Of all the tropical island destinations in the world, there are few places quite like the Maldives, its string of picture-perfect islands surrounded by pristine palm-fringed beaches and beyond that, crystalline turquoise lagoons teeming with an abundance of colorful marine life. Throw in a host of some of the most beautiful hotels in the world and life doesn’t get better than taking a dip in the warm, shallow waters right from the deck of your overwater villa or watching one of the epic sunsets that color the sky a pastel hue of pink cotton candy. From stunning spas to fine dining and unlimited water sports, the choice can be overwhelming (and some paid-for resorts discount the budget). So, to ease the stress of piling up bills, here’s our pick of some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives to make the most of your trip to paradise.
Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas, Alif Dhaal Atoll
Maldivian overwater villas can’t get more elegant than this: chic and white above the cobalt blue sea. Their expansive terraces have direct ocean access, lounges, and canopied beds that look out to sea. A selection also have outdoor hot tubs. The Two Bedroom Overwater Villas are great for larger parties or families with older children and boast a large pool. The beach villas have private terraces. Lantern-lit dinners on the beach, sushi overlooking the reef, and papaya body treatments in the spa are among the standout experiences. Diamonds also has some of the best snorkelling in the archipelago and there is a large lagoon for water sports.
Read the full review: Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas
Varu by Atmosphere, North Male Atoll
Shallow, crystal clear waters surround this dream retreat occupying a private sand spit in North Male Atoll. A tidy smattering of square bungalows line the beach while clusters of overwater villas jut out from three piers. It’s elegant yet casual, and everything is taken care of with a genuinely friendly smile. You can participate in a wide range of activities, from palm leaf origami, towel art masterclasses and wine tastings, to boduberu sessions (local drums). All non-motorized water sports are included, and guests can enjoy unlimited snorkeling excursions. The four restaurants vary in character, from casual to refined, and all are excellent.
Read the full review: Varu by Atmosphere
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Hurawalhi, Lhaviyani Atoll
Hurawalhi wears her natural bounty lightly. There are no airs and graces here. Even before the seaplane lands, the shoes have already been taken off and will never be seen again for the rest of the vacation. Whether it’s a villa floating on the water or snuggling softly against the tree-shrouded beach, the atmosphere is one of ease, almost inertia. However, guests who want to experience more than just lying flat will be thrilled with the All Inclusive Plus package which includes full board along with a range of diversions such as free flowing drinks in the bars, sunset dolphin cruise, snorkelling and windsurfing yoga classes and classes. Its price compared to its design and quality of food and drink makes it one of the best all-inclusive hotels in the Maldives.
Read the full review: Hurawalhi
OZEN Life Madhoo, South Male Atoll
While this is the best option for a luxury Maldives holiday, there isn’t an iota of stuffiness. An island is the stepping stone for the WIND Overwater Villas, which meander across the turquoise water, as well as the main restaurant and spa. Grab a bike from under a palm tree or hail a golf cart and head to island number two where a modern circular bar offers spectacular views over the infinity pool and serves drinks throughout the day. From here, it’s an easy journey if you stay in an EARTH villa, tucked away in the tropical foliage behind. With five restaurants open for dinner and three for lunch, plus the poolside pizzeria, guests are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to dining.
Read the full review: OZEN by Atmosphere
Constance Moofushi, South Ari Atoll
This lively and budget-friendly barefoot resort sits at the tip of South Ari Atoll, a 45-minute seaplane ride from Male’. The sugar-white beach is wide enough to accommodate wild and peaceful strolls and the Beach Villas have front terraces leading directly onto it, made private by palm trees and bushes. The water villas are simple thatched-roof bungalows with optimal views of the marine life. Days here are designed for lounging, while nights are sociable and stress-free, thanks to an all-inclusive environment where you can forget if you really should be hitting the bar or give in to the kids’ requests for ice cream. Entertainment is understated but enjoyable, with weekly DJs and traditional dancing.
Read the full review: Constance Moofushi
The Residence Maldives Dhigurah, Gaafu Alifu Atoll
The Residence at Dhigurah has a lovely location on the edge of the world, just 40 miles north of the equator in the newly developed Gaafu Alifu Atoll, with horizons that go on forever. It is one of the best options for a honeymoon in the Maldives and is connected to its bigger sister island The Residence Falhuumafushi by a wonderful kilometer-long wooden bridge that stretches across the atoll (you can see epic marine life below). All the beach villas are well spaced out, cocooned and with their own piece of soft white sand. The water villas are a little closer together but feature large decks and stairways that lead directly into the Indian Ocean.
Read the full review: The Residence Maldives Dhigurah
Oblu Select in Sangeli, North Male Atoll
The modern all-inclusive Oblu Select offers mid-range accommodations that are ideal for a family vacation in the Maldives or for couples looking to get away. The resort includes three beaches (one with a water slide that spirals into the sea), four restaurants (one buffet and three a la carte) and bars, a family-friendly and adults-only infinity pool, a fitness center, and spa Elena. From sunrise yoga and Pilates sessions to complimentary use of snorkel gear, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and pedal boats, there’s plenty to do. A small selection of snacks is served daily at 4pm by the family pool, where a DJ plays most nights. Live music is played on Sundays.
Read the full review: Oblu Select in Sangeli
Heritance Aarah, Raa Atoll
Dotted with gorgeous wooden bungalows with thatched roofs, Heritance Aarah sticks to the tried-and-true “Robinson Crusoe” formula, and it works. It’s elegant without being overly fussy and blends seamlessly with every tropical island fantasy, with dreamy restaurants, open-air bars and an outstanding spa that has its own ‘hangover clinic’. There are 150 rooms — from overwater ocean villas to beach and family villas — scattered around the island and divided into a number of categories. Some have private pools and beach access, and most offer 24-hour private butler service. Six fine-dining restaurants, five of which are included in your package, offer a wide variety of dining experiences.
Read the full review: Heritance Aarah
Dhigali Maldives, Raa Atoll
With a minimalistic and modern vibe, Dhigali has done away with the traditional Maldivian thatched-roof architectural style and instead introduced contemporary box-like villas with flat white roofs and streamlined interiors. All rooms, whether on the beach, lagoon or sea, are a few steps from the Indian Ocean and have comfortable sun loungers. Facilities are varied and plentiful, with three beachfront infinity pools and a range of water sports and fitness facilities. There are five restaurants and two bars in Dhigali ranging from the relaxed buffet-style Capers to the romantic Asian offering of Battuta. The most special place in the resort is the bird’s nest-like, thatched-roofed Haali Bar. Dhigali will become an all-inclusive resort from November.
Read the full review: Dhigali Maldives
Meeru Island Resort & Spa, North Male Atoll
This laid-back four-star is one of the largest all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives and less bling more barefoot for those who want the castaway vibe. Its generous all-inclusive package sets the resort apart, allowing families and adults alike to enjoy powder-white beaches, Tiffany-blue waters, a plethora of activities, and a lively after-dark scene on a budget. Guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner at Farivalhu (Family-friendly) or Maalan (Adult-only) along with soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages 24/7 and light snacks at Dhoni Bar , Hot Rock Bar and Uthuru Bar (over 18s). Of the 286 rooms, the Garden Rooms are the most basic (and affordable).
Read the full review: Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Contributions by Deborah Cicurel, Lee Cobaj, Lauren Ho, Jenny Johnson, Charlotte Johnstone, Belinda Maude, Adrian Neville, Natalie Paris, Chloe Sachdev, and Tina Walsh
The above rates are indicative prices per person per night; please note that all-inclusive packages may vary by hotel. Check hotel websites for more information on what’s included.