The Maldives. Unsurprisingly, it’s a bucket list destination for many – and with good reason. A multitude of beautiful islands with luxury hotels, crystal clear blue waters and endless stretches of the fine white sand. A place where work and the daily commute are far, far away and where you can truly switch off and think about nothing more than what cocktail you’d fancy next. And if you’re going to the Maldives, there’s really only one place to stay. With a hotel group so synonymous with luxury that it consistently ranks at the top of the world’s best hospitality brands: welcome to the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa.

Expectations were high as we approached the resort from the water and first impressions tick all the boxes: white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, glossy green foliage and a vista of Kuda Huraa’s luxurious villas perched on stilts above the ocean. And landing won’t serve to break the spell – bright fuchsia-pink flowers bring exotic colour to the island, scented candles subtly release hypnotic tropical perfume, and traditional Maldivian ‘dhoni boats’ bob gently in the water.

Getting our bearings, a white sandy path traces the centre of the island with beach bungalows lining each side. Lark or night owl? Guests can choose to stay on the ‘sunrise’ or ‘sunset’ side of the resort, and each bungalow is equipped (of course) with its very own private pool, located just a few steps from the sandy beach. The jewel in this resort’s crown however, are the stunning water villas – the most recently developed accommodation on the island. Rooms are fresh and elegant, with bathrooms stocked with L’Occitane products and showers which open onto the outer decking for those looking for a more ‘al fresco’ bathing experience! Large windows span the full width of the bedroom, giving uninterrupted views over your own private infinity pool and the shimmering sea beyond. We arrived to a chilled bottle of wine, generous bowl of fresh fruit and homemade coconut macarons; a rather delicious welcome.

But trapped on one island, how will you possibly keep busy over the course of your stay? Well. You may struggle to fit it all in! Four restaurants, a sunset cocktail lounge, two resort pools, a spa, the Marine Discovery Centre, a Dive and Recreation Centre, not to mention a gym… You may have to get things scheduled in the diary! Water sports on offer include kayaking and windsurfing, and for the serious adrenaline junkies, there’s the Seabob Adventure and X-Jet Blade too. Stand-up paddle yoga or tennis are available for those interested in more tranquil pursuits, and for families, there’s a Kids Club on-site with games and activities aplenty.

Beyond the island? There’s sunset fishing, shark snorkelling and the highlight of our visit: dolphin cruises. The waters around the island are teeming with spinner dolphins and watching them weave alongside the boat, bursting up through the water is simply magical. Host of the annual Four Seasons Surfing Champions Trophy, the Kuda Huraa is also home to world-class surf breaks with regular lessons and excursions run by the on-site Tropicsurf School, and snorkelling and diving excursions are also very popular as one might expect in this part of the world.

All this exertion calls for one thing though – and that’s a visit to The Island Spa. Cleverly located on a separate island to enhance the sensation of seclusion and sanctuary, the spa is only accessible by boat. Seven treatment pods are positioned over the water, and treatments focus on the healing powers of the ocean, with the signature ‘Kuda Huraa Healing Waters massage’ placing guests on cushions of warm water to emulate the sensation of being gently rocked by the waves. Utter bliss!

One of the best parts of any hotel stay has to be the copious breakfasts and the hotel’s Cafe Huraa doesn’t disappoint. Beyond the salads, fruit and made-to-order juice bar, there are freshly-baked breads and pastries, every kind of egg you can imagine, pancakes and waffles and cooked or continental delicacies as well as local curries, soups or stir-fries. You won’t need lunch! But you’ll probably have some anyway… Serving an a la carte menu, The Reef Club offers equally delectable fare. Located around a pretty outdoor patio and with an adults-only pool, this Italian restaurant serves up homemade pasta or fresh pizza straight from their own wood burning oven. Space for their signature Tiramisu Affogato? If you insist!

Something a little more glamorous? Baraabaru is the place to go. Everything about this restaurant is mouth-watering, from its sumptuous and dramatic Keralan-inspired décor, to the delicious Indian cuisine. And cooking courses at the restaurant run throughout the week, giving you the opportunity to re-create the dishes at home. The final restaurant in this resort’s culinary portfolio is the Kandu Grill. Smaller than the other on-site eateries, it would be easy to pass this one by – but that would be a mistake. Simple, freshly-caught local fish and delicious steaks are grilled to perfection. It doesn’t get better than that, does it?

Kuda Huraa is a resort that sates all your senses and to top it off, the staff are delightful too. Our names and villa number were immediately imprinted to memory, golf buggies would appear as it from thin air to transport us around the site, favourite drink orders would be remembered and cold hand towels, refreshing drinks and even suncream would materialise at your side as if by magic. And all this is done in such a subtle and completely non-intrusive way, so that there is nothing else to do but completely relax, switch off and indulge with all the amenities on offer. Time to start ticking off that bucket list?

The Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa: USD 900 per room per night in a Beach Pavilion with Pool. Rates are subject to 23.2% service charge and gst as well as USD 6 green tax per person per night. For more information and to book, see the resort’s website.