The best of the Maldives
The Maldives have to be one of the most breath-taking destinations in the world; tiny coral atolls surrounded by turquoise lagoons teeming with rainbow coloured fish and offering some of the most fabulous accommodation.
Whether you want the most spacious over-water villas where you can spend hours gazing out to sea, gourmet food served under the stars or even the world’s first under-water night club, our specialists have hand-picked their favourite Maldivian hideaways.
Sister to the iconic Huvafen Fushi, Niyama is a playground for the young and young at heart. With its Explorers kids club, little guests are split into four age groups and entertained with interactive and immersive activity programmes all in the care of fully qualified childcare professionals. The contemporary, spacious villas, some with private pools are a haven after busy days on jet skis and seabobs or try your hand at kite or wind surfing. Meal times beckon to a range of uber cool dining venues, including underwater playground Subsix, reached by speedboat and also playing host to the twice weekly 'Underwater Glow Party', for those who fear sleep is for the weak!
You’ll still be dreaming about the food at Soneva Fushi long after you’ve left this little piece of paradise. The pick of the restaurants is ‘Fresh in the Garden’ – perched at canopy level and accessed along a rope bridge which shows off the organic fruit, herb and banana plantations below. Menus are created from organic produce and you will enjoy mouth-watering dishes as the sun sets through the palm trees surrounding you. To top it all off, wander along to the Observatory for a little post dinner star gazing.
Surf’s up in the Maldives. Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the untouched Laamu atoll and it’s fast becoming a surfing hot spot. Beginners can try a surf lesson on the gentler breaks, where no wet suit is required because of the stunning warm waters. More experienced riders enjoy having the surf to themselves including the challenging Yin Yang, one of the Maldives’ most famous waves, which breaks just off shore.
You’ll be more than happy to call Amilla Fushi your ‘Island Home’ as soon as your seaplane touches down on the turquoise waters of this pristine island. With chic and contemporary villas emulating Beverley Hills hillsides rather than traditional Maldivian thatch, this resort’s simple, elegant and ‘only the best’ philosophy is reflected throughout; from the sleek, minimalist Lagoon and Beach Houses, to the mouth-wateringly fresh fish and chips and homely, welcoming Javvu Spa with its open door policy. This laid-back, ultra-luxe resort offers the ultimate escape from the stresses of everyday life.
With its spacious, luxurious pool villas featuring everything you could wish for, Anantara Kihavah feels like a home away from home. You can easily spend your days hidden away in the privacy of your villa but, if you prefer a little more activity, you’ll find an abundance of leisure and water activities, a fabulous spa and even an underwater restaurant. And with their great children’s club, younger guests will enjoy the holiday of a lifetime too.
For those who don’t have a huge budget but still want to experience true luxury in the Maldives, look no further than Baros with its pristine beaches, lovely villas, excellent dining options and a fantastic house reef. Even at such good value, Baros doesn’t compromise on quality or service, and it is also conveniently located only 25 minutes from the airport, enabling guests to maximise their holiday.
Constance Halaveli is an exquisite island retreat located in the North Ari Atoll. The 57 elegant and modern Water Villas were designed using only natural materials, with high raftered ceilings, blending beautifully into their environment. Sunbathe or watch the sun go down from your private sundeck or take a dip in your very own plunge pool. If you prefer to swim in the ocean, each deck has steps straight down to the water. Inside, the contemporary villas have open-plan sleeping and living areas linked to a luxurious modern bathroom.
At the Four Seasons Landaa Giravaaru you’ll find spacious villas with enormous private pools. The island is perfect for those with children of all ages, but especially great for active teenagers who can make the most of the huge array of activities on offer. There's everything from wake boarding and water skiing to beachside dinners for them to enjoy a snack with their new friends. While they’re off having fun you can relax on the palm fringed beach, try the signature massage at an open-air spa pavilion or some of the gourmet cuisine from one of the many restaurants.
If you’re looking for the ultimate Maldivian hideaway that oozes both style and contemporary chic, then look no further than the boutique Huvafen Fushi. From the moment you step off the luxury speedboat and your feet touch the golden sand of this tiny island in the North Male Atoll, you will be in absolute heaven! Although a small island, there isn’t anything that they haven’t thought of from the cool and trendy main restaurant and bar, to the newly renovated accommodation which boasts elegance and sophistication, not to mention the amazing fish life on the house reef and the world’s first underwater spa!
One of the newest resorts in the Maldives, Ozen by Atmosphere offers total peace of mind on holiday with its all-inclusive, luxury ‘Indulgence’ plan, ensuring you are not stung by hidden costs and extras once you arrive. Unique in its offering with included fine-dining, premium wines, champagnes and branded spirits, a choice of complimentary excursions and even spa treatments or scuba dives, Ozen is the ideal choice for active families and couples seeking fun, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. You can even enjoy a speciality seafood meal amongst the colourful tropical fish in underwater restaurant M6m!
Cool, modern beach villas dot the emerald edge of this perfect little island, while the over-water villas have spectacular views of the Maldives’ famous sunsets with glass walls and languorous day beds. Park Hyatt without doubt, boasts the most exceptional house reef covered in vast, colourful table corals. At its edge, the reef wall drops into a heavenly midnight blue and meets local shoals in spirals and dancing dolphins. As one guest quoted ‘it was like being in a National Geographic film’ – pretty exceptional!
The Shangri-La is the farthest south of the resorts in the Maldives, lying south of the equator. It feels entirely different to other resorts, a little more ‘jungley’ with freshwater lakes and remains from the British presence on the island during the Second World War. One of the larger resort islands, you can jump on a bike and cycle through the tropical jungle to find secluded beaches and secret swimming spots. And for those who can’t bear a week without teeing up, there is even a 9-hole golf course – a first for the Maldives.
Our guide to the Maldives