The best Maldives islands for 2024

The Maldives continually shines as our number one holiday destination. Why? It’s like nowhere else on Earth. You’ll understand once you’ve felt its talcum-soft sands between your toes, cosied up at a beach cinema to watch a movie under the stars and slept above its piercing blue lagoon in a private overwater villa. As the Maldives experts, we can tell you that it more than lives up to the hype.


These islands are some of our favourites, but there are plenty more in our collection we can share with you.  Click here to view our latest Maldives offers.


Best for: sociable Miami-meets-the-Maldives vibes


Contrary to its name, The Standard, Huruvalhi Island is not what it says on the tin. It’s young, upbeat and oozes cool. Sea life meets nightlife at its glass-floored nightclub, disco balls hover over bathtubs in its stunning ocean-view villas, and spice-loaded curries are eaten with your hands at its rustic Maldivian restaurant. There’s plenty more at this playful South Beach-Indian Ocean hybrid: sun-kissed games of tennis, fruity shisha, cocktails/mocktails packed with a surprising amount of good-for-you ingredients and a spa that pretty much demands your presence at least once. Pack your wildest inflatable – every eye-popping villa has its own infinity plunge pool.


Best for modern island living


Dhigali Maldives is the epitome of an island dream: clear-as-glass waters washed up against white sand, a jungly interior home to native flora and fauna and a sweeping sandbank at the island's tip. But what sets it apart is the sleek, modern touches, like the sugar-cube-style villas and the unique birds-nest-shaped sunset bar – the go-to place for golden hour cocktails.

The food is also outstanding here. Go on a culinary journey at Battuta, which serves cuisine inspired by the travels of Ibn Battuta, one of history's great explorers. Then there are another two speciality restaurants and a buffet of round-the-world flavours to sample, plus a pop-up pizzeria for those comfort food cravings.


Best for: Desert Island chic


Constance Moofushi Maldives matches barefoot chic with all-inclusive pampering. Along with sister resort Constance Halaveli Maldives, it’s part of the luxurious Constance portfolio where standards are famously high, and there’s impressive attention to detail. A subtle, high-end Robinson Crusoe theme runs throughout the beautiful villas, from hammocks on the Beach Villa terraces to coin chest minibars brimming with treats, while the main sand-floored Manta restaurant has a ‘trip around the world’ theme. Go wine tasting in the ocean, watch a classic movie under the stars, and snorkel in coral gardens straight from the beach.


Best for: personalised perfection


Tiny Baros Maldives has set the standard of Maldivian luxury for decades, yet it still feels shiny and new. Architecturally spectacular The Lighthouse is one of the most iconic restaurants in the Maldives, perched over water with its sail-like white roof and candle-lit tables at the ocean’s edge. Bespoke experiences for couples can be as romantic or as adventurous as you like: jump aboard the resort’s sailboat for a Champagne sunset cruise, paddle out on a glass-bottom-kayak-for-two or relax over a leisurely sandbank picnic.


Best for: the perfect match


In many ways (size, spend and feel), Kuramathi Maldives and Kandolhu Maldives couldn’t be more different. That’s why together, they make up the dream Maldives twin centre. It’s rare, almost unheard of, to find the choice of activities, accommodation and dining that you get at Kuramathi, one of the Maldives’ larger islands. If you upgrade to the fantastic Select All Inclusive package, you can dine at a staggering nine à la carte venues on top of your buffet restaurant. For your room, choose from cost-effective Garden Villas tucked away in the vegetation all the way up to Thundi Water Villas with a Pool on the edge of the island’s famous sandbank.

On tiny Kandolhu, there are only 30 villas and you can walk around the island in under 10 minutes, so the mood is intimate. Most couples who stay here spend low-key evenings hanging out together in their beautiful villa. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to food, though – there are five small à la carte restaurants with five-star service. And if you’re here for the snorkelling, Kandolhu has an astounding house reef. Turtles love it.


Best for: whale shark encounters


Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort has stacks of beauty, inside and out. First, you’ll be dazzled by the two wide beaches, beachfront infinity pool and glittering lagoon. Then you’ll notice the details – like the eye-catching swirly rooftop at signature Moodhu Grill (one of four restaurants to take your tastebuds around the globe) and the clean-lined villas where you can slide back the doors to let in the warm breeze.

If gliding alongside whale sharks is on your bucket list, now’s the time to check it off. The resort’s location in the South Ari Atoll is one of the best places to see these gentle giants, especially from August to October, thanks to the plankton-rich waters at the southern tip of the atoll. There are also boat trips to spot turtles and manta rays, plus a thriving house reef for first-rate snorkelling.


Best for: a fun five-star family escape


There is a way to bring the little ones along to the Maldives without compromising on luxury. It’s called Niyama Private Islands Maldives. The resort’s island names – ‘Chill’ and ‘Play’ – set the tone. Explore the island on a private snorkelling tour for the chance to meet turtles and dolphins or give surfing a go with expert tuition at the Surf Shack. Niyama has kids’ clubs (so you can enjoy date nights at treetop restaurant Nest) and even an Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wiis for teens. Family Beach Pool Villas are kitted out with a big private pool, daybed, Maldivian dhoni swing and Indian Ocean views.


Best for: spectacular snorkelling and diving


If underwater adventures are a top priority on your Maldives tick list, you’ll love it here. Sandies Bathala is a legendary island in the divers’ world, thanks to its proximity to the outer reef which attracts big fish, and its vicinity to numerous excellent dive sites. Floating above the house reef, you may come face-to-face with turtles, reef sharks and parrot fish, or head out on a diving trip with the expert guides to Manta Point to encounter Maldives mega-fauna. Back on dry land, the vibe is super laid-back. Sip an ice-cold beer by the infinity pool, join a round of beach volleyball and round off your nights with themed dining in Island Barbecue.


Best for: all-out luxury


Velassaru Maldives’ beachy good looks have serious wow-factor. There’s a classic yet youthful feel about this luxury resort, with its cool bars and millennial aesthetic. The beach here is out of this world. Actually, everything about Velassaru is. The views, the villas, the service, the dining. Pull up a bean bag at the lantern-lit beach cinema, book a couple’s massage at the overwater spa or savour fresh sushi and sashimi at Japanese restaurant Teppanyaki, poised above the lagoon on stilts.


Best for: laid-back all-inclusive


The mood at Adaaran Select Hudhuran Fushi is super chill. It’s a place for snoozing under a coconut thatch umbrella, cooling off with an icy drink at the pool’s swim-up bar, and feasting on mouth-watering food while watching the surf. It sits in 83 acres of exotic garden tropics, so it never feels crowded, and the all-inclusive package adds to the carefree atmosphere. You’re close to some excellent dive sites, the clear waters are great for snorkelling, and there are boat trips to take you fishing or dolphin spotting at sunset.

Inspired?


Whether you’re looking for a blow-the-budget honeymoon, fabulous foodie experiences or a fun family holiday, talk to our experts and we’ll share our ideas and match you to the right island.


This feature was updated on 12th January 2024. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge.

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