Here is my list of five ‘5 star’ Maldives Hotels:
1. Diamonds Thudufushi
Kick off your shoes and unwind at Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas, a little piece of paradise on its own private island in the Maldives.
Set on a white sand island within the turquoise waters of a shallow lagoon, Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas offers luxurious accommodation and outstanding levels of service. Located on the south-western rim of Ari Atoll, just a 35-minute seaplane flight south of Male’ International Airport, the resort is secluded and tranquil, providing optimum privacy in unspoilt surroundings.
The natural beauty of the island has been retained and enhanced. Beach Bungalows have individual verandas and private beachfronts along the coral-sand shore.
Experience the diversity of the Maldives by pairing your visit with a stay at Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas, offering intimate village charm.
2. Shangri-La Villingili Resort
The southernmost island in the Maldives, Villingili has room to spread out — and Shangri-La’s Villingili takes full advantage. But even though the 132-villa resort is large by Maldivian standards, it doesn’t sacrifice privacy, comfort or intimacy, offering top-notch service, beachfront or overwater villas and places to get social. To wit: the infinity pool, where the chill bar, comfy loungers and Indian Ocean views make lingering all day a real possibility.
The resort’s size means there’s plenty to keep guests busy, and there’s a long list of daily activities, from jungle walks through the island’s lush interior to an extensive roster of water sports and a well-rounded treatment menu at the property’s Chi spa.
The three restaurants are actually worth eating in (not always so on these isolated islands). Drawing heavily on the cuisines of China, India, Vietnam and the Middle East, Dr. Ali’s has three dining rooms, each themed around Asia’s bodies of water. In the Indian dining room, you can enjoy fragrant curries, while the South China Sea room serves up specialties from across Southeast Asia (including an amazing pomelo salad with prawns).
The beachfront Fashala puts a gourmet spin on local ingredients, with seafood cooked en papillotewith indigenous herbs and spices. And at Javuu, the buffet breakfast is an impressive spread of fresh-baked breads, congee, sushi, fried noodles and more — a great beginning to a full day, whether you’ll be out on the water or ensconced in your villa.
3. Six Senses Laamu
The 14th-century explorer Ibn Battuta called the Maldives “one of the wonders of the world.” At the Six Senses Laamu, you’ll see why. On the tiny island of Olhuveli, in the Laamu Atoll, its 97 villas are secluded and luxurious, with indoor-outdoor spaces and beach access. Throw in the lovely Indian Ocean vistas from the six restaurants and bars, the glamorous spa and water activities, and it’s clear that this lauded resort is an beach vacation slam dunk.
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean. Just an inter-island plane trip from Malé International Airport and a short boat ride brings you to a place where dolphins swim. The resort is a combination of on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials and set around the palm-fringed paradise.
At several lounges and restaurants our chefs from East and West prepare mouthwatering dishes, many created from produce grown in the island’s organic gardens.
4. Angsana Ihuru
Enjoy the surreal view of miles and miles of turquoise waters. Venture into the ocean and watch dazzling marine life. Take a break from civilisation and live on an uninhabited island for the day. Wake up to a sensory experience, every day at Angsana Ihuru.
Angsana Ihuru brings out the romantic in you. Our resort, located on the Ihuru island in North Malé Atoll, is 20 minutes by speedboat from Malé. Romance is always in the air when you have the privilege of seclusion and privacy.
Woo your ‘special one’ with a dash of adventure. Discover our house reef or explore an uninhabited island. Learn the fine art of Maldivian cooking from our master chefs or get a relaxing massage at the award-winning Angsana Spa.
5. Niyama Maldives
This younger, larger sister of luxury Maldives resort Huvafen Fushi opened in 2012 with a blitz of publicity. Most of the attention centered on Subsix — its unique underwater nightclub — but there’s a lot more to the resort on Olhuveli Island, in the Dhaalu atoll. An awful lot more. From global campfire cuisine to a riot of boys toys (including motorized boats and cars) to an art studio and a marine biology lab. Bright, coolly contemporary Niyama ensures there’s no excuse for boredom or desert island ennui.
The 86 overwater and on-land studios and pavilions are bright and light, with cream walls, wood floors and glass partitions. They offer state-of-the-art technology, complimentary movies, and enviably stylish bathrooms containing vast trapezoid bathtubs. The overwater decks support white chaise longues and smoke green infinity pools: ancient Rome meets 21st-century L.A. All have well-stocked minibars to go with the obligatory Nespresso machines; Niyama’s ‘deli-in’ concept means free Häagen-Dazs and superb value snacks, including Tuscan antipasto mix and triple-cream brie.
Fine dining restaurant, Edge, is accessible only by boat and offers panoramic views of the ocean. Equally spectacular, and slightly more hearty, is the meeting of African, Asian and South American cuisines at Tribal, surrounded by fecund foliage and a bushfire. Multiple activities — many, unusually for the Maldives, away from the ocean — are what Niyama is all about. The energetic vibe, captured in punchy buzzwords — Float (water sports), Quench (spa/juice bar) and Active (computer games, sports simulators, pool table, darts and ping-pong) — should please the more energetic, young and young at heart. Enjoy.