Close your eyes, imagine 10 shades of blue, azure skies with the odd wispy white cloud skipping by as well as silvery sandy beaches plus some of the world’s most stunning resorts and you have the Maldives in a nutshell.
There’s nothing quite like the colours of this spectacular country that’s made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls with more than 1000 islands nestled snugly in the Indian Ocean.
It’s a destination with that wow factor that never fails to exceed expectations. Here are some of the best resorts and new ones that are set to open but be warned it’s easy to be seduced by that Maldivian magic and, like many, you may never want to leave.
As for just how many shades of blue you can spot – it’s endless and definitely an Instagrammer’s paradise.
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
This beautiful resort is located on North Malé Atoll on the petite island of Kuda Huraa, a 25-minute speed boat ride from Malé. It is also a short boat ride from the village of Bodu Huraa, where you can get a first-hand look at local island life. There are 96 accommodation options ranging from well-
appointed bungalows to sunset water suites ideal for families.
Fancy Indian cuisine? Head to Baraabaru and for the freshest of seafood try the Reef Club by the lagoon. There are seven dining options and bars. Spa treatments are offered on a private beach under the stars as well as at Island Spa where the water treatment is a speciality. There’s also a marine discovery centre and baby turtle feeding. It is ideal for sailing, surfing and diving.
Sun Siyam Resorts
There’s plenty of choice among the Sun Siyam resort collection dotted around the Maldives with everything that makes a memorable holiday. Sun Siyam Iru Fushi is set on a private 21-ha island that lies among the Noonu Atoll where traditional Maldivian life is sustained with boat building and farming.
The luxury resort has 221 five-star accommodation options from water and beach villas and three exclusive retreats. All villas come with 24-hour service, private pool and great views. Sun Aqua Vilu Reef is a five-star boutique resort located in the South Nilandhe Atoll, 145 kilometres south of the capital, Male. There are 103 luxury villas including 62 land villas dotted along the sandy shore and 35 overwater villas with views that will take your breath away.
Olhuveli Beach & Spa is a 45-minute speedboat ride from Malé with holidaymakers able to chill and also meet the locals. You can spend the day with a fisherman and help with English at the village school. Sun Aqua Iru Veli is the newest in the Sun Siyam collection, 40 minutes by seaplane from Malé. There’s a wide choice of accommodation with 125 beach villas dotted along the coastline offering a mix of tropical island style as well as the spectacular Sun Spa built over the pretty lagoon, a gym and kids’ club.
One&Only Reethi Rah
The much-awarded resort is located on the largest island in North Malé Atoll surrounded by a string of coral atolls, lagoons and white sands and 12 beaches. The all-villa resort offers 130 private resort villas including the luxurious private Beach Villas and Water Villas floating above crystal-clear waters as well as two villa residences and a stunning three-bedroom Grand Sunset residence.
They are among the largest in the Maldives. Dine at five amazing restaurants – the chic over-the-water restaurant Tapasake has specialities flown in from Japan and serves modern Japanese cuisine with a twist. Healthy cuisine features at Botanica where you will find garden-to-fork practices and French, Asian and Italian dishes star at Reethi.
The One&Only Spa offers indulgent treatments, a Watsu pool and yoga and meditation pavilion. Water and family fun activities are available.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
Holiday mode sets in from the moment you step onto the silky white sands of this resort located in secluded North Huvadhoo, one of the world’s largest natural atolls. There’s a choice of 50 private villas with 36 on land and 14 perched over the ocean with impressive views and easy access to the house reef. The Park Sunset Water Villas have fabulous ocean vistas and individual access to the reef as well as their own pools.
Dig your toes into the sand at the Island Grill that showcases chefs at work with a fabulous wood-fired oven. The Dining Room with ocean views serves breakfast, lunch and dinner while guests love the poolside bar and Dhoni Lounge – the word dhoni is a nod to the traditional small boat handcrafted by local fishermen. The Drift is another amazing dining experience with Italian, Chinese and Thai cuisines. Want to be alone? Try private dining experiences and there’s always in-villa room service.
As for what to do, take your pick of diving, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, spa treatments and cooking classes.
Located in the central western part of the Maldives, in the beautiful Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Amilla Fushi is a five-star resort with all the trimmings. There are 59 accommodation options available in the luxury resort that is suited for couples, families and groups. They range from beach houses to a wellness treehouse tucked away in the rich greenery of the island. There’s also a wine shop with 8000 bottles of wine and the Emperor Beach Club serves snacks, fresh fruit and bakery treats. There’s plenty to do for all ages including diving, kids’ club and the indulgent Javvu Spa with 10 wooden double treatment pods and a yoga and meditation area. •
Photography by various establishments.
Think tropical architecture with musical memorabilia. This rock and roll paradise is one of three hotels being built in Emboodhoo Falhu, one of the largest lagoons
in the country.
Located on Muravandhoo Island, Raas Atoll, this is ideal for families with cool child-friendly amenities including
a treehouse, spa for kids, junior cookery school and ice-cream shop, plus treasure hunts. Some villas come with two pools and there’s one four-bedroom beach duplex.
Located at Kuredhivaru, Noonu Atoll, close to the Marine National Park Edu Faru, as well as the Christmas Tree Rock and Orimas Thila dive sites, the resort has 32 beach villas and 70 overwater villas. There will also be a small-scale marine research centre.
WHERE TO STAY
- Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
- Sun Siyam Resorts
- One&Only Reethi Rah
- Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
- Amilla Fushi