Castaways, choose your tropical island resort with care. Save for the odd sunset cruise or dolphin excursion, you’re stranded here for the next two weeks. Luckily each Maldives resort that we feature has something special: whether it’s stargazing, shark diving, special villas or ‘fish soup’. Pick from our selection of some of the best resorts… in the most beautiful place on earth.
For the submarine: Four Seasons Resort At Landaa Giraavaru
This gorgeous Four Seasons resort might have made the news for launching its own submarine (which takes two guests on an hour-long trip for a cool $1,500) but really, it’s the priceless nature encounters that make this place so special.
The Baa Atoll consists of a string of UNESCO-listed islands and coral reef. And this is where you'll find the Four Seasons Resort at Landaa Giraavaru, an ecologically friendly, obscenely luxurious hotel.
There are 106 perfect villas on the island: a tempting selection of over-water and beach properties. Their steeply-pitched roofs, open-plan interiors and big windows make them wonderfully light and airy. Lie in, and let a gentle sea breeze waft in, lifting your curtains to wake you for breakfast.
Once you’re up, you can dine in one of four tempting restaurants and sign up to an even larger menu of activities. Anti-gravity yoga will have you swinging from your hammock in the jungle yoga pavilion, whilst a sandbank picnic and a sunset cruise round off the day. The resort takes its conservation credentials seriously, with a Marine Discovery Centre, daily shark feedings by the bar, and, from June to November, your best chance to see manta rays in the Maldives.
Jump on your free villa bike and head to Blu Beach. From here you can kayak out to Landaa Sandbank, or do a lagoon walk. Stroll along the sand spit until it simply pales away – and you’re left standing in the ocean.
For family holidays: Kuredu
Kuredu is an All Inclusive four star that’s great for families. Its host of activities will keep everyone entertained.
A 40-minute seaplane transfer north of Malé, Kuredu is unpretentious and popular, with a 3km-long sandy beach. The beach villas are open to all ages, while the O Resort accepts guests ages 12 and up. The Kuredu Sangu Villas offer an exclusive retreat for adults.
Kuredhdhoo island is one of the few islands to offer golf; it has a six-hole pitch-and-putt style course. You can even book in for a night-time session. Kids will love the football pitch and choosing the sprightliest-looking crustacean at the crab race. Off-shore, there’s great snorkelling from the sheltered southern end of the island, plus a Prodivers SCUBA centre. In fact, the water sports here are very comprehensive, from fishing excursions to catamaran sailing and wake boarding. Back on shore, dress up for the White Party club night every Friday, then recover in the Duniye Spa.
Kuredu is a great place to see bioluminescence on the beach – especially in November, when you might be able to walk along the sand at night and leave a trail of glowing blue footprints.
For super-luxury: One&Only Reethi Rah
This amazing hotel has had its fair share of celebrity guests, so you know you’ve picked a winner.
Reethi Rah gives an impressive first impression, thanks to a luxury yacht on hand to transport guests from the airport to the island. Once you step ashore, you’ll find a series of beautiful villas and a buggy service with dedicated drivers that will transport you wherever you please. Get sun-ripened on one of twelve (yes, twelve) island beaches, the prettiest of which is probably Reethi (after all, ‘reethi’ means beautiful in Divehi). Elsewhere on the island, there’s a stellar tennis academy, complimentary kids’ clubs, and restaurants including Botanica – for farm to table freshness, and Tapasake – for Japanese cuisine and sunset dining.
There’s no house reef, so take advantage of the snorkelling excursions from the resort’s dhoni, a traditional wooden boat. There’s a high chance you’ll get to swim alongside hawksbill turtles.