Maldives is a haven of lush forests, white sand beaches and endless clear blue waters. This chain of atolls situated in the Indian Ocean, is already blessed with some of the world’s most luxurious private beach resorts. But this honeymoon destination isn’t resting back, still adding more and more phenomenal hotels. Here is the low-down of the latest “must see” Maldives hotels in 2020.
The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
PICTURED: ST. REGIS MALDIVES VOMMULI RESORT, AERIAL VIEW
The St Regis Resort is the perfect destination for foodies and nature lovers. Set on nine hectares of lush tropical gardens, powdery white sand and turquoise lagoon, the St Regis is home to six distinct dining venues including a pop-up restaurant, an overwater tapas bar and exceptional wine dinners at Decanter cellar. Halal food and a middle eastern menu are available, as well as Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and other international cuisines.
Located in the Dhaalu Atoll in the Maldives, the resort is only accessible via seaplane and offers a degree of seclusion that is unparalleled. Any of the hotel’s seven restaurants unravels the finest of upscale dining. Indulge in the St Regis luxury spa – Iridium Spa – and treat yourself to facials, couples massages and body treatments. Iridium Spa is an immerse overwater haven displaying six treatment suites, including two Ayurvedic suites with private steam rooms, for an ultimate luxury retreat. You can admire the sea from your spa beds or unwind from the sunken soaking tub on your private spa terrace. Pretty awesome we know!
Luxury villas at the St Regis are either over the sea or atop pristine, white-sand beaches. Watch the sun set while you sit on your private terrace or soak in your sparkling pool.
Finolhu Baa Atoll
PICTURED: FINOLHU BAA ATOLL, BEACH CLUB HOTEL
Finolhu is the place to live it up. A party island that delivers on all levels. Forget Club 55: The Fish and Crab Shack is the new top beach restaurant in the world, halfway down a staggeringly beautiful tail of white sand spearing nearly two kilometres into the Indian Ocean. There is here a lot of choice in term of accommodations, from beach villa to ocean villa or private pool villa.
Finolhu is incontestably our favourite resort in the Maldives, because it’s the only one where you can sleep right under the stars in Finolhu Bubble tent! How cool is that? Finolhu Bubble has its own shower and WC and is well equipped with a wooden floor and a double bed featuring the finest bed linen. Here you’ll experience a feeling of infinity, with the cosmos and the blackness of the sky above you, through which the Milky Way shines like a work of art. The stay at the Bubble tent includes a private beach barbecue and a breakfast on the beach, for a very special stay you’ll never forget.
Soneva Jani – Noonu Atoll
PICTURED: VILLA, SONEVA JANI
The Soneva team were the first to bring overwater villas to The Maldives. Soneva Jani is their third Maldives resort and consists of five separate islets, the largest island with 24 overwater villas (the largest holding up to ten people).
All villas are built from wood sourced from sustainable plantations with the coolest features such as water slides leading straight in the turquoise sea, portholes in floors to watch the Indian Ocean marina life and retractable ceilings above beds. The resort also has amazing experiences such as The Maldives’ first overwater silent cinema named “Cinema Paradiso” where films can be watched outside from loungers with Bluetooth headphones, whilst sipping delightful cocktails beneath the stars.
Nature lovers will also be spoilt as they’ll be able to observe the lives of some of the Maldives’ sea turtles with the help of the resort Marine Biologist. You could have the very special chance to see a mother turtle lay her eggs in the sand, see tiny hatchlings make their way to the ocean, or even come to the aid of turtles who need assistance.
LUX* South Ari Atoll
PICTURED: WATER VILLA, LUX* SOUTH ARI ATOLL
LUX* South Ari Atoll has undergone a recent complete renovation. Fresh from a total overhaul, this revamped island has 193 villas, both on the beach and on two jetties (one of which is adults-only), with vaulted white ceilings, grey wood-effect ceramic floors and tree-trunk furniture. Many of the over-water villas are brand new, the spa is bigger and the interiors have been smartened up.
On land or above water, sunset facing or sunrise, LUX* super spacious rooms and suites bring an entirely original vibe of coastal, beach house chic to the Maldives. LUX* South Ari Atoll also offers two infinity pools, floodlit tennis courts, and outside cinema and a Technogym fitness centre while the LUX* Me spa offers indulgent and stimulating treatments. For the underwater explorers, there is here a 5-Star PADI dive centre! The limpid blue waters are a pure nirvana of coloured sea life. You can dive, snorkel and even view the impressive whale sharks.
LUX* South Ari Atoll boasts eight restaurants and five bars. East Market is a sophisticated take on a bustling local night market. Umami offers fine dining from separate sushi, teppanyaki and robata counters as well as the Maldives’ largest selection of sakes and Japanese whiskeys. Allegria, Senses and MIXE stimulate international palettes and the new Beach Rouge introduces the dolce vita of a fashionable beach club to the island.
PICTURED: LAGOON VILLA, JUMEIRAH VITTAVELI
Jumierah Vittaveli boasts a brand new five-bedroom Royal Residence retreat with private beach, two pools and its own arrival jetty with an over-water bar.
It’s the perfect place for adverturers or just people who need to be active during the day. The resort offers a myriad of activities, from ice skating (yes – ice skating in the Maldives!) to watersport, yoga or even cooking class! It’s a kid friendly resort, and there are also lots of activities available for children. Romantics can get married at the resort, where a personal wedding planner will assist you. It is a stunning wedding destination, as the glass walls of the chapel make for show-stopping panoramas and a beautiful endless-blue backdrop to your ceremony.
Jumierah Vittaveli also offers flawless culinary experience, enjoy diner along your private pool, a private barbecue on the beach, a sunrise breakfast or even your own private sandbank, where your personal chef and waiter will greet you with chilled drinks before serving a delicious barbecue lunch. Hard to choose isn’t it?
PICTURED: COCOON MALDIVES, AERIAL VIEW
Cocoon resort is a scenic, 30-minute seaplane journey from Velana International Airport in Malé. The resorts offers 150 guest villas, 3 restaurants and 2 bars exclusively designed by LAGO, the award-winning Italian designer. You could’ve sworn you were on a flight to a private island in the Maldives, only to wake up wondering how you ended up in a boutique hotel in Milan instead. Or at least the interiors at Cocoon – a 150-room poem to pared-down, pastel-toned Italian chic – could make you feel that way for a moment.
Cocoon is the first design hotel in the Maldives, featuring an impressive choice of rooms, from presidential suite to Beach Suite or Private Pool Villa. The villas, blend of luxury and tropical tranquility, are perfectly designed for your comfort and surrounded by infinite turquoise blue waters. The beachfront terrace overlooks the stunning crystal clear ocean while your private garden is the ideal way to experience sunshine filled days with sun loungers, day bed, swimming pool and outdoor shower.
Milaidhoo Island Maldives
PICTURED: MILAIDHOO ISLAND MALDIVES
A wonderful reminder of the joys of getting back to basics. Milaidhoo gives classic Maldivian island style a refreshing contemporary twist. Understated, refined and properly spoiling. The 50 villas are enlivened with deft decorative flourishes – the vivid blue-on-blue accents and curvaceous lines of the Beach Pool villas, in particular, display great charm and panache.
Opened in November 2016, Milaidhoo is a boutique luxury resort in the Baa Atoll UNESCO biosphere reserve. It’s ideal for nature lovers as the resort has its own coral reef, which encircles the island. The reef is a protected area and noted as an outstanding snorkelling and diving site. The tiny-awe Milaidhoo island measures just 300m by 180m. It’s a lush place fringed by soft deep white sand beaches.
Designed for couples seeking peace and privacy, the resort welcome guests aged nine and above, and have a strict no drone policy on the island. Everything at Milaidhoo is tailored around your needs for an ultimate relaxation, and the resort offers a taste of the true Maldives, opening doors to Maldivian culture and unique experiences.
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
PICTURED: ANANTARA KIHAVAH MALDIVES VILLAS
Anantara is undoubtedly the most instagrammable resort in the Maldives. This stunning resort features a myriad of unique experiences, from beach wedding to underwater dining.
Anantara is romantic and perhaps the best place to book for your honeymoon. Revel in the intimate setting of your lush over water villa against a backdrop of majestic Indian Ocean views. Stroll out hand-in-hand from your private beach villa onto the powder white sand of the encircling beach. Invest in leisurely quality time together by your infinity pool, dine and cinema beneath the stars and indulge like never before with in-villa spa journeys and adventures at sea. Your personal butler is on hand 24-hours to attend to your every wish.
Anantara displays a stunning award-winning underwater restaurant, SEA, perhaps the most incredible undersea restaurants you could find in the Maldives. Savour here contemporary European cuisine and wine pairings, whilst admiring the coloured coral fish swimming all around you. Not what you’re looking for? The resort has three other luxurious restaurants where you can eat exquisite local cuisine.
If you need to unwind, the resort signature award-winning spa is an over water sanctuary, perfect for reconnecting body and mind. Rejuvenate here with delightful world-class treatments, surrounded by endless Indian Ocean views.
Six Senses Laamu
PICTURED: FAMILY BEACH VILLA, SIX SENSES LAAMU
Six Senses Laamu is a sustainable luxury resort located in the Laamu Atoll, deeply hidden in the Indian Ocean towards the far southern reaches of the Maldivian archipelago. If you’re looking to disconnect from the rest of the world, this is where you should book your holiday. Indeed, Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, in the south of Maldives. It is located on Olhuveli Island which is a 35 minute internal flight away from Male International Airport to Kadhdhoo, followed by a short speedboat ride. It takes a bit longer to get here compared to other resorts, but trust us when we say it’s worth the journey.
The resort is made of 97 villas, located along the white soft beach or hovering lightly above the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Ocean Beach Villas and Lagoon Beach Villas are set on the perfect sands with strategically placed sun loungers topped with plump cushions, giving direct access to the beach and a treetop deck for epic sunset viewing.
Laze in your glass bathtub surrounded by endless blue waters, and admire the beautiful coloured fish. Take a nap in the hammock strung over the water, or relax all day in the seriously comfy day beds, custom-made for all indulgent day-long relaxing. Some of the villas also feature an irresistible infinity-edge pool, for an ultimate experience.
Four Seasons Maldives Private Island at Voavah, Baa Atoll
PICTURED: VILLA, FOUR SEASONS MALDIVES PRIVATE ISLAND
The world’s first private island retreat, Voavah, is a seven-bedroom exclusive-use residence with its own UNESCO marine territory and luxury yacht named Voavah Summer.
This incredible resort is next-level luxury reserved for the ultra-wealthy – a truly private paradise with a Beach House (with gym, library and guest kitchen), PADI 5-Star Dive Centre, spa, playground and party hideout. You can experience the most exclusive resort island in the Maldives for only $62,000 dollars a night! And that’s not it. You can’t just decide to stay here, as you’ll have to request your stay and go through an approval process to see if you’re accepted to arrange a booking.
If you make it here, the experience is just incredible. The entire island accommodates over 22 guests with a mindblowing 3-Bedroom Beach Villa, a spectacular 2-Bedroom Overwater Villa, as well as spacious Mezzanine Suites. There’s also an ample living space and beautifully appointed main pool deck for you and your guests to relax. The best part is perhaps that your private chefs can prepare any food you desire. If you can afford it, you must stay at the very special Four Seasons Maldives private island.