HotSpot: The Beach House at Manafaru

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Published December 2007, Newsweek International

A welcome change from the international chains littering the country’s southern atoll, this new five-star resort offers an intimate experience in a gorgeous setting. Composed of grass-topped huts and lush vegetation, the resort blends a natural environment with cutting-edge technology.

Rooms: Sixty-eight waterfront villas are available at four price levels, ranging from $700 to $4,680 per night. Each is outfitted with a flat-screen TV, fiber-optic-lit pool, Wi-Fi and an iPod connector in the bathtub. The palatial Grand Beach Pavilion also boasts a sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room.

Food: Maldivian cuisine extracts the best of Indian, Thai and other Asian fare for an eclectic mix of spicy and savory tastes. The resort’s three restaurants serve dishes for every palate, from pumpkin curry to tuna tartare.

Spa: The state-of-the-art spa boasts 10 individual cabanas and an extensive menu of Shui specialties. The Veli Modun energy massage incorporates sand, ocean water and fresh coconut oil ($150).

Extras: In a country made up of 99 percent water, aquatic sports abound. Strap on a snorkel and explore the Indian Ocean’s ample marine life, or suit up for deep-sea diving. Or just relax in the lava-stone-lined Amazon Pool, the island’s pride and joy.


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