Recently I was fortunate enough to visit the Maldives through a work trip and the setting was right to mix pleasure and business. Although I primarily enjoyed the former I was keen to document the experience as a resource for others visiting this truly wonderful destination.
Naturally to then get a true understanding of the Maldives and their luxury holiday appeal, we visited multiple islands and acclimatized to the benefits of each; my biggest surprise lay within the different island experiences, as each resort seemed to be bespoke to the traveller’s needs.
We visited a number of 4-5 star islands, and some still presented a back to basics island holiday, take your shoes off when you arrive and don’t wear them till you depart. These islands lacked luxury facilities but were focused on leaving your worries at home. Immersing yourself in natural surroundings can often be a wonderful experience but one not always associated with the most prestigious vacations. However, the true Maldivian experiences can be found here and one needs to enjoy the true peace and quiet with a book and a companion. These facilities are not ones for true creature comforts but true creature habitats.
Other islands we visited had the more traditional all inclusive complex package, mirroring the Caribbean vibe with fun activities, bars, watersports and entertainment. The rooms had mod cons, plasma TVs, coffee makers and even golf courses. The true Maldivian feel is lost but provides the appropriate family holiday itinerary. The more expensive resorts rated 5 stars were the height of luxury and elegance as they boasted infinity pools and world class restaurants mixing local cuisine and traditional dishes.
There are specialist islands available for diving and surfing spots, so if this is your hobby it would be worth visiting one hot spot on your trip although the majority of islands boast excellent activities.
From our experience, these are the best 4 islands I would recommend for a truly brilliant Maldivian holiday:
Maafushivaru – This beautiful Island captures the true essence of the Maldives, being a small seclusive desert island you feel immersed in a natural environment that allows you the time to completely relax, and break away from the real world.
Vilamendhoo – One of the most critically acclaimed and popular resorts the island offers a large selection of restaurants with the Maldivian feel and has excellent renovations of new hotels, providing a more luxurious feel then most islands.
Kuramathi – This resort is one of the larger popular choices and caters for other island visitors with multiple activities to keep the children entertained.
CoCo Palm Bodu Hithi – This 5 Star Luxury hotel delivers private pools for each villa on the island and property built to compliment the aesthetics of natural island beauty and competes to provide the most luxurious Maldives experience. Simply incredible.
Gavin Lapidus is Owner of Eshores Travel.