The epitome of refined elegance, the Maldives offer a desert island dream come true, where you can lounge on a tranquil talcum powder beach sipping cocktails while watching the sunset. It’s a mecca for surfers and one of the world’s richest diving areas, with clear warm waters, vivid corals and thousands of fish, from groups of colourful swimmers to magnificent mantas and sharks. The luxury hotels tend to take their inspiration from the Orient or French Polynesia while cuisine is usually an eclectic blend of Asian and Continental with plenty of seafood.
HOW TO GET THERE
British Airways flies direct from Gatwick in under 10½ hours. Emirates, Qatar, Etihad, Oman Air and SriLankan Airlines also operate from various UK airport with many offering stop-overs in the Arabian Gulf so why not break the journey and enjoy the stimulating contrast between the two destinations?
WHEN TO TRAVEL
December to April is the high season as the weather is hot, there’s less rainfall and it is the best time to scuba-dive. It is wetter and windier May to October.
3, 4 or 7 night cruises from £1,750pp including full-board An island-hopping cruise aboard this luxurious 128-feet catamaran is a wonderful complement to one or both Four Seasons Maldives Resorts. It allows avid divers, water enthusiasts, nature lovers and 21st century explorers to beachcomb, snorkel or dive among the untouched reaches of exotic atolls.
The essence of ‘castaway bliss’, this Four Seasons Resort occupies the entire 44-acres of Landaa Giraavaru in the remote Baa Atoll, an UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Manta rays and turtles frequent the pristine two-kilometre lagoon fringed by powderwhite beaches and a kaleidoscopic house reef.
Styled after a Maldivian village, this picture-perfect resort on the coral island of Kuda Huraa combines the escapist nature of the Maldives with the legendary standards of Four Seasons. It comprises 96 privately tranquil pavilions and bungalows strung along the white sand beach or over the crystal clear waters.
Sheltered by a wide coral reef, the palm-fringed isles of the Noonu Atoll form an exotic oasis at the northwest corner of the Maldives archipelago, forty minutes north of Malé by seaplane. Here you’ll discover a paradise where the whole family will experience French ‘Art de Recevoir’, care of a Majordome and Alchemists to create golden memories.
Amilla is setting itself apart with a refreshingly modern take on the ultimate, authentic Maldives experience, with clean, contemporary architecture and a relaxed down-to-earth approach bringing a new way of doing things to a destination that has found itself in a conceptual cul-de-sac.
Surrounded by a coral reef and lagoon with powder white sand fringed by swaying palms, Conrad Maldives is the archetypal tropical paradise in the South Ari Atoll, located on two islands linked by a 500 meter bridge over the Indian Ocean. It’s also a winning combination of chic superlative service, barefoot luxury and the finest cuisine that has brought it renown.
A stunning island paradise with seven seductive restaurants, three swimming pools, as well as PADI dive centre and water sports school. A kids club and choice of family villas and romantic hideaways mean it’s as wonderful for families as for couples.
Gili Lankanfushi is set on the intimately private coral island of Lankanfushi in the North Malé Atoll. Jetties wind across the sparkling lagoon to 45 luxurious overwater villas, some of which are so secluded they’re reached only by boat or pontoon so that you can experience the aquatic beauty of the Maldives in a world of your own.
The flagship property of Soneva Resorts, Soneva Fushi not only redefined the Maldives when it opened in 1995, but it also reinvented luxury resorts throughout the tropics. ‘Intelligent Luxury’ became a concept synonymous with simple sophistication, exceptional service and indigenous design, and nearly two decades later no one has come up with anything better.
This member of ‘The Small Luxury Hotels of the World’ lies on its own pretty little island in the scenic South Malé Atoll. It’s extremely serene, select and service-orientated, although as it shares its lagoon with two other Anantara resorts, and is even connected via a long walkway to one of them, it’s quite easy to shift gears when you’re in the mood. Design-wise it’s like a breath of fresh air.
One&Only Reethi Rah has not only topped international spa polls but was named ‘Number One in the World’ by Condé Nast Traveller magazine. And whilst its idyllic setting on one of the largest islands in the North Malé Atoll certainly contributes to its magic, it’s the spectacular villas combined with the slick service levels that really clinch the deal.
Coco Bodu Hithi sits on its own private island, a relaxing 40-minute speedboat ride from Malé, and whilst this 100-villa sanctuary invites pleasure-seeking guests to chill-out by private pools in contemporary luxury, the highly modern design also comes with plenty of authentic local craftsmanship.
Just as fashionable with the cognoscenti as its sister hotel Parrot Cay in the Turks & Caicos, Cocoa Island is an exclusive private island retreat that takes about 10-minutes to circumnavigate. Perfect snorkelling conditions await on the house reef, whilst some of the world’s best dive sites lie nearby.
An award-winning retreat of Per AQUUM Retreats • Resorts • Residences, Huvafen Fushi is where the Maldives gets a little bit funky. It’s where you come for cutting-edge design and the world’s first underwater spa, yet it’s also delightfully chilled-out with plenty of thatch and timber balancing out the modern furnishings and fibre-optic lighting effects.
With an ethos of informal elegance, Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldive archipelago - where none of the islands is larger than five square miles – is truly the place to lose yourself in luxurious relaxation. This unspoilt island resort has blended spectacular tropical surroundings and luxury comfort to create an idyllic escape.
Airy and spacious suites at Dhevanafushi Maldives Luxury Resort are appropriately called ‘Revives’. Each offers a breathtaking view over the ocean or the idyllic island and boasts a private white sand beach and a garden with a secluded sun deck.
A Maldivian utopia on a sizeable pear-shaped island in the Baa Atoll. Anantara Kihavah is a carefully-conceived haven of ultra-private pool villas, set along the beach and perched over the water.
The larger of the two resorts, Anantara Dhigu offers five-star standards alongside a slew of facilities. It’s a great choice if you’re travelling with your family, or if you and your partner like your tropical getaways to come with plenty of distractions - there’s tennis, fitness facilities, sailing excursions and every water sport you can think of, including waterskiing, scuba-diving and a seasonal surf school, with an infinity-edge pool and over-water spa on offer if you prefer to flop rather than frolic.
This ‘Leading Hotel of the World’ takes full advantage of its setting in one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives. Most of it is stilted over the water and guests are able to enjoy panoramic seascapes whether relaxing upon their terraces, surrendering to soothing treatments in the spa or enjoying Progressive World Cuisine in the over-water restaurant. It consists of just 64 palm-thatched villas, each one striking the perfect balance between rustic appeal and fine living.
With 94 villas set on Falhumaafushi, a pristine island in the Huvadhoo Atoll, that take the island as their design inspiration, the timeless beauty and elegance of atoll living abounds at The Residence Maldives, a deserving member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Pretty thatched roofs, white stucco walls and natural materials and fabrics complement the enchanting views of the ocean, the pool or even both.
To enter LUX* Maldives is to leave modern life far behind and escape to a tranquil fairy-tale castaway island surrounded by the crystal clear lagoons of the Maldives, coral sands and frangipani and hibiscus. This tropical island is just 25 minutes from Malé by seaplane, yet feels like an entirely different world. LUX* Maldives offers a sense of unspoiled island living.
A deluxe property that comes with a distinctly enviable pedigree. It was conceived by the same company who brought you Constance Lémuria and Constance Le Prince Maurice, both of these world-class hideaways contributing just the right amount of ‘place sensitive’ elegance to their idyllic settings in the Seychelles and Mauritius. A member of ‘Leading Hotels of the World’
This ultra modern, uber-chic resort has unique features aplenty from pools lit by fibre optics, an underwater music club and a design ethos that takes ‘luxury contemporary’ to extraordinary new heights. The 86 Studios and Pavilions offer a range of accommodation options. Beach Studios feature outdoor bathrooms, large deck areas and secluded beach views; Deluxe Beach Studios with private fibre optic pools, Beach Pavilions with private pools, exclusive beach access and 24-hr butler service.
Kanuhura, precious island languidly set on the warm Indian Ocean, in the middle of the bright atolls of the Maldives, can be described as a unique “timeless castaway chic experience” for travellers seeking laid-back island living. The forces of the elements are the architects of this true paradise, a place of beautiful, natural enchantment. Kanuhura’s offers a very tasteful celebration of luxurious island living with a sense of bliss, framed in soft colours and natural materials used, combined with tropical elegant design enhances the harmony of elegance in fusion with timeless Gypset chic.
Six Senses Laamu lies on the privately-owned Olhuveli Island in the Laamu Atoll, sprawling over land and sea. Eco-friendly with a slight funky, trendy edge, its more rustic than sister properties.
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is a castaway’s fantasy complete with talcum powder sands and the kind of turquoise lagoon you hoped (but never actually believed!) existed. And, of course, the thatched-roof villas only add to the island’s heady appeal, most of them beach-facing, but fourteen of them stilted above the water.
Just when you thought the Maldives couldn’t get any better, you now have the opportunity of combining its unique tropical beauty with the exemplary standards of a blue ribbon hotel company from the Orient. The fresh Shangri- La’s Villingili Resort and Spa lies in the Addu Atoll an exhilarating 70-minute flight from Malé and everything about it screams total privacy and five-star luxury.
Set on Hembadhu, North Male Atoll, a charmingly small island approached by a 45-minute boat ride, the Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef has an enviable reputation for graceful hospitality and attention to detail.
Restaurants offer breathtaking ocean views and mouthwatering cuisine that celebrates the taste of the sea. Blue Salt has a cooked-to-order approach to gourmet dining and you’ll enjoy international dishes prepared from island caught fish, Asian and fusion creations, and fine European cuisine.
The Maldives are famous as a destination for honeymooners and water sports enthusiasts alike, and LUX* South Ari Atoll is the perfect paradise for anyone looking for romance or adventure, or both! Enjoy an impromptu cinema screening under the stars, or take advantage of this ideal base for exploring the Maldives’ wealth of dive sites
Perfect for a romantic retreat , Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is the perfect exclusive island with the most beautiful location. The luxurious 5-star villas located just steps away from powdery white sand will ensure you the most magical Maldivian experience.
Its location on the lush Dhaalu Atoll, with it’s picture perfect lagoon, is quintessential paradise island, but Kandima Maldives offers a fresh take on this most idyllic destination. It’s a lifestyle resort with spirit that engages your heart and soul.
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The above temperatures are maximum average temperatures in degrees Celsius. The rainfall is recorded in inches. This information should be treated as a guide only and our sales team will be happy to advise on weather trends, including hurricanes.