Make magical Maldives your year-end travel treat, Latest Travel News - The New Paper

Make magical Maldives your year-end travel treat

Experience unrivalled beach luxury and indulgent island getaways this festive season at these jaw-dropping resorts


Located in the languid waters of the North Male Atoll, the award-winning five-star eco-resort is reopening its doors on Dec 1 after an inspired renovation.

Known for pioneering barefoot luxury in the Maldives, it returns with a new design concept, wellness programmes and greater focus on sustainability.

An intimate paradise for discerning luxury travellers, the 45 refurbished villas will feature interior designs inspired by the island’s natural surroundings and locally crafted furniture made from upcycled materials.

Catering to larger groups, it will also introduce a new Family Villa category as well as reopen its 1,700 sq m Private Reserve, the largest overwater villa in the world to date.

Continuing to drive sustainable tourism in the Maldives, Gili Lankanfushi also offers guests opportunities to get involved in various green initiatives, such as its innovative Coral Lines Project to replenish the island’s reef, and the organic garden – one of the largest in the Maldives – which is grown using composted food waste and supplies the resort’s many restaurants.

Rates start at $1,440 per night on a room-only basis, based on double occupancy.


For a cinematic celebration, Lux* South Ari Atoll’s festive revelry is inspired by the 1985 film The Jewel of the Nile.

From Dec 22 to Jan 7, guests will embark on an unforgettable themed exploration across the expansive island (Beach Pavilion rates start from US$1,733, or S$2,355, per night for two persons sharing).

Families and friends can join the resort’s multitude of events such as a pirate cruise for kids and teens as they sail through the seven seas, sand castle competitions at Senses Beach, a Jewel of the Nile Roast on the Beach with the resident DJ and a mysterious carnival of the ancient Egyptians at Mixe featuring jewels, pyramids and sphinxes.

The festive celebrations go beyond the beach over at Lux* North Male Atoll during the same period (Water Villa rates start from US$3,365 per night with daily breakfast).

Infused with a South Beach Miami vibe to luxurious spa and wellness treatments, water sports and gourmet experiences, the resort offers truly unique adventures for adults and children alike.

From sunset yacht cruises to cocktail masterclasses, travellers can also expect activities such as a detox nutrition session with a Lux* in-residence expert, pizza-making at Bar Rouge and a catamaran snorkelling safari.


Taking a fresh approach to its island retreat, The Standard’s first hotel property in Asia that opened on Nov 1 offers relaxation, social activities and vibrant cultural experiences that welcome not only couples but groups of friends and singles looking to recharge in paradise.

Located on a naturally protected island accessible by seaplane or speedboat, The Standard, Huruvalhi features 115 overwater or beach villas with their own infinity plunge pool and private lounge deck.

Its six restaurants showcase the freshest produce sourced regionally and from the resort’s own island farm and the over-water bar and club has a see-through glass bottomed floor for ocean viewing.

It boasts some of the most experienced guides for snorkeling and diving excursions through its protected house reef and local waters, and guests can enjoy sunset boat trips to uninhabited islands and undiscovered reefs as well as day and night fishing and private destination dining.

Book from now till Dec 20 to enjoy special opening rates from US$395 (S$537) per night (includes overnight accommodation in one of the private villas along with buffet breakfast in the all-day dining restaurant).


Set amid 18 hectares of lush tropical flora and fauna on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, the newly-opened all-inclusive resort boasts 122 decadent over-water and beachside villas, including two exclusive Aqua Villas featuring bedrooms submerged beneath the turquoise waters.

Meanwhile, the Royal Suite is a resort within a resort and provides complete privacy and indulgence including a high degree of personalised services.

Pullman Maldives Maamutaa is surrounded by lush vegetation, a natural lake and sun-kissed beaches, plus one of the region’s largest and deepest lagoons.

With water temperatures slightly cooler than many other islands, the richness of the marine life and the colours of the coral are unparalleled. For example, this is the only place where divers can spot up to 13 species of sharks in the water.

Guests will never go hungry, as the resort boasts one of the most generous, all-inclusive offers in the Maldives, complete with a variety of culinary delights available at six outlets across the island.
Pullman’s well-being approach focuses around the four pillars of Sleep, Sport, Food and Spa.

Fitness enthusiasts can start at the resort’s Fit Trail island jogging track with five fitness stations offering a variety of physical trails, or level up with a complete boot camp Raaveriya Workout experience that kickstarts with calisthenics followed by an invigorating run on the beach and a refreshing swim in the lagoon.

As a special opening offer, enjoy complimentary return transfers valued at US$360 per person when booking a stay of five nights or more (from $1,368++ per night for four for a villa and $6,778++ per night for a suite), valid from now until Dec 23.


The destination playground is perfect for romantic getaways, family trips and experiences with friends, offering stunning land and in-ocean villas and a host of activities like undersea explorations and exhilarating water sports.

From now until Dec 31, the special rate starts from US$250 per night (inclusive of return transfers) for a minimum of three nights’ stay, per person per stay (minimum double occupancy per villa).

In addition, Angsana Velavaru’s 25th Anniversary Offer to celebrate Banyan Tree’s 25th anniversary features 25 per cent off the best available rate for spa, F&B and Gallery when you stay a minimum of two nights, in addition to your selection of one of these complimentary experiences (relaxing massage, local island tour and guided snorkeling tour).


Known for occupying the very best locations around the world, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’ first property in the region is situated on the southernmost tip of the Raa Atoll near Baa Atoll, a Unesco biosphere reserve, and one of the most secluded locations in the Maldives, surrounded by rich marine life including manta rays and dolphins.

The newly-opened resort boasts 81 Beach, Lagoon and Overwater Villas and Residences and is the first to offer all guests access to the world-class service and amenities of Club InterContinental throughout the entire island - coupled with extensive wellness facilities, bespoke experiences and six restaurants and bars.

To ensure that guests and future generations can enjoy the destination in the same way – with peace of mind – InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort has launched several initiatives focused on protecting the marine life and minimising environmental impact, like a dedicated Manta Ray sanctuary run by the resort’s own in-house biologist.

Beach pool villas start from US$1,250 (S$1,699) per night, and enjoy complimentary daily dinner at Cafe Umi for bookings until Jan 31 2020.


Newly opened in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll and adjacent to The Residence by Cenizaro’s first Maldives property, The Residence Maldives at Falhumaafushi, the two resorts are connected by a bridge, the first of its kind, which allows guests to travel between the two with ease.

Situated just 55 minutes by domestic plane from nearby Kooddoo island, followed by a five-minute speedboat, The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah is a 2km-long island of lush vegetation and soft white sand beaches.

Designed to enhance and complement its sister island, it offers guests additional spacious villas, a Spa by Clarins, Beach Club, diverse dining, water sports, dive centre, Kids Club, bespoke wellness programmes and more.

Stays start from (US$568++, or S$772) per villa per night on an all-inclusive basis for two people. Book by March 31 2020 and receive an opening offer of up to 40 per cent off with a minimum stay of four nights, with complimentary domestic flights and speedboat transfer included.


Nestled in lush foliage along silvery shores, the luxuriously refurbished beach villas retain the resort’s relaxed beach ambience, now with a refreshed palette of sophisticated neutral tones that reflect the island’s natural hues.

Darker timbers have been lightened with soft ivory and beige, brightening interiors and creating a refined beach-house vibe with infusions of tropical charm.

Bathrooms have also been rejuvenated to offer sleek indoor and outdoor spaces.

Guests can sink into a deep oval tub in their courtyard garden or retreat to the cool of a glassed-in air-conditioned area.

On each villa terrace, a traditional Maldivian swing has also been added, lending an authentic touch of local culture, and inviting guests to enjoy balmy island breezes in their own private sanctuary.
Rates start from US$666++ (S$906) in a Sunset Beach Villa on a bed & breakfast basis.