So here’s a new year and the ideal moment to make plans and think about new travel destinations. Have you considered the Maldives? We’ve selected the top 10 resorts to help you plan your next holiday
ONE AND ONLY REETHI RAH
Welcome to one of the most sophisticated hotels in the world, let alone the Maldives. The extreme luxurious resort offers Villas and Residences. The Beach Villas are magnificent and private: lots of mahogany and teal, comfort and a private pool. It’s just a short stroll to a perfect white-sand beach with translucent sea. And if you can hold up to leave your villa, there’s an overwater, delightful Japanese restaurant that serves unforgettable black cod and buttery sashimi, a smoothie bar on the sands and a beach club restaurant with epic calamari. Guests can also enjoy an Espa spa offering holistic and delicious treatments in cabanas overlooking the sea. A glamourous paradise.
CONRAD MALDIVES, RANGALI ISLAND
Acclaimed for its kaleidoscopic blue waters, immaculate shores and exquisite villas spread across two verdant islands, the Conrad is already a beloved classic. The hotel’s consistent quest for a spicy edge over its counterparts reached its climax with the launch of The MURAKA, a unique residence submerged five meters under the Indian Ocean. Guests experience a psychedelic flush of marine life from their sumptuous bed, shower and wardrobe. The resort’s spas, restaurants and villas are sewn into the celestial landscape: the infinity pools play on the sea’s vibrant shades. The Over Water Spa embodies the treasured edge of the Maldives and even the tennis court is wrapped in exotic bloom.
EMERALD MALDIVES RESORT & SPA
This idyllic new resort is located in the northwestern part of the Maldives archipelago in Raa Atoll, taking over Fasmendhoo Island. The all-inclusive aspect of it is executed elegantly. Once you’re on the island, there’s no need to worry about extra costs. With 20 hectares of land, Emerald has more space than many islands in the Maldives, allowing privacy across the 120 villas, which are split between the beach and the water. There are four restaurants to explore, including Amazònico, the first South-American restaurant in the Maldives: a rainforest-style, lantern-bedecked space with an open fire grill. We can’t forget to mention the high quality of all services, facilities and design – all of them are simply impeccable.
FAIRMONT MALDIVES SIRRU FEN FUSHI
Flying in by seaplane, the first thing you notice about this new opening is the 200m swimming pool. It divides the aptly named Sirru Fen Fushi island. With 120 villas – all of which come with a private pool and butler service – spread over one of the Maldives’ largest resort islands, everything here is perfectly connected. The design brings bohemian rustic chic. Beach villas look like private paradises with lime-washed courtyard walls and large gardens. A huge copper bath takes center stage. In a first for the Maldives, they offer lush safari-style tented jungle villas. A creative kids’ club poolside makes this resort a great option for families.
An entire resort concept at an accessible price point, that’s what Kandima brings to the Maldives. A three-kilometer-long private island, with acres of space and activities such as tennis, badminton, volleyball, gym, and art classes. There’s an excellent kids’ club complete with mini water park. The style reminds of a contemporary Ibiza hotel, with a bold and shiny color scheme. With 11 different bars and restaurants, a beach club and pool at the southern tip and another 100m pool by the watersport headquarters, guests can do something different every day. Because of all the options offered and the good price point, it’s easy to understand why Kandima won best newcomer in the Maldives Travel Awards last year.
With its clean, contemporary architecture, impeccable service and attention to details, the resort has put the Maldives on the map as destination not just for couples, but for families and groups of friends. Since the opening in 2015, Amilla Fushi has been a disruptor of the traditional Maldives experience. Located in the UNESCO Biosphere of Baa Atoll, just 30 minutes by seaplane from Malé International, the resort conjures a luxurious homecoming feeling, offering 67 island homes and residences that hover over a crystal clear lagoon or embrace the shores of pure white sand.
HURAWALHI ISLAND RESORT
The best option for divers. The area of sea around the island is called “The Aquarium” because of the unusually high diversity of sea life, even for the Maldives. There’s plenty to do and enjoy, from scuba diving and snorkeling to sunset cruises, spa treatments and yoga. Guests can experience dinner at 5.8, the world’s largest, all-glass, undersea restaurant. It’s an adults’ escape where luxury and tranquility appear in perfect balance: sublime accommodation, generous all-inclusive service, spa indulgences, wonderful coral reefs and lagoons set seal that the island is worth a visit.
The original luxury resort in the Maldives, Baros Maldives opened in 1973 and is situated in the central southern part of North Malé Atoll. Surrounded by the house-reefs in the Indian Ocean, the splendid resort is alive with colors, fish, turtles, rays and coral. In 2016, Baros was voted the “Most Romantic Resort in the World’ at the World Travel Awards. Designed by Maldivian architect Mohamed Shafeeq, with interiors by Anita Indra Dewi, the 45 Beachside and 30 Water luxury Villas were built by local craftsmen using natural materials to blend with the environment, including natural stones, tropical wood and coconut thatch.
Sonu and Eva Shivdasani, the couple who brought us Soneva Fushi, one of the best and longeststanding hotels in the Maldives, introduce their latest settlement. Soneva Jani is the younger more stylish sibling. All rooms feature a kitchenette, a rooftop dining area, a private pool, a sitting room and a bed with a retractable roof, so you can sleep under the stars. Most villas come with their own waterslide into the sea. The excellent Peruvian restaurant serves fresh ceviche and offers an overwater cinema where you can relax after meal. Everything is carefully planned to push you into enjoying yourself and it’s very hard not to surrender.
FOUR SEASONS RESORT LANDAA GIRAAVARU
A pioneer among global resorts, Landaa Giraavaru has been at the vanguard of innovative hospitality since its first opened. It’s important to highlight the resort’s innovations: the pioneering apprenticeship scheme that has worked with almost 500 local youngsters since its launching ten years ago; the conservation projects that include an on-site turtle rehabilitation center; the surrounding UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, home to the world’s largest population of manta rays; and the famous Spa & Ayurvedic Retreat, one of Asia’s most renowned centers of natural healing.