Surrounded by the third largest expanse of water on earth, this chain of 26 sand and coral atolls is one of the most isolated destinations in the region. From the main island of Hulhulé, visitors are whisked off to their luxury resorts by speedboat or seaplane. Most hotels will be the sole occupier of the island on which they are situated and guests will be able to do so much more than just loll around on the pristine beaches – as wonderful as this can be.
We take a look at activities that can be arranged at a selection of our partnered hotels – all of which offer you exclusive benefits, ranging from complimentary room upgrades to free spa treatments.
There’s no denying that the Maldives is one of the best looking holiday destinations there is and this is even the case beneath the waves, where coral and sea life creates a kaleidoscope of colour. Most resorts will be able to arrange scuba diving trips but we’ve found that very few can beat Soneva Fushi thanks to its location on the Baa Atoll, which was recently named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its tremendous variety of underwater life.
With 30 sites in easy reach by boat, you can swim alongside giant whale sharks, glide with manta rays or get up close to clown fish and their multicoloured friends.
We can take care of all your scuba dive bookings and when securing accommodation through us you’ll receive complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade*, late check-out*, a complimentary lunch for two**, champagne and Maldivian tapas. For stays of five nights or more, you will also enjoy a shoreline dinner, private sunset cruise and a cooking class**.
The 1,200 coral islands based around the atolls couldn’t be better placed to soak up the long-range swell that travels across the Indian Ocean. The fast, hollow waves that reel down the reefs have become a magnet for world-class surfers and famous breaks like Love Charms, Cafe Breaks and Chickens are a lot more treacherous than their names suggest.
While experienced surfers can charter boats to tour the islands’ hidden spots, we recommend that beginners and intermediates book in to one of the luxury hotels which offer lessons with experts on more gentle waves.
We are partnered with the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa which offers a daily surf school and our members receive complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade*, early check-in/late check-out*, wi-fi, US$100 spa credit and a small welcome gift.
Also pictured top
Given the tiny proportions of most of the islands, the Maldives isn’t really set up for golf. However, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa has managed to make the most of its needle-like shape and created an excellent nine-hole course made up of surprisingly tough par threes and fours.
With the glistening Indian Ocean on either side, drives from every tee need to be straight and the fine sand bunkers can prove tricky to get out of, meaning it’s challenging enough to play each day of your holiday. After a round or two, the clubhouse makes an ideal spot to sip a cocktail and take in the views to the horizon.
Book through our Travel team to receive complimentary buffet breakfast, a room upgrade*, early check-in and late check-out*, US$100 or 10% of the room rate hotel credit (whichever is higher per stay) and a choice of three welcome gifts.
Most guests find it nearly impossible to do anything active once they arrive at the laid-back W Retreat & Spa. The whole place is geared around chilling out and its spa is among the nation’s most tranquil (and that’s saying something), but anyone who gets itchy feet can book a sailing adventure on board the resort’s twin-mast, 24-metre yacht.
There are a number of excursion options, ranging from a romantic sunset cruise with dinner on deck to a two-day excursion around the impossibly pretty Ari Atoll, stopping for tours of local markets and diving with whale sharks. Anyone staying on board certainly won’t miss the luxurious rooms back on dry land as the cabins are fully equipped with king-size beds, huge LCD televisions, a Bose sound system and a rainfall shower.
Book through us to benefit from complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade*, early check-in/late check-out*, wi-fi, US$100 resort credit and a welcome gift.
Surrounded by turquoise waters and pristine beaches, the luxury Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve wins our vote for best ocean views. Many of the 103 villas stand off the island’s shores and there is a catamaran that transports guests to the sister Four Seasons at Kuda Huraa, stopping at dive sites and secluded beaches along the way.
The spa is one of the best in the Indian Ocean and offers treatments based on ancient Indian practices. The holistic approach aims to achieve balance in life by healing physical ailments as well as relieving deep-rooted stress and tension.
You can benefit from US$100 spa credit in addition to complimentary breakfast and a room upgrade* when booking through lifestyle concierge.
.*Subject to availability
.**Subject to terms and conditions
Last updated on 15 February 2017