Of the Maldives' nearly 2,000 islands (some not much larger than your front lawn), fewer than 200 are inhabited, and that’s where you’ll find more than 100 fabulous resorts. How to choose? If you’re loyal to a certain brand, then go for reliable luxury names such as Four Seasons, One&Only, Conrad, Sheraton, or other trusted names. You’ll expect a certain standard and you won’t be disappointed;
you may even be surprised. If you’re a diver, then opt for the live-aboard boats, or the resorts near the well-known reefs. If you want to learn to dive (and you won't find a more beautiful training ground), then choose a resort with a PADI dive school. Even if you're a poor swimmer, the patient and friendly staff at all the resorts will show you how and where to snorkel. Most resorts are child-friendly and have baby-sitting facilities and great kids programs. None of the Maldives coral islands rises more than 6 feet (1.8 m) above sea level, and water villas are built on stilts standing in the ocean and are reached by wooden boardwalks from the island. Again, check out in advance whether you want to be away from it all in as isolated a villa as possible (maybe at the end of a long boardwalk), or close to the public areas and beach. If you want to keep your feet on terra firma, opt for a beach or garden villa. Some resorts even have tree-top accommodations (not suitable for small kids). Wherever you choose, it’s almost impossible to be disappointed in the Maldives. Try to book your chosen resort as far in advance as possible as there are often special offers for early bookings.