With almost 150 resorts from all price ranges and with different benefits, it can be hard to find the best resort in the Maldives for your own holiday.
During the last few years we had the chance to visit a lot of different resorts and realized that every island and hotel is unique in its own way. That’s why the question “What is the best resort in the Maldives?” has a different answer for every traveler – it all depends on your personal preferences and budget:
The best resorts in the Maldives
Every resort in the Maldives is unique in its own way. The choice for your perfect stay depends on your own taste, what you want to experience during your holiday, with which budget you are planning and which aspects of a hotel are most important to you.
In this post I matched our favorite resorts with different categories to make it easier to find your personal best resort in the Maldives.
Category I: Sustainability meets luxury
Most people think that it is not possible to spend a holiday in the Maldives which is eco-friendly and luxurious at the same time. But the rising importance of sustainability for travelers, made hotels in the Maldives adapting this aspect to their concepts. Over the last years, some resorts took their responsibility and the ingenuity to save the environment to the next level:
Soneva Fushi & Soneva Jani
price: $$$ – $$$$
Soneva stands for the epitome of sustainability in combination with luxury. The two resorts Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani not only try to be as eco friendly as possible but rather immerse with nature to give back more to the environment than what they took. The resorts have their own recycling stations, where every single produced trash will be reused. They even invented a natural procedure of water purification, support local communities, build all villas out of recycled wood, harvest their own veggies and fruits, … and so much more. Experiencing the Soneva spirit clearly showed us that it is absolutely possible to be one with nature and experience luxury at the same time!
The Park Hyatt is a small island in the south of the Maldives and the Management of the resort takes it incredibly serious to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the Maldives. They not only work all the time on new ideas to save energy, waste and resources but also teach their guests about the importance of being one with nature. Their creativity and eco-friendly spirit blew us away!
Category II: Snorkeling Paradises
One of the main reasons why we fell in love with the Maldives is the unique maritime life. Especially the Baa Atoll and the South of the Maldives have vivid reefs with colorful fish, turtles, rays and sharks. But not all resorts are situated next to their own house reef. From all the islands we visited so far, these three have been the best resorts in the Maldives to go snorkeling:
Sustainability plays a big role for the health of a reef as well! Some resorts do a daily “fish & shark feeding” several times a day, but unfortunately feeding the fish disturbs their natural feeding behavior which has a big impact to the overall natural balance in the reef. Luckily many resorts stopped the fish feeding to safe their maritime life and the Park Hyatt Maldives is one of them! They have an incredibly vivid house reef all around the whole island and guests can join a guided snorkeling tour with the maritime biologist of the Park Hyatt! Snorkeling fans will love this resort just as luxury and sustainability lovers.
price: $$ – $$$
The Baa Atoll is great for snorkeling – not only because of the great reef health but also thanks to the fact that it is located close to the UNESCO biosphere reserve Hanifaru Bay – the home of thousands of Mantas from June until November.
The Dusit Thani has one of the best house reefs we’ve ever seen! You can literally jump out of your water villa and will instantly feel like you’re in an aquarium with colorful corals, fish and turtles!
price: $$ – $$$
Another resort which we found great for snorkeling is the Ayada Maldives. Especially the reef drop in front of the water villas is extremely vivid. There was one particular spot where we always met a curious turtle and a different part of the reef with a high chance to see reef sharks.
Category III: Ultra Luxury Havens
Due to the high competition among the resorts in the Maldives, new hotels have to come up with creative concepts, ideas and facets of hospitality to stand out from rest. That’s why the level of luxury has absolutely no limit in the Maldives! These resorts have been the most opulent ones we visited:
Generous villas with private pools, as big as proper swimming pools, eleven different restaurants, a Michelin starred chef and a private island for the ultimative seclusion: The Waldorf Astoria is a new and ultra luxurious hideaway in the Maldives. The special treatment begins from the second you arrive at the airport, followed by a transfer with their private yacht, the next level service, a private butler and so many more details which make the stay unforgettable!
Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani
price: $$$ – $$$$
The Soneva Resorts not only stand for the epitome of sustainability in the Maldives but also for ultra luxury and privacy. Every single villa is unique in its own way and incredibly spacious. The complete resort offers an atmosphere of exclusivity and the feeling of being united with likeminded people can be found nowhere else but here! Combined with creative restaurants, insane water villas and lots of activities, Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani are the ultimate bucket list resorts in the Maldives!
Far in the South of the Maldives, the Raffles offers a small intimate hideaway for a maximum of privacy, an incredible overwater spa and one of the best cuisines we ever experienced in the Maldives. The Beach Villas are proper apartments with a private pool and garden. The water villas are separated from the main island and can only be reached by boat! The Raffles is one of the smallest islands we’ve ever been to but at the same time one of our favorites as well.
One of the latest resort openings in the Maldives is the Patina – a new luxury hotel brand. The island is connected with the Ritz-Carlton and soon Capella Maldives to a concept called Fari Islands.
The resort is built on an artificial island with a main focus on art. Guests can find art pieces all around the resort – some of them even in the villas and others are interactive to set foot in them. But what really blew us away is the ultra luxurious breakfast and the incredible water villas of the Patina which are one of a kind, sustainably built and spacious!
Category IV: Budget friendly choices
There are countless resorts in the Maldives and the prices per night only have the sky as the limit. But beside the many luxury islands there are a handful of affordable hotels in the Maldives which offer the same paradisiac scenery as the luxury resorts.
If you’re interested in booking a budget friendly Maldives trip, I can highly recommend you to check out the small local company Maldives Secrets! They offer holidays on local islands, affordable resorts and boat safaris in the Maldives!
price: $ – $$
The SAii Lagoon is a nice and cozy resort, not far from Male. Beside Beach and Water Villas you can also stay in Beach apartments which are an even more affordable option. The island offers paradise beaches with lush palm trees and blue waters and thanks to the connection with the Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, you have a big selection of activities and restaurants.
One resort with the best price value ratio in the Maldives is the LUX* South Ari. The amount of experiences and activities on the islands, the beautiful villas and the great choices of restaurants are incredible for the price you pay per night! The LUX* South Ari definitely belongs to our Top 5 Resorts in the Maldives!
The most budget friendly and authentic way to experience the Maldives, is staying in a hotel or guest house on a local island. These islands are clearly something else than the resorts, but I was surprised to see that it is in fact possible to experience the “Maldives Feeling” without the need to spend a fortune. The beaches, lush palm trees and endless blue water is just as amazing as on the resort islands.
In 2021 we visited the local island Dharavandhoo in the South of the Maldives where we stayed at the Kiha Beach Hotel. We absolutely loved this experience and did wonderful snorkeling & sand bank tours!
Category V: Party & Fun
People often associated the Maldives with being a “honey moon destination” just for couples. But while it is indeed one of the most romantic places you could travel to, there are a few resorts which are great for friends or couples traveling together which like to enjoy a little party in paradise and meet others.
The Finolhu is probably THE resort in the Maldives for young adults and party lovers. With the legendary One Oak Beach Club and daily shows, live music or DJ’s you won’t have the chance to feel bored. Of course you can always draw back to your private Beach or Water Villa but as soon as you step put of it you will meet likeminded and fun people!
YES! There is a Hard Rock Hotel in the Maldives and it is exactly the way you imagine it to be: Fun and Easy Going! I’m talking about Pool Parties, Casual Beach BBQ’s, Sunset Cocktail Sessions and Live Music in the Evening. The Resort is part of the Crossroads, a multi island concept, which offers the possibility to cruise between three different islands during your stay and use all facilities and restaurants!
Do you want to have the best of both worlds? Relaxing beach vibes and a lonely island feeling combined with get togethers at the pool and cocktail bar with other guests? Then you will love the Pullman Maldives with an Ultra Luxury All Inclusive concept: Enjoy the finest Champagne, Fresh Cocktails and amazing food all day long and meet great people!
Category VI: Family Friendly Resorts
Traveling to the Maldives with kids is a great idea – but not all resorts are suitable for families since some of them are Adult Only properties. But the local people in the Maldives are extremely kids friendly and you will find amazing resorts which are great for families:
One of our favorite resorts in the Maldives is the LUX* South Ari. No matter if you’re traveling with friends, as a couple or family with small kids or teenagers: This resort will make everyone happy! The kids club looked amazing and offers lots of activities, like coconut painting at the beach. Every few times a week the LUX* South Ari sets up an outdoor cinema at the beach after dinner where they show a family friendly movie first followed by a second one for adults. Different Pools, lots of space, an amazing spa and a large number of restaurants make it easy to find a suiting spot for everyones preferences!
price: $$$ – $$$$
Soneva is not only a playground for adults but very family oriented as well. They have one of the biggest kids clubs in the Maldives with a kids pool, a cocktail bar for the little ones (where they serve healthy juices), lots of outdoor and indoor activities and the kind staff brings the kids closer to nature and sustainability!
price: $$ – $$$
Staying at an All Inclusive Resort is a great idea if you’re traveling with a bigger family cause otherwise the costs for food and drinks can quickly sum up! The Emerald Maldives is a lovely All Inclusive Resort with lots of things to experience. Their concept not only includes different dining options but also experiences like dolphin cruises and water sport activities. Additionally the resort has a great kids club with a huge outdoor area where you can find a water park, play ground and trampolines for the little ones!
Category VII: The Allrounder
You can’t really decide what you want or don’t like to lean towards a specific direction to decide for your personal best resort in the Maldives? Then the following resorts are a great choice for you. They offer lots of activities, different dining choices, the right villa category for all preferences and of course the luxurious tropical feeling you’re looking for in the Maldives:
You can’t go wrong with booking a stay at the Conrad Maldives! It is a lovely resort which connects two different islands via a jetty and is in fact the first resort we ever visited in the Maldives. I love their Beach Villas just as much as the newly renovated Water Villas and no matter if you like to dine casual at the beach or want to experience an exclusive dinner under the sea – you can find it all at the Conrad Maldives.
Heavenly Beaches, photogenic swings and wonderful water or beach villas with pool: The Constance Halaveli is a cozy and laid back resort for couples. You will love the overwater spa and restaurant! The only thing we missed during our stay have been bicycles since the Constance Halaveli has one of the longest overwater jetties in the Maldives! But walking through paradise or taking the buggy isn’t so bad either.. 😉
price: $$ – $$$
One of the very few resorts we visited twice already is the Ayada Maldives! The island offers a great amount of activities and places to relax that we still found new ones during our second visit. Additionally the Ayada has amazing water villas with pool and outdoor relaxing areas where you can instantly jump in the water to go snorkeling along the beautiful reef drop!
No matter which category you’re deciding for – we loved all the resorts above for different reasons! If you still have questions about a certain one of them, make sure to check out my hotel reviews for more infos and pictures or send me a message via Instagram! 🙂
disclaimer: If you book your stay via the booking links of this post, we’ll get a little commission from the hotel – without any extra charges for you! So thank you for supporting our small business 🙂