Looking for paradise? Check out our suggestions to find your own slice of island heaven in the many atolls that make up the Maldives (pronounced Mal-deevs).
Where: A group of Islands in the Indian Ocean.
When to go: Any! Sunshine is served up here year round.
1. Dhaalu Atoll
If you simply can’t ditch your iPad, even when in paradise, then this is the place to set up shop on holiday.
Niyama offers a series of beachside bungalows, overwater pavilions with pools, designed in modern meets beachy-chic motifs, this isn’t a bad place to lay your head.
In fact, it’s stunning!
Don’t miss a treatment at their Lime Spa.
2. North Male Atoll
A series of smaller atolls make up the Northern Male isles. On Kaafu Atoll sits the Chaaya Island Dhonveli– an all-inclusive option set at one of the best surf spots. This is not a five-star option, however the many offerings such as the open-air buffet, long white sand beach, spa, and overwater bungalows will make it feel like one.
Don’t miss the Maldivian fish curry.
3. North Huvadhoo Atoll
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is a luxury resort situated on a private island, 55km north of the Equator in one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world, North Huvadhoo.
Eco-travelers will appreciate that it is the only resort in the Maldives certified for both design and construction by EarthCheck/environmental certification and benchmarking.
Moderate in size with just 50 villas offering over water and beachside choices that boast floor-to-ceiling windows and plunge pools.
There are two restaurants, poolside bar and Dhoni, a bevy of activities with exceptional snorkeling on their private reef, and a 5 star PADI Dive and Activity Center, Vidhun Spa and yoga sessions.
Don’t miss the one of a kind “Cross the Equator” trip.
4. North Ari Atoll
This tiny, tiny, tiny space on Earth is one of those ultra-exclusive places to check off a bucket list. It’s also the perfect place to wed, then honeymoon.
The Banyan Tree Madivaru has just six bungalows, and is so exclusive it is a sanctuary renowned in the Maldives and among the jet set. Madivaru Island is has a pristine white sandy beach, skirting a crystal clear lagoon with virtually untouched reefs.
Don’t miss getting married underwater for adventurous nuptials and a dining experience on a sandbar.
5. South Male Atoll
Similar to the Northern Male Atoll, is the southern version, also dotted by tiny isles with beautiful resorts perched on them.
Cocoa Island Resort is a southern pearl by COMO, an ultra-luxe hotel group. With just 33 over water suites, it’s as if each has a personal reef to explore.
This is the place to spa at the COMO Shambhala Retreat. A mind, body, and soul experience with holistic, Asian-inspired treatments including Ayurveda, an open-air pavilion for yoga, a couples treatment room, steam rooms and a large hydrotherapy pool.
Don’t miss their series of Wellness Paths.
6. Baa Atoll
Set in the Baa Atoll is an eco-friendly resort on tiny Fonimagoodhoo Island. The Reethi Beach Resort is surrounded by a white sandy beach and gin-colored waters.
Over water thatch-roffed bungalows are the key here, as beach suites are simple in style, albeit they are closer to the reef. There is a small spa, squash courts, and five restaurants. The most popular one is on the beach.
Don’t miss watching a spectacular sunset at one of the three beach bars.
7. Rashdhoo Atoll
The family friendly Kurmathi Resort attracts more than just honeymooners. It also attracts divers and spa lovers alike. The spa is enormous, with a large treatment menu, Two PADI schools complete with a house wreck make this an excellent diver paradise. It is one of the only spots in the Maldives where divers can spot hammerheads.
The beautiful isle has a long powdery white sand tail, perfect for longer beach walks, which most atolls can’t offer.
Don’t miss the shark dives!
8. South Ari Atoll
For those looking for more to do, then the Southern Ari Atoll and the all-in pricing is the place.
Set on one of the larger islands, the Vilamendhoo Island Resort and Spa offers everything from garden rooms, to beach bungalows, to suites with Jacuzzis.
There are lots of activities, beach barbecues, water polo games, excursions to other islands, and even shopping– which there is virtually none on the other isles. There is also an internet cafe to stay connected.
Don’t miss the Love Boat Daysail.