Today (3 August, 2015): Top 10 most luxurious resorts in the Maldives.
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 (500 mi), 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 (1,8 mi). 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 island.
The following list presents 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 below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Maldives hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!
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.
- Hotel website: Shangri-La Villingili
- Other accolades: Shangri-La Villingili also features in my top 10 list of the most exclusive private island resorts.
An exceptional private luxury retreat in Noonu Atoll, with 45 all-pool villas and service that goes beyond traditional resorts, Velaa offers Michelin-star cuisine and one of the finest wine cellars in the Indian Ocean archipelago, to world-class watersports including its own private submarine. Exceptional facilities “beyond traditional resorts” extend to the only My Blend By Clarins spa in the Maldives and a ‘short game’ golf academy designed by two-time Masters Champion Jose Maria Olazabal. This is currently the Maldives’ most expensive resort.
- Hotel website: Velaa Private Island
- Other accolades: Velaa Private Island also features in my lists of the best new hotels of 2013 and the top 10 most expensive hotels in the world.
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.
- Hotel website: Park Hyatt Maldives Hada
- Other accolades: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa also features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels for amazing award redemptions and the world’s most remote luxury hotels.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD spa credit).
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 website: Four 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).
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 website: Gili 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: click here to read my review of Gili Lankanfushi.
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 up exclusive Guerlain treatments in special treatment villas. The Hair Spa by Leonor Greyl doubles as a beauty studio and barber shop. Prince William and Kate Middleton have vacationed here in 2014.
- Hotel website: Cheval 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).
Set on Kihavah Huravalhi, one of the most pristine Maldivian islands, the resort is a 30-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport, an unforgettable experience in itself as the plane flies over a string of glowing coral islands amidst turquoise waters. The 79 spacious ultra-luxurious, all-pool villas are either poised over the water with sweeping ocean views or nestled along a pristine stretch of private beach. At Anantara Kihavah Villas guests are treated to a host of dining options, including an incredible underwater dining experience.
- Hotel website: Anantara Kihavah Villas
- Other accolades: Anantara Kihavah Villas also features in my top 10 list of the world’s best underwater hotels.
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 that the COMO brand identifies itself with. 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.
- Hotel website: Maalifushi by COMO
- Other accolades: Maalifushi by COMO also features in my lists of the most luxurious hotels that opened in 2014, the top 10 world’s most amazing beach resorts and the top 10 world’s best luxury hotels.
- Review: click here to read my review of Maalifushi by COMO.
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.
- Hotel website: One&Only Reethi Rah
- Other accolades: One&Only Reethi Rah also features in my top 10 lists of the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, the world’s best hotel spas, and luxury hotels loved by celebrities.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. villa upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, exclusively designed Reethi Rah Kaftans, a complimentary ‘Secrets of the Thila’ excursion or a complimentary dinner for two in the Reethi Restaurant excluding beverages).
- Review: click here to read my review of One&Only Reethi Rah.
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 when you decide to spend your holiday at Soneva Fushi (which I highly recommend).
- Hotel website: Soneva 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: click here to read my review of Soneva Fushi.