Courtesy of Dusit Thani Maldives

Searching for the next great escape? Head to the Maldives, where we found eight hotels that make the long trip worthwhile.

April 30, 2012

Viceroy: International architects Yabu Pushelberg have reinterpreted tropical chic at the 61-villa Viceroy. Expect Modernist interiors with lagoon views and private plunge pools, as well as a tree-house lounge. Vagaru Island. $$$$$

Anantara Kihavah Villas: This Green Globe–certified eco-resort makes a splash with glass-bottom bathtubs, chlorine-free infinity pools, an underwater restaurant, and a coral-adoption program. $$$$$

Dusit Thani: A new regional airport has made Baa Atoll easier to access, and this contemporary Thai-style resort is an ideal base for exploring the pristine reefs of nearby Hanifaru Huraa, part of a Unesco World Biosphere Reserve. Mudhdhoo Island. $$$$

Jumeirah Vittaveli: Only a 20-minute boat ride from the international airport in Male, the Jumeirah has a three-bedroom Presidential Suite with two pools, butler service, and its own private beach. Bolifushi Island. $$$$$

Niyama: An underwater nightclub and a marine-biology lab are the highlights at this 86-room sister property to Per Aquum’s Huvafen Fushi resort. Charter a traditional dhoni sailing boat for a private snorkeling cruise. Olhuveli Island (Dhaalu Atoll). $$$$$

Six Senses Laamu: Head out with the surf coach for a lesson on an eight-foot reef break called Yin Yang, just offshore from this eco-luxe 97-villa resort. Don’t miss a dinner of grilled jackfish served on a glass aquarium table. Olhuveli Island (Laamu Atoll). $$$$

The Residence: After opening resorts in Tunis, Mauritius, and Zanzibar, the Singapore-based brand arrived here in April. The 94-villa retreat features an overwater Clarins spa at the end of its own jetty. Falhumaafushi Island. $$$$$

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa: Recently rebranded, the 50-villa Park Hyatt has a top-tier PADI program tailored to diving expeditions in search of the rare whale sharks, hawksbill turtles, and eagle rays that swim in the far reaches of this deepwater atoll. Hadahaa Island. $$$$$

Safety Note: At press time, the Maldivian government was in a state of upheaval after political unrest in the capital of Male. So far the situation has not affected visitors to outlying resort islands—but before traveling, refer to the websites of the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka and the U.S. State Department for updates and advisories.

Hotel Pricing Key
$ Less than $200
$$ $200 to $350
$$$ $350 to $500
$$$$ $500 to $1,000
$$$$$ More than $1,000

Anantara Kihavah Villas

A quick seaplane ride from the capital of Male lands you on a private island ringed by white sand, coconut palms, and a reef that harbors schools of tropical fish. Play castaway here, where frangipani-scented pool villas come with outdoor showers, private pools, and wooden decks that hover over a blue lagoon. Ask for an overwater villa, then dine at one of the world's only underwater restaurants while gazing out at the ocean floor. For a little adventure, a dive master leads expeditions to search for gentle whale sharks in parts of the Indian Ocean beyond the Baa Atoll.

Six Senses Laamu

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