The Luxe List 2010, Maldives: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Gaafu Alifu Atoll

UPDATE: At the time of publication this resort was the Alila Villas Hadahaa. Hyatt took over management, rebranding it the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa.

There is no denying this island resort’s eco-credentials: the angled timber roofs of the 50 villas—some set over the water, others on the beach—are designed to keep rooms naturally cool, while recycled glass bottles are filled with water purified on site. Indeed, all construction here followed strict environmental guidelines, the payoff for which can be appreciated while snorkeling the near-pristine lagoon, where thriving corals attract parrotfish, harlequins, and the occasional turtle. Bespoke itineraries take guests to meet artisans who weave smoked grass into covetable homewares, or to a submerged island to learn about the atoll’s formation. Back at the resort, sand-floored Battuta’s serves local curries and Moroccan dishes, while Relish focuses on Western fare. Just be prepared for the minimum two-hour layover between international arrivals on Male and the 55-minute domestic hop to Gaafu Alifu Atoll, followed by another hour’s transfer by private yacht.

960/682-8888;; doubles from US$1,145

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