Where to stay in the Maldives
One & Only Reethi Rah
What's so special
The One & Only Reethi Rah is one of the largest resorts in the Maldives. It has just won a coveted spot on Condé Nast Traveller’s Gold List 2012, which rounds up their favourite hotels of the year. There’s no risk of getting bored at this resort as it offers a wide array of leisure options to keep you entertained.
How they rate it
This is a “glamorous, design-conscious resort,” says Condé Nast Traveller. The 124 villas are “built from natural materials such as teak, mahogany, rattan, coconut shell and thatch” and are “dotted all over the island, some on the six kilometres of private beach, others on stilts over the ocean”.
All are decorated in a “chic, contemporary-Asian style”. When booking try to stretch to one of the Grand Water Villas with pool: they are “built on stilts over a lagoon, have covered outdoor terraces and split-level verandas as well as 20 square-metre pools”.
There is a range of dining options, including Asian-fusion, at Reethi Restaurant, and modern Japanese dishes at Tapasake.
Villas cost from $1,400 per night. For more, visit www.oneandonlyresorts.com, or call 01753-899800.
What's so special
If you want to get away from everything and relax, then this is the resort for you. Soneva Fushi operates a ‘no news, no shoes’ policy as part of its aim to be a haven for the mind, body and soul. If lying on the beach listening to the ocean isn’t enough to calm you, the resort boasts an award-winning spa too.
How they rate it
The facilities are impressive, with “treetop yoga, sailing, kite surfing and diving”, and there is also an “open-air cinema and a planetarium to keep guests entertained”, says Adrian Neville in The Daily Telegraph.
There is a full range of treatments on offer in the spa, from soothing body wraps to hot stone massages. The villas themselves are “backed by jungle foliage and overlook the Indian Ocean. Inside, high ceilings and walls of glass make for a light spacious feel. Each villa also has a private outdoor shower.”
Dining options include fresh sushi at Mihiree Mitha and By The Beach “for ceviche by candlelight”. There’s also a 7,000-bottle wine cellar, which you can tour with a sommelier.
Villas cost from $900 per night. See www.soneva.com, or call 00 960 660 0304.
The world’s most unusual hotels
Head to Sweden’s Sala Silvermine to spend the night underground in “one of the world’s best-preserved mine settings”, The Mine Suite, says The Independent. Shower, toilets and a lounge are above ground as is one member of staff who can be contacted via an intercom radio. The suite is “damp, dark and chilly, but with its winding galleries and vast cavities, it’s certainly a unique setting”.
• Rooms from £400 per night; Salasilvergruva.se.
Karostas Cietums is Latvia’s former military prison and it has remained unchanged since its beginnings in Tsaristtimes. It is for those who would relish a chance to “do time”: it was designed to break prisoners’ spirits, so “forget the basic hotel rule of hospitality”. Guests are treated to “an authentic prison meal and sleep in a prison bunk… prospectivevisitors must sign ‘The Agreement’ before their stay, contractually obliging them to be treated as detainees – abuse from guards included”.
• From £10 per night; Karostascietums.lv
Just off the coast of Portsmouth lies a historic sea fortress come luxury private island, says The Independent. Spitbank Fort (pictured) was once home to hundreds of soldiers. Eight of the former gun emplacements are now the fort’s range of suites – but “be warned: it also featured on an episode of Most Haunted”.
• £8,000 per night for exclusive use; Spitbankfort.com