But Dusit Thani Maldives is not your typical kind of resort.
Having checked out you know how heavily you’ve fallen for the place the moment you strap yourself into the seat and the propellers begin their familiar spin...
Greeted by resort staff at Velana International Airport, you are taken to Dusit Thani Maldives’ dedicated lounge to await the 35-minute transfer.
Attentive service and a video showcasing the delights of your ultimate destination lift expectations further. The stroll along the jetty to your plane merely broadens the smiles as if taking to the air for the first time.
The scenic journey south brings you to Baa Atoll, the republic’s only UNESCO world biosphere and treasured marine life backdrop to this idyllic resort.
The moment Mudhdhoo Island, on which Dusit Thani Maldives is based, nudges into the window of the seaplane you know you’re about to splashdown somewhere very special.
Propellers hum the final floated feet to a wooden jetty where the resort manager and colleagues await, among them your personal butler for the duration of your stay.
The latter immediately reinforce a sense of location and better connect guests with the surrounding turquoise waters, teeming with life.
A word of warning, though: it takes willpower not to occupy the sun deck all day and watch the myriad tropical fish on their constant colourful commute.
Immersed in the villa pool you can’t help but appreciate how lucky they are that nature placed them here.
Inside the villa, exterior wood decking that flows with its surroundings, gives way to luxury and comfort.
It is here that you first register Dusit Thani Maldives’ regime of conservation and self-sufficiency. Absent are the usual hotel plastic shampoo and shower gel bottles in favour of refillable ceramic jars.
Beyond the bathroom, the pristine beaches and beautiful accommodation, it swiftly becomes clear there’s more to this resort than meets the eye.
And on a 'back of house' tour, staff are keen to reveal how they keep their carbon footprint to a minimum; extracting, treating and glass bottling their drinking water instead of importing bottled products, recycling waste glass into umbrella bases among other things, and generating power using the latest technology.
Dusit Thani Maldives feels almost like an extension of rather than an incursion on its surroundings as you explore – palm forest in the middle, perfect blue water amid an encompassing reef outside and an omnipresent smell of jasmine as you walk or cycle the trails that cross the island.
This feeling of calm extends to the Devarana Spa. A first in the region, customers can opt to have their treatment in one of six elevated ‘treetop’ wooden pods or in one of the ground level rooms, which exude calm the moment you approach.
Being a Thai hospitality brand, it should come as no surprise that one of the best dining experiences is Benjarong.
This ‘Royal Thai’ cuisine restaurant occupies an over-water position slightly offshore, yielding perfect sunset views and the playful cry of fruit bats as night settles in. As candles flicker at this multi-level wooden venue, it is hard not to feel like you’re in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Resident corporate social responsibility manager Rebecca Bull is inclined to agree. Part of her job at the Eco Centre is explaining why the Maldives is so special and how the resort is helping to keep it that way, not least by being as green as possible in its operations.
“Many people believe they just grow like plants and can re-grow within the year. It can take many years to recover totally and things like single use plastics, which people take for granted, are a gigantic problem.
“All the plastic that has been produced and gone into oceans is still there because it never biodegrades. It can break down to smaller particles but they’re still present, being fed on by manta rays that we have visiting us for six months.”
The plight of these creatures is partially raised by the sale of soft toy eagle rays placed in rooms, which also raises cash for social projects in neighbouring, often poorer, island communities.
“We do a lot to help turtles. If we find one wrapped in a discarded fishing net we will cut them out and if needs be take them to a local rehabilitation facility where they will be treated and cared for until release.
“Last year we were lucky, we had eight turtle nests on our island. We’ve gone out of our way to protect them. We build a barrier to make sure no one is walking over the nest and to protect from predators.
“When it’s time for the eggs to hatch we’ll have been monitoring them very closely to know when. They always hatch at night and they will naturally look for the light of the moon shining off the sea to find their way to the water.
“Artificial lighting can throw off the turtle’s ability to navigate back to the sea when she is finished laying. We minimize lighting during their breeding season and often we will actually close off villas nearby to make sure no one is disturbing that area.”
Armed with such information, you can’t help but tour the sandy trails on one of the resort bicycles without considering what creatures you are sharing the island with.
Back at villa 212, via a quick stop to see mixologists at work in Sala Bar ahead of a buffet in The Market restaurant, the sea is the soundtrack as we scan the lagoon for a reef shark or a ray before lights out.
DUSIT Thani Maldives offers 94 villas and residences at various levels, with subtle Thai furnishing touches and Maldivian architecture.
THE resort is family friendly and offers a kids club as well as different levels of water sports at the Seasplash dive and water sports centre.
THERE are two floodlit tennis courts, a beach volleyball court, yoga pavilion and fitness trail, as well as complimentary access to bicycles and snorkeling equipment.
A BABYSITTING service is available as is a nature walk, a clinic with 24-hour doctor and a library.
TO learn more and to book go to www.dusit.com or email email@example.com