Let’s get one thing straight. You probably can’t go wrong in the Maldives. Even if your resort is a little dusty around the edges, you’re IN THE MALDIVES so just walk outside and glide into those clear, warm waters. Hopefully that will wash away any disgruntlement over a spot of shabby service or a missing fruit platter.
That said, there are some resorts that at least on paper (aka Internet) look a little fancier than others. We’ve collated a list of some of the ones we’re particularly attracted to.
This resort has a distinctly Thai-style feel to it. It’s surrounded by reef and the first ever UNESCO biosphere reserve, so you know the marine life is going to be good.
We love the pool(s) and the sound of the Devarana Spa’s tree top treatment pods. Yas please.
It is entirely possible that we were drawn to this resort because of the blond marine biologist. But if we look past his face, the turtle conservation program he’s acting out is pretty worthwhile. The team of marine specialists rear endangered green turtle hatchlings until they’re big enough to make it in the wild.
This resort also hosts the Four Seasons Maldives Champions Surfing trophy for those who want to time in a honeymoon with some pro-surfer watching. Which is good for both the boys and the girls (perhaps for different reasons) we think.
Finally, will you take a look at that pool.
Most people think it’s all about the over-water villa for a honeymoon (and they are glorious, yes). But Niyama has possibly the most beautiful beach villas we’ve seen, which are generally a little more affordable than the stilted variety.
We love the plunge pools and the fact that you can just walk straight on across that white sand into the ocean.
Niyama also has one of the coolest restaurants we’ve seen called The Edge which sits offshore of the resort itself and is only accessibly by boat.
It has the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant (16ft). Enough said.
But there’s more. There are 12 restaurants and bars throughout the resort, including the Cheese Bar which features 101 of the world’s best cheeses, and the underground Wine Cellar with 20,000 bottles of fine wine. Given that cheese and wine are our two favourite thing, we’re moving here.
The website is a bit dated but don’t let it deter you. I [Amy] visited a couple of resorts a few years ago and this was my fave. The vibe is very chill – leave the shoes at the villa and barefoot it. Come evening, think crab racing, karaoke and a disco DJ for entertainment. It’s definitely not pretentious.
The spa was a highlight – it’s set in overwater villas and there’s a glass floor underneath the massage table so you can check out what’s happening beneath. And the restaurants were awesome. And the sunset boat ride. And the deep sea fishing.
But the best thing was the diving. I literally cried breathy, choke-y tears into my regulator at the Little Mermaid-esque scenes that were playing out in front of me. Whatever resort you choose, do a dive or a beginner diving course, it is so worth it.
These guys talk up the spontaneity factor at their resort from ‘classes with local artists to wandering street food vendors and vibrant musical performances’. Sounds good and so do the ‘secret bars, herb gardens, al fresco cinemas and delectably authentic dishes made with fresh island ingredients’.
The coolest bit for us has to be the fact that the resort’s situated in a hotspot for those adorable giant vacuums of the ocean – whale sharks. We’d try and time the trip for their migration.
We’re really feeling the combo of the traditional Maldivian thatched buildings combined with the clean interior styling. The villas look amazeballs.
The Chill Bar also looks like the kind of place we could spend many hours and cocktails in, and there’s surfing opportunities offshore too. Lots of ticks here.
Gee, it was tough picking an image for this one. In the end we went with an interior shot because we thought it might translate the boho, beach-chic thing this place has going on.
We like the decks of the over-water villas too because they come with hammock seats. Such a simple way to win us over.