The Expert's Guide To The Maldives
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The Expert’s Guide To The Maldives

The best places to stay, whatever your budget, style or group size

Now is the time to start planning your next dream holiday. And, if you’re looking for paradise, the white sands and turquoise seas of the Maldives might mean it’s close to the top of your wish list. Focussing on family adventures, romance and unparalleled experiences, we’ve teamed up with the experts at family-run travel company Turquoise Holidays to curate this comprehensive guide to the Maldives, including the best resorts to book now. Whether you’re looking for a couple’s escape or a group excursion, relaxation or memorable moments, these beach-front hotels, overwater restaurants and paradisal beaches will make your bucket list holiday all the more perfect…

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The Expert’s Guide To The Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi Resort Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi Resort

Why The Maldives?

This archipelagic country is truly unique, set in the Indian Ocean with incredible encounters around every corner. ‘The Maldives remains the most aspirational destination in the world, home to extraordinary marine life, azure waters, and home to the iconic overwater bungalows,’ Turquoise‘s team of Travel Specialists tells us. ‘Our clients who visit the Maldives have memories to last a lifetime.’

Plus, it’s Turquoise Holidays’ best-selling destination, topping the bucketlist of almost every traveller, especially those seeking rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. ‘You do not need photoshop!’, the Turquoise team adds. ‘The colours are truly as vibrant and dramatic as the photos.’ Overwater stays come as standard, and the secluded desert island vibe is guaranteed. World class hotels are in the majority, with many home to world-class spas, sustainability labs, underwater restaurants and more. There are also lush jungles to explore, as well as reefs to observe (and protect). Treehouse bars nestle along coastlines, lagoon spas offer the perfect place to relax, and conservation programmes set the standard high.

‘Waking up to a panorama of tropical sights completely confirmed that the Maldives was, and always will be, the ultimate honeymoon destination,’ adds Antony De Liseo, Senior Travel Specialist at Turquoise. ‘This is not only just down to the sheer beauty of the island nation, but also what it has to offer. There is no doubt in my mind that any of our hand-picked, Turquoise properties will assure you a seamless honeymoon.’ But it’s not just honeymooners that thrive here: the Maldives ticks many boxes for families, with world-class childcare and a vast array of accommodation types, activities and cuisines, making travelling with children of all ages fun, easy and stress-free.

LUX South Ari Atoll

Swimming with whale sharks at LUX South Ari Atoll

Key Facts

  • Getting There: Direct flights run from London to Malé in 10.5 hours, or get a connecting flight via Middle East hubs, taking around 12–15 hours. Why not extend your trip with a stopover? Sri Lanka is a very popular destination to combine with the Maldives.
  • Time Difference: GMT + 5 hours
  • Resort Access: Make sure you are aware of the onward journey from Malé to your resort. Most resorts are accessed via seaplane from Malé, but some closer islands are just a short speedboat ride away.
  • Best Time To Visit? December to April, when average rainfall is at its lowest and sunshine hours stretch the longest.

Which Island Is The Best?

Picking your Maldives holiday by island is almost impossible. ‘It is best to speak to the experts about the islands and room types on offer,’ the Turquoise Holidays team advises. Plus: ‘Speak to someone with first hand knowledge. To many, a seaplane is the ultimate way to arrive, but for others, shorter transport by boat is more enticing.

It’s much better to consider your destination by hotel. ‘Some islands are exclusively adults only, whereas others are a playground for families,’ say the experts at Turquoise. ‘It is important to know the islands vary in size dramatically, which affects the scale of facilities, restaurants and experiences on offer.’

As well as how far the resort is from Malé (and how you get there), picking your resort location hinges on how remote you’d like to feel. Consult the specialists at Turquoise Holidays if you need advice making your choice: some islands and resorts are quite close together, while in other instances you will be in a villa with only a vast expanse of ocean in front of you.

Six Senses Laamu

Dhoni Cruise at Six Senses Laamu

Top Tips For Choosing Your Maldives Resort

Where to start? With hundreds of hotels and resorts in the Maldives, picking your dream resort is a daunting prospect. Luckily, the experts at Turquoise are on hand to help. They suggest:

  • Get talking: Track down a friend or family member who has visited the Maldives before, and pick their brains for insights.
  • Arrival: Will it be seaplane or speedboat? The choice is yours.
  • All a-board: Which board basis would you prefer? If it’s all inclusive all the way, you’ll want to pick a hotel that provides this option – and vice versa for half board and bed and breakfast.
  • Under the sea: How would you like to explore the marine life of the Maldives? All resorts have access to a house reef, however some you can swim to and others require a boat journey – which isn’t ideal if you’re looking to dive right in. Offerings vary from facilities to serious divers to those who prefer to glide across the surface on a paddleboard.
  • Cater to the kids: Overwater accommodation is one of the largest draws of the Maldives, however the ease and privacy of beach accommodation (especially with your own swimming pool) is much more relaxing for younger families.
  • Budget: It’s an obvious one for all holidays, but your island choice should bring your overall budget to mind. All-inclusive is a popular option so that all worries can melt away upon arrival. The team at Turquoise Holidays recommends above all that travellers don’t get stuck on an island on a bed and breakfast basis where you can’t afford to relax and eat and drink later in the day – costs can be high, especially with taxes on top.

Of course, if in doubt, take guidance from the specialists at Turquoise Holidays.

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Ready to find your dream resort?

Seven Incredible Hotels In The Maldives To Book Now

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Soneva Fushi in the Maldives

Soneva Fushi

Baa Atoll

This luxurious island hideaway is just a 30-minute seaplane ride from Malé. It is one of the largest islands in the Maldives, but with only 53 private villas and eight water reserves – with a mixture of beach and overwater accommodation, many with slides straight into the sea – it still leaves plenty of space for guests to enjoy, with plenty of on-island activities available, from the Maldives’ first ever zip line to an observatory with the biggest telescope in the Indian Ocean.

The Soneva brand has always been ahead of the barefoot luxury curve, and Soneva Fushi is the birthplace of the ‘No Shoes, No News’ philosophy, which emphasises a slower pace of life and a focus on peace. Likewise, Soneva is ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability, and the vibe is all about embracing the outdoors. All bathrooms are oversized and outdoors, even overwater, with relaxation areas and open-air showers. Foodies can enjoy an array of destination dining experiences, and if wellness is on your agenda, guests can access guided wellness programme Soneva Soul through the spa. Underwater fans, meanwhile, will be wowed by Hanifaru Bay, a 20 minute journey away, which welcomes one of the largest migrations of Manta Rays in the world.

It’s the ideal spot for families, too: The Den children’s zone is enormous and offers a fantastic hangout for young guests and, during school holidays, Soneva invites UK-based tutors to support teens and children studying.

BOOK IT: 7 nights at Soneva Fushi, staying in a One Bedroom Villa Suite, on a half board basis, from £6,898 per person, including international flights and seaplane transfers. Based on travel June 2024. Including free half board – saving £6,500 per couple.

Enquire now for your bespoke quote to Soneva Fushi

Six Senses Laamu The Maldives

Six Senses Laamu

Southern Laamu Atoll

‘Calling all island castaways’: this is the only resort in the Southern Laamu Atoll, with 96 villas and bungalows. The Six Senses Laamu is also home to an incredible signature Six Senses Spa, a resident marine biology team committed to turtle conservation and coral health and recovery (with the additional SHELL, ‘sea hub of environmental learning’, launched in 2023), abundant marine life, and some of the best waves in the Maldives to surf.

Guests can access the Six Senses Laamu on a 35 minute domestic flight followed by a 15 minute speedboat ride – or make the most of the all-new seaplane from Malé, called The Flying Turtle, which whisks guests to check-in within an hour. Upon arrival, you’ll immediately notice the relaxed vibe, with a Robinson Crusoe rustic style and bright Six Senses hues throughout. Every guest has a dedicated GEM (guest experience manager) to look after every detail of their stay, whether that’s surfing, visiting the house reef and learning about conservation, or little ones enjoying the kids club. Of course, don’t miss the spa: whether it’s in-house specialists to visiting practitioners, guests can enjoy world-class holistic therapies, with advice on all holistic therapies, from sleep to physical and mental wellbeing.

BOOK IT: 7 nights at Six Senses Laamu, staying in a Lagoon Water Villa, on a half board basis, from £3,799 per person, including international flights and seaplane transfers. Based on travel June 2024. Including  free half board, discounted transfers and 35% discount on accommodation – saving £4,570 per couple.

Enquire now for your bespoke quote to Six Senses Laamu

Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Villa Suite

Gili Lankanfushi

North Malé Atoll

Gili Lankanfushi has won a swag of awards for best resort in the Maldives and Asia – and it’s not hard to see why. It’s postcard perfect – from the blindingly white sand beaches fringed by swaying palms, to the room-temperature green ocean, to the champagne, sashimi and feet-in-the-sand breakfasts, to some of the best snorkelling in the Southern Hemisphere.

Just a 20-minute speedboat from Malé, Gili Lankanfushi is a popular choice for those looking for a quick transfer after a long-haul flight, with 45 villas in total, all overwater, to flop into. Especially favoured by couples seeking romance (children are welcome, but there’s no dedicated kids club), it’s all about disconnecting here, and the resort has even changed its clocks to ‘island-time’ so guests enjoy an extra hour of sunlight. Groups can splash out at The Private Reserve, the world’s largest overwater villa constructed in a private lagoon and accessed by yacht, complete with four bedrooms, an infinity pool, a natural coral pool and a sea garden.

Whole days can pass pleasurably as you loll on the villa’s hammocks, daybeds and in the upper deck area (where a bed can be made up to sleep under the stars). If you feel energetic, you can jump off your back deck to have a quick snorkel. Once you do venture out, activities – arranged by Mr or Ms Friday, Gili’s 24/7 private butler service – include the sunset dolphin cruise, surf lessons and diving. But it’s tempting to just chill. The spa is divine: drift off during your Ayurvedic massage while looking at bull sharks and manta rays as they swim past the glass spa floor.

BOOK IT: 7 nights at Gili Lankanfushi, staying in a Villa Suite on a Half Board basis, costs from £4,790 per person, including international flights and speedboat transfers. Based on travel June 2024. Including a 25% discount and free half board – saving £4,440 per couple.

Enquire now for your bespoke quote to Gili Lankanfushi

Constance Moofushi Maldives Sand Villas

Constance Moofushi

South Ari Atoll

Gliding over the glistening Indian Ocean down to the South Ari Atoll is a wondrous experience in itself. Disembark the 35 minute seaplane journey from Malé onto the ivory shores of Constance Moofushi and your breath is truly taken. Verdant pathways make way for pristine beaches, while winding jetties lead to stilted ‘thatch and rope’ villas, of which there are 110 scattered over the beach and over-water. It’s the Maldives’ first premium all-inclusive island, reigning supreme for honeymooners, couples, families and groups seeking that classic luxurious Maldives experience, with drinks, colourful culinary offerings, most watersports and an offshore excursion all part and parcel.

Dotted with airy bars, oceanside eateries and an overwater spa, this paradise isle is tiny; you can stroll its palm-fringed perimeter in less than 15 minutes. While the vibe is horizontal by day – or delve into the clear ocean at one of the 34 dedicated dive sites – the island vivifies at dusk, with DJs spinning chilled tunes and chefs rustling up candlelit grills on the beach. Or head to the Totem Bar for oceanside sundowners and hypnotic views, or to the Manta eatery for moreish Maldivian fish curries.

BOOK IT: 7 nights at Constance Moofushi, staying in a Beach Villa, on an all-inclusive basis, from £3,549 per person, including international flights and seaplane transfers. Based on travel in June 2024. Including a 35% discount – saving £2,500 per couple.

Enquire now for your bespoke quote to Constance Moofushi

Niyama Private Islands Bridge

Niyama Private Islands

Dhaali Atoll

Scarlet and lemony umbrellas pop out against pristine ivory beaches on the approach to Niyama Private Islands, two of the most breathtaking natural islands in the Dhaalu Atoll, located just a 45-minute sea plane journey from Malé. Aqua infinity pools melt into the ocean and jungle-flanked pathways lead to stylish abodes; there are 134 villas and pavilions in total, from one- to three-bedroom, ideal for families and groups. Everything is split across two islands: ‘Play’, where adventurous honeymooners, active couples and families can enjoy chic beach villas, a super-cool Explorers kids club, the surf club and Nest, an Asian-fusion eatery where you can chomp on teppanyaki among the treetops; and ‘Chill’, where couples can find peace amid the spa, floating restaurants and overwater accommodation. Or opt for The Crescent, an exclusive-use end-of-jetty group of five overwater villas sleeping 14 adults and eight children. Regardless, you’ll be met with cool and contemporary interiors, with red offsetting neutral furnishings, blue waters and lush vegetation.

A fashionable crowd of loved-up couples and families explore the islands on personalised bikes. But what really sets Niyama apart is the incredible surfing on offer: this is the only luxury resort in the Maldives where the surf breaks directly on its own shore, and guests can try world-class left hand waves straight off the beach and endless waves nearby, guided by the in-resort professional surfer. Or while away the days on jet skis and catamarans, or hop on a dhoni to spot bottlenose dolphins. Just make sure you end the day sipping sundowners at the coolest place-to-be, the surf bar.

BOOK IT: 7 nights at Niyama Private Islands, staying in a Beach Villa, on a half board basis, from £3,949 per person, including international flights, and seaplane transfers. Based on travel June 2024. Including free half board and a 20% discount – saving £1,640 per couple.

Enquire now for your bespoke quote to Niyama Private Islands

Heritance Aarah, Maldives

Heritance Aarah

Raa Atoll

Eco families thrive at Heritance Aarah, a premium all-inclusive resort just a 40-minute seaplane journey from Malé. It was the first Maldives resort to receive a LEED Gold certification, preserving and protecting its natural environment with solar panels, energy efficient lighting, biodegradable cleaning products and a commitment to the local community. But it’s fun that rules the day here, with a commitment to the three C’s: ice cream, candy and cocktails. Grab any from the Naughty Carts roaming the island, plus dine on a vast array of food and beverage options, pick from the fully-stocked mini bar in your traditional room, or embark on a wine or whiskey tasting for a treat.

Every room is bedecked in dark wood and neutral linen, and benefits from its own private butler. The Turquoise team direct families to the two-bed beach pool villas, which offer a huge yet safe space with a private pool for little ones to roam freely. Meanwhile, the IASO spa is the home of wellness, with a state-of-the-art diagnostic screening programme allowing practitioners to curate fitness- and health-focussed stays for guests seeking a reset.

BOOK IT: 7 nights at Heritance Aarah, staying in a Beach Villa, on an all-inclusive basis, from £3,590 per person, including international flights and seaplane transfers. Based on travel June 2024. Including a 35% discount – saving £2,249 per couple.

Enquire now for your bespoke quote to Heritance Aarah

LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives

LUX* South Ari Atoll

South Ari Atoll

Maldivian island style gets a clean and modern makeover at LUX* South Ari Atoll, one of the largest islands the Turquoise team works with in terms of room options. Everyone is accommodated here, with 181 villas and pavilions to choose from, both beach and overwater, 62 of which have private pools. Plus, multi-generation families and groups can benefit from interconnecting rooms.

LUX* South Ari Atoll is home to one of the world’s largest floating solar power systems, providing 30 percent of the island’s energy, and a unique and pioneering approach to the ever-present question of sustainability in the Maldives. Benefit first-hand on one of the solar-powered island cruiser bikes, available for all guests to scoot around on. Off-island, snorkel and diving fans can swim with whale sharks, or try one of the many on-site activities, ranging from floating yoga and sound baths to fishing, tennis and fitness, to sunset DJ sessions. The latter is best enjoyed cocktail in hand after dining at one of the seven delicious restaurants, from Asian buffet spreads to Italian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

BOOK IT: 7 nights at LUX* South Ari Atoll, staying in a Beach Pavilion, on a bed and breakfast basis, from £2,180 per person, including international flights and seaplane transfers. Based on travel June 2024 – saving £1,100 per couple.

Enquire now for your bespoke quote to LUX* South Ari Atoll


For personalised recommendations and bespoke itinerary suggestions, please contact the Turquoise team today by phone, email or book an appointment via video or at one of the beach house inspired offices in London or Buckinghamshire.

Enquire About Your Dream Maldivian Adventure With Turquoise Holidays Here