White sands, dazzling lagoons and secluded accommodation - the stunning natural beauty of the Maldives has made it the quintessential honeymoon spot.
However, the 26 atolls that comprise this paradise have a lot to offer besides romance. Last year, Cara Delevigne and most of her girl squad took over mile-long party resort Finolhu, heralding a new era for this traditionally couples-only retreat.
So whether you’re looking for pampering or partying, adrenaline rushes or intimate seclusion, the Maldives could be the perfect destination. Here are some of the best hotels and resorts to choose from...
Best for: Romantic Retreats 最浪漫
Intimate and stylish, Miladhoo sits in the remote Baa Atoll, famed for its chic and sensitively-crafted resorts. More boutique than countless other five-star resorts, Miladhoo is designed specifically for couples and honeymooners, offering stellar service combined with a relaxed ‘barefoot informality’ atmosphere. Abundant in tropical greenery and crisp white sand, this island is a tiny paradise.
Cheval Blanc Randheli 白马庄园
This impeccably stylish resort matches its chic interiors with flawless service. Conceived by architect Jean-Michel Gathy, this exclusive destination invites guests to experience the French ‘Art de Recevoir’, meaning that each villa is assigned its own Majordome, who will look after your every desire. What’s more, a team of Alchemists is on hand to design tailor-made activities and experiences for every guest.
Six Senses Laamu 六善拉姆
This secluded haven is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, which combines both on-land and overwater villas, all of which are built with sustainable materials. Gastronomic delights abound with several restaurants, where chefs from east and west concoct masterpieces using produce sourced from the island’s own organic gardens.
Per Aquum Huvafen Fushi 芙花芬
Visiting this iconic luxury Maldives resort is like stepping into a surreal dreamland. Every villa and residence has its own private pool, while inside, each room is equipped with a Bose surround sound system and personal espresso machine. Look no further if you’re after total romantic indulgence.
Maalifushi by Como 马里富士
Couples will want for nothing in this picturesque luxury resort. The COMO Shambhala spa, world-class yoga facilities and exceptional cuisine along with the Maldives’ vibrant marine life (whale shark sightings are common) are a few of the resort’s highlights. 33 overwater villas and garden suites are the perfect place to unwind in paradise.
For adventurous couples, this island idyll is the perfect place to get lost on - walking, cycling or exploring. For unwinding afterwards, the cosy and peaceful villas are designed with a Middle Eastern aesthetic and there are Turkish baths and beach-side beds for total relaxation.
Best for: Young and Fun 最年青有趣
For fun-loving sunseekers, this retro-inspired island is the place to go, playing host to the best DJs, live acts and chic parties in the Maldives. The 125 villas on offer are decked out with Marshall speakers and there’s a two-storey Beach Club Bar, plus a cinema that screens classic movies and live international sports. You won’t run out of entertainment and, even if you did, the surroundings could be gazed at for hours on end.
Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah 四季沃尔瓦
This secluded five-acre island can be exclusively yours and, if you want, you can invite up to 22 guests to join you. For the true private island experience, guests decide the schedule, staff and services and can make full use of 7 bedrooms, a Beach House and the diving school, not to mention a 62-ft yacht to explore the azure ocean surroundings.
Coco Privé Private Island Coco私人岛屿
A team of 30 staff are on hand for lucky residents of this private island. A private chef, unlimited spa treatments, unlimited diving experiences, canoeing and windsurfing make this the island of choice for those with an adventurous streak.
Best for: Pampering in Paradise 天堂里的呵护
Dusit Thani Maldives 都喜天阙
Pampering is taken to another level in this luxury resort on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll. Elevated among the island’s palm trees sit six deluxe treatment pods where you can enjoy massages and a whole host of other treatments. With diving, snorkelling and a range of fine dining, you’ll never want to leave this blissful retreat.
W Maldives 宁静岛
For ultimate relaxation, W Maldives is top of the list. The luxurious Away Spa comprises 66 square metres of over-water treatment space, which means that you can enjoy perfect, uninterrupted ocean views while indulging. Massage, wraps and facials are just a few of the treatments to tempt you, while yoga and special celebration packages are also available.
Best for: Foodie Heaven 饮食王国
Amilla Fushi Resort 阿米拉
This name of this resort means ‘My Island Home’ and its welcoming mantra is nowhere clearer than in its carefully curated food and drinks options. There’s refined over-water dining at ‘Feeling Koi’ or a more relaxed ambience at poolside ‘Baazaar’. Best of all, wandering foodies can sample fine wines and artisanal cheeses at ‘The Wine Shop & Cellar Door’ and stock up for beach picnics at a gourmet café-deli.
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas AKV安娜塔拉吉哈瓦
The perfect choice for foodies venturing to the Maldives, this tropical idyll on the island of Kihavah offers a one-of-a-kind underwater dining experience. Guests can admire the panoramic view of the marine world around them in the glass dining room at signature restaurant SEA. The extensive gourmet menu includes over 350 bottles of wine spanning nine decades.
LUX* South Ari Atoll 丽世
With seven restaurants and five bars on offer, food and drinks are key at LUX*. From dynamic Asian flavours at East Market and Umami, to laid-back Mediterranean chic at beach-club Beach Rouge, you can take your tastebuds on a world tour. The refined Japanese restaurant offers the largest selection of sakés and Japanese whiskies in the Maldives.
Best for: Oceanic Thrills 活动最丰富
This is the destination for diving in the Maldives. It has two dedicated sea centres: The Dive Centre and the separate Marine Centre. With 30 world-class diving spots within 50 minutes and a whole house reef full of stunning marine life closer to home - just a few strokes away from the beach - you would be hard pressed to find a better diving spot in the Maldives, maybe even the world.
Angsana Velavaru 海龟岛
This secluded resort welcomes divers of every level, with a PADI 5-star Gold Dive Centre providing the perfect base for beginners and experts alike. Guests can also go on guided snorkelling safaris and sample world-class water sports - windsurfing, catamaran sailing, wakeboarding, water skiing and canoeing, to name just a few.
Kuredu Resort 古丽都
Home to the largest water sports centre in the Maldives, thrill seekers will rejoice at this resort, which offers kiteboarding and banana boating as well as the usual Maldivian delights of diving and windsurfing. Another element that sets this resort apart is the golfing opportunities - there’s a full-size driving range, a putting green and a 6-hole course, so you can tee off any time.