We’re no strangers to the paradise destination that is the Maldives. The tropical archipelago is famed for its enchanting beaches, crystal clear waters and marine life, but most importantly, how secluded it is from the rest of the world.
The remote locale makes for an intimate vacation, best for those looking to disconnect with their busy lives and to reconnect with nature and what it feels like to be truly immersed and present in the moment. In today’s hectic world, that is truly the one thing what we all need.
We completely understand, a trip to the Maldives may not be as affordable as other closer locations like Bali, but if there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that we should just take the plunge and travel the world when we can. Besides, you’ve saved on travel costs over the last couple of years, so you totally deserve a good splurge. We’re enablers, we know.
With over 100 resorts across the atolls, it’s hard to choose which one(s) to stay at. From comparatively more affordable options to luxurious stays, read on for the best resorts in Maldives to book.
The best resorts in Maldives to book for your ultimate island getaway:
(Hero and featured image credit: Patina Maldives)
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Unlike its name suggests, The Standard experience is anything but, standard. While most Maldivian resorts amplify the tropical island experience, The Standard Maldives steers away from convention, with unique features like a glittering disco ball that hangs above the bathtub in every villa bedroom, and neon-coloured accents all around. Afternoons are best spent at the poolside hub where the DJs spin groovy tracks, perfect with food and booze from any of the resort’s six restaurants which offer local and global cuisine.
If you have an eye for aesthetics, you’ll be delighted from the moment you step into Cheval Blanc Randheli. The 45-villa locale was designed by the renowned Jean-Michel Gathy, and not a detail is overlooked in the vast space. The stylish barefoot-living experience sees that you’ll have nothing short of a classy, tasteful experience in any one of the contemporary-designed thatched villas. Those with a preference for fine-dining can feast at 1947 Restaurant, but those who fancy more casual fare will love the medley of pizzas, burgers and wraps at White’s and Deelani. As for activities, immerse yourself at the golf simulator, Dive Center, or relaxing Guerlain Spa.
Located in the Unesco Biosphere Reserve in Baa Atoll, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is an overwater hotel that dazzles guests from the moment they arrive. The clear turquoise waters are teeming with marine life, and this oceanic element translates into the hotel’s design too. There are 41 on-island rooms and 29 over-sea villas that span six categories, so there’s definitely one that’ll fit comfortably within your budget. If you have Marriott points to spare, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort should be one of your top picks.
The ultra-luxe InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort is home to 81 overwater lagoon and beach villa types, with sparkling beaches and sea views to boot, of course. You can’t miss the activities at the watersports centre; it’s staffed by marine biologists, and you can arrange for snorkelling and diving trips in the stunning reefs around the area. A trip to the spa should be on your itinerary, with six beautiful overwater treatment rooms for you to completely relax in.Those who prefer traditional remedies will also appreciate the fact that the resort has an in-house TCM doctor.
An experience with The Nautilus Maldives starts as soon as you land on the tarmac in Male. Rather than wading through the crowd at the airport, you’re brought to the VIP lounge to go through immigration and customs privately, before boarding the seaplane directly from the lounge for your 30-minute seaplane ride. The resort is home to 26 beach or over the water houses, complete with personalised touches everywhere. Think a mini-bar, collection of books, movie library, and pool temperature that’s all catered to your taste via a pre-arrival conversation with your butler. Don’t want to use Hermes or Penhaligons for you bath products? There’s an organic line for you to choose from too.
Nature and architecture come together as one here at Patina Maldives. The One Bedroom Sunset Water Pool Villa Twin — an over-water villa that boasts incredible sunsets and a private pool — is a luxurious option that’ll offer you the best photographs of the Maldives during your stay. If you prefer to be on land, however, the One Bedroom Beach Pool Villa is an equally gorgeous option that offers a private garden, private pool, and an oversized outdoor tub. The locale was designed to be environmentally focused — no single-use plastics can be found on site, and the area is studded with 16,800 trees and 320,000 shrubs that were transplanted from islands that were due to be cleared for industrial purposes. Your days can be spent dining at any of the 12 dining concepts, or at the spa for a relaxing time.
One&Only Reethi Rah is an all-villa resort that’s perfect for those who are searching for some time away from the hustle and bustle of life. A popular option for many A-list celebrities (think Gordon Ramsay, Milla Jovovich, Russell Crowe, David Beckham and Tom Cruise), you can be promised a level of privacy that you won’t find elsewhere. If you’re looking to splurge, book The Grand Sunset Residence that’s home to its own private beach, outdoor cinema, and choice of pools.
Wellness junkies, here’s one for you. Joali Being, the Maldives’ newest resort, centres itself around personal wellbeing and connection to nature, all whilst providing you the same kind of impeccable service and amenities you’d expect from any upscale hotel. The 68 private beach and water villas all come with a private pool, and are spacious with high ceilings and calming with a neutral cream palette.
Meals are curated with an earth-to-table concept (i.e using ingredients foraged, sourced, and grown on the island), with calorie intake and dietary information provided too. After partaking in a host of wellness actives like anti-gravity yoga and sound healing, head back to a bed of your preference; the resort has a sleep menu that allows you to pick your pillows and even your mattress for the ultimate good night’s rest.