The Maldives – an Indian Ocean archipelago consisting of more than 1,000 islands – is known for shocking turquoise water, powder white sand and luxurious overwater bungalow hotels. Some Maldives islands are inhabited and used for tourism while many others remain untouched, but each island offers its own slice of paradise. What’s more, many resorts occupy their own private island or atoll, which makes for a remote, relaxing vacation. Although these far-flung islands may be difficult to reach (you’ll likely have to take a connecting flight as well as a boat or seaplane from the airport to your resort), the pristine beaches and otherworldly scenery make the trek more than worth your while.
Whether you’re planning an epic honeymoon or seeking a more affordable family vacation option, a great stay in the Maldives starts with a great resort. Properties in the Maldives range from large all-inclusive hotels to smaller, more private getaways. With so many options, it can be difficult to decide where to stay, so U.S. News compiled a list of the most beautiful resorts in the Maldives to help make your planning process easier. Read on to find the perfect property for you.
(Note: The island nation of the Maldives is open to anyone who shows proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours before traveling. Tourists must also submit a Health Declaration Form within 24 hours of traveling and be prepared to show proof of a paid stay in an approved resort.)
Beautiful Maldives Resorts:
- Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
- Malahini Kuda Bandos
- Embudu Village
- Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
- Dusit Thani Maldives
- Innahura Maldives Resort
- The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
- Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
- Adaaran Prestige Water Villas
- COMO Maalifushi
- Soneva Fushi
- Baros Maldives
- Komandoo Maldives Island Resort
- Hurawalhi Island Resort
- Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives
- Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
(Courtesy of Gili Lankanfushi Maldives)
At this resort, guests will find everything from intimate overwater villas to family-friendly residences with private pools. The resort is located on the private island of Lankanfushi, which is about a 20-minute boat ride from the capital of Malé. Previous guests raved about the resort’s dining establishments, including Kashiveli, which offers dishes with locally sourced ingredients by the beach.The Overwater Bar, where guests can sip cocktails above the waves, wins favor with visitors as well. Best of all, Gili Lankanfushi is an eco-resort: Bungalows were built from sustainably sourced materials and feature organic toiletries, as well as reusable bottles to reduce plastic use. However, a stay doesn’t come cheap: Nightly rates typically cost about $1,500, on average.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
(Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi)
A 45-minute boat ride from Velana International Airport will transport you to the private island of Ithaafushi, where you’ll find this luxurious Waldorf Astoria outpost. Guests can visit the resort’s dive and water sports center to experience the Maldives from the sea – delicate coral reefs, colorful fish, manta rays and the occasional reef shark delight divers. They can also spend time sailing, fishing or windsurfing before ending the day with a meal at one of the resort’s 11 dining venues. Previous visitors raved about the restaurants and especially enjoyed eating breakfast at the private outdoor seating area of their villas. When it’s time to rest, guests can retreat to overwater villas complete with glass floors, private pools, decks and outdoor showers. The resort also features villas on land with beach access, private pools and equally luxurious interiors. Prices can climb above $8,000 for a one-night stay, depending on the time of year and type of room, but most accommodations cost around $2,000 per night.
Malahini Kuda Bandos
This resort proves you don’t need to fork over thousands of dollars to create a memorable vacation in the Maldives. Malahini Kuda Bandos, which is located about 20 minutes by boat from Velana International Airport, offers plenty of amenities for a fraction of the cost of other Maldives hotels. Nightly rates hover around $100, and the standard price includes daily breakfast, as well as access to water sports equipment like paddleboards and canoes. Spa treatments and excursions like night snorkeling, dolphin cruises and island-hopping adventures will cost extra. Previous visitors recommend dining at waterfront restaurant Maaga for fresh cuisine, and they appreciated the nightly entertainment available at on-site restaurant Bluu. Plus, guests can upgrade to half-board, full-board or all-inclusive rates, which include more meals; they can also choose from a variety of other special offers like diving and water sports packages to enhance their stays.
Embudu Village is another Maldives lodging option that will be easy on the wallet. Guests can opt for an overwater villa or a traditional beachfront room for a nightly rate of about $150 (depending on room and dates). Rooms cover all the basics with amenities like coffee makers and minifridges. The beach is clean and features water that’s ideal for swimming, according to recent visitors. Many also recommend snorkeling here to admire the reef and its wildlife. While there is only one on-site restaurant, the menus and themes change nightly; most past patrons said they enjoyed their buffet-style meals. What the resort lacks in restaurant options, it makes up for in convenience: Embudu Village is only a 20-minute speedboat ride from the airport.
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
This resort, located on Machchafushi, is a great option for families traveling to the Maldives. Children can enjoy their own designated pool, as well as a game room, tennis courts and a kids club. Additionally, there are family-oriented villas that feature secure sun decks, beach access, bunk beds and even PlayStation games to keep children occupied. Parents laud the resort’s child-friendly atmosphere and amenities. When it comes to dining, the property offers a variety of options that serve everything from Italian fare to Thai cuisine to traditional Maldivian meals. There are also special food offerings for youngsters, and as an added bonus, your approximately $300 nightly rate includes breakfast. The resort offers plenty in the way of adult activities as well, including spa treatments and water sports equipment rentals. If you opt for the resort’s all-inclusive option, the rate will cover your accommodations and discounted spa treatments, plus unlimited food and drinks. Recent visitors suggest booking the all-inclusive option, calling it an excellent value.
Dusit Thani Maldives
A stay at Dusit Thani Maldives is all about relaxation. The resort consists of 108 overwater bungalows and larger beachfront residences, some of which have private terraces or private pools, as well as outdoor rain showers, pillow menus and butler service. At the resort spa, you can treat yourself to a body scrub, wrap, massage or facial, and there are even spa options for kids. A yoga pavilion and a water sports area round out the offerings at this resort. When it’s time for a meal, you can enjoy gourmet cuisine with ocean views at one of the five bars and restaurants. Or, opt for a floating breakfast delivered to your pool or a private dining experience on the beach. While previous guests were thrilled with the resort’s top-notch facilities, many said the friendly, helpful staff members at Dusit Thani Maldives were the best part of the trip. Stays at this Maldives oasis start at about $800 per night.
Innahura Maldives Resort
(Courtesy of Innahura Maldives Resort)
At this budget-friendly resort, visitors can expect to get a lot of bang for their buck. Nightly rates range from about $100 to $300, though prices depend on the season and room size. Visitors can choose sunset or sunrise bungalows, each of which comes with a minibar, beach access and daily breakfast. There are also interconnected bungalows perfect for families or large groups traveling together. The resort’s buffet-style restaurant makes family travel easy as well, and previous visitors enjoyed the diverse food options. Additionally, there are plenty of activities and excursions to keep you busy, including snorkeling and fishing. Past visitors said the staff were helpful when planning excursions as well. There is also an option to purchase an all-inclusive package that covers meals, unlimited drinks and more.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
(Courtesy of The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort)
This St. Regis outpost, situated on the private island of Vommuli, is the peak of island luxury. You can choose to stay in a beachfront villa or an overwater bungalow complete with a private pool, a private terrace area and butler service. Whether you want to spend your day snorkeling, diving, parasailing, doing yoga or swimming in a pool, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort has you covered. Past travelers said the Iridium Spa is a must-visit for its unique treatments like lava shell massages and caviar extract skin rituals. The resort’s six restaurants and bars were also a point of praise among previous visitors. However, luxury doesn’t come cheap here – nightly rates start around $900.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
(Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru)
Four Seasons properties are often synonymous with luxury, and this outpost on private Landaa Giraavaru island is no exception. Every detail is thoughtful, from the eco-friendly design to the bungalows shaped like manta rays. There are plenty of amenities to enjoy, including four pools, four restaurants and four bars. Adults can relax at the full-service spa and salon while children have fun at the kids club. Other offerings like beach toys and kids toiletries make the Four Seasons a great place to bring children, according to recent visitors. While the rates are pricey (a room may cost upward of $2,000 per night, depending on the season), they cover many extras: Snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and catamaran rides are all complimentary activities guests can enjoy during their stays here.
Adaaran Prestige Water Villas Maldives
The all-inclusive package at this Maldives resort allows visitors to enjoy unlimited food and drinks, as well as personal butler service, use of snorkeling equipment, a private beach dining experience, a 30-minute spa treatment and a sunset cruise, among other offerings. Previous guests appreciated the staff’s warm welcome to the island and said all staff members were helpful and friendly. The Adaaran Prestige Water Villas Maldives also offers plenty of water sports equipment for guests to rent, such as windsurfing gear and Jet Skis. Each of the water villas features an espresso machine, a minibar, a private Jacuzzi on the deck and a wooden ladder so guests can easily descend into the ocean below. Nightly rates here hover around $800, but the price depends on the season.
(Courtesy of COMO Maalifushi)
The villas at COMO Maalifushi are bright and airy with ample outdoor space, so guests can enjoy the warm Maldives weather all the time. Some villas are situated within the island’s lush greenery, while others offer private terraces with ocean access. Some also have private pools and multiple bedrooms for visitors who need more space. Guests can enjoy a plethora of activities and excursions; some, like the romantic beach picnic, are geared toward couples, while others, like the dolphin-watching cruise, are geared toward children. A stay here costs about $800 to $1,000 per night, depending on the room and time of year, but previous visitors said the fine dining options, friendly staff and stunning views make a stay at COMO Maalifushi worth the money.
(Courtesy of Soneva Fushi)
Previous visitors referred to Soneva Fushi as a “dream” where vibes are great and shoes are optional. The resort operates with a SLOWLIFE mission, meaning guests are encouraged to relax, get in touch with nature and forget about all the responsibilities in the outside world. This eco-friendly resort consists of 63 villas built with care for the surrounding ecosystem. Depending on which villa you choose, you may have access to a private pool, a wine fridge, a hammock, a terrace or up to nine bedrooms. The resort offers tons in the way of activities, including dive sites for scuba enthusiasts, a spa, an open-air cinema and an observatory, as well as numerous excursions and educational classes for youngsters. Nightly rates hover around $1,500 but may increase if you opt for a larger room or travel during the peak season (winter to spring).
(Courtesy of Baros Maldives)
A stay at Baros Maldives means you’re choosing both luxury and sustainability. This resort offers well-appointed villas, a spa, five dining venues, complimentary yoga classes and an infinity pool. Best of all, the resort’s mission is to protect its surrounding island environment using solutions like recycled water, heat exchange systems and biodegradable cleaning products. The property also offers an eco-friendly diving center committed to protecting the surrounding reefs, as well as many educational programs for guests to learn about the environment in a hands-on manner. Nightly rates appeal to a variety of travelers, as they range from about $500 to $2,500, depending on which villa you choose and when you travel. Rates include breakfast at the Lime Restaurant; guests also have the option to pay a higher rate that includes breakfast and dinner daily at the Lime Restaurant. Previous visitors praised the fresh and diverse options at the breakfast buffet.
Komandoo Maldives Island Resort
One of the few adults-only resorts in the Maldives, Komandoo Maldives Island Resort provides a serene environment on Lhaviyani Atoll (about a 40-minute seaplane ride from the airport). Villas feature Jacuzzis, private outdoor areas and idyllic sunrise views. Or, if you’re on your honeymoon, up the romance with a candlelit dinner on the beach or a Champagne breakfast in bed. Adventurous couples can also share unique experiences like scuba diving, snorkeling, daylong sailing tours and more. Previous visitors highly recommended snorkeling in the area, as you’re sure to come across turtles and baby sharks. A stay here may cost anywhere from $400 to more than $1,000 per night, depending on when you decide to travel.
Hurawalhi Island Resort
(Courtesy of Hurawalhi Island Resort)
Hurawalhi Island Resort sits just minutes from its sister resort, Komandoo Maldives Island Resort. Similar to Komandoo, this resort provides an ideal atmosphere for a honeymoon or couples retreat, as it’s an adults-only establishment. Villas feature private infinity pools, sun decks, rain showers and direct ocean or beach access. Couples can book romantic experiences, such as private dining and photography sessions. When it comes time to eat, reserve a table at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant (located 5.8 meters underwater) for a dining experience like no other. At Hurawalhi, there is an option to book an all-inclusive plan to make your vacation that much less stressful: The plan includes unlimited food from the buffet, unlimited drinks, yoga classes, windsurfing lessons and access to one sunset dolphin cruise, among other activities and amenities. Nightly rates range between $500 and $2,000, on average.
Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives
(Courtesy of Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives)
Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is the perfect spot for anyone interested in water sports and anyone looking to visit the Maldives on a budget. Located on the shores of Pasta Point, one of the country’s premier surfing destinations, the resort is a haven for surfers who flock here to ride the sometimes 8-foot waves. To surf at the property, you must book ahead with an agent; the surfing package includes lodging and airport transfers, among other conveniences. Guests rave about the helpful water sports staff members, who make sure visitors have fun and stay safe. Even if you’re not a surfer, you can enjoy diving excursions, spa days, cocktails at the beach bar and international cuisine at Koimala during your stay. Nightly rates start around $200, but guests can opt to pay more for included meals and other add-ons.
Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives
(Courtesy of Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives)
This resort brings sustainability to paradise. The resort is located on Noonu Atoll, a relatively undisturbed island. To protect the surrounding environment, the resort’s Efficient Energy Saving Committee employs practices like solar renewable energy systems and reduced water consumption. Villas, which are located on either the beach or over the water, offer airy interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows for plenty of natural light; villas also boast glass floors, private plunge pools, minibars, wine cellars and espresso machines. A spa, a 24-hour fitness center and twice daily yoga classes help guests stay healthy and promote wellness. For a bit of excitement, previous visitors suggest booking the resort’s dolphin cruise to admire the animals in their natural habitat. When it comes to rates, a one-night stay at this oasis costs around $500.