Globetrotter: What's it like to stay at Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives?

Globetrotter: What's it like to stay at Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives?



Marine adventures await in the South Ari Marine Protected Area.

When looking for an island getaway in the Maldives, a unique differentiator is a must. Whether it's a fashion-forward stay at SO/Maldives, an island packed full of adventure at Siyam World or the funk and fun of W Maldives, each island has its own identity. Enter the newly opened Barcelo Whale Lagoon Maldives, a resort which – as the name suggests – is rooted in nature and looks to guarantee guests sightings of the elusive whale sharks.

Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives is one of the archipelago's newest resorts, opening in August 2023. The resort is accessible via a 30-minute seaplane flight from Malé's Velana International Airport. While Malé stands as the bustling capital of Asia's smallest nation, both in population and landmass. It serves as a pivotal hub for travellers heading to one of the countries 1,192 islands and 172 resorts. Among them lies the serene gem, Barceló Whale Lagoon Maldives, nestled on the secluded in the Ari Atoll, tucked away in the depths of the Indian Ocean.

Barcelo Whale Lagoon Maldives

Island Living

As we step ashore, we're welcomed by the picturesque view of palm-fringed beaches and traditional Maldivian thatch buildings. The essence of paradise envelops us in a resort that promises a multitude of experiences in its intimate setting, surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear waters. Upon check-in, no key cards are offered; instead, we're armed with waterproof bracelets to unlock villa doors.

The resort offers a choice of 100 villas, either nestled over the water or tucked along the beach. Both options guarantee satisfaction, although the beach villas are fantastic for families with young children. It is important to note that only seven Beach Suites feature private plunge pools. However, each villa offers direct access to the lagoon's clear waters. 

Barcelo Whale Lagoon Maldives

Our one-bedroom sunrise beach villa is a true sanctuary, blending contemporary elements with traditional touches. Adorned in soothing neutral tones, the design incorporates natural wood and is embellished with coral-like artworks, fostering a sense of harmony while infusing it with a tropical island essence. The interiors blend traditional Maldivian accents, such as ornate wooden panelling and thatching, with modern technology and minimalist aesthetics. The villa's charm lies not in embellishments, but in the breathtaking views of the lagoon.


The living area, with its soft furnishings and flat-screen television, seamlessly transitions into a cosy bedroom featuring a king-sized bed strategically positioned to greet guests with a panoramic ocean vista upon waking. Ample closet space and a Nespresso machine enhance the comfort. The bathroom exudes elegance with a spacious freestanding tub, double sinks, and indoor and outdoor showers, offering a delightful back to nature experience. 

The outdoor deck is positioned just above the shoreline, evoking the sensation of being aboard a ship. With its swing seat and sunloungers the area is ideal for enjoying sundowners while relishing the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

Resort Feels

At Barceló Whale Lagoon, bicycles are the preferred mode of transportation. While a complimentary buggy service is available, embrace the leisurely pace of exploration by pedalling along the sandy paths that crisscross the island, revealing hidden beaches. The island's lush interior is cloaked in dense vegetation, creating a jungle-like ambience. Here lies the health club, boasting a spacious and well-appointed fitness centre and the spa, complete with saunas and steam rooms. Drawing inspiration from tradition the six spa pavilions are elegantly dotted around a garden of frangipani trees carpeted in wildflowers, providing an idyllic setting for rejuvenating massages and fabulous facials.

Barcelo Whale Lagoon Maldives

Keeping Busy

The Maldives is often perceived as a destination for honeymooners. However, Barceló Whale Lagoon offers family-friendly adventures and amenities. The island has a badminton court, football pitch, and colourful kids club. 

For those seeking aquatic adventures, the resort's two beachfront infinity pools await, while the water sports centre beckons with kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding – each offering exhilarating ways to explore the ocean. Embark on a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat and set sail for aquatic exploration above and below the surface. Perched on the edge of the South Ari Marine Protected Area, Barcelo Whale Lagoon Maldives serves as an ideal hub for scuba diving excursions and the opportunity to spot manta rays and whale sharks.

Whale Sharks

Culinary Escapades

Barceló Whale Lagoon offers a culinary odyssey across its three bars and three restaurants, each inviting you to unwind in sync with the resort's relaxed ambience. Breeze Beach Bar beside the communal pool offers refreshing cocktails and light snacks. Elsewhere, Sea Salt offers day-to-night dining across an expansive buffet featuring traditional Maldivian dishes and international favourites. With daily menu rotations and several theme nights backed by tranquil lagoon views, culinary bliss awaits.

Barcelo Whale Lagoon Maldives

The Verdict

After spending three days on a remote island in one of the world's most sought-after destinations, the sense of seclusion and sanctuary lingers. Following daily encounters with stingrays, reef sharks, and turtles, it's no wonder that the pristine white sands and vibrant blue waters of these far-flung islands attract travellers from across the globe. The vibe is more carefree castaway than island luxury, but Barcelo Whale Lagoon Maldives is great for groups, prioritising family fun and underwater adventures above all else. 

GO: Visit for reservations and more information.