Top 10 things to do in the Maldives
Ever thought about spending a night on your own private island or dining at an award-winning undersea restaurant? Some of these experiences are so special you won’t find them anywhere else in the world. We’ve spent almost 50 years travelling around the Maldives to find the best islands, resorts and experiences to share with you. Here are 10 of our favourites.
Have a private island sleepover – Maafushivaru Maldives
This newly revamped resort has some of the best date night experiences you’ll find in the Maldives. Its uninhabited sister island Lonubo is the place to go for romantic picnics and candlelit dining. For something extra special, book yourselves a night in the Lonubo Beach Villa which has its own outdoor hot tub. There’s only one villa here, so you’ll have the island all to yourselves.
Stay in an over-water villa – Diamonds Athuruga
The private and exclusive feel of water villas in the Maldives make them a favourite of Kuoni guests. Most islands offer this luxury accommodation but Diamonds Athuruga’s unique water villas in the South Ari Atoll have real ‘wow’ factor. Unmissable to the eye for their bright white exterior, they ooze class with an open wooden deck on stilts over the water, iMacs, hand-made parquet floors, contemporary Italian lighting and, best of all, water villa guests have access to their own restaurant.
Dine under the ocean – Conrad Maldives Rangali
The award-winning Ithaa on Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is the world’s first restaurant of its kind. This extraordinary dining experience can be found 16 feet below sea level. Surrounded by views of marine life through glass walls, you can tuck into a six-course set dinner menu with reef lobster the show stopper. It’s a good idea to make a reservation about two weeks in advance as tables book up fast here.
See how the Maldives used to be – Biyadhoo
Many Kuoni customers return to the island of Biyadhoo every year for its rustic vibe, relaxed atmosphere and excellent PADI dive school. There are a range of top dive sites nearby and a house reef where snorkellers can get up close to reef sharks, rays and turtles. This laid-back island has savoured its Maldivian charm by keeping things simple and focussing on the stunning natural setting.
Watch the sunset with cocktails in the trees – Dhigali Maldives
An Instagrammers paradise, the two storey Haali bar on Dhigali is shaped like a giant bird's nest and sits at the western tip of the island overlooking the sandbank. Head there around 6pm and enjoy a delicious cocktail on the top level viewing spot, or relax on a comfy beanbag out on the beach - the perfect place to capture the breathtaking views of the sky as it changes colour.
Discover à la carte all inclusive - Kuramathi Maldives
Kuramathi is our most popular resort in the Maldives. On this large island you’ll have a choice of nine à la carte restaurants, three buffet restaurants and seven bars. From Thai, Indian, fresh seafood, Mediterranean and teppanyaki dining to a menu of over 100 cocktails, it would be a shame not to sample as much as possible. Thankfully the island has a flexible all-inclusive dine-around option, so you can try out a new restaurant every night of your stay.
Stay on a floating spa resort - ScubaSpa
Five per cent of the world’s reef area can be found in the Maldives and with it comes a great diversity of marine life; a reason many choose to holiday here. The Floating Resort by Scubaspa - a 50-metre purpose-built ‘safari yacht’ with PADI 5 Star Dive Resort Status - visits lots of local dive sites but does it in style and comfort with spa therapists, a yoga master and four chefs. Whether you’re into diving or are a couple with different hobbies, this floating island has appeal and can offer inclusive spa treatments, dives, or a combination of the two.
Dine at an over-water Maldivian restaurant - Milaidhoo
One of the real standout features on Milaidhoo Island Maldives is Ba’theli, set on a calm lagoon featuring gourmet dishes inspired by island cuisine from the Maldivian spice route. The restaurant’s name and theme are inspired by the stories from the ancient world when the Maldives was an important point on the spice trade route between Arabia and South-East Asia. In exchange for silks and fragrant spices like cardamom and turmeric, the merchants traded goods like coconuts, sun-dried fish and boat sails with the locals. All of these goods were transported through the area in cargo boats, known then as ba’theli.
Dive or snorkel along the Maldives' best house reef – Kandolhu
Many islands in the Maldives claim to have the best house reef. The tiny island of Kandolhu however is entitled to make this claim. A hotspot for honeymooners, it’s most famous for its house reef where there is a high chance of seeing turtles, baby sharks and eagle rays which can be spotted while on the beach or just off the island’s jetty pier. The experience becomes even more extraordinary when snorkelling – equipment is free to use and it’s the only resort in the Maldives where all rooms come with a GoPro, so you can film the marine life around you.
Let your children become little VIPs – Niyama Private Islands
Resorts in the Maldives have evolved to embrace families. Niyama Private Islands is the perfect example of how resorts are creating unique concepts with flexible room types to appeal to different types of guests. Young VIPs at Niyama are invited on underwater treks, to learn to surf or scout for dolphins, and to go gourmet with Master Chef cooking classes.