Embrace island romance and barefoot luxury in the Maldives

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

Dreaming of a romantic holiday in the Maldives? Update your wish list with two glorious resorts for the ultimate barefoot luxury experience in this iconic island destination.

Mention the Maldives, and that screensaver scenery immediately springs to mind. Shimmering turquoise lagoons, overwater villas braceleted by timber walkways, and powdery sand fringed with palms. Although blissfully secluded, cast like pearls across the vast Indian Ocean, these fabled islands are a beacon for the world’s couples and honeymooners — all dreaming of that iconic leap from private deck to sparkling lagoon.

It’s true: barefoot luxury awaits, but also a sea of hotels and resorts, creating a dizzying choice! So, to help find your perfect Maldives accommodation, we’re diving into two gorgeous resorts from Thailand’s leading hotel operator Centara Hotels & Resorts, whose renowned hospitality has translated beautifully to the islands.

Oh, and keep reading for more on how to get to the Maldives.

ISLAND INDULGENCE & PRIVATE POOLS: Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa, Maldives
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

In the South Ari Atoll, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa offers the quintessential Maldives experience in a lush tropical island setting. Along with a raft of resort highlights (infinity-edge pools, plenty of delicious dining options, and an indulgent spa) you’ll find those coveted pool villas hovering over the crystal-clear lagoon. Perfect for snorkelling hand-in-hand whenever the mood might take you. The vibe? Barefoot luxury, just like the postcard.

Best room for two:

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa

Take your pick from 112 beachfront villas and sumptuous overwater villas, all with magical ocean views. A Premium Deluxe Sunset Overwater Villa with Pool offers the ultimate romantic setting with a palatial bedroom overlooking the ocean and a private sundeck and 12 sqm infinity pool for soaking up those iconic sunsets. Back on the beach, a Two Bedroom Beach Villa with Private Pool will give you plenty of room to lounge plus easy connections to resort facilities. With fresh white interiors, a private deck with sun loungers, and a plunge pool overlooking the sea, they’re pure castaway chic.

Dining, spa & adventures:
All that dazzling scenery can really work up an appetite! Luckily, you’ll have five bars and restaurants to choose from, including The Reef for local Maldivian specialities and English breakfast classics, Suan Bua for delicious Thai cuisine, and overwater favourite Azzuri Mare for authentic Italian and dreamy views of the sparkling lagoon. Laid-back lounging beckons at the island-style Coral Bar & Lounge while cocktails are served with sunset vistas at the overwater Aqua Bar. And for those moments you just can’t bear to leave your villa (and who could blame you?), optional in-room dining will deliver everything from breakfast in bed to a midnight snack.

At Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa, the underwater adventures are equally enticing with a colourful house reef teeming with aquatic life and a shipwreck dive site just off the island. Snorkel with sea turtles and swim with whale sharks, explore by kayak or semi-submarine, and even learn to dive in one of the world’s most beloved seascapes.

Close to the beach and resort fitness centre, you’ll also find your wellness groove at SPA Cenvaree. Combining Thai traditions with modern practices, the spa offers a range of indulgent couples’ treatments, Thai massage, hot and cold plunge pools, a steam room, and more. Bliss.

Fun fact: The ocean water really is warmer in the Maldives — and perfect for swimming at around 27-30°C year-round!

THE ADULT’S ONLY PLAYGROUND: Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa 

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa, Maldives
Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa, Maldives

Set on a pristine island in the North Malé Atoll, Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa is just a short speedboat ride from the capital Malé and international airport — making it a peaceful (yet accessible) tropical island paradise for honeymooners and couples. The vibe? Serene and utterly luxurious.

Best room for two:
Choose from 140 beautifully appointed oceanfront villas that open to the sugar-soft sand or signature overwater villas with direct access to the azure lagoon. For a special getaway, see the Premium Deluxe Sunset Overwater Villas where you can wake to sea views, unwind in your outdoor spa tub, and bask in the colours of sunset from the privacy of your deck. So indulgent.

Dining, spa & adventures:

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa offers unforgettable half-day excursions and full-day adventures (think island cultural tours, semi-submarine experiences, and undersea adventures with sea turtles and dolphins) so get your bucket list ready. Closer to the resort, you can spend your days snorkelling the lagoon and home reef, enjoying beach games, and trying your hand at water sports including kayaking, catamarans, SUP, and parasailing

The adventure continues with the resort’s epicurean offerings: seven tempting options including Middle Eastern flavours at Al Khaimah, Italian favourites at La Brezza, Thai delicacies at Suan Bua, and international buffets at Oceans. Sip on swim-up refreshments at Waves Pool Bar then head to Viu Bar on sunset for lounge seating, overwater catamaran nets, and stellar ocean views. And for a special dinner? The resort’s candlelit ‘Sand Sofa’ private dining experience is a must — follow with a moonlit beach stroll for the ultimate romantic evening in paradise.

If pampering is high on your holiday list, SPA Cenvaree offers a sanctuary of relaxation. Among their ‘healing huts’ are three designed for couples with private outdoor terraces and Jacuzzis, along with two Thai massage rooms. Imagine sharing their delicious Honeymoon Retreat: a Mocha Chino Mud Wrap, Strawberry Scrub, soothing Vanilla Shea Butter massage, and a Thai Herbal Facial!

Whether you choose Centara’s luxurious hideaway with private pools (Centara Grand) or their adults-only playground (Centara Ras Fushi), you’ll be booking a golden ticket to one of the most romantic places on earth.

Forever memories are made in the Maldives.

Travelling to the Maldives
Ever wondered: Where exactly is the Maldives, and how do we get there? These idyllic isles can be found far west of Perth and just southwest of Sri Lanka and India. Couples really can leave the world behind here, and getting to the Maldives only takes a little forward planning.

From Australia, you can fly to the Maldives capital of Malé via Singapore or Sri Lanka, depending on your chosen airport and airline. From the Male Velena International Airport, you then catch a seaplane or speedboat to your chosen resort. This transfer is generally a holiday highlight and will be pre-arranged to keep your arrival stress-free.

For the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa, you’ll jet in from Malé via seaplane (around 25 minutes) for a fabulous birds-eye view. The Maldives really is magical from above and below! The Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa is just west of Malé, so a short speedboat ride (around 20 minutes) will have you dialling down to island time.

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