When pondering the world’s best tropical luxury destinations, the Maldives has always been a top contender.
Enjoying a long-standing status as one of the globe’s most renowned luxury travel destinations in South Asia, this archipelago of islands offers countless opportunities for an idyllic island sojourn.
From the warm breeze of the Indian Ocean to the soft, white sands that beckon you to walk barefoot by sparkling aquamarine waters, the Maldives’ natural bounties are enough of a draw to attract holidaymakers from all corners of the Earth.
For the discerning traveller, however, it is the choice of accommodation that can make or break their vacation, elevating it from yet another island holiday to a magical seaside escape with all the trimmings of Maldivian and global hospitality.
What sets luxury hotels in the Maldives apart
While there is no shortage of resorts across the many islands of this nation, the thing to keep in mind is that your choice of luxury resort can greatly enhance your Maldives travel experience.
With that being said, when you have the budget to choose a certain level of resort in the Maldives, you can generally look forward to enjoying the following perks:
- Exquisite, private-island or secluded-atoll locations
- Unmatched exclusivity and privacy
- Scenic beachfront or overwater villas and suites offering direct beach or ocean access
- Unparalleled service and highly personalised attention
Very few destinations elsewhere in the world can match this.
Choosing the perfect luxury hotel in the Maldives
Choosing the perfect resort requires looking into multiple factors from location to types of accommodation offered and the diversity of onsite amenities.
Understanding atolls and locations
The Maldives is made up of several atolls, or clusters of islands, each of which brings something different to the table.
North Malé Atoll
Resorts in this atoll predominantly offer travellers luxury in proximity to the capital, Malé.
An example of a luxury resort in this atoll that checks all the boxes is One&Only.
South Malé Atoll
The draw of the South Malé Atoll is tranquillity and seclusion in a locale that’s still not too far off from the nation’s capital and main international airport.
One of the best luxury resorts in this atoll is the Waldorf Astoria.
A major highlight of this atoll is the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the high level of marine diversity.
Resorts in this atoll such as Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll offer excursions to explore the rich waters of the Maldives.
This resort has also created a unique experience for guests – the Finolhu Beach Bubble:
The other atolls of the Maldives have plenty of hidden gems to explore in terms of scenic and marine-life-rich spots as well as exclusive luxury resorts.
Take for example the Raa Atoll’s InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort. Located one atoll away from the bountiful waters of the Baa Atoll, this resort is renowned for being an important gathering destination for juvenile manta rays.
It also has some beautiful overwater villas that turn the Indian Ocean into your personal backyard: https://maldives.intercontinental.com/manta-trust
Apart from the atoll it belongs to, another factor to consider is the kind of accommodation that is available at a resort.
A prime feature of many a luxury Maldives resort is the beauty of its overwater villas and suites, as well as the level of privacy that they provide.
These luxurious retreats hover right above the Indian Ocean, offering unobstructed views of the sea and sky on almost every side and enabling direct entry into the tropical waters.
If sitting on the shore is an integral part of any seaside vacation (or if you have younger kids travelling with you), factor the resort’s beachfront accommodation into the equation.
Beach villas and suites tend to offer a little less privacy and less exclusive ocean views compared to overwater villas and suites, however, they do come with direct beach access and almost all the same other amenities.
Additionally, the ocean is often right in sight and just a hop, skip and jump away, allowing you to enjoy the beach and the ocean.
Dining and culinary experiences
Food is a highlight of any vacation, more so when you’re going to spend most of it on a fully or semi-private island.
Therefore, foodie or not, it’s worth checking out the number and variety of restaurants and bars available at any resort you have in mind.
High-end resorts tend to have several fine-dining restaurants specialising in many of the world’s most popular cuisines.
Those after a truly unique dining experience that the Maldives can offer, should check if their resort has an underwater restaurant.
These submerged restaurants with transparent walls or ceilings rest several feet below the ocean and give diners the chance for an exclusive meal before mesmerising views of marine life.
Spa and wellness facilities
Part of the draw of any luxury vacation is the perk of being able to unwind and pamper oneself, both internally and externally – on this front, luxury Maldivian resorts have plenty on offer.
Indulgent spa retreats
Almost every luxury resort in the Maldives has its own luxury spa. Check out the spa menu before you go to see if they offer the kind of massage and skincare treatments that you are looking for.
If you’re travelling with your significant other, keep an eye out for resorts whose spas have plenty of choices when it comes to couples’ spa treatments.
For a truly memorable spa experience, look for resorts that have positioned their spa on the oceanfront or offer views of marine life in their overwater treatment rooms.
Yoga and wellness programs
Some resorts have based their entire MO around wellness. From meals based on organic and healthy ingredients to detox-based menus, meditation pavilions and seaside yoga classes, wellness-centric resorts should be your go-to if physical and mental rejuvenation is your first priority.
It can be hard to settle on the correct resort(s) for your Maldives holiday given the quality and quantity of luxury hotels in this world-class island destination. Nevertheless, once you run yourself through the above checklist, you’ll be better able to narrow your choices down for an unforgettable luxury getaway!