The Maldives is one of the most stunning tropical countries on the globe, making it a perfect honeymoon destination. Made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls with hundreds of coral islands, it’s an Indian Ocean mecca for anyone who adores insanely clear blue water, white sandy beaches, palm trees, and sunshine. There’s world-class surf in some parts, and throughout the whole nation’s extensive coral reefs, some of the most epic snorkeling and scuba diving that can be found anywhere. The dry season in the Maldives, from December to April, has little rain, low humidity, and lower temps until the spring, while wet season from May to November can have more rain and strong winds. In the latter, however, more hammerhead sharks and reef sharks (not dangerous to humans, and incredible to watch like other frequent guests, dolphins and manta rays) tend to hang out in shallower waters, so there are upsides to both.
Flights into Malé, the national capital of the Maldives, often require another type of transportation to your resort—like a smaller plane or a luxury boat—since most places are on private islands that can be far-flung. Tourism in the Maldives only started in the ‘70s, and a couple of paradisiacal resorts then turned into upwards of 80. New properties are still being built all the time, and they tend to range from luxurious to even more luxurious. True, the Maldives are not a great option for honeymooners on a budget, but if you have been saving your money—or points—for a five-star vacation to end all vacations, this is the way to go.
Luxurious resort brands with standout island properties include the various Four Seasons properties (including an over-the-top Explorer catamaran that can be booked for private voyages and overnight cruises between island-bound stays), the dreamy One&Only Reethi Rah with its 12 powdery beaches, and St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, which opened in 2016 and features sleek, innovative design.
Then there's Six Senses Laamu, an icon of eco-luxury, or Jumeirah Vittaveli’s overwater bungalows, which are swimming distance from a vivid reef and five shipwrecks for exploring. The latter's new five-bedroom Royal Residence is the way to truly go beyond—there are two private pools, a private spa, gym, restaurant, and private overwater bar (able to sleep 14, it’s kind of perfect for an elopement with friends!).
Perhaps less recognizable in name, Soneva Fushi is a top eco-friendly yet uber opulent resort with treehouse-style hideaways and the kind of low-key vibe that doesn’t require shoes. At Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, couples who love adrenaline can wakeboard or sail when not sunning on the terrace of their villa. Baros Maldives, on the other hand, was named the “World’s Most Romantic Resort” by World Travel Awards. The resort's sandbank dinner and glow-in-the-dark snorkeling experiences make it well worth the trip from the airport.
New to the scene is the Grand Park Kodhipparu, with 120 picture-perfect palm-fringed villas that either have sunrise or sunset views. Balinese and Ayurvedic treatments in the spa pair perfectly with days spent doing yoga and snorkeling. Even newer to the Maldives is Baglioni Resort Maldives, which offers sustainable Italian-inspired design and beach grand villas boasting private pools perfect for skinny-dipping. Milaidhoo Island Maldives, also newly built, is set in the midst of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Baa Atoll and is where honeymooners can actually have a star named for them. You select the name and the constellation in which it’s located and go home with a certificate including coordinates for the ultimate souvenir. Does it get any more perfect?