Milaidhoo Island maldives

Stay: Milaidhoo Island

It might sound terribly unfair, but for a resort in the Maldives to rise above the competition in 2018, it needs more than just a beautiful stretch of beach, traditional water villas and the opportunity for some tranquil, sun-drenched moments.

While those attributes now seemingly come as standard, a resort needs a USP to help elevate it above its rivals, and it’s an idea that the boutique resort of Milaidhoo Island has locked down in the most fantastic of ways. The summer months of June to November here mean only one thing: manta ray season.

With the stunning UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Hanifaru Bay just a 12-minute speedboat journey away, this is the world’s largest manta ray feeding station and is also famous as a nursery for grey sharks and stingrays. If that’s not enough, it’s also one of the very few places in the world where whale sharks congregate to mate. 

While you can go out and scuba dive with the manta rays, you can also spend some time shadowing marine biologists, which is a great way to see the region and its natural habitat in all its glory.

If you’d rather stay on dry land, however, there’s plenty to keep you occupied, whether that’s enjoying a sunrise yoga session, a trip to the spa, or simply a lazy day in. And when you tire of your beautiful, locally designed, private villa, then three world-class restaurants are just a short, barefoot stroll away.