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30 • Vacations


Winter 2018

If you’re thinking a little more elbow-room is more your style,

Angsana Velevaru is almost twice as long as Vivanta. In my

opinion, the most remarkable feature is the InOcean Villas.

These spectacular villas, teetering on the reef-edge over half

a mile from the island, are the remotest water villas in the


Speaking of far-flung, the resort is in Dhaalu Atoll, which

is one of the most secluded spots in the Maldives. Being

a 40-minute seaplane flight from the capital means your

views aren’t interrupted by jets landing, public ferries and

other trappings of civilization.

The interiors are inspired by Japan and adorned with original

coral designs by artist Christopher Hogan, while the rooftop

sundecks double as private spa rooms, which are more

one-off features.

When Maldivian resorts have the word ‘beach’ in the title,

you know they’re going to be something special. A ring of

icing-sugar sand encircles the entirety of Lily Beach Resort and

Spa and the water villas are framed by an iridescent turquoise

glow. I know it sounds strange, but there are all kinds of shades

of turquoise water in the Maldives, and some outshine the


The Lagoon Villas on the south side of the island see the

first light of day and are the most coveted by experienced

snorkellers. Another prized asset is the glass panels in the floors

of the Water Villas through which you can watch marine life.

Lily Beach made waves in the Maldives almost a decade ago

when it became the first resort in the country to offer a five-star

all-inclusive plan. Today, the Platinum Plan is still considered one

of the best. That’s because the well-thought-out plan includes

every single little detail, right down to cooler boxes on the

beach for fruit juice.



When you take a look at the Maldives through a new lens, the contrasts between these luxe properties

come into focus, even though everyone shares the same beautiful turquoise waters.


Vacations® •

Winter 2018 • 31

Extraordinary Experiences

Staying a night in a palace, fortress,

or monastery of Spain’s parador hotels is like a

brush with history on luxury linens.

By Patricia Harris and David Lyon

Live like a king in the

Parador de Carmona

The Parador de Carmona comes with a particularly colourful back story. In the 14th century,

one of Spain’s larger-than-life monarchs, Pedro the Cruel, transformed the medieval Moorish citadel

in this Andalusian city into one of his favourite countryside palaces. Earthquakes and time dimmed

some of its luster, but when the parador system took over the Alcázar del Rey Don Pedro,

it crafted a luxury retreat within the ruins.