Top 10 luxury hotels in the Maldives
There's nothing that makes people go quite as weak at the knees other than a couple of weeks in the Maldives and if you've got plans to check out Asia's tiniest country then make sure you read the luxury hotel suggestions below to do it in style. White sands, swaying palms and the Indian Ocean, all you need now is a hammock and glass of fizz and you're all good to go.
10. Baros Maldives
The setting: Just under half an hour's speedboat ride from Male.
The scene: This wonderful hotel is renowned for its watersports and dedication to the marine life of the Indian Ocean. Catamaran sailing, sunset cruises and Scuba diving all enable you to get closer to the water and you can always use your private pool if you fancy a fresh water alternative. 3 great restaurants, a spa and superb accommodation more than compliment the gorgeous sea views.
The stay: Around 90 villas set within tropical gardens or on the beachfront with teak flooring, stand alone tubs and plenty of space.
The best bits: Why not indulge in a spot of sandbank dining for the ultimate in romantic moonlit suppers.
More information and to book: A short 25 minute speedboat journey from Male is all you need to take to reach Baros Maldives, your Maldivian island paradise.
9. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
The setting: Located within one of the Maldives' most impressive lagoons within the centre of the archipelago.
The scene: This is an exquisite setting with some sumptuous views of the Indian Ocean no matter where you find yourself. One of the best ways to get a little closer to the warm waves is to dive right in and as Taj Exotica has its very own certified PADI centre this is a fabulous option if you're looking to take the plunge. An infinity pool, spa services and a la carte dining more than add to the occasion.
The stay: The traditional thatched villas are every bit as exotically exciting as you can imagine and as there's just shy of 65 different properties to choose from you'll be bound to find the right piece of paradise to suit you.
The best bits: The protected lagoon location is just perfect for snorkelling, diving and splashing about as the sun sets.
More information and to book: Blessed with outstanding surrounding beauty in the form of vast clear blue waters, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is an idyllic spot in the heart of the Maldives.
8. Park Hyatt Hadahaa Resort
The setting: Neatly sandwiched in between Male and the equator.
The scene: Yoga sessions, cooking lessons or days spent under water are all highly recommended on this private island paradise and if you've got any time left over then a trip to the spa will no doubt send you swirling into pampered VIP heaven. If you're into exploring then a cheeky boat ride will take you across the ocean in search of dolphins, sun sets and the equator – all aboard!
The stay: 50 villas offering the very best in 5-star accommodation including: plunge pools, designer furniture and the very best in natural light and magnificent ocean views.
The best bits: The villas that are located over the ocean have got to be seen to be believed.
More information and to book: Set on a beautifully secluded private island, Park Hyatt Hadahaa offers the pristine beaches and lavish surroundings that the Maldives is famous for.
7. Lily Beach Resort & Spa
The setting: Located to the southwest of Male as the penultimate southernmost island in the Maldives.
The scene: An enchanting array of tropical gardens and lush green vegetation makes Lily Beach Resort a spectacular fusion of colour with those all-important ocean hues adding to a fabulous picture of health and happiness. Lots of things to do for the whole family, including: kids' clubs, beach activities, watersports and evening entertainment. If you manage to get any 'me time' then you could do worse than an afternoon or even a couple of hours spent at Tamara Spa. 2 freshwater swimming pools, a couple of restaurants and banana boat rides – job done!
The stay: Almost 120 air-conditioned guest villas featuring everything from Jacuzzis to four-poster king-size beds.
The best bits: Excellent facilities and services for the kids make this an awesome option for tropical island loving families.
More information and to book: Boasting exceptional pristine beaches and tropical flora, the Lily Beach Resort & Spa is serenity at its best.
6. Viceroy Maldives
The setting: To be found on the northern edge of the Maldives, around 150 miles from Male Island and the international airport.
The scene: Superb service and fine-dining experiences make Viceroy a delight for foodies and if you've got plans to indulge in some gourmet grub whilst overlooking the Indian Ocean then things don't really get much better than this. After all that eating you'll find plenty of watersports, fitness facilities and a full service spa to help you work off your lunch and there's nothing better than a sunset stroll to work up an appetitive prior to a candle-lit supper under the stars.
The stay: Just over 60 villas with some amazing over the ocean options make Viceroy an excellent choice for those who love to sit and stare.
The best bits: The intoxicating Middle Eastern, African and Asian dishes to be found within the hotel's restaurants are right up there.
5. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The setting: Situated quite a way to the southwest of Male straddling a couple of islands via a bridge.
The scene: This is pretty much the epitome of luxury accommodation in the Maldives and if you're looking for an award-winning tropical retreat then Conrad hotel on Rangali Island is where your search stops. 7 world-class restaurants, including an underwater location, form the gourmet backbone to your stay with the surrounding ocean views providing an idyllic accompaniment. Watersports, fitness centres, a swimming pool and plenty of kid-friendly options (ice cream spa anyone?), give you lots more food for thought however, an evening spent watching the sun set is always going to be a natural daily highlight.
The stay: A fabulous choice of suites and villas have been designed to maximise the sunshine and sea views with Rangali Island reserved just for adults to get a bit of peace and quiet.
The best bits: Underwater fine-dining at Ithaa is always going to tip the balance when it comes to unique and unforgettable experiences.
More information and to book: Relax in paradise at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. This luxurious five-star property embodies the awe-inspiring beauty of the Maldives with the benefit of world-class amenities and indulgent accommodation.
4. Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
The setting: Just half an hour north of Male (by seaplane) and plenty more miles directly west of the southern tip of Sri Lanka.
The scene: Peace and tranquility with lots of salt-encrusted wooden decking provides just a taste of things to come with a couple of restaurants and beach bars thrown in for good measure. If you're feeling in the mood for some fun and games you'll find tennis, volleyball and badminton courts available although, it would be rude not to get your toes wet and the watersports and spa options are plentiful.
The stay: Garden or private veranda settings help you make the most of the calming ocean hues, especially around sun set. Air-con, en-suite and tea/coffee making facilities – surely, nothing else is required?
The best bits: The open cooking station in the Cowrie Restaurant is a sight for sore eyes in more ways than one.
More information and to book: Flanked by sugary beaches and tropical scenery, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is a peaceful retreat enveloped by the beautiful Maldivian landscape.
3. LUX* South Ari Atoll
The setting: Based on one of the largest islands in the Maldives, Dhidhoofinolhu, within the stunning South Ari Atol.
The scene: Loads of activities and things to do will tempt you from a day spent in your hammock although, after a couple of tropical cocktails, there's probably nothing more appropriate. 2 infinity pools, kids' and teens' clubs and a spa with no less than 15 treatment rooms, if you're still looking for more options then you probably need to amend your desert island expectations.
The stay: Just shy of 200 guest rooms and suites all of which feature: air-con, WiFi access and plenty of privacy.
The best bits: Aside from the spa, watersports and dining facilities there are lots of secret honesty bars, free phone home boxes and messages in bottles to keep your Robinson Crusoe levels fixed on excited.
More information and to book: Perfect for couples and families, you’ll enjoy the beautiful surroundings of soft white sand and transparent water at a fantastic price at LUX* South Ari Atoll.
2. Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef
The setting: Hold on tight as a speedboat whisks you north of Male to a tropical island paradise.
The scene: Villas on stilts, underwater wrecks and some fairly chic and glam lounge bar facilities provide a glimpse at the VIP lifestyles of the Indian Ocean. This is a superb spot for snorkelling and Scuba diving with a PADI recognised dive school giving you the chance to take the plunge or further your underwater experiences. Fishing folk will be made up with their decision too as from nocturnal boat rides to big game hauls, there's plenty of time to catch your supper or throw it back to swim another day.
The stay: Just over 60 guest villas represent the very best in designer décor and superior living space with natural light and ocean views always forming the main course on a delectable menu.
The best bits: Staying in a thatched luxury villa situated on stilts over the ocean is definitely something to write home about.
More information and to book: Set on a gorgeous private island, Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef is a luxurious all-inclusive resort perfect for a couple looking for a lavish romantic getaway or a family who want a relaxing holiday.
1. Dusit Thani
The setting: Around 30 minutes east by seaplane from Male and the international airport and situated on stunning Mudhdhoo Island in the Baa Atoll.
The scene: One of the Maldives' crown jewels in every sense, Mudhdhoo Island is set within the Baa Atoll and presents a verdant green centre, pitted with blue lagoons, and surrounded by sugar white sand. The hotel itself has a full range of outdoor and indoor activities to fill your days with spa treatments, Yoga sessions and even boutique shopping giving you a snatch at the good life. 2 flood-lit tennis courts, a central swimming pool and several dining and lounging options help you work on your appetite within a delectable destination.
The stay: Just under 100 luxurious guest villas that come complete with WiFi access, MP3 docking stations and a selection of gourmet items, including wines, to help you settle in.
The best bits: Before you dive into the ocean why not have a chat with the resort's friendly marine biologist who will no doubt point you in the right direction.
More information and to book: Sophisticated and luxurious, Dusit Thani Maldives offers a wonderful holiday destination in a paradise location.