Everything you wanted for an ultimate beach getaway can be experienced in none other than in the Maldives. It is like everyone’s ultimate dream beach vacation.
Nestled in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Maldives is composed of 26 natural atolls, and 1,190 islets. While a majority is private islands usually used as resorts, only around 200 of these islands are residential areas which are referred to as the public islands.
In the public islands are where you can find grocery stores, tour agencies, restaurants, guesthouses, and other commercial establishments. So, here, especially those islands near the Male International Airport are where you can stay if you’re traveling on a shoestring budget.
Note though that, being an Islamic country, the Maldives imposes certain restrictions in the public islands like wearing of swimsuit in public beach and alcohol ban. Such restrictions may be imposed with payment of fines or imprisonment.
Although more expensive, the private islands will be more lenient and are usually licensed to sell alcohol. Thus, allows you to wear any swimwear, to get a booze, and such, and pretty much enjoy more. Below, we’ve listed some of the highly recommended resorts in the Maldives. The list is arranged in no particular order. Also, we’ve added some quick insights about each location. Let’s dive in.
Located in the Northern region of Maldives, the Noonu Atoll is best known for its top-notch diving sites. It is a popular place for sightings of swarms of Fusiliers and Snappers, spinner dolphins, grey and white tip reef sharks, and colorful soft corals.
It is 40 minutes away from the capital city of Maldives, Male. The Noonu Atoll is the code letter fo the southern administrative divisions of Miladhunmadulu Atoll.
Using code letters of Maldivian alphabet is designated from North to South of current administrative divisions. Compared to their actual name, the code letters of the administrative divisions are used more often for easy pronunciation and recognition especially by tourists in the Maldives. Exceptions for this are easy to pronounce and remember the actual atoll names.
Velaa Private Island
The Velaa Private Island owned by an individual. He spent his holidays and layovers in the Maldives after his business trips around Europe and Asia. Thereafter, he decided to put up his own resort.
The Velaa Private Island is specially designed for honeymooners or a whole family. The 45 villas feature own private pools, designed with local materials, and up to 4 bedrooms.
The three in-house restaurants of the Velaa Private Islands coordinate with French Michelin-star chef Adeline Grattard. Thus, serving only the best dishes.
One of the highlights in the Velaa Private Islands can be access to its on-site spa facilities with snow spa room. Also, guests can access a Golf Academy for short courses and games. Then, the resort has its own a Weta Trimaran and a Topcat K1 Catamaran for luxurious water adventure.
Other things not to miss are its dive center with Scubapro equipment, watersports facilities, regular sports, fitness gym, and some shops. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Cheval Blanc Randheli
The Cheval Blanc Randheli hosted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their stay in the Maldives in 2014. The Cheval Blanc Randheli is operated by the LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) alongside the Cheval Blanc hotels in the Caribbean, Courchevel (France), and soon in Paris.
The Cheval Blanc Randheli takes up at least five islands in which at least 45 villas on the island and over water are featured. These villas have at least one to two bedrooms only with designated private butlers.
The Cheval Blanc Randheli provides their guests at least five dining options which have different ambiance and specialties. They also have three bars and wine and cigar cellar.
Exclusive in the spa facilities of the resort is a special treatment curated by Guerlain (a skincare brand of the LVMH).
As for a treat to the kids, the Cheval Blanc Randheli has appointed clubs and activities per different age group. A morning and afternoon snacks will be served to the kids. A team is also assigned in the area to watch over them while the parents enjoy their own Maldives adventure.
Additional recreational activities include a ride in the traditional Dhoni (sailboat), diving tours equipped by a 5-star dive center, play indoor and outdoor sports. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
The Soneva is the resort chain which is the pioneer of luxurious and exclusive lodging in the Maldives. And, its latest branch is the Soneva Jani which opened only in 2016. The Soneva Jani is located in the largest island of Noonu Atoll which is the Medhufaru.
The Soneva Jani offers nature walks around the island. The island was once a farm. The resort makes use of it as it now supplies the fresh produce prepared and served in the resort.
The Soneva Jani offers on-island and over-water villas with one up to three bedrooms. All are serviced by Mr. or Ms. Friday, a personal butler. Plus, each villa may have an open-air bathroom with bathtub and shower, retractable roof in the main bedroom, and direct access and slides slipping into the lagoon.
The Soneva Jani offers at least five dining outlets to cater different cravings and give unique dining experiences. In the small dining area of “So Starstruck”, guests can view the starry sky through the telescope channeling feed into the screens on each table.
On stilts, the Soneva put up a Cinema Paradiso where guests can watch movies with headphones. Thus, enjoying an alfresco Cinema without having to disturb the surroundings.
The Soneva Jani can arrange diving excursion in which guests can be accompanied by knowledgeable instructors and equipped with the latest diving equipment. Then, the resorts also provide other water sports facilities. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
The Soneva Jani provides facilities for children where they can play with toys, costumes and such. They also provide water activities for kids to appreciate their stay on the island. To get a glimpse of this awesome resort, here’s a video from travel vloggers Kara and Nate. This is so awesome! For more of their travels. follow and subscribe to their Youtube Channel!
One of the exceptions to the use of code letters of Maldivian alphabet on the administrative divisions is the Dhaalu Atoll. The Dhaalu Atoll is the actual name of the natural atoll to which it is referred to.The Dhaalu Atoll is made accessible by the public only in 1998. It has several diving sites where turtles are prevalent.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort uses subtle color palettes and interior designs. Thus, exudes a tropical and relaxing vibe.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort provides a total of 77 villas on the island and over water. Each comes with a personal butler, private pool, and a private terrace with either overlooking the sea or garden. And, each bedroom is installed with high-end entertainment set.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort are keen on providing the best to their guests even up to the smallest details from complimentary toiletries, bathrobes, slippers up to the pillow-top beds. The resort provides pillow-top beds especially manufactured for the St. Regis guests.
Available dining outlets serve pizzas, more Italian, Middle Eastern, and other Asian cuisines. Dining options can be an upscale buffet, gourmet, and jungle-themed restaurant. But, most talked about in this resort is its bar over stilts, the Whale Bar.
The architectural design of the Whale’s Bar is truly impressive as it takes on the shape of a whale shark. They also don’t disappoint their guests their wine, spirits, fresh seafood, and tapas.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort features over water spa facility which is one of the most excellent in the Maldives. Then, dedicated to the children of ages 4 to 12 is a kid’s club with outdoor playground and kid’s kitchen. For adults, guests’ personal butler can arrange games and tours involving general sports, water sports, and diving tours.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is truly luxurious that once their guests arrive at the Male International Airport, they’ll be picked up by a limousine to take you to the St. Regis airport. Then special treatment does end there. The guests will then be welcomed by the resort’s staff with welcome drinks and cold towel. And, a butler will accompany you to your room with a golf cart. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
North Malé Atoll
The main International Airport of Maldives is located in the northeast of the North Male Atoll, particularly in Hulhule. About northeast from the Hulhule Island is the Thulusdhoo Island which is the busiest island. The island is most popular to surfers.
One&Only Reethi Rah
The One&Only Reethi Rah is a family-friendly and honeymooners’ resort. It has at least 130 independent villas which are either located in exclusive beach areas or over stilts. Each villa has appointed personal butler, servings of fresh fruits, bottled water, tea and coffee making facilities and beach tote.
The One&Only Reethi Rah has at least six dining outlets offering Japanese, Middle Eastern, Asian, French and Mediterranean specials. They also feature an award-winning spa facility where ancient and modern-day spa treatment is offered.
The One&Only Reethi Rah Island features Clubone which is a beach club tailoring activities and entertainment for everyone like a recreational studio and indoor sports.
Meanwhile, a separate programme for kids and another for teens are made available. Here, the kids and teens can access facilities and do activities suitable for their ages. A babysitter to watch over them is also available 24 hours.
The One & Only Reethi Rah offers luxury yacht, speedboat, private, or shared seaplane charter from the Velana International Airport. A shared seaplane charter may require at least two hours waiting time. But, the actual seaplane ride may only take 15 to 20 minutes from the airport while yacht or speedboat ride may take about an hour. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
All resort suites of the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives are over water villas which exude a homey vibe on a tropical island. Because of these, guests with children can be accommodated but are not encouraged. The resort is best for honeymooners and adventurous souls.
While a majority of the villas is accessible by a stilted walkway, the resort’s Crusoe Residences and The Private Reserve are accessible by boat only. All are appointed with a personal butler.
The featured spa facility of the Gili Lankanfushi offers a traditional Ayurvedic treatment as well as yoga and meditation sessions. Its treatment room is designed with a glass-paneled floor.
In the dining area, the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives features a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant which offers a cooking class particularly for preparing sushi. Meanwhile its main restaurant serves fresh fruits and Maldivian cuisines as well as international cuisines.
The Gili Lankanfushi Maldives hold movie film showing in the outdoor cinema every Monday and Thursday of the week. Request for movie film showing can also be scheduled any day of the week.
Then, of course, the resort must-have facilities like the PADI certified Dive Center, fitness gym, watersports facilities, indoor and outdoor sports facilities. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Huvafen Fushi Maldives
The Huvafen Fushi Maldives provides beach and over the water villas. All are furnished with a private pool, sundeck, and en-suite bathroom with a rain shower and bathtub.
The Huvafen Fushi Maldives is specially designed for honeymooners, beach lovers, and divers. But, not particularly designed for children under 21 years old.
A special feature in the Huvafen Fushi Maldives is its spa facilities. It has appointed treatment areas by the beach, over water, and underwater. Dining options of the resorts include a seaside restaurant, pizzeria, Japanese restaurant, wine cellar, laid-back bar, and cozy café.
Then, the Huvafen Fushi Maldives dedicated a lair where guests can access a book library, DVD and CD library, desktop, internet access, TV and game consoles. Additional recreational facilities inside the resort are yoga pavilion with floatation pool, over-water fitness gym with great views, water sports center, and a PADI certified dive center. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
The Baa Atoll is a gateway into the vast and colorful the underwater world of Maldives. This designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is ideal site for professional divers as well as for novice traveler.
The Baa Atoll is popular as it covers a mating site of whale sharks, gathering area of manta rays, home to stone and soft corals, and other underwater creatures.
From the Male International Airport, the Baa Atoll is accessible through the Dharavandhoo Domestic Airport. It will only take approximately 30 minutes.
I’ve already mentioned that the Soneva hotel chain is the pioneer of luxurious lodging in the Maldives. And, its first branch is actually none other than the Soneva Fushi in Baa Atoll.
The Soneva Fushi features the Den where kids can access recreational facilities specially designed for them like swimming pools, Lego playroom, cinema, and music room. For adults, the resort provides open-air cinemas, two libraries with books, DVD, and CD rentals, fitness gym, non-motorized water sports facilities, indoor and outdoor sports facilities.
After the 30 minutes flight from Male to the Soneva Fushi airport pontoon, guests will need to ride a motorboat into the main island where you’ll be welcomed by management and staff. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Milaidhoo Island Maldives
The Milaidhoo Island Maldives is one of the newest additions to the list of luxury resorts in the Maldives. It is perfect for couples and honeymooners but can accommodate 9-year-old children and up.
The Milaidhoo Island Maldives is composed only of at least 50 beachfront and over-water villas. Each villa has a sundeck with panoramic view of the ocean and private freshwater pool. Each is serviced with a personal butler who can arrange tours, spa appointments, and such other activities.
The Milaidhoo Island Maldives has appointed marine biologist. They will not only educate you about marine life but will also enlighten you about conservation of the incredible underwater world. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
The Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas is made up of 80 villas on the island itself and over the water. Each villa has spacious interiors made through high ceilings, timber paneling, and marble floors. Basic facilities of the villas include an entertainment system, Espresso machines, wine chillers, private pools, and bathtubs.
The Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas feature Kids Club curated for children, 3 to 12 years old and supervised by an assigned coordinator.
The Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas houses at least six dining options. These offer a wide range of selection from a Japanese specialty, Asian, Italian, Mediterranean, seafood and international cuisines.
The Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas can arrange a diving excursion, non-motorized water sports and indoor and outdoor sports facilities. Moreover, a gym and spa appointment can also be requested. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Amilla Fushi Resort
Both for couples and families, the Amilla Fushi aims to provide its guests with a home in the archipelago of Maldives. It is relatively new since it only opened in 2014. It not only offers beachfront and over-water villas but tree houses as well. All accommodation comes with a terrace, mini bar, living room area, and a private pool.
The Amilla Fushi Resort offers at least eight dining options. Its main highlight is the Feeling Koi which is a Japanese specialty restaurant. Then, another thing to mention is the Baazaar. It is a hub of small restaurants serving more food selections such as grilled, Asian, and International specials.
The Amilla Fushi Resort provides dive center, watersports equipment and indoor and outdoor sports facilities. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
North Ari Atoll
Ideal site for divers, the Ari Atoll is a home to diverse marine life including whale sharks and manta rays. The Ari Atoll is located closer to the capital of Maldives. It will only take approximately 20 minutes away by seaplane from Male.
A Green Globe certified, the Constance Halaveli Resort provides beach and over water villas. All villas have complete facilities. And, all are designed with private pools but only some may have their own sun deck and garden. The biggest villa can accommodate up to 6 guests with three kids under 12 years old.
To keep the kids busy, the Constance Halaveli Resort appointed kid’s club where they can participate in outdoor and indoor activities. A babysitting service may even be requested. Also, the resort makes sure the in-house dining outlets always have something on the menu for the kids.
Meanwhile, the Constance Halaveli Resort offers at least four dining outlets from which the adult guests can choose.
Then, the resort also offers access to the usual recreational facilities such as PADI diving center, non-motorized water sports center, and spa center. Other extras are an in-house pharmacy and resident doctor, library and entertainment facilities, laundry services, and wedding services. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Velidhu Island Resort
Out of our list of the 15 resorts in the Maldives, the Velidhu Island Resort is a less expensive lodging option. But, it will not be an impediment to having a relaxing and fun Maldives adventure.
The Velidhu Island Resort provides beach and water bungalows. All bungalows are equipped with aircon, TV, and other usual appliances and furniture. The water bungalows features sundeck and glass paneled floors through guests can peek into the underwater.
For dining option, the Velidhu Island Resort features an all-day buffet restaurant. Then, for recreational facilities, the resort provides Euro dive center, traditional spa center, watersports center, and outdoor and indoor sports facilities. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
The Thaa Atoll is surrounded by fishing grounds. It has diving sites perfect for beginners as well as for professional divers.The Thaa Atoll is the code letter to the natural atoll Kolhumadulu Atoll. It is half an hour to an hour away from Male International Airport.
The COMO Maalifushi provides at least 65 overwater villas and beach suites. It is perfect for families, couples, surfers, and divers. Although its location is one hour away to the south of Male, the guests can access the internet in the reception area, the bar, and the poolside area.
The COMO Maalifushi features three dining outlets of different specialties. The first dining is the ‘Madi’ which uses fresh and local seafood and produce to be able to serve Maldivian, Mediterranean and international dishes. Then, the resort also houses a Japanese restaurant and a laid-back pizzeria.
The COMO Maalifushi can help arrange guests to excursions such as UV Night Snorkelling, traditional dhoni sailing, turtle expedition, beach picnic, water sports facilities, dolphin and aqua safari with marine biologists. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Gaafu Alifu Atoll, North Huvadhoo
The Gaafu Alifu Atoll is a great diving site where you can swim with sea creatures such as whale sharks, manta rays, parrotfish, and angelfish. The Gaafu Alifu Atoll is the northern administrative district of Huvadhoo. Its southern district is Gaafu Dhaalu.
To get here, you will need to take a domestic flight from Male International Airport to the Kooddoo Domestic Airport in Gaafu Alifu Atoll. Because the airplane may stop over the Kadhdhoo Domestic Airport, the flight may take roughly 1 to 2 hours.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
In the Maldives, the Park Hyatt provides a luxurious and exclusive resort which exudes a fusion of tropical and modern design. It features 50 island and over-water villas, ideal for honeymooners and adventure seekers.
Each villa of the Park Hyatt Hadahaa is designed with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors which let the natural lights in and to which the guests can get the idyllic view of the beach or ocean. The glass doors are also access to their own sun deck and, for deluxe villas, private pool.
There are no particular child care facilities available. But, special services for children can be requested such as a kid’s meal and babysitting services.
The Park Hyatt Maldives provides 4 dining in-house restaurants. They feature a poolside and an all-day dining restaurant, a grill and buffet restaurant, and an over-water restaurant specializing in Italian and Asian dishes plus the bar serving snacks and refreshments.
To make upgrade the guests’ water adventure in the Maldives, the Park Hyatt has appointed marine biologists and dive instructors on 5 stars rated dive and water sports facilities. Other things to keep you busy on the island are a spa and wellness center, a shared freshwater pool, and a leisure concierge.
Kooddoo Domestic Airport is 30 minutes away via a speedboat from the Park Hyatt Hadahaa. This speedboat transfer will be arranged by the resort itself. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Hurawalhi Island Resort
Situated in a charming private island, Hurawalhi Island Resort is the place that gives you the perfect combination of heart-racing and calming experience.
All of their 90 villas provide their guests a different side of Maldives. With its different style and design, guests can choose the type of room which best fit their likes. From their beach villas to romantic ocean villas, all are breathtaking.
For the activities you can do, you have the Duniye spa for some relaxation time. You can also go scuba diving, snorkeling and visit the marine biology center. Looking to break a sweat? Their fitness center, games room and sports ground can help you with that. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Paradise Island Resort Spa
Paradise Island Resort Spa is the resort in Maldives that guarantees its guests the most luxurious and grand experience. Their upscale accomodations make it a tourist-favorite resort. They offer bungalows, villas and suites to match the financial capacity of their guests.
Aside from their accommodation, the resort is most famous for their five-star spa service. Choose from their relaxing herbal bath, navarakizhi and vasthi service. If you want to try out different water sports, Paradise Island Resort spa offers a handful of activities. You have the choices of Catamaran sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, jet skiing, water skiing, tow sports, and parasailing. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Komandoo Island Resort & Spa
For intimacy and romance, Komandoo Island Resort & Spa may be a small resort but it never fails to charm its guests. Made for romance getaways, guests can clearly see the cozy and warm atmosphere that the resort exudes through their dreamy villas.
Couples would surely enjoy their wine and dine experience. They have private dining, an undersea restaurant, bars and a lot more options. You can also opt to try out their activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and excurcions. All of these whether it be a wine and dine or fun activity, can help couples create wonderful memories. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Kihaa Maldives Island Resort
Considered as the ‘The Jewel of Baa’, this resort is located near the Hanifaru Bay giving their guests a unique experience by seeing a famous biosphere reserve. Their over water suites and beach villas is quite incomparable to other accomodations. The resort boasts of their personalized service, making sure that quality service is given to all their guests.
Because the resort is located near Hanifaru Bay, it is highly recommended that guests go snorkeling to see the life underneath the waters of this resort. After, guests can have some relaxation time in the resort’s spa by getting a luxurious massage. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Resort
Let the turquoise waters and soft white sand bring you to paradise. A resort that offers various accomodations and services that can be perfect for either couple, family or friend getaways, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Resort can cater to different types of vacations.
Choose from their oceanview pool villas, beachfront pool villas and spa sanctuary pool villas. Other than their one-of-a-kind accomodation, they also have various dining services that is extravagant and indulgent. But if you’re looking for more exciting activities, the resort offers activities like snorkeling, sunset cruise, different water sports, conservation activities, culinary demos and their famous Bodu Beru Night. CHECK ROOM RATES HERE
Photo Credit: All photos are provided by the resorts via Agoda.