The Big Six: Luxury dive resorts

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Viceroy, Maldives

The latest resort in the Maldives archipelago opened this month on a secluded sliver of sand known as Vagaru Island. Here, 61 thatched villas stand along a pristine shore, lapped by the cerulean waters of the Indian Ocean. All have private decks and plunge pools, with airy, whitewashed interiors. There are four restaurants, a spa and a Padi-certified dive centre which leads to coral reefs and exotic aquatic life, and offers boat trips out to neighbouring atolls.

Viceroy, Vagaru Island, Shaviyani Atoll, Maldives (00 960 654 5000; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com). Doubles from US$1,350 (£900), B&B. Diving from US$110 (£73).

Qualia, Australia

This exclusive resort on Hamilton Island is surrounded on all sides by the largest contiguous coral reef in the world: the Great Barrier Reef. Here, guests can spend days exploring the 2,000km-long spectacle by boat, helicopter or seaplane, with two-tank dives or simple snorkelling gear opening up a world of tropical colour.

Later, relax in the resort's sumptuous spa; dine on fresh fish at the seafood restaurant; then slumber in one of 60 modern pavilions or beach houses, which each have a private pool and deck.

Qualia, 20 Whitsunday Boulevard, Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia (00 61 2 9433 3349; qualia.com.au). Doubles start at A$975 (£635), including breakfast. Diving from A$115 (£74).

Frégate Island, Seychelles

A tiny drop of granite rock, tropical foliage and crystalline sand in the Indian Ocean is home to this blow-the-budget private island resort. Here, the lofty prices open up a world of abundant birdlife overhead and a host of mystical-sounding dive sights in the emerald waters below. Guests can plunge to Monument Valley, spend time scouring Grande Anse Reef or brave the shadowy depths of Barracuda Rock. More sedentary pursuits include sunset cruises, dining in one of four gourmet restaurants, unwinding in the Rock Spa or relaxing in your secluded private villa.

Frégate Island, Seychelles (00 248 4 670 100; fregate.com). Villas from €2,700, full board. Diving from SCR2,600 (£117).

Amanyara, Turks & Caicos

This Amanresort is set within a marine park on Providenciales island. From its dive centre, it has unfettered access to pristine reefs teeming with tropical fish, turtles and stingrays. Above ground, open-air pavilions channel the cool breeze of the Atlantic through refined interiors.

Amanyara, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos (001 649 941 8133; amanresorts.com). Doubles from US$1,573 (£1,048). Diving from US$450 (£300).

The Oberoi, Egypt

For proximity and diversity, the Red Sea is hard to beat. Here, the Oberoi at Sahl Hasheesh has its own house reef, explorable through snorkelling, scuba diving and night dives. After a day under the Egyptian sun, repair to a warren of cool white buildings, crafted to resemble the architecture of the region with domed roofs and pillared entrances.

The Oberoi, 117 Sahl Hasheesh, Red Sea, Egypt (00 20 65 3440 777; oberoihotels.com). Doubles from €268, room only. Diving from E£475 (£50).

Turtle Inn, Belize

This 25-room seafront hideaway is owned by Francis Ford Coppola. It offers year-round tank dives around the cays and bays of Belize's Caribbean coast or seasonal night excursions to see whale sharks from April to June. Other activities include canoe trips to inland lagoons and tours of the C The Big Six: Luxury dive resorts ockscomb nature reserve, home to 80 protected jaguars.

Turtle Inn, Placencia Village, Stann Creek, Belize (00 501 523 3244; coppolaresorts.com). Doubles from US$285 (£190), B&B. Diving from US$145 (£97).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering