Best hotels in the Maldives 2022: Where to stay for luxury, private beaches and relaxation

You’ve decided to splurge on a dream trip to the Maldives. Now comes the hard part – deciding where to stay. With the total number of resorts expected to reach 179 by the end of 2022 and a head-spinning choice of different vibes and styles – far-flung castaway piles, laid-back fly and flops, lavish beach palaces, design-driven spa retreats, romantic hideaways – choosing where to stay has never been more difficult. Here, we’ve helped to narrow it down.

The best hotels in the Maldives are:

Get a slice of peace at one of Joali Being’s beachside villas

Neighbourhood: Raa Atoll

The first luxury island resort in the Maldives fully dedicated to wellness is set in the ravishing Raa Atoll, a 30-minute seaplane ride from the capital Malè. The biophilic (nature-inspired) design soothes the soul from the moment you pass through the Gate of Zero welcome pavilion, sculpted by Turkish artist Seçkin Pirim. It encourages guests to reset and take full advantage of the resort’s ‘transformational spaces’, which include a hive of hydrotherapy facilities – watsu, banya, hammam – sound discovery paths, cryotherapy chambers which burn 800 calories in three minutes, yoga studios, meditation pavilions and a herbology centre.

Price: Doubles from US$2,142 (£1,699)

Book now

Six Senses sits right at the edge of the secluded Laamu Atoll

Neighbourhood: Laamu Atoll

The only luxury resort in the secluded southern Laamu Atoll, located just five degrees north of the equator, Six Senses feels about as far away from the outside world as you can get. The design taps into the castaway setting, with guests arriving at a fantastical triple-storey timber, bamboo and driftwood hub housing restaurants and bars that open to the elements and have glass-panels in the floor to watch the fish swishing below. Villas are equally adventurous, all bleached woods, multi-level decks and netted beds. The surrounding reefs are full of wondrous marine life and virtually no other tourists. Visit between May and August to witness baby turtles hatching on the beach.

Price: Doubles from US$1,072 (£824)

Book now

Swim lengths to your heart’s content at Jumierah’s private pool

Neighbourhood: North Malé Atoll

Jumeirah Maldives’ bright-white art deco-inspired architecture splashed with pops of cerise pink brings the look and feel of Miami’s South Beach to the North Malé Atoll (a 50-minute speedboat ride from the capital). The villas are some of the largest in the Maldives, with circular living rooms, private rooftops (perfect for stargazing), rambling bathrooms and private pools big enough to swim in. The food is consistently excellent, the bars buzzy and there’s no end of things to do, from sunrise yoga, to jet-skiing to the edge of the atoll to hang out with bottlenose dolphins, to riding a yellow submarine to photoshoots with a professional photographer.

Price: Doubles from US$1,300 (£1,034)

Book now

This luxury hotel is just 45 minutes out of Malè

Neighbourhood: North Malé Atoll

You’ll quickly flatten your battery snapping the striking tropical modernist architecture and arty interiors at this stylish new resort, located a 45-minute speedboat ride from Malé. There’s plenty of substance too; a museum-worthy art collection with a James Turrell light installation the star of the show; plant-based, Japanese-Nordic and South American restaurants worthy of any major metropolis; a deep-reaching spa; and an ocean conservation programme. Part of the man-made Fari Islands complex (alongside the Ritz-Carlton and Capella), guests can also take advantage of shared facilities which include yacht docks and a beach club.

Price: Doubles from US$1,990 (£1,585)

Book now

The Dhigurah residence is ultra-luxury

Neighbourhood: Gaafu Alifu Atoll

A 55-minute domestic flight (rather than a seaplane journey) from Malé, this affordable five-star resort has a location that its ultra-luxury hotel counterparts would kill for. Spread across a jungly 2km-long island flanked by pure white sands and connected to a sister island via a kilometre-long wooden bridge, guests flit from breakfast to the infinity pool to the spa and restaurants by bicycle, along the way spotting a multitude of green sea turtles which bob around just off shore. And while the room design isn’t going to blow up Instagram, all are extremely spacious with big comfortable beds and large private swimming pools.

Price: Doubles from US$525 (£415)

Book now

This pool is 100 metres long

Neighbourhood: Shaviyani Atoll

This fantastic all-rounder set on a whale-shaped island located inside an atoll teeming with megafauna – manta rays, eagle rays, marble stingrays, sea turtles, reef sharks – is one for water babies. Aside from sensational snorkelling, diving and deep sea fishing, guests can also swim inside the hotel’s stainless steel coralarium, the only underwater sculpture gallery in the Maldives, and do laps in the 100m-long swimming pool. The Willow Spa, too, focuses on water, with a separate serenity swimming pool and yoga pavilions overlooking the Indian Ocean. The grand water sunset villas are the rooms to bag.

Price: Doubles from US$1,098 (£900)

Book now

Try out a once-in-a-lifetime astrology experience at Soneva Fushi

Neighbourhood: Baa Atoll

The original Maldivian barefoot luxury resort is located in the heart of the Baa Atoll, where Sir David Attenborough came to film the world’s largest aggregation of manta rays for the Blue Planet II. If you want to swim with the aqua-giants, visit between June and November. Otherwise, swing by for the big, beautiful back-to-nature villas; the inspired dining – looking out for visiting Michelin chefs; and singular experiences, from spending the night alone on a sandbank, to staring at the Rings of Saturn at the observatory, to a health reset at the new Soneva Soul Spa, which combines ancient healing practices with vitamin IV infusion and hyperbaric chambers.

Price: Doubles from US$1,735 (£1,375)

Book now

Take a break in one of Cocoa Island’s 33 overwater villas

Neighbourhood: South Malé Atoll

For the ultimate fly and flop look no further than COMO Cocoa Island. Located an easy-breezy 40-minute speedboat ride from the airport, with broad champagne-gold beaches and just 33 overwater villas, the island exudes tranquility. Start your day with a long lazy breakfast, followed by a long lazy lunch, perhaps a dip in the bath-warm Indian Ocean before whiling away the afternoon under a palm tree reading a book. For a change of scene, there’s the wonderful Como Shambala Spa, where you can drop into daily complimentary wellness classes, use the hydrotherapy facilities for free or book a signature ylang-ylang scented massage.

Price: Doubles from US$1,130 (£899)

Book now

Conrad Rangali features an overwater spa and dive centre

Neighbourhood: Alifu Dhaalu Atoll

The Conrad Rangali hit the headlines in 2018 with the opening of The Muraka, a Bond-worthy three-bedroom overwater residence with a mesmerising underwater master suite. But this resort has got plenty more going for it. Between the two large natural islands (one for socialising and one for hiding away) there are 12 top-notch restaurants, including Ithaa, which is underwater, and Mandhoo, which serves delicious spa cuisine, as well as two swimming pools, an overwater spa and dive centre where you can book trips to swim with 7m-long adolescent whale sharks that congregate nearby.

Price: Doubles from $560 (£405)

Book now

Indulge in yoga and meditation at this luxury resort

Neighbourhood: Baa Atoll

Pack your best kaftan for a stay at this hip resort, a 30-minute seaplane journey from Malé in the Baa Atoll Unesco Biosphere Reserve. The large contemporary villas were designed for lingering in, with large living rooms, big soaking tubs, plenty of outdoor space and private pools. But drag yourself away and you’ll find a host of excellent cafes and restaurants, a tip-top spa and plenty of free activities to keep you busy – yoga, meditation, art classes, kombucha-making, football academy, hula-hooping, DJ-ing and snorkel tours inside a unique blue hole formation found on the house reef.

Price: Doubles from US$825 (£653)

Book now

Read more on luxury travel

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.