A distant island paradise, the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, is a dream vacation for many. The archipelago consists of 1200 inhabited and uninhabited islands, of which over 130 are private resorts that welcome guests from across the globe.
Amongst these tropical getaways are some of the world’s fanciest and pleasurable escapes. Retreats where you not only get to experience the best in life, resorts in the Maldives are a gateway to exploring the beauty of the region that is as spectacular above the ground as it is fascinating under the water.
The most famous resort in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi, has long been a benchmark for luxurious stays worldwide. Situated inside the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, its place amidst the lush green Kunfunadhoo island gives it a naturally exclusive aura. Add to that, a cornucopia of lavish amenities, and Soneva Fushi transforms into a memorable sojourn, the likes of which only a few lucky souls get to encounter.
With soft sandy beaches bordering the island on all sides, guests staying at Sonefa Fushi can choose between sunset villas that offer access to a house reef or the more intimate sunrise villas with endless panoramic seascapes. Until recently, Soneva Fushi’s “rooms” were mostly limited to on-land abodes. However, with the growing demand for water bungalows, they have now added a “water retreat” that can accommodate a small family. This exceptional residence includes a private pool, retractable roof, outdoor dining area, day beds, and a water slide that lets you splash straight into the crystal-clear waters below.
Address: Kunfunadhoo Island, Eydhafushi, Maldives
Having 77 beach villas and overwater bungalows, W Maldives is the perfect resort for couples and families looking for a memorable holiday. While the resort offers plenty of occasions to enjoy the quietude one expects from a faraway holiday, there are also several activities guests can partake in to discover some of Maldives’ hidden wonders. From snorkeling in the house reef and diving excursions to yacht rides and culinary extravaganzas at one of W Maldives’ restaurants, there is never a dull moment on this island.
Whether staying over water or in one of the beach villas, all of W’s residences have a private pool. Merging contemporary design with local elements, the villas are bright, functional, and packed with every modern-day convenience imaginable. If looking for that special place, opt for the WOW Ocean Haven suite that comes with a “wraparound sun deck,” infinity plunge pool, indoor lounge with glass flooring, two bathrooms, a 50″ plasma TV, and a kitchenette.
Address: Fesdu Island, North Ari Atoll, Maldives
Velaa Private Island
Velaa Private Island is a unique resort in the Maldives in more ways than one. The owners of this luxury escape are Czech, whereas the furniture, wood, and stone were imported from far off places like Italy, Borneo, and Jordan, giving the space an international feel while keeping its heart grounded in Maldivian culture. With only 47 villas, Velaa is an idyllic honeymoon destination, although there is enough for families, including a kids club, to enjoy on the island. Fun activities here include high-tech rides on an underwater scooter, jetovator, electric foil surfboards, as well as kitesurfing lessons, spa treatments, and playing golf on a 9-hole course.
Velaa Private Island has various living arrangements, from beachside villas to grand residences that can accommodate a small group with ease. However, their “romantic residence,” accessible only via boat, is in a league of its own. The one-bedroom water villa has a separate gym, lounging areas, infinity pool, jacuzzi, and private butler service. It is the best way to savor a desert island experience without forgoing the indulgences of life.
Address: Noonu Atoll, Maldives
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
Those searching for novel adventures will find the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll very much to their liking. Besides creating an environment that promises a relaxing break, this beautiful resort offers remarkable possibilities to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. Starting with the scenic 30-minute seaplane ride from Malé, guests have several exciting options to indulge in, from spa treatments over a glass-floored villa and yoga classes to an underwater ride in a three-person submarine and educational projects at the in-house Marine Discovery Centre.
There are spacious beach villas at Four Seasons with private pools and gorgeous water villas that bring you a step closer to Maldives’ underwater wildlife. Amongst their most exquisite residences, though, is the three-bedroom land and ocean suite. Accommodating up to nine guests, the suite has three bathrooms, two powder rooms, an overwater pool, dining, and lounging areas. Moreover, it is located in a secluded part of the island for the ultimate in privacy.
Address: Ball Atoll, Maldives