The Maldives, over 1100 islands spread across 26 idyllic coral atolls with turquoise crystal lagoons teeming with colourful fish and bright coral landscapes, perfect for snorkeling and diving. The beaches of white sand are pristine and secluded and most resorts offer special honeymoon, birthday and anniversary deals. World Journeys has a selection of beautiful resorts either a boat ride or short float plane transfer from Male, the capital. Sound like heaven on earth?
Every resort in the Maldives is its own private island, and with over 100 to choose from the only problem is selecting where you want to stay. A few of our favourite resorts include:
Hidden among dense foliage within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Soneva Fushi is an award-winning resort that truly defines the essence of barefoot luxury with Robinson Crusoe simplicity. The resort’s down-to-earth personality is reflected in its nature-inspired architecture. If the experiences are magical, the philosophy is simple; no news, no shoes.
Coco Bodu Hithi Take a 40-minute luxury speed boat ride from the airport where a tropical hideaway awaits. This 5 Star resort, situated on a private island in the North Malé Atoll, offers 100 villas with designer fixtures, luxury amenities and indulgent bathrooms. From the privacy of a natural island garden to incredible 360 degree ocean views overlooking azure waters, the perfect villa is waiting for you.
Six Senses Laamu Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean. Just an inter-island plane trip from Malé International Airport and a short boat ride brings you to an island paradise where dolphins swim. The resort is a combination of on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials and set around the palm-fringed paradise.
The Maldives can be a year round destination but the seasons are dominated by the monsoons (May – Oct). The best sunny weather is during the dry season from December to April when accommodation is at a premium.
Stunning, beautiful, serene aptly describes the Maldives. I was fortunate enough to visit four resorts in the Maldives. The two that stood out were Soneva Fushi and Soneva Gili, both Six Senses properties. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of your busy lives, then the Maldives is the perfect place to do that.
We flew with Singapore Airlines into Male, and transferred by floatplane out to a small island landing strip and then by speedboat to Soneva Fushi. The island is covered with lush vegetation and surrounded by sandy white beach. You are greeted by beaming staff and given a welcome drink, before having a relaxing check in and taken to your private villa. The beauty of the island is that the villas are positioned between the vegetation so you have the utmost privacy. There are only 65 villas, which capture the very essence of a luxurious castaway fantasy. Each villa opens to its very own stretch of white sand beach just a few steps away, whilst many also include private swimming pools. Each bathroom extends to a private garden. Six Senses really care about the environment and have their own vegetable and herb gardens.
After a couple of nights we were then in for a real treat at Soneva Gili Resort & Spa. I though that I’d seen luxury at its best but realised I had arrived in heaven! Soneva Gili is located in one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives, with jetties threading across the crystal clear water out to spacious over-sized villas that provided spectacular water views of the ocean from every room in my villa. In fact the standard villas are bigger than my 3 bedroom house! I came back to NZ with wonderful ideas for our home renovation about creating a walkway out to the shower surrounded in glass. It didn’t really have the same appeal when you don’t have the stunning blue Maldivian sea beneath the walkway. The thought was there! We were given bicycles to get around the island on, as did every other villa. You need not want for anything in your stunning villa. Six Senses think of everything! If you’re a honeymooner, or a couple just wanting to revive your romance, then Soneva Gili is the ultimate resort.
Kate Couling, Director
Currency Rufiya (Rf)
Language Maldivian Divehi – and English is widely spoken
Why we love it Everything about the Maldives is wonderful; lazy forever-summer days on white sandy beaches, hotels that really understand the meaning of luxury, snorkelling and diving to match the best in the world, sparkling waters, fresh seafood and good wine but we especially love the over-water bungalows at Soneva Gili & Six Senses Spa heaven on earth (or water).
Weather The Maldives has a warm tropical climate with little daily change in temperature year round. The hottest month on average is April and the coolest, December. The weather is determined largely by the monsoons. February is the driest month while May and October record the highest average monthly rainfall. The southwest monsoon or hulhangu from May to September is the wet season. Rough seas and strong winds are common during this period.
Social customs & quirks Maldivian women have always held a very important role in both the community and family. It has been said the republic was once a matriarchy with women regularly officiating as rulers. Today women still hold many positions in government and business – you go girls! Don’t forget the ‘No shoes’ rule – once you arrive at your gorgeous island resort, you can throw away the stilettos and walk barefoot for your entire stay. The best thing is no one will look twice and will give your feet (and you) the break they deserve.
Festivals & events As a mainly Muslim country, Maldivians celebrate most Muslim festivals: Ramadan, Kuda eid, Eid-ul A’haa and the Prophet’s birthday. Independence Day is held on 26th of July and is celebrated with traditional dances and military parades. Republic Day in November and National Day (on different dates as with most Muslim festivals they follow the lunar calendar) are also cause for much celebration.
Health* Currently no compulsory health requirements but watch out for sunburn!
Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.