Luxury travel: Where to stay in the Maldives

The Maldives is world-famous for its luxury holiday resorts and crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re searching for a romantic barefoot getaway or an activity-packed family break, island escapes don’t come more premium than this.

Almost every resort here will guarantee you access to a stunning beach and perfect weather – but your choice of accommodation is very much essential to getting the experience you desire.

From high-end dining to world-class diving, start planning a luxury holiday to remember with our guide on where to stay in the Maldives.

How to choose where to stay in the Maldives

So, which island should you go to in the Maldives? If you’re unfamiliar with this part of the world, it’s helpful to know that every resort actually sits on its own private island. There are over a thousand islands in total that are grouped into 26 atolls, which means chains of islands.

Each island has its own shape and features, and while other locations are accessible by boat, the amenities you’ll have the easiest access too are those on the resort you choose. So, if you’re looking for maximum ease and relaxation, you’ll want to make sure your resort offers exactly you need it to.

Thankfully, the Maldives offers a wide range of luxury accommodation to cater to different travellers and needs. Wildlife and turquoise waters are almost everywhere, but other key factors you might want to consider when picking yours include:

Atmosphere: Are you looking for stripped-back nature or gloss and glamour? Is this going to be a relaxed honeymoon break or an active excursion? Many resorts here offer distinct atmospheres, so think about the experience you’re travelling for.

Activities: As well as excellent diving and snorkelling, your resort could put on serene fishing trips, therapeutic spa treatments and adrenaline-fuelled water sports such as windsurfing and wakeboarding. Golf courses and tennis courts are also widely available.

Food and drink: At the best Maldivian resorts you’ll be cooked for in the evenings by Michelin-starred chefs in stunning restaurants. Come morning time, you’ll find an enormous spread of fresh breakfast foods to set you up for another day in paradise.

Luxuries: For wealthy travellers, luxury is what the Maldives is all about. As well as a range of pampering spa treatments, you can expect to have your own butler known as a thakaru on hand throughout your stay.

Children: As you’d expect anywhere, some resorts are set up for families while others are intentionally adult-orientated. If you do plan to bring little ones along, look out for kids-club offerings as well as other child-friendly facilities.

The best luxury resorts in the Maldives


Located north from the capital of Malé, the stunning residences and facilities at the Velaa private island resort are all designed to offer a feeling of pure seclusion. Every detail is taken care of to allow you and your partner to focus solely on each other and the stunning surroundings.

Villas here feature private pools, extensive terraces and gorgeous outdoor bathrooms. Its Teppanyaki restaurant sits on top of a three-storey wine cellar while Aragu offers dazzling overwater dining for special occasions.

The resort is perfect for wedding celebrations – whether that means sharing the occasion with family or friends or enjoying an intimate ceremony between the two of you.

Soneva Fushi

One of three Soneva resorts in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi is ‘the original desert island hideaway’ and is located on one of its largest and most nature-rich islands. Fushi’s fairy-tale treehouse-style villas sit among dense tropical foliage and many boast their own seawater swimming pools - while eight spectacular water retreats were unveiled in 2020.

The resort has won countless international hotel awards including several related to its eco-friendly credentials. With 100% carbon neutrality, organic gardens, enlightening experiences and a faithfully observed mantra of ‘No News, No Shoes’, Fushi is the epitome of barefoot luxury.

One&Only Reethi Rah

The One&Only Reethi Rah resort is a favourite among royals and A-list Hollywood celebrities for good reason.

Its palm-fringed, octopus-shaped island offers beautiful white sands, an overwhelming array of facilities and decadent villas that are overseen by a vast team of experienced staff. You’ll arrive by luxury yacht and transition between award-winning spa treatments and exceptional meals by bicycle or a chauffeured golf buggy.

And if you want to unwind further, Reethi Rah even operates one hour ahead of Malé so you can enjoy an extra cocktail or three while watching the sunset.

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Prepare to be met by some of the most elegant architectural and interior design you’ve ever seen when you hop off the Cheval Blanc Randheli resort’s very own branded seaplane. The sumptuous villas here were designed by the renowned Jean-Michel Gathy and feature artistic details beneath grand cathedral-esque thatched roofs.

When you’re not floating around in a private infinity pool, activities on offer include yoga and meditation with wellness masters as well as diving expeditions and dolphin cruises. Fine dining options range from Japanese to Iberian and French when it’s time to dress up and indulge in the evenings.

How to get to the Maldives from the UK

The Maldives has a total of four international airports, with most people flying into Velana International Airport just outside of the capital city Malé. You’ll then transfer to your resort by a speedboat or seaplane which will usually be arranged by your resort.

But considering the distance from the UK to the Maldives, if you want to experience true luxury from start to finish, the best way to travel is by private jet charter. You’ll have our luxury cabin to yourself to stretch out and even enjoy an à la carte meal or wine tasting experience, with an experienced team on hand as and when you need them.

Want to learn more? Get in touch about booking a private flight and starting your luxury holiday in style.

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