Vilamendhoo Island Resort, The Maldives

If you struggle to distinguish one luxury Maldives resort from another, take a look at Vilamendhoo.

Along the pristine coastline of the beautiful Vilamendhoo Island Resort, baby sharks swim as divers emerge from the turquoise waters and couples sun-soak around the edge of the infinity pool.

As I take in the views, watching as tiny white crabs dance at the waters edge, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect Indian Ocean getaway.

An archipelago of 1,192 islands scattered across 26 coral fringed Atolls, the Maldives are known throughout the world for their idyllic tropical climate and desert-island beauty. But if you struggle to distinguish one luxury Maldives resort from another, take a look at Vilamendhoo.

Swapping the name-drop labels and fussy cuisine for a more thoughtful and authentic experience, Vilamendhoo is a luxury escape with a very personal touch.

Within half an hour of arriving, sandals had been discarded in keeping with the light-hearted and light-footed pace of the island and we had checked into our chic Beach Villas with open air bathrooms and better-than-postcard sea views. For those in search of extra luxe the Jacuzzi Water Villas, which are perched on stilts above the turquoise lagoon, boast even more seclusion.

You can take it as hard or as easy as you want on Vilamendhoo. Left to my own devices I would have spent my days topping up the tan besides the infinity pool, cocktail in hand, or working my way through the extensive list of treatments at the heavenly spa, but there are great range aquatic activities from canoeing to snorkeling to windsurfing for those that can’t keep still.

No trip to the Maldives would be complete without exploring some of its world renowned underwater landscape however. More accustomed to sun-soaking and toe-dipping, the lovely instructors immediately put me at ease during my dive around the beautiful resort reef, and when my party of pro divers returned from their trips they too were elated saying they’d experienced their best dives to date.

The evening activities on the island also leave me with warm memories. Dining at the two house restaurants Funama and Ahima, where the food was always faultless, or the Asian Wok restaurant which served the freshest sushi and sashimi, was a great way to wind down before we headed off into the sunset, literally, on dolphin spotting cruises or night time fishing excursions.

The beautiful resort ticks all the desert island boxes – swaying palms and piercing blue waters fringing sugar white sands – but boasts unrivaled character and charm. The staff were exceptional and we missed the resort manager, Patrick, so much we actually considered skyping him when we reached our next island.

Thomson offers a seven night holidays to the Maldives, staying at the Thomson Couples 4-star Vilamendhoo Island Resort and Spa, on an all-inclusive basis, from £1599 per person. This holiday is exclusive to Thomson in the UK and the price is based on two adults sharing, and includes flights departing from London Gatwick airport, on 02 September 2012. For more information or to book this holiday, please visit your local Thomson travel shop, click here or call 0871 230 2555.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT THE WWW.VISITMALDIVES.COM

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