At first glance the Grand Park Kodhipparu may look similar to many other private islands in the Maldives, but peer between the palm trees and it’s easy to see what sets this award-winning resort apart.
After arrival at Malé International Airport, a 20-minute speedboat ride takes travellers to blissed-out beachy nirvana where guests are greeted by a personal lifestyle host who diligently plans an itinerary, tailored to individual tastes.
Couples in search of total privacy can simply ask their host to organise it — whether its breakfast with champagne on a sandbank, an afternoon picnic at a private beach or an intimate gourmet meal in the privacy of a villa — there’s no need to share the beach with a stranger.
Travellers hungry for cultural experiences can watch talented chefs create local dishes at cooking stations at one of the resort’s three restaurants, take a fishing trip in a dhoni (a traditional Maldivian boat), or take a tour of the capital Malé.
Fitness addicts who forget their running shoes can go barefoot or borrow a pair from the gym, while parents can relax knowing their little ones are being kept amused in the kid’s club while they visit the secluded spa, situated on a private jetty with tranquil treatment rooms in earshot of lapping waves.
Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing accommodation. Built in 2017, some of the stylish 120 rustic-chic-style villas perch atop a vanilla beach of powder soft sand with direct access to the ocean and the house reef, while others sit along stilted jetties with private plunge pools and expansive terraces with hammocks and steps that lead into the jade blue lagoon.
While the sunsets are incredible from the Grand Park Kodhipparu’s almost 150ft-long infinity pool, the yoga terrace is the place to be at sunrise. But while the views are idyllic in every direction, the North Male Atoll is best explored beneath the surface. This area of the Maldives is famous for its dive sites and abundant marine life with colourful coral and wrecks to explore. Turtles, dolphins and blacktip sharks are often spotted by divers and snorkellers, but this is also one of the best areas to spot manta rays, gentle giants that can span more than 20ft and gracefully cruise the ocean currents to hoover up plankton.
But guests don’t have to take a boat to engage with them, or even dip a toe in the water.
Some of the spacious overwater villas have see-through glass floors offering tantalising glimpses of the colourful fish below.
And while the Maldives may not be famed for golf, the Grand Park Kodhipparu gives keen players the chance to practice their swing using eco-friendly golf balls made of fish food that dissolve after just a few days in water.