Every island in the Maldives is blessed with sun-soaked beaches, magical marine worlds on their doorstep and the type of worlds-away-from-anywhere-else remoteness that’s rarely matched. It can be hard, then, to choose just one to visit on your holiday. So, we’ve done the hard work for you, hand-picking six of our favourite islands. Our team have stayed at every one, sampled the cocktails (it’s a hard job, we know) and snorkelled every iridescent coral reef, so we know you’ll absolutely adore each one.
A cool, calm and collected cocoon, Dhigali Maldives is a resort where you’ll feel your pulse slow as soon as your toes touch its powder-soft sands. The modern design of its suites and villas belies many of its traditional counterparts but this is a hideaway that’s both fabulously contemporary but rooted in its gorgeous natural surroundings.
LUX* South Ari Atoll
LUX* South Ari Atoll lies on one of the Maldives’ biggest islands and it’s ideal if you just want that extra bit of space to explore. The 4km-long beach has been kept wonderfully pristine and with so much room, the resort is able to boast eight restaurants and five bars without you ever feeling like you’re dining on top of each other. Its ample size also ensures that should you want a patch of sand all to yourself, you will always find it.
Milaidhoo favours intimacy and understated charm over flashy glitz and glamour and it’s all the better for it. You can walk from one end of the island to the other in 10 minutes and the resort is all about giving you a sense of place, from Ba’theli, its restaurant set on three dhonis, to joining a local fisherman for the day.
Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu is one of the furthest-flung resorts in the Maldives and even though it’s a domestic flight and speedboat away from Malé, it’s completely worth it. When you get there, it’s a divine dollop of island tranquillity with a strong sustainable focus to ensure this paradise is protected for generations of guests to come.
Niyama Private Islands
At Niyama Private Islands, you get two for the price of one as this resort is set across a pair of beautiful escapes. With its dreamy overwater bungalows, Drift Spa and languid atmosphere, ‘Chill’ is perfect for the romantics, while ‘Play’ has treetop restaurants, a fantastic kids’ club and spacious beach accommodation – ideal for families.
Anantara Kihavah Villas
A stay at Anantara Kihavah Villas is like seeing the Maldives through a 4K television: the sugar-white beaches, sapphire-blue lagoons and emerald-tinted jungle look too good to be true. This pristine scene is backed up a raw remoteness where even the skies become a tapestry of stars once night falls. It’s a good job the resort is home to the country’s most powerful telescope to take advantage.