Maldives Retreat to Dream about: Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa

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It’s a jewel among the breathtakingly blue ocean of South Ari Atoll (Alifu Atoll) in the Republic of Maldives — it’s Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa, a 5-star resort that offers the ultimate in “barefoot luxury” for couples and families alike. Its 112 villas (both beachfront and over-water) all have bedrooms with furnished living room areas, baths with a deep soaking tub or Jacuzzi Spas and heavenly rain showers, air-conditioning, terraces, flat-screen TVs with international satellite, mini-bars, coffeemakers, and many other amenities. For the ultimate vacation, the resort’s Island Club Villas offer exclusive use of the Island Clubhouse and swimming pool, along with wider beverage choices, towel service, fruit and sorbets served in the afternoon, and sunbed concierge service. But even if you’re just in a “regular” villa here, it’s an unforgettable stay.

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Vistas of sea and sky, endless white sand beaches, and a diving reef, complete with a sunken shipwreck, are yours to discover. Go windsurfing, kayaking, boating, or fishing; work out in the fitness center, play a round of tennis, or enjoy a dip in one of the resort’s infinity pools. Take in the show at one of the lounges, dine in the open air on your private terrace — or have an intimate dinner for two on the beach. Need more pampering? Spa Cenvaree offers traditional aromatherapy, massage, and beauty treatments. Staying in touch with the “outside” is easy with complimentary Wi-Fi — but you might just want to “switch off” the world for awhile. Don’t worry: it’ll still be there when you leave…if you can bring yourself to!

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).