Today (October 3, 2016): Top 10 most exclusive luxury hotels in the Maldives.
If you were to ask me where my favourite destination is, my first answer is always the Maldives. Unquestionably the globe’s ultimate luxury holiday playground, 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 (10,000 ft). The stunningly beautiful islands are blessed with the world’s most spectacular beaches, crystal clear blue lagoons, incredible underwater wildlife, and unrivalled luxury resorts that take up their own private islands.
Below is my pick of the 10 most exclusive luxury resorts in the Maldives. Most of these hotels can only be reached by seaplane as they are far away from the teeming atolls around the international airport, blessing their guests with a more pure Maldivian experience. These six star resorts definitely come at a price (some at more than 10,000 USD per night), so make sure you read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel. My advise would be to book a hotel at the Maldives via Virtuoso, since this will save you some money as it entitles you to several free VIP amenities, such as complimentary room upgrade, daily breakfast, resort credits (for dinners or spa), transfers, and other experiences.
There is more information below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Maldivian hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!
Situated on a private island 55 km (35 mi) north of the Equator in one of the world’s deepest atolls, Park Hyatt is a strikingly modern design resort. Featuring only 50 villas, the minimalist style interiors of the accommodation 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 floor-to-ceiling windows, and every comfort you would expect, with some villas having the added luxury of a plunge pool. The resort is framed by one of the archipelago’s most unspoilt house reefs, providing easy access for exploration of the underwater marvels of the Indian Ocean.
- Hotel website: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
- 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).
- Review: coming soon (March 2017).
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. A stay here can be combined with a holiday at its sister property, Kuda Huraa, which 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).
Nestled at the south end of the Maldives in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Jumeirah Dhevanafushi was created for life’s tranquil pleasures. Stretched across two islands, this ultraluxe and enchanting hideaway offers everything you need to get away from it all. Lush foliage, crystal blue waters and stretches of white sandy beach create a sanctuary. It is no exaggeration to call this paradise. Jumeirah Dhevanafushi houses 21 island villas, each with its own private beach and pool. Over the water, you’ll find another 16 ocean villas with steps directly down to the deep and outdoor marble baths looking out the horizon. Here, guests can delight their senses with the sumptuous menus of the resort’s three restaurants.
- Hotel website: Jumeirah Dhevanafushi
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, sunset champagne cruise, early check-in, late check-out, and one complimentary yoga, Pilates or personal trainer session).
- Review: coming soon (March 2017).
Maalifushi by COMO is the first luxury resort in the Maldives that opened in the pristine Thaa Atoll in the archipelago’s southwest. Among Maldivian island hotels, the private island resort stands apart with its understated style, encapsulating the spirit of the Indian Ocean and the barefoot chic of the COMO brand. 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 list of the best new hotels of 2014, the top 10 most amazing beach resorts in the world, and the top 10 best luxury hotels in the world.
- Review: read here my review of Maalifushi by COMO.
Tucked away within the collection of islands that form the Noonu Atoll, Velaa Private Island is elegantly positioned to overlook enchanting vistas of a cerulean ocean. Its name derived from the generations of sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch, the resort is comprised of 45 private villas. Each villa comes with a personal butler, all services offered can be tailored to personal specifications, and attention to detail everywhere is impeccable: stone pavements from the desert in Jordan, Indonesian flowerpots, luxury wood panelling from Borneo, and glimmering Italian marble. The resort also includes a Romantic Pool Residence which can only be reached by boat, allowing even more exclusivity.
- Hotel website: Velaa Private Island
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, early check-in, and late check-out).
- 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.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort brings the iconic St Regis brand and its hallmark luxury services to one of the world’s most magnificent destinations. A 40-minute seaplane ride southwest from Malé airport, the new St Regis hotel is located on a private atoll spanning more than 20 acres, surrounded by unspoiled beaches and a secluded lagoon with sparkling turquoise waters. The resort features 77 luxuriously appointed private villas, all with a distinct contemporary design scheme inspired by the island’s natural materials and color palette. Guests have access to a tranquil spa, an infinity swimming pool (if a private pool on your room’s terrace does not do it for you), a dive center, and three terrific fine dining venues.
- Hotel website: The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
- Other accolades: The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort also features in my list of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2016.
- Review: coming soon (March 2017).
The ultraluxe Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy resort calls the Noonu Atoll its home, which includes a handful of unspoiled green islands protected from the ocean by a large coral reef. The islands blend elongated palm trees, tropical flowers, white sand banks, pristine turquoise water and fringing reef. The famous 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, stunning private swimming pool and lagoon-side pontoons. Cheval Blanc Randheli was the playground of Kate and William during their Maldivian getaway a few years ago.
- 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).
This chic 6-star resort offered a level of style and sophistication unsurpassed in the world when it opened in 2005. The resort is spectacularly designed in an octopus shape with an extraordinary 6 km (3,7 mi) of coastline. Set on one of the largest islands in North Male’ Atoll, adorned with endless white sand coves and turquoise bays, all 130 spacious villas are discreetly placed amidst beautiful landscaping, each occupying its own secluded piece of sandy shore or private deck over crystal clear waters of the lagoon. Service and dining are geared to guests accustomed to the highest world-class standards. One&Only Reethi Rah is a favorite among royals and A-list Hollywood celebrities.
- Hotel website: One&Only Reethi Rah
- Other accolades: One&Only Reethi Rah also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s best hotel spas, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, 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: read here 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, multi-bedroom, fairytale-like 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. A stroll on the islands’ spotless beaches invariably summons up Robinson Crusoe stories.
Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at Soneva Sushi at the time of booking.
- Hotel website: Soneva Fushi
- Other accolades: Soneva Fushi also features in my top 10 lists of the best family hotels in the world, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, and the world’s most insanely beautiful hotel beaches.
- 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.
Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani is located on Medhufaru island, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The Maldives’ most exclusive hotel is fringed by pristine beaches, blanketed with lush tropical greenery, and surrounded by a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. Each one of the 24 water villas has a private pool and opens to its own stretch of lagoon, with some villas featuring slides going directly from the top deck into the lagoon below. The highlight of the villas is the retractable roof in the master bedroom, which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze.
Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at Soneva Jani at the time of booking.
- Hotel website: Soneva Jani
- Other accolades: Soneva Jani also features in my list of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2016, the 10 most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, and 10 reasons why you should put Soneva Jani on your bucket list.
- Review: coming soon (April 2017).