Amanpulo Vs. The Best Hotels In The Maldives


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When choosing an ultra-luxury beach resort in Asia, you might be torn between the luxury Aman Hotel Amanpulo and one of the luxury resorts in the Maldives, of which there are many. We outline your best option below.

Spoiler alert: Amanpulo is incredible, and even the harshest critics adore this hotel for its outstanding service, design, and atmosphere. This one is very hard to beat, even by the most special resort in the Maldives.

1. Best Location: Amanpulo Vs. Maldives

Amanpulo is situated on Pamalican Island in the Philippines, part of the Cuyo Archipelago in the Sulu Sea. This private island resort offers a secluded, tranquil environment ideal for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

The island is accessible via a private charter flight from Manila, ensuring exclusivity and privacy. The Peninsula and Shangri-La are both good options in Manilla if you want to spend a day or two there. Once you arrive in Amanpulo, the tropical climate, lush greenery, and pristine beaches create a serene setting that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The remoteness of Amanpulo enhances its appeal as a luxurious escape, providing guests with the ultimate in privacy and natural beauty.

The Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean, is renowned for its stunning atolls and crystal-clear waters. The archipelago consists of over 1,000 coral islands, many of which host luxurious resorts. The Maldives is accessible via international flights to Malé, the capital, followed by seaplane or speedboat transfers to individual islands.

The natural beauty of the Maldives, with its white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, and vibrant marine life, makes it a premier destination for honeymooners and luxury travelers. The geographical spread of the islands offers a sense of isolation and privacy similar to Amanpulo but on a larger scale with more variety in terms of resort options and experiences.

2. Style & Character

Amanpulo embodies the Aman philosophy of understated elegance and harmony with nature. The resort features traditional Filipino design elements, including local materials such as wood and thatch. The architecture and decor are minimalist, focusing on clean lines and open spaces that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. The overall ambiance is one of tranquility and sophistication, appealing to those who appreciate a refined yet unpretentious luxury experience.

Each guest has their own golf cart at Amanpulo to get you down to the beach for snorkeling and diving. You can snorkel right off the beach, or take a snorkeling cruise for the best reefs and fishes, which are only a few minutes’ boat ride from the shore.

The style and character of Maldivian resorts can vary significantly depending on the property. Some resorts, like the Soneva Fushi, emphasize a barefoot luxury approach with eco-friendly designs and rustic charm. Others, like the One&Only Reethi Rah, offer a more opulent experience with lavish villas and contemporary design.

Common elements across Maldivian resorts include overwater bungalows, infinity pools, and open-air dining spaces that maximize the breathtaking views of the ocean. The diversity in style allows visitors to choose a resort that best fits their personal preferences, whether they seek a laid-back, nature-centric stay or a more glamorous, high-end escape.

3. Beach & Pools

Amanpulo’s beach is one of its standout features. The island boasts powdery white sand beaches that stretch for miles, bordered by the clear blue and green waters of the Sulu Sea. The beaches are largely private, with sunset views to the neighboring island of Manamoc, ensuring guests can enjoy the sun and sea without the crowds.

Birdsong, splashing waves, and the gentle ruste of wildlife in the undergrowth frame this idyllic beach. Believe the photos on their website as this resort is, in reality, even better than it looks.

The resort also has a main pool that overlooks the ocean, providing a picturesque setting for swimming and relaxation. The beachfront location of many casitas (villas) means that guests can step directly onto the sand from their accommodations.

The beaches in the Maldives are equally stunning, characterized by fine white sand and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. Many resorts offer private beaches for their guests, ensuring an exclusive and serene beach experience. The Maldives is also famous for its overwater villas, allowing guests to swim directly from their accommodations in the lagoon.

Pools in Maldivian resorts range from private plunge pools to expansive infinity pools with panoramic ocean views. The abundance of coral reefs makes snorkeling and diving a major draw, with colorful fish, rays, and even sharks easily spotted in the surrounding waters.

Best Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts In The World
Best Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts In The World


The best Four Seasons hotels & resorts in the world include Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, Four Seasons Lanai and Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii, Four Seasons Surf Club on Miami Beach, Four Seasons Costa Rica, Four Seasons Los Cabos At Costa Palmas, Four Seasons Palm Beach, and Four Seasons Hampshire. To be honest, we wanted to include several other properties in this article, but we would have to stray into the realms of the top 20 or 30 or even top 100 properties to include all our favorite Four Seasons hotels. There are just so many great ones!

4. Rooms

Accommodations at Amanpulo are designed with simplicity and comfort in mind. The resort offers a range of casitas (bungalows) and villas, each with its own unique charm. The Beach Casitas are particularly popular, featuring direct access to the beach, spacious interiors, and private outdoor terraces. The Hilltop Casitas offer stunning views of the island and sea, while the Treetop Casitas provide a more secluded, forested setting.

We reccomend Casita 40 for its incredible ocean views and privacy. The casitas are spacious and use natural materials like teak, granite, marble, coconut, and Philippino ceramics. Each room is dotted with orchids and geckos, which can be spotted in the surrounding woods.

Not all Casitas at Amanpulo have private pools. For this, you need to pick their pool villas.

Rooms in the Maldives range from beach villas to iconic overwater bungalows. Beach villas typically offer direct access to the beach, private gardens, and outdoor showers. On the other hand, overwater bungalows provide a unique experience with direct lagoon access, glass floor panels for underwater viewing, and expansive decks for sunbathing and dining.

Many villas have private pools, Jacuzzis, and outdoor showers. Resorts such as the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offer underwater suites, providing an unparalleled underwater living experience. The diversity in accommodations allows guests to choose the perfect setting, whether they prefer a beachfront or overwater experience.

5. Food & Drink

Dining at Amanpulo is a culinary journey that celebrates both local and international flavors. The resort offers several dining venues, each with its own unique ambiance and menu. The Clubhouse Restaurant serves various international dishes focusing on fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

The Beach Club offers seafood and grilled specialties in a casual, beachfront setting. For a more intimate dining experience, guests can opt for private dining in their casita or villa, with personalized menus crafted by the resort’s chefs. Amanpulo offers unique dining experiences, such as picnics on a secluded sandbar or romantic dinners under the stars.

The Maldives is known for its exceptional dining experiences, with many resorts offering a variety of restaurants and bars. From gourmet international cuisine to traditional Maldivian dishes, the dining options are diverse and plentiful. Resorts like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island feature underwater restaurants, offering a unique dining experience surrounded by marine life.

Overwater restaurants and beachside dining are common, providing stunning views and a romantic atmosphere. Many resorts also offer all-inclusive dining plans, allowing guests to enjoy unlimited meals and drinks. Private dining experiences, such as candlelit dinners on the beach or in-villa dining, are also popular, adding an extra touch of luxury to the culinary offerings.

6. Price

Amanpulo is known for its high price point, reflecting its exclusivity, luxury, and personalized service. Rates for accommodations can vary depending on the season and the type of casita or villa chosen. Additional costs may include private charter flights to the island, dining, spa treatments, and excursions.

The cost of staying in the Maldives can vary widely depending on the resort, time of year, and accommodation type. Budget options are limited, with most resorts catering to the luxury market.

You’ll get a much better deal if you book any luxury hotel stay via our luxury travel concierge. Our perks include a resort credit, a prioritized room upgrade (subject to availability), and breakfast for two. You also get your usual Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, or double Hilton Honors points if you book with us.

7. Conclusion

Amanpulo and Maldives resorts offer exceptional luxury experiences, but the best choice depends on your preferences. Amanpulo, on Pamalican Island in the Philippines, provides an intimate and tranquil escape focusing on Filipino culture, privacy, and natural beauty, ideal for those seeking seclusion and simplicity.

Amanpulo has an unbelievably good beach, is more private, and is on a larger island. The service here is incredible, and the place is unbeatable. The Maldives also offers some great hotels, and we have compared the two best Four Seasons in the Maldives, but the Maldives hotels generally lack the incredible service offered by Aman hotels.

Choose Amanpulo for a serene, exclusive retreat and the Maldives for diverse luxury and unique overwater accommodations.

Image(s) courtesy of Amanpulo.

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.