Discover luxury and boutique hotels in the Maldives
Take all the golden-sun, white-sand, azure-water clichés you can think of, shake well, sprinkle over the equatorial ocean, and season to taste with luxury – well done: you’ve made yourself the Maldives. These 1,200 islands tick all the tropical boxes – honeymoon-ready resorts, rainbow reefs and more palm-fringed beaches than you can shake a cocktail at. Join the shoals of scuba-lovers exploring the life aquatic, then settle into a secluded sandy spot for lazy sun-soaking days and romantic star-gazing nights.
When to go
There's never really a 'bad' time to go to the Maldives, which has a wonderful year-round climate – even in the Monsoon season (mid-May–November), you'd be very unlucky to get more than a few days' rain on the trot. Christmas is very popular, as is anytime up to Easter, although you might be lucky and find deals for late January getaways.
PlanesThe main international airport is at Malé (+960 325511; www.airports.com.mv) central to both the North and South atolls: fly in from the US or the UK via Dubai with Emirates Airlines or connect from an Etihad flight into Abu Dhabi. There are also numerous direct charter flights into Malé from the UK. Alternatively you can fly in via Sri Lanka or India. You may then have to make a short hop by seaplane to your resort if it's not accessible by speedboat take a domestic flight to one of the airports at the northern- or southern-most atolls of the Maldives.
BoatsIf you're an international sea-farer, you can arrive by yacht, but you'll need to check in with the authorities at Malé. Most resorts will arrange a speedboat transfer to get you from Malé to your personal paradise island when you book your stay.
AutomobilesA car will be about as much use to you here as a baking tray made of butter; if you want to explore, ask your hotel about chartering a wooden dhoni catamaran or speedboat for the day.
TaxisEvery hotel has its own speedboats or fleet of ocean-going vessels – it's the only practical way to get around. They can arrange charter by the hour or by the day if you want to go anywhere further than you can swim.