The Most Romantic Hotels in the Maldives

For a romantic escape, look no further than Joali Maldives
For a romantic escape, look no further than Joali Maldives | Courtesy of JOALI Maldives / Expedia
Photo of Siobhan Grogan
30 December 2020

There’s a good reason why the Maldives is honeymoon heaven. Lovestruck couples flock here to enjoy the clear waters of the Indian Ocean, coral reefs, tropical jungles and white beaches. Fancy a champagne breakfast for two on the sand, or a couples spa treatment? It’s all here and more — with fine dining and nights under the stars. Here’s our guide.

Kanuhura Maldives

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Kanuhura Maldives
Courtesy of Kanuhura Maldives / Expedia

If you love prefer to stay active rather than lounge on a sunbed, Kanuhura, in Lhaviyani Atoll, offers kickboxing, boot camp, beach zumba and Maldivian warrior training. You can even have a go at flying above the waves with a JetLev. For diving devotees, there are 42 sites within an hour of the property. Recover on the beach as your butler dishes out sorbets and cold towels, then book a candlelit dig-in dinner, where the table and chairs are carved from the sand.

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Raffles Maldives Meradhoo

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Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort
Courtesy of Raffles Maldives Meradhoo / Expedia

Get away from it all at this elegant resort in Gaafu Alifu Atoll, one of the world’s largest and deepest atolls just north of the Equator. It’s too far from the capital, Malé, to get here by seaplane, you’ll have to take an hour’s domestic flight to Kaadedhdhoo and then a speedboat to reach this chic hideaway where you’ll be welcomed with a chilled glass of champagne. Laid-back luxury is the focus here, with free daily yoga, a sublime overwater spa, glass kayaks and villas with huge private pools, butlers and deep-soaking bathtubs big enough for two.

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One and Only Reethi Rah

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One&Only Reethi Rah
Courtesy of One and Only Reethi Rah / Expedia

Privacy is paramount at this One and Only resort, ensuring you have quality time with your beloved. Lounge on one of 12 perfect beaches during the day before snuggling up on a Persian rug in a private waterfront cabana at Fanditha to watch the sunset over shared meze. Continue to swoon over moonlit picnics, couples spa treatments and a seven-course extravaganza in a treetop restaurant with panoramic ocean views.

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LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort and Villas

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LUX South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas
Courtesy of LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort and Villas / Expedia

Concentrate on each other and not the bill at the LUX*, where you can opt for a generous all-inclusive package to feel thoroughly indulged. Everything from beach yoga to kayaking and snorkel trips is included, as well as a lavish minibar, a selection of 50 cocktails, bottomless ice cream during afternoon tea, and multiple restaurants and bars. Favourites include the East Bar, where two-person loungers float on catamaran nets above the water, and Mixe, where you can dine at a live cooking station with your toes in the sand.

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Baros Maldives

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Baros Maldives
Courtesy of Baros Maldives / Expedia

This Maldivian-owned property, a 25-minute speedboat ride from Malé, knows a thing or two about romance – the World Travel Awards has named it the world’s most romantic resort seven times. It’s so romantic, it could turn even the coldest heart to mush, with couples spa treatments, beach picnics, petal-filled champagne baths and magical underwater photoshoots. Make it even more memorable by booking a beach vow-renewal ceremony, complete with a Maldivian dance procession and memorial palm-tree planting.

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Velaa Private Island

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Velaa Private Island
Courtesy of Velaa Private Island / Expedia

Treat that special someone to a stay on Velaa Private Island, a hideaway in the Noonu Atoll, hugged by rainbow coral and owned by a billionaire. Accessible only by boat, the Romantic Residence is hard to beat, with a personal gym, butler, dining gazebo on a floating jetty, sunken outdoor bath and sundeck leading straight into the lagoon. Treat yourself to dinner at Teppanyaki, which has the largest wine and champagne collection in the Maldives.

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  • Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

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    Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
    Courtesy of Gili Lankanfushi Maldives / Expedia

    No one at this award-winning resort minds if you never leave your room. Seven of the 45 thatched overwater villas are only reachable by private boat, so you’re guaranteed utter seclusion. Instead, laze on a two-person hammock over the sun-dappled Indian Ocean, gaze at the brilliant blue water from your infinity tub, and head up to the roof terrace to sleep or dine under the stars. If you’re really smitten, there’s an on-site wedding pavilion to make it official, too.

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    JOALI Maldives

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    JOALI Maldives
    Courtesy of JOALI Maldives / Expedia

    Villas are made for lingering at JOALI, an art-centric resort on Raa Atoll. Swapping the stripped-back minimalism of many Maldivian retreats for a sumptuous, tactile look, it has opulent soft furnishings, wood carvings, vintage Italian espresso machines, silken kimono and private infinity pools for starlit swims. If you do venture out, you’ll be wowed by an Espa wellness centre, art gallery, whiskey and cigar lounge, artisan chocolate shop and top-notch restaurants, including a fine-dining Italian eatery with a dedicated bellini bar.

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    Milaidhoo Island Maldives

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    Milaidhoo Island Maldives
    Courtesy of Milaidhoo Island Maldives / Expedia

    In the Baa Atoll, this small but charming Maldivian-owned resort goes the extra mile to make memories. Holidaying couples can choose from several experiences for undisturbed romance, including a moonlit champagne cruise, a night sleeping under the stars on a private sandbank island or a floating breakfast in the villa’s private pool. Honeymooners will even have a star named after them and can track its coordinates long after they have returned home.

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    Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

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    Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
    Courtesy of Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi / Expedia

    With its star-spangled night skies, fragrant jungle and glossy 600ha (1,483-acre) lagoon, the Fairmont on Shaviyani Atoll feels remote even by Maldives standards. There are 120 stylish villas, including beach and overwater, but to sample something a little different, choose one of the glamorous tented villas, with Instagram-perfect outdoor bathrooms, hidden among the trees.

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    These recommendations were updated on December 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.