In the world of luxury travel, a trip to the Maldives signifies that you have arrived. It is the destination on the tip of every billionaire’s tongue, the hottest ticket out of New York, London and Dubai, and the spot where celebs go to disappear from prying paparazzi - you literally can’t go wrong in this protected paradise. Anyone who’s anyone has vacationed here - Bar Refaeli had her bachelorette, Katy Perry and Russell Brand honeymooned in their happier days, and the islands got a recent royal stamp of approval when Prince William and Kate Middleton made the trek in 2014. This collection of almost 1,200 islands clustered in the Indian Ocean is arguably the most luxurious collection of private islands in the world. You get that romantic remoteness plus the most over-the-top luxurious service. Imagine your deep tropic tan popping against your white Calypso bikini as you wade into the turquoise waters directly off your private over-the-water bungalow? A backdrop of lush green scenery, grand palm trees, and white sandy beaches behind you… Ahh, just take us back now!
Even the fashion conundrums here are just fabulous. What should I wear for the private catamaran taking me to lunch on a deserted sandbar? What should I slip into for my après scuba cocktail? As you fill your suitcase, simply keep tropic tones in mind. The main island of Malé, which hosts the international airport, can be more conservative (it is a Muslim country, after all), so it’s best to cover thighs and shoulders if you plan to stay a night or two - try with a white linen beach pant and breezy cardigan. The dress code around most resorts is smart casual, but what is the fun of vacationing with the super-rich if you don’t join in the peacocking party? Stuff your luggage with floppy, oversized hats (Eugenia Kim’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ chapeau comes to mind), blingy cover-ups, and sophisticated sarongs for poolside play. Think island-chic dresses in the evenings with a touch of glam - colorful Pucci prints, Missoni stripes and Valentino rainbows are always a hit.
Nudity and topless tanning are actually against the law here (apologies to all you free spirits), but that doesn’t mean you can’t sport your teeniest-weeniest bikini during optimal tanning opportunities - though it does mean you save those Agent Provocateurs for inside your bungalow when the sun goes down (sidenote: the Maldives are a famous baby making spot). Heels can be tricky as many pathways are simply sand, therefore bejeweled sandals (we love Rene Caovilla’s) may be a better way to go, but, hey, why slum it and walk when you can be transported via a chauffeured golf cart rocking your highest heels? No matter what, at the Maldives, you’re destined for the island escape that puts your previous vacations to shame, with a side of genuine jealousy from your nearest and dearest.