Top 10: Romantic Maldives Hotels

Amanda Statham, The Daily Telegraph, October 09, 2014

Soneva Fushi, Kunfunadhoo Island

The motto here is “no news, no shoes” and, true to their word, guests’ footwear is confiscated on the traditional dhoni boat transfer from Malé. The 65 villas made from natural materials are sandwiched between jungle and beach. Fun extras include an open-air cinema on the beach, planetarium, treetop yoga, a Mr or Mrs Friday (aka personal butler) assigned to each villa and kitchen supplied by the island’s vegetable and herb gardens.


Seven nights’ b & b from £4,690.

00960 660 0304;

Read the full review: Soneva Fushi, Maldives

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Cheval Blanc Randheli, Randheli Island

The second property in the uber-luxurious Cheval Blanc brand (the other is in Courchevel with a third to open in the Caribbean later this month) is a 40-minute ride from Malé on the resort’s private seaplane and has a touch of old-school glamour about it. There are 45 villas, some on a private man-made island, some overwater with a private jetty and infinity pool and lots of sumptuous extras including complimentary massages to relieve jet-lag, toiletries created exclusively for the resort by Dior, and four restaurants overseen by Yannick Alléno, three-Michelin-starred chef. A Guerlain spa on its own island got the Royal seal of approval – the resort is where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose to check in on their first holiday sans George.


Seven nights’ b & b from £5,695.

To book: 301 6000;

Read the full review: Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, South Malé Atoll

Most hotels in the Maldives are romantic, but this private island, 15 minutes by speedboat from Malé, is on another level. It’s all about dreamy days where you don’t have to lift a finger, such as the “Exotica Experience”, which kicks off with a champagne breakfast anywhere of your choosing on the island, followed by a 45-minute massage for two at the Jiva Grande Spa, a dhoni sunset cruise and a bottle of Dom Pérignon to accompany dinner beneath the stars. Or Love in the Ocean, a floating pavilion for two reached only by boat, which couples can book for a day and enjoy massages, cocktails at sunset and candlelit dinner.


Seven nights’ b & b from £4,230.

664 2200;

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W Retreat & Spa, Fesdu Island

The adult-only W is a tropical island playground which has just had a revamp: swim-up pool bar, white-tented spa, 78 modern villas (including overwater villas with glass floors), each with a wine fridge alongside the mini bar, and the 15 Below bar, a subterranean club with more than 90 vodkas to sample. There are watersports galore, from kitesurfing and diving to Seabobs (scooters that propel you along underwater 007-style), and don’t miss dining at Fire, an outdoor jungle Mongolian-style barbecue.


Seven nights’ b & b from £6,227.

666 2222;

Read more: Best Maldives hotels

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Shangri-la Villingili Resort & Spa, Villingili Island

One of the largest islands in the archipelago lies in the southern Addu Atoll and is carpeted with more than 17,000 palm trees, towering banyans and dozens of other plant species. The resident botanist guides guests through 12 hectares of nature trails and there’s also the chance to visit a neighbouring island for an 11-mile bike ride passing through traditional Maldivian villages. The 132 villas range from vast ocean retreats to tropical tree houses, and the CHI spa offers holistic therapy alongside more conventional facials and massages. It also boasts a nine-hole golf course.


Seven nights’ b & b from £2,910.

689 7888;

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Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Vabbinfaru Island

This 48-villa resort in the North Malé Atoll is tiny but perfectly formed, with a green interior and a ring of white and healthy coral reef. There’s a marine biology lab that guests are invited to get involved with, from taking part in reef and species monitoring to coral regeneration and green turtle conservation. Beachfront pool villas have walkways leading to private pavilions, a choice spot for sundowners or dining à deux.


Seven nights’ b & b from £4,375.

664 3147;

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Landaa Giraavaru Island

The more remote of the Four Seasons’ two Maldives properties lies in the Baa Atoll and has 102 thatched sunrise or sunset beach and water villas edging the large lagoon. Known for its fantastic service, treats here include castaway picnics on deserted islands, tantric massages for two to awaken “kundalini energy” and dining on a private platform in the middle of a lagoon. There’s also the chance to visit virgin dive sites and uninhabited islands aboard luxury liveaboard The Four Seasons Explorer, a sleek three-deck catamaran.


Seven nights’ b & b from £6,530.

660 0888;

Read the full review: Four Seasons Resort Maldives

Cocoa Island by COMO, Cocoa Island

One of the smallest, most stylish resorts in the Indian Ocean has just 33 thatched villas inspired by dhonis with large, secluded decks for lounging on or slipping into the lagoon. Holistic, Asian-inspired treatments are offered in the COMO Shambhala Retreat, which has an open-air yoga pavilion and four treatments rooms, including one for couples. There’s a main restaurant, Ufaa, but guests tend to hide away in their villa or opt for private dining on the beach.


Seven nights’ b & b from £2,675.

664 1818;

Read the full review:Cocoa Island by COMO

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NIYAMA, a Per Aquum Resort, Dhaalu Atoll

Nightlife? In the Maldives? OK, it’s not Ibiza, but sleek NIYAMA has a little more going on past 9pm than some resorts. There’s Fahrenheit bar (all sleek, white couches and low-slung tables for two on an ocean-view terrace); Dune, a thatched-roof beach bar serving cocktails; and Subsix, the world’s first underwater club, where you can dance to DJs and occasional live music while rays and parrotfish glide by. In addition there’s sand-floor Tribal restaurant, with fire pit, jungle canopy and barbecue, plus fine-dining restaurant Edge, accessed by boat. Oh, and the LIME spa operates at night too. Well worth staying up for.


Seven nights’ b & b from £3,130.

676 2828;

Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives, Kanifushi Island

A luxe new resort with 150 sunset-view, contemporary villas made from local materials spread along a two-kilometre stretch of sand, but what sets it apart is the fabulous Platinum Plus package, a great option if you don’t want any hidden costs (it’s not unknown to pay £10 for a glass of Coca-Cola in the Maldives). Meals, drinks, minibar restocked twice a day, unlimited snorkelling excursions and 20 per cent off two dives are all included.


Seven nights’ half-board from £2,142.

662 0077;

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Map compiled by Belinda Maude

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This article was written by Amanda Statham from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.