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Amari Havodda Maldives

Powder-white sands, leaping mantas – this new resort has it all

Once upon a time, there was an island in the Indian Ocean with little more than windswept trees and white sand. Today, among those trees and on that sand sits the Amari Havodda Maldives, which opened its 120 villas to guests in February.

At this private island resort, 60 villas stand over the lagoon, while 60 fringe the beach. All are done up in a contemporary style and come with wood-and-stone bathrooms that have a tub and open-air shower. And all offer direct access to the ocean (but if you’re looking for the best views, ask for overwater pool villa 119 or beach pool villa 216).

Days here begin with the blues – you open your eyes to a ridiculous amount of sky and the stunning ocean. Grab your fins and go snorkelling straight from the villa – you may even spot a leaping manta. When you return, treat yourself to breakfast on the sun deck and spend the rest of the morning on the overwater hammocks.

But of course, there’s more to the place than lazing. Go diving off the reef, learn kite­-surfing, take the glass-bottomed kayak out to sea or borrow the jet-ski and go bouncing off the waves. Come back to the outdoor Jacuzzi at Breeze Spa, where all your troubles will be kneaded away. For those looking to make a romantic holiday of it, the couple’s spa villa is a great option. If you want to take it up a notch, ask for a picnic for two at one of the secluded islands nearby.

As the day winds down, head to Iru Bar for cocktails on the beach, followed by dinner at the Japanese robatayaki restaurant. Back in your room, settle down on the deck, tune your ears to the lapping waters and count the shooting stars.

One of the rooms at the amari havoda maldives

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