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Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Baa Atoll 

Landaa Giraavaru
Baa Atoll
Tel: 800 819 5053
Tel: 960 66 00 888
view web site ›'s insider take:

This resort is Four Seasons in name and service, but the vibe is utterly laid-back and modern. The 102 guest rooms reference local culture while indulging the international clientele with saffron exterior walls, bright blue doors, and polished concrete bathrooms. Overwater villas have spiral staircases leading to sea-gazing lofts and glass-front bed-rooms and living rooms opening onto bi-level lounging decks. Beach villas have private pools and sand-floor living/dining gazebos with playful Maldivian swings. All rooms have pillow-top beds, fruit bowls piled high with exotic treats, and high-tech essentials. Barefoot casual dining at the oceanfront Blu focuses on razor-thin pizzas and fruity cocktails. After dark, couples head to Al Barakat, the Middle Eastern restaurant specializing in authentic fare like chicken couscous with cinnamon and seafood tajines. The spa specializes in multiday detoxification treatments with delicious diets overseen by Four Seasons's first Ayurvedic doctor, who grows his own ingredients in the surrounding gardens. For a racier option, book a tantric massage for two in the jungle in which both bodies are covered in geranium, sandalwood, and bergamot oil to symbolically create one union. The Four Seasons is committed to sustainable development and sponsors a world-class Marine Research Center. Guests can observe and participate in projects like coral propagation for the resort's teeming lagoon.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

A 30-minute flight by seaplane from Malé, the second Four Seasons resort (the original one is on Kuda Huraa Island in North Malé Atoll) goes to great lengths to respect its stunning surroundings, with 102 expansive thatched-roof villas and bungalows ingeniously integrated into lush jungle, garden, and sand. Two long stretches of untouched beach line the 44-acre island, both nestled within a mile-long lagoon. At this scale, the resort never feels crowded, and the accommodations—ensconced in gated enclosures—are extremely private. Divers and snorkelers can hop on The Explorer, the live-aboard catamaran that caters to both Four Seasons resorts, while the hotel's Marine Research Center, with many much-needed preservation projects under way, will appeal to nature lovers. The Landaa Spa & Ayurvedic Retreat is included among the 2007 Hot List Spas.

—2007 Hot List

When to go: The drier months are from December through April.

Which room to book: The Water Villas on the northwest corner of the island have views of both sunrise and sunset.

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Beach, Gym, Pool, Spa

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