by Janice Mucalov

Diamonds Mequfi3Courtesy Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort

With 50 sea-view rooms and suites far from civilization – surrounded by nothing for miles but grass-covered sand dunes and the occasional mud-brick village – Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort is an ambitious new hotel, but this member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World is run with such spit and polish that it outshines all expectation.

Diamonds MequfiCourtesy Diamonds Mequfi beach Resort

Air-conditioned accommodations are in white-washed, duplex beach bungalows with soaring thatch ceilings, all scattered wide apart for privacy. Each has a covered stone terrace facing the turquoise Indian Ocean. Inside, we were blown away by the solid quality of construction and serene beachy décor. A four-poster, king-size bed dominates the bedroom, where polished tree stumps serve as night tables. In the bathroom, wood-framed mirrors hang from the ceiling by jute rope, and an indoor glass shower opens onto an outdoor stone shower. Welcome discovery: small jars of mosquito gel and sunscreen in faux-pearl-studded amenity boxes. Housekeeping is immaculate too – our whole room was virtually redone at turndown each night and despite the remote location, we could catch up on world news on our flat-screen satellite TV and surf the Internet via high-speed wifi.

Diamonds Mequfi2Courtesy Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort

The grounds are expansive but you can grab a bicycle to navigate the concrete paths meandering around the sand dunes with newly-planted palm trees. When it’s windy (kite-surfing season May to September), a giant oval-shaped pool set back from the beach offers respite and whether you choose the half-board or all-inclusive option, meals whipped up by a talented Indian head-chef are delicious.

Diamonds mequfi1Courtesy Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort

We tried all manner of activities from horseback riding on the beach to stand-up paddle boarding along a mangrove-lined river but we were happiest lounging on our terrace – napping, reading and listening to the waves.

Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Fall 2017 issue.

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