Only a few of the 1,200 islands that make up this Archipelago of the Indian Ocean live, but some of the most sybaritic escapes of the world take place. You’ll find it – and more – at the top-of-the-line resorts in the Maldives if you’re looking for a tropical getaway that includes over-water bungalow suites, bottomless cakes and even a bit insane hiking.
Komandoo Maldives Island Resort
Don’t let Komandoo fool you, romantic seekers. In a blissfully Maldivian escape, you will enjoy this private adult-only retreat (the rare thing for the Maldives) in the Lhaviyani Atoll. The beach and the water are full of villas, many with Jacuzzi tubes, an infinity pool on the beach, a reef in the hotel, and lots of attractions, including an introductory dive and an excursion on the neighboring island of Hinnavaru. Especially in the lobby, restaurant and bars, we love the sandy floors, which really bring you into the barny style.
Lily Beach Resort & Spa
Book a room at the five-pearl retreat then remove your wallet, as the deal is all-inclusive. Meals, drinks (both non-alcoholic and alcoholic), most activities, and two excursions per stay are already paid by the rate. The elegant suites and villas feature outdoor douches and hot tubs, Hermés toiletries, a free sun lotion and direct access to the beach or to the sea—although they are the public areas most impressive and feature a family-friendly pool and a playground on one end of the resort with a quieter bar and an infinity pool on the other. For costume and treasure hunts, send the children to the Turtle Kids’ Club or hold the gang together for coral snorkeling and sundry cruising.
The romantic overwater bungalows in Constance Moofushi offer great attractions to honeymooners, but the hotel also has a party scene thanks to the rosters of activities ranging from beach volleyball to windsurfing; an entertainment lounge with group links over billard games; and Manta Bar, a watering beach hole in which beautiful people dance in a weekend disco. Other highlighted things we love: the evening wine pairings on the island on a dhoni boat during meals and short excursions.
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
Go into the airy, all-white suites or stylish overwater villas of Centara, and you will forget about the connection with the seaplane-plus speedboat. You have received a good glass of champagne, not that you will have any problems. While your daily massages will certainly be part of your routine, you’re going to want to save plenty of time and energy) to make inclusive dives, food, quality drinks (including an ever-renovated minibar) as well as excursions. If you want to snorkel on the nearby coral reef or take a leisurely sunset cruise past the island, then Centara will make the cut out of it for just another reason.
LUX* South Ari Atoll
With a top-toe overhaul by Bangkok’s P49 Deesign Atelier, this 193-pavilion resort is now a beach-chic retreat. The imposing additional features include overwater villas with private infinity pools and three Temptation Pool Water Villas with double showers and direct access to the lagoon (honeymooners, note). There are five restaurants spanning all from Japanese to Middle East—but our favourite thing can be the expert workshops on watercolour painting, travel photography or meditation. The resort has many excellent restaurants.
Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah
The Four Seasons Private Island in Voaveh is our preferred hotel on the Maldives for a live-like extravagance, which doesn’t stop people. While the property does not count itself as a ‘all-inclusive,’ you will all get the island (and anyone you decide to invite) for a cool $36,000 a night. What to expect: seven bedrooms spread out over three villas, a private yacht, a seaplane for exploring at every hour of the day and your own staff of chefs and staff who will sleep on site to satisfy your needs – a lobster dinner scheduled for sunset or a soothing massage in the overwater spa…