Soneva Jani, Noonu Atoll, Maldives
With rave reviews from everyone in the know, Soneva Jani is one of the Maldives’ most exciting newcomers in quite some time.
Uniquely set completely overwater along a meandering mile-long jetty, this gorgeously curvaceous aquatic playground's location is completely sigh-inducing.
The mesmerising, vibrant blue lagoon is the Maldives' largest (so big in fact, you could fit 7000 Olympic-sized pools within it); and you've access to not one, but five idyllic islands: the main island (Medhufaru) – fringed by miles of deserted beaches and blanketed with lush tropical greenery – offers a whole host of land- and water-based activities; and the others are just perfect for castaway escapades.
Slides sweeping you straight into the sea below; retractable roofs for stargazing; a mind-blowing mix of eco-chic and barefoot-luxury: this kind of detail is what takes Soneva Jani to another level. Aside from just one vast four-bedroom Island Reserve (with more to follow), the one- to four-bedroom villas are set overwater, with private butlers, extensive terraces, rooftop dining areas, private pools, and more amenities and space than most other hotels' top-category suites.
At the jetty's heart, the three-storey Gathering is home to the main restaurant, So Fresh (which uses organic produce from Jani's own farm); a wine cellar; So Imaginative experimental kitchen's rarefied tasting menus; Soneva's ubiquitous cheese, chocolate, ice-cream and charcuterie rooms; and incredible destination dining.