Whether it’s a water villa, a beach bubble or that treetop pool villa that you’ve always dreamed of, I’ve listed the best Maldives Holidays for couples and families, as well as some unique stays and great value island resorts.
There are few places on Earth that are more picture perfect than the Maldives. Featured at the top of many people’s bucket list, this 1200 island archipelago in the Indian Ocean is a blissful escape from everyday life. However, don’t be deceived that Maldives holidays are just about the pristine white sandy beaches and serene turquoise waters. These island resorts boast an incredible resume of experiences which include world class dining, spectacular diving, award winning spas and even movies under the stars.
The Maldives reopened their borders on 15th July 2020 and tourists are currently required to provide a negative PCR test taken prior to their departure. The exceptional management of tourism in the Maldives combined with the socially distanced nature of the resorts, has seen the Maldives welcoming over 113,000 in the first 5 weeks of this year.
With each resort located on its own private island, the Maldives might have a misconception as being a destination only for couples. We enjoyed an incredible family holiday in the Maldives a few years ago – it was all we had hoped for and so much more. The Maldives is becoming increasingly popular for families and groups of friends celebrating a special occasion. With that in mind, I have put together my top recommendations for Maldives Holidays – I have a tropical island resort to suit everyone.
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These Maldives holidays include my affiliate links – where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.
1. Best value Maldives Holiday Resort: 4-star Sun Siyam Olhuveli
The luxury four-star Olhuveli resort offers superb value if you are on the lookout for an overwater villa on your Maldives holiday – without breaking the bank. Their entry level Water Villas (without private pool) have a private sundeck and sit directly above the azure waters of the Indian Ocean.
Alternative standards of villa that include private pools are also available. I would recommend upgrading to All Inclusive in Olhuveli. With a buffet restaurant, three à la carte restaurants and three bars, Olhuveli offers more dining options than most four-star Maldives holidays.
Choose between a guided ‘Snorkelling Safari’ or ‘Local Island Experience’ complimentary excursion, in addition to one hour per day of non-motorised water sports. When you need a break from all this adventure, the islands’ three beachfront infinity pools will be waiting to welcome you.
2. Best value All Inclusive Maldives Holiday Resort: 5-star Dhigali Maldives
Step out of your luxury Beach Villa straight onto the porcelain white sands of Dhigali island. The most difficult choice you must make is whether watch the sun setting from the day bed on your private terrace, or with a cocktail at Haali’s sunset bar.
The Premium All Inclusive offered at Dhigali includes unlimited premium brand drinks and a minibar replenished daily. Enjoy a complimentary glass bottom boat excursion during your stay.
For divers, the resorts colourful house reef is within swimming distance of the beach. The outstanding reviews of Dhigali on TripAdvisor speak for themselves, ensuring a Maldives holiday to remember.
3. Premium Luxury All Inclusive Resort: 5-star Ozen by Atmosphere at Maadhoo
Everything you could possibly wish for from a Maldives holiday is included at the incredible Ozen life Maadhoo. Their unique Indulgence package includes fine dining, premium selection drinks, spa treatments and diving (depending on the number of nights you stay), plus one à la carte fine dining experience at M6m, the resorts underwater restaurant.
In just 45 minutes by speedboat from Male Airport, you will arrive in this piece of paradise with pristine white sands and lush vegetation. Described in their own words – ‘the Ozen experience personifies a non-compromising luxury holiday with no shocks, no surprises and no hidden extras’…. just bliss!
4. Best Value Family Resort: 4-star Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Families of all ages will be spoiled for choice at Meeru Island Resort. The Komas Kid’s Club offers two separate clubs for children aged 3 – 12 years and teens aged 13 – 17 years. In the resorts Divers Centre, children from the age of 8 can enjoy an introduction to diving under the supervision of a PADI instructor with their Bubblemaker activity.
Meeru’s Family Plan pricing makes this resort one of the more affordable Maldives holidays for families. For a little extra, I would recommend a Beach Villa instead a Garden Villa to ensure you get a true Maldives experience. Stepping out of your front door onto the fine white sands is no less than what you would expect, and this no doubt contributes to the excellent reviews received on TripAdvisor.
5. Best Luxury Family Resort : 5-star COMO Maalifushi
It is true to say that although the majority of resorts in the Maldives are not overrun with families, most of the islands are very family friendly. A popular option is COMO Maalifushi island with their dedicated ‘Play by COMO Space’ kids club designed for children between the ages of 4 to 12 years. Their impressive daily activity schedule includes kite making, origami, sand sculpturing and children’s yoga, just to name a few.
Beach suites with private pool that lead directly out to the white sands are an ideal choice for families. Try the sunset dolphin watching cruise where the kids will love the thrill of hopping onto the dhoni’s splash net or for a more relaxing treat. The Family Castaway Picnic should also not be missed – a simply stunning experience creating family memories for a lifetime.
6. Best family All Inclusive Resort: Centara Grand Maldives
Centara Grand is renowned as being one of the best All Inclusive resorts in the Maldives. It prides itself on its Ultimate All Inclusive offering and is particularly good for families, hence the reason we chose this for our family Maldives holiday a few years ago.
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Not only are all meals and drinks included in your stay, but so are boat trips, diving, and even selected spa treatments. The bizarre thing is that although myself and Cormac were able to have $100 dollars of free spa treatments each day, I didn’t go once! There simply wasn’t enough time to partake in all the activities that were included, so make sure you stay a minimum of seven nights if you want to enjoy all the facilities on offer.
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We stayed in the overwater bungalows and the beach villas – both offered a completely different experience. I loved the sunset hour, we enjoyed cocktails over the water, and the kids popped down an hour later to join us for dinner. Contrary to what you might think, the Maldives is a superb family destination. You can read all about our trip here:
7. The Popular Choice: 4-star Kuramathi Island Resort
A warm welcome awaits you at the Kuramathi Island Resort. It is one of the most popular choices for Maldives holidays with Irish holidaymakers, and it is not difficult to see why. Kuramathi offers an incredible choice of accommodation with 11 room categories from Beach Villas to the spectacular Thundi Water Villa with pool.
There is no shortage of dining options either, as the resort boasts nine restaurants and six bars including the chilled outdoor Sand Bar where you can settle into beanbags and stargaze while sipping your favourite cocktail. Hence the reason I would definitely recommend upgrading to All Inclusive…
It is not only honeymooners that fall in love with Kuramathi. The resort has a universal appeal offering renewal of vows on the stunning sandbank, an array of water sports in the turquoise lagoon, and the complimentary Bageecha Kids Club with an exciting fun-filled schedule. So, whether are looking for a romantic getaway or some quality time together with your family, Kuramathi will not disappoint.
8. Best Maldives Holiday Resort for Groups or Large Families: 5-star Oblu Select at Sangeli – With FREE Transfers
Two-bedroom Beach Pool Suites at the fabulous Sangeli resort are a great choice for larger families, or a group of friends celebrating a special occasion in the Maldives. With two spacious bedrooms, a large living area and two open air bathrooms, there is plenty of space for everyone.
Each suite leads to an outdoor veranda with private pool and direct beach access. This private island, which consistently receives excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, offers fantastic diving opportunities and complimentary use of snorkelling equipment in addition to stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and pedalos.
All the hassle is taken out of your Maldives holiday in Sangeli with the Premium All-Inclusive plan which is included as standard, and there has never been a better time to book as the resort are currently offering FREE Speedboat Airport Transfers!
9. Best Maldives Holidays for Diving: 5-star Kandolhu
If you are a keen diver, the picture-perfect Kandolhu should be given serious consideration for your Maldives holiday. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean, excellent visibility and spectacular marine life lend to the ideal diving conditions here. Kandolhu’s lively house reef and the nearby dive sites are often described as some of the best in the Maldives.
Offering three dives per day and regularly organised night dives, the resort even provides you with a GoPro camera in your villa to capture the action. This 5-star boutique resort is the perfect retreat for couples in search of a small, tranquil, paradise island with a superb spa and excellent cuisine, including the option of a private candle lit dinner in a secluded corner of Kandolhu beach. Sounds like heaven!
10. The One with the Waterslide Villa: 5-star Soneva Jani
I could not write about Maldives holidays without mentioning the infamous Soneva Jani. I am sure this image often catches your eye while you are scrolling through social media platforms. The world-class 1-, 2-, 3- and 4- bedroom villas at Soneva offer a private pool, a retractable roof allowing you to stargaze from the master bedroom, plus the all-important water slide, taking you from the top floor directly to the lagoon below.
Would it surprise you to hear that guests in the Soneva Jani use their waterslide an average of 12 times per day? Although you may not feel the need to leave your luxurious villa, the island resort offers a wealth of outstanding experiences including watching your favourite movie under the stars at the outdoor Cinema Paradiso, dolphin safaris, guided snorkelling, an astronomy cruise, and the award winning Soneva Spa.
There is only one rule you have to abide by at Soneva Jani – ‘No News, No Shoes’ – I think I could happily live with that!
11. The one with the underwater villa: 5-star Conrad Maldives Rengali Island
Thanks to its underwater restaurant, and the world’s first underwater villa, the Conrad Maldives Rengali is one of the Maldives’s most famous paradise islands. Twice voted ‘best hotel in the world’, it wows as much above the water as underneath it.
There are two islands in this resort – Rangalifinolhu is the lively choice and popular with families, while Rangali is more secluded and boasts many private villas and adult-only areas.
The resorts own house reef is 500 metres long and there are plenty more dive sites close by. There is also an open-air cinema, two infinity pools, two spas, a range of watersports including manta ray watching and shark snorkelling, and a wide selection of dining options, including the underwater restaurant, Ithaa.
Rooms are bookable on a bed & breakfast basis via the link below but contact your local travel agent to secure half-board rates or to book the exclusive underwater villa, Muraka.
12. The Celebrity Hotspot: 5-star The One and Only Reethi Rah
It doesn’t cost anything to dream, right? If The Only and Only Reethi Rah is good enough for the Beckhams, the Ramsays, Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe, well who am I to argue. Described as ‘Heaven on Earth’ this luxurious, tropical paradise island is a mecca for the rich and famous.
The personal service offered at a One and Only resort is second to none. Along with no less than 12 pristine beaches, the resort also boasts 3 pools, world-class dining options and the opportunity to dive alongside whale sharks, reef sharks and turtles. The discrete positioning of all the thatch-roofed villas allows for maximum privacy. This private island escape offers the ultimate Maldives Holiday experience, the only struggle will be coming back down to Earth.
13. The best resort in the Maldives for Wellness: 5-star Kagi Maldives Spa Island
The primary focus in the newly opened Kagi Maldives is promoting well-being from the inside out, something we are all striving for right now. The overwater Baani Spa sits in the heart of the resort with an offering of several unique journeys through their five and seven-night wellness retreat programs, including activities such as Evening Wave Meditation, Wellness Bathtub Therapy, Sound Chakra Balancing and Mindful Yoga.
This is the prefect idyllic island escape for those looking to get away from hectic everyday life. Each villa in the resort has a private infinity pool with unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean. After the stresses of this past year, we could all do with being prescribed an escape to Kagi Maldives.
14. Unique Experiences in the Maldives – 5-star Amilla Maldives Resort & Residence – Treetop Pool Villa
Many associate Maldives holidays with an overwater villa or beach bungalow, however Amilla Resort takes it one step further in offering a unique Treetop Pool Villa stay. Set over 23 hectares, the Amilla Resort is one of the larger resorts in the Maldives. Floating above the coconut trees, just 20 metres along a secret pathway from the beach, you will find the Treetop Pool Villas.
Choose from either a one or two-bedroom villa with private pool surrounded by the lush greenery of the island. The resort also offers an incredible array of activities to suit all ages and interests, from night snorkelling to art classes. Amilla Maldives is a tropical playground which is sure to surprise you.
15. Unique Experiences in the Maldives : 5-star Seaside Finolhu – Beach Bubble Tent
With all the talk of bubbles of a different kind lately, this one is sure to be a welcome alternative. Finolhu describe their Beach Bubble Tents as ‘A Cosmic Experience’ and it would be certainly be one to remember. Once you stay a minimum of three nights in a regular villa at Finolhu, you can reserve the romantic night away in the sandbank located Bubble, for a cost of $800 per couple. This includes a private beach barbecue while you watch the sun set, and breakfast on the beach the next morning.
Finolhu is a vibrant island with an impressive choice of water sports, four exceptional restaurants and one of the longest sandbanks in the Maldives. The five-star reviews on TripAdvisor only reinforce the incredible experience that awaits you in this resort.Check prices here
Transfers from Male Airport to your resort are via Speedboat or Seaplane. When you make your hotel reservation with booking.com, tick the box stating you are interested in requesting an airport shuttle. They will notify the hotel so that they can provide you with details and a cost.
I hope this post on Maldives holidays will help inspire your next vacation. It is important to note that some of the facilities / activities listed may not be operating to full capacity – please check with individual hotel or accommodation owners for clarification. I always recommend booking a hotel or Airbnb with free cancellation in case there are any changes to the listed facilities that may not suit you.