White sandy shores, crystal-clear azure ocean, coral reefs and opulent overwater villas make Maldives resorts some of the most breathtaking destinations in the world.
Dubbed as being the pinnacle of travel, the pristine beaches of 1,200 islands in the Arabian Sea make for an idyllic tropical getaway.
And it’s not just a paradise reserved for loved-up honeymooners. Whether you want to sprawl along the soft, pearl-white sand at an adults-only resort or seek adventure with dolphin sunset cruises with your family, there is a resort for every type of holiday maker.
With more than 132 resorts located across different atolls, it can be hard to choose the most sublime retreat.
We’ve found some of the most heavenly resorts the Maldives has to offer. Trust us, once you get the whiter-than-white sand between your toes, you’ll never want to leave.
Naladhu Private Island Maldives
Getting there: 35-minute speedboat transfer from Malé International Airport.
Location: South Malé Atoll
Highlight: Completely private island
Price: from US$1,155 per night
If you’re wanting to experience the best of the tropical oasis, where better than at a private island. Welcome to Naladhu.
Nothing says romance more than an idyllic lagoon, personal butlers, exclusive beaches, dining under palm trees on a deserted beach, an in-house spa treatment or massage with the gentle sound of waves lapping at the shore.
From swinging on a hammock between two palm trees and taking a dip in the 17-metre infinity-edge lap pool to professional tennis coaching and exquisite cooking lessons, there is something for everyone at the award-winning resort.
There are only 20 elegant, colonial-inspired houses – each with its own private pool – on the island, offering a truly private experience.
And if you want to venture away from the resort, neighbouring resort islands Anantara Dhigu and Anantara Veli host a world of adventurous activities.
Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa
Getting there: 40-minute seaplane journey from Malé International Airport.
Location: Raa Atoll, north Maldives archipelago
Highlight: All-inclusive resort
Price: from US$870 per night
Created to marry in perfect harmony with the natural world around it through the use of bamboo, natural stones and Langhi Langhi leaves, Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa offers an environmentally preserved oasis.
Combining tropical scenery with modern design, the atmospheric retreat allows guests to create unforgettable experiences.
The deluxe all-inclusive retreat features 120 villas – 60 are in the sea – 1.5 kilometres of soft white sand, outdoor ‘under the stars’ showers, Balinese- and Thai-style spa treatments, Turkish baths, breathtaking coral reefs and motorised water sports.
With a range of Water Villas, Jacuzzi Water Villas, Royal Beach Villas, and Presidential Water Villas, there are plenty of decadent options for a relaxing getaway – whether you stay in your contemporary-style suite or explore the beach paradise.
Conrad Maldives – The Muraka
Getting there: 30-minute seaplane flight from Malé International Airport.
Location: South Ari Atoll
Highlight: Underwater suite
For a truly unique Maldives experience, The Muraka is the epitome of luxury suites.
A first of its kind, the luxury two-level residence features an entire master bedroom submerged more than five metres deep in the Indian Ocean.
Venture beneath the surface of the ocean through the elevator or spiral staircase to reach your own private aquarium – an architectural masterpiece complete with a dedicated tunnel viewing theatre and 180-degree curved acrylic dome with floor-to-ceiling windows in the bathroom and walk-in closet.
The exclusive out-of-this-world suite can only be reached from a private seaplane journey or private speedboat ride – which you can use for the rest of your stay – from the main Conrad resort.
When you’re not dreaming under the sea, you can enjoy the upper level of The Muraka, which boasts two bedrooms, an ocean-facing bathtub, infinity pool, outdoor deck, on-call fitness trainer, spa treatments and private jet skis. If that’s not enough for you, guests also have a 24-hour butler service and a private chef on hand.
The awe-inspiring retreat pushes boundaries to create an exclusive underwater experience. It’s certainly one for the bucket list.
Getting there: 45-minute private seaplane from Malé International Airport.
Location: Medhufaru lagoon at Maldives’ Noonu Atoll
Highlight: Villas with water slides
Price: from US$3,139 per night
Beautifully designed villas, ultimate privacy and uninterrupted ocean views create a tranquil Maldivian experience.
An overwater observatory, sunset dolphin cruises, overwater cinema, an astronomy cruise with the resident astronomer, private beach dinners and eco-friendly surfing with sustainable equipment are just some of the extraordinary activities at Soneva Jani.
When you tire of the envy-inducing ventures, rest your head at one of the resort’s luxury overwater villas synonymous with the Maldives.
Many of Soneva’s suites – whether it’s the four-bedroom Island Reserve or the two-bedroom Water Retreat – come with water slides for guests to slide straight from their balcony into the calming turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
Be sure to dream your day away in the comfort of a pillowy, oversized bed complete with a window to the stars. Guests can fall asleep beneath the shimmery night sky, and if it rains, the automatic roof is retractable leaving you without a care in the world.
Hurawalhi Island Resort
Getting there: 40-minute seaplane from Malé International Airport.
Location: Lhaviyani Atoll, north of the islands
Highlight: Adults only
Price: from US$1,132 per night
If a child-free resort sounds like your idea of dream holiday, Hurawalhi Maldives offers exactly that.
A slice of serenity, intimacy and thrill awaits guests at this chic resort. There are 90 adults-only villas sprinkled through the glistening teal waters boasting lavish comfort with paradise at your fingertips.
Perhaps one of the attractions of the oasis (that is, if children-free wasn’t drawcard enough) is the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant.
Nestled 5.8 metres below sea level is the aptly named 5.8 Undersea Restaurant – the jewel of Harawalhi’s crown – which takes guests on an elusive gastronomical journey with multi-course tasting.
Preserving the pristine environment is something close to the resort’s heart. Solar energy systems, energy wise hot showers where leftover energy produced by generators is converted to electrical energy, and desalination and water bottling to reduce plastic waste are some of the ways the island is paving its way to a greener future.