Take a look at the best luxury hotels in North Male Atoll.
Gili Lankanfushi is widely considered to be the top resort in the Maldives, and for good reason. This stunning, 46-villa, eco-friendly resort just 20 minutes from the airport succeeds in delivering truly unpretentious, relaxed luxury. Bare feet are encouraged (shoes are removed as soon as guests get on the boat from the airport), and each guest is taken care of by a personal butler with the title Mr. Friday. The spacious, charmingly simple overwater bungalows are made of several types of wood, and have outdoor (and rooftop!) decks with views that might induce tears of joy. On land, the beautiful island with 683 palm trees offers a range of activities and dining options. This special gem in the Maldives has more authenticity than other brand-name resorts of the same price point — just ask tennis pro Novak Djokovic, practically a regular here.
Renovated in 2015, the all-inclusive Adaaran Prestige offers some of the most affordable water villas near Male. This sub-resort shares a private island with Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, which means guests can take advantage of the larger resort’s amenities -- these include a pool, fitness center, spa, tennis court, and five bars. Those who don’t mind flying in a seaplane should also consider the similar (but less expensive) water villas at Kuredu Island Resort.
This upscale, 180-room resort is the oldest in the Maldives; it opened circa 1972 on a former coconut plantation surrounded by white-sand beaches. An easy jaunt from the airport -- just 10 minutes by boat -- Kurumba is not the most peaceful locale, nor does it have the most attractive views due to a protective man-made barrier. Despite these two shortfalls, the resort has a lot to offer, including eight restaurants, three bars, two swimming pools, and a modern spa. It appeals to families, thanks to the kids' club with babysitting services, and to couples, thanks to offerings such as wine tastings and sunset jazz. Nine renovated room types have basic contemporary decor, outdoor patios, and spacious open-air bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers. The team works hard to keep things fresh -- case in point, the sleek Thila restaurant, which opened in 2014, ranks among the Maldives' best. Several meal packages are on offer to keep dining costs in check.
This luxury boutique resort from Thailand's Banyan Tree is slightly bigger and more expensive than sister property Angsana next door. Each of the 48 spa-like villas offers direct water access from the front (beach privacy varies), and in the rear, the pièce de résistance: a walled-in plunge pool and jetted tub area. Large bathrooms that have indoor and outdoor showers, which helps compensate for the slightly cramped bedrooms dressed in neutral decor. The walkable island has plenty of white sand and free non-motorized water sports; scuba divers have access to a shipwreck nearby. Spa lovers will adore the large Thai treatment rooms and professional staff, all of whom are trained heavily at Banyan Tree Spa Academy. In the evenings, couples -- and yes, a few families -- stroll down the long jetty to spot reef sharks after dining on contemporary cuisine. The resort provides 24-hour boat transfers from the airport, a 25-minute speedboat ride away, as well as free Wi-Fi.
Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is an upscale, 148-room property that's an easy 30-minute speedboat ride from Male. Rooms are spacious and mostly contemporary, but are dim, showing wear, and often littered with dead ants. Interconnecting rooms, a kids' club, and kiddy pool area make the resort suited for families, while a world-famous surf spot makes it an enticing challenge for surfers. Wear and tear aside, the resort's value is in the wide array of activities and features on offer, from a spa and pool, to bars, entertainment, and water sports. The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is more luxurious and also close to the airport, and often not much pricier, so it's worth comparing rates.
Open since 2005, this modern, romantic luxury resort is sure to impress couples with its picture-perfect island setting. There are 100 individual villas (44 on sand; 66 over water), and each comes with a private plunge pool and outdoor shower, not to mention designer in-room tubs and Nespresso machines. The diverse mix of guests spend time at the six restaurants, two open-air lounges for drinks, spa and fitness center (with water views!), uncrowded infinity pool, and partaking in activities like scuba diving or snorkeling in the lagoon. Despite all these amenities, guests -- especially at night -- tend to sink into the seclusion of their private hideaway, perhaps with a bottle from the Wine Loft. The resort is about an hour-long speedboat ride from the airport; those who prefer to be closer might consider the Taj Exotica, just a 15-minute ride away.
Just a 20-minute boat ride from the airport, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is a five-pearl luxury property with a village-like vibe. The small island is home to 176 rooms, an oceanside spa, contemporary fitness center with tennis court, dive center, free non-motorized water sports, a kids' club and pool, lagoon-style pool, and several bars and restaurants. With its close proximity to Male, this is an ideal upscale resort (with all-inclusive options) for anyone who wants to mix in a visit or two to the capital city or just stretch the hours of their vacation as far as possible.