That celebrities from around the globe flock to the Maldives for their own luxurious downtime in the promise of anonymity, being spoiled rotten with their usually far less camera-friendly loved ones, is one of the world’s worst kept secrets.
And they’ve got favourites too - while woke generations flock towards ‘intelligent luxury’ up in Baa Atoll, the glamorous stick with glossy brands. Those who’ve explored resorts to death may opt for more authentic Maldivian experiences, and some of the more adrenaline-inclined go for top surfing and diving destinations - all of which the country has on offer, but of course.
Whether you’re just coloured a little curious, looking for some celebrity-endorsed travel ideas or really in it deep with the cyberstalking (which let's be honest, happens even to the best of us) here’s a starry calendar of ‘who went where’ across this ever-stunning archipelago.
Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh: No doubt Bollywood’s hottest power couple of the moment, Rambo and Deep began their honeymoon here in the Maldives, rumoured to have stayed at the uber-chic Cheval Blanc Randheli. And if sly reports are to be believed, their love really does Ran Deep.
Salma Hayek: The gorgeous Latina actress-director powerhouse ushered in 2019 at the equally beautiful Soneva Fushi Resort. Amongst her all about the mermaid life snaps, Salma also shared a picture enjoying Soneva’s pineapple chili and rosewater ice-cream with a caption that hopefully captured the uniqueness of her stay - “Why be normal?”
Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson: Model/Actress Cara is no stranger to Amilla Fushi Resort, having stayed there previously, as well as at former sister resort Finolhu back when it first launched. This year however, she brought along her partner Ashley Benson and if social media is any indication, the beautiful couple had a ball of a time with some flirty snaps to boot!
Tiger Shroff: The rising star, also the son of legendary Jackie Shroff, made his way to these isles down south from India. We uncovered that he spent his time chilling out at Soneva Fushi but thirsty as we were for the well-built star to backflip all over the island, no such luck. In true Bollywood fashion, his IG would have you believe he was traveling “alone” but apparently, his Bhaagi II co-star also just happened to vacay on the same premises.
Gal Gadot: Wonderwoman brought some fierce girl power to ring in the new year at Dusit Thani Maldives. Her visit was kept tightly under wraps, but our reporters confirmed her presence at the airport and at the resort. The wholesome vacation was tweeted by Gal and her gal-pals extensively and is by all accounts, highly recommended to all friend groups. Sisterhood of the traveling yoga pants, anyone?
Rita Ora: The stunning singer didn’t just stay at Amilla Fushi, she rang in the new year delivering a stunning performance that we can only imagine Cara and Ashley were dancing along to as well. It seems that for January at least it really was #BetterinBaa!
Alesha Dixon: The R&B crooner also well known as a judge on the popular show Britain’s Got Talent, brought her dazzling smile to LUX* South Ari Atoll, flawless legs that go on forever twinning with our endless blue horizons.
Arjun Kapoor and/or?! Malaika Arora: The actor was spotted soaking in the sun at Niyama Private Island, at the very same time as his rumoured paramour actress Malaika. One too many cheeky Instagram likes and comments later, calling this a solo trip on either part seems a 'tad' far-fetched!
Milind Soman: The model/fitness advocate was in the Maldives with wife Ankita Konwar to run as Ambassador for Maldives International Marathon. The fitness duo took to Soneva Fushi for some well deserved R&R… a resort that truly echoes their barefoot philosophy. Loved up and beach bumming, these two proved #couplegoals wherever they went!
Abishek Bachan and Aishwarya Rai Bachan: Bollywood sure does love itself some Niyama! The super power-couple visited the luxurious resort with their daughter Aaradhya for a special holiday, as they celebrated 12 years of wedded and familial bliss.
Katrina Kaif: Setting IG on fire the moment she stepped foot on white sandy Maldivian beaches, Katrina celebrated reaching 20 million followers with a video shot while glamming it up at Fairmont Sirru Fen Fushi Maldives. The star was here on a work-vacay with her glam team, for seemingly unforgettable “team time!"
Arjun Rampal and Gabriella Demetriades: It’s baby-moon time for these soon-to-be super attractive set of ‘rents! The Bollywood actor and his South African model girlfriend seem to be loving the time away at Anantara Veli Resort, with Arjun posting a stunning photograph captioned, “When you wake up to this, you know you are blessed.”
Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan: The Crown Prince, popularly known as Fazza on social media, traveled to the Maldives with his new bride Sheikha Sheikha bint Saeed bin Thani Al Maktoum to celebrate tying the knot. Based at Velaa Private Island, the couple’s entire retreat seems designed for royalty, as seen in the prince’s social media video, also RT’d by Tourism Minister Ali Waheed.
Shah Rukh Khan and family: The King of Bollywood had the entire Maldives in an uproar when he arrived with family in tow to celebrate his daughter's graduation. People were thrilled that he had finally made it to the country but heartbroken that it coincided with the non-stop rain that marked the beginning of local monsoon season. Khan stayed in the epitome of luxury at Jumeirah Vittaveli but it true SRK fashion, still managed to carve out some time to meet with his biggest Maldivian fan. Here's hoping, reigning Khan will head this way once more to live it up in the 'sunny side of life' when it's at its usual tropical glory!
Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Falchuk, Chris Martin, Dakota Johnson and kids: Actress Gwyneth first arrived in Maldives with beau Brad and her children but was soon after joined by ex-husband and baby daddy Coldplay frontman Chris along with his girlfriend actress Dakota. This famous mixed family chose to holiday at Soneva Jani, one of the archipelago’s newest and most fabulous offerings, including slides that go straight from your villa into a stunning lagoon!
Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner: By the looks of their feeds it seems that this summer, the singer certainly had his cake by the ocean - that too in Maldives’ northern hemisphere with the Queen of the North! Soneva Fushi treated the newlyweds to its renowned hospitality with the usual aplomb, lighting up fans of both with some serious *envy*.
Liv Tyler and David Gardner: On the heels of another famous couple electing to stay at Soneva Fushi, comes this equally glamorous duo. The famous actress and Wallstreet giant chose to disconnect at this famously ‘back to nature’ island, where Liv was spotted chilling with the kids at the resort’s grand ‘Den’, one of the largest kids clubs in Asia.
Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor-Ali Khan and children: Bollywood royalty, star couple ‘Saifeena’ graced Soneva Fushi’s fair shores soon after. Actress Kareena Kapoor and her husband actor Saif Ali Khan along with their gorgeous family were, much to their follower's delight, rather click-happy and shared some amazing photographs taken around the island and in their fabulous villa!
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and family: Is there actually a more famous, talented family than the Smiths? Sure doesn’t seem like it, and judging by the stunning shots taken at Velaa Private Island, they make a close play for best looking as well. Will, Jada and Grams confirmed, we aren’t 100 percent sure who else made it, but these ‘Raajje’-regulars are likely to be seen again in the Maldives, hopefully sometime soon.
Sonakshi Sinha: Talented costume designer turned actress, this beauty brought her own brand of glam to Jumeirah Vittaveli. This is actually her second time in Maldives this year, having started off January 2019 with a trip to The Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi. Guys, it looks like Sona’s really got the blues!
Sonam Kapoor and Family: In recent years, Soneva Fushi has cemented its crossover space as both a Hollywood and Bollywood star favorite. Much like actress Sonam Kapoor herself, who was pictured sliding just as smoothly into a pool with husband Anand Ahuja. The couple was on vacay with Sonam’s sister Rhea Kapoor and brother-in-law Karan Boolan, to celebrate the latter’s birthday.
Millie Bobby Brown and Family: One of the brightest new Hollywood stars, the lovely and adorable Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things fame, was spotted holidaying in Soneva Fushi as well. According to sources, she and her little sister had a fabulous time living in up in the resorts’ Den and Teen Club areas.
Pep Guardiola (Man City): FC Manchester City’s current manager came by the exquisite Cheval Blanc Randheli, an exclusive property from the luxury fashion group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, for a brief escape and perhaps to also lick some wounds, as English Premier League took a break in time for international friendlies after a particularly difficult season.
Sushmita Sen: The actress and former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen were captured looking ageless and elegant as ever during her stay at Taj Exotica Maldives, with her boyfriend Rohman Shawl. Her daughters Renee and Alisah along with her godchild Aaliyah also accompanied her on the trip, posing for some sunkissed and blissed-out pics themselves.
Katherine McPhee Foster and David Foster: Making 2019 year of celebrations are these famous newlyweds, who got married as well as celebrated David’s 70th this year. He attempted the role of ‘Instahusband’ with Katherine poking fun of his photography throughout what seems to be quite the adorable getaway.
Serena Williams: The international Queen of Tennis, 23 major single titles winner shared some fab snaps on IG at the Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi, one of the Maldives' newest properties. Her daughter Olympia and husband Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in tow, the star appeared to have a wonderful and memorable holiday.
Alessandra Ambrosio: It seems the Waldorf is racking up its own constellation as the year draws to a close, and this post notches include that of this supermodel and former Victoria Secret Angel, who is pictured looking just about as sparkly as the crystalline lagoon behind her. The Brazilian beauty has been spotted in Maldives a few years earlier as well, for a GQ cover-shoot.
Emily Ratajowski: Perfection in womanly form, the model dropped a whole lot of jaws when she posed, seemingly bare, on her pool deck with views of the ocean. Though whether anyone was actually looking at the water, we can’t really tell. She appears to be romancing the holiday away with her husband, Sebastian Bear-McClard at the Waldorf Astoria.
Dustin Martin: This American Football League star celebrated the end of a very successful season after winning his second flag with the Richmond Tigers by winding down in the sunny side of life at the - you guessed it - the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, Ithaafushi. The sports star surprised fans with a lil IG drop, in the form of a clip that showed him partying with Serena and Alexis.
We know stars like their privacy, so we aren’t likely to hear about many stars while their vacay is ongoing. Little birdies whispered to us names like Zayn Malik, Gordon Ramsay and Vidya Balan, but as of right now details are unknown ... and we don't want to ruin anyone's holiday festivities. However, we can absolutely confirm Ella is headed this way! The British singer is set to headline the coveted new year set at Amilla Fushi Resort, along with performances from Pixie Geldof and Nick Grimshaw.
Whew, that's a long list and honestly, these VIPs being as elusive as they are (and just look at how far our obsessive snooping goes - it’s necessary!) we expect there are so many more we didn’t catch and even more who will only reveal themselves once the New Year is well and truly rung in.
No matter the outcome though, this little throwback calendar seals it; the Maldives is still absolutely THE holiday destination for celebrities the world over; actresses, actors, sports legends, singers, supermodels, tech billionaires, genius investors.
A few famous names skipped this year but have made their obligatory pilgrimage to the number one luxury destination include Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin Hart, David Beckham, Tom Cruise, Ricardo Kaká, Milla Jovovich, Russell Crowe, Ronan Keating, You name it, they love Maldives - and they've spent a whole decade proving so.
And so, we are happy to declare that at the moment, this archipelago firmly remains, at least for these lucky celebrities, ‘Paradise’ on Earth.