A holiday in the Maldives promises many sublime moments. Luxury resorts on the Indian Ocean archipelago offer fine dining in underwater capsules and views of the country's stunning white-sand atolls and lagoons from gold-plated seaplanes. For those seeking something less ostentatious, head to the elegant Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. The resort is one of the first in the Maldives, whose low-lying islands are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, to turn its resources toward conservation, including a coral-regeneration facility and a hatchery for turtles. But the most wondrous spectacle takes place every day in the late afternoon when, like clockwork, a flotilla of stingrays familiar to hotel staff glide over to the beach to be fed. They swirl around guests and attendants in an almost rhythmic dance and, once sated, turn back and disappear into a golden sunset.
By Ishaan Tharoor