Set amid the islands of Shaviyani Atoll in the undeveloped northern fringes of the Maldives, the Viceroy Maldives (Vagaru Island; 960/654-5000; doubles from US$1,080) marks the Asian debut of the California-based brand. Launched on April 2, it’s the sole occupant of a seven-hectare isle, and affords access to rarely visited reefs. Sixty-one mod white villas—some on the beach, others perched above the lagoon—are topped by thatched roofs shaped to resemble the overturned hull of a dhoni, the islands’ traditional fishing boat. The nautical theme continues inside, with elements like rope and canvas sharing space with plush furnishings. Come mealtime, guests have their choice of five restaurants; among them are Treehouse, offering a blend of Middle Eastern and African flavors, and Vai, the organic café at the resort’s Ayurvedic-leaning spa.—Anita Surewicz
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