As private island escapes go, the Maldives archipelago can’t be beaten. Warm waters, pristine beaches, tranquillity and privacy, with barefoot luxury on tap.
Few places on earth cite the kind of unrivalled beauty of the Maldives, the paradisiacal Indian Ocean archipelago enriched with nature’s finest: translucent waters teeming with chromatic creatures; tropical landscapes that whisper verdant charm; skies so blue they require a Pantone colour chart of their own; and hushed havens exuding exclusive seclusion. The 1,190 coral islands are spread over 90,000 square kilometres, across a chain of 27 atolls – each unique and expressive in their own right.
And while once solely the predilection of paramours, with island resorts fanning the flames of romance, the Maldives now dances to a different beat. Everything you could want at your fingertips. Silence and serenity found at over-water spas, in swaying hammocks and private pools. The art of fine dining discovered in restaurants serving local seafood, Maldivian flavours, and Michelin-starred menus, or perhaps served in the privacy of your own villa or on a secluded sandbank for an exclusive experience under the stars.
Traditional designs, modern minimalism, and luxury creature comforts in everything from stilted villas to beachfront boudoirs. Peace and privacy to imagination and adventure for young hearts, old souls, and everything in between. A rendezvous here demands little more from its guests than a commitment to fully immerse oneself in the magic of the Maldives. There is a reason why this Indian Ocean enclave is called ‘paradise on earth’, but we’ll let you see that for yourself. With over 160 resorts peppering the archipelago’s pristine shores, offering high-octane experiences to more peaceful pursuits, choose wisely to ensure an experience all your own. These four resorts from Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio in the Maldives promise different experiences, all unique, all exclusive, all worthy of telling your Maldives story...
1. AN ADVENTURE FOR ALL AGES
When a 55-minute seaplane ride is required to transport you to your resort, you know the island in question promises the utmost peace in paradise. JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa’s home in Shaviyani atoll is sublime, serenaded by scintillating waters, sweeping panoramas and the prettiest of sunsets. With just 60 villas strewn across the verdant island, it has a level of exclusivity few others offer. Villas float on the water or perch on sandy beaches framed by palm trees, all with private pools and beautiful views.
Island adventures are aimed at all ages, with the resort renowned as one of the most family-friendly in the Indian Ocean. Its FAMiLY by JW Little Griffin Kids Club has 100 activities to keep little VIP guests engaged, with a 13-metre pirate ship, pool and splash zone. When the kids are packed away the adults can play – namely at the sanctuary that is Spa by JW, refuelling in the five restaurants and three bars, dipping into the infinity pool, or swimming with baby blacktip reef sharks and kaleidoscopic fish.
2. REST AND RECHARGE IN PARADISE
Holidays mean different things to different people, and the beauty of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is that has something for everyone. Its home in the Baa Atoll is part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so you can swim or snorkel with an incredible array of marine life, including manta rays. If you need to relax, a restorative sleep in one of its Heavenly Beds will be a game-changer; those wanting to blow off steam can do so at ultra-luxe WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio; guests in need of some RnR will find at it the overwater Heavenly Spa By Westin with its glass floor and the latest innovations across its treatments; if food is the way to your heart, you can feast to your heart’s content at one of its three restaurants, or with a one-of-a-kind private dining experience; and if kids are the focal point of your vacation, don’t feel guilty about packing them up and shipping them off to the resort’s amazing Westin Family Kids Club, designed specifically to give grown-ups worry-free time to do, well, grown-up things.
Bed down in a Beach Pool Villa for ocean views through a greenery-fringed garden, or a Heavenly Overwater Villa with its horizon panoramas, traditional Maldivian designs and private pool. Sleep will never have felt more satisfying.
3. THE MALDIVES' LUXURY PLAYGROUND
A scenic seaplane ride probably tops most people’s bucket lists, and W Maldives lets you start your Indian Ocean adventure just like that, with a beautiful 20-minute flight over the archipelago’s crystalline waters, from Male airport to Fesdu island. But the bucket-list experiences don’t end there, with the resort offering whale shark snorkelling, paragliding, jet-skiing, big game fishing, diving, sailing, sunset cruises and castaway experiences on deserted islands.
This bold and unscripted resort is the perfect playground for those with a lust for life and appetite for adventure. Infused with energy, infinite days are amplified by W’s signature style, across playful overwater guest rooms with private pools, amped up island activities and highly-creative cuisine, all creating a cutting-edge lifestyle experience. When you’re ready to hit the pause button, you can relax and recharge at leisure at the AWAY Spa, along with the resort’s take on luxury travel and hospitality, and with W’s ‘Whatever/Whenever’ philosophy ensuring you hold the key to your Maldivian adventure in the palm of your hand.
4. A TROPICAL ESCAPE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Following a multi-million dollar renovation in 2018, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has never looked better. This barefoot idyll is just a 15-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, making it a convenient fly-and-flop destination for both shorter and longer holidays. Its award-winning Shine Spa for Sheraton sits on its own private island, allowing for ultimate serenity alongside its holistic approach to wellness. You have your pick of beautiful beach cottages to panoramic overwater villas.
If you’re travelling with the family in tow, the lavishly styled Two Bedroom Water Suite sleeps four and celebrates the natural beauty of the island, while the idyllic Ocean Pool Villa is set amidst a private garden, allowing for total seclusion and serenity. A haven for couples, romance is high on the agenda, with in-pool Champagne breakfasts at sunrise or iconic Sandbank Privé dining experience followed by a private dolphin cruise. Eat, sleep, dream.