The overwater bungalow is synonymous with highest-tier luxury and the ultimate in privacy, making it among the top choices for North American honeymooners. But you needn’t be honeymooning to appreciate the water views and access this getaway affords.
Lux* North Male Atoll Resort in the Maldives, reachable only by boat and seaplane, is that perfect indulgence, with 46 overwater bungalows spread among two jetties. With 67 villas total, this boutique property never feels crowded—perhaps because most guests spend the bulk of their time in and around their private villas, and for good reason. Tempting as it is to cocoon yourself inside your villa, there’s plenty on this private island to see and do.
So, what does a perfect day look like?
Start the morning by paddling down to the resort coffeeshop, Café Lux—or phone your island host to bring you there in a golf cart. Order a cold brew or flat white, or be daring and try a specialty drink, like the cold brew mai tai, with cold brew coffee, lime juice, orange juice, sugar syrup, and soda water.
Once significantly caffeinated back at your villa, don snorkel gear and pop down the ladder off the patio and slip into the warm Indian Ocean for an early morning snorkel session. The east jetty of villas is preferred for its reefs; if you’re not staying in this set of villas, ask your island host to cart you to the end of this jetty. There, just underneath this pier, you’ll find big schools of jacks, unicornfish, and Moorish idols gathering. From here, be mindful of the currents as you kick along the edge of the atoll, where the reef drops away to a cobalt abyss at 30 feet. The edge of the reef wall sees a lot of activity, from parrotfish nipping the corals to stingrays levitating over sandy chutes.
Work up an appetite, then head to Glow for breakfast. The menu includes healthy fare, including smoothies and green juices; it also features splurges—such as creamy scrambled eggs with truffles atop buttery brioche, and the buttermilk fried chicken and waffles—well worth the indulgence.
Let the weather decide what’s next. If the wind is blowing, stop by the water sports desk for a lesson in sailing, windsurfing, or kitesurfing. If it’s a breezeless day, borrow a paddle board and cruise in front of the resort, keeping an eye on the sands below for eagle rays.
Depending on what time of year you visit, there’s an option to snorkel with mantas. The resort is located about 30 minutes by boat from two atolls where mantas regularly congregate to feed on plankton blooms. The season for mantas is March through May, and again in July and August.
Get your fill of ocean playtime, then retire to the villa for a relaxing afternoon. Dial in-villa dining to deliver a light lunch, like the spicy chicken tikka wrap. The ice cream is made in-house, and not to miss. Tuck into scoops of coffee, coconut, and Toblerone flavors while wading in your villa’s infinity pool.
If you’d rather float than swim, dial your island host and request an inflatable unicorn or peacock pool float, available for purchase at the resort’s shops.
Should the water and views not be enough to lull you into utter relaxation, book a treatment at Lux* Me Spa, where the five separate treatment rooms are also overwater, perched along the reef. Glass walls open to views of the sea and a nearby sandy spit. While you’re on the massage table, you still have views of the reef. A glass cutout has been placed on the floor strategically below so guests can watch wrasse flit between the corals. Select treatments finish with a bath, prepared with bubbles and essential oils, with hibiscus flowers floating on top. You can feel the calm take hold—just be careful not to nod off in this utterly relaxing setting.
Take your time to dress for dinner. There is no dress code at Inti, the upscale Peruvian and Japanese restaurant, but the food is so elegant that you’ll want to be decked out to match. The ceviche dishes absolutely stand out. Two unique offerings are the white fish ceviche, dished up with tiger milk and raspberry sorbet, and the prawn ceviche with passionfruit sorbet, soft shell crab and coconut milk. If you can’t decide, go for the ceviche tasting menu, offering both, along with octopus and salmon ceviches.
Although most of the menu entices, try not to overdo it. The night sky out in this remote stretch of the Indian Ocean has almost zero light pollution, and, in our opinion, the best way to enjoy the canopy of stars is a late-night swim in your private pool. With the scenery so magical, it’s hard to resist a dip in the buff—because you can, and because what better way to feel closer to such an inspiring setting.