Traveling to the Maldives is a dream come true for many travelers. But, when trying to decide where to stay in the Maldives, the options can be daunting. They all seem so amazing, with overwater bungalows, beach front villas, and private islands. So, how can you choose the best place to stay in the Maldives? I asked some of our favorite Maldives travel blogs about where they stayed in the Maldives. Here are their recommendations, as well as ours, on the best places to stay in the Maldives!
First, what makes a hotel one of the best places to stay. Maldives hotels have the reputation of being pretty pricy. To some extent that’s true. Much of that is because it is difficult to run a quality hotel in the Maldives. The best Maldives hotels not only face the same issues as every other hotel in the world, but logistics is an issue. Even the best island in Maldives is far away from the capital of the Maldives, and even further away from a large city. This is just something to consider when looking for the best places to stay. Maldives hotels have to struggle to provide great service and amenities in remote island locations.
Where To Stay In The Maldives
Maldives Where to Stay: Luxury Resorts
Anantara Kihavah Villas Review
Jennifer from Luxe Adventure Traveler
Anantara has a top reputation throughout Southeast Asia, but might not be well-known to Americans. Located on the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Anantara Kihavah Villas are some 125 kilometers from the Maldives capital, Malé. The UNESCO site might be the best area to stay in Maldives. At Anantara Kihavah, it’s just you, the sea and the stars. Each and every one of the 79 villas has its very own private pool as well as access to the turquoise sea teeming with reef turtles and colorful reef fish.
Our favorite unique features of this luxe Maldivian resort are the glass bottom bath tubs in the over water villas, the underwater restaurant that is home to the world’s first underwater wine cellar, and a resident marine biologist to help you learn about the beautiful reef fish and fragile coral ecosystems. Rates start from around $1076 per night, plus a mandatory sea plane transfer.
The Six Senses Laamu Review
Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey
Six Senses Laamu is a great choice for those looking for the privacy of a large overwater villa and the barefoot rustic chic feel that characterizes the Six Sense brand. Among its uniqueness is its proximity to one of the best surf breaks in the Maldives and to a manta ray cleaning station where a resident group of 70 mantas can be seen.
I loved the romantic sunset dolphin cruise where these elegant creatures came out to play with the waves and the sand bank during dinner for two under the stars on our own private island. Organic, practically farm-to-table food, a signature of the Six Senses hotel chain, is grown on the island. And foodie experiences like a wine pairing dinner with the in-house sommelier elevate the journey further. It’s true Maldives luxury and makes staying in Maldives luxury a bucket list item!
Hurawalhi Resort Maldives Review
With Husband In Tow Preferred Hotel
If I had to choose one Maldives hotel as the best place to stay in the Maldives, it would have to be Hurawalhi. Okay, in part that’s because we had the most amazing stay here. It was brand new, and quickly developed a reputation for being one of the best hotels in Maldives.
We checked into the Hurawalhi Resort on only their fourth day of operation! Although I was a little nervous about checking into a resort that was so new, my worries were for nothing! Everything was fabulous, including our overwater villa, with its own private plunge pool, the crystal clear waters, and an amazing staff! We even had dinner in the largest underwater restaurant in the Maldives. Rooms at Hurawalhi start at $700 a night, a great rate for one of the newest places to stay in the Maldives.
Looking for the Best Places to Visit in the Maldives?
Where to Stay: Maldives Island Resorts
Okay, so all of these recommended Maldives resorts are “island resorts.” But, there are a few that fall below the $900-$1000 a night Maldives 5 star resorts, and above the more budget friendly options below. Most of these recommendations on where to stay in the Maldives fit in the middle. They range around $600-700 a night, which is more typical pricing for a Maldives beach resort.
Outrigger Konotta Maldives Review
With Husband In Tow
The feel at Outrigger Resorts in the Maldives was entirely different from Hurawalhi. More compact, and much more remote, the Outrigger was certainly a resort where I felt we could get away from it all. When we sat outside our beach front Maldives bungalow, I couldn’t see any other resort or island, making it seem entirely exclusive! Friendly staff helped us to understand the local Maldivian cuisine, which is often hard to do when staying on a resort in the Maldives. They also prepared a lovely sunset dinner right on the beach! Villas at Outrigger Resorts start at $650 a night, or $899 for the all inclusive plan.
Looking for inspiration? How about one of the top resorts in the Maldives?
Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Review
Claudia from My Adventures Across the World
Taj Exotica Review
Isabel from Bel Around The World
Taj Exotica has a way of making you feel like royalty, with a glass of Prosecco wine to welcome, as well as cold towels to freshen up after the boat ride from Malé. Their service is of the highest standard – there is personal butler service in every room. And while the resort is easily walkable from one end to the other, buggy rides are available.
Rooms of course, are no less impressive. The premium villa bathroom consists of a double vanity bathroom, an indoor rain shower, an outdoor rain shower ON TOP of an indoor round bathtub with panoramic views of the Indian ocean. How much more luxurious can a bathroom get!
Also worth noting is the massage services they offer. Instead of simply sending us to the room for a massage, prior to our massage, we had to fill in forms to indicate our preferred level of pressure and body parts to focus on, which goes to show how meticulous the masseuses were in targeting the body areas we specified. Best of all, the Taj Exotica is only a 30 minute speed boat ride from the airport.
Places to Stay in Maldives: Family Resorts
Bringing the family to the beach always creates lasting memories. But, there are certain considerations for family travel to the Maldives. Obviously cost can be an issue, as well as the cost of transport around the Maldives. Also, safety could be a concern for smaller children – perhaps avoiding the overwater bungalows. And, of course, you want to keep the children entertained on a Maldives island. These are some of the top resorts in the Maldives for families.
Centara Grand Maldives Review
Amanda From Maroc Mamma
Bandos Maldives Review
From the Wandermust Family
Bandos Maldives offers families a perfect island resort, especially families looking for a short break in the Maldives. The resort can be reached by boat transfer rather than the longer and more expensive seaplane transfer, which makes it ideal for those who have less time.
The resort is perfectly equipped for families with a good kids club and a pool. And the beaches are set up in small alcoves which gives a private feel. The resort doesn’t have the traditional over water villas. But for the safety conscious family this is a perfect Maldives tip for families. All the bungalows have beach front access, though, and outdoor seating where you can easily listen to the waves while your little ones sleep.
Best Places to Stay in Maldives on a Budget
When talking about budget Maldives hotels, it’s certainly not the same as talking about cheap hotels in Bangkok. Maldives, in generally, is a more expensive destination. It’s hard to find “cheap” resorts in the Maldives outside of Malé.
In this case, there are many Maldives resort options on the lower end, which we are defining as hotels below $500 or so a night. Some of these offer an even better pricing option because they are all inclusive resorts as well.
Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives Review
With rooms starting at only $150, the Holiday Inn Maldives offers a great value option in the Maldives. They do offer overwater villas for more, but it’s possible to have a fabulous Maldives experience at a good value. They offer all inclusive rates as well as family packages. Even better, they are only a 40 minute speed boat ride from the Maldives airport.
Meeru Island Resort Review
Ric From Global Gaz
Dreams do come true when traveling in the Maldives at the Meeru Island Resort & Spa. Meeru has a bit of a mass market feel to it with nearly 300 rooms. But Meeru offers access to luxury without breaking the bank (well compared to the $1,000 plus resorts that the Maldives is famous for). Relax in a 85 square meter, over-the-water, Jacuzzi water villa at under $500 a night (including 3 meals a day!). Another benefit for the thrifty, the resort is accessible via boat instead of traveling to the resort by sea plane. From your private deck, you can spot aquatic life in the transparent water. And to snorkel, just step into the ocean directly from the deck. The resort has multiple dining options, several bars, and two swimming pools.
Summer Island Maldives Review
Hannah From Getting Stamped
No other place in the world will ever compare to the Maldives. We were fortunate to spend 5 weeks island hopping in the Maldives. We stayed at 6 different resorts with 3 of them being over the water bungalows. Hands down our favorite place to stay in the Maldives was in our Summer Island Maldives water villa.
We loved everything about Summer Island but nothing beats being surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Maldives. I loved being able to wake up and head out on our balcony and jump off into the ocean for a morning swim. At night I would just look down at the floor and see tons of fish swimming by through the glass floor. Besides the room the property and staff were what make it extra special. The bartenders knew us by name, probably because they saw us every day! Garden rooms at Summer Island start at only $350 a night, with the over water villas around $600 per night.
Learn more about Maldives Travel: Lonely Planet Maldives Travel Guide
FAQs About Maldives Tourism
- How to get to the Maldives? There are flights to the Maldives airport in Malé from around the world. But, getting to your Maldives hotel is another story. When choosing your flights to the Maldives and back, take into consideration where your resort is located, and your transport options. We wrote a complete guide to Planning a Trip to the Maldives, which talks all about the transport options to and around the islands.
- What are some of the best things to do in the Maldives? Although getting to the Maldives, and to your resort, can be considered an adventure itself, there are also plenty of things to do in the Maldives. Many of these activities can be booked from your resort, but there are day tour options as well. Read our guide on what there is to do on a trip to the Maldives.
- Should you book a Maldives tour package? This is a great question. Once you arrive at Malé airport, your resort should be able to arrange all domestic airfare or seaplane transfers for you. This makes Maldives holidays particularly easy. When you arrive on your island, chances are you will stay there for most of your stay. But, one alternative is to stay in Malé, and book a Maldives package tour that involves island hopping. Viator offers a 7 night island hopping tour that takes all the fuss out of planning. The tour starts from $1150, and is a good Maldives budget travel option. It also makes it seem like you’re on a Maldives cruise, getting around the islands to see more.
- Are all hotels Maldives all inclusive resorts? Not all hotels are entirely all inclusive, but it’s easy to book Maldives all inclusive holidays. Most resorts offer several rates, including breakfast, half board, full board, and all inclusive. If you can, I recommend looking for Maldives all inclusive hotels so you know how much you are spending before stepping foot on the island.
- When is the best time to visit the Maldives? Maldives weather is hot and tropical all year around. Peak season, when prices are highest, include December through March. There is a rainy season, which runs from June through October.
- How long should a Maldives vacation be? Forever . . . Realistically, it’s important to take into consideration travel time to the resort islands. Seaplane transfers are a challenge, and it seems like it almost takes a day to transfer with wait times, particularly on departure. I would recommend a minimum of 5 nights at any resort that is not a quick boat ride from Malé. We stayed 5 nights at two different hotels in the Maldives, and that was a good amount of time. I probably could have stayed one or two more nights at each Maldives resort.
- Is the Maldives airport comfortable for long layovers? This is another great question. Because it might be difficult to arrange domestic transport, particularly on the departure from Malé, travelers do often spend some “quality” time at the airport. While waiting for a domestic seaplane transfer, it’s possible to use the seaplane transfer lounge. Otherwise, check out the Priority Pass lounge to make the layover easier to bear.
- Should you book Maldives accommodations with Booking,com or Hotels.com? We have used both booking sites in the past. Booking.com is probably one of the most widely used hotel booking sites around the world and offers an amazing number of properties. I like that they offer so many different ways to narrow your search. Hotels.com, though, offers a rewards program. The rewards program includes book 10 nights, get one free. For a 10 night Maldives holiday, it’s possible to earn a free night from a future stay, just from one booking. Learn more about the Hotels.com rewards program. In the end, I like both programs, and sometimes it comes down to personal preference on which site interface you feel most comfortable using.
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For more Maldives travel tips and information on Maldives places to stay,
check out our Maldives luxury travel guide!
Maldives Map – Where to Find Maldives Accommodations
Understanding the geography of the atolls of the Maldives is a little complicated. I’ve included this map to show you the distance between the Maldives airport and each of the resorts recommended above. It’s hard to say what is the “best island in the Maldives” because there are so many. But, this may should at least answer the question “Where are the Maldives islands” and how to get there.
Pin It – The Maldives – Where To Stay
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries. Amber is the author of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna.