It’s doing Milaidhoo no disservice to describe it as small: one, because it is; two, this is mercifully not one of the new resorts here to trumpet some big, empty superlative or ridiculously unnecessary first (like, say, an ice rink). This is the Maldives in miniature and all the better for it: a low-key, seriously away-from-it-all micro-resort deliberately designed to leave its guests properly alone. The upshot? You get a tiny, blissed out desert island pretty much to yourself.
Baa Atoll. Set in a biosphere reserve with its own “house reef”, it’s a very short snorkel to the edge of the atoll’s shelf (read: tons of marine life) and a quick boat trip to Hanifaru Bay, the most reliable waters in the world to see manta rays (June–November).
Sure, the many corporate-owned resorts here can feel bling-y or overly templated (fine, if that’s your thing), but the Maldivian-owned-and-operated Milaidhoo has a bit more sense of place than most thanks to local architect Mohamed Shafeeq’s smart but not overly stylised efforts. Both the over-water and beach villas are huge and well appointed. But the real design coup is in the masterplan: the whole, 50-villa island feels so private you’ll likely see more fruit bats than people (in low season, anyway).
Milaidhoo is pretty upfront about its intended clientele: couples and honeymooners.
Three restaurants include the stand-out Maldivian specialist Bat’theli and the equally reliable if not as exciting Shoreline Grill. There’s also a fabulous spa. But the bigger draw might be the underwater, season-dependent manta ray or whale shark excursions.
Well-tuned service that knows what you want: not much, really, but to be left alone on the beach to let the out-of-office daydream come curatively to life.