Beyond the dreamy landscapes and mesmerising beauty, the Maldives also hides an abundance of treasures. We’ve selected the top 10 reasons to holiday in the Maldives…
World class diving and sea life
With clear turquoise waters, fantastic climate and vast visibility, the islands’ coveted diving and snorkelling spots will keep you enthralled while on holiday in the Maldives. The diverse and vibrant sea life can be enjoyed in a number of locations, including the famous Fish Head and Banana Reef. The kaleidoscope of colour and abundant underwater beauty takes in more than one thousand species of marine life, including the Maldives’ impressive Big Five – manta and eagle rays, sea turtles, dolphins and sharks. The islands are also home to sweeping coral reefs that are more than ten thousand years old.
The location that (romantic) dreams are made of
Beautiful oceans, stunning sunsets, luxurious accommodation and world-class service make the Maldives one of the few locations in the world that pays tribute to the word escapism. And another thing that makes this destination so perfect is that all travellers, from couples seeking the absolute epitome of romance to families looking for the ultimate beach holiday in the Maldives, will find what they are looking for. Our barefootchic hotels are scattered around some of the most privileged Maldives locations offering stylish accommodation for all travellers. The JA Manafaru in the far north of the Maldives is the ideal family hotel, offering plentiful entertainment opportunities, including watersports, a PADI 5 star diving centre, a kids’ CoolZone, tennis courts and a fully-equipped gym.
When it comes to seafood, the Maldives comes into its own. Fish, coconut and rice are the staples of the Maldivian diet and many of their dishes also contain a lot of spice, revealing the influence of the Indian and Sri Lankan flavours. Spicy tuna curry is one of the most traditional and flavourful dishes but if there is one thing that stands out the most it’s just how fresh the food is. The chefs are incredibly skilled and the seafood is served in a variety of surprisingly delicious ways. With tourism increasing to the islands, so has the influence of international cuisine, and the wider gastronomical landscape is just as fabulous. The Amilla Fushi in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, offers some of the most exquisite fine dining in the Maldives. Its signature restaurant, Lonu by Luke Mangan, embraces a magnificent overwater setting complemented by delicious five-star cuisine. The islands also offer opportunities to dine underwater – an unmissable experience when on holiday in the Maldives!
If you only previously knew one thing about the Maldives, it’s probably that it is a place just to relax and get away from it all. In the spirit of relaxation, many of the hotels in the Chic Collection Maldives portfolio boast five-star spa facilities so that you will look and feel your most beautiful at all times. The award-winning Reethi Rah Spa at the One&Only Reethi Rah in the North Male Atoll is truly out of this world. The eight luxury treatment villas blend harmoniously into the natural landscape within a space that takes in vitality pools, steam rooms and ice fountains. The expansive treatment menu includes signature experiences using hot volcanic stones to balance your inner harmony.
The Maldives is made up of more than 1000 islands but only 300 of these are inhabited. With just one resort per island, every single location feels like its own little private utopia. In the southern Maldives on the edge of the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, you will find the Ayada Maldives – one of the most spectacular hotel locations in the world. Its traditional breathtaking Maldivian features, including beautiful overwater villas, are fused with a Turkish influence for an original and stylish finish. Here you can enjoy a traditional Turkish hammam and relax with a shisha pipe before heading back to your villa to enjoy a dip in the private plunge pool or have a lazy afternoon relaxing in the hammock.
Photo credit: Hani Amir
One thing that many people don’t know about the Maldives is that its traditional culture has been extremely well maintained. The first tourists only came to the islands in the early 1970s and many hotels have been built with a dedication to preserving the Maldives’ natural surroundings. To this end, there are a number of authentic cultural experiences to enjoy during your holiday in the Maldives. Head out to sea with the local fishermen in a dhoni – the traditional sailing boat – and wind your way along the ancient trade routes and sea-lanes that surround many of the islands. Afterwards, head to the food markets in Male to mingle with the locals and check out the traditional local specialities including fantastic fresh fish along with papayas, green bananas and an array of spices. The capital city is also home to the National Museum and the Presidential Palace – the Maldives’ most significant cultural attractions.
The fantastic fish
While the diving and snorkelling opportunities are excellent, there are also some more specific ocean-based experiences that are simply unmissable. Spinner dolphins are one of the islands’ greatest attractions – these fellas leap high into the air from the deep ocean water and spin around in a brilliant display. For something a bit more daring, try going on a night dive with grey reef sharks. The Maldives banned all shark fishing back in 2010 and it is now considered a shark sanctuary. If that all sounds a bit much, keep an eye out from the safety of land and you may catch sight of baby sharks swimming in the lagoons.
Photo credit: Roman Pfeiffer
It’s not just during daylight hours that travellers can experience the beauty of this tropical paradise. The Maldives are world-famous for their incredible sunset views; these can be enjoyed in the privacy of your villa or on a sunset cruise over the calm waters, accompanied only by the gentle lapping of the waves and the crimson shades of the sunset panoramas.
The incredible climate
Its picturesque landscapes and world-class reputation sometimes make the Maldives seem a far away and distant land that cannot possibly be as perfect as it sounds. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Aside from its world-class landscapes, gastronomy, culture and diving, the Maldives’ location alongside the Equator means it also boasts a wonderful tropical climate. With year-round sunshine and temperatures averaging around 28 degrees Celsius, this is the perfect tropical holiday destination at any time of year.
Exclusive five-star hotels
As a world-renowned luxury destination, it comes as no surprise that the Maldives has the five-star accommodation to complement its landscapes. From luxurious over-water bungalows to sprawling beachside villas, you’ll have no problem finding somewhere perfect for your dream holiday in the Maldives. From smaller, more intimate resorts to larger hotels perfect for big groups or family holidays, the Maldives offer tropical luxury accommodation at its finest featuring world-class restaurants, dramatic landscapes and discreet settings.