The Luxe List 2014

  • Abode, Mumbai, India

    Abode, Mumbai, India

  • Amano'i, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

    Amano'i, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

  • Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

    Cheval Blanc Randheli, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

  • Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal

    Dwarika's Resort, Dhulikhel, Nepal

  • Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

    Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

  • Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia

    Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia

  • Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, China

    Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, China

  • Iniala, Phang-Nga, Thailand

    Iniala, Phang-Nga, Thailand

  • Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

    Jetwing Yala, Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

  • Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand

    Kata Rocks, Phuket, Thailand

  • One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    One&Only Hayman Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

    Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

  • Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

    Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan

  • Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Sofitel So Singapore

    Sofitel So Singapore

  • Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

    Temple Hotel, Beijing, China

  • Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

    Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

  • Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

    Waldorf Astoria, Beijing, China

  • Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

    Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

  • Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

    Mira Moon, Hong Kong, China

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The Luxe List 2014: Velaa Private Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives

A 45-minute seaplane flight from Male in the Noonu Atoll, Velaa is the US$200 million passion project of Czech financier Jirí Smejc, who has lavished the private-island resort’s 43 one- to four-bedroom villas with Borneo hardwood, desert stone from Jordan, and elegant Italian furnishings. Other draws include a short-game golf academy designed by two-time Masters champion José María Olazábal, cloud-shaped treatment pods in the overwater Clarins spa, an extensive kids’ club, and a Seabob and mini-submarine, on hand for exploring the surrounding reefs. Velaa also claims the only shaded tennis courts in the Maldives. And rising above the palm fronds, a canvas-wrapped 11-meter tower houses a teppanyaki restaurant helmed by Sri Lankan sous chef Gaushan De Silva as well as the largest wine collection in the archipelago.

960/656-5000; Velaa Private Island; doubles from US$1,900

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