It’s the definitive escape for celebrities, honeymooners and families, all intent on kicking back in a picture-perfect paradise.
Sitting serenely in the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives guarantees the whitest of white sand beaches, pods of dolphins, dreamy sunsets and an unforgettable underwater world.
The year 2022 marks a half-century since the nation’s first resort opened, when guests had to wade through waist-high water to get ashore.
Happily, access has improved considerably since, with resorts on atolls today reaching across more than 500 miles of ocean, from the north to south of the country.
Here is a selection of properties set to open this year, as well as one resort that recently began welcoming guests and another that has gone through a massive refresh.
Patina Maldives, Fari Islands
An archipelago made up of four idyllic islands, the Fari Islands sit in the northeast of the North Malé Atoll, a 45-minute speed boat ride or a 15-minute seaplane flight from Velana International Airport.
They are home to Patina Maldives, a new hospitality concept by Capella Hotel Group, which features 90 contemporary villas and 20 studios from renowned Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan.
Unlike most of the other properties on this list, Patina recently opened so you can check-in right now if you’re in need of an urgent escape.
Ranging from one to three bedrooms, the beach and over-water pool villas offer sustainable, understated luxury – and killer views.
If you can pull yourself away from basking in the sun by your pool, then wellness journeys, culinary experiences, free diving or even music programs should relax you still further.
Rate: From $1,900 for a beach villa
Alila Kothaifaru Maldives
Slated to open in the first half of this year, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives will feature 80 beachfront and over-water villas – all with pools, natch – in another stunning location, the Raa Atoll.
One huge draw is their house reef, which is teeming with marine life, from elegant rays to multi-colored coral. It’s sure to make the resort a draw for snorkelers and divers alike.
Mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets will come as standard, while their dining options will include Japanese teppanyaki and yakitori, as well as secluded dining on a private sandbank for the ultimate in romance.
Rates have not yet been announced.
Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort
The first Maldives resort from Avani Hotels & Resorts is set to open its doors in mid-2022 in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Just a 30-minute seaplane ride from Velana International Airport, the Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort sits on an island surrounded by a lagoon in the west of the reserve.
Unique and remarkable biodiversity can be found in its coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves. Watch out for hawksbill turtles, rays and friendly reef sharks.
Guests will be able to choose from 176 villas and studios with no fewer than six spots to eat, drink and be wowed by those views.
Rate: From $650 per night for a one-bedroom ocean view studio with breakfast.
Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa
Another new 5-star property in the Raa Atoll, this time all-inclusive, comes in the form of Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa.
A lush seven-hectare island amid a 100-hectare lagoon means that there’s plenty of space to relax, be it on land or water, when it opens in May.
Eighty villas in six categories all seek to blend into the natural surroundings, built with natural materials wherever possible.
One particular draw is what they call “playful experiences” through the adrenaline rush of extensive water sports and diving facilities, a gym and sports center. Once you’ve worked up a sweat, indulge in eats at restaurants including their Beach Club Grill.
Rate: From $800 per villa, per night.
You’ll have to wait to check out Villa Haven in the South Ari Atoll as it only opens in late 2022, but when you do, they promise to cater to discerning travelers of different persuasions.
Whether you’re a wellness worshipper, a deep-sea diver or a fun-loving family, their 68 oceanfront villas and residences will provide a luxurious base as you explore the resort’s many experiences.
Thanks to the island’s lush vegetation, their botanical gardens and palms produce coconuts, tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that will all be served up in Villa Haven’s restaurants, while sustainable local materials are also being used in the construction of the resort.
Rate: From $2,000 per night
Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa
A familiar name is set to welcome guests to the Maldives by early summer with the arrival of the all-villa Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa.
Located on an island of the same name, it’s handily just a 15-minute speedboat ride from the airport. As a result, it shouldn’t take long for guests to deplane and soak in their private pool at one of the resort’s 109 beach and water villas.
Six restaurants and bars include Eden, an adults-only bar specializing in Champagne and cocktails with perfect sunset views, while Re-Fuel is a “teens-only zone.”
At the spa, maternity, bridal and couples’ massages are just some of the options to extend the bliss.
Rate: From $830 per night, including breakfast
Conrad Maldives Rangali
Finally, to a relaunch of the first ever international resort in the Maldives, as Conrad Maldives Rangali celebrates 25 years in the country.
The twin-island property helped to pioneer what we now call “barefoot luxury” and boasted other firsts including the world’s first ever undersea restaurant and first underwater bedroom.
To mark the resort’s anniversary, 50 over-water villas have been revitalized, as have three restaurants and bars. Brand new additions include an adults-only gym, Majaa Explorers Hub and the Furaavaru Teens Club.
Experience wise, don’t miss the chance to swim with whale sharks and manta rays, head out on a turtle safari or dazzle your Instagram followers with a sunset dolphin cruise.
Rate: From $1,860 per night