These luxury island resorts are a food lover’s dream. From grand, multi-room breakfast buffets to Michelin-star sushi and works of art on a plate, these beachy escapes will serve almost anything you want—literally.
Here are the nine best Maldives resorts for epicureans.
Velaa Private Island
This ultra-luxe private island has 47 glamorous villas with three dining options to tickle the taste buds. Athiri is the main restaurant serving pastas, burrata pizzas and juicy burgers. Tavaru has a teppanyaki grill for fresh Maldivian lobster, and Wagyu served on the third floor of a wine library with vintages from Bordeaux to Yarra Valley.
But the standout at Velaa Private Island is Aragu, the only restaurant in the country to make it to the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. A multi-course fusion of modern-European and Asian, the plates here are so beautiful you’ll second-guess digging in.
InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort
A peaceful paradise in the Raa Atoll, the five-star InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort has five restaurants to rotate between. The overwater Fish Market has a unique concept in its sunken fish tank, with the catch of the day still swimming. The Santorini-inspired Lighthouse is made for Instagram, with drinks served at the top of the lighthouse while Spanish-inspired plates are created a few flights down in the main restaurant.
One of the Maldives’ most spectacular resorts, Soneva Jani has plenty of food options to match. There are nine restaurants for guests in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, a newly opened all-inclusive offering.
From black pepper mud crabs at the beachside Crab Shack to fresh sashimi and chicken teriyaki at Cinema Paradiso, you’ll need at least a week to try everything. The island also has guest chefs serving up exciting menus like Chef Diana Von Cranach’s multi-course raw experience, So Wild. At Overseas, Chef Mathias Dahlgren’s creates spectacular seafood and plant dishes with Scandanavian flare.
A sustainable, rustic-chic resort just 20-minutes from Malé is one of the islands’ most vegan-friendly. Animated chef Hari Govindaraj leads a masterclass in making vegan food not taste vegan. Stunningly inventive and colorful plates are served at Gili Lankanfushi during a private lunch or dinner in the organic garden.
The island isn’t exclusively plant-based; it’s got plenty of top-quality meats and seafood at their nightly themed buffets and impressive morning spread. The Asian street food market is a must.
St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Island
Dine inside the belly of a whale shark at this luxury property. OK, not a literal whale shark but a wooden one. The Whale Bar is the spot for sunset cocktails followed by a prime cut of A5 Wagyu beef. Alba is a chic all-day dining restaurant with favorites like the Caesar salad wrap, while its beachside neighbor Crush & Craft makes pepperoni pizzas and burgers. For traditional Indian fare cooked by Indian chefs, the jungle-covered Cargo is the spot at St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Island.
Naladhu Private Island Maldives
Naladhu Private Island Maldives is one of the region’s more unique dining options with one restaurant, The Living Room, and no set menu. Here you can order anything you want—as long as the chefs have the items in the kitchen, they’ll make it for you. If it’s chicken piccata like mom used to cook or a fresh seafood ceviche you’re after, they will execute it flawlessly.
Plus, it’s one of the only resorts in the Maldives serving all-day breakfast. So, you can have pancakes and bacon for dinner every night. Should you want a menu, there is one to draw inspiration from or connecting resorts Anantara Dhigu and Anantara Veli have restaurants that Naladhu guests can visit.
(Naladhu Maldives is currently closed for renovations and is expected to reopen on November 1, 2021.)
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Elegant Chinese restaurant Li Long serves the best Peking duck outside of Beijing while Yasmeen cooks flavorful Levant cuisine in an Arabain-style village. A former Nobu chef helms the Japanese restaurant Shimizu, and Michelin-star chef Dave Pynt is behind The Ledge, serving award-winning Australian barbecue. For fancy private dining, Terra serves guests white truffles and caviar in a treehouse bamboo nest.
Quite possibly the best breakfast buffet in all the Maldives, JOALI knows how to put on a spread. There’s an entire cold room dedicated to fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, cheese and charcuterie. Another room is filled with pastries and a fresh juice station. On top of that, there’s a multi-page menu with every kind of eggs Benedict, side dish, healthy breakfast or sweet carb you could want.
There is an enormous variety of dining options at Fari Marina Village and each resort. From upscale Italian and Michelin-star Singaporean at the Ritz-Carlton to Meditteranean and plant-based at Patina. A bakery, gourmet burgers and gelato await at Fari Marina Village. It’s impossible to go hungry.