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Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, UAE, Safaris

2014 Maldives Overview

Jan-20-2014 By Lindsey

The Maldives consists of a group of 1,190 islands located in the Indian Ocean approximately 310 miles south of India. The Maldives offers seclusion, privacy, fantastic ocean views, and the most luxurious overwater villas in the World. World-class scuba diving and snorkeling also help make the Maldives a unique and fantastic beach destination.

For those that dream of getting away from it all and relaxing in your own villa with endless Ocean views, there is no better place! Maldives is on the forefront of resort development. Many resorts are well known for having some of the largest and most luxurious overwater villas of any island destination. The Maldives a perfect destination for honeymoons, anniversaries, or for those simply looking for a romantic getaway. Families are also very well catered for in the Maldives with many resorts offering great multi-bedroom villas that are located both on the beach and overwater. There are amazing 6-star resorts for those who are looking for the ultimate indulgence as well as a wide variety of fantastic 5-star properties. With amazing food, service, villas, and resort facilities, it is no surprise the Maldives is one of the most popular destinations for those seeking the ultimate beach resort holidays!

Weather is nice year round in the Maldives. The wet season in the Maldives is comparable to the dry season in many other destinations. There are two main seasons, the winter months tend to be drier (October to May) and the summer months are typically a little more humid (June to September) though often still quite dry. The driest months tend to be January to April. The weather in the Maldives can be fairly hard to predict and as the Maldives are in the tropics, rain can happen any time of the year. When rain falls, it typically falls for an hour or so in the afternoon or evening and tends to cool people off. Bad storms are extremely rare in the Maldives making this a great destination any time of year. Peak season is from Christmas through New Years and this is the most expensive time to go. Reservations need to be made well in advance over Peak season and around Easter. Rates tend to be a little less expensive from May through July.

Transfers to resorts in the Maldives are by seaplane, speedboat, or domestic flight and speedboat. Resorts closest to the airport are accessed by speedboat and speedboats run 24-hours a day. Resorts that are outside of speedboat range are accessed via seaplane. Seaplanes only fly during daylight hours so if your international flight arrives after 5:00 PM you will be required to overnight at the Airport Hotel before transferring out to your resort the following morning. The most remote resorts are accessed via a domestic flight and then a speedboat ride. Domestic flights also run 24 hours a day.

Maldives Luxury

There are some truly amazing resorts in the Maldives. Resort offer different experiences and types of luxury. We’ve create the three terms of Barefoot, Modern, and Elegant Luxuries to help loosely group hotels offering similar experiences together in order to help differentiate them. One type of luxury is not better than the other, they are just different. Below is a description of different types of luxury. Typically, one type of luxury appeals to a person more than another. There are resorts in each luxury category that are of the highest quality. Some guests will mix and match and split their vacation between two different types of luxuries.

BarefootBarefoot Luxury – You are encouraged to go barefoot around the resorts. These resorts tend to be a bit more casual in dress and style, yet can still be some of the best resorts in the Maldives. The villas tend to be constructed of different types of wood and hand-carved features are common. The resorts tend to be more environmentally conscious than the other types of luxuries. The resorts are often smaller in size and have a more boutique feel. Bathrooms tend to be outdoor or open air. The villas tend to be large and spacious. While the resorts are more casual, there is still a nice level of sophistication.

Modern Luxury – These resorts tend to be more of the cool, fashionable, and “in” places to stay. The resorts are chic and stylish yet the design of the villas tends to incorporate more of a modern style of architecture. Less wood is used around the resorts and villas in favor of sleek and contemporary styles. The resorts tend to have impressive architecture and amazing features such as underwater restaurants, underground wine cellars, over water bars, and pools in the over water villas. Typically these resorts are smaller and offer a more boutique feel.

Elegant Luxury – These resorts are what many people typically think of when they think of traditional luxury. Guests tend to get a bit more dressed up for meals. The villas use materials such as marble and granite in the architecture and design, especially in the bathrooms. The rooms and structures are grand, spacious, and impressive. The resorts are elegant, grand, and sophisticated. The resorts tend to be larger in terms of number of rooms and size of the island than the Barefoot and Modern Luxuries.

Maldives Resort Summary

Super Luxury Resorts – The finest resorts that exist
Velaa Private Island (Elegant Luxury – but very comfortable)
Cheval Blanc Randheli (Elegant Luxury)

Truly Amazing Resorts
One&Only Reethi Rah (Elegant Luxury)
Huvafen Fushi (Modern Luxury)
Gili Lankanfushi (Barefoot Luxury)
Jumeirah Dhevanafushi (Elegant Luxury)

5 ½ Star
Niyama Maldives (Modern Luxury)
Anantara Kihavah (Modern Luxury)
Jumeirah Vittaveli (Elegant Luxury)
Soneva Fushi (Barefoot Luxury)
Island Hideaway (Barefoot Luxury)
Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru (Elegant Luxury)
Shangri-La Villingili (Elegant Luxury)
Naladhu Resort (Elegant Luxury)

Coco Palm Bodu Hithi (Modern Luxury)
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa (Modern Luxury)
Viceroy Maldives (Elegant Luxury)
Constance Halaveli Resort (Modern Luxury)
W Retreat & Spa (Modern Luxury)
Six Senses Laamu (Barefoot Luxury)
Cocoa Island (Barefoot Luxury)
Beach House Maldives (Elegant Luxury)
Taj Exotica Resort (Elegant Luxury)
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa (Elegant Luxury)
Baros Maldives (Elegant)
Anantara Dhigu (Elegant Luxury)
Anantara Veli (Resort Luxury)
Conrad Maldives (Resort Luxury)

5-Star All Inclusive
Lily Beach Resort Maldives
Constance Moofushi

Still in Pre-Opening and Too New to Rate
Maalifushi by COMO (Barefoot Luxury)

Rates (Reference Purposes Only, Rates Are Approximate For Entry Level Rooms)
Super Luxury Resorts – Starting at US$1,600+ per night and going up from there
Truly Amazing Resorts– US $1000+ per night
5 ½ Star – Approximately US $700 – $1,000 per night
5 Star – Approximately US $500 – $750 per night
Private Islands, 4-Star, and Boat/Yacht Rentals – Rates Available Upon Request

Maldives Resort Overview

Velaa Private Island – Noonu Atoll – Transfer by Seaplane
A super luxury resort, Velaa Private Island has just 45 of some of the most luxurious and spacious beach and overwater villas.  The resort has put a tremendous effort into culinary concepts and service which translates to the best food and service in the Maldives.  What we like most is the amazing range of activities including the Jose Maria Olazabal golf facility, covered tennis court, squash, a huge range of state-of-the-art watersports activities.  Oh and did we mention that Velaa means turtle island in the local language due to this being a great spot for seeing turtles.

Cheval Blanc Randheli – Noonu Atoll – Transfer by Seaplane
Owned by LVMH (think Louis Vuitton and 60+ other luxury brands), Cheval Blanc Randheli, a super luxury resort spanning 5 islands, is home to the most luxurious 45 villas in the Maldives and possibly the World.  Every detail from the finest linens, beautiful artwork, and stunning architecture has been carefully conceived.  A variety of restaurants, a spa on its own island, and a distinct French style of service, create a unique atmosphere in the Maldives.

Jumeirah Dhevanafushi – Gaafu Alifu Atoll – Transfer by Plane/Speedboat
The resort features large and luxurious villas! Surrounded by a gorgeous coral reef with some of the best snorkeling and diving, the service and food are also amazing. The over water villas are in a unique Ocean Pearl cluster isolated a half a mile away from the island in the calm lagoon waters. All of the villas have their own private pool. The resort has three exceptional restaurants, an inviting bar, and follows the concept that each guest deserves a personalized gastronomic experience.

Huvafen Fushi - Modern LuxuryHuvafen Fushi – North Male Atoll – Transfer by Speedboat
Huvafen Fushi offers pools in all its villas, even the over water ones! The resort is home to the world’s first underwater spa treatment rooms. Huvafen Fushi also features a gorgeous underground wine cellar, beautiful over water restaurants, an organic vegetable garden, an over water gym, and a stunning main pool with fiber optic lights at night. The resort has a hip, cool feel that is highlighted with a visit to the main bar. The resort offers both Beach and Overwater Villas that are equipped with the latest technology from plasma screens and Ipod docking stations to lights which are controlled by their own remote. The food is amongst the highest rated anywhere in the Maldives.

BarefootGili Lankanfushi – North Male Atoll – Transfer by Speedboat
Gili Lankanfushi was the first resort to exclusively offer over water villas. The villas are all huge with the smallest being over 2,200 square feet. A Robinson Crusoe feel, the intimacy of the island, and the unique design of the villas create a most serene environment. The resort has a terrific over water spa, a fantastic underground wine, cheese, and meat bar, an over water restaurant, an organic vegetable garden, and likely the best service in the Maldives. While offering all these facilities the utmost care has been taken to make the resort environmentally friendly and to reflect the harmony of life by the water’s edge. This is a unique resort that you will not find anywhere else.

Jumeirah Vittaveli – South Male Atoll – Transfer by Speedboat
Informal yet elegant, Jumeirah Vittaveli is a magical island escape that indulges and delights. Nestled in an area of astounding beauty, Jumeirah Vittaveli’s glistening natural contours and Maldivian-inspired architecture offers some of the nicest, largest, and best villas in the Maldives. All villas have pools in them and over water villas even have a separate living room area. The island is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, great for snorkeling and diving. A realm of a flavorful culinary journeys and unique luxury service are provided, with award-winning chefs and three captivating restaurants.

One and Only Reethi RahOne&Only Reethi Rah – North Male Atoll – Transfer by Luxury Yacht
A truly elegant resort, One&Only Reethi Rah is grand in every sense of the word. Villas are perfectly placed all around the island and offer great privacy and fantastic views of the surrounding lagoon. The perfectly manicured gardens and the meticulously maintained common areas make for a dream resort. The resort has a great range of restaurants and bars that will satisfy the most discerning taste. One&Only Reethi Rah is regarded the most sophisticated resorts in the Maldives. The spa and service are highly regarded and butler service ensures all desires are fulfilled.

Niyama Maldives - Modern LuxuryNiyama Maldives –Dhaalu Atoll – Transfer by Seaplane
Niyama has been designed as an edgy, modern resort that offers guests with a romantic Maldivian escape, balancing tranquility with a sense of discovery, stimulation and fun. Cocktails beneath the waves at Subsix, the underwater bar/nightclub; a Marine Biology lab for coral rehabilitation and education; The Lair for books, magazines and DVDs; and traditional sailing Dhonis can all be a part of your experience. From over water pavilions to stand-alone beach studios, all offer excellent serenity and comfort.

Viceroy Maldives - Modern LuxuryViceroy Maldives – Shaviyani Atoll – Transfer by Seaplane
Over 17 acres of pristine sand houses Viceroy Maldives, where 61 beach and over water villas each with their own pools, encircle a lagoon of startling blue. Five diverse dining venues, including the Treehouse (which blends East African and Middle Eastern cuisines); offer everything from casual beachside cuisine to elegant fare, while incorporating Asian and European influences. Using naturally rustic materials and patterns in a modern way allows the resort to exude sophistication.

Anantara Kihavah - Modern LuxuryAnantara Kihavah – Baa Atoll – Transfer by Seaplane
Located in the lovely Baa Atoll, known for its fabulous snorkeling and scuba diving spots, Anantara Kihavah Villas offers spacious villas all with their own plunge pools. Large spaces open to brilliant tropical nature, high ceilings, timber interiors and marble floors. Savor a glass of vino with the best bar view imaginable – amidst a panorama of aquatic life – in the underwater wine cellar and restaurant or dine at one of the over water restaurants.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa - Modern LuxuryPark Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa – Gaafu Alifu Atoll – Transfer by Plane/Speedboat
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is set in the secluded North Huvadhoo Atoll in the previously untouched southern portion of the Maldives, believed to be one of the largest and deepest natural atolls in the world. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa proximity to the Equator creates a truly unique night sky with stars from both hemispheres being present. The snorkeling and diving are some of the very best in the Maldives with long stretches of unspoiled coral reefs and a huge abundance of marine life. The marine life is still delightfully curious and unwary of divers.

BarefootSoneva Fushi – Baa Atoll – Seaplane Transfer – Transfer by Seaplane
Soneva Fushi offers a wide selection of Beach Villas that cover a broad range of prices. Built on a large island this resort is great for honeymooners looking to escape as well as families. A true Robinson Crusoe feel allows guests to feel as if they are a part of nature. A wonderful Bar was built over the house reef and is fantastic for snorkeling. Along with an underground wine cellar, treetop restaurant, organic vegetable garden, ice cream bar, observatory, and outdoor cinema, guests are not lacking for things to do.

BarefootIsland Hideaway – Haa Alifu Atoll – Transfer by Plane/Speedboat
If you have ever wanted to be lost on a deserted island in a far off place in the World, Island Hideaway is a great spot! Located in the remote North of the Maldives, Island Hideaway offers some of the most untouched snorkeling and diving available. Built on a large island by Maldivian standards, Island Hideaway offers huge and very secluded beach villas. The spa, food, and service are excellent. Privacy is the key here and you can really relax and not see anyone else if you do not desire.

Four Seasons Landaa GiraavaruFour Seasons Landaa Giraavaru – Baa Atoll – Transfer by Seaplane
This is a great resort for those who are looking for something familiar yet something grand. The resort offers both beach and overwater bungalows that offer good privacy. Four Seasons travelers will enjoy the conservative nature of the styling and the low key atmosphere of the resort. The staff is excellent and the restaurants are great. The resort is built on a larger island and the diving is very nice.

Shangri-La VillingiliShangri-La Villingili – Addu Atoll – Transfer by Plane/Speedboat
Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa is the first luxury resort in the Maldives to be located south of the equator in the Addu Atoll. The resort offers both beach and over-water villas. All villas located on the beach come with their own pools, even the tropical tree house villas which are perched on stilts among the treetops. There are more than 25 dive sites teeming with marine life, including the dramatic 140-meter British Loyalty shipwreck. Explore by bicycle the five neighboring islands connected by a 10-mile road, (longest in the Maldives). Exploring Shangri-La’s island is also great by bicycle as there is an extensive network of paths and trails through the jungle-like interior.

Naladhu ResortNaladhu Resort – South Male Atoll – Transfer by Speedboat
Naladhu – Maldivian for “beautiful island”. With just 19 villas in the boutique resort looking out to the emerald lagoon, guests are lured into a sense of bliss while enveloped in their own private sanctuaries. Unwind at the end of the day in the house’s own private steam room, or schedule a pampering spa service to enjoy on the sun-bleached deck. Naladhu is conveniently located next to sister resorts Anantara Veli and Dhigu.

Coco Palm Bodu Hithi - Modern LuxuryCoco Palm Bodu Hithi – North Male Atoll – Transfer by Speedboat
All of the spacious villas have pools, even the overwater villas. A nice bar overlooks the beautiful fiber optic lit main pool in the evening. The resort features a nice spa, fantastic villas, and great service. The resort is terrific for honeymooners as there is a lot of privacy, wonderful beaches, and nice snorkeling from the beach. Diving is also great in the area. The resort offers terrific value for money!

Constance Halaveli - Modern LuxuryConstance Halaveli – North Ari Atoll – Seaplane Transfers
Floating in the North Ari atoll and shaped like a curved dhoni (Maldivian boat) is the Constance Halaveli Resort. The shadows of the 86 villas fall on the turquoise lagoon. All the villas at Constance Halaveli contain their own private plunge pool located on the beach or over the water and a terrace or balcony with stunning views. The resort features three restaurants and The Spa de Constance. This modern resort is nice for honeymooners looking for an over water villa.

W Retreat - Modern LuxuryW Retreat & Spa – North Ari Atoll – Seaplane Transfer
The “W” resort offers everything the city hotels are known for plus the sun, sand and warm waters of the Indian Ocean. This ultra-modern, ultra chic resort brings the city to the beach. “W” clientele will appreciate the bold styling and atmosphere of the resort. The beach and water villas all offer private pools. The resort features a cool underground bar, overwater restaurants, and a popular main pool area.

BarefootSix Senses Laamu – Laamu Atoll – Transfer by Plane/Speedboat
Six Senses Laamu enjoys healthy coral reefs which allow for great diving as well as entertaining views from overwater restaurants and villas. Each of the 97 stunning beach and water villas feature outdoor rain-showers and private sundecks. The luxurious Six Senses Spa and an open-air cinema are great land based activities. Dining experiences at Six Senses Laamu make the best use of the resort’s sensational surrounds. The largest over-water complex is here consisting of restaurants, bars, shops, and the dive center!

BarefootCocoa Island – South Male Atoll – Speedboat Transfer
Accommodation consists exclusively of contemporary overwater villas made of local timber shaped as traditional Maldivian boats, called Dhonis. Each Dhoni has its own private verandah with steps leading directly to the lagoon. The Dhonis are decorated in a stylish and simple way. This is one of the smaller, more private and intimate resorts excellent for honeymooners or those looking for a private spot to relax and do nothing!

Waldorf Astoria MaldivesBeach House Maldives – Haa Alifu Atoll – Transfer by Plane / Boat
Beach House’s well-appointed villas, both beach and over water, enjoy the use of their own private pools, along with the services of a butler who will tend to guests’ every need. Traditional Maldivian style is celebrated in architectural details from the open-air en-suite design to the thatched roofing. Gourmet meals, prepared by the Beach House’s international chef, are available at the resort’s delightful eateries – Medium-Rare, an international grill; and Saffron, serving Asian fusion fare.

Taj ExoticaTaj Exotica – South Male Atoll – Speedboat Transfer
The resort mainly has overwater villas though there are a few beach villas. The resort is situated in the middle of one of the largest and prettiest lagoons in the Maldives, not far from the International airport. The natural beauty of the island and lagoon has been carefully preserved and integrated with the tastefully and elegantly appointed villas. There is an overwater restaurant, a main pool area, and a great bar in the evenings.

Four Seasons Kuda HuraFour Seasons Kuda Huraa – North Male Atoll – Speedboat Transfer
The original Four Seasons resort in the Maldives, Four Seasons Kuda Huraa has undergone renovation and is now up-to-date. The resort is popular for families and will meet the expectations of Four Seasons travelers. The resort offers both beach and overwater villas all with conservative “Four Seasons” styling. A dedicated surf school makes this a good choice for those wanting to surf.

Baros MaldivesBaros Maldives – North Male Atoll – Speedboat Transfer
Baros Maldives is a resort that offers understated elegance with a sense of authenticity and local culture. A lush, tropical island set in the shimmering waters of a shallow lagoon in North Male’ Atoll, ringed by a reef alive with marine life. The Lighthouse restaurant is the highlight and landmark of Baros Maldives. Baros spa is a space to renew your strength and your inner sense of well-being.

Anantara DhiguAnantara Dhigu – South Male Atoll – Speedboat Transfer
Anantara Dhigu along with its neighboring sister resort, form the largest selection of restaurants and activities in the Maldives. Anantara Dhigu boats beach villas with spacious outdoor bathrooms and exquisite over water villas. The main pool has beautiful fiber optic lights at night. Anantara offer some of the best value for money anywhere in the Maldives.

Anantara Veli – South Male Atoll – Speedboat Transfer
Anantara Veli only has over water bungalows. This is the entry level 5-star property in the Maldives and as such, it is one of the best values. Anantara Veli is a great way to get an affordable over water villa. Guests staying here have full use of the facilities on the island as well as at neighboring Anantara Dhigu.

Conrad Maldives – South Ari Atoll – Seaplane Transfer
Conrad Maldives is built over two islands. One of the largest resorts in the Maldives in terms of number of rooms, the Conrad is great for families or for guests who are looking for a wide range of restaurants and activities. The Conrad is famous for its underwater restaurant. The resort also offers two wine bars, an over water restaurant, and two spas. With overwater and beach villas there is something for everyone.

Lily Beach Resort & Spa – South Ari Atoll – Seaplane Transfers
Lily Beach Resort & Spa features pristine beaches, lush tropical vegetation and the exotic house-reef only feet off the shore. Located within the spectacular Ari Atoll, and keeping the overall concept of affordable luxury in the Maldives in mind, Lily Beach Resort & Spa features an all-inclusive plan for guests, whereby offering the discerning traveler, hassle free fun, relaxation and uninhibited enjoyment. Tamara Spa features over-water spa pavilions designed to be sanctuaries for the inner self.

Constance Moofushi – South Ari Atoll – Seaplane Transfers
Constance Moofushi Resort is an all-inclusive resort situated on the South Ari Atoll and has some of the best diving spots in the world. The resort has three elegant villa types on the beach and over water. Two restaurants and three bars provide guests with a rich culinary experience. The Spa de Constance is a place of easeful relaxation, cleansing and rejuvenation.

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