In the Maldives, deciding which paradise island to lay your beach towel on can be quite the challenge. But Niyama stands out due to the fact that it straddles twin islands – so you get the best of both worlds. The resort is big enough for you not to get bored, small enough to feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere (which you are, in a way).
It’s a 45-minute seaplane transfer from Malé airport to Kudahuvadhoo Dhaalu Atoll, during which you’ll jet past sandy atolls dotting the impossibly blue ocean. From the resort, it’s only a 20-minute boat ride out to some of the best dive sites in the country, where you’ll spot reef sharks, hawksbill turtles, spindly coral and pods of spinner dolphins.
The overwater villas and beach studios come with private pools and swinging hammocks; the latter are also kitted out with palm-strewn, open-air bathrooms. It’s all ridiculously luxe, but then this is the Maldives.
Unsurprisingly, it’s honeymoon central on the more sedate Chill Island. In contrast, Play Island – with its kids’ club and never-ending list of activities, from tennis and badminton to jetskiing – is the domain of young families.
Every guest gets a name-tagged bike, which makes scooting around the island through coconut and banana tree-lined pathways a breeze. Zip along tree-lined paths to Niyama’s various restaurants such as treetop Nest, dishing up Asian fare amid the forest canopy. At the other end of the spectrum, quite literally, is the underwater Subsix; don’t miss its twice-weekly Glow parties – ultra-buzzy, neon-lit, early-hours affairs.
This is the Maldives for those who think they won’t like the Maldives. The boundless array of diversions, coupled with the unstuffy atmosphere, will ensure you’ll never want to leave.