Staying at a selection of stunning resorts on private islands, each one offering something different to the last. I could write for pages about my time in paradise so instead I've shared my favourite experience on each island, to help you decide which luxury Maldives hotel is best for you.
Sky High with Qatar Airways
If I'm honest, I never usually think of the flight as part of my holiday, but simply a way to get there before the fun begins. However, flying Business Class with the multi-award-winning Qatar Airways has well and truly changed my perspective. As well as a seamless check-in service at Manchester airport, every the aircrafts was super modern and comfortable, and the entertainment selection was very impressive - I lost track of how many films I watched!
As I was sat in the Business Class cabin, I was assigned a personal Cabin Attendant, who introduced themselves and assured me that I could ask for anything I needed - when travelling with Qatar Airways, everything is on your terms! The selection and quality of food was exceptional, with the highlight for me being the delicious vegetarian Jalfrezi. There were also several smaller touches that really made the difference, including a choice of oils to go with your fresh bread rolls - I went for a delicious pomegranate oil - and a long list of vintage wine to wash down your meal, along with Champagne on arrival. The fabulous facilities didn't stop there! As a Business passenger, I also received an hour of complimentary Wi-Fi - with additional hours available to purchase - and a beautiful amenity kit from luxury Italian brand, Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio.
If all that wasn't enough, I was lucky enough to fly in the new Q-Suite, an innovative quad seating arrangement in which each of the four seats face into each other. This makes it great for families and groups travelling together as the space can become a social area, while if you're travelling alone or in a two, the seats can also be made completely private. I basically had my own private room with a fully shutting door and flat bed. I also loved the rose gold touches to the cabin - super stylish!
Niyama Private Island Maldives
It's hard to decide what I loved most about Niyama, as the experience on the island was pretty spectacular from start to end. I guess I'd have to go for the five-course caviar menu served in Edge, a restaurant suspended over the Indian Ocean and reached only by speedboat. This was my first time tasting caviar and it's safe to say, I will never look back! Every single dish was so delicious and completely different to the last, even the dessert included Champagne caviar! If all the amazing cuisine wasn't enough, each course was matched with a wine, making for the perfect evening in paradise. This super sleek fine dining is wonderfully contrasted by the laid-back Surf Shack, somewhere else I loved on the island. Part of the island's surf school, this was the perfect place to enjoy rum and reggae music, while watching the pros surf some waves.
My highlight at Soneva Fushi had to be the dining experience in Shades of Green, where everything we were served was completely plant-based and prepared using Nordic techniques. As a meat eater, I must admit I was sceptical, but I was quickly proven wrong as I munched my way through the five courses! We also enjoyed a tour of the island's Organic Garden, picking, tasting and smelling the produce that featured in the unique menu, that was all cleverly based around the colour yellow.
While Jumeirah Vittaveli was being built, two nosy stingrays started exploring the island and were fed fish by the workers here. Ever since, they have returned to this spot, now bringing with them approximately 100 fellow stingrays and jackfish to the Maadi Point beach every evening. I just loved this story and was delighted when we were invited to join the team in feeding the frenzied creatures their dinner. This is particularly special moment to experience, as these usually elusive creatures stay well away from the shallow reef during the daylight hours.
Milaidhoo Island Maldives
Milaidhoo Island Maldives enchanted me from the moment I arrived! After giving it some hard thought, I think my highlight had to be the boat ride we took to Hanifaru Bay, a UNESCO biosphere reserve where the world's largest group of manta ray can be seen. Sure enough, I saw plenty of these unique creatures here, as well as a reef shark! Having said that, when I took to the water with a snorkel, I'm sure I saw near enough the whole cast of 'Finding Nemo'! There are strict rules in place here, wih access monitored and snorkeling time limited.Of course, I didn't mind - I know it's vital to keep the area pristine and the marvellous marine life safe.
Sandbank at Milaidhoo Island Maldives
Swimming Pool at Milaidhoo Island Maldives
Batheli Restaurant at Milaidhoo Island Maldives
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
One for the wildlife lovers, this amazing island has its very own Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where they rescue and rehabilitate many Maldivian sea turtles every year, releasing them back into the wild whenever possible. My highlight here was undoubtedly feeding these incredible animals, some of which had been injured before their rescue. One little turtle with a missing leg absolutely melted my heart and I was overjoyed to see just how happy and well cared for it seemed in its new home!
LUX South Ari Atoll, Maldives
I've always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and at LUX South Atoll, it's certainly one of the best! Located over the water, East Market is inspired by an authentic Asian market, home to interactive stalls that serve tasty dishes from across the globe. Along with delicious homemade croissants, perfectly crisp baguettes and a range of the usual breakfast delights, I also embraced the less traditional options on offer - let me tell you, dim sum for breakfast is a revelation!