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Maldives’ Best Resorts: Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 Five-Star Award Winners!

Forbes Travel Guide, the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, announces its 66th annual list!

Since the pandemic, travellers have been seeking trips that are meaningful rather than just a trip to an iconic destination. With this, even bucket-list destinations such as the Maldives have started curating more personalized experiences. Whether that means personalised butler services or a memorable safari trip, the travellers are here for a unique adventure.

No matter the destination, Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 Star Awards reflect the trending tastes among travellers. For the 66th annual list, Forbes explores a variety of destinations. From smaller overlooked cities to iconic destinations. And as per usual, a handful of Maldivian resorts made it to the list, for their unique and iconic offerings.

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli made it to the Forbes Travel Guide’s 2024 list with a five-star rating. This resort is popular among travellers for its avant-garde elegance and French finesse, providing a uniquely luxurious experience. Opening in 2013, Cheval Blanc Randheli was Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy’s second hotel venture. The Forbes Travel Guide inspector’s highlights for 2024, noted the spa, the scent design, the water villas, the prestigious location, as well as the unique yoga ritual.

The inspectors noted that the spa at Cheval Blanc Randheli is uniquely set on an island of its own. This is an experience only offered in a few resorts in the Maldives. Another unique aspect noted was the scent design. The signature fragrance at Cheval Blanc Randheli was created by head nose at Dior, François Demachy. The water villas’ sundecks were noted for being among the largest in the Maldives, and the yoga ritual for its uniqueness.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Resorts is a name brand which is well-known around the globe. The Four Seasons Resort Maldives also marked the list with a five-star rating. The resort which brings island luxury with the Maldivian charm was noted for being the first of its kind in the Maldives! The Four Seasons Resort in the Maldives brings travellers a unique spa experience, which Forbes noted – meaning you must try it. The resort is also popular among honeymooners.

Another group of travellers who happen to love the Four Seasons Maldives are surfers. The resort provides a unique surfing safari as well as a tour which can be booked with the resort. Forbes Travel Guide also highlighted the unique Maldives-inspired cocktails at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa!

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Yet another Four Seasons Resort Maldives marked the list with five stars this year. The Landaa Giraavaru resort, which brings travellers an idyllic isle was noted for its unique and colourful seaplane! In addition to this, its marine discovery, spa and wellness as well as yoga were noted to be some of the best aspects of the resort. Located in Baa Atoll, the resort was also noted for the captivating underworld.

Hurawalhi Island Resort

The romantic private island oasis Hurawalhi Island Resort also came with a five-star rating for 2024. The resort is popular for its Romantic Villa is the only stay with a deep soaking bathtub! This unique offering allows travellers to relax with the breathtaking scenery of the Maldives.

Additionally, the Sulha Spa was also noted for its purely relaxing offerings while its private sandbank, underwater restaurant and Marine Biology Centre were also noted by Forbes. The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant at Hurawalhi is the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant with a carefully curated tasting menu and excellent wine pairings.

JOALI BEING

This immersive wellness retreat, opening in 2021 is a traveller favourite and received a five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide. The resort offers travellers extremely spacious stays, whether you book the beach villa or overwater villa. The wellness centre Areka offers unique offerings, curated for each traveller. One of the reasons JOALI BEING became such a hit among travellers is the inclusive food menu, which offers delectable healthy options.

Due to the wellness-centric vibe at the resort, JOALI BEING has become a traveller favourite since its opening.

JOALI Maldives

While JOALI BEING is popular among wellness lovers, JOALI Maldives is for those seeking art in their travels. The resort offers immersive views, with no other resorts or even inhabited islands in sight in any direction.

The design aesthetics of the resort offer a unique experience for those staying in the overwater villas. Located just off the sandbank on the western corner of the island, overwater villas have the impression of being separate from the island.

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island offers an ultra-exclusive, all-inclusive sanctuary for travellers. Kudadoo’s 13 one-bedroom and two two-bedroom Ocean Residences are oases, which need to be explored. The resort offers a unique cheese cellar, carrying some of the world’s best gourmet cheeses. The best part is that it’s all freely available for a pre-dinner nibble or even a middle-of-the-night snack.

Just like any good resort, Kudadoo Maldives Private Island also offers an amazing spa experience. ‘Lonu Cave’ is a first in the Maldives. The spa offers an indoor salt chamber whose walls are lined with mineral-rich age-old pink Himalayan salt. The resort also boasts restaurants that never close! The best part for vacationers? The champagne brunch is available throughout the day.

LUX* South Ari Atoll

LUX* South Ari Atoll is a haven for eco-travellers seeking a luxury getaway. This resort is the perfect location for divers, offering more than 50 dive spots filled with vibrant aquatic life, shipwrecks and caves.

The resort also boasts its sustainable practices, such as having the world’s largest solar platform at sea floating in the lagoon, providing power for the resort. Additionally, single-use plastics are banned in the resort and guests are also welcome to partake in the eco-friendly initiatives. At the restaurants, plant-based foodies will be amazed by the choice of clean, nutritious and locally sourced dishes on the vibrant “Keen on Green” menu!

One & Only Reethi Rah

One & Only Reethi Rah is one of the largest luxury resorts in the Maldives, with an impressive KidsOnly kids club. The perfect resort for a family or romantic getaway, One & Only Reethi Rah offers a unique experience for travellers. For the best experiences, explore the ClubOne Beach Club, the scuba experience as well as a stay at the Grand Sunset Residence.

The Grand Sunset Residence is an experience in itself. This villa category has the largest private stretch of beach on the island, offering more than 26,000 square feet. 

Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

The modern, tranquil sanctuary of Patina Maldives brings travellers yet another five-star experience in the Maldives. With 12 restaurants and bars, the resort also offers spacious and inspiring one- to three-bedroom Beach and Water Pool villas.

For an artistic experience, travellers must experience the Fari Marina Village and Fari Beach Club. Here, everything from fashion to music and art is constantly flowing, adding a unique touch to your vacation. In addition to its beautiful spa, Patina Maldives also helps you to tune into the island’s energy, named “Rhythm and Vibes.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

This property brings you the island vibes of the Maldives with the classic luxury of the Ritz. Here, every single guest is treated like royalty. Not only do you get your very own private butler The Ritz-Carlton Maldives also offers almost any activity you can imagine. The resort brings to its guests seven different dining outlets, catering to almost any palate.

Soneva Jani

Soneva is a name brand that everyone had on their bucket list for the Maldives since its inception. We can all agree that the overwater villas at Soneva Jani are some of the most popular among travellers. But that is not all. The resort is also great for kids as it offers a technology-free Mini Den. The menus at the kids’ club cater to young appetites, and the offerings for kids to enjoy are never-ending here.

Soneva Jani also debuted the Maldives’ first overwater observatory with a resident astronomer ready to give you a tour of the cosmos. This is something every traveller must explore on their trip to Soneva Jani.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

At this marine-inspired resort, booking an overwater villa for good sun and surf is a must. With the Maldives being popular for its underwater experience, a stay at The St.Regis Maldives is a must if you’re looking for good surf.

If you’re looking for a colourful Maldivian sunset, enjoy sundowners, seafood and even multi-course menus at the Whale Bar.

Velaa Private Island

This private luxury island has been garnering popularity and is another destination that adds a touch of uniqueness to your Maldives getaway. Not only does Velaa Private Island boast the only Snow Room in the Maldives, but it’s also filled with thrilling activities for adventure seekers.

The spa experience at Velaa Private Island offers travellers cutting-edge technologies and modern techniques! You can choose from two options – the Velaa Spa or the Evelaa Spa.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

This sprawling five-star nirvana in the Maldives brings you Instagrammable dining outlets! Not only is Terra a must-try for its aesthetic appeal but the food is as delectable as it is Instagram-worthy. Guests are welcome to sit in handcrafted bamboo nests above the treetops while sipping Krug and noshing on Miyazake wagyu beef.

Each of the villas at this beautiful resort comes with an infinity pool and submerged loungers, swinging daybeds, dining gazebos and endless ocean vistas. Travellers can also look forward to booking a private island, perfect for celebratory occasions. The private island comes with two villas, five swimming pools, an overwater spa and an entertainment centre with a cinema!

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Finolhu Maldives: Unparalleled Vibrance for Colour Blind Guests!

Something many of us take for granted during our travels are the vibrant colours we get to experience.

From the hues of blue to the shades of green, Maldives is a destination where the colours cannot be captured in photos. There is, however, one resort in the Maldives that takes the vibrant colours to the next level. Seaside FInolhu Baa Atoll brings a kaleidoscope of colours to guests in every aspect of the resort’s layout. From the vibrant culinary delights to the beautiful reefs and even the interior.

Every corner of Finolhu Maldives has a beautiful shade of colour that can only be experienced with your own eyes.

Upon arrival, one of the first things guests would take note of is the uniquely beautiful colour of the ocean. The resort has so many hues and shades of life to share with its guests. And Finolhu Maldives has taken a unique step towards inclusivity at the property. Just last year, Finolhu Maldives became the first Maldivian hotel to offer glasses for colourblind guests.

The Maldives, and Seaside Finolhu, are arguably two of the most breathtakingly beautiful and colourful places on Earth. I’m a divemaser and have been SCUBA diving for most of my life, so I can appreciate how much more spectacular and special it will be for color blind divers to experience the amazing array of vibrant colours the ocean has to offer. We are also thrilled that color blind guests will be able to experience more colour when they are not diving by borrowing our glasses at the resort, says Erik Ritchie, CEO of EnChroma.

The vibrant island destination offered guests EnChroma sunglasses and snorkel masks to colour-blind guests. This allows colourblind guests to not only experience the colourful art and architecture of Finolhu but also experience the shades underwater. Baa Atoll is renowned for having some of the most vibrant coral reefs and marine life. With the EnChroma snorkel masks colour blind guests can finally explore the colours under the waters in the Maldives. For the very first time!

This new world of possibilities is open for adults as well as kids on the resort.

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