Marine adventures are guaranteed at Baros thanks to a staggeringly special house reef. One of the Indian Ocean’s first luxury dive resorts, this Maldivian-owned, all-villa escape has stayed fresh since opening in 1973, and remains a heavenly setting for honeymoons and grown-up family holidays.
Clichés are a good thing when they involve postcard-perfect white beaches, turquoise waters and romantic dining under the stars. A tiny private coral island conveniently close to Malé, the resort’s impressive speedboat will whisk you from the international airport in 25 minutes. The remarkable house reef is a paddle from the beach, and promises an eye-popping cast of turtles, rays and exotic fish. The Maldives’ ever-developing hotel landscape means that views are no longer uninterrupted, but seeing life twinkle elsewhere does little to distract from the parade of tropical sea life and a vast expanse of an ocean so blue it looks PhotoShopped.
Style & character
Elegant and comfortable, with an unfaltering attention to detail that is careful never to upstage the tropical nature. Every comfort has been considered, with no scrimping on highest-quality furnishings inside the villas, and yet the resort achieves an authenticity that international chain hotels often fail to deliver. Where typical hotels have corridors, they have sandy foliage-lined pathways. Maldivian designers are behind the architecture and interiors of the seemingly rustic thatched villas and their use of natural materials, such as indigenous woods and stones, fit in well with the desert-island setting.
Baros does a lot to protect its natural environment too, and runs an outstanding coral regeneration programme, with sustainability efforts extending to the use of non-bio-degradable products.
Service & facilities
Exploring each winding sandy lane and circumnavigating the entire coastline would take half a day max, yet Baros has a knack of keeping guests busy if they want to be. Dedicated divers may want to spend most of their time in the water, under the direction of the Diver Valet Service, but three restaurants, two bars, and a cute low-key spa make time on terra firma appealing. Peel yourself off a lounger by the main infinity pool, or away from the art easel set up in your garden, and enjoy a botanical therapy or a private or group yoga class. The professional dive centre with PADI-qualified instructors and marine biologists offers underwater photo shoots, so you can immortalise every exhilarating moment.
There’s always a member of staff available to help in any way you might need; service is as warm as can be, without ever straying from professional to overfamiliar.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Steam room/hammam
- Tennis court
Thanks to clever layouts, each of the 45 Beachside Villas open into a private leafy garden and then to the beach. The secluded yet central two-suite Baros Residence has its own private pool and the most amount of space, while the 30 Water Villas, which have their feet in the water, are a prime position for sunset, and many also have private pools.
Food & drink
Private-island resorts make you a captive audience for the house eateries – thankfully here they get the eating and drinking just right. There’s a balance of à la carte and buffet, as well as Asian flavours and local and international classics in the air-conditioned Lime Restaurant which also has a deck. The Cayenne Grill hosts lavish spreads of dishes created in front of you. Sails Bar is an elegant sand-floored palm-covered outdoor sitting room where aperitifs and after-dinner cocktails are sigh-inducing stuff – and they always book the best singers and musicians.
Fine dining enthusiasts will be impressed by the French cuisine at The Lighthouse; the pavilion’s over-the-water perches also treat you to sightings of rays and sharks as you eat. For an unforgettable breakfast experience book the Piano Deck (also bookable for massages) or a sunset dinner cruise on the house dhoni.
For more information about hotels and resorts, please visit our website.