The Ultimate Maldives Honeymoon Guide
If you’re planning a Maldives honeymoon, congrats!! You picked one of the best honeymoon destinations in the WORLD! A Maldives honeymoon is everything honeymoon dreams are made of: white-sand beaches, blue skies, sparkling turquoise waters, a dreamy diverse marine life, and world-class resorts with overwater bungalows. But where do you even begin planning a trip to the Maldives? When it comes to where to stay in the Maldives, where to go, and what to do, this faraway dream-land is hardly easy to navigate for a first-timer, especially when there are hundreds of IDYLLIC hotels to choose from, so I’m here to help! Here is everything to know before you go on a honeymoon to the Maldives!
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THE ULTIMATE MALDIVES HONEYMOON GUIDE
I spent two weeks in the Maldives exploring four different resorts that I researched and deemed the best of the best, and one yacht (!!!!), and I also asked everyone I could about some other hotels that I didn’t get a chance to experience, so I could have all the best info for you guys! I hope this Ultimate Jetset Maldives Honeymoon Guide helps you plan your dream honeymoon to the Maldives and makes the honeymoon planning process easier, and way more fun! If you have any questions at all, comment them here or shoot me a DM on instagram @JetsetChristina!
Getting to the Maldives is a haul from the US (literally halfway around the world), but trust me when I say it is WORTH it. It can take over 24 hours to fly there from the United States. There are flights to the capital of Male from cities all over Asia, including Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Shanghai; from Middle Eastern hubs like Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Dubai; and even from Frankfurt (seasonally in winter), Istanbul, and London. When I went the first time, we went through Istanbul.
How to get around the Maldives
Besides being a country that is 99% water (yep!!!), getting around the Maldives islands is easier than you think. All the resorts that I recommend in this Maldives travel guide will meet you directly at the Male international airport, where you’ll either take a domestic plane, sea plane, or boat to arrive to your resort. The seaplanes are incredible but often add an expense to an already expensive resort, so keep that in mind. Also keep in mind domestic transfers are often just as expensive as the seaplanes. The boat is definitely the easiest, but sometimes it’s nice to feel that much more remote from the busy capital of Male. More on this under the resorts section of this guide!
How to choose a hotel in the Maldives
Choosing the right resort is the most important step for any trip to the Maldives. That’s because the resorts in the Maldives are all private atolls, or islands. You’ll be spending your vacation here, so you want to make sure you’re picking the best one for you and your fiance. I recommend picking one, rather than bouncing around to multiple (unless you have multiple weeks), because they are all SO incredible, and I think on your honeymoon you’re not going to want to pack up and move around a ton. But, that being said, if you’re staying a long time and want to experience more than one hotel, it can be fun to check out a couple. Totally up to you and how you like to travel.
When I think about the very best hotels in the world, Six Senses Laamu is one of the top of my list. This island paradise was a huge highlight of Kenny and my first trip to the Maldives. Everything is just perfect about Six Senses, from the natural, rustic-yet-modern-chic paradise vibe, to the world-class food (their over-the-top breakfast buffet and complimentary homemade ice cream bar were the best things ever), to the villas that make it hard to ever leave your room! I highly recommend splurging for a pool villa, if you’re like me and a sucker for dreamy infinity pools! And, if you’re worried about not staying active enough on a private island, you don’t have to worry about that here! The adorable island bikes you use to get around, mixed with the incredible activities there are to do on the island, from snorkeling to sailing to surfing (the Six Senses’ type of surfing is often called “luxury surfing”, because they boast some of the best waves, but you’ll often be the only one surfing them, a luxury priceless to most surfers), you’ll continuously keep active, fit and healthy on your vacation – if that’s what you want!
At Six Senses Laamu, you can do it all, and nothing at the same time. I love it for honeymooners because you can truly make it YOUR vacation. Your bike to breakfast and morning paddle board or surf session can balance out that insane breakfast buffet. You can try a new yoga class while taking in world-class, mind-blowing views, or dive into your new beach read before diving into the sparkling turquoise water. Your afternoon snorkeling sessions and manta ray dives end with sunset champagne & canapes on your patio. You can enjoy the privacy of your own private overwater bungalow or walk over to get a pizza made in paradise and 2 for 1 margaritas at Sip Sip, meeting other couples on your way. You can even get dropped off at a completely private sandbank for the day (owned by Six Senses), complete with an umbrella, beach chairs, and cooler filled with whatever you’d like. A vacation at Six Senses is truly a choose-your-own adventure for any couple going on their honeymoon, and at the end of each day, you’ll melt into your mattress in an elevated state of pure vacation bliss.
It’s also worth mentioning that we loved Six Senses for its leadership in sustainability practices, that are setting the standard for eco-luxury for the entire hospitality industry worldwide. They are an almost completely self-sustainable resort, and it’s incredible. The resort’s mission focuses on protecting paradise environment and benefitting the communities and ecosystems around them, and you can feel their passion in everything they do. Their sustainability manager, Megan, is amazing and leads popular tours of the “back house” of the resort, where you can see everything from their desalination tanks that provide drinkable water derived from the sea for the entire island, to how the island creates its own energy to run the resort, to how they even make wooden toothbrushes for guests. She’ll tell you how all soaps, shampoos, etc, used at the resort meet the highest standards of biodegradability, and are all all-natural and non-toxic! They are striving to be completely plastic-free by 2022, and use no plastic bags, straws, on their island, instead, they’ll find a sustainable way to do everything, such as creating bamboo straws and toothbrushes, and only using glass bottles throughout the resort (did you know that glass comes from sand, and thus can be recycled into sand infinity times?). The Six Senses Laamu even has their own garden, filled with vegetables and herbs used in their restaurants, and a food waste composter that uses the food waste from the resort to help fertilize the garden.
Every single thing the resort is doing is having as minimal of an impact as possible, while giving you the best experience possible. It makes you start to wonder about all the other resorts you’ve ever stayed in, and it’s hard not to think about how many resorts aren’t thinking about their impact on the environment and their impact on the world outside of their resort.
You feel good about vacationing at the Six Senses Laamu – their love for their island and our world is contagious and something you will take with you long after you’ve gone home.
For more on the Six Senses Laamu, check out my Six Senses Maldives Hotel Review here.
All-villa resort, ultimate privacy, transcends luxury.
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On our most recent trip to The Maldives, we spent our first few days at the One&Only Reethi Rah resort. I had been eyeing this resort for years, and after the fantastic experiences I had at the One&Only Mandarina and Palmilla resorts, I knew I had to check this place out for you guys. Luxury begins with the way that you arrive at the resort – by luxury YACHT. Once you are on the property, there are golf carts that can take you to and from your villa, the beach, or to the delicious restaurants (there are eight on the resort!!), etc. Our villa featured a private plunge pool, comfortable lounge areas for basking in the sun, and all of the five-star amenities you can imagine. They also have a great house reef – we saw SO many sharks here (all friendly!) and even had a family of nurse sharks in the water right outside our room!
Kenny and I loved the resort’s breakfast buffet – we never missed it! One&Only Reethi Rah also has an award-winning spa, which you absolutely cannot miss. Even if you don’t do a treatment, you can explore the saunaa & steam – which is out of this world. The spa was named the Global Winner of Best Luxury Spa in 2013 and made Condé Nast Traveler’s top 20 list, so you know it’s good!!!
One&Only Maldives is paradise, perfected. The gorgeous private island has some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the Maldives, and the most impeccable tropical landscape throughout. They have 12 pristine beaches and two pools (other than your private villa pool) for you to enjoy. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go diving or snorkeling along some incredible coral house reefs which are home to over 2,000 species of fish.
Ultra-luxurious, ultra-opulent, seven-star luxury and service like no other.
There are two categories of villas at the St. Regis. all which come with a pool: sunset-facing and island-facing. While the sunset-facing villas are a higher category of room, and make for some dreamy sunset views, there is no problem with the island-facing villas. The overwater villas here are a design-lover’s dream, and are designed to resemble manta rays, each giving you an incredible amount of privacy, which I love. If you’ve ever stayed at a St. Regis anywhere in the world, you know about their signature butler service, which usually includes complimentary coffee, pressing of your clothes, and a butler available to you whenever you need it, for whatever you need.
Check rates for your dates here.
This dreamy private island resort is set on more than 22-acres, and has 77 beautiful villas scattered through the island – each with their own pool and entrance for an unparalleled degree of seclusion and privacy. The premium two- and three-bedroom villas – including the famed John Jacob Astor Estate, the largest overwater villa in the Maldives – are perfect for families and groups looking for a perfect escape.
It is worth noting that because the St. Regis is a seaplane away from the main Male airport, all guests have to pay $695 for the round-trip seaplane transfer. However, if you think of arriving to the St. Regis via a seaplane as its own excursion (sea plane rides in the Maldives are one of the best experiences you can have!!) It’s easier to justify the cost somewhat.
I love that at the Fairmont Maldives, each of their 120 villas features a goooorgeous private pool, ideal for honeymooners looking for that incredible insta-worthy bungalow. The Fairmont is located in the Shaviyani Atoll in North Maldives, and the island has a gorgeous house reef filled with beautiful fish and marine life, directly accessible from the beach. While the overwater bungalows exude modern classic luxury, the unique ultra-private safari-tented jungle villas also offer a unique romantic castaway vibe. Guests of the resort have plenty of activities to choose from, such as glamping BBQs in the jungle or watching movies at the jungle cinema!
Gili Lankanfushi is such a romantic hotel for a Maldives honeymoon. The overwater bungalows here give off a rustic-chic, lost-in-paradise vibe, and feel somewhere between a luxury pirate ship and a floating treehouse. They’re so unique, and gorgeous. You’ll want to spend all day laying out on your hammock over the water, and all night sleeping under the stunnnning stars (your butler can set it up for you!). Some of the beautiful overwater villas – called the “cruisers” give you an even more unique experience as you can only get to them by boat! You can boat yourself over during the day or there is always one on call for you! And, if you want the best of the best, or have a big family, you can look into the biggest overwater bungalow in the Maldives, called “The Private Reserve”, which is complete with four bedrooms, its own infinity pool, its own private ISLAND, and a slide into the ocean. So epic.
Gili Lankanfushi was started by the same owners as Six Senses, so many of the principles, philosophies, vibe and decor remain similar between both properties. What’s nice about Gili Lankanfushi is that it’s only a 20-minute boat ride away from the airport, rather than a plane, so you won’t need another domestic flight or a seaplane to get to it, making it a super popular vacation choice for Americans and honeymooners who want to make the most of their time in the Maldives, and may only have one week or less.
I found some highlights of this resort were the destination-dining options (you’re able to dine privately in gorgeous romantic settings all over the island), the sunset Dhoani cruise (a traditional 2-person Maldivian sailboat takes you on a priavte cruise around the lagoons at sunset with a bottle of champagne – such a romantic activity for honeymooners!) and all of the dinners at the resort!! Gili does an incredible asian street market buffet every Tuesday, and a to-die-for Mediterranean market buffet on Fridays, on all other days they have multiple restaurants open, including a fresh sushi restaurant called By the Sea! I also definitely recommend going to their beautiful spa and getting a massage! Their massage tables look over glass-bottom floors so you can watch the fish swim while you’re getting massaged! SO fun.
Conrad Maldives is one of the most insta-famous spots in the Maldives, for having the first underwater restaurant to ever exist in the world, Ithaa Restaurant! With that restaurant, gorgeous facilities, and its 2 award-winning spas, this gorgeous Maldives property is consistently one of the most popular for honeymooners.
The super-spacious overwater bungalows at Conrad stretch up to 500m directly into the Indian Ocean, and feature epic floor-to-ceiling windows with beautiful sea views. It takes a 30-minute scenic seaplane transfer from Male International Airport to get to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.
*Please note that the above contain affiliate links to some of the hotels! If you choose to book one of the hotels I recommended, or any hotel in the world, I would so appreciate you using these links above or this one here to do so! An affiliate link basically just means that at no cost to you at all, I get a small kickback from the booking site for bringing them your business! You just need to purchase on the same device/browser you click the below links 🙂 I never, ever recommend any hotels that I don’t 100% LOVE & think you will, too! If you have any questions at all, please see my advertiser & affiliate policy page here.
How long should you stay at each hotel in the Maldives?
I think at the very least you’ll want 5 nights in each hotel in the Maldives. I had to leave the Six Senses after 4 nights and I was devastated!! It felt like not enough time. But I think 5-7 nights is the perfect amount on a single island.
Will we get bored in the Maldives?
I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions about honeymooning in the Maldives. People worry about getting bored and not having enough to do for a week on an island. While a Maldives honeymoon is definitely for a couple that loves the ocean and the beach, if you love sunning, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, diving, paddleboarding, sailing, reading, relaxing, water sports, biking, tennis, movie nights, cooking classes, wine tastings, and sunset dolphin cruises, you will have NO shortage of activities to choose from at your resort. In fact, I was having so much fun doing everything on the islands that I didn’t even have a chance to touch my book that I bought for the trip!!!!
The Maldives islands are famous for being “80/80/80” year-round, meaning 80 degrees, 80% humidity, and 80 degree ocean water around the whole year. That being said, the dryest season runs from November-May, but this is also high season for tourists, meaning resorts FILL up FAST! So if you’re thinking of traveling during this time, you’re going to want to book fast. Also keep in mind that the prices are twice as high than the off-season. I think a lot of people are scared away from the Maldives’ “wet” season, but, after experiencing 10 straight days of sunshine in September (which is “rainy season”), and 2 partly cloudy days with the occasional rain squall blowing through, and talking to lots of people working at the resorts about the different seasons in the Maldives, it seems like no matter what time of year you visit the Maldives, you could get incredible weather, or rain, it’s a tropical place and the weather is kind of random! The Maldives see plenty of rainy days during the dry season, and plenty of gorgeous sunshine-filled days during the “wet” season! My advice is to book your trip when it works for you and your honeymoon, and hope for the best! Also, rain in the Maldives is NOT the worst thing in the world. The resorts have plenty of things for you to do if it rains, from wine tastings and cooking classes, to movies and games, and lotssss of good food and wine. The sun is so intense in these islands you may be wishing for a rainstorm for an excuse to hang inside after a few days outside in the Maldives!
What is there to do in the Maldives?
Depending on where you decide to stay, ask to see a brochure of all the activities available to you at the resort. Since you’re on a private island, you’ll be limited to what the resort offers, but trust me, the options won’t feel limited!! From sunset sails to surfing, snorkeling, and paddle-boarding, to chef’s dinners and wine tastings, to movies under the stars, lunches at a private sandbank, and of course, spa treatments, you’ll have limitless things to do in the Maldives!
I am going to write a whole post on What to Pack for the Maldives, so check that one out too, but I’ll summarize it here!
Sunscreen. Lotsssss of sunscreen.
The sun is very intense in the Maldives (The islands straddle the equator), and you’ll feel it as soon as you arrive. Make sure to avoid that first-day-of-vacay lobster burn, and stock up on some sunscreens before you leave. And please make it reef-safe sunscreen! (My rec for the best reef safe sunscreen here!)
Most of our sunscreens we use are toxic to the reefs we swim over after we put it on. Help practice sustainability on your travels and buy some reef-safe sunscreen for your trip.
An Underwater Camera or Gopro!
If you’ve been thinking of a perfect excuse to invest in a GoPro, this trip is it. There are so many beautiful tropical fish everywhere you look in the Maldives! And some awesome turtles, sharks, and manta rays too! I highly recommend bringing a GoPro (I use this one) with you for your trip so you can capture the incredible marine life!
BTW – here are direct links to all of my camera gear that I use for my photography – from my drone, to my underwater camera, to my DSLR.
Do you need to pack a power converter for the Maldives?
If you’re from the United Kingdom, then no! But if you’re from the US, you will need a power converter for the Maldives. While some of the resorts may have US plugs available in the rooms, I always make sure to pack a power converter and adapter before a trip to be safe (I like this one by Travel Smart by Conair because it also works for all my hair tools, and is a power converter and adapter all in one… plus it comes with plugs for use all over the world, so you won’t have to buy a new one for your next vacation!
Leave most of your shoes at home!
Ask your resort ahead of time to be sure, but most of the resorts have a “barefoot luxury” atmosphere, and encourage you to not wear your shoes the whole time. It’s an awesome feeling not to wear shoes for a whole week (and makes it really tough to adjust back to life at home!) I brought one pair of tennis shoes for the resort gyms, but found out that resorts like Kandolhu actually have shoes you can borrow for that reason! So incredible. So just check with your resort ahead of time – but you really only need one pair of shoes for the airplane.
Pack lots of bikinis, one-pieces and swimwear!
You’re going to be in the water every day of your trip in the Maldives – so pack your swimwear accordingly! Also, keep in mind you’ll probably be keeping pretty active in the ocean – from surfing to snorkeling to jumping off the overwater bungalow into the ocean, so you’re going to want to not only pack some chic swimwear to lounge in, but some bikinis you can actually swim and get active in. My favorite for snorkeling are my Watercolors onepieces of course! And the best part? You can have your guy match you!
You can get a discount for being a JetsetChristina reader with the code JETSET on any Watercolors or Kenny Flowers purchase!
And these are some of my other favorites I wore in the Maldives: *click on each photo to shop*
Lesson learned on my first trip to the Maldives: Do NOT underestimate the Maldivian sun. Having a couple chic sun hats with you to protect your face (and neck) from the Maldivian sun is so important on your honeymoon! Not to mention they look chic in all those vacation photos you’ll take in the Maldives! These are my favorites (click the photo to shop!)
Cute cover ups and beach dresses!
Click the photo to shop
Can you bring wine or alcohol to the Maldives on your honeymoon?
No. which sucks. If you try to sneak wine or alcohol in your suitcase they will find it, and you can get fined, or worse, thrown in jail. NOT an ideal honeymoon. The good news is an exception to the no-alcohol rule in the Maldives has been made for all the private islands that the resorts live on! (yay!) which is why they’re allowed to sell you alcohol and you’re allowed to drink your sunny days away with poolside pina coladas and champagne sunset cruises. Alcohol at the nice resorts in the Maldives is more expensive than bringing your own, but I was actually pleasantly surprised that the booze was less expensive than resorts I had been to in French Polynesia and Bora Bora and bottles of wines at restaurants in the Maldives were less than in restaurants in Bali.
Most of the nice resorts feature in-house sommeliers, as well, and I was so impressed by the somms at Six Senses & Gili Lankanfushi, who both picked out AMAZING bottles of wine to pair with every dish! I was very impressed, and being a Napa Valley girl, it’s hard to impress me!
What are the best stopover destinations on the way to the Maldives?
Dubai!!! Check out my ultimate Maldives and Dubai honeymoon itinerary here.