With price tags to match a superyacht charter, the world's most lavish oceanside hotel suites offer plenty of bang for your buck. Sophia Wilson reveals the treats on offer to lure you ashore.
1. Jumeirah Vittaveli, Maldives
The pad: What started as a concept for a two bedroom presidential suite was finally unveiled last year as the five bedroom, 10 building Royal Residence designed to offer unrivalled luxury in the Maldives (a hard task in a destination famed for its five star properties). From its grand entrance, where a stepping stone path through lily pads leads to its heavy dark wood door, to its chandelier-bedecked interiors and panorama pool, every element of this retreat oozes extravagance while remaining authentic to the Maldives. Making the most of its natural surroundings, all rooms, the vast pool and sunken lounge area look out on to the pearly sand beach rolling into the Indian Ocean – the water looks so inviting that even Queen Elizabeth II would be tempted to dig out her swimsuit and go for a dip.
In or out: Draped across a hidden corner of the Jumeirah Vittaveli island, which is less than 20 minutes by catamaran from Malé airport, it is a secluded paradise within a secluded paradise. If family rows break out, however, the entire island’s amenities, including four restaurants, dive centre and even the Maldives’ first ice rink, are a stone’s throw from that heavy door (and there will be a butler on hand to open it for you).
Room service: Forget ordering in – the Royal Residence has its own teppanyaki-style restaurant within a dhoni-shaped building. “The Royal Residence is certainly Maldivian themed,” says general manager Amit Majumder, who was closely involved in every aspect of its creation. “The restaurant, shaped like a traditional Maldivian boat, emphasises that theme.” Watch the sunset, cocktail in hand, from the foredeck. Afterwards head inside for a meal in the open air restaurant.
Pimp my ride: If you decide to venture out, perhaps to the resort’s Swarna Indian restaurant (which last year created its $2,000 Gold 15 course menu, featuring edible gold in every dish), you can arrive in style thanks to the Royal Residence’s customised golf buggies – complete with mahogany effect dashboard and red carpets.
Best by boat: Avoid canoodling honeymooners and get your tender to drop you at the Royal Residence’s jetty. This means you’ll have direct access to the resort’s extensive watersports facilities, including parasailing and jet boards.
Away Holidays offers a four night stay in the Royal Residence from £57,890. awayholidays.co.uk