Le Meridien Maldives Review: What to Really Expect 

by | Last updated Mar 24, 2024 | Hotel Reviews Asia, Maldives

Thinking about Le Meridien Maldives? You’ve come to the right place. My husband and I have been to the Maldives several times, exploring a new resort each time. Our most recent trip led us to Le Meridien, so I can offer firsthand insights into the room experience, snorkeling options (we are avid snorkelers!), and the top dining venues. Keep reading for my honest and unbiased Le Meridien Maldives review.

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The Location + Arrival

Flying in a seaplane to Le Meridien Maldives

Flying in a seaplane to Le Meridien Maldives

There are 26 atolls in the Maldives. Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa is located in the Lhaviyani Atoll, north of the capital city of Male.

We flew into Male first and then were transferred by seaplane to the resort.

Le Meridien Maldives has a very nice lounge to relax in after your international flight while you wait for your seaplane transfer.

Le Meridien Seaplane Lounge

Le Meridien Seaplane Lounge

The seaplane is the quintessential Maldivian experience!

What’s it like flying in a 15-passenger plane and a barefoot pilot? Check out my seaplane vs. boat comparison.

Trans Maldivian Airways determines the seaplane schedule on the day of departure and groups people together based on their resort location. That means you may get to see a glimpse of neighboring resorts if you are not the first drop off.

Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa has a seaplane dock, so you land right at the resort ready for vacation!

The First Three Impressions

1. Large sprawling island with connecting paths

2. Family friendly

3. Professional staff

The Rooms

Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Overwater Villa with Pool

Sunrise Overwater Villa

Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa has several room types:

  • Beach Villa
  • Beach Garden Pool Villa
  • Beach Pool Villa
  • Sunrise Overwater Villa
  • Sunset Overwater Villa
  • Overwater Villa with Pool
  • Lagoon Villa

We stayed in the Sunrise Overwater Villa for several reasons:

  • It was the closest point to swim out to the house reef.
  • The adult pool was next door.
  • Our favorite restaurant on the property, Tabemasu, was right at the end of our pier.
Sandy pathways at Le Meridien Maldives

Sandy pathways at Le Meridien Maldives

The con to the Overwater Sunrise Villa was all the other restaurants were on the other side of the property, which required a good walk or phone call to get a golf cart for transport.

The property is long and skinny with interconnecting sandy pathways. We mostly walked to where we needed to go because we enjoyed the exercise, but it can get tiring especially in the hot sun.

The alternative is to have them transport you in a golf cart or rent bikes.

Bathroom at the Overwater Villa with Private Pool at Outrigger Maafushivaru Maldives Resort

Overwater Sunrise Villa at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Our Sunrise Overwater Villa was interesting.

The walls were painted salmon pink with turquoise saloon doors leading into the closet. The doors were also placed as a “window” into the bathroom. Odd choices but the room was clean and functional.

My first impression of our room may have been jaded because we had just stayed several days in the gorgeous baller room at the Outrigger Maldives. This design was quite the contrast.

King size bed facing the ocean in the Overwater Sunrise Villa at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

King size bed facing the ocean in the Overwater Sunrise Villa at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

The king bed was strategically placed facing the gorgeous turquoise ocean, which begged for you to jump in.

Large modern bathroom in the Overwater Sunrise Villa at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Large modern bathroom in the Overwater Sunrise Villa 

My favorite part was the large modern bathroom with floor-to-ceiling windows, which are tinted so people can’t see in. The intricate tile backsplash with various patterns was a nice artistic touch. 

Bathtub facing the ocean at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Bathtub facing the ocean (don’t worry! window is tinted!) 

I’m not a bath person, but if you are, you will love gazing outdoors while you soak and relax.

My husband appreciated the toilet being in a separate room, which made it much easier to get ready together.

I wish the bedroom matched the same aesthetic as the bathroom.

Outdoor space with hammock at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Outdoor space with hammock at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

A great outdoor space gets me excited. Kick back in one of the two lounge chairs with a morning coffee or happy hour cocktail.

There’s also an overwater hammock if you want an additional space to relax. Not my thing but you do see a lot of Instagram posts of people lying on the hammock and wrapped up in a comforter.

Enjoying a morning coffee at the Overwater Villa with Private Pool at Outrigger Maafushivaru Maldives Resort

Ladder leading directly to the ocean from the Overwater Sunrise Villa at Le Meridien

Your overwater villa has a ladder directly leading into the ocean. Le Meridian’s beautiful house reef is only a short swim away!

This is WHY you come to the Maldives.

The Food & Drink

Remember the resort = the island. Pick one with decent food because that is your only choice for the entire stay.

Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa offers 5 restaurants. We had meals at all 5.

Tabemasu and Riviera Tapas & Bar are near the Overwater Sunrise Villas at the western end of the island, which I think is the best location. It’s close to the house reef and the more adult-centric restaurants and pool.

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01- TABEMASU

Remember the resort = the island. Pick one with decent food because that is your only choice for the entire stay. </p>
<p>Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa offers 5 restaurants. We had meals at all 5. </p>
<p>Tabemasu Japanese Restaurant at Le Meridien Maldives

Tabemasu restaurant at Le Meridien Maldives

I’m listing my favorite restaurant first!

We had dinner at Tabemasu most nights. It’s definitely the best restaurant of all the dining choices!

And if you stay in the Overwater Sunrise Villas, you will have a long 2-minute walk to dinner. 😉

Sushi at Tabemasu Restaurant at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Salmon nigiri at Tabemasu

Tabemasu is a Japanese restaurant that serves (of course!) delicious sushi. I could eat sushi all day every day, so that was my go-to choice every time.

Spicy Beef Yaki Udon at Tabemasu at Le Meridien Maldives

Spicy Beef Yaki Udon at Tabemasu

They also have a good selection of other mains like Spicy Beef Yaki Udon (which my husband enjoyed) and Seafood Yaki Soba.

Cocktails were creative.

We enjoyed choices like the Utsukushi (Ballantine’s whisky, fresh lemon juice, yuzu juice, honey yuzu, egg white. Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s bitters) and the Tabemasu (Miyanoyuki Gokujyo, jasmine tea infused gin, Martini extra dry, honey yuzu, thyme sous vide Luxardo Maraschino).

Dine outdoors with the fresh breeze or indoors with AC.

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02- VELAA BAR + GRILL

Seared tuna bowl at Velaa Bar & Grill at Le Meridien Maldives

Seared tuna bowl at Velaa Bar + Grill

Velaa Bar + Grill is located next to the main pool and offers up some great lunch items like Tandoori chicken wood-fired pizza and healthier dishes like a seared tuna bowl made with sushi rice, buckwheat, sweet corn, avocado, radish, black beans, sesame mayo, and sweet chili ponzu.

Australian rack of lamb at Velaa Bar & Grill at Le Meridien Maldives

Australian rack of lamb at Velaa Bar + Grill 

Dinner options include grilled seafood and meats. We had a lovely Australian rack of lamb with the island’s hydroponic beetroot salad that included goat cheese, avocado, and a fig & plum vinaigrette.

Le Meridien Maldives grows its own lettuce on the island and also supplies neighboring islands! Delicious and fresh! See the photo below for their greenhouse.

The Greenhouse at Le Meridien Maldives

The Greenhouse at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

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03- RIVIERA TAPAS & BAR

Eating beachside at Riviera Tapas & Bar at Le Meridien Maldives

Eating beachside at Riviera Tapas & Bar at Le Meridien Maldives

If we had a hardcore snorkeling session and were hungry, we would swing by the Riviera adults-only pool to enjoy a cocktail and share a lunch dish.

Wagyu beef sliders at Riviera Tapas & Bar at Le Meridien Maldives

Wagyu beef sliders at Riviera Tapas & Bar

Some favorites include Wagyu beef sliders (with cheddar cheese on brioche buns).

Prosciutto pizza at Riviera Tapas & Bar at Le Meridien Maldives

Prosciutto pizza at Riviera Tapas & Bar

We also enjoyed a prosciutto pizza. Of course, all this munching was savored with feet in the sand watching the ocean waves softly roll in. Love the islands!

We did not eat here for dinner, but fellow travelers seemed to love it. It has a Spanish menu, and I heard the paella is pretty darn good.

Great location for sunsets!

Drink cocktails beachside at Riviera Tapas & Bar at Le Meridien Maldives

Drinking cocktails beachside at Riviera Tapas & Bar

Although their cocktail program may have improved since we went, drinks were a little off and watered down.

If you are on the all-inclusive meal plan, then no big deal and you order another one.

But if you are ordering drinks a-la-carte at $18 a drink (which does not include the 23.2% service charge and goods and services tax), you expect a well-balanced cocktail. Just something to keep in mind.

Of course, the Maldives is Muslim and you cannot bring your own alcohol to the resort.

This is one big difference between the Maldives and Bora Bora. In Bora Bora, you can pick up your favorite distilled spirit duty-free and make your own drinks if the resort drinks are subpar.

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04- TURQUOISE

Eggs Benedict at Turquoise at Le Meridien Maldives

Eggs Benedict at Turquoise at Le Meridien Maldives

Turquoise is an open-air restaurant right off the beach. It serves a breakfast buffet every morning with a great selection of already prepared items and made-to-order like omelettes or crepes.

We had one dinner here, which happened to be a buffet night since it was a holiday. Hard pass.

If we had gone on an order a-la-carte night, our impression may have been different. The Murgh Dum Biryani (basmati rice, chicken saffron, Indian spices) looked good on the a-la-carte menu.

Maybe next time we’ll try again, but after eating at Tabemasu, I would just eat there every night.

Bioluminescence at Le Meridien Maldives

Bioluminescence at Le Meridien Maldives

I had to share this experience because we felt super lucky to be part of it. The evening we had the buffet dinner at Turquoise, we saw the ocean glittering.

Have you heard of bioluminescence?

It’s an amazing phenomenon where living organisms (usually algae) will emit this sparkling light. The shoreline glowed. I’ve never seen anything like it.

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05- WAVES CAFE

Waves Cafe at Le Meridien Maldives

Waves Cafe at Le Meridien Maldives

Waves Cafe offers some delicious homemade juices (like the Orange Ginger made with orange juice, ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, and honey), kombucha, smoothies, tea, and coffee.

You can get a few breakfast items here too.

Beetroot cured salmon on toasted sour dough bread at Waves Cafe at Le Meridien Maldives

Beetroot cured salmon on toasted sourdough bread at Waves Cafe

Lunch includes light items like the Keto Bowl (roasted cauliflower, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, soft-boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and tahini maple dressing) and a beetroot cured salmon on toasted sourdough bread (with cream cheese, pickled onion, fried capers).

Nice change up from burgers and pizza!

The Amenities 

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VELAA POOL

Velaa Pool at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Velaa Pool at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Velaa Pool is the main pool for both adults AND kids. Large, spacious, and it faces the ocean.

We spent no time here because we much prefer snorkeling Le Meridien’s fantastic house reef! More on that later.

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RIVIERA ADULTS-ONLY POOL

Riviera Adults Only Pool at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Riviera Adults Only Pool at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

We did spend some time here relaxing after snorkeling. Great for chilling with a book and cocktail in hand.

The Riviera Adults-Only Pool is located at the western end of the property, making it more private and peaceful.

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EXPLORE SPA

Explore Spa at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Explore Spa at Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

I feel like everyone needs a prescription for a massage once a month. They feel good, but they are so therapeutic both physically and mentally.

Do yourself a favor and book a session.

Best part?

When you are face down on the table, you get to watch the fish below! Where else in the world can you do that?

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WAVES FITNESS CENTER

There is a gym where you can work out looking at the ocean through the large floor-to-ceiling windows.

I don’t get it because I would much rather be snorkeling the house reef. But hey, each to their own. 

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DIVE CENTER

Porcupine ray at Le Meridien in the Maldives

Porcupine ray at Le Meridien in the Maldives

The dive center offers several water activities including fishing, parasailing, jet skiing, snorkeling, diving, dolphin cruises, catamaran sailing, and a guided tour of the house reef.

Here is a fun Maldives Fish Chart of the 42 fish species you might encounter. These pics are my personal snorkeling photos

We are experienced snorkelers, so we didn’t take advantage of the snorkeling tour.

However, if you are not confident in the water, take advantage of their house reef tour because it is amazing!

The Rates

Resort rates are dictated by the time of year, your room type, and the meal plan. They range from $400-$1000 USD/night. There are 2 and 3-bedroom villas that command an even higher price tag.

Remember, the seaplane transfer is an additional cost ($420 roundtrip per person).

The Reasons for Choosing This Resort

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01- INCREDIBLE HOUSE REEF

A gorgeous octopus at Le Meridien in the Maldives

A gorgeous octopus at Le Meridien Maldives

We are avid snorkelers, and that is the whole reason we come back to the Maldives time after time.

If we just wanted a beautiful beach, we have those in the Caribbean a short flight away from the United States.

The reason we travel 36+ hours to the Maldives is for the amazing underwater world.

Le Meridien Maldives has an INCREDIBLE house reef. On our last day, I was sitting by a family on the beach complaining they had not seen much.

My jaw dropped. You need to know where to snorkel.

We saw multiple blacktip reef sharks, sting rays, porcupine rays, eagle rays, octopuses (yes, plural!), eels, multiple schools of fish, and surprisingly healthy coral (which is hard to find since so much is bleached including (sadly) the Great Barrier Reef).

By the way, if you love a lot of shark action (not scary sharks, just blacktips), do not miss my house reef review on the Outrigger Maldives!

If you are a snorkeler, do not miss my detailed house reef review below. It includes where to snorkel and lots of fun snorkeling photos to get you excited!

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02- DELICIOUS DINING OPTIONS

Enjoying sushi at Tabemasu Restaurant at Le Meridien Maldives

Enjoying sushi at Tabemasu Restaurant at Le Meridien Maldives

Since your only option for food is the resort, pick one that has a variety and offers delicious food.

Le Meridien will suit even the pickiest of eaters. There really is something for everyone.

I’ll save you the trouble. Just book Tabemasu every night for dinner with the occasional pizza or poke bowl thrown in at lunch.

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03- SEAPLANE EXPERIENCE

Trans-Maldivian Airways Seaplane

Trans-Maldivian Airways Seaplane

Every resort is different. Some you arrive by boat and others you arrive by seaplane. Some even have a choice like when we stayed at Reethi Faru Resort. If given the choice, always pick the seaplane! 

The seaplane is the only transport option for Le Meridien. Even though we have done it multiple times, it is still thrilling! Maybe even more exciting than landing on the shortest commercial runway in Saba!

Other Resorts We Considered

Other resorts we strongly considered because of their exceptional house reefs were Baros, Kandolhu, and Mihiri.

We will likely visit these resorts at some point too since I like to “try all the things.”

Final Thoughts

I had heard the Le Meridien had a good house reef, but I was surprisingly BLOWN away by what we saw. The sheer variety of sea life was exceptional.

I would come back just to hang out with the octopuses alone.

Please keep in mind Le Meridien is a large sprawling Marriott property catering to many guests including children. There’s no boutique personal feel like what we had at the Outrigger.

Nothing wrong with that. Just a different vibe and experience.

Enjoying the swing on the white sand beach at Le Meridien Maldives

Enjoying the swing on the white sand beach at Le Meridien Maldives

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