THIS JEWEL IN THE FLY-AND-FLOP CROWN
Was the first to open in this collection of dreamy isles and was also named the ‘World’s Most Romantic Resort’ at the World Travel Awards in 2016. Old-school, but still sparklingly brilliant, then. Everything on Baros is made for two – from giant day beds dotted around the sand (there’s even a hammock hidden among the palm trees; we challenge you to find it) to just the dozen tables à deux at the water’s edge of The Lighthouse restaurant.
World’s Most Romantic Resort Photo Gallery
It’s actually an old coconut plantation, and the picking rituals still remain: it’s fascinating to watch locals tie their feet with cloth and clamber up palm trees. It goes without saying that in the Maldives an over-water villa is a must. But book one here with a swimming pool and the romance factor rockets – it’s the twinkling ‘stars’ in the pool water that did it for us; lots of tiny white dappled lights that seem to mirror the diamond night sky.
Pick villas 113 or 114 for a spectacular uninterrupted view of the clear lagoon – and to be in prime position for the dusty-pink sunset. Snorkelling here is big, as just a few flipper kicks away from the shore is the house reef, populated with bright coral and even brighter fish, such as oriental sweetlips with their striped zebra bodies and leopard-print fins and Tango-orange clownfish (you’ll definitely want to pack the GoPro). If you’re lucky, you may spot one of the reef’s 18 sea turtles or nurse sharks that sleep under the local shipwreck. And after all that action, head back to shore and treat yourself to a passion fruit and mint cooler at Sails bar.
OUR KIND OF LUXE
While the spa offers serene treatments perfectly prepared for two, it’s the couple’s massage on the piano deck (yup, that’s a wooden deck shaped like a grand piano!) a short boat ride from the island that has the real wow factor. No generic spa music here, just the sound of your breathing and the waves. GO Kuoni (kuoni.co.uk) offers seven nights in a Water Villa from £2,348 per person, on a B&B basis, including flights and transfers