Dmitry Richie, with IFlyFirstClass, travel expert picked top 3 luxury resorts in Maldives Islands

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Dmitry Richie has been to dozens of incredible, upscale beach resorts over the years, and Maldivian resorts are perennial favorites

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The incredible white sand beaches and the azure Indian Ocean is irresistible. It’s eminently easy to travel to the “Necklace Islands” too.

Dmitry has been to dozens of incredible, upscale beach resorts over the years, and Maldivian resorts are perennial favorites. The incredible white sand beaches and the azure Indian Ocean is irresistible. It’s eminently easy to travel to the “Necklace Islands” too. There’s a convenient airport on Male, and there's no need to apply for a visa before travel. Add in spectacular amenities and a wide range of luxury resorts, and it is great recipe of a remarkable holiday. Three luxury resorts, in particular, stand out as especially appealing and commodious. Here are the top three resorts that Dmitry Richie believes offer the most magnificent accommodations, amenities and activities. Follow me on Instagram @dmitry_flyfirst.

No. 3: Como Maalifushi Resort
It’s nearly impossible to beat the gorgeous southwest Maldives location of Como Maalifushi. Located in the secluded Thaas Atoll, the resort is surrounded by pristine beaches. In the distance, visitors can see uninhabited private islands that call to mind picture postcards and fictional deserted islands.

The resort is known for its luxurious villas perched over the water and its splendid beach suites. This posh lodging isn’t just reserved for adults though. It’s just as welcoming to families with kids as it is to young couples and retired gadabouts. This mix of guests gives the resort a comfortable, joyous atmosphere that makes guests want to enjoy the resort to its fullest.

Picturesque wooden walkways guide guests to their secluded overwater villas. You can lounge on private deck, dipping toes into the water every so often to cool down. Beds are draped elegantly in white, flowing netting, and a wide doorway opens to the sea. If guests really want to feel part of the landscape, they can also choose the resort’s garden rooms and beach suites. They’re set in the island’s lush tropical gardens and along the beach, and they’re perfect for families. Beach activities are just steps away, and guests even have the option of a private pool.

Like all excellent resorts, Como Maalifushi also houses a fabulous spa to really get guests into relaxation mode. The Shambhala Retreat is known for its holistic approach to life. Guest will luxuriate in the free yoga classes and private guided meditation and pranayama sessions. Amp up a little in the fitness room, then enjoy a bone-melting massage. From Dead Sea Mud treatments to soothing manicures, Shambhala Retreat pampers whole body.

Dining at the resort is equally sumptuous. Local fishermen deliver fresh fish to the on-site restaurants every day. Chances are good that dinner was swimming in the ocean outside the villa just hours before meal. Aside from the fresh seafood, Dmitry appreciated the resort’s attempt to appeal to all palates and diets. Fresh, healthy meals are always available at Madi. Sushi and sashimi are delightful at Tai. Relaxed meals of salads and pizza are enjoyed in Thila. Kids can also enjoy beach picnics, and couples can spark a little romance with private in-villa dining.

Well-planned provisions, extremely accommodating staff and pristinely kept grounds make this resort a treasure. It’s not a surprise, then, that it earns so many nods from luxury travel reviews. In 2016, the resort was named the top luxury hotel spa in the Indian Ocean region by the World Luxury Spa Awards in 2015, it earned Tattler Spa Award’s Dream Spa Cuisine designation. That’s not bad for a resort that opened in the summer of 2014.

No. 2: One and Only Resort Reethi Rah
Beautifully situated on the north side of the Male Atoll, One and Only Reethi Rah is a study in opulent pampering. This pampering begins even before guests set foots on the resort grounds. Once plane lands at Male Airport, guests will travel to the resort via luxury yacht, seaplane or private speedboat. Its service is so legendary that Conde Nast Traveller recently named the resort the Best Overseas Hotel Spa and Traveller’s World Awards ranked it the second Most Beautiful Hotel Spas.

The all-villa resort’s accommodations are plush and elegant, in keeping with the local aesthetics. Beach villas boast quaint thatched roofs and spacious, relaxing verandas. Laze the day away on a hammock outside your door, or play on the adjoining beach. Two-villa residences give extra privacy and convenience if you’re traveling with another couple or family. Other options include grand beach villas and exquisite water villas.

Dmitry Richie especially enjoy the resort’s multi-cultural dining. The blend of French, Italian and Asian flavors in Reethi Restaurant are bold, contemporary and delightful. For a truly stunning experience, guests must dine at least once in Tapasake at sunset. The waterfront Japanese restaurant offers modern fare and breathtaking views. Perhaps the resort’s most unique treat, though, is its beachside dining at Fanditha. Here, guests will relax on sofas in your private cabana to enjoy the Middle Eastern fare. Several other restaurants offer salads, seafood and grilled foods in picturesque, accommodating settings. Savor a nightcap and mingle with other guests in the resort’s many bars, or allow the resort to arrange a romantic beachfront dinner.

Guests won’t need to worry about gaining weight from all the resort’s lush food though. Activities are plentiful here. Snorkeling and diving are, of course, one of the first activities guests enjoy. The sea life is incredible, the water is refreshing and the setting could not be more dazzling. There are countless other ways to stay active and entertained on the resort property too. There’s tennis, an art studio, a towering climbing wall and shopping on site. Guests can also waterski, paraglide, wakeboard or rent a speedboat in the Water Sports Centre.

The One and Only Reethi Rah resort’s spa is the perfect counterpoint to all that activity. The spa incorporates indigenous Ayurvedic principles into its treatments and sessions for an enriching, harmonious experience. Guests can opt for a variety of massage treatments and revel in a wide range of body therapies. The spa also offers facial treatments and signature therapies. Men aren’t left out of this pampering, either, since the spa offers treatments for men and couples. There are even family spa treatments available.

If travelers prefer a friendly, welcoming experience that brings in some of the local traditions, One and Only Reethi Rah is perfect resort for that.

No. 1: Cheval Blanc Randheli
Cheval Blanc Randheli is truly the ultimate in luxury resorts. In fact, Dmitry Richie would say "that it’s a super-luxury, heavenly resort". It’s located on the exotic and exclusive Noonu Atoll in the Maldives’ northwest region. An expansive coral reef protects many of the islands in this atoll, so guests will enjoy quiet, unblemished nature in its purest form. This island is evidence that vivid colors are a part of nature. Guests will find lush tropical greenery, exotic flowers, azure water and a fabulous array of colorful fish and sea life.

The resort itself is sensational too. Guests will arrive at the island aboard the resort’s specially outfitted seaplane. It’s door-to-door service on steroids, with plush leather seats, tropical flavored water and “cooling kits” made specifically to help guests to refresh between flights. There is no better way to approach the resort’s secluded island than aboard a private plane.

The lodging options are varied, but all selections enjoy the same level of service and luxury. Designed by the legendary Jean-Michel Gathy, the resort offers fantastic spaces throughout. Chic, contemporary villa furnishings echo the resort’s elegance and comfort. Private terraces with cushy outdoor furniture add extra relaxation and entertainment space. Enjoy taking a private swim throughout the day or night, be sure to book a villa with a private infinity pool. The convenience is unbeatable, and the views are fabulous.

Although it seems impossible, the resort ups the ante on elegance in its restaurants and bars. Grilled lobster and salad nicoise are just two of the favorite dishes served at The White. The White is the perfect spot to enjoy a casual meal, whether you want to dine indoors or out. French cuisine is gorgeously executed in Le 1947, the resort’s fine dining experience. The nine-course meals served in the restaurant are sublime, and that complement to the resort’s signature Le 1947 vintage. A variety of other superb restaurants and bars complete the resort’s dining options, satisfying the tastes of the most sophisticated palates.

If guests are bringing family, rest assured that on-site kids’ and teen clubs keep children of all ages happy and active. Adults can enjoy their own outings, from diving the colorful reef to taking an excursion to a nearby island. The resort’s “alchemists” can customize an activity or excursion for guests and their group so they can sit back and enjoy the region hassle-free. A fully equipped fitness center allows them to keep up with exercise regimen, and they can hone swing with the resort’s golf simulator. Even the tennis courts are special here, built to Australian Open standards and set amid the lush tropical greenery.

As if the eye-catching setting, attentive service, chic villas and numerous amenities aren’t enough, Cheval Blanc Spa puts the resort over the top. Guests will board a traditional dhoni to get to Spa Island, crossing the crystal-clear blue water in mere minutes. The resort’s Well-Being Experience menu is extensive. Stretch muscles and spine in tranquil yoga sessions. Soothe body in a traditional hammam bath. Settle back while professional stylists apply make-up and style hair. Guests can also book a one-, three- or five-day Well-Being Journey for a fully restorative experience.

Without a doubt, Cheval Blanc is the most luxurious resort Dmitry Richie have found on Maldives. From the personalized service to the breadth of amenities, Cheval Blanc is unparalleled.

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