From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Watch for dolphins and flying fish in the lavender waters of South Malé Atoll as you arrive at this festive 160-villa island resort that offers great value for the money. The arrival jetty leads to a soaring open-air reception area, its design inspired by sea barnacles. Eco-friendly furniture, some made from pineapple leaves and vintage coral, decorate the cavernous space, which includes the bar. The towering Kandooma Café, where guests snack on standard resort fare (sandwiches and wood-fired pizza), resembles a bamboo igloo, while the waterside Kitchen restaurant has a laid-back rooftop lounge ideal for sundowners and stargazing. Whitewashed interiors give the feel of pricier Maldives accommodations, while a juice press and fresh oranges are among the creative touches in guest rooms, which also have deep soaking tubs and outdoor showers. Garden-view villas are tightly packed but acoustically well insulated. Duplex villas offer a groovy outdoor living room, either amid the foliage or facing the waves of the Indian Ocean. Surfers will like the location, as will divers: 18 nearby dive sites include caves, walls, a shipwreck, and Manta Point, known for its rays.2009 Hot List
When to go: Avoid June through Septemberthe monsoon season.
Which room to book: Panoramic sea views and stylish setups make beach duplexes the resort's most desirable.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›