Is the Maldives in your travel plans soon? Before you load up on the sunscreen, bikinis and snorkel gear, you better decide on a resort first.
There are over a hundred resorts currently in the Maldives and this portfolio is growing as tourism booms in the tropic nation.
Every resort is pretty much its own island so unless you resort-hop on your visit to the Maldives, your entire travel experience will pretty much be confined to the resort. And that’s why every resort in the Maldives has its own theme and personality to provide a unique experience to its guests.
Having been to the Maldives twice and visiting a fair number of resorts, I have one main conclusion that I’ve always stressed over and over :
Every resort in the Maldives has its own personality and your resort choice in the Maldives can make or break your experience.
So here are the different types of travel personalities that I thought of and their corresponding Maldives resort/s. As these are mere personal observations, they should be taken with a grain of salt 🙂
1.) The barefoot luxury traveller
When you say you want to get away from it all, you really do mean you want to get away from your everyday work / urban life. You enjoy being pampered but without any fancy frills. Your perfect day in the Maldives consists of waking up as early or as late as you can, reading your book wherever and whenever in the resort, head to the water when you feel like it, then have a lazy lunch. No tight schedules please.
You enjoy luxury but find in-your-face opulence rather gaudy.
Your biggest nightmare: Dress codes. You didn’t go on a holiday to be reminded of work!
Your Maldives resort match is:
Distance from Male : 25 minute Seaplane ride
Maafushivaru Maldives is the emobodiment of the ‘no-shoes-no-news’ getaway concept. The reception, and most of the resort’s main public areas are all sand-floored. Going barefoot is encouraged in Maafushivaru.
It’s extremely easy to relax and be laid-back in Maafushivaru. The resort island is just over 350 metres in length and can be explored by foot in just a little over 10 minutes.
Their overwater bungalows have a clean , almost minimalistic design that has natural light flooding it 24/7 with its floor to ceiling window panels.
Read the entire review of my stay at Maafushivaru Maldives
Here’s a video tour of their overwater bungalow when I stayed there:
All-inclusive packages at the Maafushivaru Maldives begin at USD 692.00 a night, but there are always deals available.
Check out available deals at Maafushivaru online.
2.) The Ultra Private Traveller
Your dream getaway means having an island all to yourself. Overwater bungalows are nice yes, but real luxury lies in having your very own private island.
You don’t mind not seeing any other resort guests at all during your entire vacation. You don’t even want to hear any news back home.
Your biggest nightmare: you don’t know which is worse – having to share the beach with other guests, or seeing someone you know at the resort (or them recognising you).
You may be a celebrity. Both in real life, and in your head.
Your Maldives resort match:
Lonubo Private Island
Lonubo private island is Maafushivaru’s best kept secret. This is a small island near Maafushivaru (the resort above). Guests can book this private island through Maafushivaru’s site and inquiring about Lonubo.
Only one guest / couple can book the island per night (there is only one villa in the island). And when the staff drops you off the island, the next time you will see them is for breakfast, when they bring your food by speedboat. They are quick to set up the table for a private beach dining and will promptly leave.
Read my full review of Lonubo Private island, where my biggest dilemma was having to fend myself from the island’s resident birds 😉
This is your real-life blinged up version of Tom Hanks’ Cast Away.
3.) The Urban Traveller
You cringe whenever you hear people say, “No shoes, no news!” Yup, you are the antithesis of ‘the barefoot luxury traveller’.
You do want to get away from it all…as long as you have your laptop, tablet, kindle, modem, mobile phone, powerbank, and the charger for the powerbank.
You like having your city comforts with you wherever you go.
You are always the first to know what the Wi-Fi password is.
Your biggest nightmare: establishment signs that say, “No Wi-Fi in this establishment. Pretend it’s 1995. Talk to each other!”
Your Maldives Resort Match:
Distance from Male: 40-minute Seaplane ride
One can say that NIYAMA Maldives has the best of both worlds – Endless pristine stretches of Indian Ocean blue as your playground, and also an urbanesque playground in your room.
Villas come equipped with a popcorn maker (which has a kernel refill everyday) and it comes with good reason: The rooms have a complete surround-sound theatre system, with hundreds of free movies for you to enjoy in the widescreen hi-def TV.
Among a handful of restaurants, the resort even has a Deli, a modern cafe-style grab-and-go kind of bar that serves your familiar sandwiches, wraps, coffee and desserts.
I daresay it is possible to stay indoors in NIYAMA and enjoy yourself even without heading to the ocean (but..why would you??)
Read my full review of NIYAMA Maldives. Back then, they had an underwater club, Subsix, which is now an underwater restaurant.
Here’s also a tour of the Water Studio with Pool that I stayed at:
Rates at NIYAMA Maldives begin at AUD 774.00 per night for a Beach Villa but there are always deals online available.
Check current deals at NIYAMA Maldives online.
4.) The Multi-Generational / Family Traveller
Who says the Maldives is just for couples? You and your family like to indulge. And when you holiday, its very likely that you stay a minimum of two weeks. Yes, you work hard but also play and relax hard. You have family and relatives that live overseas and from time to time, reunion by way of travelling together sounds like a great idea.
Your children are mini-globetrotters and always sport beach braids and sun-kissed faces after school breaks.
When planning for a holiday, you and your family like going back to old haunts and having a place to call a ‘second home’.
Your biggest nightmare: That your kids ever reach that stage when they refuse to join your holidays.
Your Maldives resort match:
Distance from Male: less than 10 minutes by speedboat
Kurumba Maldives is the Maldives’ first ever resort and has been instrumental in putting the Maldives as the popular tourist destination that it is now.
Kurumba is popular for repeat visitors because it is simply convenient. Convenient to get to, and also offers all conveniences within the resort. With EIGHT restaurants, everybody in your travelling group will be pleased. Also, that makes it perfect for longer stays as you will not tire of the food.
While Kurumba does not offer the famed overwater bungalows in its room portfolio, what it does have are huge multi-room villas perfect for families or friends travelling together.
Read my full review of Kurumba Maldives where I had the pleasure of having the most impressive welcome treat from a resort.
Here’s a room tour of the Deluxe Bungalow Room I stayed at:
Rates at Kurumba Maldives begin at USD 591.00 per night on a full-board plan. There are always deals available online, you can check out current Kurumba Maldives deals.
5.) The Spa-Obsessed Traveller
You’re not too fussed about the smaller details of your accommodation as long as it has a magnificent spa experience.
You never travel without your complete paraphernalia of skincare line. (Morning and Night regimen of course)
When you travel with your partner / spouse, you’re happy to stay indoors and receive a spa treatment while they do the “adventurous stuff”.
Your biggest nightmare : The resort shop’s sunscreen range only go as far as SPF 30.
Your Maldives resort match is:
The Residence Maldives
Distance from Male: 55-minute domestic flight
The Residence Maldives is home to Clarins’ one and only exclusive spa in the Maldives. It is almost impossible to make a spa booking during your stay as reservations go as far as several months in advance. So be sure to book real early , or ask the spa to put you on their waitlist or keep you updated with cancellations.
Personally, I found that the highlight of The Residence are the sunsets (especially if you are staying in their west-facing overwater bungalows). Their Food and Beverage staff also gave one of the best and most personable services I experienced in the Maldives.
Read my full review of The Residence Maldives.
Here’s a video tour of the One-Bedroom Water Villa I stayed at:
Rates at The Residence Maldives begin at AUD 735.00 per night on an early bird basis but there are several deals available online.
Check out current online deals at The Residence.
6.) The Subtle Luxury Traveller
You enjoy all the comforts of luxury in your travels and have quite a discerning taste, but outlandish displays of wealth is just not your style.
Experience is also very important for you when travelling – no matter how simple they are, the small details (people you meet, small touches in customer service) all add up and create an unforgettable moment for you.
Though you enjoy solitude and quiet in your travels, you don’t mind a little socialising in small doses.
People are often surprised that you travel in luxury because you hardly look the part. And this amuses you. As long as your own standards and comforts are met in your travels, you’re quite happy.
Your biggest nightmare: Loud crowds and unnecessary attention.
Your Maldives resort match is:
Distance from Male: 20-minute speedboat ride
Catering to both families and couples, Jumeirah Vittaveli has a subtle luxury and personalised approach when it comes to hospitality.
They have one of the biggest overwater bungalows (in size) I’ve seen, yet nothing is too garish. They take note of small guest details and preferences, and you will be surprised how they remember it.
And though they cater to families and have quite an extensive kids club/ program, the resort remains quiet most of the time.
The resort also offers a lot of activities that sound simple enough, but leave a lasting impression ( traditional Maldivian fishing, cooking classes, etc)
Read my full review of Jumeirah Vittaveli, where we learned that experiences shared create unforgettable moments.
Here’s a resort tour / video of my time at Jumeirah Vittaveli:
Rates at Jumeirah Vittaveli begin at around USD 1,010 per night but there are several deals online.
Check current deals available for Jumeirah Vittaveli.
7.) The Sophisticated Traveller
Contrary to what a lot of people think, you’re not really high-maintenance – you’re just well-travelled and you certainly know what you want in a resort.
And while you have a modern taste, you still appreciate a little formality every now and then. You look forward to ‘formal nights’ in your holiday and take great pleasure in planning your outfits.
You like exclusivity in your travels and believe that spending on a great holiday is investment.
Biggest nightmare: Holidaying in a resort / place where all your Facebook friends have gone to. You just dislike being pedestrian.
Your Maldives resort match:
Distance from Male: 30-minute speedboat ride
Just like the sophisticated traveller, Huvafen Fushi does not want to be like any of the other resorts. Though only 30 minutes by speedboat away from Male, Huvafen Fushi has its own time zone and guests who arrive have to adjust their times accordingly.
Though in the beginning this may seem inane and troublesome, all that feeling is washed away when you feel how Huvafen Fushi really does take you to a whole different world.
The interior design of their overwater bungalow is probably one of the best I’ve seen, and service is top-notch formal. The resort spa is underwater, and their infinity pool is very uniquely created.
It is sexy, chic, and luxurious in every sense of the word.
Huvafen Fushi also has quite an impressive house reef for snorkelling, so the jaw-dropping moments don’t just happen on land.
Read my full review of Huvafen Fushi, where I felt like I’d been in a waking dream all along.
Here’s a video tour of the Lagoon Bungalow I stayed at:
Rates at Huvafen Fushi begin at roughly AUD 2,000 ++ a night, but there are several deals available.
Check available deals for Huvafen Fushi online.
8.) The “It’s-all-about-the-food” traveller
You’re not necessarily a foodie, but you know what’s good food the moment you take a bite.
Food takes up a huge part of your travelling experience. You believe that life is too short for mediocre food so you conduct great research / food reviews of the resort or destination you’re going to.
Your friends and family consult you for restaurant / food recommendations and you take great pride in playing that role.
You travel far and wide for good food, and love sharing meals with friends and family.
Your worst nightmare: When the waiter tells you that the Deconstructed Meatballs with Foraged Mushrooms is sadly not available. Yes, the very same dish that your favourite food blogger raved about!
Your Maldives resort match:
Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa
distance from Male: 1.30 hours domestic flight plus a short speedboat ride
From their private ocean retreats, to tropical treehouses — all villas at the Shangri-la Maldives are designed and crafted with precision quality and regal Balinese / Asian themes.
The resort also has an amazing CHI spa and a 9-hole golf course. There’s a plethora of activities and amenities at the Shangri-la Maldives yet one thing stood out during my time there: the food.
From experience, it’s hard to go wrong with food in any Shangri-la resort or hotel. But imagine being located in an island 1 and a half hours by plane from Male, the Maldivian capital. The transport and logistics of their F &B team is astounding.
They also have their own garden where they grow herbs used in their restaurants.
The Shangri-la Maldives has four restaurant and bars and all of them were astounding.
Read the full review of Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa.
Of course, the food aspect alone had to have a separate post – Read the full feature of all four restaurants at the Shangri-la Maldives
Here’s a video tour of the Deluxe Pool Villa I stayed at:
Rates at the Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives begin at approx. AUD 737.00 per night
There are several deals available. Check current online deals for Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa.
9.) The Boutique Traveller
You dislike big chains and anything overly popular. You value individuality among all things – be it your fashion sense, taste in music, or places you go to.
You enjoy a good long brunch and a quick dip at the pool or beach. You like dressing up every now and then but you do enjoy the ‘boho chic’ vibe.
You are laid back with your idea of luxury, and seek deeper travel experiences.
You’ve long wanted to visit the Maldives, but by virtue of being an individual, decide against it as every one of your friends, and friends’ friends rave about their latest, ‘most amazing ever’ holiday in the Maldives.
Then you go to the Maldives. And everything changes.
Your Maldives resort match:
distance from Male: 25 minutes by speedboat
Velassaru Maldives self-description of a “luxury undressed” resort perfectly sums up what the resort vibe is in two words.
The resort manages to be chic, fashionable, and laid-back at the same time.
Their spa has overwater treatment facilities , with the most amazing infinity recovery jacuzzi (above).
They also have quite a friendly and professional dive team, so it’s also a great place to take your scuba certification (or refresher course).
The food at Velassaru is also one of the best I’ve had in the Maldives, especially their Maldivian curry seafood!
Read my full review of Velassaru Maldives, where I learned that one can still have a pretty amazing time regardless of the weather.
Here’s a video tour of the resort, overwater villa, and activities I’ve done during my stay:
Rates at Velassaru Maldives begin at roughly AUD 554.00 a night, but there are always several offers available.
Check the latest deals available online for Velassaru Maldives.
10.) You may be both, or one of the following:
The kid at heart / adventurer
The kid at heart / adventurer – you like luxury but at the same time jump at any chance to make the resort your playground. The first thing you check in a resort are the list of activities to do.
While you enjoy the indulgence of resorts, part of your enjoyment and relaxation lies in trying out new things and getting your adrenalin pumped every now and then.
The health nut – The very first thing you check with a resort are its health classes and availability to cater to special meal requirements. You don’t believe in “cheat days”, more so “cheat weeks” (for the duration of your holiday) and can be found in the resort gym, or attending fitness classes.
Whether it is juicing, SIRTfoods, or counting your macros – you are in tune with the latest health diet research and have tried most of them.
Your Maldives resort match:
Anantara Veli Maldives
Anantara Maldives is an adults-only resort but one that will bring out your inner kid at heart. Apart from the usual diving and snorkelling excursions, their Aquafanatics water sports centre runs free-diving courses, as well as the motorised underwater rocket that propels you almost as fast as a dolphin- both over and underwater.
They also have a surf school in the resort, which runs the perfect introduction to surfing courses in the pristine lagoon of Anantara Veli.
With a swing and a hammock in the middle of the sea, the resort also becomes a very photogenic Instagram-worthy playground.
Anantara Maldives also has its own resident Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Avinash, who gives a very informative and thorough consultation. This consultation is also followed up by Dr. Avinash coordinating with the resort’s breakfast restaurant, as they will complimentary provide you with the juices and elixirs that Dr. Avinash recommends for your health.
Read my full review of Anantara Veli, where I am convinced that our villa butler has supernatural powers.
Here’s a video tour of the resort and the Overwater Villa I stayed at in Anantara Veli:
Rates at Anantara Veli Maldives begin at roughly AUD 1,041.00 per night, but there are always deals available.
Check out current Anantara Veli Maldives deals online.
There you have it, my personal observations of the different types of Maldives travellers and their corresponding resort matches.
I do have to say that I have a little bit of every personality listed above.
What about you? Which resort suits your travel style?
This post contains some affiliate links. As can be seen, I only ever post affiliate links to resorts and products that I myself have tried, and recommend.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I was wondering which one I would be and I guess I cross a lot of them! Which isn’t a bad thing because that means more choice 😀
Seana Smith says
Aaahh… this is such a great post. A real insider’s view as I know you’ve been to them all and you’re in a great position to explain what suits what type of holidaymaker best.
If I was planning a trip to the Maldives, Id’ satrt here… actually I must be positive and say… when I am planning a holiday to the Maldives.
Alex | Wanderlust Marriage says
What an extensive and amazing list! You really know Maldives resorts!
I’ve never been but I’m certainly inspired to go someday when I just want to relax and get away from everything. Tough choices with all these incredible resorts!
Wow! What a lovely place, must have been an awesome experience.