Originally built by the Jumeirah group as their second resort in the country, Dhevanafushi was recently passed on to the Accor group of hotels; as a result, its prices have gone down somewhat and the resort is now attracting a slightly less exacting clientele. That said, it remains fabulously luxurious and very focused on stylish relaxation and private romance.
The island, small even by local standards, is notable mainly for its bold white modernist architecture, sumptuous private villas and its calling card – the freestanding Ocean Sanctuary water villas, which are on the lagoon 850m from shore and accessible only by boat. The villas ensure total privacy, and are particularly popular with visitors from the Middle East. The Ocean Sanctuary has its own restaurant and infinity pool; guests on both the main island and in the sanctuary are free to come and go as they please by dhoni. The rooms on the main island are arguably more charming; starting at a palatial 270 sq metres, all have their own wonderful slate plunge pools, 24-hour butler service, massive four-poster beds and marble bathtubs that can accommodate a sports team.
The style of the resort is thoroughly contemporary, with its unusual white arrival jetty, spa and reception area. Despite the resort being small, there are three outstanding dining options to choose from, plus an excellent cocktail bar.
There are several gorgeous stretches of beach on the island, though erosion is a problem in places.