biologists, exotic spa treatments, surfing "safari" trips and world-class cuisine, all juxtaposed with the de-facto dress code of shorts and bikinis.

Such manmade indulgences and naturally thriving marine life present Maldives-bound travellers with an enviable quandary: How to find the fushi, or island, that is right for you.

Huvafen Fushi

Huvafen Fushi

On a short break, stick to North Malé and South Malé atolls, both accessible by speedboat from Malé International Airport.

A scenic 30-minute boat ride from the airport delivers barefoot luxury seekers to Huvafen Fushi resort, which opened with what is said to be the world’s first underwater spa.

The spa is designed so that guests can keep an eye on the marine scene of passing parrotfish, napoleon wrasse and the occasional octopus during soothing massages.

One & Only Reethi Rah

One & Only Reethi Rah

For those who crave action with their island getaways, One & Only Reethi Rah offers myriad activities on its 44-hectare island surrounded by 12 separate beaches.

Its 130 thatched-roof, Bali-style villas are scattered within a dense covering of coconut trees.

Activity programmes at the kids’ and teens’ clubs keep younger guests busy while parents try big game fishing, scuba diving, mini triathlons and tennis tournaments.

Cocoa Island

Cocoa Island

Those seeking more than pampering from their spa appointments will find results-driven treatments, top-notch yoga and hydrotherapy at Cocoa Island, an elegantly uncontrived resort isle 45 minutes south of Malé.

Sunshine pours into all 33 over-water villas with wooden interiors and private sundecks that lead into the marine-rich in-house reef.

Skilled therapists deliver extended holistic rituals called Wellness Paths, which integrate Indian Ayurvedic healing with beauty treatments and restorative massage.

Anantara Veli Resort & Spa

Anantara Veli Resort & Spa

These fantasy islands can be a nightmare for wallet watchers. A useful guideline in the Maldives is to double your room rate to estimate your daily spending.

Newly renovated over-water villas, exceptional Thai cuisine and a thriving onsite reef at Anantara Veli Resort & Spa all come at a relatively reasonable rate.

Extract from "Luxury in blue", by Cynthia Rosenfeld, Discovery, the inflight magazine of Cathay Pacific. For other destination stories, please read the digital version of Discovery.