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Hot List 2010

Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa, Addu Atoll 
$$$$

Villingili Island

Addu Atoll
Maldives

Tel: 960 689 7888

Like Club Med without the dancing, this 142-villa tropical resort in the southern Maldives has a sporty vibe, with something for everyone: biking and walking trails threading the two-mile-long island, water sports from catamarans and kayaks to snorkeling along an eco-trail, and diving with manta rays. The young staff are multicultural and energized, though the indifferent Maldivian villa hosts could use more lessons in hospitality. An eight-minute boat ride from Gan airport—itself a one-hour flight from Malé—passes spinning dolphins along the edge of the island's vast turquoise lagoon. At 1,432 square feet, double-height pool villas are especially spacious and are outfitted with daybeds, sun loungers on the deck, deep egg-shaped terrazzo baths, and both indoor and outdoor showers. For sand and a swimmable beach, opt for a beach villa, which splits living and sleeping quarters into two pavilions around a plunge pool. Even grander water villas are equipped with two-story decks on which suspended hammocks let you sway over the Indian Ocean. The resort's proximity to the equator maximizes each starry night, and a popular excursion allows guests to dine directly over the hemispheres' dividing line aboard the resort's 69-foot yacht.
Which room to book: Try something new by getting one of the 16 Tree House villas perched on ten-foot stilts and with an elevated infinity pool.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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