The Best Maldives Resort for Snorkeling: Velassaru Maldives – A Hotel Review

The Velassaru Maldives Resort is located relatively close to Male compared to many other resorts, but it feels worlds away with some of the clearest water in the Maldives and stunning white sand beaches. Those crystal-clear waters make this the best Maldives resort for snorkeling.

Velassaru Maldives Resort

We spent 3 nights at Velassaru Maldives and are convinced that you’ll find it the best Maldives resort for snorkeling. Our stay allowed us to put together this Velassaru Maldives review to help you decide if this is the right resort for you trip to the Maldives.

Disclaimer:  We were provided our stay at the Velassaru Maldives complimentary. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this Velassaru Maldives review and what to do are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

Velassaru Maldives Location

The Velassaru Maldives Resort is located on a private island in the South Male Atoll. The Velassaru Maldives is approximately 8 miles (12 km) southwest of Male. Everyone arriving in the Maldives will initially fly into Male International Airport and from there, you will then take a 25-minute speedboat ride to the Velassaru Maldives Resort.

Velassaru Maldives Resort Beach

If you’re visiting the Maldives for the first time, the whole arrival process can be quite intimidating. It’s a bit of complex organized chaos which always seems to work. It can be a stressful experience, especially if your incoming flight is delayed, but in reality, it will all work out and there’s nothing to worry about. Check out our Maldives for First-Timers Guide for all of the in’s and out’s of how traveling to the Maldives and the private islands works.

As the only way to reach the Velassaru Maldives Resort is by speedboat, that is how you will be getting there! The cost is $131 USD plus taxes per person for roundtrip speedboat transfer, which is significantly more affordable than the typical mandatory seaplane transfer charges to other resorts, and it will be included as part of your final hotel bill when you check-out. Alternatively, you can opt for a private speedboat transfer at a cost of $350 USD plus taxes.

Velassaru Maldives Arrival

When you clear Maldivian Customs & Immigration, grab your bags and head outside the airport. You will be met with hundreds of representatives from different hotels, all waving their resort’s sign in the air. Look for the Velassaru representative, or if you’re not able to find them you can ask a representative from a different hotel to help you find them. They will help you with your bags and escort you across the hall of the airport to the dock.

The boat dock at the airport is located immediately outside the exit, so you don’t have far to walk. You’ll be greeted aboard one of the Velassaru Maldives yachts, provided with bottled water to refresh, and soon enough you’ll be on your way! The boat ride from the airport takes about 25-minutes and along the way you will pass by downtown Male, which is the capital city of the Maldives. It’s great to have these up-close views of this fascinating city with towers and buildings taking up all of the small island.

Maldives Resort Speedboat Transfer

As you leave the Male area you will pass by a few other resorts before arriving at Velassaru. As the speedboat pulls up to the dock, be prepared for a warm and friendly welcome to the Maldives from the staff at the Velassaru. You’ll be greeted and welcomed, and then will make the short walk to the reception area.

As we arrived during COVID-19 times, safety precautions were taken. A PCR test is required to arrive on the island, whether you arrive directly from your international flight (where your initial PCR test to get on the flight and enter the Maldives is all that is required) or if you arrive from another resort (where you will need to take a PCR test at that resort before arriving at the Velassaru Maldives). Additionally, the Velassaru Maldives can organize PCR tests for your departure while on island. At the time of our stay the cost was a very reasonable $60 USD, plus taxes, per person.

As we arrived in the large outdoor check-in area, our temperatures were taken, and we were provided with hand sanitizer. All staff are wearing masks throughout the resort but guests are not required to wear masks, including in the buffet areas.

Check-in was completed quickly, and the layout of the resort, dining options, and other amenities were all explained to us. We were then escorted to our room, with our luggage following shortly thereafter.

Velassaru Maldives Rooms

The Velassaru has a large number of room types, ready to please every type of traveler. No matter which room type you are staying in on the island you can expect daily housekeeping. Bottled water and in-room coffee and tea are included complimentary in the room and is replenished each day.

Beach Villas

The entry level rooms are the Deluxe Bungalows, which are located on the interior of the island surrounded by lush greenery. They are just a short walk out to the beach and the rest of the resort amenities. Additionally, there are a large number of other villas, with or without pools, that are located along the beach surrounding the island.

Velassaru Maldives Resort Beach Villa View

All rooms, no matter the location, include all the amenities you’d expect of a Maldives resort such as a minibar and wine fridge, ironing board, large flat-screen TV, nice L’Occitane bath products, bathrobes, a beach bag and beach towels, as well as cool Velassaru branded flip-flops! We thought these flip-flops were brilliant, as every step you take in the sand imprints ‘VELASSARU’ on the ground. Beach Villa categories and higher also features a Nespresso coffee machine.

Overwater Villas

Heading out to the overwater villas along the overwater pathway is a fantastic experience. As you pass by the pathway to the spa, this is a great location for beautiful photos using the two curving walkways to symmetrically frame your photo. As you get closer to your room you’re bound to see fish swimming in the fantastically clear water below, and even perhaps a manta ray or reef shark, both of which we saw during our stay. During our stay at the Velassaru Maldives resort, we stayed in a Water Villa.

Velassaru Maldives Heart Walkway

The Water Villas have a large bedroom with huge vaulted ceilings, and floor to ceiling windows across the back of the room so that you have uninterrupted views of the incredible turquoise waters. There is also a large sitting area inside, desk and working area near the minibar, and makeup table. The bathroom features double sinks, a large rain shower, and a beautiful soaker tub in the middle of the bathroom.

Velassaru Maldives Resort Bath Tub

Due to the way the villas are situated and designed; you have full privacy despite all of the windows looking out towards the water. Of course, if people are in the water nearby your villa they can see you, but the overall feeling is very private without spoiling the views.

Velassaru Maldives Resort Bedroom

Outside on the large private deck there is a comfortable round sun bed, as well as two lounge chairs with umbrella. Of course, there is also direct access to the water. Great swimming and snorkeling are just outside your room and down the stairs. When you head out into the water and are looking back at all of the villas it can be hard to tell which one is yours, but once you get closer you realize that each one has the room number printed on the water side as well, a nice touch! These touches are one of the reasons that this is the best Maldives resort for snorkeling.

Velassaru Maldives Resort Overwater

There are additional overwater villas available that include your own private pool, as well as the ultimate indulgence: The Water Suite which you can’t help but notice towering above the water all by itself at the very end of the overwater villa pathway.

Velassaru Maldives Amenities

When you go to any resort in the Maldives it’s important to consider all of the amenities available on the island because you don’t have the option of heading somewhere else if you’re bored. Luckily, the Velassaru Maldives has lots of options to keep you busy, for those times that you don’t feel like relaxing in your villa or at the beach. If you love being in the water, Velassaru is the best Maldives resort for snorkeling.

Complimentary Amenities

The Velassaru Maldives Resort has a number of amenities available on the island to keep you busy throughout your stay. The main pool area is located just in front of the restaurants and can be accessed any time of day. There’s tons of lounges and chairs around the infinity pool and in the nearby areas to relax in. In fact, there are lounge chairs and umbrellas located all around the outside of the island so you can find the perfect spot for you to sit down and relax. The Velassaru has perfect white sand beaches surrounding the full island, with crystal clear turquoise water everywhere you look.

The Velassaru offers all guests complimentary onsite photography sessions while on island, so that you can have some photos to remember your stay here. All you need to do is schedule a time with the onsite photographer, wear your fancy clothes (optional) and smile away, which shouldn’t be too difficult because you’re in the Maldives!

If you have specific areas of the resort or types of photos you already want, they can accommodate that, or the photographer can provide all sorts of photo location and pose ideas. Once you’re done you can select one of the photos to be printed free of charge. You can also purchase different packages depending on how many of the photos you would like to take home!

Velassaru Maldives Beach

The Velassaru Maldives Resort also has a fitness center which is available from 6:00 AM until 10:30 PM and located in the center of the island. We also saw many people out jogging on the beach in the morning. It’s not hard to get up and go for a jog when the weather is warm and you have views as epic as the Velassaru. Amongst the tropical plants on the island there is also a tennis court available for use.

Note that for families staying at the Velassaru Maldives Resort, there is not a kids club available on the island.

One of the great things that the Velassaru Maldives Resort includes is complimentary snorkel equipment, helping make it the best Maldives resort for snorkeling. You can pick up the snorkel gear at the Dive Center, which is located on the platform where you arrived by speedboat. The staff will help you find the right size gear, and then you can keep it for the duration of your stay. There are also lifejackets included in the rooms, specifically for snorkeling. This is perfect, especially if you’re staying in an overwater villa, as you’re never more than a few steps away from some epic snorkeling.

Velassaru Maldives Resort Water Terrace

The Velassaru Maldives also offers a few unique activities to all guests, all you need to do is sign-up in advance as space is limited. Check with the resort just prior to your stay to see the schedule and reserve your favorites. The options that are available twice a week are a complimentary morning cruise around the island or a guided snorkeling tour around the house reef. Three times per week there is sunset yoga available, which is located near the boardwalk to the overwater villas, and is the perfect place for a relaxing yoga session and to take in the sunset! We had such an amazing yoga experience here during out stay and can highly recommend it.

Wi-fi is included in all room rates, and the high-speed connection is easily accessed anywhere on the island. We had no problems connecting either in our room, while dining, or even while relaxing on the beach.

Additional Available Amenities

As mentioned above, there’s both a dive center and water sports center on the island. You can arrange a multitude of different dives and dive certifications. The water sports center also rents jet skis, windsurfing boards, or you can arrange a boat trip for sightseeing, snorkeling, water-skiing, and more. The resort also offers sunset cruises aboard a beautiful a typical old Maldivian style boat. Aboard the boat is a fantastic location to take in the sunset, and the cruise also includes a drink and some canapes.

Velassaru Maldives Resort
Velassaru Maldives Resort

If you’re looking to really up the relaxation factor on your Maldives vacation, the Velassaru Spa has all of the typical spa treatments available. What makes this spa unique is its beautiful location over the water on an area separate from the overwater villas. The outdoor relaxation area with infinity pool is a wonderful place to relax before or after your spa treatment.

Velassaru Maldives Resort Spa
Velassaru Maldives Resort Spa Pool

Velassaru Maldives Dining

No matter where you are staying in the Maldives, you can’t just leave the resort to head out for dinner. That’s why the dining options at Maldives resorts are so important as you don’t have the flexibility of a typical vacation. Luckily, the Velassaru Maldives includes five different restaurants and two bars so that you have some great dining variety during your stay. Given the nature of dining in the Maldives, the Velassaru Maldives Resort offers a few different meal plan packages to best suite your needs.

Meal Plan Options

It pays to do some research on the dining options available at your selected Maldives resort beforehand, and incorporate that information into your decision of where to stay in the Maldives. At the Velassaru Maldives Resort nearly every room rate will already include breakfast.

The next step up is a half-board meal plan. This adds on the ability to dine at Vela Restaurant for their dinner buffet each night. The upgrade cost is $49 USD daily per person.

Above half-board is the full-board option. This option costs an additional $74 USD daily per person and includes lunch a la carte at Turquoise (where you can choose an appetizer, main dish, and dessert), and the dinner buffet at Vela.

One thing to keep in mind with the half-board and full-board options is that no drinks are included in these packages (including water).

Velassaru Maldives Resort Sunset

Lastly, you can also opt for an upgrade to the Velassaru Indulgence package, which gives you the best culinary options on the island and costs an additional $245 USD daily per person. With this package you can choose to have lunch at either the Infinity Pool, Turquoise Restaurant, Fen Bar, or Chill Bar. For dinner you have the option of Sand Restaurant, Teppanyaki, Turquoise, and Vela each night. The Velassaru Indulgence package also includes all non-alcoholic drinks and select beer, wine, and other liquor. Not related to dining, the Velassaru Indulgence package entitles you to a daily two-hour usage of an ocean kayak.

Given the high cost of food in general in the Maldives, we think that the choosing one of the dining packages is the best option as opposed to ordering all food a la carte. The meal options let you have a delicious and filling meal after a day spent at the best Maldives resort for snorkeling, but of course do what works best for you on your vacation!

Vela Restaurant

The Vela Restaurant is the primary dining place on the island, and is located in the main central hub of the island along with the other restaurants and the main pool. The restaurant is all open-air and features buffet style dining for breakfast and dinner.

For breakfast, the Vela Restaurant spread is extensive. There is a large selection of freshly baked breads, along with pastries, and a nearby assortment of meats and cheese as well as a salad bar. In the middle of the buffet area there are multiple hot dishes to choose from featuring Indian, English, and International cuisines. There is also a fruit station, dessert station, custom omelet station and pancake and crepe station. Tea and coffee are included, and you can also have barista made drinks brought to your table. We found the food selection extensive, and food quality in line with what you might expect for resort buffets.

For dinner, Vela also offers a huge buffet. The pre-crafted salads were impressive, as was the delicious homemade bread selection. We loved all of the Mediterranean items. Similar to breakfast, there is a large selection of hot dishes available, as well as rotating stations which make food to order. One day the made to order station was a pasta bar where you selected your type of pasta, type of sauce, and other ingredients, the other day it was a grill station where you could choose different grilled meats and vegetables.

Throughout the day, Vela is open for a la carte dining for lunch or a light snack.

Turquoise Restaurant

The Turquoise Restaurant is located next to Vela, and immediately in front of the infinity pool. Turquoise is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a la carte dining, featuring a mix of Continental and Asian influences. We dined at Turquoise for lunch a couple of times and really enjoyed a number of items. Highlights for appetizers were the Coconut crusted prawns which were huge, and delicious, and the Maldivian Smoked Chicken Salad which was light and refreshing.

Velassaru Maldives Salad
Velassaru Maldives Resort Coconut Shrimp
Velassaru Maldives Resort Burger

For main dishes, we can recommend the pizzas any day of the week, and the burger was better than expected as well.

Sand Restaurant

The Sand Restaurant lives up to its name with each of the tables separately located under various huts right on the beach, with excellent views at the water’s edge. The Sand Restaurant is one of the premium restaurants open for dinner only, and specializes in Pan-Indian Ocean dishes. We sampled a few dishes for appetizers and mains and really enjoyed the starters and as well as the Maldivian Chicken and Prawn Curry.

Other Dining Options

Of course, you can also order room-service anytime of the day or night and enjoy a great meal on your terrace, or even have breakfast in bed. Note that in-room dining is not included in any of the meal plans.

In addition to Sand, the other premium dining options for dinner include the Teppanyaki experience, which has an amazing location out over the water, and Etesian for gourmet Latin-American inspired cuisine. We did not dine at these restaurants during our stay, but they always seemed to be busy each night.

Velassaru Maldives Resort Infinity Pool

Between the restaurant area and the check-in area is where you’ll find the cool looking Fen Bar. You can choose to sit on the decks outside the bar, or in the hammocks and lounge chairs amongst the sand and palm trees. Fen Bar is a great spot to spend an evening, especially because there is live music playing here in the evenings. Fen Bar also provides the drink and snack service to the lounges around the infinity pool.

On the other side of the island you will find the Chill Bar, know for it’s cocktails, and sunset views.

Velassaru Maldives Review Conclusion

When planning your vacation to the Maldives it is incredibly important that you choose the right resort for you. Unlike other vacations there is no sightseeing or visiting a city, your resort choice is your vacation destination. The Velassaru Maldives is a great choice for your trip, with the amazing beaches and stunning water being what really set the Velassaru Maldives apart. The stunning location makes the Velassaru the best Maldives resort for snorkeling. Overall, the Velassaru Maldives is a great resort with a wide selection of dining options, a quick and affordable transfer, and plenty of room type options to match your needs.

Check availability for your dates at the Velassaru Maldives!

Velassaru Maldives Kayak

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Velassaru Maldives Resort
Velassaru Maldives Resort

Best Maldives Tips for your First Time: A Maldives Travel Guide

Maldives is a bucket-list destination for many people; however it is also an incredibly unique destination to travel to for your first time. There are so many considerations when traveling to the Maldives for the first time, which is why we put together this Maldives Travel Guide.

Maldives Travel Guide Seaplane

Whether you are planning a dream honeymoon or destination wedding, or looking for a tropical getaway, this Maldives Travel Guide has all the tips and answers you need for your first trip to the Maldives.

Disclaimer: Please note that our travel on Trans Maldivian Airways was provided complimentary. Some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on our Maldives travel guide are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Maldives Travel Guide

Everyone has questions about traveling to the Maldives, especially if it is for the first time. From seaplanes to resorts to room types, we cover the most popular questions surrounding travel to the Maldives for your first time in this Maldives Travel Guide.

Maldives Arrival and Seaplane Transfers

One of the most unique aspects of the Maldives is that all of the resorts are located on private islands, and you need to transfer to those islands either by speedboat or seaplane. It’s not always clear how these transfers work, but we’ve got all of the information that you need in this Maldives travel guide so you don’t need to worry. In fact, traveling by seaplane to reach your resort is one of the great unique experiences of the Maldives.

Maldives Travel Guide Seaplane View

International Arrival to Trans Maldivian Airways Transfer

First of all, there’s generally no need to make a separate reservation with Trans Maldivian Airways. That is something we were not aware of when we traveled to the Maldives for the first time. You will provide your incoming flight information to your resort, and they will schedule the seaplane transfer with Trans Maldivian Airways. The cost of the seaplane transfer will also be included in your hotel bill.

When you arrive at Male International Airport, you’ll pass through immigration, collect your bags, and then head outside the airport. As soon as you exit the airport you will see hundreds of people holding signs for each of the individual resorts in the Maldives. Look for someone holding a sign for your resort, and if you don’t immediately find them, no need to worry. You can ask around as everybody seems to know everybody and you’ll soon find the representative for your hotel.

They will take you to a small booth, confirm your reservation and how many bags you have, and then they will escort you over to the Trans Maldivian Airways counter for check-in to your seaplane transfer. Your bags will be weighed and checked in to Trans Maldivian Airways, and then you will transfer to the seaplane terminal. Some resorts have their own private vans or cars for transfer, and some use the Trans Maldivian Airways bus service to get you to the seaplane terminal.

Maldives Travel Guide Seaplane

If your arriving flight into Male International Airport is delayed, there’s really no need to worry about missing your seaplane flight to your resort. Trans Maldivian Airways has a constantly moving flight schedule which adjusts to the arriving passengers. It’s extremely common to have your seaplane flight time adjusted for additional passengers, or to make an additional stop along the way to your resort. One thing that you can be sure is that Trans Maldivian Airways and your resort representative will make sure that you get to your resort!

Arrival Experience with Trans Maldivian Airways

When you arrive at the seaplane terminal, you will either be taken to your resort’s specific arrivals lounge (if they have one), or you will be taken to the Trans Maldivian Airways VIP lounge if you are a VIP guest, or you will be taken to the common lounge at Terminal C. We visited the Trans Maldivian VIP lounge which had everything we need to relax during our short stay, including complimentary coffee, tea, and water as well as a few snacks.

As there are generally multiple seaplane flights per day to all resorts, you won’t have to wait too long in the arrivals lounge until your seaplane transfer is ready, however you may be waiting on a few additional guests of your resort to arrive from different international flights.

Maldives Travel Guide Seaplane Terminal

When your flight is ready to depart, you will be taken down to the check-in area for the flight where your boarding pass will be scanned, you will be provided with a flight safety kit (complete with a face mask, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes) and then you will be taken out onto the docks to your seaplane. Your checked bags will be loaded onto the back of the plane, and you can then climb aboard and get ready for some amazing views!

Flying with Trans Maldivian Airways: The Best Views in the World

If you haven’t flown on a seaplane before, you’re in for a real treat! Flying Trans Maldivian is a fantastic way to experience the Maldives and to gain a real appreciation for the uniqueness of this amazing destination.

Maldives Travel Guide Seaplane Views

Trans Maldivian Airways flies all de Havilland Canada Twin Otters, which seat 15 passengers, two pilots, and another Trans Maldivian Airways crewmember responsible for docking the seaplane and the baggage. The planes are small, but perfectly comfortable for the short flights. Take-off and landing is surprisingly smooth, and along the way you will have stunning views of the many atolls and other resorts in the Maldives.

Departure Experience with Trans Maldivian Airways

The Trans Maldivian Airways flight schedules are created for the following day, each afternoon. The day before you check out, your resort will notify you of your Trans Maldivian Airways flight time. Note that it’s not uncommon for the flight schedules to fluctuate throughout the day.

Maldives Travel Guide Seaplane Transfer

The seaplane will arrive at your resort, and you’ll quickly be back onboard and heading toward Male. Once you arrive by seaplane in Male, the transfer process back to the international airport is quick and easy. You’ll be greeted by your resort representatives again and driven back to the airport. Your bags will arrive a few minutes later, and with that you’re free to check-in to your international flight.

How to Pick the Right Maldives Resort for Your First Maldives Trip

Deciding which resort is best for you isn’t an easy endeavour. The websites of every resort feature incredible blue waters, overwater villas, and delicious looking food. How do you choose which one is right for you?

We’ve got the answers for you below in our Maldives travel guide to help you choose the best resort for your first trip to the Maldives.

Seaplane or Speedboat Transfer

Most resorts in the Maldives offer either a seaplane or speedboat transfer. The resorts that are closer to Male International Airport will have speedboat transfers only, and those further out require seaplane transfer. Generally speaking, you won’t have a choice of which option is needed to get to your resort, however there are a few resorts that do offer the option.

Maldives Resort Speedboat Transfer

Room Types in the Maldives

The Maldives are hands-down most well known for their overwater villas. Nearly every resort features some form of overwater villas, and it is an incredible experience to sleep out over the water, listening to the waves, and to have the option to jump right in the water and swim or snorkel anytime you like. Plus, many overwater villas have distinctive features such as overwater nets, glass floors, and more. For your first time to the Maldives you may want to go for the iconic experience of an overwater villa, as there are few places in the world that are comparable.

Le Meridien Maldives Overwater Net

If you don’t feel like splurging for an overwater villa, many of the beachfront rooms are just as luxurious, sometimes larger in size, and of course offer direct access to the beach. They also have the benefit of being closer to the restaurants and other amenities.

No matter which type of room you choose for your stay in the Maldives, you really can’t go wrong. You still get to experience all of the bright blue turquoise water and views that the Maldives is famous for.

Dining in the Maldives

It pays to do some research on the dining options available at your selected Maldives resort beforehand, and incorporate that information into your decision of where to stay in the Maldives. When staying on a private island you don’t have the option to pop out and visit a different restaurant! Naturally, getting food and drinks to all of the private islands is not cheap, so except fairly high prices no matter where you go. Many of the resorts offer meal packages such as breakfast-only, half-board (typically breakfast and dinner), full-board (all meals, though generally not at the exclusive restaurants), and all-inclusive.

Le Meridien Maldives Butter Chicken
Velassaru Maldives Resort
Velassaru Maldives Resort Burger

Many of these meal packages offer a far better value than paying a la carte for every meal. Don’t forget that as you’re stuck on the island you also can’t easily get more water, snacks, or anything else without paying the Maldives resort prices. Some Maldives first-timers make the mistake of forgetting to pack all of these essentials, and end up over-paying for sunscreen, make-up, or other items.

Resort Amenities in the Maldives

Given that during your trip to the Maldives you will be on your resort the whole time, choosing a resort with enough activities and amenities important. There is no neighborhood to explore, nearby theme park, or crazy hiking trails you can visit, so you better pay attention to the rest of this Maldives travel guide to pick the best resort for your trip!

Velassaru Maldives Kayak

That being said, nearly early every resort will offer snorkeling and other water activities. Some have a selection of non-motorized water activities included complimentary, and others will charge you extra so keep that in mind. Depending on the location of you resort, there may also be great diving or fishing opportunities nearby. If this is something that interests you, it pays to do a little bit more research ahead of time to ensure that your Maldives trip lives up to your expectations.

In terms of land-based activities, what each resort offers can also differ greatly. Some have fantastic fitness facilities, including tennis courts, and others may not have as many options. If traveling as a family, the kids centers on certain islands can be hugely beneficial. Lastly, consider the options of cooking classes, learning activities, types of spa treatments, and more – basically, if there is something you are passionate about make sure to check that your selected resort has that instead of assuming so before arriving!

Maldives Resorts for First Time Visitors

For our first time in the Maldives we made the unique decision to stay at three different resorts, and wanted to include them all here in our Maldives Travel Guide. What we learned is that each resort has unique features that sets them apart from the others. Read more about each of these fantastic resorts to find the best resort for your first trip to the Maldives!

Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Le Meridien Maldives

The Le Meridien Maldives is a fantastic choice for those looking to experience a seaplane transfer, amazing overwater villas, great food, and fantastic service. This is a great Maldives first time resort for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Read our full review of the Le Meridien Maldives Resort!

Check availability for the Le Meridien Maldives Resort for your trip!

Velassaru Maldives

Velassaru Maldives Heart Walkway

The Velassaru Maldives Resort is located relatively close to Male compared to many other resorts, but it feels worlds away with some of the clearest water in the Maldives and stunning white sand beaches. Those crystal-clear waters make this the best Maldives resort for snorkeling. Read our full review of the Velassaru Maldives!

Check availability for the Velassaru Maldives for your trip!

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort & Spa

Conrad Maldives Resort Infinity Pool

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is one of the premiere resorts in the Maldives with stand-out jaw-dropping features such as Ithaa Underwater Restaurant and the uber-luxurious Muraka Residence. However, it is also down to earth with friendly and welcoming staff, a fantastic kids club for families, and relaxation at every turn. Read our full review of the Conrad Maldives!

Check availability for the Conrad Maldives for your trip!

Maldives Frequently Asked Questions

Traveling to the Maldives can be a bit of a mystery before you arrive, however we have answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in our Maldives travel guide when visiting the Maldives for the first time.

Is Maldives Safe to Visit?

Yes, Maldives is an incredibly safe country to visit for tourists. Nearly everyone visiting the Maldives stays on a specific island resort, which means that you are on a private island with only other guests and staff. There are very low rates of crime in Maldives, however petty crimes can occur in the capital city, Male. As a tourist though, the chance of experiencing any sort of crime in the Maldives is exceedingly low and less likely than nearly any other destination.

How Expensive is Maldives?

Visiting the Maldives is not cheap. There’s really no way around it with expensive flights to the remote islands, seaplane or speedboat transfers, staying at a resort, and paying resort prices for food, drinks, and other incidentals. Of course, the cost of running a resort and feeding guests in the middle of the ocean is not cheap, so there is good reason as to why the costs are significant. That being said, there are definitely ways to make your trip more affordable. Your best bet to save money is visiting during shoulder or off-peak season to take advantage of room rate specials.

What Are the Hidden Costs of the Maldives?

There are quite a few hidden costs when visiting the Maldives, that are especially hard to know about when visiting the Maldives for the first time. In addition to higher-than-average flight prices and room rates, you also have to consider the cost of a seaplane or speedboat transfer to your resort, which can be an additional amount of up to $500 USD per person. Next, you have much higher-than-average food and beverage costs. If you really like to eat and drink, most resorts offer packages of half-board or full-board, which can definitely be worth while if you fully utilize the package. Finally, incremental costs for sunscreen, water activities, spa treatments, etc. will all be more than you are used to. Part of that is due to the high cost of getting products to each of the individual island resorts.

When is the Best Time to Visit the Maldives?

The tropical islands of the Maldives are warm and sunny year-round, but do have distinctive dry and wet seasons. November to April is generally considered the dry season, and also happens to be the most popular time to visit. May to October is the wetter season, with the shoulder months being April/May and September/October.
In our Maldives Travel Guide we recommend the shoulder season months for potentially significant savings. Weather moves through quickly in the Maldives and you can easily have fantastic weather in the offseason and lots of rain during the dry season. One thing you can generally rely on is that if you had bad weather, it should pass through fairly quickly.

Are Unmarried Couples Allowed to Visit the Maldives?

Yes, and it is no problem sharing a room. While Islam is the state religion of Maldives, and there is a legal requirement of adherence for residents, there are no such requirements for tourists. The Maldives is incredibly popular with married and unmarried couples around the world as a romantic destination or for a honeymoon.

How Long Should I Stay in the Maldives?

Most people choose to stay in the Maldives for 7- 10 days. A week is a great time to fully explore the resort you are staying at, participate in all the activities which are offered, as well as relax and do your favorite water sport activities. If you are wanting to stay longer, consider staying at 2 different resorts so you can get a different experience for the second half of your trip.

Is 2 Weeks Too Long in the Maldives?

When planning your trip to the Maldives for the first time, it is important to know what you want your trip to be like. If you are looking for a long, relaxing vacation with lots of beach time, and lots of water sports, 2 weeks is a great amount of time. However, if you are an avid hiker, love exploring local culture, doing city trips and love to wander the streets of a busy town, 2 weeks might be too long for you as the destination is really designed to relax. If you end up staying for 2 weeks, consider planning to stay at different resorts so you can get a different experience. You can also plan to spend a few days on the main island in Male.

Maldives Travel Guide

Hopefully you found this Maldives Travel Guide perfect for planning your first trip to the Maldives! If there is anything that we missed or that you have questions about, let us know in the comments! Pin this blog post for all of essential details for your first time in the Maldives!

Maldives Tips for your First Trip: A Maldives Travel Guide
Maldives Tips for your First Trip: A Maldives Travel Guide

Ultimate Underwater Experience at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island – A Hotel Review

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is one of the premiere resorts in the Maldives. With stand-out jaw-dropping features such as Ithaa Underwater Restaurant and the uber-luxurious Muraka Residence. That’s not all the Conrad Maldives offers though, with beautiful blue waters, white-sand beaches, and excellent dining and drink options, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island makes a case for the perfect Maldives resort. Look no further if you want to spend the ultimate honeymoon, romantic trip, or family vacation on a dreamy tropical island with excellent food, friendly service, and stunning turquoise waters.

Conrad Maldives Resort Sunset

We spent 3 nights at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, enjoying the turquoise waters and eating as much food as we could in order to compile this Conrad Maldives review to help you decide if the Conrad Maldives is the right resort for your next trip to the Maldives. Note that during our stay in October 2021, the villas on the adult-only Rangali Island were undergoing renovations so our review focuses on everything located on Rangalifinolhu, the main island.

Disclaimer:  We booked and paid for our stay at the Conrad Maldives ourselves, however were provided with an upgrade and meal package courtesy of the resort. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this Conrad Maldives review and what to do are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

Conrad Maldives Location

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is located on a private island in the South Ari Atoll. The South Ari Atoll is approximately 68 miles (110 km) south of Male. Everyone arriving in the Maldives will initially fly into Male International Airport. From here, you will then take a 30-minute flight on a seaplane to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

If you’re visiting the Maldives for the first time, the whole arrival process can be quite intimidating. It’s a bit of complex organized chaos which always seems to work. It can be a stressful experience, especially if your incoming flight is delayed, but in reality, it will all work out and there’s nothing to worry about. Check out our Maldives for First-Timers Guide for all of the in’s and out’s of how traveling to the Maldives and the private islands works.

Conrad Maldives Resort Infinity Pool

The Conrad Maldives actually offers multiple ways to arrive, however the most common method by far is arriving by seaplane. There is a mandatory charge for this part of the Maldives experience, similar to nearly all other Maldives resorts. The cost is $590 USD (incl. tax) per person for roundtrip airfare, and it will be included as part of your final hotel bill when you check-out.

Alternatively, if you arriving after dark there is the option of first taking a domestic flight from Male to the nearby Maamigili Villa Airport, where the Conrad Maldives will then pick you up for a short speedboat ride. If you averse to flying in smaller planes and don’t mind splurging, you also have the unique option of a three-hour luxury yacht charter.

The Conrad Maldives is also unique in that it is actually three connected islands. The main island, Rangalifinolhu is where you will find most of the villas, restaurants, and all other amenities. On the opposite end of the bridge that includes the seaplane dock is Rangali Island. This island is adult-only and features more beach and water villas, and adult-only infinity pool, and further dining options. Lastly, there is a separate island that houses the staff quarters, which is connected to Rangalifinolhu. The Muraka Residence is located halfway between these two islands.

Conrad Maldives Arrival

When you clear Maldivian Customs & Immigration, grab your bags and head outside the airport. You will be met with hundreds of representatives from different hotels, all waving their resort’s sign in the air. Look for the friendly Conrad representative, or if you’re not able to find them you can ask a representative from a different hotel to help you find them. The Hilton property representatives from the other Hilton resorts in the Maldives would be your best bet. The Conrad representative will take you through all the steps to get on your TransMaldivian Airways flight.

After checking your luggage and obtaining your boarding pass, you will be driven in the private Conrad Maldives van to the Conrad Lounge at the seaplane terminal. You can wait here for your seaplane flight, and they have a comfortable sitting area with drinks and refreshments provided.

Once aboard your TransMaldivian Airways flight to the Conrad Maldives, there’s nothing to do except sit back and enjoy some of the best seaplane views in the world. You’ll fly over countless atolls with their turquoise waters, as well as other resorts with beautiful overwater villas. Flying on TransMaldivian Airways is an experience that never gets old. We go through the full experience of flying with TransMaldivian Airways in our Maldives Travel Guide.

The Conrad Maldives Resort has a seaplane platform that is uniquely located in the middle of the bridge between the two main islands at the Conrad Maldives. As you descend toward the island, you’ll get some more amazing views of the beautiful waters here that surround the islands of the Conrad Maldives.

As the seaplane pulls up to the dock, be prepared for a warm and friendly welcome to the Maldives from the staff at the Conrad. You’ll be greeted by a waving welcoming committee, and then will be escorted into the waiting area on the dock. Your luggage will be taken away and you will be provided with a delicious fresh coconut welcome beverage.

Conrad Maldives Resort Bridge

As we arrived during COVID-19 times, safety precautions were taken. A PCR test is required to arrive on the island, whether you arrive directly from your international flight (where your initial PCR test to get on the flight and enter the Maldives is all that is required) or if you arrive from another resort (where you will need to take a PCR test at that resort before arriving at the Conrad Maldives). Additionally, the Conrad Maldives can organize PCR tests for your departure while on island. At the time of our stay the cost was $150 USD, plus taxes, per person. Additionally, all staff are wearing masks throughout the resort, however masks are not required to be worn by guests.

Check-in was completed quickly, and the layout of the resort, dining options, and other amenities were all explained to us. We were then taken by golf cart along with our luggage to our villa!

Conrad Maldives Rooms

The Conrad Maldives has a wide variety of resort types available, depending on your budget and preferences. No matter which room type you are staying in on the island you can expect daily housekeeping as well as a daily turn-down service. Bottled water is included complimentary and is replenished each day.

Beach Villas

The beach villas of Rangalifinolhu Island offer a beautiful private sanctuary for your vacation. They line the outside of the majority of the island, and impressively manage to offer incredible privacy, but also be bright and full of sunshine. During our stay at the Conrad Maldives, we stayed in a Deluxe Beach Villa with Pool.

Conrad Maldives Resort Work Area

The villas feature an outer wall for privacy, and you enter the villas outdoor courtyard area, before going through a second set of doors into the villa. We were immediately impressed by the high ceilings and huge windows which let in tons of natural light. The room is incredibly spacious with the main entrance area featuring a desk for working and Nespresso coffee machine, to help keep jetlag at bay, whenever it hits.

Conrad Maldives Resort Room
Conrad Maldives Resort Bed

Stepping into the main area of the room, the hugely comfortable King-size bed is surrounded by a large sitting area, and has a make-up table and mini-bar area on one side, and a large closet on the other. The bathroom is also large and bright, featuring a rainfall shower, Japanese style toilet, and an outdoor shower in the courtyard. This area of the courtyard also has a beautiful covered daybed for relaxation outside.

Conrad Maldives Resort Outdoor Shower

On the beach side there is another small terrace with lounges and your very own private pool. From what we saw, there are a number of different pool sizes and shapes for the beach villas throughout the island. You then have a short private pathway that takes you to the beach, where you’ll find your numbered beach chairs with an umbrella awaiting you.

Conrad Maldives Resort Beach Villa Pool

As mentioned above, the room includes a Nespresso coffee maker with a decent selection of coffee pods. You’ll also find complimentary bottled water, and fully stocked amenities in the bathroom.

There are other beach villas available which offer more features or more bedrooms, if needed. Furthermore, a great feature of the Conrad Maldives is that they also have smaller day-use rooms if you arrive very early in the day before your room is ready, or if your seaplane flight leaves in the evening and you need to check-out of your room. The day-use rooms are basically a slightly smaller Beach Villa, and still include a full bathroom, bed, relaxation area, and terrace overlooking the beach. These day use rooms are provided if available.

Water Villas

The Conrad Maldives has a few different types of water villas available, depending on what you prefer. There is a mix between Water Villas that face sunrise and sunset. Some offer 1 or 2 bedrooms, and they all offer either a private pool or private jacuzzi at your water villa. They are all beautifully designed to maximize the views you have out over the water, and of course feature direct access to the ocean from your deck.

Conrad Maldives Resort Water Villa
Conrad Maldives Resort Water Villa Bedroom

The location of the water villas on Rangalifinolhu Island is at the northern end, near the Mandhoo Spa and Restaurant. There are additional water villas located on Rangali Island that were undergoing renovations during our visit to the Conrad Maldives.

Conrad Maldives Resort Water Villa

The Muraka Residence – The Ultimate in Maldives Luxury

Conrad Maldives Resort The Muraka

The Muraka is possibly the most impressive villa in the whole of the Maldives. In a class of its own, The Muraka starts at $10,000 USD per night, however once you see what it includes, it definitely deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list. The Muraka experience begins before you even get to the residence. The Muraka features a private seaplane dock, because of course you would arrive on your own seaplane. However, if not, you will be escorted by private boat directly to The Muraka. Here you can experience a 24-hour personal chef depending on the rate. Regardless of the package, the Muraka guests experience a 24-hour butler team and one of the most exclusive residences in the world.

Conrad Maldives Resort Muraka Pool

The Muraka’s above-water level features two bedrooms, an extremely impressive master bathroom, expansive living and dining room, and large outdoor terrace, with pool, facing the sunrise. Additionally, there is a private gym, smaller sunset deck, and impressive bar display, all spread over 5,923 sq feet (550 sq meters).

Conrad Maldives Resort Muraka Bar
Conrad Maldives Resort Muraka Living Room
Conrad Maldives Resort Muraka Bedroom

Taking the steps down the spiral staircase transports you to another undersea world. Below the ocean, The Muraka features a king bedroom with bathroom and 180-degree views of the undersea world. The bedroom area has an expansive curved roof that allows you to lay in bed and watch the undersea world go by, along with a separate sitting area. The bathroom features floor-to-ceiling glass windows complete with coral views, tropical fish, and the occasional reef shark.

Conrad Maldives Resort The Muraka Underwater Bedroom

The Muraka Residence at the Conrad Rangali Island is truly impressive. As The Muraka Residence sleeps 6 adults and 3 kids it is perfect for the discerning family traveler, or for a group of friends looking to experience the ultimate Maldives getaway.

Conrad Maldives Amenities

When you go to any resort in the Maldives it’s important to consider all of the amenities available on the island because you don’t have the option of heading somewhere else if you’re bored. Luckily, the Conrad Maldives has lots of options to keep you busy, for those times that you don’t feel like relaxing.

Complimentary Amenities

The Conrad Maldives Resort has a number of amenities available on the island to keep you busy throughout your stay. The main pool area is located at the southern tip of Rangalifinolhu and has a large pool surrounded by lounge chairs. The second pool is located on the adult-only Rangali Island and is unique in that it is over the water.

Conrad Maldives Resort Main Pool

The Conrad Maldives Resort also has a gym which is available 24/7 and located upstairs from the boutiques, near the check-in area on the main island. No need to worry about missing out on the epic island views while in the gym as its second-floor location affords beautiful views out over the island and of the stunning turquoise waters.

For families staying at the Conrad Maldives Resort, there is a Majaa Explorers Hub which has daily complimentary activities for kids staying on the island.

One of the great things that the Conrad Maldives Resort includes is complimentary snorkel equipment. You can pick it up at the Dive Center, which is located upstairs just behind the check-in counter. The staff will help you find the right size gear, and then you can keep it for the duration of your stay. There are also lifejackets included in the rooms, specifically for snorkeling. The house reef is located on the southern side of the main island, but it does have waves and extremely shallow areas to be avoided.

Alternatively, you can snorkel on the north side of the main island as well. You won’t find the complex corals, but you will still see plenty of fish swimming by, reef sharks, and during our stay, a school of thousands and thousands small fish that we could snorkel through.

Additional Available Amenities

As mentioned above, there’s both a dive center and water sports center on the island. You can arrange a multitude of different dives and dive certifications, including night dives. The water sports center also rents jet skis, windsurfing boards, or you can arrange a boat trip for sightseeing, snorkeling, water-skiing, and more. They also offer guided trips for sailing, fishing, and diving.

If you’re looking to really up the relaxation factor on your Maldives vacation, the Spa Retreat and Overwater Spa have all of the typical spa treatments available. What makes both of these spas unique are the beautiful locations over the water.

Conrad Maldives Dining

No matter where you are staying in the Maldives, you can’t just leave the resort to head out for dinner. That’s why the dining options at Maldives resorts are so important as you don’t have the flexibility of a typical vacation. Luckily, the Conrad Maldives includes a wide selection of excellent dining options to keep you very well fed during your stay. Given the nature of dining in the Maldives, the Conrad Maldives Resort offers a few different meal plan packages to best suite your needs for your vacation.

Meal Plan Options

It pays to do some research on the dining options available at your selected Maldives resort beforehand, and incorporate that information into your decision of where to stay in the Maldives. At the Conrad Maldives Resort nearly every paid room rate will already include breakfast, however for those that do not, including stays booked with Hilton free night certificates or Hilton Honors points, the buffet breakfast is offered for those with Hilton Honors Gold status and above.

The Conrad Maldives also offers options for select packages that include dining credits or the option of half-board and full-board dining packages. There is very little information on the cost of half board and full board online, so be sure to reach out to the hotel if this is of interest to you. We think that any package option can generally represent a good deal because the individual a la carte prices are high, typical of Maldivian island resorts.

Atoll Market Restaurant

The Atoll Market Restaurant is the primary dining place, and only buffet option, on the island. It is centrally located just off of the main building and pool area. The Atoll Market has wonderful design elements such as soft sand floors throughout, allowing for a barefoot dining experience. Basically, if you are wearing shoes anywhere at the Conrad Maldives, you’re doing your vacation the wrong way! You have the option of dining under the covered areas or outside amongst the frangipani trees.

Conrad Maldives Resort Atoll Market

The Atoll Market breakfast buffet is expansive to say the least. From left to right, when looking at the buffet area you will find freshly baked breads and pastries, a customized omelet station, and a multitude of warm breakfast options including eight different global cuisines. On the right hand side you will find the Asian inspired dishes as well as a made to order option. In the middle of the buffet area there is a ‘cool zone’ refrigerated room that includes all of the meats and cheeses, fruit options, desserts, and a juice bar.

Needless to say you won’t go hungry dining here for breakfast. You can also order barista prepared coffee drinks, hot or iced, to complement your meal. We found the quality of the breakfast food to be very good for a buffet, and really appreciated the selection they had on offer.

The Atoll Market closes for the day, but reopens with another spectacular buffet for dinner. The evening meal options are just as extensive with a wide selection of freshly baked breads, homemade pizzas, more warm meat, fish, and vegetable dishes than you can count, a made to order pasta station and made to order rotating Asian specialty station. In the ‘cool zone’ you will find extensive options to create your own salad, as well as freshly prepared sushi, a fruit station, and all of the desserts on offer. We really enjoyed sampling the wide selection of foods they had on offer, and always recommend saving a little bit of room for dessert!

Sunset Grill Restaurant

The Sunset Grill is a must-eat destination for your stay at the Conrad Maldives, with the restaurant set 164 feet (50 m) out over the water. The restaurant is as-described, one of the best places to catch the sunset at the Conrad Maldives. Dining here is a special experience, because not only is the food fantastic, but the tables are situated out away from the restaurant and closer to the water to bring the Maldives to you. Getting to the Maldives is a long journey and expensive no matter where you are coming from, so you want to maximize your time near the water and taking in the views. This is where the Sunset Grill really shines. It is the first overwater restaurant in the Maldives!

Conrad Maldives Resort Sunset Grill

The Sunset Grill serves specialties from land and sea, expertly prepared and delivered to your waterside table. The main courses at the Sunset Grill were outstanding. We sampled the sea bass and beef tenderloin, which were both cooked to perfection. Service from the restaurant manager was also outstanding and made for a night to remember.

Conrad Maldives Resort Sunset Grill
Conrad Maldives Resort Sunset Grill Lobster

While eating, don’t forget to look out over the water. We saw multiple types of fish and reef sharks swim by as we dined.

Mandhoo Spa Restaurant

The Mandhoo Spa Restaurant is located on the opposite side of the main island from all of the other restaurants, as it is located on the overwater walkway to the Spa and overwater villas. The Mandhoo Spa Restaurant has a unique concept featuring organic ingredients and a menu arranged into the five elements with specific tastes, temperatures, and textures designed to affect the body, mind, and spirit in different ways. The menu items are also specifically designed to energize, nourish, detoxify, relax, and fortify the body.

Conrad Maldives Resort Overwater
Conrad Maldives Resort Mandhoo Restaurant
Conrad Maldives Resort Mandhoo Scallops

Similar to the Sunset Grill Restaurant, Mandhoo also features outdoor dining out over the water, which really makes the dining experience special.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Possibly the most impressive spot in all of the Maldives is the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. This is the world’s first undersea restaurant, located 16 feet (5 m) below beautiful turquoise waters.  To enter Ithaa, you will first check-in at the Sunset Grill, located overwater near the main pool. You will then be escorted across the boardwalk to Ithaa. You’ll be asked to take off your shoes before walking down the spiral staircase that descends beneath the sea.

Conrad Maldives Resort Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Dining at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is available for lunch and dinner only. Lunch is a set menu at $230+ USD per person from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM and dinner is a set menu at $330+ USD per person from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Expertly prepared wine pairings for the set menus are available.

Alternatively, if you just want to visit Ithaa for some photos and don’t feel like dining here, there are visiting hours as part of a Cocktails and Canapes hour between 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday each week. The Cocktails and Canapes costs $85+ USD per person.

When underneath the sea at the Ithaa Restaurant you have the opportunity to see the beautiful diversity and brilliant colors of the local tropical fish, and you may also get to see a sting ray or reef shark casually swimming by.

Other Dining Options

Of course, you can also order room-service anytime of the day and enjoy a great meal on your terrace, or even have breakfast in bed. Note that in-room dining is not included in any of the meal plans.

The Rangali Bar is a popular place for lunch, snacks, and their evening happy hour. The Rangali Bar is located between the check-in area and the main pool and also features a live DJ. Just behind The Rangali Bar is the Cheese & Wine Bar open select nights of the week. Here you can enjoy beautiful imported cheeses paired with breads and wines by the island’s sommelier. In this main area of the resort, you will also find Ufaa, featuring flavors from all over the diverse Chinese cuisine.

Conrad Maldives Resort Rangali Bar
Conrad Maldives Resort Rangali Bar
Conrad Maldives Resort Rangali Bar

Lastly, for snacks and drinks at the adults-only Rangali Island infinity pool, you will find The Quiet Zone.

Conrad Maldives Booking Options

With the Conrad brand being a part of the Hilton portfolio, this Conrad Maldives review is likely of interest to many Hilton Honors members. In particular, because the Conrad Maldives is one of the flagship Conrad properties in the world and an aspirational property for all Hilton Honors members. The Conrad Maldives is one of the top Hilton properties in the world, which means that a standard redemption costs 95,000 Hilton Honors points to redeem for a free night. Additionally, the Conrad Maldives is an amazing use of Hilton Honors free night certificates.

Paid stays predictably vary quite a bit with the high seasonality of travel demand to the Maldives. Low season rates can be found in the mid $500 USD with high season rates costing many multiples more. Upgrades to larger rooms or overwater villas come at a premium.

When considering between a points stay or paid stay, note that all paid stays do include breakfast, however points stays do not. Additionally to note, the resort does not charge a resort fee, but you will find a 10% service charge added to all items, which acts as a quasi-service charge.

However, if you are a Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond elite, you will have daily buffet breakfast included, as well as a special Happy Hour daily from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The daily Happy Hour was a great spot to have a drink on the house, with some canapes included as well.

Conrad Maldives Resort Happy Hour

You might also be able to score a deal by booking through a site such as Booking.com, check availability and deals for your dates here.

Conrad Maldives Review Conclusion

Choosing the right Maldives resort for you is incredibly important, as unlike other vacations there is no sightseeing or visiting a city, your resort choice is your vacation destination. The Conrad Maldives excels in many areas that make it a great choice for your trip to the Maldives.

Conrad Maldives Infinity Pool

The resort offers an impressive selection of delicious dining options, plenty of space for relaxation on their beautiful beaches, excellent service, and the opportunity for amazing one-of-a-kind experiences such as dining at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant or spending at night at The Muraka Residence. Overall, the Conrad Maldives is an excellent resort choice and you can be sure that you will have an amazing experience staying here. We were already planning a return trip to the Conrad Maldives before we even left!

Pin this post to your Maldives travel Pinterest board to save the best place to stay when you are planning to visit this stunning country. We really hope you enjoyed this Conrad Maldives review!

Conrad Maldives Review
Ultimate Underwater Experience at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island - A Hotel Review 1

Incredible Friendly Service at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa – A Hotel Review

The Le Meridien Maldives Resort is one of the newest resorts in the Maldives. The resort is quickly making a name for itself in the Marriott portfolio of Maldives resorts offering outstanding value, excellent dining, and service fitting of a much more expensive resort. With the Maldives brimming with beautiful resorts, the incredible service we experienced at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort really sets it apart as one of the best Maldives resorts for your next vacation. Look no further if you want to spend the ultimate honeymoon, romantic trip, or family vacation on a dreamy tropical island with excellent food, top-notch friendly service, and stunning turquoise waters.

Incredible Friendly Service at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa - A Hotel Review 2

We spent 3 nights at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort trying out all the food and activities so that we could put together this Le Meridien Maldives review for you to better plan your next trip to the Maldives!

Disclaimer:  We booked and paid for our stay at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort ourselves, however were provided with an upgrade and meal package courtesy of the resort. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this Le Meridien Maldives review and what to do are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Location

The Le Meridien Maldives Resort is located on a private island in the Lhaviyani Atoll. The Lhaviyani Atoll is approximately 76 miles (122 km) north of Male. Everyone arriving in the Maldives will initially fly into Male International Airport. From here, you will then take a 35-minute flight on a seaplane to the Le Meridien Maldives Resort.

If you’re visiting the Maldives for the first time, the whole arrival process can be quite intimidating. It’s a bit of complex organized chaos which always seems to work. It can be a stressful experience, especially if your incoming flight is delayed, but in reality, it will all work out and there’s nothing to worry about. Check out our Maldives for First-Timers Guide for all of the in’s and out’s of how traveling to the Maldives and the private islands works.

Le Meridien Maldives

As the only way to reach the Le Meridien Maldives Resort is by seaplane, this mandatory charge is part of the Maldives experience, similar to nearly all other Maldives resorts. The cost is $420 USD per person for roundtrip airfare, which is one of the more affordable seaplane transfer fees around, and it will be included as part of your final hotel bill when you check-out.

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Arrival

When you clear Maldivian Customs & Immigration, grab your bags and head outside the airport. You will be met with hundreds of representatives from different hotels, all waving their resort’s sign in the air. Look for the friendly Le Meridien representative, or if you’re not able to find them you can ask a representative from a different hotel to help you find them. The Marriott property representatives from the other Marriott resorts would be your best bet. The Le Meridien representative will take you through all the steps to get on your TransMaldivian Airways flight.

Trans Maldivian Airways Plane

Once aboard your TransMaldivian Airways flight to the Le Meridien, there’s nothing to do except sit back and enjoy some of the best seaplane views in the world. You’ll fly over countless atolls with their turquoise waters, as well as other resorts with beautiful overwater villas. Flying on TransMaldivian Airways never gets old – we included all the details of flying with them in our Maldives Travel Guide.

The Le Meridien Maldives Resort has its own dock and platforms where the seaplanes arrive. As you descend toward the island, you’ll get some more amazing views of the beautiful waters here and the reefs that surround the Le Meridien Maldives.

As the seaplane pulls up to the dock, be prepared for a warm and friendly welcome to the Maldives from the staff at the Le Meridien. You’ll be greeted and welcomed, and then will make the short walk to the reception area.

Le Meridien Maldives Arrival

As we arrived during COVID-19 times, safety precautions were taken. A PCR test is required to arrive on the island, whether you arrive directly from your international flight (where your initial PCR test to get on the flight and enter the Maldives is all that is required) or if you arrive from another resort (where you will need to take a PCR test at that resort before arriving at the Le Meridien Maldives). Additionally, the Le Meridien Maldives can organize PCR tests for your departure while on island. At the time of our stay the cost was $120 USD, plus taxes, per person.

As we arrived in the check-in area, our temperatures were taken, and we were provided with hand sanitizer. All staff are wearing masks, and guests are asked to wear masks only in the buffet restaurant when obtaining food.

Le Meridien Maldives Check In Area

Check-in was completed quickly, and the layout of the resort, dining options, and other amenities were all explained to us. We were then taken by golf cart along with our luggage to our room!

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Rooms

The Le Meridien Maldives Resort only just opened in September 2021, and it shows. The rooms have that ‘just new’ smell, and everything is fresh, modern, and in spotless condition. No matter which room type you are staying in on the island you can expect daily housekeeping as well as a daily turn-down service. Bottled water and in-room coffee as well as tea are included complimentary and is replenished each day.

Beach Bungalow Villas

The entry level rooms are the Beach Bungalow villas, which are located with the other beach villa types along both the north and south sides of the island. All rooms, no matter the location, include all the amenities you’d expect of a resort such as a high-quality coffee maker, mini bar, ironing board, large flat-screen TV, bathrobes, as well as fun Le Meridien branded flip-flops!

All beach villas have walk-out access to the beach with some having open views to the ocean and some having more privacy with tropical plants around the terrace. Larger beach villas feature private pools right on your terrace.

Overwater Villas

Heading out to the overwater villas along the walkway is a fantastic experience. The turquoise water shines brightly along the walkway and the anticipation builds as you get closer to your room! Overwater villas are categorized between Sunrise and Sunset, depending on which side they face. During our stay at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort, we stayed in a Sunrise Overwater Villa. We think this is the preferable side, based on the bright turquoise water on the sunrise side, whereas the sunset side has a few more waves and reefs, causing the water to not be quite as bright blue.

Le Meridien Maldives Overwater Sunrise Villa

The overwater villas have a large bedroom that opens to the water with floor to ceiling glass doors. The design of the rooms at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort is a fantastic mix of modern features, understated luxury, and island inspired finishes. In addition to the impressively comfortable bed, the room features a mini-bar, Illy coffee maker, huge walk-in closet, make-up table, and a very impressive bathroom.

Le Meridien Maldives Bathroom
Le Meridien Maldives Bathtub

To keep things open and bright, the bathroom opens to the bedroom through bright turquoise shutters. The design is beautiful, but the piece de resistance is undoubtedly the bathtub and shower room. The room opens up to three glass walls, allowing you to take in the full view of all that the Maldives offers. Due to the design of each of the villas, despite all of the windows, it still feels very private.

Le Meridien Maldives Overwater Terrace

Outside on the large terrace you have a seating area, lounging area, and incredible overwater net. The net is a fantastic way to relax and take in the full overwater experience. Of course, there is also direct access to the water. Great swimming and snorkeling are just outside your room. When you head out into the water and are looking back at all of the villas it can be hard to tell which one is yours, but once you get closer you realize that each one has the room number printed on the water side as well, a nice touch!

Le Meridien Maldives Overwater Net

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Amenities

When you go to any resort in the Maldives it’s important to consider all of the amenities available on the island because you don’t have the option of heading somewhere else if you’re bored. Luckily, the Le Meridien Maldives has lots of options to keep you busy, for those times that you don’t feel like relaxing.

Complimentary Amenities

The Le Meridien Maldives Resort has a number of amenities available on the island to keep you busy throughout your stay. The main pool area is located just in front of the Velaa Bar + Grill restaurant and can be accessed any time of day. Right next to this area is where you will also find the water sports hut where you can book all sorts of excursions out on the water. There is a second pool area in front of the Riviera restaurant on the west side of the island, shown below.

Le Meridien Maldives Riviera Pool

One helpful inclusion at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort is complimentary usage of stand up paddle boards as well as glass bottom canoes! These can be rented at the water sports hut. The lagoon out in front of the water sports area all the way to the overwater villas is reasonably protected, so is your best bet for heading out on the water on a kayak or paddle board with the least waves.

The Le Meridien Maldives Resort also has a gym which is available 24/7 and located in the center of the island on the western side. No need to worry about missing out on the epic island views while in the gym as its second-floor location affords beautiful views out over the island and of the stunning turquoise waters. The trail that runs the length of the island also works well as a jogging trail, or of course you can do a full lap of the island jogging in the sand!

For families staying at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort, there is a Kids Hub which has daily curated programs available for all the kids staying on the island.

One of the great things that the Le Meridien Maldives Resort includes is complimentary snorkel equipment. You can pick it up at the Dive Center, which is located on the platform where you arrived by seaplane. The staff will help you find the right size gear, and then you can keep it for the duration of your stay. There are also lifejackets included in the rooms, specifically for snorkeling. This is perfect, especially if you’re staying in an overwater villa, as you’re never more than a few steps away from some epic snorkeling.

Le Meridien Maldives Snorkel

One thing we wanted to note in this Le Meridien Maldives review is that it is still very new, having just opened less than two months before we visited, there are still a few areas of the resort that are being finalized, including some construction near the arrivals area, and the finishing touches that are being put on the second full area of overwater villas located at the southeast corner of the island. This was not an issue at all, and of course you benefit from everything on the island being fresh, new, and in tip-top shape.

Another great thing about staying at the Le Meridien Maldives is that there is excellent high-speed wi-fi available everywhere on the island, so you’re always connected, that is if you choose to be!

Additional Available Amenities

As mentioned above, there’s both a dive center and water sports center on the island. You can arrange a multitude of different dives and dive certifications, including night dives. The water sports center also rents jet skis, windsurfing boards, or you can arrange a boat trip for sightseeing, snorkeling, water-skiing, and more. They also offer guided trips for sailing, fishing, and diving.

If you’re looking to really up the relaxation factor on your Maldives vacation, the Explore Spa has all of the typical spa treatments available. What makes this spa unique is its beautiful location over the water on the south side of the island.

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Dining

No matter where you are staying in the Maldives, you can’t just leave the resort to head out for dinner. That’s why the dining options at Maldives resorts are so important as you don’t have the flexibility of a typical vacation. Luckily, the Le Meridien Maldives Resort includes a few excellent dining options to keep you very well fed during your stay. Given the nature of dining in the Maldives, the Le Meridien Maldives Resort offers a few different meal plan packages to best suite your needs.

Meal Plan Options

It pays to do some research on the dining options available at your selected Maldives resort beforehand, and incorporate that information into your decision of where to stay in the Maldives. At the Le Meridien Maldives Resort nearly every paid room rate will already include breakfast, however for those that do not, including stays booked with Marriott free night certificates or Marriott Bonvoy points, the buffet breakfast is offered for those with Marriott Platinum status and above.

The next step up is a half-board meal plan. The cost of this is $95 USD daily per person and includes the full buffet breakfast as well as dinner each night at either the Turquoise Restaurant (buffet and a la carte, depending on the night) and Velaa Bar + Grill. If dining a la carte, the half-board meal plan includes your choice of an appetizer, main dish, and dessert. Lunch, snacks, all beverages, and dining at the other restaurants will be charged extra. If you are a Marriott Platinum elite or above and select the breakfast as your elite benefit, the cost will be reduced to $65 USD daily.

Lastly, you can also opt for a full-board meal plan at a cost of $230 USD daily per person. With this meal plan you again get the full breakfast buffet at Turquoise Restaurant included, lunch at any of the restaurants on the island, and an appetizer, main dish, and dessert at any of the restaurants open for dinner. All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are also included. If you are a Marriott Platinum elite or above and select the breakfast as your elite benefit, the cost will be reduced to $200 USD daily.

Turquoise Restaurant

The Turquoise Restaurant is the primary dining place on the island, and is located in the central area of the island on the north beach. It has a large dining area with lots of doors and windows that open up to take in the fresh sea breezes and beautiful Maldivian waters.

Le Meridien Maldives Turquoise Restaurant

The only option for breakfast is the Turquoise restaurant, offering an impressive display every morning. Think freshly baked breads and pastries, a fresh Indian cuisine section, a fresh Asian cuisine section, fresh fruit, salad bar, omelet station, and so much more. You can also choose to order off the a la carte menu which has even more options.

Le Meridien Maldives Salad Bar
Le Meridien Maldives Breakfast

All of the food at the breakfast buffet was good quality, especially everything that was made to order in front of you, but the standout options were the daily Indian curries, and the local Maldivian options. We found these dishes were consistently top-notch with incredible flavor and fresh ingredients.

You can also order your coffee or favorite morning beverage however you like it made by the barista. We had some of the creamiest and frothiest almond milk lattes we’ve ever had here! We also got to meet the pastry chef, and learned that absolutely everything is made from scratch – the house made breads were amazing each morning, as was the unique Pain au Chocolat that included a touch of cayenne pepper for added kick and flavor.

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Coffee Latte

Throughout the day, Turquoise is open for a la carte dining for lunch or a light snack.

For dinner, the Turquoise restaurant offers a buffet spread some days, and other days a la carte. The dinner buffet was just as impressive as the breakfast one, with more options than you could possibly try. During one of the a la carte evenings we sampled the Butter Chicken and Green Curry dishes and they were absolutely fantastic, possibly the best meal of our entire trip to the Maldives!

Le Meridien Maldives Butter Chicken
Le Meridien Maldives Green Curry

Velaa Bar + Grill Restaurant

Located just next door to Turquoise is the Velaa Bar + Grill, which is directly in front of the pool area. If you’re walking by during the evenings, you’ll sure smell the delicious aromas from the grill before you reach the restaurant!

Le Meridien Maldives Velaa Bar Grill Pool

Velaa Bar + Grill is open throughout the afternoon for lunch, poolside snacks, and hand-crafted cocktails. In the evening they light the wood-fired grill and offer delicious grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables.

Velaa Le Meridien Caesar Salad
Le Meridien Tuna Tartare

We enjoyed a meal here one evening, sampling some of the delicious grilled meats and seafood. For appetizers we enjoyed the deconstructed Caesar Salad with grilled shrimp and tuna tartare, and the smoked meat sampler platter and grilled catch of the day. Depending on your love for grilled meats and seafood we would expect most people to dine here only once or twice during their stay at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort, saving most meals for the more diverse options at Turquoise or the other restaurants.

Other Dining Options

Of course, you can also order room-service anytime of the day and enjoy a great meal on your terrace, or even have breakfast in bed. Note that in-room dining is not included in any of the meal plans.

At the far western end of the Le Meridien Maldives Resort island, which also happens to be the best spot to watch the famous Maldivian sunsets, you will find a small pool and Riviera seafood restaurant. Riviera is open for lunch and dinner and focuses on light bites, oysters, and chilled seafood accompanied by sparkling wines and cocktails. Of note, Riviera is the only dining location at the Le Meridien Maldives Resort which is adults-only. This is a great place to sit back, relax, and enjoy some fresh seafood and wine all the while taking in those stunning views.

For the coffee lovers out there, there is a small café called Latitude that’s open during the day for your afternoon caffeine fix or a light lunch or snack. Latitude is located at the check-in area. Alternatively, the Waves Café is available during the day near the Fitness Center.

Lastly there is Tabemasu, a Japanese dining experience that is located at the beginning of the pier that connects the overwater villas. The restaurant is open select days of the week, and here you will need to make reservations, but the flagship restaurant of the Le Meridien Maldives Resort was well-regarded when we spoke to other guests about their experience.

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Booking Options

With the Le Meridien brand being a part of the Marriott portfolio, this Le Meridien Maldives review is likely of interest to many Marriott Bonvoy members. In particular, because the Le Meridien Maldives Resort is classified as a Category 5 property, which means that a standard redemption costs just 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to redeem for a free night (40,000 points during Peak time, 30,000 points during Off-Peak Time).

Additionally, many Marriott free night certificates are capped at this level. The icing on the cake is that overwater villas are classified as standard rooms, meaning that these can also be booked using points or free nights, a rarity for Maldives points hotels. This makes the Le Meridien one of the best resorts to find an affordable Maldives water villa for your next vacation.

Le Meridien Maldives Swing

Paid stays predictably vary quite a bit with the high seasonality of travel demand to the Maldives. Low season rates can be found in the mid $400’s USD with high season rates closing in on $1,000 USD per night for the beach bungalows. Upgrades to larger rooms or overwater villas come at a premium.

When considering between a points stay or paid stay, note that all paid stays do include breakfast, however points stays do not. Additionally to note, the resort does not charge a resort fee, but you will find a 10% service charge added to all items, which acts as a quasi-service charge.

However, if you are a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite or higher, you will have the opportunity for a room upgrade at check-in, a 20% discount on all food and drinks automatically applied to your bill, and your choice of a welcome gift. The welcome gift is a bit of a no-brainer as you can choose between free breakfast (not included if you booked your stay with points), 1,000 bonus points, or a local gift.

You might also be able to score a deal by booking through Booking.com, check availability and deals for your dates here.

Le Meridien Maldives Review Conclusion

Choosing the right Maldives resort for you is incredibly important, as unlike other vacations there is no sightseeing or visiting a city, your resort choice is your vacation destination. The Le Meridien Maldives excels in many areas that make a great resort. The resort facilities and rooms are all beautifully designed, the food is excellent, and the service was outstanding. We really can’t highlight the impressive service enough. If you’re looking for a Maldives resort where all of the staff make a genuine effort to get to know you, and love doing their jobs this is the resort for you. Overall, the Le Meridien Maldives is an excellent resort, which punches above its weight in design, dining, and service.

Pin this post to your Maldives travel Pinterest board to save the best place to stay when you are planning to visit this amazing country. We really hope you enjoyed this Le Meridien Maldives review!

Le Meridien Maldives Resort Review
Le Meridien Maldives Resort Review