The Maldives is a destination like none other; a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean with immaculate beaches, the clearest blue waters, incredible marine life, overwater bungalows and so much more – a bucket list destination in every way! Infact one of the very first images I saved on my Pinterest travel board called “bucket list travel” years ago was a pic of an overwater bungalow in the Maldives and I am beyond grateful that Anush and I had the opportunity to experience it twice in the past! Its handsdown one of our favorite places on earth – so much so that we have made a promise to return back to the destination every couple of years. We rarely repeat destinations cos there is so much to see in this beautiful wold but the Maldives is totally an exception :)!
If you have the Maldives on your bucket list (I bet you do ;)), don’t stop at just saving an image of it – its absolutely possible to save up and make your dream trip a reality! It is the perfect vacation for a honeymoon, family vacay, special occasion or just to cross it off your list.
Its quite the trek if you live in the US, but let me tell you – it is 1000% worth it! But you know I don’t seem to mind long travel – cos that’s when you know you are headed somewhere extra special It’s totally worth all the effort and when you get to your destination you will know why!
Maldives are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls(island groups) that have 200 inhabited islands and about 97 islands with tourist resorts. I recommend trying to visit atleast 2 resorts (if not more!) over your time in the Maldives so that you get a diverse experience in your holiday. This time we were there for a week and split our time between sister resorts – Lily Beach Resort in South Ari Atoll and Hideaway Beach Resort in Haa Alifu Atoll. Even though these are sister properties they both had a different feel and I am glad we got to experience them both! We celebrated our 8 year anniversary at Lily Beach and my birthday at Hideaway.
In this blog post I will be recapping our amazing stay at Lily Beach Resort. Stay tuned for my Hideaway resort blog post as well a Maldives Travel Guide blog post (with all logistics info like how to get there, costs, best time to travel, other tips, etc) over the next week or two.
Lily Beach Resort and Spa – Intro :
Lily Beach Resort and Spa located in South Ari Atoll is recognized as the leading 5-star All-Inclusive resort in the Maldives and Asia featuring its unique and elevated concept of “Affordable Luxury”. Among the tons of awards it has won, it recently won the 2019 Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Award for the best all luxury all inclusive in Maldives and Asia too! This private island resort is conveniently located close to Male (the international airport where you will fly into) and is accessible in one of two ways – either by a 25 minute seaplane ride or a domestic flight + speedboat ride (total of 50 minutes). When you book your stay, make sure to ask your point of contact for your transfer options with prices so that you can choose what suits you better. Usually the domestic flight option is cheaper but more time consuming. We did the seaplane on one way and the domestic transfer the other way – they were both great options.
The best part about Lily Beach that it caters to a wide range of travelers. The Maldives is no doubt quite synonymous with being a dream honeymoon/couples destination. However it’s certainly a lot more than just a couples paradise, and this also depends on which resort you choose to stay at. Here at Lily Beach it was refreshing to see a diverse range of tourists from families, couples, small groups of friends and even dad/son or mom/daughter duos! The resort has different activities and accommodations to suit every kind of traveler.
If you are a family and looking to visit the Maldives – Lily Beach is the ideal choice for you! Check out all their family friendly options they have to cater to families. And even for couples – Lily Beach is utterly romantic with its overwater villas, dream excursions, private dining and more. It was the ideal location to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
Platinum Plan :
During our time in Lily Beach, we opted for the Platinum Plan, which on hindsight was absolutely worth it! When you are in a one island one resort place like Lily it makes sense to opt for the best all inclusive plan so that everything is taken care of. This all inclusive plan features a fantastic array of quality services such as meet and greet at the airport, use of the lounge at the seaplane terminal, fine dining experiences across all the 4 restaurants on property, 3 included dreamy excursions, sports and activity options to choose from, premium wine and spirits and so much more! If you do opt for this option – check out their 40% off offer on the Platinum Plan that you can avail. Also if you choose to stay for 4 nights or more they have fantastic Stay More Pay Less offer to save – the more you stay the more you save! They also have other plans like bed and breakfast and half board aside from the all inclusive plan.
There are many accommodation options to choose from at Lily Beach. We chose to stay at their Deluxe water villa and it was a freakin-dream-come-true! These luxurious overwater villas are synonymous with what the Maldives is known for. Our villa was gorgeous, spacious and so tastefully decorated. As you enter it had a glass bottom floor and a separate bathroom and bedroom area. My favorite part of the villa was the large private deck right that offered insane uninterrupted views of the Maldivian blues! We also had a plunge pool, lounge chairs and a stairway to our own private little lagoon right beneath us. Lily Beach has a house reef, so snorkeling options are plenty right at your doorstep! Even without snorkeling we could see so many fish right from our deck, it was so magical.
Deck of our deluxe water villa
Deluxe water villa
We also got to visit some of their other accommodations including a lagoon villa and one of their newly renovated beach suites. The beach suite has its own charm – with a dreamy outdoor bath situation as well as a private pool and access to the beach right from the villa! They also have family beach villas that are perfect for families.
With its own pool and outdoor bath!
With 4 restaurants and 4 bars to choose from – you really are spoilt for dining choice at Lily Beach! Some of our favorite dining experiences here were :
1 ) Lily Maa
Their main restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. We absolutely loved the sumptuous breakfast buffet every morning – there was a wide array of fresh fruit, a juice/smoothie bar, local delicacies, Continental faves, a kids station and more.
Delicious breakfast buffet!
2 ) AQVA restaurant
This is an adults only restaurant and is one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been to! It is located right by the main adults pool of the resort which boasts a heavenly view of the infinity pool superimposed over the beach to give you this dreamy blues for days view. Loved their lunch here; perfect to spend a pool day here while snacking on a light lunch.
My fave meal of Lily Beach was at this delicious Indo Thai fusion restaurant. We chose to do our anniversary celebratory dinner here and it was so romantic. I loved the unique outdoor seating decks perched over the ocean.
Beautiful dinner setting at Tamarind
4) In room dining
This is always an option. We opted for a floating breakfast on one of the mornings and it was literally the best morning ever! I mean with that view, company and delicious food I was on cloud 9.
Floating breakfast at our villa pool
Beaches and Pools :
The main beach of the property is right by the water sports area and it is stunning! Perfect to lay out all day, sip on a coco water from the beach bar, swim in the shallow clear waters or enjoy a magical sunset.
Main beach area
Beach bar right on the beach
There is also a cozy adults only beach cove thats perfect for an intimate beach afternoon.
Adult beach cove
My fave pool was the adults pool next to AQVA – I mean… I dont think it needs any explanation! Holy wow I could never get tired of that view.
Dreamiest pool situation
Aside from the beach and pool, Lily Beach offers tons of other activities to choose from as well:
- Excursions : If you opt for the Platinum plan you get 3 complimentary excursions to choose from – coral garden snorkeling, fishing trip, sunset cruise or a trip to the local fishing village Dangethi. They also have other excursions that are outside of the platinum plan – like snorkeling with whale sharks and manta rays, use of the hamacland and more.
- Water sports center -Tons of both Motorized and Non motorized ones to choose from.
- Cultural events : Every evening there are cultural events that happen at Lily Maa that you can enjoy post dinner.
- Sports and Recreation – they have tennis, a gym, group fitness glasses, etc. We went to their gym everyday that we were there. It was clean, spacious and had all the basic equipment for a good workout.
- Tamara Spa : The beautiful spa looks like a lotus in the water with a central room and the treatment rooms flanked on all the sides like petals. We tried a Balinese couples massage here and it was fantastic! Especially loved our stunning view of the ocean at golden hour.
Post spa enjoying the golden hour
Get Inspired to visit Lily Beach :
Did I mention how insane the sunsets were?!
Dreamy tropical pathways
And even dreamier crystal clear waters right at your doorstep! Paradise!
Shop my looks and similar looks from this post :
Overall, we had the most incredible stay at Lily Beach and whole heartedly recommend it for families and couples alike. Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for my other blogs from the Maldives. xoxo
**This stay was in collaboration with Lily Beach resort and Spa but all thoughts and opinions are my own.