Park Hyatt Hadahaa



Located 400km south of Malé and 56km north of the Equator, the hotel is on its own private island in one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world. Getting here involves an hour's domestic flight to Kooddoo Island, then a 30 minute speedboat transfer - the price you pay for seclusion. There are only 50 villas, 36 on land and these are seconds from the beach and 14 on stilts over the ocean. Each villa is hidden in the jungle vegetation so you feel you're in the wild. Some have their own private plunge pool.

The Water Villas enjoy panoramic ocean views from the private deck outside and have been carefully built on the existing coral reef.

The Vidhun Spa is light and airy, with high thatched ceilings, and I enjoyed an intense deep tissue massage. There are only two restaurants, the Dining Room, by the pool and the more upscale Island Grill, with its open kitchen. Local fish is on the menu and my favourites are the Maldivian fish soup and spiced fillets of reef fish.

There's a large 44m infinity pool but most people go snorkelling as the house reef has most of its coral intact. Minutes from the villa you'll see turtles, rays and small harmless sharks and multi-coloured fish. They also offer dolphin watching, scuba diving, and fishing excursions. The house biologist leads a tour of marine life at the edge of the atoll and deserted coral islands.

A couple of hours is enough - I prefer the luxury of the Park Hyatt.

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