30 Best Islands in Maldives – Best Maldives Resorts

Best Islands in Maldives Best Maldives Resorts Top View
Jumeirah Vittaveli, Bolifushi Island, South Male Atoll

The Maldives has over 1192 islands in 26 Atolls (ring-shaped reefs), so choosing the absolute best of the best islands in Maldives and the best Maldives resorts is practically impossible.

Most resorts in the Maldives have their own private island and at the moment there are about 132 resorts to choose from. Visiting anyone of these islands in the Maldives would be a dream experience.

I don’t think anyone would be disappointed visiting one of the 30 island paradises in the Maldives shown here. There may be a few regrets later on though after you realise how much your bank balance has gone down.

The Greek Gods are cruel. Paradise seems to be so empty in the Maldives. Why can’t the prices be lower so that more mortals can get a taste of Maldivian paradise?

The added tragedy is that many of the islands in the Maldives will probably disappear in the next 50 or so years due to rising sea-levels. Yes, Poseidon will eventually sink all of them, just like Atlantis. Time is still on your side though, so why not visit the Maldives before they become a legend?

One of the hardest decisions when planning a trip to the Maldives is deciding where to visit in the first place. Knowing about these 30 best islands in Maldives will either make it a bit easier or much harder to choose where to go, since all of the islands look incredible.

Here are the 30 best islands in Maldives I can come up with:

1. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

South Ari Atoll

Best Maldives Resorts – Conrad Maldives:

Rangali Island (Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Website)

 
Conrad Maldives is where you’ll find the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. The restaurant’s entrance is a stairway located at the end of a jetty. First opened in 2004, it was the first ever undersea restaurant in the world. It’s located 5 metres (16 ft) below the water’s surface.

Ithaa, the name of the restaurant, means mother-of-pearl in Dhivehi. Dhivehi people are an ethnic group native to the historic region of the Maldive Islands. This word also reminds me of Ithaca, the island home of Odysseus from Greek mythology, except that it is obviously missing the letter “c”.

Pros – Conrad Maldives:

  • First underwater restaurant in the world giving it lots of kudos.
  • Twice voted the best hotel in the world.
  • The resort is spread over two islands.
  • Hilton are the owners and operators of the resort.

Let’s take a look at a snippet of one very special comment from Trip Advisor (26 March 2017):

Whilst we were feasting on the sumptuous dinner that was fit for Poseidon, his aquatic servants including numerous sharks were ravenously feeding just a few meters above the Singaporean made glass enclosure.

I like how he mentions Poseidon, God of the sea. It’s great to know that some of the diners think about the Greek Gods in the Maldives.

Cons – Conrad Maldives:

  • In 2018, the cost of dinner inside the underwater restaurant was around US$400 per person (plus taxes). In 2017, one drink and 2 canapés would set you back US$75+ per person (11am – 12 pm).
  • Someone mentioned that beach dining was approx. US$260 per person.
  • You might be shocked to find out you have to pay US$500 per person for seaplane or US$250 per way per person via speed boat for transfers.

2. Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, Landaa Giraavaru and Voavah Private Island

North & South Male Atolls

Three Options Available in the Maldives:

  • Kuda Huraa (North Male Atoll)
  • Landaa Giraavaru (Baa Atoll)
  • Voavah Private Island (Baa Atoll)

Four Seasons Maldives Website

Kuda Huraa

 
If money isn’t a problem, then here’s where you might want to go. Voavah starts at something like US$45,000 per night. It’s a dream for the lucky few.

3. Anantara Kihavah – Maldives

Baa Atoll

Best Islands in Maldives Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Best Maldives Resorts – Anantara Kihavah:

Kihavah Huravalhi Island (Anantar Kihavah Maldives Villas Website)

Pros – Anantara Kihavah:

  • It has the best observatory with the most powerful telescope in the Maldives showing stunning clear views of Jupiter and the moon.
  • Dining at the underwater restaurant “SEA”, provided you have plenty of money.
  • SKY bar
  • Good diving centre
  • Caters to families and has a kids club (can also be a con if they’re not your kids).
  • Close to famous Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll, a nursery ground for grey sharks and sting rays.

Cons – Anantara Kihavah:

  • The high price to dine at the underwater restaurant. 2018 pricing for the undersea restaurant. Get this: In 2018, Breakfast US$200 (plus approx. 20% tax) per person. Lunch US$245-295+ (plus approx. 20% tax) per person. Dinner is US$295-345+ (plus approx. 20% tax) per person. If you add some quality matching wine add $125-195+ to the bill. I wonder if they let any poorer visitors walk in for a few minutes to take a look around and smell the food. Maybe they allow entry during cleanup time.
  • In 2017, someone on Trip Advisor was disappointed that they had to pay $400 for the Cinema under the stars. That’s crazy expensive. How large was the group? For two people, that’s insane. Tip: Make sure you’ve got loads of money you’re willing to blow away before you book a trip to any exclusive resort in the Maldives.
  • It is a 35 minute seaplane journey from Male International Airport. Return transfers are about US$600 net per adult.

4. Baros Maldives

North Malé Atoll

Best Maldives Resorts – Baros Maldives:

Baros Island (Baros Maldives Website)

This Maldives island paradise looks dreamy.

https://youtu.be/vw705xOUoaM

 
Pros – Baros Maldives

  • The 3rd oldest resort in the Maldives (founded in 1973)
  • Good house reef outside the wave barriers.
  • Short 20 minute speedboat ride from Male airport.

Cons – Baros Maldives

  • On one side of the island, you could be facing Male or some other industrialized island near Male, or a deteriorating tidal wall, which isn’t a pretty sight.
  • The small island can be walked around in about 7 minutes.
  • Some water villas are too close together giving you limited privacy.

5. Gili Lankanfushi – Maldives

North Malé Atoll

Best Maldives Resorts – Gili Lankanfushi:

Lankanfushi Island (Gili Lankanfushi Website)

Formerly known as Soneva Gili by Six Senses.

Lots of visitors love this island. When I looked on Trip Advisor the island resort had an Excellent rating of 94%, from 2,118 reviews. Wow!

You’ll see comments like this: Perfect weekend in Paradise, everything has been a dream!

6. Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa – Maldives

Addu Atoll

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa Website

Pros – Shagril-La:

  • Large golf course.
  • Bicycle tracks on the island.
  • Easy access to 7 other different islands (transfers can be costly though).
  • Family friendly resort with a ‘Cool Zone’ for kids aged 4 to 12.

Getting there:

  • This resort is a further away than other resorts (70 minute flight from Male International Airport). This is the most southern atoll in the Maldives.

7. Per Aquum, Niyama – Maldives

Kudahuvadhoo Dhaalu Atoll

Best Maldives Resorts – Per Aquum, Niyama:

Private Islands of Niyama (Niyama Private Islands Maldives Website)

https://youtu.be/MYFIakwmisg

 
This all goes to show you how cruel the Greek Gods truly are. They’re willing to submerge all of this beauty. It makes you wonder what Poseidon (Neptune) cares about more, people or fish?

Neptune Maldives Poseidon

 
If you think that these seven islands in the Maldives are the best, then think again. Deciding where to stay in the Maldives is an extremely difficult task.

I’m sure you’ll agree that all of the islands in the Maldives shown below look fantastic as well.

8. Kuramathi, Maldives

Rasdhoo Atoll

https://youtu.be/5Iv1U11j3Ko

9. Finolhu – Kanufushi Island

Baa Atoll

One of the best islands for beaches.

Best Beach in Maldives Madivaru Finolhu
Madivaru Finolhu

Madivaru Finolhu

https://youtu.be/y85dAQouaT8

A beautiful vision.

https://youtu.be/pdkFT00lsys

10. The One and Only – Reethi Rah

North Mali Atoll

One&Only Reethi Rah Maldives

Peak Maldives Luxury

11. Soneva Jani Maldives

Noonu Atoll

https://youtu.be/PqWDBrWQ0xA

12. Fushifaru, Maldives

Lhaviyani Atoll

Best Maldives Resorts Fushifaru

https://youtu.be/RzmsdUI_KkA

13. Velaa Private Island

Noonu Atoll

14. Kuredu Resort

Lhaviyani Atoll

Another island with its own underwater restaurant.

https://youtu.be/T0NLMsyYsqw

15. St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

Dhaalu Atoll

16. Cheval Blanc Randheli

Noonu Atoll

17. COMO Cocoa Island Resort

South Malé Atoll

Best Maldives Resorts COMO Cocoa Island Resort

18. Hurawalhi Island Resort & Spa

Lhaviyani Atoll

This resort also has an undersea restaurant. Money, money, money.

19. Palm Beach Island Resort & Spa Madhiriguraidhoo

Lhaviyani Atoll

20. OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo, Maadhoo Island

South Malé Atoll

21. Kurumba Maldives

North Male Atoll

This is the very first tourist resort that opened in the Maldives in 1972.

22. Vaadhoo Island Maldives

Raa Atoll

https://youtu.be/G8v1ab2iKD4

Famous for The Sea of Stars.

https://youtu.be/C7cwjGUUnNk

23. Velassaru Maldives

South Male Atoll

24. Maafushivaru Maldives

Ari Atoll

Be sure to check out Maafushivaru’s uninhabited sister island Lonubo.

https://youtu.be/lqE9qHvJsbY

25. W Retreat & Spa – Maldives on Fesdu Island

North Ari Atoll

W Retreat and Spa Maldives Resort Fesdu
Source: stellahyc910 – Flickr

26. Kandima Maldives

Dhaalu Atoll

https://youtu.be/zwAu0aMkiGc

27. Sheraton Full Moon Resort And Spa

North Malé Atoll

28. Anantara Dhigu Maldives

South Malé Atoll

29. Constance Halaveli

North Ari Atoll

 
Another Constance Resort in the Maldives is Constance Moofushi.

Both Halaveli and Moofushi have been inducted into TripAdvisor’s hall of fame by winning the TripAdvisor’s certificate of excellence for five consecutive years.

30. Paradise Island Resort and Spa

North Male Atoll

Scuba diving the Maldives

A Maldives Liveaboard Diving experience sounds like a great way to experience this unique paradise.

Most popular underwater sites are the Banana Reef, the Fish Head, and the Wreck of the Maldives Victory.

Hopefully you will get to see mantle and eagle rays, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and whale sharks, known as the big 5 in this part of the world.

Common shark species found in the Maldives include Tiger sharks, Hammerhead sharks and Oceanic whitetip sharks.

Make sure you keep a safe distance away from these dangerous predators and keep calm if you spot any of these sharks. You definitely don’t want to be eaten by a shark in the Maldives.

 
Quite a few species of smaller reef sharks can also found in the Maldives including Whitetip reef sharks, Blacktip reef sharks, Grey reef sharks and Nurse sharks.

I remember going scuba diving off Lord Howe island in Australia and talking with another diver about the best diving he had ever done. He told me that it had to be in the Maldives. Diving with whale sharks and mantra rays definitely sounds like it would be a really cool experience to have.

This video will give you some idea of what to expect.

https://youtu.be/PH2bXqHd4IM

 

Top Tips to remember when planning a trip to the Maldives

  • Transfer charges to each resort island are very high. It could cost between $500-1000 USD per person return, which is on top of getting to Male, the capital of the Maldives, in the first place.
  • Some islands can be reached by speedboat which is cheaper but many can only be reached by seaplane, which is more expensive, but how could anyone pass up a sea plane arrival?
  • Dinner charges for two people may end up costing you around $500 USD per meal. Food is so expensive in the top resorts.
  • Tour excursions can be crazy expensive as well.
  • A lot of tourists complain about being charged astronomical amounts for everything including water.
  • You can visit other islands on a day pass, but they charge a large fee for the privilege and going by boat is expensive, even if the island is right next door to the one you’re on. For two people it could end up costing around $100 USD per person to spend a day on another island and $300 USD per person to get there and back by boat, depending on where the island you want to visit is located. Let’s say it is somewhere in the $500-1000 USD range for a day trip. In most cases you’ll have to depart the island by say 4pm. That’s one expensive day trip.
  • Enquire about Fullboard (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and Halfboard (breakfast and dinner) pricing to see if it is a good option and to get an idea of food pricing. Find out about all meal and drink packages available at the resort.
  • Make sure you can afford to go to the Maldives before you go.
  • Visiting the Maldives can be done on the cheap by staying on the populated islands, but the whole point of visiting the Maldives is to get the 5 star paradise experience.
  • The best option could be a yachting holiday around the Maldives.
  • Rainy season is from May – September, Best weather and most popular time in the Maldives is from October – April/May

Good luck trying to choose the best island out of these 30 island paradises. They all look superb.

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30 Best Islands in Maldives Best Maldives Resorts