When planning to visit the Maldives a holidaymaker is faced with an odd dilemma: just exactly which island resort, from over two hundred, to pick? There are few other destinations that spoil for choice quite like this one.
From simple island life to a sprawling luxury playground—we present you with fifteen properties that have one thing in common: they are the very best.
Also See : Top 10: best luxury resorts in the Maldives
1 Six Senses Laamu
“Laamu has all the ingredients of the perfect holiday—not least of which is the resort’s genuine barefoot luxury, presented in a pure atmosphere of carefree relaxation.”—from our review of Six Senses Laamu
Our regular readers will remember that we are huge fans of the Six Senses’ concept of rustic chic. After recently visiting Six Senses Laamu, we concluded that the chain’s Maldivian outpost is perhaps the best example yet of the philosophy that masterfully combines beautiful remote locations, eco living and uncompromising luxury.
Related : Maldives resort opens over water wedding pavilion with a glass aisle
Photographs (including the leading shot at the top of the article) © Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
2 One&Only Reethi Rah
We love it for: Our Beach Villa with Pool. Luxurious, sleek, and offering copious amount of space in and out. We also spent few days in a Water Villa, which has a multi-level deck surrounded by lounging nets, spread over blue shallows. Occasionally, we’d dip into the calm waters, directly from the deck. Pure bliss!
Photographs above and below © One&Only Resorts
3 Huvafen Fushi
We love it for: Superb over-water bar for gazing at sunsets and our Ocean Bungalow with Pool. Its thatched rooftop looks rustic, but the interior is anything but, with a touch of contemporary urban loft apartment style and high-tech features to match.
Photographs above and below © Per AQUUM
4 Cheval Blanc Randheli
We love it for: The design is more sleek, stylish and glamorous than in any other resort on this list—and the Cheval Blanc Randheli villas are simply the best in the Maldives. They are huge and stunningly beautiful, and their décor stands out with superb craftsmanship and detailing. Every single one of these sophisticated sanctuaries comes with a massive infinity pool.
5 Maalifushi by COMO
We love it for: This island smells good, thanks to Shambhala, COMO’s own range of high quality cosmetics, distributed in bathrooms. Speaking of which, COMO Shambhala Spa was even better than we expected!
Photographs above and below © COMO Hotels & Resorts
6 Soneva Fushi
We love it for: The villas, many designed in a “tree house” style. These beautiful hideaways and massive and well camouflaged by lush greenery. Plus, Soneva’s “no-news, no-shoes” concept it’s not just on paper: you are likely to go barefoot for the entire stay.
Photographs © Soneva.com
7 Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
We love it for: Situated in Huvadhoo, the largest and deepest atoll in the Maldives, Hadahaa offers the pure Maldivian experience of blue sea, fine powdery-sand beaches and healthy, abundant house reef—with some of the best snorkelling in the country.
Photographs © Hyatt Corporation
8 W Retreat & Spa Maldives
W Retreat Koh Samui
We love it for: W Retreat Maldives is perfect for anybody who appreciates a young vibe, good design and fashionable music. It’s sexy, seriously indulgent and eminently luxurious.
Photographs above and below © Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
9 Gili Lankanfushi
We love it for: These celebrated villas-on-stilts have a real wow factor: it’s the ultimate paradise living. Ah, and also… underground chocolate cave, anyone? Just take us there already!
Photographs © HPL Hotels & Resorts
10 Cocoa Island by COMO
We love it for: Cocoa has an atmosphere of a tiny uninhabited island. All you need to remember is to pack the swimsuit… and maybe a couple of books.
Photographs © COMO Hotels and Resorts
11 Four Seasons Landaa Giravaaru
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui
We love it for: You get not one resorts but two! The five-star sister property of Four Seasons, Kuda Huraa, is a private island to the south, linked by the luxury catamaran Four Seasons Explorer, which cruises between the two places. Along the way it drops anchor at exceptional dive sites, tiny uninhabited beaches and remote island communities.
Photographs © Four Seasons Hotels Limited.
12 Shangri-La Villingili
We love it for: To avoid cutting trees down when constructing the resort many villas were built around the trunks. Some are actually built as “tree houses”—a first in the Maldives.
Photographs © Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
13 Velaa Private Island
Song Saa Private Island
We love it for: This place is all about realising extravagant fantasies. Velaa offers a walk-in snow room (literally) in the spa, a three-person submarine, a stunning purpose-build yacht, the largest collection of wines in the Maldives, a roofed tennis court… we could go on.
Photographs © Velaa Private Island.
14 Anantara Kihavah Villas
We love it for: The huge Over-Water Residences, which come with massage pavilions and stunning views of the ocean.
Photographs © Anantara Hotels
We love it for: Quirky designs and cutting-edge ideas that include a great number of activities: 24/7 spa, the underwater nightclub, an interactive hub of remote control helicopters and buggies, weekly movie nights, and more.