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Top 10: best luxury resorts in the Maldives

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (May 12th, 2014): Top 10 most luxurious resorts in the Maldives. 

*** For an updated list (including the Maldives’ newest hotels), click here ***

Perhaps the globe’s ultimate luxury destination, the Maldives has become a synonym for paradise whether it is for honeymooners, sun worshipers, scuba divers or celebrities. Located on the equator towards the south of India and stretching over 800 km, the Maldives are the visible coral tips of an oceanic volcanic mountain range whose outer edge at some points plunge to depths of over 3 km (10,000 ft). The stunningly beautiful islands are blessed with some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, crystal clear blue lagoons, incredible underwater wildlife, and unrivalled luxury resorts that take up their own private islands.

The following list is my pick of the 10 best luxury resorts in the Maldives. These resorts definitely come at a price (some at more than 5000 USD per night), so make sure you read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel. But be warned: once you experienced the luxury of a Maldivian resort, any other holiday experience will pale in comparison. And I have some great news for you, as I can get you a complimentary room upgrade at the Maldives’ most exclusive hotel (read more here)!

There is more information (with reviews & Youtube clips) below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Maldives hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*** Top 10 best luxury resorts in French Polynesia, the SeychellesMauritius and the Caribbean ***


10. SIX SENSES LAAMU

Rather than competing with the beauty of nature, Six Senses  Laamu complements it. It is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean. Just an inter-island plane trip from Malé International Airport and a short boat ride brings you to a place where dolphins swim. The resort is a combination of on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials and set around the palm-fringed paradise. At several lounges and restaurants, Laamu’s chefs from East and West prepare mouthwatering dishes, many created from produce grown in the island’s organic gardens.

SIX SENSES LAAMU

SIX SENSES LAAMU


9. NALADHU

Imagine paradise. Tropical island sands. Swaying palms. Endless turquoise waters. Open your eyes and you will be in Naladhu, a gorgeous resort sharing a ridiculousy clear lagoon with its sister resorts Dhigu and Veli. Maldivian for “beautiful island,” Naladhu offers a mosaic of timeless moments on the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The resort is very exclusive as it has only 20 expansive villas and houses, each with a magnificent private pool fronting the azure Indian Ocean, unsurpassed comfort, and a graceful elegance that never goes out of style.

NALADHU

NALADHU


8. SHANGRI-LA VILLINGILI

In a paradise nation where every hotel is located on its own, picture-perfect island, it is difficult to pick one favourite, but the Shangri-La Villingili is a standout since it is the largest of all Maldivian resort islands. The island, operated by one of Asia’s finest luxury hotel brands, lies in the extreme south of the archipelago in the Addu Atoll, and is a super-de-luxe resort on a grand scale, with 132 impressive overwater and beach villas (that come in 7 categories, in addition to 2 presidential villas) as well as a wealth of facilities from spa to tennis and golf.

SHANGRI-LA VILLINGILI

SHANGRI-LA VILLINGILI


7. PARK HYATT MALDIVES HADAHAA

Situated on a private island, 55km north of the Equator in one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world, North Huvadhoo, Park Hyatt is a strikingly modern design resort. Featuring only 50 villas, on land and over water, these impressive spaces are designed with the utmost comfort and luxury in mind, whether nestled within the island’s tropical foliage, only steps from the ocean, or elevated above the water. All villas feature a minimalist style, floor-to-ceiling windows, and every comfort you would expect, while Park Pool Villas have the added luxury of a plunge pool.

PARK HYATT MALDIVES HADAHAA

PARK HYATT MALDIVES HADAHAA


6. FOUR SEASONS LANDAA GIRAAVARU

With 103 spacious villas spread across a remote jungle wilderness in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru combines impeccable service, five-star facilities and world-class cuisine with a real sense of discovery. Its sister property, Kuda Huraa, is a lushly tropical private island to the south, renowned for its exceptional surf and easy charm. Both are linked by the luxury catamaran Four Seasons Explorer, which cruises between the two island resorts stopping at exceptional dive sites, tiny uninhabited beaches and remote island communities along the way.

  • Hotel websiteFour Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $100 USD spa credit, welcome amenity in room on arrival, and departure gift).
FOUR SEASONS LANDAA GIRAAVARU

FOUR SEASONS LANDAA GIRAAVARU


5. GILI LANKANFUSHI

Gili Lankanfushi, formerly known as Soneva Gili, is located in the North Malé Atoll, a 20-minute speedboat ride from the International Airport at Malé, the capital of the Republic of Maldives. It is an intimate coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to 45 spacious villa accommodations. Each villa is designed with the utmost attention to detail, and built to be environmentally friendly. Your own private water garden and sun deck, as well as a separate shower linked to your bathroom by an open-air walkway allow you to live right by the water’s edge.

  • Hotel websiteGili Lankanfushi
  • Other accolades: Gili Lankanfushi also features in my top 10 list of the most spectacular hotel bathrooms in the world.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, Maldivian Tapas served with one glass of Champagne per person, a 30 minute spa treatment for two,  $100 USD food & beverage credit, combined round-trip airport transfers, early check-in, and late check-out).
  • Review: read here my review of Gili Lankanfushi.
GILI LANKANFUSHI

GILI LANKANFUSHI


4. MAALIFUSHI BY COMO

Maalifushi by COMO is the first luxury resort in the Maldives that opened in the pristine Thaa Atoll in the archipelago’s southwest. Among Maldives island hotels, the resort stands apart with its understated style, encapsulating the spirit of the Indian Ocean and the barefoot chic of this COMO private island resort. The luxuries are all here, with a COMO Shambhala spa, world-class yoga facilities and exceptional cuisine along with the Maldives’ vibrant marine life (whale shark sightings are common). With 33 overwater villas and garden suites, Maalifushi may be the ultimate away-from-it-all destination for families, couples, surfers and divers.


3. CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI

The Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy resort offers 46 Island, Water and Garden villas in neutral colors and tones that complement the open design of the space. They each have a variety of contemporary design elements, high doors and ceilings, outdoor areas for relaxation, pool terraces, a 12.5m long private swimming pool and lagoon-side pontoons.  The Cheval Blanc Spa offers exclusive Guerlain treatments in special treatment villas. The Hair Spa by Leonor Greyl doubles as a beauty studio and barber shop.

  • Hotel websiteCheval Blanc Randheli
  • Other accolades: Cheval Blanc Randheli also features in my list of the best new luxury hotels of 2013.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $150 USD food & beverage credit).
CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI

CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI


2. ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH

Supreme and private luxury amid nature’s tropical magic, One&Only Reethi Rah is a jewel among a string of coral atolls, lagoons, and white sands. The resort, set on a large private island, offers 130 private resort villas well separated along the shore, either on the beach secluded by lush tropical greenery, or set above the clear, protected waters of the lagoon. Designed in an elegant contemporary style, these are among the largest resort villas in the world. The 12 sugar white beaches, some of them man-made, are the epitome of a tropical paradise.

ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH

ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH


1. SONEVA FUSHI

Soneva Fushi Resort, the Maldives’ original desert island hideaway, is located in the stunnnig Baa Atoll island archipelago, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Massive, Robinson Crusoe-style, multi-bedroom luxury villas and private residences are hidden among dense tropical foliage. In keeping with the castaway theme, many are built to resemble tree houses. All open to their own private stretch of sugar white sands, and most boast their own private seawater swimming pools. Intuitive service is provided by Mr./Ms. Friday butlers who know what you want before you want it.

Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at the time of booking at Soneva Fushi.

  • Hotel websiteSoneva Fushi
  • Other accolades: Soneva Fushi also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s best family hotels and the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via  Virtuoso (e.g. villa upgrade, breakfast, early check-in , late check-out, welcome Champagne with Maldivian tapas on arrival, one lunch for two, original handcrafted arrival and departure mementos, shoreline beach dinner, private sunset sailing by Dhoni at Baa Atoll, and a cooking class for two).
  • Review: read here my review of Soneva Fushi.


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6 Comments on Top 10: best luxury resorts in the Maldives

  1. Good selection for the top 10 Maldives resorts. Particularly like the choice for One & Only Reethi Rah.

    Like

  2. Selecting 10 best resorts in Maldives is no easy job. Good job! 🙂

    Like

  3. Just spent an amazing 5 days at Gili Lankafushi and equally amazing at Velaa Private Island which is off the hook! You should check it out.

    Like

    • I stayed at these resorts shortly before I started the blog. Gili Lankanfushi was still Soneva Gili at the time, and Velaa Private Island had just opened. I hope to return soon to take some extra photos & clips, and enjoy the splendid nature of the Maldives. Be sure to keep an eye out on Soneva Jani, opening in October: it promises to be the most spectacular resort in the Maldives, probably world (I can even get you an upgrade there).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi,thanku so much to share such a great information on luxury Maldives resorts to us.I just want to share my experience with Kurumba Maldives resort and you can add this luxury resort to your informatic list.Kurumba is the perfect example of classics and also the first resort open in Maldives in 1970.With eight restaurants and three bars, live entertainment, and activities for guests of all ages, the Kurumba Maldives offers everything that luxury vacationers need to enjoy a break from the “real world”.You also can review the Kurumba Resort features from https://goo.gl/K12dvQ

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  5. Hi there!
    I just want to say having come across your website how nice it was to see all your useful information for travelers to Maldives.Well done! 🙂

    Like

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