What makes the Maldives unique from any other of the half dozen super ethereal tropical island paradises on Earth, is the one island one resort concept. The archipelago is literarily a string of tiny low lying islands made from white sand formed over millions of years by gentle waves crushing shells from the surrounding reefs. Each resort has to be self-sufficient producing its own electricity and dealing with its own waste and each resort has a vested interest in keeping their island pristine. So essentially they are all unique concepts and all eco resorts.
Arriving at the main airport which is literally a long thing island with sapphire waters almost touching the tip of the plane’s wings, most resort guests are taken to a seaplane which will land alongside the atoll where their resort is set.
Virtually all island resorts have their own marine and scuba diving centres, and with all the hotels below you can snorkel over pristine reefs metres from your doorstep.
Velaa Private Island
This is one of the newest luxury resorts in the Maldives and the brainchild of Czech entrepreneur, Jiří Šmejc. All rooms have a dedicated butler and a private pool, the larger rooms being a gigantic 210 square meter with their own 60 square meter pool.
Besides nearby reefs to explore, there is a golf academy designed by Spanish professional golfer Jose Maria Olazabal, an in-house marine biologist and a massive wine cellar reputedly holding millions of dollars in wine. The signature restaurant is the Teppanyaki restaurant perched in high whitewashed tower overlooking the island and reefs. The menu was created by Michelin star chef Adeline Grattard. There is a champagne bar and entertainment lounge floating over the sea on platforms.
Šmejc created this resort specifically for couples and for celebrities who want privacy.
Price: $20,000-$30,000 per room per night.
The Niyama Maldives is home to Subsix, the world’s first underwater night club. The club welcomes regularly hosts international DJs and has a drinks menu based around champagne. Throughout the rest of the island and complex you`ll find seven restaurants but the signature dining experience is the Edge restaurant, an urban style fine dining concept, one accessible by boat and serving fish caught that day.
This rest of the island resort is set around luxury wooden studio pavilions some over water and some over sand. The beach studios overlook a secluded beach with lagoon welcome families, while the overwater studios are designed for couples.
Studios around $4200
Jumeirah Dhevanfhushi is set on a tiny intimate atoll with 5 villas on the island 16 overwater villas located half-mile offshore. This is a great choice for couples and romance.
With four staff to everyone one guest, your every wish is their command. For example take the 40 knots speedboat and spend the day on an even more deserted island picnicking under a tent as you sip champagne and are served a 5 star meal (or tell your staff to disappear for a few hours).
This lavish but gentle resort was built and is run by the people behind Dubai’s over-the-top Burj al Arab hotel. The Jumeirah Dhevanafushi also has a particularly enticing spa with treatment rooms that are suspended over the water.
Price: $7,500 per night