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The Water Retreat will be the world’s biggest overwater bungalow

If coronavirus lockdown has you dreaming outside the box of your tiny apartment, consider adding the Maldives to your future travel list. The biggest overwater villas in the world will open their doors next week, and at a whopping 584 sq meters, these gorgeous hideaways from Soneva Fushi are more than eight times larger than the average apartment size in Brooklyn and 12 times bigger than a standard London flat, a perfect solution for social distancing.

Best of all, each luxury villa comes with a retractable roof so you can stargaze from bed and a 19m-long slide that curves into the ocean from the upper floor. Glass panels in the floor complement the rooms’ colour palette of light blue, green and beige. Catamaran nets perched above the waves, a sunken ocean-side seating area, a private infinity pool and a huge pool deck with comfy daybeds are tempting ways to spend an entire day – or week. Villas have a choice of sunrise or sunset views, and of course each comes with a butler.

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The Maldives, an idyllic archipelago in the Indian Ocean, reopened to international visitors in mid-July, with few requirements for travellers despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Visitors do not need a certificate or a negative COVID-19 test for entry, and quarantine is not mandatory, but accommodation must be booked in advance at a government-registered property and travelers must spend their entire time in the country in one establishment.

The eight new villas, called Water Retreats, are opening on September 25, with prices starting at US$2626 for one bedroom and US$5232 for two bedrooms.

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