Discover the Indian Ocean from sustainable luxury in the Maldives to private islands in the Seychelles.
Words by Lorna Jenkins
The glittering teardrop of India, Sri Lanka offers a stunning landscape.
There are golden sandy beaches, lush rainforest and tea fields, as well as history and heritage to explore.
ONYX has three hotels in Sri Lanka – Amari Galle (pictured), OZO Kandy and OZO Colombo. This year it is opening Amari Colombo in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.
The Colombo opening is a sign of the country’s recovery. In April last year, 259 people were killed in terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.
“Today we are seeing visitor arrivals slowly return. Foreign governments have lifted their travel advisories and airlines have begun to reinstate their regular flight routes,” says Russell Cool, area general manager of ONYX’s Sri Lanka properties.
Flights from London to Colombo from £629.
The Maldives have welcomed an influx of new resorts recently. There are several new family-friendly and adult-only properties, as well as high-end venues.
In 2019, a new five times-weekly flight was launched from London Heathrow to Malé, via Bahrain, with Gulf Air.
Plus, there's a focus on sustainability.
The Equator Village in Gan, Addu Atoll, is the latest property to join the campaign to protect the area's seagrass.
Seagrass is essential to the Maldivian marine ecosystem as it provides habitats, minerals and resources for marine life.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort (pictured) has launched its ‘Adopt a Coral’ initiative. Guests will have the opportunity to work with marine biologists.
Luxury newcomers include Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa (located in the Raa Atoll with 60 beach and 50 overwater villas). There is also the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau (81 villas, also in the Raa Atoll), and JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa (in Shaviyani Atoll).
Flights from London to Malé from £624.
Newlyweds are moving away from traditional honeymoon locations, and opting for more adventurous destinations, according to the experts.
But Mauritius is still firmly on the list.
Its shoreline is known for stunning beaches and pristine reefs. But you might not know about its spectacular ‘underwater waterfall’.
The illusion is caused by trails of sand on the sea floor being dragged away by water between openings in the reefs, known as La Passe. The best way to witness this unique spectacle is by seaplane or helicopter.
Situated on Le Chaland Beach along the southeastern coast of Mauritius, Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas is a tranquil and luxurious hideaway.
The island also hosted its first wellness festival last year and plans its return in 2020.
Flights from London to Mauritius from £554.
Island hopping is a perfect way to experience this archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa.
A highlight is Anse Source D’Argent, the world’s most photographed beach, known for its beautiful granitic boulders.
Also, don't miss a trip to UNESCO Heritage Site of the Vallée de Mai on Praslin Island. It’s the only place in the world that the famous Coco de Mer can be found growing naturally.
New openings include The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International, located on North Island – one of the world’s most luxurious private island resorts.
Managed by ASmallWorld, the leading members-only club dedicated to international travel and luxury, North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, will be the organisation’s first property in their highly anticipated ASW Hotel Collection.
Flights from London to Mahé from £770.