In the increasingly unsubtle war of luxury being waged by major hotel brands in the Maldives, there's one place conspicuous in its silence and relatively rarely mentioned by the media - Island Hideaway (Dhonakhii Island; 0 6501515; www .island-hideaway.com; s/d/wb US$810/810/1930; airport transfer by plane then speedboat 65 mins, $275; 43 rooms;
(D @), which, true to its name, is located about as remotely as you can imagine in the Maldives' most northerly atoll. This is about as far from the bucket-and-spade brigade as you can get.
Opened in 2005, this is utter boutique luxury, a gorgeous crescent-shaped island with beaches 1,5km long on both sides. One of its big selling points is its marina, the first in the country. Here there are 30 berths for yachts up to 80m - all state of the art and installed by Walcone Marine.
The five categories of rooms start with the standard Funa Pavilions on the beach -which at 176 sq metres are still rather large -white-walled houses with separate bedrooms and living rooms, teak floors throughout, slate and onyx-finished outdoor bathrooms, all possible conveniences from DVD players to espresso machines and each featuring their own gardens. The astonishingly grand two water villas and the incredible two Hideaway Palaces (1420 sq metres of faintly ridiculous exclusivity coming in at around US$3000 per night) make up the top end of the resort's accommodation.
The pampering extends to the Mandara Spa (sorry, the Hideaway Spa by Mandara. . .pretentious, moi?), the infinity pool, a range of restaurants that will effectively serve up bespoke meals 24 hours a day and a range of boutiques for retail therapy (as if you haven't had enough). The pristine reefs around the island and the untouched sites further afield make another great reason to come here the Meridis Diving School (www.meridis.de) is exceptionally smart with luxury boats and tiny groups, but inevitably expensive.
To confirm exactly who it's aimed at, the resort offers landing facilities for private jets at the nearby regional airport of Hani-maadhoo. Those poor things without their own planes will get their own Island Aviation Services charter from Male', or - eek -can even arrive by the daily scheduled IAS flight. For most of us, a trip here is just a fantasy, but if it's anonymous, boutique luxury and pampering you're after this is the place to come.
Alidhoo was allocated in 2004 for development in the near future as the atoll's second island resort.
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