Where to Stay in the Maldives: Which Island is Best for You?

The Maldives islands are known for their undisputed beauty – the glaringly white sands, turquoise waters and swaying palms are a true picture of paradise.

Even better, each resort is set on its own, secluded private island. Cast far away from any unwanted disruptions, you’re free to enjoy the thriving coral reefs, luxury retreats, exquisite spas and divine dining in total peace.

The only problem you might run into is choosing where to stay. Luckily, our Travel Specialists know the Indian Ocean inside out, and know exactly where to go to find the most luxurious spots.

Take a look at their first-hand recommendations for the best islands in the Maldives

Which is the best area to stay in the Maldives?

You’ve probably heard all about the different atolls you can stay at in the Maldives. While they’re all beautiful, one of the best is Baa Atoll. Just a 35-minute seaplane from Male, it’s a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, offering incredible diving. The North Male Atoll also boats plenty of diving sites, while the Raa Atoll is one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world.

For more resort options in these areas with overwater villas, visit our blog post on the some of the most beautiful resorts in the world.

The Best Islands in the Maldives

1. Amilla Maldives

Best for island for: A foodie’s favourite

Location: Baa Atoll

What’s it like?

If good food is key to making you feel amazing, Amilla Maldives is the best island for you.

One of the largest islands in the Maldives, this private paradise has seven exceptional restaurants to choose from, including a pizza oven set on the beach and exciting Japanese fusion cuisine served in an overwater setting. You can dress up if you want to celebrate something special, sit with your toes in the sand or even dine in your own private pool – the options are endless and entirely up to you.

Even better, absolutely everyone is catered to with dedicated vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and low carb menus available across all restaurants – you can even get the most out of your sundowner with a probiotic cocktail! To feel truly nourished, the Wellness Your Way programme takes a holistic approach to your meals, with new dining venue, Chill’d, offering fresh food to make you feel good from inside out.

2. Baros

Best for island for: Snorkelling and diving

Location: North Male Atoll

What’s it like?

There are so many islands that are brilliant for diving and snorkelling in the Maldives, though Baros could well be the best.

With a house reef just 20m from shore, and dozens of world-renowned dive sites less than an hour away, there’s an incredible underwater world to explore right at your doorstep. You can delve into the depths to explore a sunken shipwreck, take a tour around the reef or even embark on a fluorescent night snorkelling experience from the PADI five-star Gold Palm Dive Centre.

If you have a real passion for marine life, you can even sponsor your own coral frame. With transplanted coral given a chance to thrive and provide a new home for the fish and endangered sea life, it’s the perfect legacy to leave behind.

If you’re looking for a stay in the Maldives with an overwater villa, here are our travel experts top picks.

3. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Best for island for: Beautiful beaches

Location: Baa Atoll

What’s it like?

The Maldives is famed for being one of the top places in the world for finding beautiful beaches. So, where to find the best place to stay to enjoy them at their best?

We recommend the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru. Sitting in the midst of the Baa Atoll’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this resort sprawls along a 2km lagoon and swathes of pristine white sands.

You’ll be able to savour your stunning surroundings from the fabulous Blu Beach Club. Set just steps from the sand, you can hang out from breakfast to dinner, where you’ll be in the perfect spot to catch the most incredible sunset view. With a fibre-optic ‘constellation’ pool, tree-top dining, private cabanas and a divine pizza bar, this is the best place to stay to get the most out of the Maldives’ beaches.

“”This is one of my personal favourite hotels. You’ll arrive in style on board the resort’s private seaplane before setting foot on the most beautiful stretch of white sand I’ve ever seen! Be sure to head down to the Marine Discovery Centre for diving lessons, to learn about the turtle rehabilitation and grow your own piece of coral, which the resort will send you updates on long after you’ve left the island.”” – Holly, Sales Manager

4. Milaidhoo

Best for island for: Honeymoons and romance

Location: Baa Atoll

What’s it like?

In a setting simply made for romance, the Maldives is the place to go for an escape for two. And, for the best island, we suggest staying at Milaidhoo island.

This private island resort is adult-focussed, offering a peaceful and grown-up atmosphere for couples. It’s one of the smaller island resorts, meaning you can enjoy a boutique-feeling holiday without being disturbed.

The villas here offer pure luxury, with their fourth wall removed to offer the most incredible 180-degree views of the ocean. With an overwater spa, daily yoga sessions and a selection of watersports, couples may well find their favourite place to stay in the Maldives right here.

5. Huvafen Fushi

Best for island for: 5-star spa experience

Location: North Male Atoll

What’s it like?

For ultimate relaxation, the Maldives is perhaps unbeatable. Aside from miles of undisturbed beaches to unwind on, there are also plenty of exceptional spas.

One of the best islands in the Maldives for a spa and wellness experience is Huvafen Fushi. The resort boasts the world’s first underwater spa treatment rooms, where you can relax with views of the reef and marine life, along with tranquil overwater pavilions.

Among the spa services, you can book yourself a facial designed by celebrity skincare specialist, Teresa Tarmey, or a massage created by renowned expert, Beata Aleksandrowicz. Visiting practitioners also stop by the island, while private yoga classes and tailored programmes can be also be arranged, too.

6. JOALI Maldives

Best for island for: Laidback luxury

Location: Raa Atoll

What’s it like?

The Maldives islands are renowned as one of the most luxurious beach destinations you can find. But, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy the laidback vibe you might crave from a holiday. Plenty of islands have an optional ‘no shoes’ policy, giving you the chance to completely switch off from the rest of the world.

JOALI Maldives offers one of the best balances of laidback luxury. While undoubtedly 5-star, you can still kick off your shoes and chill out on this private island paradise. To explore, your butler can whizz you around in a buggy, or you can take your own bike for a ride.

The dining is certainly worth mentioning here, too. There’s so much to choose from, from teppanyaki to fine dining and family-style feasts. You can even visit Her Kitchen and learn how to cook authentic Maldivian recipes for yourself.

Looking for something different?

While all the islands may share the scene breathtaking scenery, they do all have their own unique offering.

If you want something a little different, we have plenty of ideas to inspire you.

If you stay at Soneva Jani, you can sit out under the stars to watch a film in the outdoor cinema. Your overwater villa even has a retractable roof, so you can gaze at the night sky from bed, or you could visit the overwater observatory for a private dining experience.

If you think you might miss the green of the fairways in the Maldives, take a look at Velaa Private Island. This unique resort has it’s own golf course – could there be a more beautiful setting to tee off?

If you’d like to find out more about the best places to stay in the Maldives, you can contact us to speak to our Travel Specialists.

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Ceri Foulkes
Ceri Foulkes
I love anywhere Mediterranean, especially the Balearics and Greek Islands - though Italian food also draws me in every time! A beach and a book is what makes me happiest.

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