We present here the ultimate guide to the Maldives resorts that are totally worth it. There are all kinds of accommodations ranging from the most lavish overwater villas to sustainable back-to-nature style bedrooms. These resorts have the best access to the most bountiful and healthiest reefs. So that you can get it right the first time, we have explored the best ten resorts in the archipelago.
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo
Staying at Raffles by the beach is a lovely experience. Its tempting remoteness is well worth the longer transfer time. This tiny island resort overflows with charm owing to raspberry sunsets and clotted-cream sands. With your feet in your sand, while you wait for the alluring breakfast comprising French boulangerie, Sri Lankan egg hoppers, detox juices, you are given complimentary neck massages here. Enjoy a mouth-watering lunch- smoked tuna grilled with lemon oil. The resort has a modern overwater spa where Balinese therapists give signature massages to esteemed guests. Starting with the hum of a Tibetan singing bowl, this special massage ends with warm coconut oil being poured onto your third eye. The marine life here is so rich that you can see an aqua-menagerie without even getting inside the water. Around the island, a total of twenty hawksbill turtles have been recorded as living.
Number of villas: 37
Transfer time: a 55-minute domestic flight from Malé to Kaadedhdhoo airport. After that, a ten-minute speedboat transfer.
Address: Raffles Maldives Meradhoo, Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Maldives
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
Gili Lankanfushi is counted among the best resorts in the Maldives due to its greenery, cleanliness, stylish appeal, and sustainability. You will find here different kinds of options such as beach pool villas, two-storey overwater villas, and standalone villas cast out at sea and reached by boat. It also has a private reserve with its own spa, gym, screening room, and waterslide splashing you straight into the ocean. These are extremely gorgeous and are constructed in a back-to-nature style. They have recycled teak bed frames, thatched roofs, catamaran nets strung above the water, and bespoke rocking chairs. Including innumerable vegan options, there are four places where you can eat and drink. You can also go for wine and sake tastings as well as themed evenings showcasing food from different parts of the world including India, the Middle East, South-east Asia, and the Maldives. The Meera Spa is sublime due to its Ayurvedic treatments and organic products.
Number of villas: 45
Transfer time: a twenty-minute speedboat ride from Malé
Address: Gili Lankanfushi, North Malé Atoll, Maldives
Lux* North Malé Atoll
Having a splash of Miami glamour, you are going to love your stay at Lux* North Malé Atoll. Its villas are fabulous. They are all double-decker, huge enough, and have rooftop decks offering breathtaking ocean views. There is a lot that you can do here. You can go paddleboarding at sunrise or have a yacht party during the day. Visit the art studio, try photography, or play beach volleyball. You can gulp down Pina Coladas at the beach club or snorkel in the lagoon. Modern and moreish, the menus have chia bowls for breakfast, charcoal-grilled lunches by the lovely pool, and scrumptious Japanese-Peruvian for dinner. To make you look and feel your best, it has a spa as well.
Number of villas: 67
Transfer time: a 55-minute speedboat ride from Malé
Address: Lux* North Malé Atoll, Maldives
Surrounded by some of the healthiest and most bountiful reefs in the Maldives, Kudadoo is highly stylish as well as sustainable. It is home to colorful corals, tropical fish, and huge sea turtles. Your stay here is surely going to be unforgettable. There is no hassle about spending credits or extra charges as everything is included such as scooter dives, jet skis, unlimited spa treatments, deep-sea fishing, and a lot more. You can drink your favorite champagne or wine around the clock, at the beach or along the sandbank. In your rooms also, you will have minibars that can be stocked with your favorite tipples. It has only fifteen overwater pool villas. So expect even more seclusion and privacy. New York-based Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki designed these villas that feature sliding screen doors, cedar wood, muted honey-colored hues.
Number of villas: 15
Transfer time: a 40-minute seaplane ride from Malé
Address: Kudadoo, Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives
The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
If you are a serious foodie, then this is an ideal resort for you. Its retro-futuristic design is probably inspired by The Jetsons. Made entirely of wood, it looks like a big docking station for flying saucers! The interiors also reflect a Space Age. Its translucent bathroom surfaces lighting from below and modular ceiling lamps resembling chemistry diagrams are unique. The house reef is bountiful. The dry land is also capable of keeping you occupied with a lot of things to do. There are a number of superb restaurants and among them, the most amazing is Cargo. It is a street-food emporium in a ship’s container. It has as many as 77 villas and the biggest in the Maldives is the John Jacob Astor Estate. It was named after the man who built the original St Regis hotel in New York. The resort features all the signature St Regis touches including the mural in the bar, the butlers, the Champagne sabrage ceremony, and the majestic staircase. The classic Bloody Mary is served in a seashell here and is called the Island Mary. Consult the wine list if you are not fond of fancy cocktails in novelty vessels. It also has a 1775 Madeira, which is a treasure in itself. Enjoy it on the west-facing deck of The Whale Bar during the stunning Maldivian sunset. As many as 41,000 Yankee dollars is the tab for the nectar.
Number of villas: 77
Transfer time: a 45-minute seaplane from Velana International Airport
Address: The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
Lux South Ari Atoll
This revamped island has a total of 193 villas, both on two jetties (one of them is adults-only) and on the beach. These feature grey wood-effect ceramic floors, vaulted white ceilings, and tree-trunk furniture. Several overwater villas are brand new, the spa is bigger, and the interiors are beautified. Having a mellow beachy vibe throughout, its guests enjoy the following:
A reggae soundtrack
Colorful wooden tables
Live DJs at Beach Rouge
Surfboards propped against the wall
Coffee - roasted on-site - in reception
Inflatable swans standing by to drift about on the sea
Six restaurants ( including Allegria for Italian dishes and Senses for Indian)
An ice-cream parlor serving 32 homemade flavors like bubblegum, pistachio, etc.
Bicycles for commuting between the two bars at opposite ends of the three-kilometre-long island
If you are a fitness freak and want to stay fit while vacationing as well, then you can do yoga at the resort’s expanded spa in a grove of palms. Or you can go for paddleboarding, which is great for strengthening the core. You can take private tennis lessons from a coach or training from a marine biologist for swimming with whale sharks in a protected area. Spend your time looking at a mixologist making Aperol cocktails at East Point or in open-air cinema at the beach. And if you are willing to see something old-school-style, then there is a red telephone box in the reception for free phone calls. This resort is absolutely fun-filled!
Number of villas: 193
Transfer time: a 20-minute domestic flight from Malé
Address: Lux South Ari Atoll, South Atoll, Dhidhoofinolhu, Maldives
This resort in the Maldives is perfect for families that want to holiday at a peaceful tropical place. It was the first to introduce overwater villas in the island nation so that one can cut off from the noisy outside world. Made up of five little islets in the Noonu Atoll, Soneva Jani is a pioneering name across the archipelago. Its 1.8-kilometer long jetty has 24 water bungalows that are bigger than a few hotels. The largest one can fit ten members. Moreover, there are plans of launching beach villas tucked in the screw pine forests, sea trumpets, and banyan trees as well. There is a cute tented restaurant hub on the second island that serves delicious grilled seafood, freshly baked pizzas, and a lot more. The other three islands are kept undeveloped on purpose.
Built with wood from sustainable plantations and crafted in beautiful curves, the scale of the villas is splendid. You can see pitched roofs, rondavels with turrets, ladders leading into the Indian Ocean, and floors with portholes that reveal underwater life. You can gaze at the starry night from the retractable ceilings above your bed. There is a bar and wine-tasting space, yoga studio, gym, spa, and a kids club. There is also an observatory having a telescope and live monitors for those who want to look into space. Paddle on a bicycle to the open-air, floating cinema where you will have to wear Bluetooth headphones so that the turtles are not disturbed. This resort is counted among the most gorgeous resorts in the Maldives because of its best villas, extraordinary services, along with best vision and green credentials.
Number of villas: 24
Transfer time: a half an hour seaplane from Malé
Address: Soneva Jani, Medhufaru Island, Noonu Atoll, Maldives
Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat
This resort is best for adventurous couples. It is a sandy path dotted with bougainvillea and banana. On one side, there are villas and spa, and on the other, there is a restaurant, an open-air thatched bar, and exciting water sports. It is home to a total of twenty overwater villas and ten beach villas. These are rustic and simple featuring apple-green, wood-paneled exteriors, wicker sun loungers on the terraces, and coconut-leaf-thatched roofs. As you have come here to unplug from the outer world, you will not find any televisions. If you are an early riser, then you can practise yoga before a snorkeling session nearby. The house reef is amazing as well with angelfish and baby blacktip sharks. For serious foodies, there are beach barbecues and Sri Lankan feasts. Fish curries and dhal are absolutely mouth-watering. If you are willing to have an unhurried vacation at a stunning island, floating between the ocean and sunbeds, then Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat is perfect for you.
Number of villas: 77
Transfer time: a half an hour seaplane from Male International Airport
Address: Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat, Thelu Veliga Island, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
For a great boho experience, stay at this resort, which was named after Nemo’s submarine. It has 26 overwater villas and beach houses in the exotic Maldives. It sits above Baa Atoll and is an ideal spot for rejuvenating your soul. You can try your hand on a number of enthralling water activities such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, etc. It has lofty palms beside walls of aromatic clerodendrum and polished hardwood walkways. You can spot whale sharks and manta rays here. This resort is independently Maldivian-owned, which is unusual for hotels in this area. The property is especially designed for those travellers who want to have the modern boho and go-with-the-flow experience.
Number of villas: 26
Transfer time: a half an hour seaplane from Malé
Address: The Nautilus, Thiladhoo, Baa atoll 20066, Maldives
Four Seasons Maldives Private Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll
Best for total privacy, this resort is spread across five-acre land having seven bedrooms. Raising the proverbial bar, there is no shortage of possibilities here. Its ultra-modern and highly aesthetic bar is a great place to hang out after a long day. You can explore the beautiful Baa Atoll on your own yacht as per your own convenience. It also has a dive centre along with your own spa that has a staff of 28 members. They are committed to make your life as pleasant as possible. If you are a bibliophile, then there are plenty of lovely spots where you can read your book in silence.
The resort has peaceful vibes everywhere. It has the perfect blend of smooth and rough textures. The contemporary and traditional materials are brilliantly managed. Voavah is where you can see both- woven seagrass as well as diamond-polished concrete. It is home to saturated colors and endless space of sky and sea.
Number of villas: seven bedrooms
Transfer time: a 40-minute seaplane from Malé
Address: Four Seasons Maldives Private Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll, Maldives