As if choosing where to stay in the Maldives wasn't hard enough, along comes the W Retreat & Spa.

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Miranda and Rosie are here to help give you the inside track.

The W brand's quest for world domination continues with their latest venture in the tropical island paradise of the Maldives. What started off as a chain of superswish metropolitan boltholes in North America has expanded to become a serious rival to the likes of Four Seasons and Aman, and the Maldives incarnation certainly lives up to the growing reputation.

Accommodation is in the now seemingly obligatory overwater villas, or the lead-in price two-storey Beach Oasis Villas, all with private plunge pools (yes, even the ones over the largest plunge pool on the planet - the ocean). Whatever type of villa you plump for, the design is slick, with the emphasis on white fabrics and wooden decks and all the mod-est of cons you might expect. The overwater villas even have partial glass floors so you can watch the underwater world drifting by.

Dining options include Kitchen restaurant, an island interpretation of a bistro and also where breakfast is served daily. Also - appropriately - over the water is the excellent seafood restaurant Fish, serving the freshest local produce and including about the freshest sushi available. Fire is a superslick interpretation of a beach barbecue, serving up everything from suckling pig to tandoor cooked nan bread and curries. For more liquid refreshment, there are a fine selection of cocktails and vintage wines available at Sip sunset bar or 15 Below, the subterranean bar and dancefloor, should the mood take you.

Activities on offer include the island staples of snorkelling, sailing, fishing, windsurfing and diving, but also kite surfing and a SeaBob - a semi-submersible motorised propellor for anyone with James Bond aspirations. For the less secret agent-inclined, the Away Spa offers a wide range of expertly administered treatments in an overwater pavilion with indoor and outdoor treatment areas.

Why we love it

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W take their luxury very seriously. The bar staff are known as the Liquid Team mixologists, and the Down Under dive team's boat is correctly referred to as a dive limousine.

Miranda, Original Traveller


Key Info

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Other places to stay in Maldives

Niyama, luxury hotel in the Maldives


The little sister of one of our favourite Maldivian retreats, Huvafen Fushi, PER AQUUM Niyama opened its doors in March 2012. It is every bit as luxurious and spoiling, with an added dose of funk and attitude in the form of the world's first underwater nightclub.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Anantara Kihavah

A serious contender for one our favourite Maldivian hotspots, Anantara Kihavah leaves no stone unturned, with effortless style and a mega dollop of attention to detail.

Baros Maldives, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Baros Maldives

Baros is an immaculate resort on a private, palm-fringed island surrounded by a shallow lagoon.

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Cheval Blanc Randheli

Sister property to the contemporary classic Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, Cheval Blanc Randheli caters to a similar audience of high flyers with an innate appreciation of the finer things in life.

Aerial view of Constance Halaveli Resort, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

The new Constance Halaveli has villas either on stilts in a beautiful lagoon or on the pristine beach.

Villas at Cocoa Island, luxury hotel in the Maldives

COMO Cocoa Island

COMO Cocoa Island is located in the less developed South Malé Atoll of the Maldives, reached by a 30-minute private speedboat transfer from the international airport.

Dining at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll, with its verdant, beach-fringed coral islands, is a quintessential Maldivean paradise.

Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Formerly Soneva Gili, this luxury hotel and spa occupies a tiny island set in a sparkling lagoon and surrounded by thriving coral reefs, ideally located just twenty minutes’ journey by speedboat from the international airport on Malé.

Water villa at Huvafen Fushi, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Huvafen Fushi

One of the most luxurious resorts in the Maldives, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi is located half an hour by speedboat from the international airport.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Park Hyatt Hadahaa

Sitting on an untouched atoll and boasting one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, the Park Hyatt Hadahaa is a diver’s paradise.

Pool Beach at Reethi Rah, luxury hotel in the Maldives

One&Only Reethi Rah

Set on one of the largest islands in North Male Atoll, the One&Only at Reethi Rah is one of the finest of the (very fine) hotels in the Maldives.

Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi

A luxury hideaway on the island of Kunfunadhoo in the Baa Atoll. Reaching the resort involves a half-hour scenic flight by seaplane from the Maldives’ capital of Malé.

Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu

Located towards the south of the Maldivian archipelago, Six Senses Laamu is designed to offer individual style along with a strong sense of community.

Soneva in Aqua

Soneva in Aqua

As a member of the Soneva family, this new luxury ultra yacht set sail in 2015, and offers guests the freedom to cruise to some of the Maldives’ most spectacular reefs and paradise locations.

The Viceroy Maldives

The Viceroy Maldives

The latest addition to the Viceroy Hotel collection, Viceroy Maldives is certainly one to rival its Maldivian neighbours. Located in the remote Shaviyani Atoll, it is an hour’s seaplane flight from the capital Malé.

Velaa Private Island

Velaa Private Island

This super-luxurious Maldivian hideaway is located in the Noonu Atoll, just 45 minutes by seaplane from the capital Male, and boasts a collection of 47 exclusive pool villas and residences.

Conrad Maldives Rangali

Conrad Maldives Rangali

Conrad Maldives Rangali is a wonderful resort on a private island surrounded by a marine life Mecca of stunning coral reef, whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and turtles.

Constance Moofushi

Constance Moofushi

So many beautiful desert islands, so many beautiful hotels to choose from. The Maldives has got an enviable problem on its hands with quite so much choice, but here at Original Travel we have been to the best of the bunch of hotels, and think Constance Moofushi will appeal.

COMO Maalifushi

COMO Maalifushi

COMO Maalifushi is the group’s second luxury hotel in the Maldives after Cocoa Island, and has recently opened in the more remote south-western Thaa Atoll.

Anantara Dhigu

Anantara Dhigu

With such a bewildering choice of resorts in the Maldives every island idyll needs a special something to differentiate from the rest; in the case of Anantara Dhigu it’s simple, this is one of the best – and best value – family hotels in the Maldives, all just 35 minutes by speedboat from the airport.

LUX* Maldives

LUX* Maldives

With so much competition of places to stay in the Maldives of late, with a new resort cropping up weekly, LUX* Maldives is a great option for all travellers, be it families, couples or divers. The quintessentially Maldivian resort is on the island of Dhidhoofinolhu in the South Ari atoll and boasts truly stunning beaches and turquoise waters.

Soneva Jani night view

Soneva Jani

Set in a 3.5 mile private lagoon on the beach-fringed island of Medhufaru, Soneva Jani is the brand’s newest resort, opened in October 2016. Part of a five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll, the other four islands remain untouched, while Soneva Jani itself is one of the lowest density resorts in the world.

beach pool villa exterior


This boutique private island resort is located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Alongside its idyllic setting Milaidhoo puts an innovative focus on experience led stays, so making for a truly unique Maldivian resort.

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Miranda and Rosie are our Maldives experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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