Bars play a unique role in the Maldives. Considering the island nation is conservative, it is important to remember that alcohol is not allowed on public islands. Moreover, you cannot bring your own alcohol from outside either.
As a result, the only place to have alcohol is in resorts or liveaboards. In the evening, resort guests typically head to their island bar for drinks and snacks before dinner. Many of these establishments strategically face the west, making them the obvious choice for a sundowner.
However, bars in the Maldives are not just places to have a drink or two. More often than not, they are the center of social activity on the private islands. Here, guests can mingle, listen to live music and partake in evening entertainment.
At the same time, resort bars form the perfect background for a romantic escapade when there is not much going on. Moreover, many bars are family-friendly and offer kid’s menus and non-alcoholic beverages.
Not to forget, bars in the Maldives have some of the best bartenders working behind the counters. As a result, guests get to taste fantastic signature cocktails in addition to relishing classic drinks, wines, and more.
The Whale Bar at St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
The Whale Bar is undoubtedly one of the most architecturally stunning resort bars in the Maldives. The award-winning design of the bar takes inspiration from the whale shark.
Situated over water, the bar welcomes guests staying at the St Regis Maldives to sit in the belly of the whale. An elegant space decorated using subtle oak-wood elements and atmospheric lighting, the amorous ambiance sets the mood for a memorable evening.
The highlight of the decor is its five-panel ceiling fresco depicting marine life, an integral part of the Maldives. The seating, comfortable and spread out, moves seamlessly from the inside to the outside deck. The latter is an idyllic spot to view the setting sun with a loved one.
Food options at the Whale Bar include tapas as well as three and five-course tasting menus. The beverages are equally exclusive, consisting of specially curated spirits and cocktails like the resort’s signature drink Island Mary.
Onu Onu Bar at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi
Onu Onu, meaning bamboo in Dhivehi, is among the top few design-centric beach bars in the Maldives. Specially built by Balinese artisans, the bar features a single bamboo structure with an umbrella-like design. Having an open plan, guests sit under the roof or out on the beach. Either way, spectacular ocean views are a guarantee.
Guest staying at the Fairmont Maldives can savor tapas and drinks at this beach bar from 3:00 PM until Midnight, with Happy Hour from 5 to 7 PM. The menu is a whos who is comfort food, from chicken satay and spring rolls to kebabs, fish and chips, and New York cheesecake.
Onu Onu also acts as the epicenter of nightlife on the island. Evening entertainment on any day can consist of fire shows, live DJ events, beach parties, and traditional crab races.
Long Bar at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort
Through the tropical rendition of its iconic Long Bar in Singapore, Raffles Maldives presents its guests with the opportunity to immerse themselves into cocktail heritage. Those not knowing, Singapore’s Long Bar is the birthplace of the famous cocktail Singapore Sling!
The island version of the Long Bar is an equally elegant construct, situated next to the resort’s infinity pool which borders the ocean. Guests staying at Raffles Maldives find the casual nature of the bar to be particularly enticing, especially since it is an idyllic place to witness incredible sunsets.
The bar menu is a collection of classic drinks, vintages, and mocktails. However, the one drink not to miss out on is the Maldivian Sling, an island version of the original cocktail. Made using gin, cinnamon, coconut, and cloves, its refreshing taste has the perfect cooling effect on a hot and humid day.
Additionally, the bar offers beverage tasting menus wherein guests can take an educational trip to discover wines, cocktails, cognac, and whiskeys from different parts of the world. If looking for something on a lighter note, the bar also serves ice cream, sorbets, and fruity shisha.
The food menu at Long Bar is no less remarkable. Most interestingly, it includes hedikaa – Maldivian snacks, along with caviar and seafood.
Chill Bar at Six Sense Laamu
Daybeds in the open, steps that lead straight into the reef, melodic tunes in the background, and the beauty of the horizon in front, Chill Bar epitomizes every aspect of Maldives’ beauty.
The multi-level bar is an all-day hotspot where guests stop by to snorkel and relax during the day. Come evening, the vibe changes to that of a lounge. Soon enough, everyone takes their favorite spot to watch the sunset and interact. The music playlist, often curated by world-famous DJs, further adds a sense of exclusivity to the ambiance.
Chill Bar’s menu reflects the resort’s philosophy of serving healthy, sustainable food. There are salads, poke bowls, tasty burgers, Indian butter chicken, and delectable desserts. The variety of food is sure to impress all palates, particularly those of gourmands that relish distinct worldly flavors.
Mura Bar at Joali Maldives
The hippest hangout spot on the island, Mura Bar, creates a serene environment with lush tropical undertones. Defining the bar are its thatched roof, turquoise-colored wooden shutters, and a free-flowing space where guests can easily move from inside to outside.
Guests staying at Joali Maldives love Mura Bar for its club vibes, accentuated further by its poolside, sea-facing location. To lounge, residents can plonk themselves in cabanas or the über-chic infinity pods – sunken seating arrangements next to the water.
Live music and performances are a daily occurrence, as is the bar’s popularity during sunset hour. As a result, Mura Bar has a lively atmosphere in the evening, as residents casually interact with the staff and each other.
The menu at the bar can rival the best of restaurants. From Joali Lobster Tostada and Maldivian Tuna Poke Bowl to sliders, wood-fired pide, Pizza Frutti di Mare, and Calamansi Cheesecake, you’ll get everything from comfort to healthy food.
Pool Bar at Hard Rock Hotel Maldives
Hard Rock Hotel is known for its larger-than-life personality. The resort and its facilities are all about living the good life, full of extraordinary experiences.
The Pool Bar at the Hard Rock reflects upon the resort’s showmanship with its style and features. A part of the infinity pool that leads up to the lagoon, the bar has underwater stools for guests to sit on. Moreover, its top-of-the-line underwater sound system is a joy for music lovers. If that wasn’t enough, the family-friendly pool and bar have a waterslide and a special kids menu for their little guests.
A full-day bar, it opens at 8:30 AM and stays in business till 10:30 PM. The menu includes Latin favorites like Cubano sandwiches, Mexican pizza, ice cream, and sorbets. As for drinks, there’s everything from premium cocktails and whiskeys to mocktails and coffee.
The Cheese & Wine Bar at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
What at first might looks like a simple private room with wine bottles all around is actually a hidden culinary gem. In the running for one of the best wine cellars in the Maldives, The Cheese & Wine Bar specializes in a curated collection of cheeses and wines.
Moreover, the black volcanic sand that covers the floor, imported from New Zealand, gives the bar an island touch while keeping the setting casual.
A purposely designed bar, the menu here comprises cheese platters, fondue, and tapas served with bread and paired with wine. Guests wanting more can opt for the tasting menu. Nibbling on a variety of small pieces is an excellent opportunity to relish some of the most exclusive cheeses from across the globe.
A private cheese and wine tasting session at the bar is one gastronomic affair gourmands should try and experience while staying at the Conrad Maldives.
Fez at Kurumba Maldives
Exotic and vibrant, Fez is a plush space with imaginative interiors and a laidback vibe. However, it is not a standard resort bar but a shisha lounge.
What was once the Kalhu Bar is now a lavish den with multi-colored hanging lampshades, comfortable sofas, and a cozy ambiance. Influenced by the Arabic world, a prominent Middle Eastern theme runs through Fez’s décor and menu.
Open from 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM, the shisha menu is the highlight of a visit here. On it, you’ll find classic flavors like mango, strawberry, and lemon. Additionally, there are several mixed flavors like pineapple with coconut and bubblegum.
Food at Fez includes delicious bites like hummus, kebabs, kibbeh, and Turkish delights. Also available are classic and signature cocktails, sangrias, juices, and cocktails.
Sails Bar at Baros Maldives
The Lighthouse is one of Baros’ most iconic restaurants. However, the subtle charms of its Sails Bar are no less impressive. Located next to the beach, the bar is a peaceful respite where guests go to enjoy a drink and the gentle sea breeze.
Among the best bars in the Maldives, plan to spend at least a few evenings at Sails during your stay at Baros. A community-centric establishment, the ambiance at the bar encourages guests to mingle over stories or a game of chess.
Couples will find the tables, interspersed between the trees, that create intimate nooks to their liking. At the same time, others might prefer the more social seating near the main bar counter with its hammocks and swing beds.
The bar’s interiors take inspiration from sailboats, photos of which adorn the walls. The menu, though, pays homage to world cuisines with its stone-baked pizzas, tandoori chicken, fish tikka, salads, burgers, and tapas.
For drinks, try the Hemingway Daiquiri, Strawberry Cosmopolitan, Baros Spiced Mojito, and a range of whiskeys, beers, and non-alcoholic beverages.
Joie De Vivre at Ozen Life Maadhoo
Inspired by the retro coolness of “Miami chic,” Joie De Vivre’s idyllic waterfront location promises spectacular sunsets.
With its name translating to “joy of life,” it comes as no surprise that the bar is the entertainment center of the island. Next to the resort’s pool and consisting of a pizzeria, one can imagine that the atmosphere here is forever casual and festive.
Open from 9:00 AM up until 1:00 AM, guests at Joie De Vivre can relax in cozy cabanas by the pool or loungers on the beach. The bar menu features signature cocktails, beers, wines, and spirits from different regions of the world.
Sky at Anantara Kihava Maldives
Life on land and below the water are among the highlights of a stay on the islands. However, Anantara Kihava presents its guests with a unique top-of-the-world experience. Set high above the ground, the resort’s watering hole, Sky, is undoubtedly one of the most stunning bars in the Maldives.
Granting astounding vistas, especially at sunset, Sky isn’t just about panoramas or drinks. Here, you also get to look far beyond the beauty of the Maldives. Home to the country’s “most powerful telescope,” situated in the archipelago’s “first overwater observatory,” Sky takes its guests on journeys into the far reaches of the galaxy.
The bar welcomes resident guests staying at Anantara Kihava from 11:00 AM to Midnight. Sky has a limited food menu but an extensive wine list featuring classic, kosher, and non-alcoholic wines. Signature drinks at Sky worth trying include Watermelon Isle and Nam Jai.
Cheers Bar at You & Me Resort Maldives
Cheers Bar takes a prime spot next to the pool and on the beach, meters away from the sea. The open plan of the bar creates beach shack-like interiors complete with plush wooden frame sofas and a sandy floor.
A pool table further adds to the entertainment value of the bar, which hosts music performances every night.
The bar menu features wine, cocktails, mocktails, beers, and other popular spirits, as well as soft drinks and coffee. Exclusively for guests staying at You & Me Resort Maldives, Cheers Bar remains open from 10:00 AM to Midnight.
N.B.: All the information in the article is correct as of the publication date. The prices mentioned, if any, are subject to change.