As we approach the Taj Exotica Resort and Spa aboard our private luxury speedboat, we get our first glimpse of this romantic island hideaway encircled by the clear blue waters of one of the largest lagoons of the Maldives.
A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, it has since had a complete overhaul including the refurbishment of its 62 villas, construction of an additional 10 rooms and the addition of infinity pools to some of the dreamy overwater bungalows, which sit over the Emboodhu Finolhu lagoon.
The resort's philosophy is ‘Yes. Now what is your question'? And we quickly learn that's not just a sales line. The service is attentive and personal. There is one point of contact - villa services - that takes care of all guest requests.
The island, which is just 770 metres in length and as narrow as 20 metres wide at some points, has everything you need for a luxury tropical honeymoon; a sexy Equator bar, an infinity pool, a gym with treadmills looking out over the crystal lagoon, a library with interesting books and complimentary internet, and superb food at both 24 Degrees and The Deep End where the restaurant manager took special care of us.
One of my most treasured memories is sitting under the shade of a magnificent coconut tree with my husband, sand between our toes, tucking into a fluffy egg white, fresh herb omelet with wilted spinach and grilled tomato. Another night we dined by candlelight at the Deep End and watched as rays circled below us through a viewing hole.
With tropical-inspired interiors and stunning ocean views, the spa is tucked away at the far end of the resort. Fanned around a central courtyard garden and surrounded by the serene aqua lagoon are the over- water Spa Pavilions each with a private sundeck and relaxation space - perfect for a couple's treatment.
Try the spa's signature Indian Royal Mud and Bathing Experience Pavilion, with luxury hammam, couple experience showers, outdoor bathing experience, contoured sun deck loungers over the lagoon and chill out spaces. Afterwards kick back on a day bed and soak up the balmy air and views of nothing but aquamarine water stretching to the horizon. Bliss.