If you’re looking for an idyllic tropical getaway the Maldives should be the first place on your list, as the country is a haven of green forests, white sand beaches, and endless clear blue waters. The flattest country in the world is the ideal place to unwind and relax – but as there’s so much to do, and the Maldives is so rich in plant and marine life, it’s also the best spot to adventure in.
Made up of 20 natural atolls, and approximately 1,200 islands, the Maldives boasts sunshine year round, averaging temperatures between 23ºC to 31ºC. The ideal time to visit is between November and April, when there’s less rain and wind, with peak season falling between December and March.
As it’s such a picture perfect paradise, you might assume that a Maldivian holiday will blow your budget – but though a trip there doesn’t have to cost the earth, the area hosts some of the most extravagant private beach resorts in the world. If you want to make your visit to this dream location a truly memorable one, you won’t want to miss out on the full 5 star experience by staying in one of the Maldives finest hotels.
Here you’ll find mind-blowing resorts with everything on offer -from overwater spas where you can watch colourful fish swimming beneath your feet, to hotels with wedding chapels and ice-skating rinks! In case you’re stuck for ideas on where to stay when you visit, we’ve put together our top 10 list of the most luxurious resorts – stick around to discover the top 10 most mind-blowing hotels in the Maldives and get ready to jet away in style.
The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort – Dhaalu Atoll
The St Regis offers a premium holiday experience, starting with its dreamy secluded location in the Dhaalu Atoll, an area reachable only by seaplane. The resort is set between lush rainforests and sparkling white beaches and surrounded by 9 hectares of tropical gardens, ringed by crystal clear turquoise lagoons.
Stay in a beach front lodge and enjoy unrestricted views of the greenery, or book a luxury waterfront villa and admire the crystal ocean, while enjoying your own private pool, rainforest shower, and comfortable pillow top bed.
This stunning, 5 star resort boasts a beautiful infinity swimming pool as well as the ultra-indulgent Iridium Spa, where you can indulge in a massage or unwind in a sunken soaking tub overlooking the ocean.
Food lovers will be spoilt for choice, as the hotel’s restaurants offer an array of enticing international cuisine, from Italian, Chinese and Japanese, through to spice-infused Middle Eastern. Pick the perfect location for your meal, whether you want an intimate dinner and drinks in the subterranean Decanter wine cellar, a gourmet feast in tropical gardens at Cargo, or tapas and cocktails in the overwater Whale bar, where you’ll watch the sunset over the ocean.
The St Regis is famed for its 24/ 7 butler service, so here everything will be at your fingertips,, from booking day trips through to packing and unpacking. You’ll never be short of things to do either, as there’s just so much on offer – check out the world class Vommuli Dive and Water Sports Centre, where you can go speed boating, snorkelling, or embark on a glass-bottom kayak tour!
Finolhu – Baa Atoll
Set in picturesque Baa Atoll, a UNESCO protected biosphere, Finolhu is a luxury resort that’s a true island paradise. This is the destination to head to if you prioritise unique experiences, as everything on offer is a one off – from the stunning location to the world class food. Stay in a luxury lagoon or beach villa with a private pool, or sleep under twinkling stars in a premium Finolhu Bubble tent, for a uniquely romantic night with a loved one.
Finolhu has some of the best restaurants in the whole of the Maldives – visit the award winning Japanese restaurant Kanusan, where you can watch sushi being prepared by expert chefs, or take a trip to the oceanside Arabian Grill and feast on aromatic spice dishes and fresh fish.
Dance barefoot on the sand at the resort’s exclusive Beach Club, while top DJs spin, enjoy a floating breakfast at the pool, or check out the palm tree thatched Crab Shack that runs for 2 kilometres over the Indian Ocean, and take in sweeping views of turquoise blue lagoons.
When it comes to water sports, you’ll have endless choices, as the resort is a mere 30 minutes speedboat ride away from the world’s most famous manta ray hotspot. If you visit between May and November, you can dive or snorkel with the rays as they feed! Hire your own private Dive Butler for an ultra-personalised experience, or visit the Watersports centre and go wakeboarding, water skiing, or surfing. Thrill seekers can even make like James Bond and embark on a hydro flight in the water propelled X-Jet Blade, for heart pounding aerial action several feet above the ocean!
Soneva Jani – Noonu Atoll
Relax in an overwater sustainable wooden villa at Soneva Jani, a unique resort spread over 5 separate islands, and enjoy a glass floor that lets you view the marine life beneath your feet. Open up your beach villa’s retractable ceiling to become immediately immersed in nature, snuggle up together at the private outdoor cinema, or swoosh down the water slide connecting your residence to the ocean and enjoy the cool caress of the waves.
This resort has its own Marine Biologist – if you’re a nature lover, you’ll gain a unique insight into marine life – watch mother sea turtles laying their eggs in the sand or tiny hatchlings making their way into the sea!
The dining choices here are truly special – enjoy a star struck astronomy dinner in the Bond-inspired observatory, while the resident astronomer takes you on a journey of the evening sky, or crunch on a zingy, plant based gourmet dish designed by raw food chef, Diana Von Cranach, at So Wild. Couples won’t want to miss out on a deliciously intimate Maldivian meal at the open air The Crab Shack, voted the world’s most romantic restaurant by CNN viewers.
With an upstairs deck where you can relax with a cocktail and watch the sunset and a range of curry and crab dishes to tempt any palette, you can dine barefoot in the white sand, taking in uninterrupted views of the lagoon.
Soneva is tailor made for couples looking to escape it all together and offers near-total privacy, so you can enjoy each other in paradise. It would make a superb honeymoon destination or intimate get away – but anyone looking for a luxurious and scenic location will appreciate a stay here too.
LUX* – South Ari Atoll
Sleep in a spacious bungalow on stilts atop the glittering ocean and enjoy an all-inclusive stay where your every whim is catered to, at Lux* Resort, one of the top 3 Maldivian vacation spots.
Located in a Marine protected area in stunning South Ari Atoll, this resort is perfect if you’re a fan of ocean adventure, not least because of its 5 star PADI Dive Centre. Here you’ll be able to dive, scuba, wakeboard, jetski or kite surf to your heart’s content – or, if boats are more your style, why not opt for a catamaran outing or sailboat excursion?
Go on a tour to meet giant manta rays with the resort’s Marine Biologist, embark on an exciting night dive, or submerge on a snorkelling expedition and view sea turtles, dolphins and impressive whale sharks.
Swim in one of two striking infinity pools, watch a movie at the outdoor cinema, or indulge at the on-site spa, where you can choose from a selection of relaxing or invigorating treatments. As for dining, you’ll have endless options, as the hotel has 8 restaurants, all of which are vegan friendly, though carnivores aren’t forgotten either!
Sip sake or peruse the largest selection of Japanese whiskey in the Maldives at Umami bar, while you sample teppanyaki, or munch on Italian pizza made in a wood-fired oven at the outdoor Beach Rouge club, as you enjoy a cocktail and the soft breeze.
If you’re on a romantic getaway, why not have a private dinner in the botanical garden, under soft candlelight and a starry night sky – or how about a floating breakfast in the pool, or a midnight dip in the sea?
Whatever your pleasure and whether you’re honeymooning or holidaying with family, this island paradise has something to suit every taste – and we think a stay here is definitely worth the splurge!
Jumeirah Vittaveli – South Male Atoll
Located in picturesque South Male atoll, Jumierah Vittaveli is a luxurious, fun-filled resort that’s ideal for adventurers looking for an action packed holiday. Framed by white sand beaches and sparkling waters and ringed by coral reefs, there are 5 shipwrecks located close to the island’s shores, for visitors to dive. Each of the luxurious suites overlooks the ocean and has a large private swimming pool and direct beach or lagoon access.
The Jumierah Vittaveli is perfect for families, as the resort has its own kids club, lifeguard monitored family pool, and Teen lounge, but there’s plenty for all ages, from kickboxing, through to cooking classes and ice skating at the resort’s rink! Then there’s the world-class PADI dive and watersports centre, where you can surf, scuba, and jetski to your heart’s content – or embark on an exciting semi-submarine adventure to explore the resort’s marine ecosystem.
Lovers of indulgence might prefer an afternoon at the exclusive Spa, with its multitude of treatments, while party goers can sip signature cocktails at retro-chic beach bar B4R and soak up live jazz. There’s a variety of exclusive restaurants, so you’ll never be short on places to dine, including ocean front Samsara, where you can feast on international fare, French gourmet experience Fenesse, and Swarna, an Indian restaurant set in a Maharaja style garden.
This resort would be ideal for a unique wedding in paradise, as it has a beautiful submerged pavilion where couples can exchange underwater vows – but whether you’re honeymooning or holidaying with family, one thing’s for sure – your stay at the Jumeirah won’t ever be boring!
Cocoon Maldives – Lhaviyani Atoll
If you want a stylish stay, you’ll love the boutique-hotel inspired Cocoon resort, that’s surrounded by the sparkling blue ocean. Created by acclaimed Italian designer, LAGO, the resort has 150 tropical beach and lagoon villas with floating air beds, private pools, and gardens. Located in scenic Lhaviyani Atoll, this chic paradise is a 30-minutes seaplane ride away from Velana International Airport, in Male.
Superb for couples and style fans alike, Cocoon is the first design hotel in the Maldives and this luxurious location offers guests an exciting selection of 5 star food and entertainment. Sample the finest international cuisine at Octopus Restaurant, enjoy a sizzling steak at Palm Square grill, or take a cosy candlelit dinner under the silvery moon at outdoor Manta.
Try out the water sports centre and go snorkelling with rays, napoleon fish, and turtles, or climb aboard a boat for a local island exploration tour, or guided dolphin cruise. Check out Cube spa for a couple’s massage, relax with a cocktail at pool bar Loabi, or visit colourful Kurumbi, where you can listen to live music and see Maldivian artists perform.
Cocoon is the perfect place to get away from it all with a loved one – and if you need an ideal spot to say I do, why not tie the knot at the resort’s beautiful sandbank wedding venue, overlooking the Indian Ocean? This resort was made for romance – but adults with kids can holiday here too, as Cocoon now has a family section, with double villas and a cultural club, so little ones can learn about Maldivian life!
Milaidhoo Island Maldives – Baa Atoll
Set against a backdrop of stunning nature in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Milaidhoo is a private, tiny , 300 by 180 m island, encircled by bright coral reefs and fringed by soft white sands.
It’s perfect if you want to escape from it all, as this no-drone zone offers you near-total privacy – but it’s also the destination to head to if you’re a nature lover, as it’s near the Hanifaru bay bio-reserve. Milaidhoo’s own coral reef is a protected area too, and offers an outstanding snorkelling and diving experience, allowing you to spot octopuses mating, and swim with eagle rays and sharks.
The resort has a marine biologist, so you can learn about the biodiversity around you, and offers a range of enticing excursions – we think the champagne cruise where you can watch dolphins swim as the sun sets sounds amazing!
Book a water villa and stay on stilts over the ocean, or sleep surrounded by palm trees in a spacious thatched villa on the beach. Whatever accommodation you choose, you’ll be swaddled in luxury, as every residence comes with a large freshwater pool, rainforest shower and outsize bed.
When it comes to flavour, Milhaidhoo doesn’t disappoint, with a pool bar, ocean restaurant, and sizzling shoreline grill all of which have a laid-back, no shoes needed policy. If you fancy some spice-laden Maldivian cuisine, why not head to the unique Ba’theli Bar and restaurant, where you can dine aboard a boat, in a shimmering turquoise lagoon?
This resort is designed for couples, as children under 9 aren’t allowed on the island – but if you’re looking to surround yourself with some of the most inspiring nature the Maldives has to offer, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better place.
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas – Baa Atoll
Dubbed the “world’s most instagrammable hotel” the Anantara is located on Baa Atoll, and is framed by an infinite blue lagoon that melts into the sapphire coloured ocean. This is the ideal honeymoon location, nestled on a dreamy, tropical island close to a UNESCO nature reserve – stay in one of 80 overwater luxury villas, each with a private infinity pool, cinema, and personal butler!
Gourmets are in for a mouthwatering dining experience, as the Anantara hosts 4 tempting eateries, including eye-catching underwater restaurant, Sea, where you can dine on European cuisine, while watching colourful coral fish swim.
Work out in the fitness centre, go paragliding, or take off on a jet ski and enjoy the ocean breeze rippling through your hair. Afterwards, rejuvenate in the award-winning spa and revel in a raft of relaxing treatments while overlooking the ocean – or let the spa come to you, with a private treatment in your villa.
Anantara offers some of the most unique experiences in the Maldives – and it even has its own overwater observatory, complete with lounge cocktail deck and in-house astronomer. The action packed dive centre offers incredible scuba excursions, delightful dolphin cruises, and the opportunity to snorkel with manta rays and turtles.
The Anantara is ideal for luxury loving families as it has a kids club, trampoline park, and babysitting service, as well as a resident marine biologist who runs marine life courses for children. Couples will love it too though – whether you’re young, old, travelling together, or simply solo, this resort has it all, from fine dining to family adventures.
Six Senses Laamu – Laamu Atoll
The only resort in Laamu Atoll, near the far southern reaches of the Maldives, Six Senses Laamu is an sustainable destination that’s buried like a rare jewel in the Indian Ocean. This place prioritises healthy living and wellbeing -if you seek peace and privacy, you’ll certainly find it here.
From the moment your stay begins to when you leave, you’ll have a one of a kind experience – traditional ritual welcomes you to the resort, while a departure one bids you farewell. Throughout your stay, you’ll take part in several colourful ceremonies, from water rituals with singing bowls that will revitalise you, through to fire rituals that help you release negative emotions.
Six Senses is so eco-friendly it grows its own herbs and vegetables in an organic garden that’s open to guests and bottles its own water – while its 3 restaurants solely source fresh local produce. Enjoy themed dinners at open air Longitude, set on the turquoise water and watch chefs prepare your food, visit Zen for modern Japanese Omakase cuisine, or Leaf for a Mediterranean meze.
The resort’s 97 beachside and overwater villas have direct beach access, overwater hammocks, and a treetop deck for views of the sun as it sets – and some have an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. The activities on offer here are the best you’ll find, offering totally unique experiences – how about a picnic on a deserted island that’s yours to explore for 6 whole hours, or a couples cruise in a traditional Maldivian Dhoni sailing at sunset?
If you want to learn about ocean life – go on the day discovery course and start by snorkelling on the lush house reef, where dolphins and parrotfish swim, before learning how to identify turtles and manta rays, then enjoying a dolphin cruise and fish BBQ. Surfing fans are in luck, as the famous Yin Yang break is close by and the resort’s resident TropicSurf team are always on hand to help you catch a wave, whether you’re novice or pro.
Indulge after all that exploring at the resort’s Ayurvedic Spa, where you can discover your Dosha, or enjoy a restorative Maldvian style massage. Then, sip signature cocktails at the overwater Chill Bar and enjoy the sound of the Indian Ocean as it laps all around you.
Six Senses Laamu isn’t easy to reach as it’s on remote Olhuveli Island, which is a 35 minute flight away from Kadhoo, where you’ll have to make a speedboat transfer to reach the main airport. What it lacks in convenience it makes up for in every other way though, as this tranquil idyll is a paradise island – here you’re certain to make memories that will last you a lifetime.
Four Seasons Maldives Private Island – Voavah, Baa Atoll
For unsurpassed luxury, book a stay at the Four Seasons Voavah, the most exclusive (and expensive!) private island retreat in the Maldives – and enjoy a 5 star dive centre, Michelin starred dining, and the rich biodiversity of a UNESCO protected reserve.
Voavah boasts several firsts, including the only Olympic sized infinity pool in the whole of the Maldives, and a 62ft luxury yacht the Voavah Summer, that you can charter to explore the island. The resort is designed to accommodate just 22 guests – and visitors can choose to stay in either a beach villa with a private pool, or a magnificent Mezzanine suite that overlooks the crystal lagoon.
Voavah’s water sports centre is unparalleled and the resort supplies guests with state-of-the-art equipment – try out the X-Jetpacks and soar above the ocean for an adrenaline filled experience, parasail on the state of the art Cherokee 30, or go deep sea diving.
There are also 15 resident Manta Trust biologists on-site to help you learn about marine life – rehabilitate turtles, conserve coral reefs, and identify manta rays – or snorkel at the resort’s colourful house reef.
When it’s time to refuel,visit The Ocean of Consciousness, the resort’s world-class Spa, then get your private chef to prepare you a meal, or enjoy sunset cocktails on your own yacht!
Four Seasons Voavah isn’t cheap but if you can afford the $62,000 dollars a night to stay here, it’s an absolutely unforgettable experience. It’s highly exclusive though and all guests have to go through an approval process first – if you want to experience the ultimate in island luxury, you’ll have to request a stay and wait to see if you’re accepted!