Editor’s Choice: 6 Best cheap Maldives water villa resorts

12159_15060819350028947817With nearly 80 different private-island water bungalow resorts in the Maldives, you could spend a week or more sorting through all the prices, features, and guest reviews to find the one that suits you best at a good price. Since we’ve spent many months sifting through this information, we’re publishing our “Editor’s Choice” resort recommendations to save you time finding the best resort and deal.

We also have a complete list of all of the cheap Maldives water villa resorts, but below are the six best that combine low prices, excellent features, and overwhelmingly positive guest reviews. Most of the resorts below operate on an all-inclusive basis to one degree or another, and considering that nothing is cheap in the Maldives, they represent an even better deal than you might otherwise think.

Editors Choice: 6 Best cheap water villa resorts in the Maldives

1 – Meeru Island Resort

  • Water villas: 106
  • Total rooms/suites: 286

12159_16052919150042846759With 106 water villas, the Meeru Island Resort has the most in the Maldives, and this is in addition to 180 island and beach rooms. In other words, this is a larger resort for the area, and it operates on a full-board basis at amazing prices considering the quality.

While it may not be as romantic as some of the more intimate islands, this resort has over a dozen restaurants and bars, plus an endless list of activities, including a pitch & putt golf course, football grounds and gardens. The food gets exceptional reviews for an all-inclusive resort, so if you are looking for an active and fun private-island at a great price, this might be just the place for you.

  • Low season online specials from US$400 per night
  • High season online specials from US$610 per night

>>>More information about the Meeru Island Resort
>>>Check rates

2 – Kuredu Island Resort

  • Water villas: 50
  • Total rooms/suites: 300

41480_15080911070033919888The largest private-island water villa resort in the Maldives, the Kuredu Island is another that operates mostly on a full-board basis, though you can save a bit of money if you prefer fewer meals included. There’s an adults-only area and a family-friendly area, so this resort is popular with honeymoon couples looking for a water villa that’s in this particular price range.

Again, with a larger resort you get a much larger choice of restaurants and activities, so for those who like to socialize and stay busy this could be an ideal hotel. Rooms here include little handy extras like kimonos, beach towels and a hairdryer. The Kuredu Island is another that gets very good reviews and has many returning guests, which is quite an achievement in the lower price category.

  • Low season online specials from US$520 per night
  • High season online specials from US$688 per night

>>>More information about the Kuredu Island Resort
>>>Check rates

3 – Vilamendhoo Island Resort

  • Water villas: 30
  • Total rooms/suites: 184

12171_14020414300018244604The Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa represents a fantastic bargain for those looking for a large and luxurious water villa in the Maldives. Each water villa also has a Jacuzzi, and is well appointed with other amenities that you wouldn’t expect in this price range. This all-inclusive resort has a basic level and an “all-inclusive plus” level that includes alcohol and some other extras. Here you’ll also find large rooms complete with a private walled in outdoor area featuring a lovely jacuzzi for two, a partially open air bathroom and a sundeck along with other great features.

Reviews for this resort are overwhelmingly positive, and it’s another that guests are vowing to return again and again. The food gets very high marks, as does the staff, and the house reef here is said to be among the best in the Maldives, so it is a perfect budget choice for the scuba and snorkeling set.

  • Low season online specials from US$538 per night
  • High season online specials from US$690 per night

>>>More information about the Vilamendhoo Island Resort
>>>Check rates

4 – Veligandu Island Resort

  • Water villas: 64
  • Total rooms/suites: 76

41486_14020513430018253807Primarily a couples resort, Veligandu Island operates on a full-board basis with the option to pay a bit extra for all-inclusive, which includes alcohol among other things. In this price range you won’t beat this resort, as it gets a non-stop stream of enthusiastically positive reviews. Along with a spa, this resort caters with a windsurfing and sailing center, surf bikes, volleyball and a gym.

The smaller class of water villas have a whirlpool tub in them, but most have a 2-person Jacuzzi instead, which is located in a private section of the deck. The food gets top marks here as well, which is quite an achievement in this price range. The staff are always notoriously friendly as well, which seems to keep many people returning every year.

  • Low season online specials from US$513 per night
  • High season online specials from US$757 per night

>>>More information about the Veligandu Island Resort
>>>Check rates

5 – Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa

  • Water villas: 60
  • Total rooms/suites: 164

49058_15083012390035364876The Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa is a four-star hotel that features 60 water villas of varying classes, including many with their own private jacuzzi tub to enjoy and soak in. This is a more of a luxurious resort compared to the others above it on the list, and the prices are usually higher, but during slower periods you can find excellent online specials that put it in the moderate category, making it a bit more accessible and affordable for a larger range of potential guests. Guests here will find restaurants, bars, a beautiful spa and various water activities outside of the usual snorkeling and scuba diving.

Even with their normal rates and during high season this could be a good choice. The reviews are mostly gushing, usually recommending people “just stay here” and you won’t regret it. When their online specials are on this might be the best value in the Maldives.

  • Low season online specials from US$500 per night
  • High season online specials from US$753 per night

>>>More information about the Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa
>>>Check rates

6 – Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives Resort

  • Water villas: 80
  • Total rooms/suites: 150

168871_16051821120042462906Another 5-star resort that sometimes has excellent online special rates, the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives Resort (formerly the Hilton Maldives) is one to consider for just about anyone. This is a larger international resort loaded with luxury amenities and many dining and activity choices. Some of the activity choices include fishing, jet skiing, sailing and sightseeing tours.

While some resorts are willing to stay mostly empty during slow weeks, the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives Resort will cut their prices to ridiculously low levels. During busy weeks water villas start close to US$800 per night, but if you go during a slower week (especially during the off-season) you can get the same room for well under half that. You might just get lucky so it’s worth checking this one.

  • Low season online specials from US$508 per night
  • High season online specials from US$715 per night

>>>More information about the  Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives Resort
>>>Check rates


  • ashoke ganguly says:

    4night fullboard 1st december 2013.1 water bhila.with transfer from airport.with all taxes.2adault +1child(10years)

  • Sonal says:

    Hie 4 nights full board n jus 1day water villa other al day standard room from 8dec 13 revert back pls

  • sukanya says:

    Hi,
    3 nights full board n jus 1day water villa other all day standard room from 16 – 19th dec . revert back pls

  • Srinivas says:

    Hi Guys,

    I am thinking to travel between 13-Aug to 16-Aug i.e. 3 nights and 4 days since i am traveling first time need to try water bungalow for a day and remaining 2nights in a standard room can anyone help me out with this like good budget water bungalow.

    • Roger Wade says:

      Srinivas,

      The best value water villas in the Maldives are usually found at Meeru Island Resort. They also have hundreds of island rooms that are also very good value. It’s also relatively close to the main airport so you can reach Meeru Island by speedboat, which is much less expensive than the seaplanes flight required for most Maldives resorts. Have a great trip and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

  • Khalid Nazary says:

    Hi,

    would like to travel between 24.12.15 to 9-1-16, budget is around $100 +-, can be an apartment also. like to stay at different places and not be locked down to one place. Any recommendations?

  • Simon Marcus says:

    Hi,
    We are looking for 3 nights “Bungalow Water” and 5 night “Bungalow beach” for honeymoon 22 aug – 30 aug, what’s your recommendation?

    Thx in advance!

    BR
    Simon

    • Roger Wade says:

      Simon,

      If you are okay with a full-board or all-inclusive Maldives resort then I highly recommend Meeru Island, which is number one on this list. I was just there about 10 days ago and it far exceeded my expectations. Best of all, it’s one of the larger Maldives islands so they focus on providing good value, which means they are full almost every night of the year. They are also close enough to reach by speedboat, so the transfers are quite a bit less expensive than the remote resorts where a sea plane is the only option.

      If you don’t want all-inclusive you might consider Olhuveli, which is #5 on the list above. August is one of the slower months, and you can often get very good deals in the low season, even though the weather is still almost perfect. Congrats and best of luck with this. -Roger

  • Mohammad says:

    Hi Roger,

    Travelling to the Maldives in December for my honeymoon. Cannot decide between these two resorts:

    1. Centara Ras Fushi Spa & Resort
    2. Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

    Which one do you recommend?

    • Roger Wade says:

      Mohammad,

      I haven’t stayed at either of them, although I have been through that area and it’s obviously gorgeous. This is a tough call because they both get excellent reviews and are similar distances with similar prices on the speedboat transfer. I’m sure you’ll be very happy at either of them, so I’d be tempted to choose the cheaper one for your travel dates.

      The other real difference is that Centara Ras Fushi has 140 total rooms, 3 restaurants, and 3 bars, while Adaaran Prestige Vadoo only has 50 rooms with 2 restaurants and 2 bars. So the Adaaran resort should feel even less crowded than the Centara resort, although nearly all Maldives resorts feel pleasantly isolated for guests. Best of luck and congratulations on your wedding and honeymoon. -Roger

  • Ali Shahid says:

    Hi Roger,

    I am travelling to Maldives in Sept this year for my honeymoon. I have booked Meeru for now (2 nights Water villa, and 3 nights beach villa) All inclusive. Me and my wife-to-be don’t drink. So is AI still a good idea? Or Full Board will be better for us?

    Plus, Is Veligandu preferrable to Meeru? (for honeymoon/couples etc)

    Regards,
    Ali

    • Roger Wade says:

      Ali,

      At Meeru Island they call it “All-inclusive Plus” and that also includes some extra activities, as well as the Sunset Dolphin Cruise, which is really worthwhile. And of course, you can get water and juice and soft drinks from the bars and restaurants, and those are all fairly expensive as well. So if you were going to have a few non-alcoholic drinks each day and also do the Sunset Dolphin Cruise and some other activities, the all-inclusive Plus could still be a good deal. But if not, the full board is probably better. You also get free drinks in the minibar with the All-in Plus program, which is quite nice.

      Veligandu is much smaller than Meeru, and it has fewer activities and restaurant choices, but for a short visit it might be a better choice for honeymoons because it’s smaller and more intimate. They are owned by the same company though, so they both have the exact same high standards, and probably most of the same food choices and such as well. Another difference is that Meeru is closer so you can reach it by speedboat for US$200 per person, return, while Veligandu requires a US$310 sea-plane ride to get there. That also means that you can only get to Veligandu from sunrise until about 3:30pm, while Meeru can be reached at almost any time by speedboat. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • naseem says:

    hii…
    I am planing to visit Maldives for honeymoon on Aug Last Week,

    Options:
    1. Centara Ras Fushi Spa & Resort (3 night)
    2. Adaaran Prestige Vadoo (2 Nights)

    can u guide me Which one is better??

    Half Board or All Inclusive ( we are non alcoholic)

    Waiting for your Vaiable suggustion.

    • Roger Wade says:

      Naseem,

      Sorry about the delayed response. I haven’t been to either of those resorts, but I’ve been studying the whole Maldives scene for years, and both of those are really good. Of the two I’d say that Centara Ras Fushi might be a bit better, and it appears that their half-board deals are less expensive as well. If I wasn’t a drinker, I’d definitely do the half-board to save the money. The all-inclusive also includes soft drinks and juices and such, but there’s no way they will add up to enough to cover all the alcohol that most people drink on those plans. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Abbe says:

    Hi Roger,

    My wife and I are trying to choose a resort for our honeymoon
    14 November to 20 November 2016.

    Our needs are

    – private pool, private place to sunbathe

    – We are thinking about making one or tow nights in Malé and four or five nights in a water villa (side question–do you recommend doing
    that?)

    – Hoping for the best privacy possible, because my wife wears hijab (Muslim headscarf) and would
    like to be on the villa beach/deck without the hijab

    – Prefer halal meat in the main restaurant

    What resort or island do you suggest fits our needs? Particularly privacy?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Roger Wade says:

      Abbe,

      I’ll answer your questions in order…

      Depending on when your flight lands, you’ll probably have to spend at least one night near the airport. And one night should be enough. Male is small and has almost no interesting sights. If you just want a hotel close to the airport you should book one on Hulhumale Island, which is connected to the airport by road. Hotels there are cheaper and nicer as well. If you want to explore Male a bit you can book a place over there for one night, and see what you want to see in a few hours. I’ve been all over Asia and this is the only capital city I can think of that I don’t really recommend exploring.

      Here is our list of Maldives resorts with private pools.

      As for the privacy issue, you should be fine at any of them. Have a look at the photos on that page and you’ll see that these Maldives resorts design their water villas in such a way that each one is private. The resorts with private pools are, of course, the higher end places, and they do an even better job. Basically, if you are standing on the deck or in the pool on the deck, the only people you are visible to would be swimmers out in the lagoon, and even they would have a very restricted view. If that part is a concern you’ll be happy to know that few people swim at these places, and during the 12 hours a day or so of low tide, swimming is almost impossible.

      As far as halal meat is concerned, I am not sure but I think finding that would be fairly easy. The Maldives is a fairly strict Muslim country itself, although they do serve alcohol at these resorts, so they do take guest’s wishes into account. Still, there are many guests from Muslim countries, including in the Middle East. I’m just not sure about that.

      If you want a private pool with 100% privacy you might also consider the Grand Lexis Port Dickson, which is not far from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. It’s a new resort that isn’t quite as glamorous as the Maldives, and you can’t swim in the lagoon under the water villas. But each of the water villas there has a plunge pool that is completely within the walls of the room, so it’s 100% private every minute of the day. And Malaysia is another Muslim country, and most of their guests are from Malaysia and Singapore, so I’m sure they offer halal food in their restaurants. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  • awais says:

    I wana plan 4 nights trip to stay in water villa . we (couple) have limit of 1000 USD. can u recommend any water villa/room?

    • Roger Wade says:

      Awais,

      The absolute cheapest water villas in the Maldives start at around US$300 per night most of the year, and you also have to pay for transport from the airport to the resort. That adds at least US$300 per couple at almost every resort. So there is really no way to do it on that budget. You can find resorts that will be on your budget elsewhere though. Check our list of water villa resorts in Malaysia for options. You can’t swim beneath them, but they are very nice for the money. -Roger

  • Vibeke says:

    Hi, we would like to stay in the Maldives for 2-3 nights on our way to Sri Lanka. We have 3 kids and wonder if you know if it is possible to find water villas big enough to accomodate the whole family? Having two villas will be to expensive, we are interested in the cheapest options 🙂

    Best regards, Vibeke

    • Roger Wade says:

      Vibeke,

      This is a popular question, and unfortunately there isn’t a good answer. There are a small number of Maldives resorts that allow 4 adults in one water villa, but none that allow 5. So you’d need 2 water villas at a cheaper place, since the places that offer 2-bedroom villas are all much more than double the price. You’d spend at least US$1,500 per night for a 2 bedroom, and most are higher. Sorry and good luck. -Roger

  • Rubesh says:

    Dear Roger,
    Greetings. I appreciate your service, giving your ideas to people visiting to Maldives. Myself has planned my honeymoon trip around April 2017.v have planned to explore few islands lik hulhemale, maafushi, etc before staying in private island resort. I have heard from my friends that water activities at resorts are pretty much higher in price when compared to islands of hulhemale/ maafushi . Kindly suggest us cheap and best water activities.

    • Roger Wade says:

      Rubesh,

      I’ve yet to visit Maafushi, but I have spent time on Hulhumale and I don’t believe many of the hotels there offer many activities. The eastern coast in the north part of the island is a lovely beach, and some people do some fishing and boating and that sort of thing there. But I don’t believe there are many organized activities available. The hotels along there are mostly small, fairly inexpensive, and catering to overnight visitors going to or from the airport or a resort.

      Once you get to the resort islands, most of the non-motorized activities are actually free and included. Most of them have kayaks and other non-motorized options that are included in the room rate. At some resorts you have to pay to rent the snorkeling equipment, or obviously the diving equipment, but most things are free. So look at what your resort offers first. Those other two islands won’t offer the same level of quality. If you have a more specific question, let me know and I’ll try to answer it. -Roger

  • Halil says:

    Hello Roger, thank you so much for this site which is collecting all the options for our holidays. Although writing 400$ per night I couldn’t find any water villa between 27th Dec – 04 Jan. 17
    Can you help&recommend me to find a silent and restful resort? I can reduce my dates due to my total budget is 4000$.
    Thank you

    • Roger Wade says:

      Halil,

      Unfortunately, the last week in December and first few days of December are literally the busiest for water villa resorts around the world. You can really only get US$400 per night during the slower months, so you’ll be lucky to find US$600 for the bottom places during your dates.

      For great value I always like to recommend Meeru Island Resort. It operates on a full-board basis, but has very good all-inclusive packages if you like to drink. A bit down that page you’ll see a link to the long review I wrote of the place. Meeru is one of the larger islands, but it’s so large with so many facilities that it feels mostly empty even when it’s fully booked. In other words, it’s very silent and restful, especially in the Jacuzzi Water Villa area at the north of the island. You’ll pay more than US$400 that time of year, but they offer excellent rates including the meals, so the value is fantastic compared to the competitors. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Pragya says:

    Hello!

    My boyfriend and I are looking to book an overwater bungalow for a bit cheaper than the top 6 suggested and we were comparing the Cinnamon Maldives resort options as we believe that would be decent in the tier below these ones. Do you have any way of discerning between the three? Or do you have any better suggestions?

    As we are students, we decided to go 4 stars as it might give us more spending money for food on the island (we do appreciate good food and would consider that in the decision process). Also, would you know much about the airport transfer prices?

    We are staying for 2 nights and 3 days in December after a three week trip around Sri Lanka.

    Also, love your work and the thoroughness of your replies!

    Thank you so much, Roger!

    Pragya 🙂

    • Roger Wade says:

      Pragya,

      I think the Cinnamon resorts in the Maldives are all fine choices, and offer great value. I almost stayed at one on my most recent Maldives visit early in the year. They get very good reviews considering the reasonable rates, so I think you’ll be happy there.

      We have the price for airport transfer on each of the pages on this site for the individual resorts. For example, on the page for the Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives Resort it says that the speedboat is US$168 per person, return. That, believe it or not, is one of the cheaper transfers so that might be a good choice.

      One of the other two is all-inclusive only, so that is a good choice if you want to drink alcohol. Otherwise, the other two are similar prices, and I haven’t been to either. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

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