Despite being the lowest country on the planet (about four feet eleven inches above sea level), the Maldives, lying gloriously secluded in the Indian Ocean, is about as close to Heaven as anywhere on Earth. All the more so when the Viceroy Maldives debuts next month on a seventeen-acre private island named Vagaru, located in the extreme nothern reaches of the 1,200-island archipelago. Arriving by seaplane from the Male’ International Airport, guests will find a compound of 61 beachside and over-lagoon bungalows with soaring thatched roofs, windowed walls, secret gardens, and plunge pools. For the interiors, the dynamic Canadian firm of Yabu Pushelberg has created a beach house-in-paradise look, incorporating natural materials–whitewashed wood, rope, jute–along with furniture and fabrics inspired by India and the Far and Middle East. The resort offers every water sport imaginable as well as an extensive menu of Western and Ayurvedic therapies. There are five dining venues–including an exotic Moroccan tree-house lounge–specializing in everything from steaks to local seafood. And almost anywhere you dine, flip flops are not only permitted, they’re encouraged. Rates: from $1,350 for a double, with breakfast; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.