With almost a hundred Maldives hotels on as many islands, it can be hard to choose which one to visit. One thing’s for sure, they all offer the sort of pristine beaches, turquoise waters and swaying palms that have launched a thousand holiday brochures. Indian Ocean Product Manager, Louise Ashworth selects some of her favourite resorts for all occasions.
Stretching down towards the equator, the Maldives is a string of beautiful Indian Ocean islands famed for barefoot luxury resorts where attentive staff cater to every wish and whim. Here’s my pick of a few favourites…
Fabulous for families
With a reputation for romantic holidays and honeymoons, the Maldives hasn’t always been the obvious choice for families. However, many luxury resorts have excellent kids’ clubs and whilst the children are being entertained, adults can slip away and still embrace that island hideaway feeling.
One&Only Maldives at Reethi Rah has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most luxurious of the Maldives’ many 5-star deluxe islands, yet is the perfect example of how to combine high-end pampering with family fun. The KidsOnly programme - complete with clubhouse, pool and imaginative activities that include chocolate making, a pirate cruise and trip to find Nemo with the resident Marine Biologist – is discretely managed so that resort never feels like a kindergarten. Whilst over at families can explore authentic Maldivian culture with a range of tours and kids’ club activities such as Bodu Beru drumming in addition to a variety of sporting pursuits including one of the Maldives’ only golf courses.
Accommodation is another area where the Maldives scores well for families. Whilst those strings of wooden water villas might not be the best choice with babies or toddlers, many resorts offer spacious beach villas with multiple bedrooms. At the elegant Constance Halaveli resort, the 2-bedroom family beach villas have a gated garden to keep little ones safe and can be equipped with baby-essentials such as bottle sterilisers and pushchairs, meaning you can travel lighter.
With its winning combination of warm waters, close proximity of dive sites, high density of fish and varied reef and coral forms, there are few places as pleasant to dive or snorkel. Most resorts have their own dive school with courses and ad hoc sessions whether you’re a rookie or a pro.
In addition to a world-class spa and ultra-premium all inclusive package, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru boasts what is widely regarded as the best house reef in the Maldives. It’s easily accessible from the beach and supports and enormous variety of marine life. White-tip reef shark are often seen at the dramatic drop off point where the reef floor descends abruptly from sight. Guests can also get involved with conservation projects at the Banyan Tree Maldives Marine Lab.
The Maldives is known for laid-back luxe and a “no news, no shoes” philosophy, but there are a few resorts that will satisfy any cravings for a spot of jet-set glamour. Stylish Niyama boasts the world’s first and only underwater nightclub, Subsix, with a roster of international DJs; whilst guests at the adult-orientated W Retreat & Spa can enjoy cocktails and pulsating beats at the subterranean 15 Below Bar, if they can bear to tear themselves away from the amazing glass-floored over-water suites.
From the people who brought you that Dubai bastion of bling, Burj Al Arab, the levels of luxury at Jumeirah Dhevanafushi perfectly compliment the stunning beauty of the Maldives. Huge villas offer state-of-the-art technical and entertainment systems, extravagant pool and deck space plus a dedicated butler.
All inclusive packages can be the route to great value – or even a byword for untold extravagance - in a destination where it’s all too easy to leave with a huge bill, but check exactly what’s included to prevent disappointment. LUX* Maldives and Atmosphere Kanifushi both offer a great all inclusive package with a choice of buffet and speciality a la carte restaurants, premium drinks and excursions.
When to go
The Maldives has a hot, tropical climate with sunshine all year round. November – April are the best months to travel as it’s dry with little wind. Even though there may be sporadic rain during the summer, this is still an increasingly popular time for Maldives holidays, partly due to excellent offers that are available.
Still can’t decide which Maldives’ island is right for you? Our travel experts regularly visit this beautiful destination and would love to talk through your requirements to help find a resort you’ll love. How about combining two or more resorts for a luxurious island hopping experience?