Luxurious bungalows, crystal-blue waters, and blissed-out vibes: What’s not to love?
Precisely my thoughts before embarking on my first visit to the Maldives, and now, as someone who has made the voyage on multiple occasions, I can attest to what the hype was, and still is all about. Situated in the Indian Ocean, this South Asian island country is a dream destination for those seeking a romantic getaway or relaxed beach stay, and has provided me with the perfect respite that I’ve needed — and always at the perfect time — for some R&R.
And great minds, think alike. It seems like almost every Black influencer or celeb on our social media timelines has luxuriated in the magic of the Maldives over the past year — and for good reason. The Maldives, which is made up of 26 atolls, is a ring-shaped coral reef encircling a lagoon with over 1,000 islands. Offering picturesque views of white-sand beaches and the luminescent sea from every angle, the Maldives looks uniquely different and always breathtaking whether you’re on the beach, in your villa or even up in the sky. A seaplane adventure is a must when you’re in the Maldives as it’s one of the best ways to admire its stunning beauty.
From Fari Islands newest Ritz-Carlton property, JOALI’s sustainable glamour, to the classic luxury that is Soneva Fushi, these private island resorts offer no shortage of Instagrammable moments, crystal blue Indian Ocean water, fine dining and overall relaxation — just what every Black girl deserves.
Here are a few tips to know in planning your bucket list Maldives vacation — because why wait for “some day?”
Flying to the Maldives used to be costly but that’s not the case now as there are now plenty of flights, both direct and indirect, from international hubs such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Paris, Rome, Bangkok and more. From here, tourists take either a speedboat or a seaplane to their resort on the island of choice. Etihad Airways, for example, the national airline of the UAE and one of the most popular choices for traveling to the Maldives, encourages travelers to add a stopover during their visits as an opportunity to offer two-trips in one. Those traveling from the U.S. can book travel to Abu Dhabi International Airport with easy onward transit to Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, with fares starting at $597 from New York City and Chicago and $697 from Los Angeles.
Where To Stay.
The first thing to know about the Maldives is that most resorts are situated on their own private island — in fact, one island, one resort is the typical approach for hotels within the archipelago. This makes exploring multiple hotels a bit arduous, as you’ll need to charter a boat or take a flight back to Male, and then arrange for travel to get to an adjacent atoll.
If you choose to do so, it’s well worth it. Setting itself apart from other beach destinations, the archipelago nation has about 100 resorts, most of which are located on its own private island—which means your privacy is guaranteed even in resorts with full occupancy. All resorts promise the same thing wherever you are: visually-stunning scenery featuring lush greenery, pristine beaches and screensaver-perfect azure lagoons.
A few of my recommendations include, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, which features stunning minimalist architecture and welcomes guests into a world of exceptional luxury and memorable experiences. The resort features 100 luxurious one- to three-bedroom villas, either set over crystal clear waters, or nestled along pristine beach coves, each offering spacious living spaces that blur the line between indoors and outdoors with panoramic sliding doors, a sun deck with a private infinity pool and breathtaking views. As part of the legendary, highly personalized service of The Ritz-Carlton, and inspired by the ancient royal customs of the Maldivian royal courts, each room is assigned an ‘Aris Meeha‘ or island butler to fulfill a guest’s every wish. With seven distinct culinary venues, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands strikes the perfect balance between high-end dining, beachfront luxury, and wellness-centered menus.
As the Maldives first and only nature immersive wellbeing retreat, JOALI BEING, is located on the secluded natural island of Bodufushi in Raa Atoll. The retreat, an extension of JOALI Maldives on Muravandhoo, offers an array of the finest wellbeing facilities and unique transformational spaces and experiences, including hydrotherapy, movement, and sound healings, as well as diverse tailored cuisine. Accommodations include 68 exclusive guest villas with pools, consisting of 34 beach villas and 34 water villas.
What To Do.
The Maldives is the perfect place to go for sun, sand, and all manner of water sports like diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and surfing. It’s also known as a top tourist destination for the ultimate relaxing vacay—lounging at your posh resort or on any of the beautiful beaches for a trip that is laidback, sun-soaked, and chill. The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands offers nine spa treatment rooms including a spa suite with its own relaxation lounge, a salon and a boutique, so if pampering is on your radar, you can’t go wrong with that. Educational classes and ocean adventures with JOALI BEING’s wellbeing consultants, marine biologists, nutritionists, and herbalists in a collection of world-class transformational spaces, make it an experience like none other.