The Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru (fourseasons.com; from $1,450) is neither the newest nor the most opulent resort in the Maldives’ Baa Atoll. But it is arguably the most accomplished – and in ways that matter.
That means, first and foremost, the wilderness protection, in which category Landaa’s efforts are groundbreaking. When I stayed in the autumn it was putting the finishing touches to its Marine Discovery Centre – in part to engage guests, in part to support the Manta Trust, a charity that’s been based here for years. Increasingly, it also means wellness: in this too, Landaa excels, its three-acre Ayurveda wellness centre recently augmented by some bar-setting anti-ageing technology and programmes.
But beyond that, and the villas’ massive, sand-floored living rooms, and the uniformly excellent food, there is that rare magic that results when talented, dedicated people spend 15 years (as many of the remarkably long-serving staff have) ceaselessly thinking about how to make an already lovely place even lovelier.