The thousand or so tiny islands of the Maldives have some of the world's most perfect beaches. Fine, white sand underfoot with perfectly clear aqua water lapping against it. On one side are the fringes of tropical forest and on the other spectacular coral reefs. Mmmm…. heaven. And a heaven you should see before it's submerged. The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in the Maldives offers something for everyone, whether you want good value family friendly or romantic barefoot luxury.
Every Maldivan resort has its own private island, so there's plenty of choice if your idea of the best place to stay in the Maldives is a secluded luxury resort on a tiny island. The world's biggest hotel brands fight it out, trying to outdo each other with luxury extras like wish-fulfilment services, private pools, pillow menus and personal butlers. But as well as the five and six star resorts there are also specialist resorts for divers and families and eco-resorts.
These days it's also possible to skip the resorts and experience the Maldives on your own. You can stay in privately run guesthouses and island hop at your own pace using the local ferry serves. If you do travel independently bear in mind that the Maldives are a Suni Muslim nation, so alcohol, pork and dogs are banned and the weekends are Fridays and Saturdays.
Staying near the capital, Malé, means you're close to the airport, and the kind of attractions you'd expect from most capitals. There's a museum exploring the nation's history, a beautifully ornate ancient mosque, a large choice of places to eat and drink, and plenty of cruising, sailing, diving and other watersports options.
If you stay in the more remote resorts you're more limited to the facilities your resort offers. Malé is also home to the 'Whale Submarine', which isn't a submarine used for whale watching, it's for exploring the reefs.
The more remote your island resort the better chance you have of seeing totally clear night skies if you're a stargazer. You also have the opportunity to spot dolphins and baby sharks in secluded lagoons, or meet turtles, dolphins, coloured swarms of tropical fish or maybe even a whale shark. Yes, you can see amazing marine life all over the Maldives, but the more remote the island, the more at home the marine life is and the better your chances of spotting large pelagics.
Some of the more remote islands are also some of the best places to stay in the Maldives if you're going on a family break. You'll find brilliant kid's clubs, and plenty of resort entertainments - these resorts have to have everything as it's a long journey to the next island!
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in the Maldives, or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice. Nothing here that suits? Check out our recommendations in Sri Lanka or Mauritius instead.
Republic of Maldives
Desert island paradise at an affordable price
Uncompromising luxury on this secluded island paradise. Understated elegance and chic simplicity. Informal dining options in stunning locations. Fantastic watersports and spa facilities. A brilliant romantic getaway or family holiday.
A luxury boutique resort situated on a privately owned virgin island. Exclusive villas come with personal butlers and some with private pools. An extensive spa uses Natura Bissé products. Five star cuisine served in a truly romantic setting. Plenty of activities on offer. Complete bliss.
Eco-friendly resort on its very own tropical island reachable by sea plane. Thatched villas offer a barefoot luxury chic to your hideaway stay. Romantically decorated rooms with fourposter beds and ethereal drapes. Eat well at the restaurant, enjoy the water sports and relax at the spa.
A hideaway resort in utter paradise with an array of temptations for guests. The 48 private villas have their own swimming pools, fantastic watersports including the use of a yacht, marine biology, PADI diving, and a world class spa - barefoot luxury, romance, and adrenalin rushes.
Surely the hippest and grooviest place in the Maldives - sleek style and contemporary comfort without getting in nature's way. The ultimate gourmet, spa, and romantic lifestyle where all your wishes will be fulfilled, and more.
The ultimate luxury resort on a remote desert island in the Indian Ocean. The turquoise waters can be seen from bed, spa bath or infinity pool. Romantic dinner with sand underfoot or sip on cocktails while the sunsets. Oozing opulence and style.
A stunning 5 star resort on a pristine island. Villas and suites are the height of luxury and offer wonderful sea views. A kids club will keep little ones entertained whilst an over-water spa is total bliss. A wide array of restaurants assures evening variety. A perfect escape.
The Taj has outdone itself with this Maldives paradise. Every detail oozes opulence and relaxation. With stunning interiors, spectacular views, award winning restaurants, pampering spa, knockout cocktails and an extensive wine cellar. Prepare to be treated like royalty.
A blissful island resort, with romantic seclusion in luxurious surroundings. A fantastic array of watersports for thrill seekers and an Anantara Garden Spa for those who like to take things easy. Romance, action, and maximum pampering. A chic slice of heaven.
Relax in privacy at this supreme getaway island - stretch out in the stilted yoga pavilion, unwind in the world class spa, feast on nature's larder in the fantastic restaurant, and dream about the next day's snorkelling in the lofty-chic stilted villas.
Unique Maldivian luxury resort that combines the wonders of nature with the luxuries and style of the 5*. Sleek villas mirror the surrounding crystal blue water. Fantastic watersports, the ultimate pampering in world's first underwater spa and delicious meals. A true hideaway in utter bliss.
North Male Atoll, Maldives
Luxury and sophistication makes this resort heaven on earth. A jewel among a string of coral atolls, lagoons and white sands. Tapasake offers Japanese, Fanditha for Eastern and Reethi for Mediterranean cuisine. Private pools, spa treatments and ample activities for all. Memorable hideaway spot.
Baa Atoll, Maldives
The finest barefoot luxury can offer with an Eco-conscious ethos - rustic-chic villas, a Robinson Crusoe tree-top restaurant, and outdoor cinema. The land of milk and honey with spa, dive centre and astrological observatory!
P.O. Box 2014, Maldives
A Maldivian dream brought to life. Peace, tranquility, and privacy in either an ocean or beach house with private pools. A romantic seclusion from which to indulge in the fantastic watersports and beach life, and unwind later in the luxury spa. Complete paradise.