Memories for life. Sandbank dinner (Baros) for just us. Pure holiday magic.
Having been fortunate enough to visit more than 40 Maldivian resorts I am still reluctant to talk about what is the "best" one, I DO have favourites of course, but my taste might not concur at all with yours. What is best for me does not mean it is best for you. I want to start by saying that I have never been disappointed by a visit to the Maldives. Never. Pleasantly surprised? Many times. Stunned? Constantly. Touched and grateful? Every time!
'Leave only footprints, take only memories'
The islands can be very different from each other. My advice is; DO your homework!!! Most people do not have the possibility to visit the Maldives more than once or maybe twice. If it's a honeymoon or special anniversary, you should be prepared. Read Tripadvisor, look at the websites, compare, use Google people! If it is mile long beach walks you are after, make sure there IS a long beach. All islands have stunning beaches, true, but the size of the island, the proximity of the house reef and the season may change things. If you want to dive and/or snorkel, make sure there is a really good house reef close to the island.
Lighthouse lounge. The Lighthouse is a dream come true for beach bum foodies!! Baros.
Foodie? There are som truly great restaurants to be found, but not all resorts has food as the main priority, even if they all serve great meals. Children or not? A few resorts are from 18 years, some from 8 ears, some cater for children in an amazing way. I read every review about the Maldives resorts on Tripadvisor. Every one. Around 80 % gives 5/5. That's just crazy numbers and says a lot about the Maldives. Extremely few and far between are the 1/5 and 2/5 and I would say almost everyone of those are due to bad research OR the reviewer giving low scores because of things outside the control of the reosrt such as the airline, weather and so on.... Some resorts have an average of 5/5. Incredible.
TUI film from Baros. Spectacular views!
Usually it takes time for a resort to develop that 'extra something' - ambience - that makes you go OOOHHH! Many years of hard work, great service, happy staff and - consequently - repeater guests, is the key. If you are going for the first time, it could be wise to choose a resort that has been around for a while. On the other hand there are some amazing examples of sparkling new resorts, like the Atmosphere Kanifushi, that have managed to jump right into success. Opened in December 2013 there are already repeaters writing reviews on Tripadvisor.
Atmosphere Kanifushi is a successful 'newbie' in Lhaviyani atoll
Budget. Yes, wether we like it or not the $$$ does matter. Spending more does not assure you of a better holiday, this is where research comes into the picture. I cannot stress the importance of research enough. My own favourites are in different price zones indeed, but I adore them all . Then why don't I always pick the one with the lowest price, you ask? Well, a touch of world class luxury is absolutely wonderful from time to time!!! And BOY can the make you fell like relaxed royalty in the Maldives. :-) ..and this represents the best luxury possible, in my humble opinion. Not a gold tap to be seen, just solid, low key class through and through. Same with the service. Service that makes you comfortable, not the opposite, like visiting really friendly, dow to earth people that just happen to be dirty rich and live in the most beautiful place ever..
One of my top moments in life. Another divine sunrise on Komandoo.
A great way to get both is to spend most of the time on a resort within your budget and then say 2-3 nights splash out a bit. There are many luxury resorts with just a boat transfer to the airport (gives you much longer on the beach on your last day) for example. Wherever you go you will love it. What's not to like? :-) IF you would like some advice, do not hesitate to contact me. I love helping people find their paradise!