When it comes to the Maldives, there is certainly no shortage of luxury accommodation. But with so many options, how do you decide on where to stay? To help you out, we’ve narrowed down the best and most exclusive hotels in the picturesque island nation.
#1: Gili Lankanfushi
“No news, no shoes” is the philosophy at this resort that’s situated just a 20-minute ride away from Male. Submitting to going barefoot on the island is the best thing to do. The understated, yet splendid five-star abode was voted as the No. 1 Luxury Hotel in the Maldives and Asia by Trip Advisor’s 2016 Travellers’ Choice Awards – which pretty much says it all. Highlights of the villas include spacious decks with sun loungers, large overwater net seating areas with comfy pillows and rooftop terraces where your Mr Friday (Gili-talk for butler) can even set up a bed under the stars. The sprawling Private Reserve has its own cinema and water slide too.
#2: Six Senses Laamu Hotel
One of the Maldives most remote locations, this Crusoe-chic resort (above) is the only one in the Laamu Atoll, and getting there (which involves an inter-island plane ride and a boat ride), requires extra effort. It’s obviously worth it, or it wouldn’t have made our list.
Splendid spas are synonymous with the Six Senses brand, and this property’s one is not to be missed. The snorkelling right off the villas is excellent and private picnic lunches on a nearby deserted island are easily arranged.
#3: Soneva Jani
Located on Medhufaru Island in the northern Atoll of Noonu, this is one of the newest Maldivian resorts. Its collection of Water Villas and Island Sanctuaries lie in a private lagoon that’s fringed by chalk-white sandy beaches and engulfed by greenery.
Setting new standards in luxury eco-tourism, some of the stand-out offerings on the island include a silent outdoor cinema (above), where guests listen to movies with Bluetooth earphones, so as not to disturb the local wildlife; the first overwater observatory in the Maldives and private island villas with retractable roofs made from sustainable materials.
#4: Maalifushi by COMO
Set in the Thaa Atoll in the Maldivian archipelago’s south-west, Maalifushi beckons a visit from families, couples, scuba-divers and even surfers – as there are great breaks nearby. This island sanctuary is also renowned for its award-winning COMO Shambhala Retreat (above)– a spa which is spread across a collection of thatched villas and overlooks a crystal clear lagoon.
#5: Per Aquum Niyama
You’ll be spoilt for choice with this resort’s (main image) two islands: Play and Chill situated in the southwestern Dhaalu atoll. Play is the newer of the two and features a collection of 48 villas, a treetop dining experience and, of course, a postcard-perfect beach. While at Chill, there’s the LIME Spa, fine dining at Edge (above), which is only accessible by boat, and Subsix – the Maldives’ first underwater club.
#6: Cheval Blanc Randheli
Designed by master architect Jean-Michel Gathy, this super-stylish spot is a 40-minute ride from Male on the resort’s very own (equally as fashionable) seaplane. There are 45 villas scattered across a private man-made island and over water – the latter come with private jetties and gargantuan infinity pools. The onsite Guerlain spa sits on its own island and there is a slew of sumptuous restaurants.
#7: St. Regis Vommuli Resort
Located on Dhaalu Atoll Vommuli, which spans more than 8 hectares, this Starwood property is newly opened. The resort’s 77 private villas include manta-ray-shaped lagoon villas and, the John Jacob Astor Estate – one of the largest villas in the Maldives – has a 92-metre private pool! And a spa room, fitness area and mini theatre.
#8: Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah
Imagine this: a sprawling seven-bedroom private island that comes with a yacht named Voavah Summer and a UNESCO marine territory (surrounded by manta rays and whale sharks) that’s entirely your own. This heavenly place does indeed exist and it is a 20-minute boat journey from Four Seasons’ Landaa Giraavaru hotel. Once you arrive, there should be no need to leave.
#9: Velaa Private Island
Set in the same Atoll as Soneva Jani, Velaa Private Island boasts innovative dining experiences worthy of Michelin stars, rustic-chic villas with huge private pools, beautiful beaches and an impressive line-up of activities. Beyond the spa and gym, leisure facilities include squash and tennis courts, a climbing wall and even a golf academy with a swing studio.
PHOTOS: GILI LANKANFUSHI MALDIVES FACEBOOK, SIX SENSES LAAMU FACEBOOK, SONEVA FACEBOOK, COMO MAALIFUSHI MALDIVES FACEBOOK, PER AQUUM NIYAMA FACEBOOK, CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI FACEBOOK, VELAA PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES FACEBOOK
This story first appeared on silverkris.com
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