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Maldives

COMO Maalifushi, Maldives

The only resort to be found in the southerly Thaa Atoll, COMO Maalifushi is squirrelled away in a heavenly untouched corner of the Maldives. This is the Maldives at its ultimate: milk-white sands lapped by limpid-blue waters home to a house reef popping with iridescent coral. COMO Maalifushi knows better than to take the attention away from its island beauty and, as a result, the resort is tropical minimalism at its fabulous best. The bleached woods, thatched roofs and billowing white muslin mean the natural blues, greens and creams of the island hog the limelight throughout your stay – just as they should when you're in the Maldives.

The simple pleasures are what will bring you the greatest joys at COMO Maalifushi: dashing around the island on a bicycle, walking along the beach barefoot and ogling the sunset over the lagoon with cosmopolitan in hand. Serenity is paramount and the atmosphere is blissfully quiet, aside from the odd thud of a coconut hitting the sand or the swish of a kayak paddle gently cutting through the water. If this isn't Robinson Crusoe enough for you, COMO Maalifushi has another private island that's even more tranquil than the 'main' resort. This a paradise that's certainly far-flung, with an hour's domestic flight required from Malé to reach it. But then best places always are harder to reach.

Highlights

COMO Maalifushi

Sleep
 

Much like the rest of the resort, all of the villas are discreetly placed to ensure maximum privacy. All are built in traditional Maldivian style, with thatched roofs, pale woods and beds covered with billowing cotton-white muslin. The bathrooms are huge, with sunken marble tubs big enough for two and marble floors.

On land, you can either plump for the Garden Rooms which are sprinkled in among the palm-covered heart of the island, or be just steps from the sea with its Beach Suites. To take things a step further, the Beach Villas all come with their own private pools and have private access to the beach. Whichever room you go for, every one is enveloped in greenery to ensure total seclusion.

Go overwater and the muted elegance and sense of privacy continues. The water suites and villas are all connected to snaking wooden walkways and range from spacious suites with epic sunrise views to the lavish COMO Villas that come with their own private pools and personal butler.

Eat
 

COMO Maalifushi has a trio of top restaurants on the island. Madi is a straw-topped all-day diner located on the beach and its name means manta ray in the local language, Dhivehi. Breakfast is a buffet of juices, breads, pastries, hot dishes and a number of Asian specialities. Come lunch and dinner, Mediterranean flavours take over with a particular focus on the fresh seafood the Maldives is famous for. Every Monday night, Madi explores the sweet, sour and salty flavours that characterise Indian Ocean cuisine, pairing the local food with traditional boduberu dancing and drumming. Well-balanced nutritional COMO Shambhala dishes are available at every mealtime, too.

For dinner with a tremendous view, overwater restaurant Tai (Japanese for red snapper) is a homage to Japanese cuisine that promises sustainably sourced seafood with a sunset that's as sumptuous as the cuisine. There's also a cocktail bar here, should you want to soak up the view for a little while longer.

Thila is a far more easygoing affair next to the resort's pool, with salads, freshly cooked seafood and pizzas offering a range of tasty lunch options. Laid-back music relaxes the atmosphere further, while an adjoining poolside bar is great for a daytime beverage.

Should you want something even more special, COMO Maalifushi has every kind of private dining experience imaginable, from floating breakfasts to candlelit dinners on the beach.

Play
 

The resort's gorgeous main pool overlooks the island's cream-coloured beach and is an idyllic place to relax during the day away from your villa. It's easy to think you could while away your days here or on the beach but in truth COMO Maalifushi offers so much to do while you're there.

The resort's comprehensive water sports centre means marine adventures are aplenty, from waterskiing and wakeboarding to windsurfing and catamaran sailing. With such an incredible house reef, guided snorkelling and diving is highly recommended for the chance to glide among parrotfish, octopus, turtles and cities of kaleidoscopic coral. At night, you can even snorkel among whale sharks. Above the surface, chartered cruises bring you nose-to-snout with dolphins, while dhoni cruises are a must for the romantics.

Memorable experiences aren't in short supply here, either. There are castaway picnics that can be personalised for either couples or families, while a visit to a local island offers an intimate glimpse into how Maldivians live. The ultimate escape is a sleepover on COMO Maalifushi's private island Lavadhoo, where you'll have this desert island escape for the two of you. You'll be treated to a barbecue on the beach, movie night screening and a king-size bed to sleep in right on the sand. The ultimate in island indulgence.

Pamper
 

Such is its divine status, the COMO Shambhala spa is a glorious sanctuary with eight overwater pavilions. Throw open the doors and you can unwind on a massage bed or in an oversized bathtub with the rhythmic sound of waves in the background. The treatments available expertly blend traditional Asian methods with classic beauty pampering, with the menu featuring the likes of Thai and Indonesian massages, Sundari facials and manicures. There's also steam, sauna and Jacuzzi rooms.

Beyond the main spa complex itself, there's a dedicated timetable of yoga, Pilates, meditation and fitness classes that you can book onto as part of a group or do them privately.

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Where is COMO Maalifushi?

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Private picnic island COMO Maalifushi 2
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