As the seaplane lifts off the water’s surface and begins to climb, paradise opens up beneath us. The deep blue ocean stretches in every direction, but it is punctuated here and there by aquamarine discs of shallow coral reef that give way to the slightest slivers of white sand. Lavish hotels clinging to those oases sprout tentacles of bungalows, extending their small stake of precious solid ground.
People come from all over the world to experience the impeccable luxury of the Maldives, a nation composed of around 1,200 islands, located 370 miles (595km) off the southernmost tip of India. Despite its remoteness, the resorts here – each located on its own private island – are unparalleled. Guests can sip $40 (£25.60) glasses of Champagne at freshwater pools’ swim-up bars, dine on Russian caviar and Wagyu steak, and stream the latest episode of Game of Thrones in their air-conditioned suite. Nothing is lacking, nothing is out of reach.