The One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
Reethi Rah, the One&Only group's stunning Maldivian sanctuary, celebrated its 10th birthday in 2015 – and what a decade it's had. The private island is renowned for the seclusion and privacy it offers its guests, making it a popular destination for A-list visitors (although, thanks to the discretion of its staff, you'd never know; the Beckhams may or not spend their Christmas holidays there). While a popular destination for honeymooners – you can spend your entire stay holed up in your luxury villa and never see another soul, should you desire – the resort also prides itself in being family-friendly; with 12 beaches, three swimming pools, tennis courts and a climbing wall, plus diving, watersports and activity centres, children would find it impossible to be bored here.
Reethi Rah occupies one of the biggest private islands in the Maldives' North Malé Atoll. There are several ways of getting to the island from Malé International Airport, each of them equally spectacular and stress-free – whether seaplane, speedboat or luxury yacht – and once you set foot on the sand, the friendly and accommodating staff will cater to your every need (that includes giving you a mobile phone with which to contact your butler). With lush vegetation, immaculate white sand and that famously clear water, the island is incredibly beautiful – and with the bikes that come with every villa, you'll love exploring every inch of it.
As an all-villa resort, there's no 'room' as such here; more a suite situation, each with a bedroom, bathroom and outdoor space in one, and each entirely secluded for ultimate privacy. The only decision is whether to opt for beach or water; the former comes with a pool and private strip of beach (complete with a hammock; this is the Maldives, after all), and the latter is on stilts over the brilliantly turquoise Indian Ocean. For larger groups (and the ultimate Reethi Rah experience), the Grand Sunset Residence is the island's crown jewel, boasting three ensuite bedrooms, living and dining areas, a 50-metre swimming pool and private beach, with a pull-down cinema screen optional. Of course, spectacular sunsets come as standard.
Food and drink
With five restaurants and three bars to choose from, you won't be short of choice. Our favourite, Tapasake, offers contemporary Japanese food with a sophisticated twist (and some of the most delicious sushi you're ever likely to try). Hidden away on the top of the island, beach-side eaterie Fanditha serves an à la carte menu of Arabic cuisine. The Chef's Garden allows guests to enjoy the simplicity of organic garden-to-table dining (everything served is grown right there on the island), and the regular beach buffet has more on offer than you could ever dream of trying in one trip. Of course, there's always the option of private (there's that word again) dining; just name the place and the menu and if it's possible, it's yours.
The impressive spa is worth visiting the island for alone and features an extensive menu of therapies and treatments: all personalised experiences based on one-on-one consultations, from relaxing and restorative massages to more modern body rituals, including detox, contouring and specialist pregnancy programmes. A medical pedicure at the Bastien Gonzalez studio will not only leave feet looking and feeling amazing, but will address any posture concerns and skin problems, while focusing on joint mobility and muscle flexibility in your legs, ankles and feet. Also, to help you stay in shape (since all those delicious meals and cocktails are impossible to resist) and stretch out those muscles after a day lounging by the pool, we highly recommend a Bodyism personal-training session at the ocean-facing gym, which will be entirely catered to your needs and be as intensive or gentle (you are on holiday, don't forget) as you like.
Perfect for... the holiday of a lifetime – a honeymoon, family getaway or special occasion.