Baros Maldives, Maldives

I absolutely love this blissful all-villa escape on a tiny private coral island in the North Male Atoll, conveniently close to Malé. One of the Indian Ocean’s first luxury dive resorts, and Maldivian-owned, Baros Maldives has a real soul and a great atmosphere. It has stayed fresh since its opening in 1973, and remains a heavenly setting for honeymoons (or to renew your vows) and grown-up family holidays. It’s a firm favourite of mine, and other loyal guests, who go back year after year.

 

The resort’s speedboat will whisk you from the international airport in 25 minutes, so you can be on this dream tropical paradise within an hour of landing. A quick transfer and no need to hang around for a connection on a seaplane is a real plus.

 

Baros Maldives achieves an authenticity that international chain hotels often fail to deliver. Where typical hotels have corridors, they have sandy pathways lined with tropical foliage, and Maldivian designed architecture and interiors. The seemingly rustic thatched villas, are beautifully crafted using natural materials such as indigenous woods and sandstone, which blend in with the with the desert-island setting. It’s also known for its excellent service.

 

Thanks to a clever layout, each of the 45 Beachside Villas open into a private tropical garden and then the beach. The secluded yet central two-suite Baros Residence is the most spacious and has a private pool, and 24 hour butler, while the 30 Water Villas, which have their feet in the water, are in a prime position to catch the sunset, and many also have private pools. Some villas come with canopied day beds, infinity pools and outdoor rainfall showers, and thoughtful touches include yoga mats, beach bags containing flip-flops, premium coffees and fine wine in your personal chiller.

 

Baros Maldives has a remarkable house reef and is highly recommended for those looking for first-class diving, with access to 30 world-class dive sites. You can also explore the ocean by traditional dhoni or on a modern luxury motor yacht. It does a lot to protect its natural environment, with an outstanding coral regeneration programme, and sustainability efforts extend to the use of non-bio-degradable products.

 

They have got the drinking and dining just right, with a choice of three restaurants. Delicious aperitifs and after-dinner cocktails are served in Sails Bar, an elegant palm-covered, sand floored, outdoor sitting room, which always books the best singers and musicians. There’s a good balance of à la carte and buffet, as well as Asian flavours, local and international classics in the air-conditioned Lime Restaurant which also has a deck for al fresco dining. The Cayenne Grill offers lavish spreads, with dishes created in front of you while for fine dining on French cuisine at The Lighthouse, in an overwater pavilion, offers sightings of rays and sharks over dinner. Private culinary experiences range from breakfast on the Piano Deck (also bookable for massages) to a sunset dinner cruise on a traditional dhoni.

Baros Maldives is also recommended as a spa and yoga retreat, with treatments offered in private spa suites among tropical gardens with rainfall showers and yoga sessions in a dedicated pavilion from its in-house yogi. Bespoke private wellness treatments include meditation on a secluded sandbank.

 

Children above the age of eight are welcome, but since this is a dream honeymoon destination, there are no special facilities for families.

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