Reethi Faru Resort
Located on the private island of Filaidhoo, this award-winning resort is frequently named one of the best affordable options in the Maldives. Surrounded by a turquoise lagoon and a colourful house reef, the resort has 150 villas which offer spectacular ocean views with plenty of space – ideal for a romantic getaway. All the rooms are bright and airy, with either bathtubs or rain showers, but the Overwater Villas – which jut out across the lagoon on the western tip of the island – have the best views with private terraces and ladders that descend into the water. Reethi Faru also has six restaurants and bars where you can enjoy everything from private dining experiences for a romantic evening to barbecues on the beach. Swim out just beyond the hotel’s Vakaru restaurant for the best chances of spotting sea turtles and visit the on-site water sports centre to hire equipment for windsurfing, ocean canoeing, kitesurfing and paddleboarding.
Rooms from £250 per night.
The Residence Maldives Digurah
Surrounded by palm trees in Gaafu Alifu Atoll, this hotel is a stylish option at an affordable price point. A great choice for families, little ones can join the kids’ club which offers everything from snorkelling and kayaking to ‘mini’ yoga and cookery classes. Meanwhile, adults can book once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like sunset dolphin cruises, deep-sea fishing trips and fluoro night diving excursions. There’s also an impressive on-site spa headed up by Clarins where guests can book treatments or relax in the wellness area, as well as four restaurants, including a luxe beach club where you can eat dinner by the pool while resident DJs play chilled house music. There are also 173 villas with private pools and sundecks – the Sunrise Villas shrouded by tropical greenery provide a private oasis for couples, while the Sunset Water Pool Villas float atop the lagoon.
Rooms from £250 per night.
Oblu Select at Sangeli
For something a little more luxury, book a villa at Oblu Select, situated on the north-western tip of Malé Atoll. There are 137 detached villas spread across the resort’s white-sand beaches and perched over the lagoon on stilts – the Water Villa has steps leading straight into the ocean and a spacious living area. A great all-inclusive option, the resort has three restaurants (including a buffet dining room with lots of variety for kids), three bars and an on-site spa. Adults can swim in the adult-only infinity pool to appreciate the beautiful ocean views, while little ones will be taken good care of at the kids’ club which has a separate children’s pool, playground area and indoor play tent with boardgames, video games and a library. To see the sunset, make a beeline for Rock Bar, located on a jetty overlooking the ocean.
Rooms from £335 per night.
Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi
Located on the Shaviyani Atoll, which boasts one of the country's largest resort lagoons, Fairmont Maldives is a blissful hideaway. Dubbed a ‘secret water island’ by locals, expect white sand beaches, turquoise water in a 600-hectare lagoon, and views of a never-ending horizon. Sirru Fen Fushi can be reached from Malé in a spectacular 60-minute seaplane journey. Aside from myriad water-based activities, visitors can take an authentic Maldivian cookery class or head out on a cultural tour of the island to learn about the archipelago’s colourful heritage. The resort has 120 villas, all decorated in a contemporary Maldivian style, but one of our favourites is the Deluxe Beach Sunrise Villa, which includes a modern master bedroom, private plunge pool, and a large garden area surrounded by lush mangroves. Book a treatment at the Willow Stream Spa and eat your way around the many restaurants.
Rooms from £626 per night.
Romantic getaways don’t get much better than a trip to Gili Lankanfushi, a chic Maldivian resort on a private island just a 20-minute speed boat ride from Malé International. Here, it’s all about relaxing and embracing your bohemian spirit – going barefoot is encouraged. One of the most stylish options on this list, the interiors are seriously chic – picture wicker furniture, bamboo accents and plush decorative accessories made from sustainable materials. Gili is also an eco-resort with its own organic vegetable garden, organic toiletries and a strict no plastic rule. With an extensive range of facilities on offer, you can relax at the impressive Meera Spa, organise water sports and diving trips at the Dive Centre, and enjoy a fantastic selection of world cuisines at the restaurants where you’ll find everything from traditional Maldivian dishes to an impressive array of Indian food at The Passage to India buffet. Whether travelling as a couple or with kids, you can’t go wrong in booking a Villa Suite, complete with overwater sundeck with two sun beds and stairs leading into the ocean.
Just a 25-minute boat ride from Malé, the main island and capital, Baros is a beautiful resort. Tucked away on a jungle covered shoreline, there are 75 suites and water pool villas to choose from, all with stunning views. Book one of the signature Baros Suites to overlook the Indian Ocean, which come complete with a private pool, an outdoor deck area, and a king-size master bedroom. Guests are spoilt for choice with the range of activities on offer – paddle to the island’s flourishing coral reef, take a guided underwater tour with the resident marine biologist, or simply swim in the crystal-clear waters around the resort. However, it’s the wellness retreats at Baros which are what it’s known for. Those looking for a restorative holiday can make use of the Serenity Spa on site, as well as the resident yogi who leads meditation sessions and complimentary yoga classes each morning. The island has a range of dining options to suit every taste – Cayenne Grill serves some of the most delicious seafood, but for something a little more upscale, head to the lavish Lime Restaurant, or settle in at The Lighthouse to watch the sunset with cocktails and canapés.
Rooms from £731 per night.
Westin Maldives Miriandhoo
Easily accessed from Malé via a 30-minute seaplane ride, Westin Maldives Miriandhoo sits in the stunning Baa Atoll – the only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. There are 70 villas on the island, split into land and sea rooms, but the Overwater Villas have some of the most breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean. These villas have a large master bedroom with a gorgeous marble bathroom, and an outdoor living area with direct access to the sea – jump in for a swim, snorkel around the lagoon, or relax on the deck. The resort also has an impressive overwater spa and fitness centre, but the real draw here is the superb food and drink on offer at the island’s restaurant and bars. Seafood lovers will relish the abundance of freshly caught fish, while the Sunset Bar is the perfect spot to enjoy a drink at the end of the day. Look out for an array of wildlife on the island – the Baa Atoll is well-known for sightings of dolphins, whale sharks and rare marine life.
Rooms from £650 per night.
Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island
On the private island of Rangali, Conrad is a true luxury experience. A 30-minute seaplane ride, or 30-minute domestic flight from Maamigili airport followed by a short speedboat journey, will transport you to the island. There are a range of beautiful villas and suites to choose from, but the Deluxe Beach Villa, nestled among tropical greenery on the beach, offers total privacy. Set over 3,000 sq. ft., the villa has a beautiful indoor bathroom, a signature outdoor rain shower, a plunge pool and a bathing pavilion. Alternatively, a Water Villa means you can jump straight into the ocean from the deck. Conrad also has two spas on site, where guests can enjoy daily fitness classes and personal training sessions, or simply relax with a beauty treatment. There are several restaurants, as well – Koko Grill serves delicious Japanese food, while the Ithaa restaurant lays on an undersea dining experience. For a special occasion, book a private lobster and champagne barbecue on the beach.
Rooms from £865 per night.
Milaidhoo Island is a boutique resort in the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Hanifaru Bay. A 35-minute seaplane ride will take you from Malé to the private island, passing some of the most stunning views in the country as you go. Milaidhoo is one of the smallest islands in the Maldives – you can walk from one side to the other in just ten minutes – and a wooden bridge connects each overwater villa. Get a feel for relaxed island life and book a stay in one of the Beach Villas which has a private freshwater pool, a sundeck, a Maldivian-style swing chair, and an outdoor shower. Inside, expect to find large open rooms and a modern en-suite filled with Acqua di Parma toiletries. Guests can opt for in-villa dining or try some traditional Maldivian dishes at one of the six restaurants and bars – the breakfast buffet at Ocean is a must. The island is also the perfect place to explore the surrounding coral reefs where you can go for a diving lesson or head on a champagne cruise at sunset to see dolphins.
Rooms from £1,300 per night.
Niyama Private Islands
This premium resort in the Indian Ocean is set on two private islands on the Dhaalu Atoll – just a 40-minute seaplane ride from Malé. For a great family holiday, go to the ‘Play’ island, but if you’re after a relaxed trip, opt for the laidback ‘Chill’ island instead. Children can spend their time at the kids’ club with individually tailored activity programmes, or take a siesta in the dedicated sleep room, while parents will appreciate time off exploring the beautiful islands or heading on a water sports adventure – think boat trips, snorkelling, catamaran sailing, wakeboarding, kitesurfing and sea bobbing. After a day of activities, families can relax in one of the beautiful villas – the Family Beach Pool Villa is a good choice for kids thanks to its close proximity to the beach and outdoor swing in the garden. Guests will be spoilt for choice with the food on offer. Choose from fine dining experience for a romantic evening for two, or head to one of the casual dining beachside spots for a family meal with a view.
Rooms from £1,600 per night.
One & Only Reethi Rah
Located in Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, One & Only Reethi Rah is a beautiful tropical winter-sun hideaway, ideal for a romantic trip. With a selection of villas set over an azure lagoon and a private beach, each room comes with an ocean view. For a truly romantic trip, book one of the Beach Villas, complete with a large king-size bedroom, a gorgeous bathroom with a luxury terrazo bathtub, and a private pool. Couples can dine in the new Hideaway restaurant for a private dinner or barbeque or be transported into the forest canopy at the Treehouse for a bespoke menu crafted by the resorts culinary team. The Fanditha Bar is also a must-visit for a sunset cocktail (or two). Sports enthusiasts will love the state-of-the-art dive centre at Reethi Rah, as well as the FIFA-certified football pitch and tennis court. A lovely afternoon can also be spent taking a traditional Maldivian cookery class or exploring the 44-hectares of tropical island by bicycle, while those looking to relax should book a treatment at the award-winning ESPA spa.
Rooms from £2,000 per night.
Cheval Blanc Randheli
Cheval Blanc Randheli is one of the most luxurious and exclusive resorts in the Maldives. Set on the idyllic island of Noonu Atoll in the south, it can be reached in 40 minutes by seaplane from Malé. There’s a vast selection of things to do on the island, from deep sea diving at the snorkelling centre, to dolphin cruises around the bay. Softly cocooned within the ocean, Randheli has a selection of water, lagoon or island villas. For a blissful getaway for two, opt for the Lagoon Villa perched on traditional stilts over the ocean. Featuring a spacious living room, master bedroom with a grand bathroom, an outdoor shower, a deck and an infinity pool – it’s the ultimate escape. For fine dining, the award-winning 947 Restaurant serves elegant French dishes, while The Deelani is renowned for its seafood. Be sure to explore the stunning surroundings by bike (complimentary with each stay) to make the most of everything on offer.
Rooms from £2,220 per night.
Easily one of the most stylish resorts on this list, JOALI is set on the 24-acre island of Muravandhoo, and is easily reached from Malé via a 45-minute seaplane. There are 73 villas and suites to choose from, spanning spacious suites on the beach and five-bedroom water apartments to family villas which have everything you need for luxury stay, including a ‘backyard’ pool, hammock and an open-air terrace. The interiors are simple yet modern – picture plush decorative accents and subtle Maldivian touches throughout – and guests are spoilt with thoughtful extras, like silk kimonos in the bathroom and a vast selection of toiletries. Take advantage of the ample water sports facilities, relax at the ESPA spa, and drop little ones off at the kids’ club. If wellness is more your thing, look out for JOALI Being, the property’s sister resort which is set to open later this month.
Rooms from £1,400 per night.
A 35-minute seaplane journey from Malé will take you to The Nautilus, a luxury five-star bohemian hideaway. Situated on Thiladhoo Island, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Baa Atoll, the resort has 26 stylish overwater villas. Each one offers total privacy, with 17 houses perched on the beach and another eight hovering over the lagoon. Our favourites are the Beach Houses. Inside, there’s a large master bedroom, bathroom, and living area decorated with distinctive bohemian flair, while an expansive sundeck and private pool with direct access to the beach awaits outside. On the island, there’s a choice of three restaurants: Zeytoun, which offers Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine, Thyme and Ocaso, which specialises in Japanese food, and a poolside bar with complimentary canapes available throughout the day. Guests can indulge in the over-water treatment rooms at Solasta Spa or enjoy a sunrise yoga session, before exploring the beauty of the Baa Atoll’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, home to rare species of marine life. The atmosphere at The Nautilus is incredibly relaxed, so if you’re looking for the ultimate beach holiday, this resort is it.
Rooms from £2,225 per night.
Current Travel Info: UK travellers will have to present a negative PCR test for Covid-19 on arrival to the Maldives. The test and negative PCR certificate must be issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure. Screening procedures are in place for passengers on arrival, with quarantine facilities set up to isolate any suspected cases of Covid-19.
Flight Time: The flight from London to the main airport, Malé International, is around 13 hours, including one connecting flight.
When To Go: The best time to visit is between November and April (during peak season) when the climate is warm and tropical.
Average Temperature: Temperatures remain high throughout the year, though during peak season they tend to range between 29°C to 31°C.
Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa is the official currency, though US dollars are widely accepted.
Tme: Local time is GMT plus 5 hours.
Things To Note: The Maldives is a predominantly Muslim country, so you will need to dress modestly in public areas (unless on a private resort or beach) and be respectful of cultural rules.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice and entry requirements to the Maldives before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information.
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