It’s easy to see what makes the Maldives so popular; with its crystal-clear water and white sand beaches, its natural beauty is undeniable wherever you look. With its stunning, luxurious resorts and iconic overwater bungalows, the Maldives is easily one of the top bucket list destinations for travelers from around the world.
In this ultimate guide to the best Maldives resorts, we share the best resorts in Maldives for a luxury stay in paradise. Offering over-the-top amenities like world-class spa treatments, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, exquisite dining, and opulent hotel rooms, these are the Maldives resorts that give this destination it’s reputation for luxury travel.
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Despite being one of the smallest countries on Earth, Maldives is packed with nearly 170 beautiful resorts, tempting visitors from around the world with their stunning beaches and luxurious waterfront accommodations. It’s easy to see why the Maldives is one of the number one bucket list destinations among travelers the world over.
While Maldives resorts are best known for their overwater bungalows, you’ll find all kinds of unique accommodations here, from private islands and underwater rooms to treehouses.
Resorts in the Maldives are found across the nation’s 1200+ islands. However, the most luxurious resorts are built on private islands where guests can exclusively enjoy this natural beauty. Some resorts even offer private island stays, like the ultra-luxury Velaa Private Island and the Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Residence
To reach the often far-flung islands that are home to the most exclusive resorts in the Maldives, you’ll likely need to take a seaplane or a speedboat; most resorts organize transportation privately and provide visitors with reservations for this transportation in advance.
Looking to travel on a budget? It’s certainly possible to visit the Maldives on a budget – and even easier than many traveler could ever anticipate. While Maldives budget travel might not allow for a stay at one of these luxury Maldives resorts, it’s a great way to experience a getaway to paradise even if you don’t have money to burn.
Best Resorts in the Maldives
1. Soneva Jani
Soneva Jani is easily the most famous resort in Maldives for its over-the-top luxury. Its combination of stunning scenery, sustainable design, and exclusivity make it well deserving of all the hype.
The resort boasts every amenity imaginable across this stunning private island with 54 private villas. All guests have personal butlers, and the resort boasts countless excursions for diving and snorkeling, eleven bars and restaurants, a fitness center, spa, and much more – more than anyone could ever enjoy in just one trip.
With features like retractable roofs to see the stars, water slides from the overwater bungalows, and even an overwater outdoor movie theater, Soneva Jani is certainly over the top but perfect for a unique, even irreverent, luxury getaway. You’ll wish you’d splurged to stay just a day or two longer, no matter how long your stay is.
2. One & Only, Reethi-Rah
One & Only, Reethi-Rah is one of the finest luxury resorts in the Maldives, and has welcomed countless celebrity and dignitary guests to its stunning private island. With its miles of beautiful white beaches, ultra-private bungalows, 24/7 butler service, and eight bars and restaurants, it’s no wonder that this is one of the most sought-after resorts in the Maldives.
The amenities at this resort seem endless, including a dive center, countless excursions offered daily, workout, yoga, and meditation classes, a full spa, and a kids club. All this and more, though with the resort’s spacious and modern villas with their private pools and direct beach or lagoon access, there is plenty to enjoy without even learning your room.
Located in the northern Malé atoll, One & Only, Reethi-Rah is just a 15-minute seaplane ride from the international airport, making it a convenient choice when choosing where to stay in the Maldives. Don’t let its convenience fool you; this one-of-a-kind destination is one of the best Maldives resorts for a secluded getaway with a private island feel.
3. Coco Bodu Hithi
Coco Bodu Hithi is close to Malé but feels a world away. Island villas perched on soft white sand and overwater villas, as well as more expansive Coco Residences, offer luxury amenities standard. Every room at Coco Bodu Hithi offers plunge pools, outdoor showers, and private sundecks for an unrivaled day enjoying the sun and sand.
This impressive Maldives resort is also a haven for wellness getaways at the award-winning Coco Spa, offering a full menu of restorative spa treatments from a variety of south Asian and southeast Asian traditions.
Coco Bodu Hithi is a part of Coco Collection, which also includes another fabulous resort in the Maldives: Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. Located in the Baa Atoll, a precious UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu offers opportunities for next-level wildlife encounters with sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, and more.
The Olive Ridley Project’s Marine Turtle Rescue Centre at the resort speaks to the resort’s commitment to protecting its untouched surroundings. It gives guests an opportunity to participate in conservation and protection efforts and meet these gentle creatures up close.
4. Pullman Maldives
Despite being a rather large luxury Maldives resort with 122 villas and suites, Pullman Maldives feels like an intimate stay, with the personalized attention and service you’d expect from a smaller boutique resort.
Guests can enjoy an extremely open all-inclusive policy, allowing them to enjoy the facilities with several restaurants and bars and countless water sports and activities without incurring additional charges. With its location in the heart of the southern Maldives, some of the best ocean for snorkeling and diving, you’ll want to take advantage of it!
This unique hotel even offers two “Aqua Villas,” which each include one overwater suite and one underwater suite for an incredible experience you won’t find elsewhere! If you book a stay in any of the Pullman Maldives‘ luxurious suites or bungalows for five days or longer, a visit to their award-winning spa is included in your stay, making this an ideal excuse to extend your Maldives resorts vacation.
5. Velaa Private Island
Looking for the ultimate in privacy on your Maldives vacation? Call Velaa Private Island your own private island paradise for an evening, with the option to buy out the entire luxury resort for a cool $1 million. You’ll get free rein of what is considered one of the most luxurious resorts in the world.
Even if the private island buyout is a bit over your price range, don’t worry: most of the year, Velaa Private Island functions like other Maldives resorts hosting multiple groups of guests, though with just 47 private villas it always offers supreme seclusion for that desirable private island feel.
A number of distinct villas, houses, and residences means you’ll find the exact place at Velaa to call home for a blissful few days in paradise.
Velaa Private Island is among the best Maldives resorts for crafting innovative new experiences for guests looking for the next best thing in barefoot luxury. An award-winning spa features everything from saunas and steam rooms to the only snow room in the Maldives, as well as an unending menu of relaxing and revitalizing treatments from a number of different spa traditions.
Guests get the chance to explore the pristine surroundings of the Noonu Atoll like never before. Choose from sunset cruises and scuba diving tours on colorful reefs to fine dining on a deserted island barely peaking above tranquil lagoon waters. Or take part in the largest coral restoration program in the Maldives; it’s just one way Velaa is offering and Earth-positive getaway.
The resort is also one of the few in the Maldives to offer a golf course. Velaa Golf Academy by Olazábal features a course designed by championship golfer José María Olazábal and is staffed with experts ready to help you get into your best form as you enjoy an unexpected day on the links.
6. Amilla Maldives
With just 67 villas across a sprawling private island, Amilla Maldives is a modern and luxurious resort that has quickly become a favorite in the Maldives. With unique amenities and activities across the island, including multiple beaches, swimming areas, restaurants, and bars, visitors are in for an unforgettable stay.
Located in the heart of the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, you can expect a pristine ocean with some of the best snorkeling and diving in the country. Visitors will also be able to spot whale sharks, marine turtles, and manta rays during their migrating seasons throughout the year, with the help of the Amilla Maldives dive center and experienced guides.
Visitors can enjoy a mix of activities and amenities from a kid’s club with unique themed activities that make the most of the natural spaces on the island to the resort’s own 1OAK nightclub and everything in between. It’s the unexpected details like this that make Amilla Maldives one of the best Maldives resorts you’ll find.
7. Soneva Fushi
Soneva Jani might get more attention thanks to its over-the-top luxury features, but make no mistake: Soneva’s original resort, Soneva Fushi, is one of the best Maldives resorts for a world-class experience in this island paradise.
The first luxury resort in the islands of the Maldives, Soneva Fushi has long been a pioneer of barefoot luxury. Located in the pristine Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi offers a privileged spot for guests to explore one of the most diverse and stunning below the waves in the Maldives. Spot graceful manta rays, playful dolphins, and colorful corals as you explore a true ocean paradise.
This eco-friendly resort offers an unmatched guest experience while maintaining a commitment to sustainability and best-in-practice environmental measures that guests can enjoy firsthand. From the private island resort’s Eco Centro to its protected nature reserve and marine biologist on staff to guide guests on snorkeling excursions, evidence of the environmental commitment at Soneva Fushi is everywhere.
Can’t decide between Soneva Fushi or Soneva Jani? How about planning a trip to both! The resorts operate a daily transfer service – private or shared – between the two properties, making it easy to split your time in the Maldives between the two incredible properties.
Read More: 25 Best Eco-Resorts Around the World
8. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa is a favorite luxury resort in the Maldives, the smaller and more intimate of the Four Seasons’ two properties in the country. Offering adults-only and family-friendly spaces and amenities, this resort is a great choice no matter who you’re traveling with.
If you’re looking for a bit more adrenaline in your Maldives trip, the resort offers surfing excursions and even a unique tour of the surrounding islands to hunt for the best surfing spots. If you’re looking for a bit more rest and relaxation, the resort offers a stunning spa, and even a Marine Discovery Center sanctuary for guests to meet sea turtles and learn about conversation efforts.
Located in the Malé atoll, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa is conveniently close to the international airport, though you’ll feel like you’re a world away at this peaceful island retreat.
9. Gili Lankanfushi
Home to the largest overwater villa in the world, Gili Lankanfushi is a paradise for those in search of the most over-the-top Maldives resorts vacation.
Booking a stay at the palatial 5,500 square feet residence means spreading out in four bedroom, a private swimming pool, library, gym, and cinema all with turquoise water views. The residence even includes a full kitchen, though with the resort’s incredible dining options you won’t need to use it!
The resort features 45 exclusive overwater villas scattered around the island for seclusion, made from natural materials for a refined yet beachy feel that embodies barefoot luxury. While not every villa features it own pool, you won’t even need one: tranquil lagoon water, crystal-clear and bathtub-warm, await from every private sundeck.
Gili Lankanfushi is conveniently just 20 minutes from the international airport by speedboat, making it the perfect destination if you’re looking for a hassle-free holiday and want to avoid the tiny seaplanes that ferry most visitors to more remote corners of the country. Despite its easy-access location, Gili Lankanfushi feels just as remote and secluded as any of the other impressive Maldives resorts on this list.
10. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a luxury Maldives resort that has a history of taking the travel experience to the next level in the Maldives.
This resort was the first in the Maldives to offer overwater accommodations on stilts and other now-standard features like glass-bottom spa treatment rooms. It has continued innovating to make the guest experience even better since it got its start.
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is home to The Muraka. This unique two-story accommodation residence is the first of its kind, offering a submerged master bedroom with a glass dome for the underwater stay of your dreams. The residence also offers incredible amenities like a private butler and an expansive sundeck to enjoy unending ocean vistas from above the waves, too.
Prefer to stay above the waves? The resort offers a number of beachfront and overwater villas with multiple layouts to choose from for your perfect stay.
If The Muraka is booked, don’t worry: this one-of-a-kind destination also offers an undersea restaurant offering views of coral gardens and schools of tropical fish as you dine. It’s one of a number of restaurants, bars, and lounges throughout the resort that make this resort an award-winning culinary destination among Maldives resorts.
Read More: 22 Best Island Vacations Around the World
11. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
The first Ritz-Carlton resort in the region, this resort truly outdoes itself. Clean lines and modern design allow for natural beauty to take center stage, with every private sundeck and spa treatment room offering postcard-worthy views over clear waters stretching to the horizon line. Every beachfront and overwater villa offers a private infinity pool and sundeck for the ultimate in indoor-outdoor living.
Among a never-ending list of activities and amenities on offer at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, guests can immerse themselves in nature by partaking in the legendary Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program. Led by the resort’s experienced naturalists, kids and kids at heart can discover one-of-a-kind ecosystems above and below the waves with unique, hands-on learning opportunities found nowhere else in the region.
Located on a secluded island in the north Malé atoll, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is just a 45-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, or a quick 10-minute seaplane ride over perfect azure waters. It’s convenient location makes for a hassle-free travel experience, giving you back even more precious moments at this island paradise.
12. Cheval Blanc Randheli
A luxurious Maldives resort part of the boutique hotel group Cheval Blanc owned by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy)? With this pedigree, you know Cheval Blanc Randheli has to be good! Celebrity guests think so, too; this resort has even welcomed the likes of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
If you’re looking for an over-the-top yet refined luxury experience in the Maldives, Cheval Blanc Randheli is the place. The resort is spread across six private islands and offers plenty of privacy, including a number of exclusive water and island villas, plus the Cheval Blanc Randheli Private Island for the ultimate in seclusion and luxury.
Impeccable French hospitality and attention to detail are on display, with each villa offering a dedicated majordome (butler) to cater to every detail of your stay, from the pillow menu to every dining and activity option at your disposal.
Wherever you stay at Cheval Blanc Randheli, you’re in for an experience like no other. The Cheval Blanc Spa, located on its own Spa Island, is the only Guerlain spa at Maldives resorts, offering world-class treatments and a host of incredible amenities. From restaurants with spectacular dining options to unending excursions around the reefs and islands, every sense is stimulated at Cheval Blanc.
13. Sun Siyam Iru Veli
The most impressive and luxurious of Sun Siyam’s five properties in the Maldives, Sun Siyam Iru Veli is a crowning jewel and a taste of laid-back barefoot luxury.
Located in the untouched Dhaalu Atoll, the waters surrounding Sun Siyam Iru Veli are home to dolphins, colorful, and even the occasional manta ray and whale shark, meaning if you’ve been waiting to explore beneath the waves, this is your chance! An SSI dive center on site is perfect for exploring the impressive house reef and can coordinate excursions to some of the best dive sites in the Maldives.
Whether you choose an island villa on the fine white sand or a spacious overwater bungalow, you’ll enjoy incredible views and easy access to calm waters and rich reefs. Every villa includes a private pool, though with crystalline lagoon waters just steps away, you might not even need it! A variety of villa sizes and layouts make the resort a great destination, whatever you’re looking for, even perfect for an intergenerational Maldives resorts getaway.
Sun Siyam Iru Veli offers a number of restaurants, lounges, and bars, so you can switch up your dining experience every night – or just order in and enjoy a meal on your private sundeck. The resort will also organize personalized private dining experiences around the property at your request.
Sun Siyam Iru Veli is just one of a number of Sun Siyam properties around the Maldives, which cater to travelers of all budgets. Looking for something more budget-friendly to bring your Maldives vacation dreams to life sooner rather than later? Check out the full family of Sun Siyam properties to find your perfect fit.
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.