1. Cheval Blanc Randheli
One of the chicest properties in the Maldives, complete with its own private plane, Cheval Blanc Randheli is a haven of crisp-white escapism. Nestled between exotic gardens and sandy beach, the hotel is a lesson in refined minimalism, where muted hues of oak wood and white clash against sunshine yellows and aquamarine instilling an unsurpassed sense of calm. Guests wanting a touch of greenery with their lucent Indian Ocean views should book a Lagoon Garden Villa, where privacy and verdant tranquility are on tap. Those seeking a more stately serenity should board a boat to the Private Island, a breathtaking haven away from the rest that redefines exquisite island living. Let your private Majordome curate your stay as per your every wont, leaving you to do as little or as much as you please.
Niyama’s unique offering is a twin-island retreat centred around the notions of Play and Chill. Tailored to adventurous honeymooners and those with active souls, at Play guests can frolic in the treetops, snorkel the reef or set sail. Whereas, over at Chill, Niyama’s more relaxed retreat, you can revel in peaceful moments by the pool or within the cocoon of Drift Spa, salute the sun in the yoga studio, or soothe your soul to the slow rhythms of the ocean in an over-water villa. Anyone travelling en masse will appreciate the utmost privacy on offer at The Crescent Ω an over-water playground of five ultra-chic villas sleeping up to 14 adults and eight children. Relinquish all control to your two butlers and a housekeeper, whilst you enjoy private barbecues or a movie under the stars.
3. JW Marriott
The crescent-shaped island of Vagaru is home to JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, the new kid on the Maldives block, having opened in December last year, and the brand’s first foray into the archipelago. With 60 beautiful villas dotted around the island, both beach and overwater, you’d be hard-pushed not to find something to your liking. In typical JW Marriott style, there’s an emphasis on five-star food here, letting you flounce between treetop Thai dining, al fresco Italian, tappanyaki and overwater Japanese, or traditional Maldivian seafood and grills, with herbs harvested straight from the chef’s garden. With nothing but time on your side, the island’s myriad activities will keep you occupied, from kayaking and sailing to jet-skiing and snorkelling.
4. Jumeirah Vittaveli
When Jumeirah Vittaveli opened its 3,500sqm Royal Residence in 2017 Ω a resort all of its own with a private restaurant, five bedrooms and two swimming pools Ω it catapulted the island to dizzying heights of luxury. Since, the hotel’s further additions lure willing guests to its paradisaical playground, such as the launch of its 85ft superyacht, MY Vittaveli. A floating hotel for those who demand luxury wherever they set sail, the three decks sleep eight overnight guests, or 20 guests by day, with a Jacuzzi and Hermès bathroom amenities. Back on dry land, and the resort’s Private Ocean Retreats come complete with the longest water slides in the Maldives, letting you slide your way into record-breaking bliss.
5. One&Only Reethi Rah
Advocates of One&Only Hotels won’t be disappointed with Reethi Rah, an all-villa palm-fringed resort that exudes excellence with unprecedented privacy. Surrender yourself to the sublime, with 12 picture-perfect beaches around the island to languish on, or dive into one of the hotel’s three pools. The adults-only 30m lap pool extends out into the blue lagoon beyond, fully immersing you in your aquamarine setting. Channelling luxury to the nth degree, each villa offers a stylish take on carefree island life, while for truly extravagant luxury, make the fully-staffed, three-bedroom, two-pool Grand Sunset Residence your Robinson Crusoe sanctuary.
6. Taj Exotica
What elevates Taj Exotica beyond regular levels of luxury, is the brand’s legendary Indian hospitality honed over a century of practice, allowing dreams of true island decadence to become reality here. Just a 15-minute speedboat from the mainland, stepping onto Emboodhu Finolhu island switches you straight onto ‘Taj Time’, cementing the idyllic notion of lazy island life. The resort, located in one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives, is bucolic and beautiful, paving the way for scenic experiences whatever your whim. Jiva Spa promotes spiritual growth, while more spirited sports await in the ocean, allowing you to dive into a truly stellar experience.
7. Velaa Private Island
One of the world’s most exclusive hideaways, Velaa Private Island has upped the ante with the relaunch of Velaa Spa. Alongside the island’s 47 private villas, houses and residences Ω including the Romantic Pool Residence that is only accessed by boat - Velaa Spa brings even more R’n’R to the resort, allowing guests to disconnect their minds and reconnect with nature. Centred around the four elements of Mind, Fitness, Nutrition and Spa, a holistic approach to wellness promises so much more than simple pampering, for overall growth and goodness.
8. Kihaa Maldives
Never one to rest on its laurels, the introduction of two redesigned room categories at Kihaa Maldives has brought new levels of luxury to the Hanifaru Bay resort. The Beach Suites With Infinity Pool stretch out over 150sqm and are perfect for those seeking refuge and serenity, with its private aquamarine bliss. Or let a Beach Villa With Private Pool cloak you in bucolic beauty, with a beach-facing patio allowing you to drink in your ocean views. Set within the sparkling waters of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa’ Atoll, beyond your room a world of wonder awaits. Renowned for its lively reef, Kihaa’s underwater world will introduce you to giant manta rays, whale sharks, hammerheads, the ever-weird-looking Napoleon wrasse and more.