Destination Maldives

Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives
Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives // Photo by AtanasBozhikovNasko/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images


The Residence Maldives
Two-Bedroom Water Pool Villas at The Residence Maldives are ideal for a set of couples traveling together.



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If overwater bungalows and private infinity pools are your thing (and we think that they are), a jaunt to the Maldives is likely a trip for you. We’ve kept a lookout for the hottest resorts in the region. Here are three to have on your radar.

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is not a newcomer to the world of luxury, and as such they know how to welcome VIPs in style. Their resort in the Maldives, Six Senses Laamu, is no different. We hear checking into the two-bedroom Lagoon Beach Villa is an ethereal experience. The 3,000-square-foot villa is at the beachfront with private beach access. The two bedrooms have full bathrooms with double vanity basins and individual shower areas, plus an outdoor shower. The outdoor space includes a private garden with a pool and daybeds. Best Part: There is a panoramic upper dining deck at the treetop level.

Should this space be more than you need, or if it is occupied, the Laamu Water Villas make an excellent alternative. These overwater enclaves have padded daybeds, overwater netting hammocks and glass dining tables set over the water. Inside, guests will find an all-glass bathroom and open-air shower, along with a private water garden. Like the Lagoon Beach Villas, the Laamu Water Villas also have a treetop deck for views of the Indian Ocean. For accommodation requests, contact Revenue, Reservations & E-Commerce Manager Thaaif Ahmed ([email protected]; 011-960-680-0800).

Each guest at Six Senses Laamu is truly treated like a VIP. There is no concierge team at the resort, but each guest is entitled to a Guest Experience Maker (GEM). These hosts are assigned to each guest as a private butler and can assist with all special arrangements. Some of these requests in the past have included private planes, private weddings, picnics on a private sandbank, diving with Mantas and a celebrity chef arranging a private dinner. Should luxury travel advisors need to contact the general manager, they may reach out to Marteyne Van Well ([email protected]; 011-960-680-0800), who is happy to be in touch with the travel advisor community.

Internationally known, Six Senses Spa is a treat for the senses. The outpost at Laamu is spread over 13,600 square feet. It has two specialized spa consultation rooms, nine secluded treatment rooms (including two single and two double treatment “Nests”). Other spa facilities include an herbal steam room, outdoor experience showers, a Yoga Pavilion, fitness center and shop.

When booking treatments at the spa, we hear that the Laamu Bliss is the most popular. This two-hour treatment begins with a Maldivian massage using coconut oil with a blend of ginger, cloves and nutmeg. This is followed with a cucumber conditioner to refresh the skin. Reach out to Spa Director Becky Wyton ([email protected]; 011-960-680-0800) for spa requests.

While the resort has exceptional restaurants, we think one of the most unique dining offerings is their local experience. Between June and October, the resort invites guests to Hithadhoo to join a Maldivian family in their home to discuss their lifestyle and cuisine. For dining arrangements reach out to Food & Beverage Director Georgios Moudatsos (f[email protected]; 011-960-680-0800).

Fly into Male International Airport. Upon arrival, a representative will accompany guests directly to the domestic terminal or to the Island Aviation Lounge. It is then a 35-minute flight to the resort, followed by a 20-minute speedboat ride. A-listers can arrange for a private seaplane, which can take up to eight guests.

The Residence Maldives, a member of Leading Hotels of the World is an intimate string of villas in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll. This resort sits in a diver’s paradise, with nearly 25 diving spots in the vicinity. We hear guests can spot dolphins, manta rays and sea turtles without leaving their villa’s verandah.

Though all villas are impressive (how could they not be in a setting like this?), we hear the best to book is the Two-Bedroom Water Pool Villas. These overwater suites measure at 3,035 square feet, including private pool and deck. We hear these rooms are best for a set of couples traveling together. Should you want something a little more intimate, the One-Bedroom Pool Villas are also exceptional. Nice Touch: All room categories have butler service. To book villas reach out to Director of Sales & Marketing, Asia Pacific Wendy Mok ([email protected]; 011-656-732-5531).


Six Senses Laamu’s Lagoon Water Villas
Six Senses Laamu’s Lagoon Water Villas face toward the turquoise lagoon with panoramic upper dining deck and viewing platform.

One of the real gems at the resort is The Spa by Clarins, if solely because of the setting. The Spa is linked to the main land by a jetty and overlooks the lagoon and coral reefs. The six couple treatment villas in the lagoon are exclusive for the resort. Tip: Book the Pure Massage, which focuses on the head, neck and shoulders and is said to relieve stress, tension, fatigue and insomnia. For bookings, reach out to Spa Director Luciano Porcu ([email protected]; 011-960-682-0088). 

For a memorable dining experience, we hear you cannot beat The Falhumaa. Open for dinner only, this restaurant is located over the lagoon and is connected to the main island via wooden bridge. Why it’s hot: The restaurant has 360-degree views of the Indian Ocean. Guests can opt for indoor or alfresco dining. 

If your clients are looking to book something over-the-top for a special occasion (think honeymoons, anniversaries or birthdays), reach out to Connie Lin ([email protected]; 011-960-682-0088), who is the head of the front office.

Getting There: Fly guests into Male International Airport. From there it is a 55-minute flight and short speedboat ride to the resort. All guests have private access to a lounge at Male International Airport.

A bit closer to the capital of Male sits Niyama. Guests can fly into Male and take a 45-minute seaplane ride over to the resort. We hear that VIP clients can arrange for a private car transfer from the international airport to the seaplane airport.

This über-luxe resort does the Maldives the way it should be done (think beachfront, overwater pavilions and stand-alone studios). For the best view in the house, guests should check into the Ocean Pavilions. These sprawling two-bedroom suites measure at almost 4,000 square feet. From a sunken living room, guests can exit to a seaside porch (good morning, indeed). Other features include an infinity pool and Jacuzzi on the edge of the ocean, along with wooden steps that lead directly into the water.

If the Ocean Pavilions are booked, we think guests will feel right at home at one of the Beach Pavilions. These are one- and two-bedroom hideaways with daybed cocoon lounges, infinity pools and Jacuzzis. Good to know: All pavilions provide private butler service. To book rooms reach out to Director of Sales Bastian Gaerner ([email protected]; 011-960-676-1311).

A 13,000-square-foot spa is a focal point of this seaside resort. We hear the best treatment option is to book a package for guests. Usually they start with the NIYAMA scrub, followed by a massage and facial. Prior to each treatment, guests will have a consultation with a therapist in order to tailor the treatment to his or her specific needs. To make spa arrangements reach out to Spa Director Branka Arapovic ([email protected]; 011-960-676-1280).

For special requests guests can contact Senior Thakuru Abdulla Muiz ([email protected]; 011-960-676-1352). We also hear that General Manager Nigel Pace is also available to speak directly with luxury travel advisors about tailoring guests’ needs. His contact info is [email protected] He can also be reached at 011-960-676-2828.

Dining is an exclusive treat when at Niyama, as restaurants are for in-house guests only. It is best to make reservations at least one week in advance. Luxury travel advisors can contact Reservation Supervisor Zuhoor Ibrahim ([email protected]; 011-960-676-1314). Happy Hour: We hear the resort has a sexy chic bar scene, as well. Be sure to try Niyama’s signature drink, the Ginger Chili Mojito.

The Buzz: We’ve got the scoop on a hot new residence about to grace the Maldives. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru has unveiled its new hideaway residence.

This chic new Landaa Estate can host up to six adults and five children in a palatial 5,500 square feet of space. This is the ultimate beach escape. Alfresco living is an understatement. The estate has views across the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. There are “roll-up” floor-to-ceiling windows, and a nearly Olympic-sized swimming pool. (If that’s not enough, there is also a second-floor plunge pool that cascades into the regular swimming pool below.) We also love the upper lounge, which has large sofas and a telescope for late night star-gazing.

Inside, guests will find a fully equipped kitchen and adjacent maid’s room, along with an open-plan living room and dining floor. Two ground-floor bedrooms include a master suite, with lounge and dressing area plus en-suite bathroom and an en-suite twin bedroom. A third bedroom is on the second floor. Nice Touch: All bedrooms have outdoor garden showers.

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