Top 10 best luxury resorts & hotels in the Maldives

Widely considered to be the planet’s most exclusive holiday destination, the Maldives is home to a string of ultra-luxurious hotels and resorts that embody the ultimate tropical paradise getaway for honeymooners, sun worshipers, discerning travelers, scuba divers and celebrities. A collection of more than thousand small coral atolls, the Maldives is located on the equator towards the south of India and stretches across 800 km (500 mi) of the Indian Ocean on a north-south axis. The stunningly beautiful islands are the visible coral tips of an oceanic volcanic mountain range whose outer edges at some points plunge to depths of over 3 km (10,000 ft). The archipelago is blessed with some of the world’s most astonishing beaches, crystal clear turquoise lagoons, phenomenal underwater wildlife, and unrivaled luxury resorts that take up their own private islands.

It’s difficult of course to select 10 resorts in a destination which is home to dozens of sublime hotels. The resorts in this list represent my favorite properties in the Maldives for a variety of reasons and they all feature magnificent locations, superb accommodations, terrific fine-dining restaurants, spectacular beaches, world-class spas, excellent leisure facilities, and a sustainable ethos. Importantly, all the resorts in this list are set on natural islands, contrary to the artificial islands which are springing up like mushrooms in the Maldives’ North & South Atolls. Although some of these artificial islands are home to mind-blowing resorts, the beauty of these islands can never compete with the lush tropical beauty of natural islands and they also destroy the local eco-system (hence why you won’t find in this list resorts that are built on 100% man-made islands).

Here’s my selection of the 10 best luxury resorts and hotels in the Maldives. These resorts definitely come with a hefty price tag (a daily room rate of more than $5000 USD per night is the norm at some of these hotels in high season), so make sure to read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel. Spoiler alert: once you have experienced the otherworldly luxury of a Maldivian resort, any other beach holiday experience will pale in comparison. I also have some great news as I can offer you complimentary VIP perks at the Maldives’ most exclusive resorts! Read more here.

There is more information (with trip reports & YouTube videos) below the slideshow. Think I missed one? Share your favorite resort in the Maldives in the comments section.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*** Get the most out of your (luxury) trip to the Maldives with my online Maldives travel guide ***


Set on a 27.6 acre  (11.2 hectare) island in the remote Raa Atoll, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives can be reached via a 45-minute seaplane journey from the Maldives’ capital Malé. The resort’s elegant minimalist architecture by Singapore-based Studiogoto encompasses terraced pavilions, villas and a treetop spa that are carefully integrated into the existing landscape to immerse guests in the picturesque natural surroundings. The low-rise structures and contemporary interiors feature open-air spaces and a calming palette of island-inspired colors and textures, creating an idyllic setting for complete relaxation and connection with nature. There are 80 pool villas, of which 44 are along the beach and 36 are perched overwater with direct access to the sea. The property offers a delightful variety of culinary experiences including Seasalt, the resort’s beachside all-day dining restaurant, and Umami, which offers Japanese-inspired  menus. Currently, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives ranks among the most affordable 5-star hotels in the Maldives.


Surrounded by the sapphire seas of the Indian Ocean, Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island is a secluded sanctuary dedicated to all things luxury. The intimate resort is located on the northernmost tip of the North Malé Atoll and is easily reachable by a 60 min speedboat ride or 15 min seaplane flight. Each of the 67 expansive villas features a private rooftop terrace, infinity pool, and 24/7 butler service. The overwater spa offers decadent signature rituals inspired by Ayurvedic tradition. The resort’s surprising panoramic architecture and calming interiors are the work of Singaporean design studio, Miaja, who have created an elegant contemporary ethos in harmony with the natural environment, echoing modern Mediterranean chic. Activities ranging from yoga classes and underwater photography excursions to a beachside splash park (and babysitting services) ensure a rejuvenating stay for everyone.

  • Hotel website: Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $75 USD resort credit, a personalized welcome amenity and card from the GM or Hotel Manager, enhanced recognition through VIP status at all touch points throughout the guest experience, and complimentary one way airport transfer to suite guests).
  • Review: read my review of Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island here.


Located in the Dhaalu Atoll – a 40 minute seaplane ride southwest from Malé – the iconic St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is surrounded by dreamy landscapes, thick tropical vegetation, a fine white-sand beach, a pristine lagoon, and the glistening turquoise Indian Ocean. Combining contemporary design and local craftsmanship, with a profound appreciation for the ecological environment, the resort’s 77 luxuriously appointed villas feature expansive private terraces leading to pristine beaches and infinity pools with the magnificent Indian Ocean as a tranquil backdrop. The resort also boasts one of the largest three bedroom over-water villas in the Maldives, the John Jacob Astor Estate. Guests can savor epicurean delights from all over the world in the six restaurants and bars and restore their well-being at the over-water Iridium Spa.


An exclusive private island resort, situated on the southernmost tip of the remote Raa Atoll, next to UNESCO biosphere reserve Baa Atoll, InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort enjoys one of the most secluded and magnificent locations in the Maldives. The property’s 81 spacious villas and residences – either located on the beach, around the lagoon or overwater – are combined with extensive wellness & leisure facilities, bespoke experiences and six restaurants & bars. A highlight of the resort is its world-class service, including being the first resort worldwide to offer Club InterContinental benefits to all guests (e.g. daily afternoon tea, evening aperitif and and all-day refreshments by the pool or beach). The ultra-luxe property is surrounded by a myriad of marine life and home to a unique and spectacular manta ray sanctuary, making it the best hotel in the Maldives to snorkel with manta rays year round (which truly sets it apart among luxury resorts in the Maldives).


The world-famous Cheval Blanc Randheli Resort calls the spectacular Noonu Atoll its home. The fabulous property is built on a handful of tiny islands protected from the ocean by a large coral reef which houses a dazzling sampling of multicolor fish, rays and sea turtles. Getting there involves a trip onboard a Twin Otter of Havilland seaplane that has been exclusively designed for the Maison, combining the brand’s signature taupe with Randheli’s solar yellow. The luxurious resort offers 46 island, water and garden villas in neutral colors and tones that complement the open design of the space. The accommodations feel like elegant cathedral-style lofts, each featuring 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.



Located in the Noonu Atoll, 187 km (110 mi) north of Malé, Velaa Private Island is the realization of a dream to create a ‘beyond luxury’ exclusive hideaway where guests are treated like royalty. Its name derived from the generations of sea turtles that flock there to nest and hatch, Velaa was developed to embody the very best of this unique archipelago, bathed by azure skies in the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. The resort comprises 45 private villas, houses and exclusive residences – sleeping from 1 to 10 guests – and also includes a romantic pool residence which can only be reached by boat, allowing even more exclusivity. Each villa comes with stone pavements from the desert in Jordan, Indonesian flowerpots, luxury wood paneling from Borneo, and glimmering Italian marble. Privileged guests can relax in luxury at Velaa Spa, hone their short game at the Velaa Golf Academy by Ryder Cup captain José María Olazábal, or explore the undersea world with a Seabob or a James Bond-style semi-submarine.


The JOALI brand manages two spectacular resorts in the Maldives: JOALI Maldives and JOALI BEING. Both properties share a common vision while each has its own distinct identity. The JOALI story began with the launch of JOALI Maldives, a 73-villa property tucked away in the stunning Raa Atoll where travelers can experience the joy of beachfront living through an incredible collection of artworks that unfold across the island. Innovative dining concepts include Japanese restaurant Saoke, authentic Asian Vandhoo and Levant restaurant Tuh’u, and Tuscan-inspired Bellinis, as well as numerous destination dining experiences. Opened in 2021, JOALI BEING is situated on Bodufushi Island in the same atoll as its sister property, offering 68 magnificent beach & overwater villas. JOALI BEING is the Maldives’ first immersive wellness resort, blending ancient wisdom with modern science to bring guests on a transformational journey.

  • Hotel website: JOALI Maldives and JOALI BEING
  • Tip: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $150 USD food & beverage credit).
  • Review: read my review of JOALI BEING here.


Ultra-luxe One&Only Reethi resort offered a level of style and sophistication unsurpassed in the world when it opened in 2005 and it still delivers as the Grand Dame of the Maldivian archipelago. Set on a partly man-made, octopus-shaped island in the North Male Atoll, the resort is blessed with an extraordinary 6 km (3,7 mi) of coastline, dotted with 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 the lagoon’s crystal clear waters. Food is innovative and of the finest quality, prepared in an inspiring variety of ways, and staff are always receptive to the personal requirements of each and every guest. Set apart from the rest of the resort, the spa is located within tranquil gardens and manicured lawns. One&Only Reethi Rah is a favorite among royals and A-list Hollywood celebrities.



Soneva Fushi, the first ‘Robinson Crusoe’ style hideaway in the Maldives, is set on the privately owned tropical island of Kunfunadhoo in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The island – which is 1,400 m (4,600 ft) long and 400 m (1300 ft) wide – ranks among the largest islands in the Maldives. Apart from the crystal clear waters, white beaches and tropical climate, the island’s unusually rich vegetation offers a unique natural experience. 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. In summer 2020, Soneva Fushi also unveiled eight fabulous water retreats, which are the largest and most luxurious overwater villas in the world.

Contact me to get complimentary Soneva ambassador benefits at Soneva Fushi (e.g. best rate, resort credit, and two personalized Soneva experiences).


Located on an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll, the Maldives’ most exclusive resort 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 Indian Ocean views. The world-famous resort features 51 overwater pool villas, spread along two jetties that curve into a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) magnificent lagoon of crystal clear waters. Known as the North Jetty and South Jetty, both jetties are connected to the Maldives’ largest resort island, a tropical paradise fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed with lush tropical greenery. Highlights at Soneva Jani include the villas’ retractable roofs, private water slides, a wide range of sublime restaurants, personalized experiences & excursions, and a spectacular new spa facility, Soneva Soul. When booking Soneva Unlimited, guests can benefit from an all-inclusive way to experience the best of the resort.  

Contact me to get complimentary Soneva ambassador benefits at Soneva Jani (e.g. best rate, resort credit, and two personalized Soneva experiences).

*** Follow me on InstagramYouTubeTwitter or Facebook for a daily moment of travel inspiration ***



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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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! 🙂

  5. Hi have you any views you can share on huvafen fushi we’re considering here…lovely website by the way

  6. Love your work. What are your thoughts on Milaidhoo Island Maldives? If you haven’t been what have you heard? Your review or Soneva Jani made it look like a dream, although this property seems like it’s right up there.

  7. Hi ! awesome information of hotels. Can you please suggest which is a great options : Olhuveli resort / Reethi Faru or Taj coral ?
    I am getting seaplane transfers only in reethi faru.

  8. I am trying to decide between 3 destinations for our 30th Anniversary next year: Maldives, and Seychelles. I surprised him with Tah’aa & Bora Bora for our 25th; we loved it, but he hated the long flight (he couldn’t sleep, even in the 1st class beds).
    I would prefer an Adults Only, boutique-style resort (not a convention center type). Do you have a favorite of these three? If so, which location, and which resort? We live in the USA.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you could provide me!!

  9. Consider adding the Ritz Carlton to this list; it’s a new resort, so the reef life is poor, but the rooms and amenities are stunning. Food & drink is expensive, but that goes with the territory!

  10. Great list of the hotels. thanks for the informative post.

  11. Anantara Kihavah is NOT better than the new Waldorf Astoria. Waldorf should have been on this list!

  12. Hotel information that is useful. Thank you for also sharing the luxurious hotels.

  13. Are there any Maldives Resorts that are all inclusive except possibly for alcoholic drinks? Do you recommend one for those in their 70’s? Just beginning to search for a location to celebrate 55th anniversary in August 2024. Thank you.

  14. What happened to #9 on the list? It’s missing. So the list isn’t top 10, but top 9???

  15. Kudadoo Maldives should most certainly be on any list of the best of the Maldives. I read a glowing article about them on Condé Nast and after much research, decided to spend 5 days there post a trip to Oman and Dubai this past December. Kudadoo is unique in that it is extremely exclusive with only 15 all over water residences. It is gorgeous and the service sublime. Our butler arranged every detail seamlessly. It comes with a pretty price tag but is all inclusive, including spa services, not to mention the privacy. I think we only saw one other couple during our entire visit.

  16. The fact that you’ve omitted Four Seasons Landaa/and or the four seasons private island is beyond me. Not doubt your selections are nice, but Landaa is in a class of its own in terms of people, food, location, and intangibles that only four seasons can deliver.

  17. @Robin: I’ll soon upload my review and video of the Ritz-Carlton. The resort is built on a completely artificial island, and I’ve only listed natural islands in this top 10 list for obvious reasons 😉.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.