But don't take quiet to mean boring; Baros is water-sports nirvana. You could easily spend every waking moment in your swimsuit, fishing and sailing, scuba diving and snorkeling. Sepp Zedelmayer, the dive-school owner and a 26-year Baros veteran, says his favorite dive site is like "fish soup." He's not exaggerating. During one dive, I found myself pleasantly disoriented by seemingly thousands of shimmering yellowfin fusiliers swishing past me. The marine life is abundant, from spaceshiplike manta rays to the venomous yet showy lionfish.
And some of what swims underwater also pleases when it lands on your plate. Aussie chef Damian Barrett's menu features such treats as grilled Maldivian lobster, spicy mud crab and straight-out-of-the-water yellowfin tuna sashimi. If you're an adept fisherman, the chefs at the Cayenne Grill, one of three excellent restaurants, are happy to throw your catch on the barbie.
Baros is locally owned, and its Maldivian-designed villas feature natural materials like stone, teak and coconut-thatched roofs. Water villas come with four-poster beds and stairs that lead directly into the ocean. Deluxe villas include lush landscaped outdoor bathrooms. And if you need further opportunity to slide into a stupor, check out Sen Spa, which offers such packages as a white-sand-and-coconut scrub followed by a massage that almost put me into a coma.
When I ask my villa neighbors, Giuseppina Orlanduccio and Agustin Vazquez, both 22, what they like about Baros, Vazquez leans back on his outdoor daybed, grins lazily and replies, "The silence. The beach. We talk. It's perfect." If the young Italian couple suddenly got an urge to down some tequila, the bartenders at Baros' Sail Bar do mix one heck of a margarita. But under no circumstances will there be a dance contest. www.baros.com