Raa Atoll, one of the deepest atolls in the archipelago, offers easy access to the Unesco World Biosphere Reserve Hanifaru Bay, famous for its manta rays and is close to the Vaadhoo Island where you can see the Sea of Stars phenomenon.
From landing at Malé airport where Alila’s man on the ground, Hamdhoon, greets you with wide smiles and impressive efficiency to your personal host (ask the lovely Mal, who fixed my broken shoe , picked me up, dropped me off, reminded me of my schedule, I cleaned up when I was out and still have time to amass almost 30,000 likes on Instagram), the service is what sets this resort apart from the crowd of posh resorts in the Maldives. After a few days, you’ll feel right at home, with the staff remembering your preference for still or sparkling water, your kids’ names and your favorite table. So much so that there is an urge to book a repeat trip before completing the first.
For small children, the sand and the sea are all it takes for the perfect vacation, but here there is also a Kid’s Club with craft activities such as weaving things from coconut leaves, collecting seashells for making a necklace, bowling or hunting crabs. For teenagers, snorkeling or learning to scuba dive are popular options, along with windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and kayaking. Sunset cruises in a traditional wooden dhoni are ideal for the whole family.