We review the new Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa where overwater villas are entry-level and inclusive activities span kids’ yoga, kids club activities, a mini water park for tots, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more!
Hilton’s newest Maldives hotel, the Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, has only been open since July 2022. I was invited to stay at this stunning property to suss out its family-friendly features, and after just a few days here, I’m already itching to bring my two kids back to experience all that this property has to offer families.
I arrive late in the night with a small group. As with almost every other resort in the Maldives, the Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is housed on its very own island. Amingiri Island is on the North Malé atoll and is directly accessible from Velana International Airport via a 20-minute speedboat ride.
Back in Singapore, I rely on an alarm to pry my eyes open, but at 4:30am, I’m ready to see the sea. A few hours later when dawn breaks, I’m waiting, sitting on my wooden deck balcony directly over the water, my private mini pool to my right, coffee in hand, overlooking the sea. And yes, it’s magnificent in a way only the Maldives can be. Once the sun is fully out, the rainbow of blues and turquoise of the lagoon invite photo after photo – but it’s never quite as beautiful as seeing it in person.
Maldives hotel: beach villa or overwater villa?
No matter what room out of the 109 that you book at Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, you’ll be staying in a villa with a private pool overlooking the sea. For families with younger kids, there are villas on the beach with soft white sand that just beckons sandcastles to be made. Every beach villa also has a deck swing and a gazebo on the shore.
For couples or families with older kids, the overwater villas are what to go for (kids will love the deck hammock suspended over the sea and there are stairs into the ocean for easy access to snorkelling). Play or lounge in the small pool – you can even request a floating breakfast here if you are on Instagram and need content (wink), but I reckon the breakfast buffet is too good to miss, but more on that later.
Rooms at Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa
It’s worth mentioning just how gorgeous the rooms – or shall we call them villas – are at Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa. The first thing I notice are the two sections of the otherwise wooden floor that are glass-bottomed, so you can peer into the sea and spot fish swimming by. What a super touch – and just might afford parents a few extra minutes lie-in while the kiddos try to spot Nemo! Floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to appreciate paradise from your bed.
The décor is a blend of Maldivian accents and contemporary touches – bold blacks and tans, tasteful furniture, all the mod cons you’d expect from a hotel of this elegance (Nespresso machine, flat screen TV) as well as a bathroom separated by a Japanese style sliding door with his and hers sinks, a massive bathtub that I wish I’d had time to soak in and a titillating outdoor rain shower that I managed to tick off the list (there’s an indoor shower too).
Junior explorers: Krakengiri Kids’ Club
If you’re researching the best hotels in the Maldives for kids and families, you’ll want to know what there is to do for the kiddos! This is where Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa goes from great to super. I toured the property on bicycle (because that’s where the fun is) but complimentary buggies can pick you up if you so wish. There are bikes for kids too! I tried to ignore the little heart pang for my little(ish) ones when I was shown around the Krakengiri Kids’ Club. This club is something really special for kids and I knew my two would have loved spending time here.
The Krakengiri Kids’ Club is complimentary and opens from 9am to 6pm for 4 to 12-year-olds. This amazing kids’ club is just huge and features an outdoor children’s play pool with water fountains, a mini slide and a splash park! Indoors, there are dedicated nap rooms for teeny bubs (babysitter fees apply for kids under 4) and toddler playrooms with age-appropriate toys. A separate room has beanbags and games for older kids plus an arts and crafts table where scheduled activities happen multiple times a day. There’s also a wall where kids are allowed to colour on (shhh, it’s washable paint). Older kids, I’m guessing you’ll be lured into this space when you find out there’s a Playstation 5 and movie screenings on offer too.
Teens-only rooftop, sports and water activities
Too cool for a kids club? There’s plenty for older kids to get up to, and much of it is included in the package price. Of course, the big draw is playing on the beach, swimming in the glorious sea, snorkelling, and splashing in the main hotel pool. But there’s also tennis, a basketball and football pitch to play on; join the staff in the evenings for a match, beach volleyball, kayaking and paddleboarding, or go parasailing and jet skiing at an extra cost. There’s also an art studio dedicated to art classes (chargeable). Throw in ecosystem activities in the kids club, a turtle talk by the resident marine biologist, kids’ yoga, shell collecting and lots of fun and games and kids certainly won’t run out of things to do!
Teens, there’s a special place for you too! Head up to the teens-only rooftop bar Re:Fuel where a dedicated milkshake barista is on hand to serve up non-alcoholic drinks or help kids make their own milkshakes. And with all sorts of toppings like whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles, kids can go wild! A cute seating area overlooks the sea where teens can lounge with their drinks and have a little break from their parents (or vice versa).
Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa’s amazing buffet breakfast
It’s not often I get this far down a travel review without mentioning the food. Breakfasts are a big deal for me when it comes to travel and, in particular, hotel selection! I’m happy to report that the breakfast offering at Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is spot on. All-day dining restaurant Habitat is a visual feast – wedge yourself on the deck overlooking the sea and enjoy the breeze or get a table indoors (all the better for multiple buffet visits). There’s a fresh juice counter (you’ve been warned: beware the potent Rocket Fuel digestive elixir), a bakery section with very good mini croissants and other pastries, and freshly made pitta bread to go with the Middle Eastern counter of hummus, babaganoush and other dips. Don’t miss the Maldivian section to try some of the local cuisine or visit the Asian counter for pho and noodles. Savour mini bagels and house-smoked fish, an eggs station or order from the menu to enjoy freshly made dosa or super healthy brekkie options. If you follow the saying ‘Breakfast like a King‘, you’ll do very well at Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa.
Over-water bar and an adults-only restaurant
There are a few different restaurants to change things up if you are lucky enough to be staying here for more than a few nights. Origin offers a dining experience that celebrates sustainable seafood sourcing, ageing techniques and a food-upcycling approach. The overwater setting here is stunning – it’s right next to the adults-only overwater cocktail bar Eden, another absolute gem.
Champagne and gin are on showcase here so grab yourself a drink and sit on the low-lying deck hammocks over the sea and stargaze, or if your outfit doesn’t allow it, there are sophisticated seats too.
Cocktail lab and beach shack
For lunch, head over to Aura restaurant (where there’s also a Cocktail Lab offering cocktail-making courses for adults). This is also where the main pool is. There’s sometimes a DJ spinning tunes, as well as a pool table and Fussball table offering extra activities for those not satisfied just taking in the views.
If you’re after more of a chilled spot, head over to the aptly named Beach Shack next door. This rustic beach café only has a few tables and you can sit with your feet in the sand and eat your poké bowl in peace while listening to the sound of the waves.
Spa, Gym, & Sunrise Yoga
Parents – or if you’re travelling without the rugrats – book yourself into the Amingiri Spa. Designed as a sanctuary, the Amingiri Spa offers an extensive menu of rejuvenating treatments and purifying hammam rituals that start with an oil selection before enjoying your treatment at one of the spa pods overlooking the sea, and ends with a drink in the overwater spa lounge – if that’s not bliss, I don’t know what is!
Amazingly I did make it to the gym – very modern with everything you need and, yes you guessed it, with sea views again! There’s also a delightful sunrise yoga session that’s complimentary, or you can book a private session at any other time of the day (though it gets pretty hot in the yoga area so try to make that early session if you can.)
Snorkelling and dolphin spotting
If I had to nitpick, I would say that if you are a big diver or snorkeller like I am, then the snorkelling around the lagoon has some fish but not many corals. There is a dive centre on-site and you can book snorkelling and dive trips that go to different locations – there’s a very entertaining and educational turtle talk by the in-house marine biologist as well. That said, a massive highlight of my 3-day trip was the organised dolphin spotting cruise. “It’s not guaranteed to see dolphins but we’ll try out best,” the boat captain said as we set off, skimming the turquoise waters and admiring the resort from a distance. We saw more than 20 dolphins that day – an incredibly lucky and memorable experience that I haven’t had anywhere else in my extensive travels around Asia and Africa!
Exceptional levels of service
Hilton’s vision is to deliver the most exceptional levels of service and hospitality in the Maldives. This really stands out. If you are paying big bucks for what is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Maldives, you’re going to want to find a hotel that goes beyond. I felt like Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa did just that. Every single member of staff greets you with a simple yet quite touching gesture – they touch their hand to their heart and smile or nod. Literally, everyone does this from the gardeners that you cycle past to the GM. I wondered if it was a Maldivian thing but it turns out it’s a Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa thing. This small gesture gives you a real sense of heartfelt well-wishing. This care trickles down to the small acts of service – the waiter that saw me contemplate a coffee past lunch and then settle on a decaf offered me a post-lunch decaf every day thereafter. The cleaner who helped me open the tricky foil on the free in-room water thereafter always made sure one bottle was opened for me. It’s the small things sometimes, and as a mum always looking after everyone else in the family, I really appreciated that.
Tips when researching the best hotels in the Maldives
- Use Google Maps to check the location of your resort and atoll.
- Some resorts are a seaplane ride away from the airport. Seaplanes don’t fly at night, so you’ll need to stay a night in Malé, while others are accessible by speedboat.
- Check if snorkel gear, good quality masks and fins are provided free of charge or bring your own (they are available here).
- With convenient and direct daily flights to the Maldives on Singapore Airlines, tropical paradise is only a 4.5-hour flight away from Singapore.
- Maldives is 3 hours behind Singapore
- Pack your own medications but do check about doctors on the island. Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort and Spa has an onsite doctor.
The One-Bedroom Overwater Pool Villas start from US$909 (S$1,282) with additional half-board, full-board and all-inclusive options available.
Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is part of the Hilton Honors guest-loyalty programme, so if you book directly on the hotel’s website, you’ll get access to instant benefits, discounts and free, standard Wi-Fi.