The Maldives in the Indian Ocean is truly every cliché in the book: a tropical oasis, paradise on Earth, a place to add to the bucket list. While many places in the world have turquoise waters and white sand, none live up to the beauty that the Maldives offers. The nation with 1,200 islands in a double chain of 26 atolls has a combined landmass of just over 100 square miles and is the lowest country in the world. When you fly to the Maldives in a private jet, beachwear is OK on resort islands, but keep in mind that the Maldives is a devoutly Muslim nation, so it’s best to respect local customs and dress conservatively when visiting islands where residents live.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island | Alif Dhaal Atoll
An indulgent escape, you’ll find the Conrad Maldives on two private islands. Setting the benchmark for luxury and sophistication, accommodations include beach and water villas. The Sunset Water Villa, a suite on stilts in a lagoon, is a guest favorite.
Four Season Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru | Baa Atoll
The only way to access the Four Seasons is on a charter seaplane or private boat. The accommodation caters to couples and families alike, and has hales (thatched-roof villas) on the beach, nestled in lush foliage and on stilts suspended over the water. All rooms have generous outdoor living spaces and private plunge pools.
Constance Moofushi Maldives | Alif Dhaal Atoll
An all-inclusive, secluded island resort, the Constance is a chic, casual accommodating that offers attentive staff waiting to fulfill your every wish. The best rooms are the Water Villas that stretch over the crystalline water. The resort also offers patient guidance to beginning snorkelers who wish to see the surrounding underwater world.
Sea. Fire. Salt. Sky. | Kihava Huravalhi Island | Baa Atoll
Part of the Anatara Kihavah Villa resort, Sea. Fire. Salt. Sky. offers a multi-tiered dining experience. Sea is the underwater gourmet restaurant. Fire is a communal restaurant in a theatrical Teppanyaki lounge. Dine on Asian cuisine beachside at Salt, or enjoy tapas at Sky.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant | Conrad Maldives Rengali Island | Alif Dhaal Atoll
One of the most beautiful restaurants in the world, Ithaa at the Conrad resort offers a magical dining experience 16 feet below the sea. The first all-glass underwater restaurant on the planet has panoramic 180-degree views, a daily four-course lunch menu and a six-course set dinner menu.
Al Barakat | Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru | Baa Atoll
Serving Lebanese and North African cuisine exclusively to Four Seasons guests on the resort’s rooftop, Al Barakat is named after the scholar who introduced Islam to the region in the 12th century. The restaurant overlooks the Indian Ocean, and the sunset is perfect way to begin the evening.
The Maldives doesn’t offer much in regards tourist activities, as the natural surroundings are the main attraction. The best way to explore the islands is by booking tours with your respective resort, as tourists are only allowed on certain islands for short visits to reduce their impact on local cultures and traditions. The most popular island activities include snorkeling, SCUBA diving, boat excursions, manta ray research during monsoon season, and curling your toes in the sand.