Few other regions of the world can rival the dazzling colors, epic landscapes and cultural riches of South Asia. Certainly, no mountains are quite as awe-inspiring as the Himalayas. And it would be hard to conceive of anywhere more exotic than the magical Indian state of Rajasthan, where elephants and camels still amble through the teeming streets of its fabled desert cities. Nowadays, the best South Asian hotels and resorts provide international standards of comfort and service. Amanresorts has opened properties in India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, while the Oberoi group offers a portfolio of refined boutique hotels in northwestern India. And far to the south, the exquisite Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives now offers some of the most lavish and innovative private island resorts in the world. Scattered across the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, 1,000 miles south of Mumbai, the atolls of the Maldives have become one of the world’s most glamorous destinations. Here, at opulent resorts on exquisite coral islands, visitors have the opportunity to live out a Robinson Crusoe fantasy (albeit as exceptionally pampered castaways). The styles and personalities of the resorts vary considerably; needless to say, if you are going to be confined to one tiny island for an extended period, it is important to choose well.

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