There’s no other place on Earth like the Maldives. These islands are home to stunning, white-sand beaches, crystal-clear lagoons, over-the-top resorts and some of the craziest, coolest and best attractions you can only find in The Maldives.
The Maldives is one of my top 5 favorite places to travel to. I’ve spent a total of 6 weeks in the Maldives over the past few years, and I can honestly say it’s worth the 24-hour trek each time. Not only is it utterly beautiful, it’s extremely exclusive. There are no hordes of tourists, no high-rise buildings and no stress with traveling.
Bottom line: The Maldives is quite literally paradise.
People will spend a lot of money to vacation here because it’s remote, private and drenched in luxury (think: private butlers, beaches all to yourself, insane overwater villas). While many people, especially honeymooners, will splurge for a Maldives vacation, you can still travel here affordably, as I outline in my 4 tips on how to afford the Maldives.
Possibly your screensaver and high on your bucket-list, the Maldives has many quirks. There are one-of-a-kind attractions, amenities and activities you won’t find anywhere else on this planet, which makes the destination even more compelling. I’ve been to 113 countries, and I haven’t come across crazy things so over the top and unique elsewhere. It’s why I had to write a story on the coolest, best attractions in the Maldives.
In fact, mere amenities or resort features in the Maldives are attractions unto themselves. They’re so amazing, they make a visit to this island paradise worth the trek, and even inspired me to do a Youtube video (you can check it out here, since you’ll get a lot more video action than the photos below).
Here are the 9 best attractions you can only find in the Maldives.
1. Outdoor ice skating rink at Jumeirah Vittavelli
Jumeirah Vittaveli, an intimate 89-villa resort just 30 minutes from the airport by boat, has floating villas, a super yacht for guests and beach villas have outdoor bathrooms with their own pool. Of course, that’s just the brink of “over the top.” The resort is known for having an outdoor ice skating rink that looks out into sea.
OK, so it’s not exactly ice, but a 970-square-foot Glice synthetic rink that functions without water… which is close enough. The cool thing about it (get it? cool?) is that you can actually ice skate… in your bathing suit. Definitely one of the craziest attractions in the Maldives.
Book Jumeirah Vittaveli here.
2. Waterslide villas at Soneva Jani
There’s no other place in the world where your two-floor overwater villa comes with its own… waterslide. At Soneva Jani, which is one of the most luxurious resorts in the Maldives, the overwater villas are a whopping 4,700 square feet, equipped with a slide that extends from the second floor (or its own deck) and right into the turquoise sea.
If you want a more thrilling, longer ride, head to the main resort area, home to a waterslide double the length. This makes it one of the coolest attractions in the Maldives.
Book Soneva Jani here.
3. All-glass underwater restaurant at Hurwalhi
There are two underwater restaurants in the Maldives. The first to open to the public is Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Rangali Island Resort, and the more recently opened underwater restaurant is 5.8 Undersea at Hurwalhi.
I’ve been to both restaurants, but I’m going to discuss Hurwalhi because a) it’s bigger than Conrad, sunken 20 feet underwater (as opposed to Ithaa’s 16 feet) with almost double the tables and space, officially making it the largest underwater all-glass restaurant in the world and b) it looks like a spaceship underwater, which I love.
Also, when I dined here, I saw cool puffer fish and a moray eel.
If you want to book, get ready to fork over $350 per person! It’s definitely worth the experience. For more photos and information on 5.8, I did a longer story here.
Book Hurwalhi Resort or 5.8 here.
4. Underwater spa at Huvafen Fushi
Huvafen Fushi is a small slice of paradise that I checked into right when Naomi Campbell was leaving. Bummer! The villas are small and super private (and the bathroom has its own pool, which is insane). Now you see why it’s one of the best attractions – high-profile people make a point to visit!
Not a lot of people who go to the Maldives know there’s an underwater spa at this resort. It’s like something from the future, or Aquaman, where you can get a massage while looking out into the sea. The spa moonlights as an aquarium at night, so you can watch tropical fish, Jackfish and eels in the coral. It’s one of the best attractions in the Maldives.
Book Huvafen Fushi here.
5. Private deserted island at Kudadoo
Kudadoo is the most expensive resort in the Maldives with standard rooms hovering around $3,400 a night. Kudadoo is a true all inclusive, meaning *everything* (including spa treatments, sails, jet skis, etc) are included in the rate. and it’s insane with only 15 villas (each 1,017 square feet!).
Like several Maldives resorts, Kudadoo comes equipped with its own private and deserted sandbar island, Dream Island. I’ve been to a bunch of these remote, private islands, but the one that belongs to Kudadoo is crazy stunning. You can stay all day and pretend you’re shipwrecked and not see anyone for hours.
While these sandbars do exist in other tropical parts of the world, Dream Island is surrounded completely by crystal-clear water, there are no trees, the sand is so purely white you have to squint and you can actually jet ski here. Definitely one of the craziest and best attractions in the Maldives.
Book Kudadoo here.
6. The insanely beautiful storms.
Because you’re in the middle of the Indian Ocean with nothing around you, and there are no high rise buildings or air pollution, you can see storms coming from miles away. It’s the coolest thing I’ve seen regarding nature in Maldives.
There were several times we saw thunderstorms mushrooming several miles away, approaching our direction, and it was like something out of a movie, just breathtaking and compelling. Here we are at Milaidhoo, watching storms like its poetry.
Book Milaidhoo here.
7. Outdoor glass-wall steam room and sauna at One & Only Reethi Rah
One and Only Reethi Rah is a magnet to celebrities (like Gordon Ramsey and David Beckham, who have been guests). It’s one of my favorite resorts (I’ve stayed here twice now!), and I love the recent renovation that included an overhaul to its sexy and massive outdoor spa. There’s no other spa in the Maldives that has clear, glass-wall, outdoor steam rooms and sauna in both the men’s and women’s spa areas, and it’s one of the craziest attractions in the Maldives.
I think aesthetically these are stunning, and honestly, if you feel weird about this, you’ll likely never run into anyone else. That’s what people love about the Maldives. Every resort has such few rooms that it’s never overcrowded, and every time I went to a resort spa, I was the only one there (or with my friends).
Book One & Only Reethi Rah here.
8. Outdoor toilet at Conrad
This. A toilet with no wall so you can… go about your business while everyone watches.
Haha. OK, that’s not true because there’s a spa villa that blocks the toilet so no one can see because it’s part of that villa. It’s a cool design feature I was obsessed with.
This outdoor bathroom is at the Conrad Rangali Island spa, so if you’ve ever fantasized about dropping off the kids to the gentlest breeze with no wall blocking you in, you know where to book.
Could this not be one of the, if not the, coolest attractions in the Maldives?
Book Conrad Rangali Island Maldives here.
9. Stingray feeding frenzy at Jumeirah Vittavelli
We’re back at Jumeirah Vittaveli because I couldn’t leave you without mentioning the resort’s crazy stingray feeding every day at 6 pm. Guests gather around one of the quiet beaches to see sting rays and huge Jack fish up close, fighting over bits of chopped liver.
It’s visually crazy and exciting and no other resort does it to this level.
Book Jumeirah Vittaveli here.
Those are the 9 craziest attractions in the Maldives, and they are also the best things you can do in the Maldives (other than luxuriate). The destination is growing fast, and newer resorts keep raising the bar, so you never know what’s going to pop up next. Hopefully, you’ll get a trip out there soon for an unforgettable experience… including this hammock in the middle of the sea (Soneva Jani)!
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