Luxury, privacy, nature and gastronomy combine to make Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences one of the best places to stay in The Maldives.
Is there a country in the world more synonymous with honeymoons than The Maldives? Known for its stunning overwater villas, high-end luxury and exclusivity, it’s a place I wondered if I’d ever get the chance to visit.
But here we were, boarding a seaplane (a first for me) and flying over paradise islands and sandbanks until we splashed down at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences.
Over the next few days we relaxed in our spacious overwater villa, stepping from the deck into the crystal-clear waters, where we were transported to a land with more sea creatures than I’d seen on most of my travels put together! We enjoyed candlelit dinners, after-lunch cocktails, spa treatments, and even spent a night glamping under the stars in the island’s unique bubble tent! We wandered the island on foot, passing through natural jungles, and emerging on private beaches, feeling like we were the only ones who’d ever been there.
I couldn’t imagine a better place to start our honeymoon – a three-week adventure that would begin with luxury and seclusion in The Maldives, before an action-packed adventure in Sri Lanka.
I know it’s really tricky choosing a Maldives resort that has everything you’re looking for, so I’ve divided my Amilla Maldives review into lots of categories and included as many little details and photos as I could! If there’s anything I’ve missed, feel free to drop me a message. Also, if you’re deciding where to stay, don’t miss my guide to the 15 most romantic Maldives resorts – ideal for honeymoons!
Amilla Maldives Review
Arriving at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences
Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a holiday at this 5-star resort begins from the moment you step off the plane. After landing at Male Airport we were met by a representative for Amilla who organised transport to the private lounge for Manta Air, before we boarded our 40-minute seaplane to Amilla.
I’d never been on a seaplane before. Seeing the rich blues and turquoises, the swathes of white sandbanks and perfect paradise islands dotted with resorts was absolutely mesmerising. I was glued to the window!
We landed by a small pontoon, before boarding a speedboat to take us to the resort. Here we were greeted by staff and taken by our ‘Katheeb’ (Amilla’s name for a guest experience manager, similar to a private butler) who took us on a golf buggy tour of the island, finishing at our overwater villa.
I’ve stayed at a number of 5* resorts over the years, and it’s rare you feel the luxury experience begin before you even arrive at the hotel, but here it really did!
The Overwater Villas at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences
We checked into overwater villa 108. It was absolutely breath-taking! With only 67 spacious villas and residences on the island, Amilla is known for being one of the most spacious Maldives resorts.
Our villa was absolutely vast! My heart was racing as we walked through, looking at the beautiful crisp white modern interiors, contrasting with that rich shade of turquoise of the ocean just footsteps away.
The open-plan design means you can see the ocean from wherever you are! As you enter, there’s a large lounge area, around the corner you reach one of the hugest beds I’ve ever seen, with a bathtub and shower just behind. Meanwhile, open the sliding doors and you can take your pick from relaxing on a day bed, sun lounger, chair or down on the steps that lead directly to the ocean. Tough decision…!
There are bicycles and snorkelling equipment included free of charge for every guest. I was grateful for this as I spent a lot of time with my head underwater watching stingrays, small sharks and fish in every colour of the rainbow!
What is there to do at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences?
If you decide to leave your overwater villa, tree-top villa or beach villa (and believe me you’ll have trouble tearing yourself away!) there are some lovely facilities on this island.
The resort has strong wellness theme running throughout, from the choice of treatments at Javvu Spa, to yoga and meditation sessions, the jungle gym, freshly-made kombuchas and a range of diet-specific menus. Don’t mistake this for being ‘healthy’ – you can still indulge as much as you like, but it’s nice to have options!
Explore the island on foot and you’ll find a large infinity pool, beach cabanas, vegetable gardens, tennis courts, a football pitch, a jungle cinema and even a small farm! There are also eight different weekly dining experiences, including Japanese restaurant Feeling Koi and Italian Barolo, as well as two bars.
Water-lovers will be in their element with kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis and more available for hire. You can also book scuba diving and snorkelling trips, including visits to the Blue Hole (which is right by the island’s reef).
There’s also a varied schedule of events and activities if you’re the sort of person who can’t imagine relaxing and eating all day long (it’s a tough life!) You could hop on a boat to a nearby sand bank for a picnic, snorkel with stingrays, learn how to dance, make your own kombucha and more. Lots of these carry an extra cost, but there are several complimentary activities throughout the week. We loved the blue hole excursion as it gave us the chance to snorkel with an expert guide. He pointed out so many creatures I would have missed!
There was often entertainment in the evenings too, including a great fire show on the beach, a hula act in one of the restaurants and live music. The resort doesn’t have much ‘nightlife’ as such, it’s pretty chilled, but it was nice to have a few things to watch each evening.
One thing that sets Amilla apart from many Maldives resorts is that it’s not hugely developed… and I mean that in a good way! 70% of the island is untouched, so you’ll find the most incredible sandy paths through palm forests, wild beaches and an abundance of nature.
I’d assumed (wrongly) that for resorts to be built on these islands, a lot of the natural habitat would have to be destroyed. That may be the case on other islands, but at Amilla it really feels like the resort sits in harmony with nature.
Restaurants and Bars at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences
There are eight different weekly dining experiences at Amilla, so you’re guaranteed to find somewhere you fancy eating! Our favourite restaurants were Barolo for delicious and authentic Italian cuisine (100% recommend the burrata and Parma ham starter!) and The Emperor Beach Club down on the beach for tacos, salads and poke bowls.
One of our most memorable dining experiences was at Japanese restaurant Feeling Koi, where we popped to the middle of the pontoon between our starter and main course, to watch the nurse sharks below! Amazing!
Another thing that sets Amilla apart from many Maldives resorts is its ‘dine around package’. We booked the full board package, and this allowed us to dine at any restaurant in the resort. After a buffet breakfast, we were able to enjoy a 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner each day. So many other resorts (including another we stayed at after Amilla) restrict you to the same buffet restaurant every day, and charge a huge premium to dine at their a la carte restaurants.
Guest Experience managers at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences
After we checked into our villa, our Katheeb (guest experience manager) Karine set up a WhatsApp group so we could contact her with anything we needed. I’ve stayed at few five-star hotels that offer a private butler service, and while I’ve never felt the need to use it much, it was nice to have a personal contact with someone throughout our stay.
She helped arrange spa treatments, booked tables for dinner, picked us up for lunch when the heavens opened one day, and was always telling us about special events and activities we could try. While chatting to her, I heard how she was busy looking after one family, picking up their kids from the kid’s club, while the parents relaxed! Now that’s the way to do a family holiday!
The Glamping Bubble at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences
As a special treat, we spent one night sleeping under the stars in Amilla’s beautiful glamping bubble. This is set away from the resort, beyond the spa, on its own private patch of beach. It felt like the ideal honeymoon experience – romantic, memorable and intimate! We loved it.
That night we snuggled up together, listening to the lapping of the waves as we watched the twinkling stars above. This is definitely one of my happiest memories from our time in The Maldives.
Who is Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences Resort for?
We saw a range of people staying at the resort. I’d assumed The Maldives would be full of couples celebrating honeymoons and anniversaries, but there were a surprising number of families too! I’d say the majority of guests were couples aged between 30 – 50, and the families tended to have children between 5-10 years. There were a few groups of friends too.
Personally, I think Amilla is the perfect place for a couple’s holiday. The overwater villas ooze romance and while there are activities on offer, it felt like a very zen place to relax and unwind with my other half. We spent hours reading books by the pool, drinking cocktails on the beach and enjoying long chats over romantic dinners.
So, is Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences the finest 5* resort in The Maldives?
We stayed at another 5-star resort during this trip and it made Amilla look like a 10-star! Amilla really was that much better! You don’t find this level of attention to detail, spacious villas, gourmet dining options (without restrictions), abundance of nature and overall calmness on every island in The Maldives.
So, if you’re looking for the quintessential luxurious Maldives experience, I’d definitely recommend staying at Amilla. I’m already dreaming of returning!
I hope you’ve find my Amilla Maldives review helpful! If you have any questions about what it’s like to stay here, feel free to drop me a message or contact me via Instagram. For prices, availability and more information, take a look at the Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences website. Also, if you’re still choosing between a few resorts, don’t miss my guide to best Maldives resorts for couples.