Unique Sleeps: Amazing hotels hand picked by Expedia Experts. The One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives.

I’ve said the words: ‘Of course we’ll be back!’ departing hotels a handful of times, and actually meant it maybe half that. But when I said it leaving One&Only Reethi Rah, I not only meant it, I was doing crude calculations as to when said return might be.

Because O&O Reethi Rah is a goddamn paradise.

It’s in the Maldives, so a lot of the heavy lifting is done just by virtue of the postcard-perfect tropical location, (aqua-green water, white sand, sunsets, palm trees…) but I’ve been to the Maldives before, and I don’t recall using the words ‘paradise, ‘or ‘best holiday ever’ or ‘it’s noon, I think I’ll have a rosé,’ then. No, no, O&O Reethi Rah is something very special indeed.

Like all truly five-star resort experiences, it begins with your arrival. Smiling staff glide you through the frenzy of customs and hat-wearing holidaymakers to a luxury speedboat for a 45-minute ride from Male to the resort, which is on its own small island. Jean-Luc, the immaculately-dressed GM greets you (he coasts around in a pimped-out, Cadillac version of a golf cart, which I loved), a cold cocktail is offered, and as you’re checked in by your personal concierge, staff whisk your bags away and unpack them for you. After 19 hours of travel with a toddler, we could not have been happier.

Wrong.

We COULD be happier. Day by day the joy took over us, each day a little more, until in the final couple of days of the visit I found myself riding along on my bike (that’s how you get around, on cruisers, complete with baby seat, this was a real highlight, I must say – we packed the stroller but didn’t use it once) through the dappled light of palm trees, grinning like a loon. I’d text photos to mum saying, WE ARE SO HAPPY!!! with many emoji and all in caps so she REALLY UNDERSTOOD.