10 bucket list experiences to make your 2023 dream getaway in Maldives unforgettable
With more than a thousand splendid islands and the 26 coral atolls brimming with marine life, a dive into the unfathomable sea or sprawling across the sun-lounger on the powdery sand, the reasons to visit Maldives are unending. The destination lends itself seamlessly to suit all types of travellers from being a romantic hideaway, to a multi-generational getaway, for a best friends trip, to diving, a wellness retreat or even for the ones looking to go solo and these four resorts from Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio in the Maldives, give one a chance to tick off bucket-list things to do, in a bucket-list destination.
Experience a scenic seaplane or speedboat ride over the blues
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is located a swift 15-minute speedboat ride from Male International airport, while JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, W Maldives and The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort offer guests the chance to get on a seaplane and fly above the iconic shades of blue of the Maldives. Whether one chooses to soar in the skies, or ride the waves getting to these private island resorts is an experience to remember in itself.
Ever dreamt of waking up to the sounds of the sea and nothing but sights of endless blue ocean around you? That could be your reality at these resorts from Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio in the Maldives. Pick from the Duplex Overwater Pool Villa at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa with two levels of luxury or the WOW Ocean Haven at W Maldives with two bedrooms, an oversized plunge pool and an overwater hammock. The Overwater Villas at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort boast a large glass floor in the main living space that provide a viewing area to admire the diverse Maldivian marine life below while the Water Bungalows at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa provide an intimate deck to soak in romantic sunsets with your loved one.
Snorkel with turtles, swim with whale sharks, freedive with mantas
W Maldives sits above one of the best house reefs in the Maldives. The heart-shaped luxury playground is home to hundreds of species of marine life ready to be explored. Accessible from anywhere on the resort, one can jump in with snorkelling gear at any time and have the adventure of a lifetime by swimming with reef sharks and turtles just outside their villas, an experience they will never forget. For those looking to venture into deeper waters the diving and watersports center DOWN UNDER & WAVE offers a myriad of water activities and excursions, including the opportunity to swim with Whale Sharks! The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort, located in Baa Atoll, the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives, presents guests the chance to get up-close-and-personal with manta rays at the world’s largest natural manta feeding destination. Guests have the rare opportunity to snorkel with the gentle giants at the protected site of Hanifaru Bay just 18 kilometres from the resort, which can attract more than 100 rays around the time of the full moon, between June to October. Up to seven species of turtles can also be found nesting along the island’s pristine sandy beaches and may, at times, include threatened and critically endangered species such as the green turtle, hawksbill turtle and leatherback turtle.
Start your day with floating breakfast
An insta-worthy moment that one can never get enough of is a beautifully set up breakfast – not in bed, but in the pool! Each having villas with private pools, Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of resorts in the Maldives give guests the ultimate in luxury and indulgence with lavish floating breakfast experiences, with a touch of colour, and a splash of fun.
Indulge in an overwater spa treatment
It’s all about seascapes and relaxation when it comes to the Maldives, and a spa experience here is definitely a not-to-miss. The Heavenly Spa at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort exudes an intimate and serene ambience that allows guests to reflect on their destination with panoramic views of the ocean, while Spa by JW at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa is a tropical sanctuary where luxury and indulgence blend seamlessly offering a range of therapies inspired by some of the world’s most ancient practices to ensure wellbeing in mind, body, and spirit.
Travel with a purpose: Adopt coral, go coral
Marriott International’s Good Travel with Marriott Bonvoy program aspires to shift the way vacations are perceived – from pure leisure to a value-adding opportunity that allows travellers to explore and build deeper connections in local communities. The Adopt a Coral initiative at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa invites guests to participate in a fun and interactive coral-fragment plantation activity in an effort to promote reef habitats and generate new coral. The activity is led by experts and offers a hands-on experience to participants while also providing an alternative business to the 250 inhabitants whose sole previous source of employment was fishing. The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort offers guests an experience to be able to contribute meaningfully to the community by promoting the traditional art of lacquer to travellers coming to the Maldives, making it profitable and helping to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Liyelaa Jehun (art of lacquer) for future generations with an interactive workshop with local lacquer workers, to learn the art and help preserve one of the oldest traditional crafts in the Maldives.
Cherish memorable family moments
Traveling with children is now even easier with the FAMiLY BY JW™ Little Griffins Kids Club at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa where children can enjoy 100 exciting activities. Families can partake in activities such as FAMiLY Pizza Making, Scavenger Hunt & Treasure Opening, Hide & Seek, Movie Nights at the Pirate Ship, and many more such weekly activities, which feature both indoor and outdoor options. Family vacation goals are all about creating memories and Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa makes them easier than ever with the paradise island’s own Sheraton Side by Side Family Programme.
With each resort offering a unique setting and a wide array of destination dining experiences curated based on cuisines, locations and occasions, one can prepare to sink their feet into pristine sand and relish a romantic private barbecue dinner on the beach, or enjoy a family movie night under the stars by the ocean or even sail out and escape on a boat for sunset cocktails. A unique and culturally significant experience offered at JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa includes a private ‘Malafaaiy Dinner’ served on a stunning beach location where signature Maldivian dishes are carried to the table along with local drummers, singing, dancing and clapping to native songs, guests are also invited to join in the fun. Apart from six creative gourmet dining venues and lounge bars, the destination dining options at W Maldives range from a private dinner at the beach or coral terrace and barbecue dinners with a private chef, to experiences aboard the yacht, ESCAPE, or at Gaathafushi, a private castaway island that’s just a stone’s throw away from the resort.
Rekindle romance with custom engraved wooden plate or underwater
Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of resorts in the Maldives present the ideal backdrop and setting to celebrate love and unique experiences to make an escape here truly magical. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa boasts a “Honeymoon Garden”, a special garden to commemorate the love and commitment between two individuals. Honeymooners are exclusively invited by the resort’s General Manager to an evening cocktail event every Tuesday and Friday, eternalising their name on a custom engraved wooden plate that is then ceremoniously hanging to the proud standing tree in the garden. Couples who are looking for a creative way to amplify their wedding vows, can dive into romance at W Maldives. The resort, which sits upon one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, offers ‘Deep Love’ – an underwater wedding package with a backdrop that is unmatchable – submerged in a heart-shaped paradise, surrounded by reef sharks and turtles for an experience one will never forget, and all while wearing traditional attires, if guests choose to.
Sail out into the sunset
Guests can get sailing and experience the Maldives at it’s best – in the middle of the ocean with nothing but endless blues and stunning sunsets to keep you company. Go fishing in a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat, or chase a pod of dolphins – a memory for a lifetime. Take an excursion to a nearby island for an untouched snorkelling experience or just enjoy a luxury yacht cruise and toast to magnificent sunsets.