Everything you need to know about the BEST Resorts in the Maldives

 
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I’ve just returned from crystal shades of blue water, incredible views, food that’s as artfully presented as it is delicious. I enjoyed more spa treatments than you can imagine, watersports with the most colorful fish in the sea and the best resorts I’ve experienced in life… The Maldives! 

The Maldives is made up of  over 1000 islands and over 150 resorts.

 There is no shortage of luxury resorts in the Maldives but it’s  important to pick the right one and work with a travel advisor to ensure the perfect fit. I also have hidden rates you won’t see on the internet and real relationships with each hotel to give you the VIP treatment you truly deserve.

I’m excited to share with you the 6 resorts I visited and a fun mini “rewards” list to help guide your decision. But first, Important Maldives FAQS:


Getting There:

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Flying from LAX on Emirates it’s a 15 hour flight to Dubai. You’ll likely have a 8 hour layover in Dubai (you’ll have time to get out and explore- which I did), a 3.5 hour flight to Male (capital of Maldives). To get to any of the islands, you’ll take either a seaplane or a boat.

If you arrive after 3 pm into Male, and your hotel is far enough away that you’ll need a seaplane ride-plan to get a hotel on Male for the night. 3 pm is the latest flight you’ll be able to arrive on and still make it onto a seaplane. Depending on the resort, your seaplane will either arrive directly on the island or you’ll need to take a quick boat ride to your resort.

There is only one company who operates the public seaplanes which all the resorts use and are typically an extra $490 per person roundtrip. They are more on the basic side of things, but if you prefer a luxury option, private charters are available through some of the resorts and feel more like an intimate private jet.

If you’re interested in a combination trip with the Maldives I recommend pairing with these destinations: Dubai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Istanbul, or Sir Lanka - they are all relatively close cities and have national carriers into Male international airport.

Best time of Year to Visit: 

Maldives is considered to have year round vacation weather, but of course weather is always risky when booking a vacation. Low Season is considered May-November and it’s a higher likelihood of rain than other times of the year. This is also when you will see the lower rates sometimes even 3 times lower than peak season. Staff was even claiming October was their best month this year.. so you never know! 

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Pick the right resort for you:

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I can’t begin to tell you how different the resorts are! The majority of them are on their own private island so you want to make sure you pick the right one as that’s where you will be spending your whole vacation. I experienced 6 properties and I couldn’t believe how unique each property was! Some are all-inclusive adults only, others are family friendly with lots of kids around. Some are modern, Maldivian style, more elegant, laid back.. you name it-you’ll find it!

There are over 150 resorts in the Maldives currently about 80 of them with butler service. Just this year alone they will be adding 30+ resorts.


Recommended Length of stay:

Arriving from the US, I suggest staying for at least 7 nights, but I would recommend 10+. Most people do stay at one resort but you can easily split it up, if you want to experience a different vibe. The destination is intended for an ultimate escape and to relax. There is plenty to do including water activities, yoga, and so much more, but you’ll absolutely feel the pull to relax.

What to wear:

The first part of my trip, I was bare foot the entire time and your only transportation will be a bike or a golf cart. I  didn’t put shoes on till I got to Velaa Private island for dinner that first night. Think ‘resort casual’ - lots of bathing suits, summer dresses and shorts. You may want to bring one pair of heels if you’re staying at a place like Velaa Private Island or Cheval Blanc. 

What activities to expect: 

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Diving here is world renowned, and people come from all over to experience it. If you are a beginner you can take lessons  at the majority of the resorts. If you aren’t ready to explore Diving they have incredible snorkeling with guides at most of the hotels. Other water activites at most of the hotels include deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, jet-sking, Paddleboarding, Kite surfing and more! If you’re a spa fanatic you won’t be disappointed. All the big resorts have incredible spa’s to spend a day or two relaxing!

Time Zone:

The majority of the luxury hotels have their own time zone (an hour ahead of Male to guarantee the maximum number of daylight hours. Your phone will always be wrong so you do need to constantly make that mental note. 

Butler Service: 

About 80+ hotels in the Maldives have butler service- targeting most of the luxury resorts. What you will expect from your butler is they will be with you from arrival to departure helping with bags, setting up your dinners, escorting you to your dinners and activities,  extensive local knowledge, and every butler I met had the biggest heart with tons of energy and kindness. They will also take your Instagram pictures for you ☺

Why book the Maldives with Jetset & Travel:

There are so many resorts here and every single one is so different, it’s important that you’re matched with the right resort. Plus I have the ability to get you rates lower than the resort website at most places with extra added value perks (think- Included breakfast, Resort credits, upgrades and more!). It also helps  that I know the right people to make sure you are taken care while at the resort and treated like the VIP that you are!

Resort One: Hurawalhi

This resort is approachable luxury, marked by impeccably kind staff, out of this world food and of course stunning beauty all around. View my full recap on Hurawalhi.


Resort Two: Kudadoo

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Kudadoo is everything one desires in a wellness oasis. The resort focuses on true sustainability while indulging one’s every relaxation whim with their unique “Anything. Anywhere. Anytime Experience”. Get all the details on the new Kudadoo Resort in my full review.


Resort Three: Velaa Private Island

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A gorgeous display of luxury, the Velaa Private Island is an island experience that will leave little to be desired. You’ll love the spacious, but comfortable rooms and so much more. Read my full recap of Velaa Private Islands.


Resort Four: Cheval Blanc

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The very definition of ultimate, discerning luxury, Cheval Blanc was beyond what I imagined. This resort, well suited for the elite is everything one desires in the arena of well-styled and ultra chic island perfection. Read more about why I loved this resort.


Resort Five: One & Only Reethi Rah

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Consistently dreamy, the Maldives One & Only was another beautiful oasis, meant for ultimate relaxation and space to really find your peace. From the beach cabanas, to the lovely spacious rooms, I was in luxury resort love here as well. Read my full recap of this resort!

Beautiful Views at One & Only

Beautiful Views at One & Only


My Mini Awards (in order of preference for category) 

Best Service

Kudadoo

Hurawalhi

Velaa Private Island 

Best Butler Service

Kudadoo

Velaa Private Island 

Hurawalhi


Best Family Resort

Velaa Private Island 

One & Only Reethi Rah

Cheval Blanc

Best Romantic Resort

Hurawalhi

5.8 Underwater Dining at Hurawalhi

5.8 Underwater Dining at Hurawalhi

Poolside at Cheval Blanc

Poolside at Cheval Blanc

Hammocks in the palm grove at Kudadoo

Hammocks in the palm grove at Kudadoo


Best for water sports and activities

Velaa Private Island 


Most elegant and classy

Cheval Blanc

Most comfortable

Hurawalhi

Velaa Private Island