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Find out how to Plan a Journey to the Maldives

Point out a visit to the Maldives, and also you’re instantly met with wistful sighs. There’s a motive this lengthy string of low-lying islands within the Indian Ocean is on the high of many vacationers’ lists. Maybe it is the sugary-white sands, the thatched-roof overwater bungalows, the swaying palm timber, or the waters so electrical blue that its shade deserves a brand new classification.

“The colours simply pop within the Maldives. Completely no filter is required!” says Sarah Harvey, Maldives professional and journey journalist. “The ocean is so intensely turquoise that it nearly glows, and the water is clearer than wherever I’ve but seen within the Caribbean. I as soon as misplaced half an hour standing waist-deep in a lagoon simply marveling on the tons of of tiny rainbows refracted by the solar throughout the sandy sea flooring.”

It is no surprise it was additionally topped the favourite island vacation spot in Asia in Journey + Leisure‘s 2024 World’s Finest Awards. No matter these islands’ magic contact is, it has loved-up honeymooners and rich households flocking to its 174 personal island resorts. Made up of 1,192 tiny islands unfold all through 26 atolls, solely round 200 of its islands are “native islands,” and 174 are resort islands, with extra opening up yearly.

“It is a actually distinctive escape from the day by day, filled with variety and exploration that’s extra stunning than many give credit score for,” says Venetia Cox, journey advisor at Cazenove+Loyd. “It isn’t only a passive vacation spot for leisure. It has unbelievable marine biodiversity, which will be skilled through snorkeling or diving, and has a few of the greatest seashores on the planet.”

Learn on to start out planning your dream journey to the Maldives.

Prime 5 Can’t Miss

  • Arrive early within the morning to attenuate time in your resort switch and get to the island as shortly as doable.
  • Spend time snorkeling your resort’s home reef or e-book a diving tour.
  • Ebook a keep at Soneva Fushi for an ultra-relaxing, over-the-top resort expertise in contrast to every other.
  • Biking round your island resort is one of the best — and most enjoyable — approach to cross the island.
  • Go to throughout the off-season from Could to November to see the manta rays feeding within the well-known Hanifaru Bay.

Finest Resorts and Resorts

Courtesy of 4 Seasons Resorts

Soneva Fushi

A castaway island dream, this sustainable luxurious resort is named probably the most family-friendly resorts within the Maldives. It has been wowing visitors for nearly 30 years with the nation’s largest youngsters membership and rooms devoted to ice cream, sweets, and meat and cheese — all complimentary. “Each time I’m going to Soneva Fushi, I get giddy; the island makes me really feel like a giant child! The water villas have water slides. You possibly can skip between eating places through a picket walkway within the jungle cover,” says Harvey. “There’s a lot enjoyable baked into this resort’s DNA.”

Joali Maldives

It’s all in regards to the glitz and glam at this Raa Atoll resort. Every of Joali’s 73 villas is a design dream dotted with touches like rose gold finishings, emerald marble showers, and pops of coral pink. “The meals right here can also be wonderful, and the Japanese restaurant is excellent,” says Cox.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

This resort was voted the greatest resort in Asia in 2022 by T+L readers and one in every of our readers’ 100 favourite motels on the planet for 2024. One of many largest human-made islands within the nation, Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi has 119 palatial villas and a can’t-miss spa. Its 11 eating choices, together with an Australian-style grill helmed by a Michelin-starred chef, are additionally a serious draw.

4 Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

The 4 Seasons at Landaa Giravaaru’s sprawling 103 villas supply a extra refined and smooth tackle an island paradise. It’s “Manta on Name” telephones for when manta rays seem close by and stellar service are a number of highlights. “Probably the greatest issues about it’s the ‘psychic butlers’ who appear to know precisely what you need earlier than you do,” says Harvey.

Gili Lankanfushi

A brief boat journey from the airport takes you to this thatched-roof paradise which Cox calls, “the unique Robinson Crusoe escape” — however five-star. Gili Lankanfushi’s 45 open-air overwater villas are rustic and eco-friendly, imposing a no-plastic coverage and a “no information, no sneakers ethos.” Reserve one in every of its standalone Crusoe Residences for an extremely personal keep — they’re solely reachable by boat.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

Structure lovers will swoon over the St. Regis’ 77 artfully designed villas made to appear to be manta rays and Maldivian fishing huts. A points-friendly resort, it’s a favourite for American vacationers seeking a far-flung tropical escape. Whereas the villas are arduous to depart, don’t miss out on its crustacean-shaped spa, dwelling to one of many Maldives’ largest hydrotherapy swimming pools.

Velaa Non-public Island Maldives

With a status as one of many nation’s most unique and costly resorts, something is feasible at Velaa. From Wagyu teppanyaki dinners in its rooftop restaurant to 9 holes at one of many nation’s solely golf programs to a wellness retreat at its new Wellbeing Village; there are infinite choices at this ultra-luxury, expertly crafted 47-villa island getaway.

Finest Issues to Do

Maldives Advertising & Public Relations Company/Go to Maldives

Snorkel with marine life.

Ocean fanatics say one of the best a part of the Maldives exists underwater. So snorkel or dive amongst a kaleidoscope of colours and marine life, together with turtles, sharks, fish, manta rays, and whale shakes. “Diving and snorkeling with whale sharks is without doubt one of the most unbelievable issues you are able to do within the Maldives,” says Harvey.

Deal with your self on the spa.

Many island resorts within the Maldives have a devoted spa. Some are overwater with glass bottoms, and a few are within the jungle cover, however they’re all value reserving a remedy. Relying on the spa, visitors can discover nearly any remedy, from cryotherapy to 24k gold facials.

Bike across the island.

The vast majority of the resorts listed above give visitors bikes for private use throughout their keep. Spend mornings biking to the breakfast buffet and evenings driving alongside the jetty, recognizing eagle rays and sharks beneath. The combination of freedom and enjoyable is without doubt one of the most unusual components of a Maldivian resort keep.

Get out on the ocean.

Life and enjoyable within the Maldives revolve across the water. Resorts supply a seemingly endless laundry record of water actions, together with browsing, fishing, dolphin cruises, paddleboarding, jet snowboarding, parasailing, sea bobs, flyboarding, catamarans, and even submersibles. The ocean is your oyster.

Go to a neighborhood island.

Whereas 99 % of tourists come for complete relaxation and leisure on the personal islands, spend a day on a neighborhood one as an alternative. Most resorts supply excursions and experiences to go to the “actual Maldives.” “You may get befriended, you is perhaps fortunate sufficient to see girls taking part in a sport of bashi on the sports activities area, you may even get invited into somebody’s dwelling for a cup of tea,” says Harvey.

Finest Time to Go to

Evgeniya Vlasova/Journey + Leisure

Whereas there’s no flawed time to go to the Maldives, the nation’s peak season is from November to April, a time synonymous with blue skies and scorching solar. Nonetheless, as a result of results of local weather change, the seasons have gotten an increasing number of unsure. “Each Maldivian I’ve spoken to in regards to the climate says the timing of monsoon season has been tougher to foretell prior to now couple of many years,” says Harvey. A go to throughout the low season from Could to October places you squarely within the monsoon season, however that doesn’t imply it is going to be a particular downpour. Planning your journey throughout this time may also prevent a couple of bucks on account of extra inexpensive “off-season” villa charges. In the event you base your self at a resort in or across the Baa Atoll throughout this time, you’ll be able to snorkel with tons of of large manta rays feeding on the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Hanifaru Bay.

Find out how to Get There

Evgeniya Vlasova/Journey + Leisure

Vacationers arrive within the Maldives through Velana Worldwide Airport, which is about to unveil an enlargement on the finish of the 12 months. Upon coming into the arrivals terminal, visitors will see dozens and dozens of resort representatives holding a plaque with the resort title. When you’ve discovered yours, they’ll escort you to one in every of three locations: the home terminal for a airplane switch, a speedboat for a switch on to your resort, or the brand new seaplane terminal for a seaplane switch. Don’t fear; it might sound overwhelming, however a resort rep will deal with all the pieces for you; all it’s a must to do is comply with them.

Find out how to Get Round

Transport to the resorts is often organized by your resort. When you’ve arrived at your personal island resort, there’s not far to go. Company usually use the bicycles supplied to get from one place to the opposite, name their butler for a buggy journey, or stroll the island barefoot.

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