Which Maldives are you?
To be honest, all of our recommended Maldives hotels are simply sensational, exotic and beautifully designed
And of course, they all benefit from the wonder of nature: castaway islands come peppered with coconut trees, and jungly interiors reveal sugary white sand beaches that gently shelve into iridescent blue waters. But there are definitely a few hotels that are better suited to some than others.
Best For Art Lovers
Joali turned its back on the ubiquitous trend for rustic luxe in the Maldives, and instead focused on high-quality and luxurious comfort, smart marble interiors and really good service. Add to the list is that Joali is the first art immersive hotel in the Maldives.
Sprinkled around the verdant interior of the island are sculptures and artworks created by artists from Cape Town to South Korea in addition to local artisans, making an interactive art trail around the tropical island. The art studio and gallery hosts visiting artists and here guests can create their own nature-inspired work.
"Joali is making waves in the Maldives with its chic style and contemporary bedrooms."
Who to go with?
If you like paradise with a side-serving of culture, then Joali may well be for you. If you’re planning on travelling with kids – even better. Joali’s kids’ club is truly imaginative where children can go on treasure hunts around the island, combing the beach to create unique craft.
Best For Barefoot Informality
Milaidhoo Island Maldives.
We’ve come to associate the Maldives with barefoot luxury, but in recent years, the variety and diversification of the hotels that top these perfect atolls of sand, palm trees and aquamarine water mean that some hotels have pulled away in a different direction.
Not so here. Milaidhoo is rightly proud of its jaw-droppingly beautiful location, the UNESCO biosphere reserve Hanifaru Bay, which is cradled by a teeming coral reef and lapped by the warm Indian Ocean. With no need to embellish its sheer natural beauty, this luxe resort instead focuses on a totally relaxed, stress-free and easy-going ambience. Firstly, the décor is vibrant and fun, with accents of nautical blues lending a cheery note and service always comes with a big smile. Another ace in the deck is the encircling coral reef – claimed to be the world’s largest manta ray feeding station and also a nursery for grey sharks and stingrays so expect exhilarating underwater adventures.
“We love the Ocean Residence with private pool. Set at the end of the jetty it has privacy, incredible sea views, two bedrooms and a second-floor sunset-facing gym, all wrapped around by a curved infinity pool.”
For an underwater spectacle visit during June – November when the world’s largest grouping of manta rays convene, and you may even have the unforgettable opportunity to snorkel around graceful whale sharks.
Best For Eco Warriors
You know you’ll have a relaxing holiday when you come to the Maldives, but to give your conscience a break too, come to Soneva Fushi, where everything has been designed with the environment in mind. Eco innovators and hotel gurus Sonu and Eva Shivdasani created this eco idyll that focuses on ‘intelligent luxury’ with huge success; and many hotels are now follow their environment-saving blueprint.
The sprawling hotel has bleached wooden suites set within the verdant jungle and the vibe here is very much shoes-off, do-as-you-please with your own butler to facilitate every whim.
"Big and little kids will love the waterslides that shoot out from the overwater villas - the most exhilarating way to enter the Indian Ocean imaginable!"
Those interested in marine conservation should join a snorkelling trip with Soneva’s team of marine biologists. On these trips you will assist in collecting data – from conditions in the sea to any endangered species you may spot.
Big Groups Together
Planning a big get together or special family gathering takes careful planning to get it just right. At chic retreat Amilla, family holidays come with a side serving of awesomeness, where every member of the family will leave with wide grins. Firstly, the roomy villas give everyone their own space, and some are large enough to sleep up to 16, in 8 bedrooms.
Secondly, Amilla makes everything so fabulously easy and fun. Kids will love the chocolate room, treasure hunts and the biggest infinity pool in the Maldives. Older holiday makers will appreciate the stylish vibe, jaw-dropping natural beauty, to-die-for cocktails and a pampering spa.
"Amilla is a foodies paradise and caters to everyone's tastes with a selection of 'street-style' eateries dotted around the grounds including Asian wok food, fish and chips and pizza. For fine dining, head to the Japanese over-water restaurant for the freshest sushi imaginable."
Make the most of underwater adventures. Get equipped at the well-stocked dive centre before snorkelling the fish-flitting house reef or venture further afield to Hanifaru Bay which is home to the world’s largest populations of manta rays.
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Best of the Best – Maldives
The last few years have seen some sensational openings and refurbishments in the Maldives, so we’ve put together a collection of three of our favourites.
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