The top 5 elite luxury resorts in the Maldives

Do you want to dine on exceptionally fresh lobster? Or maybe you fancy sipping cocktails in your luxury water villa as you listen to the waves gently lapping underneath? Perhaps you crave romance, peace and remarkable beauty – if this is the case the Maldives is the perfect luxury escape.

Voted the world’s most romantic destination three times, by The World Travel Awards, this collection of islands is pure paradise. Vast stretches of white powdery beaches meet the crystal clear ocean, where you can see fish swimming along happily. In fact the visibility is so good that you can see fish going about their business up to 50 metres away!

In the Maldives, time loses all importance, as you watch the most magical ocean sunsets whilst savouring the finest gourmet offerings. World famous for luxurious hospitality, many of the islands are embraced by their own coral reefs. A strict environmental policy has been responsible for nurturing this natural perfection, and resorts are predominantly found on uninhabited islands. Currently there are 106 island resorts to choose from. Here is my choice of the top 5 luxury resorts in the Maldives, in no particular order.

Constance Moofushi Resort

Welcome to one of the world’s best diving spots. This resort has 3 large lagoons, which are surrounded by reef, for an extra special diving experience. This is a location where even those who haven’t scuba dived previously really need to do it.

Constance Moofushi

The Constance Moofushi is the newest 5 star resort to be built in the Maldives and it’s a mere 25 minute seaplane trip from the airport in Malé. Comprised of 110 villas, prospective guests are treated to “Crusoe chic” – simple, refined, elegant, luxurious lodging options – that face either the beach or the water. The resort is built in an intimate locale, full from their wedding, but also ideal for those vacationers wanting to walk around barefoot, drinking out of a coconut, letting their worries drift away with the tide.

Get pampered at the overwater spa, enjoy traditional night fishing or feel fit and in-tune at the yoga pavillion. The two resort restaurants offer delicious food. The chilled out Alizée beach grill offers a superb a la carte menu, whereas the Manta Restaurant has a live themed cooking experience.

Kuramathi Island Resort

It’s time to let life’s stresses vanish. Open up your villa door to find the Indian Ocean lapping close by.

Kuramathi

The Kuramathi, like many resorts on the Maldive Islands, is built directly on the water, affording guests the unique opportunity to take a dip in the turquoise-coloured water whenever the mood strikes. The resort boasts overs 290 villas, a state of the art spa, and a number of different restaurants and bars, certain to fulfill any sort of wining or dining desire.

You could promise yourself to use the resort’s gym regularly, but don’t be surprised if the incredible experience of being at Kuramathi distracts you. It’s perfectly normal to be enchanted by the turtles, reef sharks and lots of other remarkable fish species. It’s also not unusual to see dolphins swim by.

The dining experience here is excellent.  Every evening has the potential to turn into a romantic, gourmet occasion. Don’t miss out on the steak which is flambéed at your table!

Jumeirah Vittaveli Luxury Resort & Spa

The Jumeirah Vittaveli represents the very essence of Maldivian paradise. The resort is just a short twenty minute boat ride from the Maldives capital city, Malé, but don’t let this proximity to the urban hustle and bustle fool you. Relaxation, intimacy and privacy are paramount concerns at the Jumeirah.

Jumeirah Vittaveli Luxury Resort & Spa

Stay in a villa with its own wine cellar and private pool, with dazzling views. This resort is ideal for families, as the accommodation is spacious, plus there is a teens and kids club. However honeymooners can find romantic seclusion, especially in the over water suites. Choose from one of its 43 beach villas/suites, or 46 lagoon villas/suites.

Here you will not only be treated to a private swimming pool in every villa, but also three restaurants with decadent dining, a beachside cocktail bar, and a Talise spa, with treatment rooms on land and over water.

Should you choose to indulge in the pursuit of sport, a full range of water activities are available, too, including deep sea fishing, diving, kayaking, and surfing.

Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Described as the ultimate hideaway, “The Coco” (as it is referred to colloquially) is located on the private island of Dhuni Kolhu, in the Baa Atool. This lush tropical paradise is picture perfect.

Coco Palm

The Coco has over 98 villas, all with thatched roofs, some of them located amongst leafy palm trees, some located on stilts over the ultra-blue water of the lagoon. All of the villas have spectacular views.

Besides wonderful dining, the Coco offers some unique opportunities, including Tai Chi classes, scuba diving lessons, kayaking opportunities, guided fishing tours, and even a tour of a local “native” village.

W Retreat and Spa

Welcome to an exclusive, barefoot luxury playground for grown ups!

W Maldives Retreat and Spa

As with many of the other stunning five star resorts on the Maldives, the W Retreat and Spa has bungalows and villas built on stilts, standing in the lagoon, so that guests can literally always be sitting on the water. Where The W surpasses the other holiday havens, however, is in the construction of these bungalows and villas. The architect of these decadent structures decided to install clear glass panels in the floor to remind guests that they are staying just above crystalline waters.

Each of the resort’s 78 retreats has its own private pool and barbecue. The exteriors are traditionally Maldivian whereas the interiors are gloriously chic. The bungalows are connected to each other by way of an elaborate, though easy to navigate dock system that is lighted at night.

These dock walkways lead right to The W’s many bars, which are tended by trained mixologists who will prepare one of the resort’s signature cocktails for guests (along with any other drink imaginable) after a “busy” day in beautiful Maldives.

The resort even has its very own private island, called Gaathafushi, a tropical playground for guests offering unmatched serenity and a private chef who prepares fall-off-the-bone delicious barbecue ribs as the sun dips below the horizon. If that wasn’t enough, guests can rent out The W’s “Escape,” the resort’s two mast luxury yacht, perfect for a cruise at sunset, a private dinner for two, or even “The Overnight Experience,” which is ideal for snorkelers and divers who want to see some of The Indian Ocean’s nocturnal aquatic wildlife, like whale sharks.

Jackie de Burca is Co-owner of Holiday Home Advice.

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