Maldives water-villa resorts near the Malé Airport

70348_14021218090018321511With over 75 different water-villa resorts in the Maldives to choose from, it should be of no surprise that they are spread out over huge distances in this archipelago nation. Most of the earliest resorts opened up very near the main international airport, but most of the more recent openings are a long way away, which requires a sea-plane flight that can be both time consuming and expensive.

Fortunately, there are many water-villa resorts within a short range of the airport, including many newer ones and a surprising number of the top-rated resorts. These private-island hotels are all between a 15 and 55-minute speedboat ride from the dock at the airport itself, so guests can literally be swimming in the lagoon below their water villa an hour after their flight lands, while many are still waiting for their sea-plane flight to leave.

Lower cost and more flexibility

41474_15041919090026960064Many people don’t realize that hotel guests have to pay to get to their resort from the airport, and those costs aren’t trivial. A speedboat ride can range between US$50 and US$450 per person return, and the sea-plane flights range from US$350 to US$600 per person, return.

Another reason to choose a resort near the airport is that you can come or go with more flexibility. It’s true that most flights arrive and depart from the Maldives in the morning, but not all of them, and for those that don’t you will have to stay the night near the airport. Many of the resorts listed below can pick you up or drop you back at any hour of the day, while the sea-plane flights can only go during sunlight.

Perfect for a short stay in the Maldives

While most people agree that the sea-plane flights are actually a highlight of their trip, they can eat up a big part of your arrival and your departure days. Many people are still at the airport many hours after their long-haul flight landed, waiting for their sea-plane flight, and all the resorts insist on guests leaving very early in the morning to get back to the airport.

With a resort close to the airport you can often go with only a couple hours to go until your flight. If you are staying a week or more this isn’t a big problem, but for those staying only 2 or 3 nights you don’t want to lose many hours both coming and going.

Maldives water-villa resorts near the Malé International Airport

Below are 16 water-villa resorts from the closest on out, which range from 15 minutes to 55 minutes by speedboat directly from the airport.

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives

  • Water villas: 64
  • Total rooms/suites: 140

15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa MaldivesA beautiful resort with a large amount of rooms to choose from, the Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives is a great choice for those looking for luxury without having to pay an arm and a leg for it. In fact, this resort holds a 4-star ranking and deals a lot with half-board options, meaning that though it’s not fully all-inclusive, there are some added perks with each stay.

Room wise, you’ll find Wi-Fi, an entertainment center, room service, a furnished terrace with wooden steps that lead directly into the ocean, ceiling fans, a mini bar and a coffee and tea making area. Guests will also find a lovely spa with nine different massage and treatment rooms, a large swimming pool, a fitness center, water sports and a water sports center and a nice little island boutique for some fun shopping.

  • Low season online specials from US$533 per night
  • High season online specials from US$715 per night

>>>More information about the Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives
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Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

  • Water villas: 40
  • Total rooms/suites: 40

15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

49121_15122114490038653976A boutique resort that only opened in 2009, the Adaaran Prestige Vadoo consists solely of 40 water villas, each with its own personal butler. Each water villa is large and very well appointed, and the butlers have a reputation for smoothing out the details of a holiday, including putting meal orders in early and automatically, among other things.

Each villa also comes with a glass floor section for viewing of the sea life directly below, as well as a large Jacuzzi tub with a view in the bathroom. The snorkeling and diving are excellent in the house reef within the lagoon, so it’s popular with water lovers. There’s only one restaurant plus a cigar bar, but the restaurant is also located over the water and serves food of very high standards, so this is an ideal smaller resort for romantic couples in particular.

  • Low season online specials from US$672 per night
  • High season online specials from US$773 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Prestige Vadoo
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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

  • Water villas: 56
  • Total rooms/suites: 176

15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

she3442ex.66456_xxPart of a larger international chain, the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is a rather large resort with a total of 176 rooms, 56 of which reside over the water. The overwater villas feature Wi-Fi, an entertainment system, 24 hour room service, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, a wine fridge, a refrigerator and a fully stocked mini bar. In addition, guests will find free daily mineral water, plush bathrobes, bath slippers and beach towels.

Outside of the rooms, the Shine Spa impresses with a wide assortment of massages, treatments and select therapies. If you’re looking for a fun activity or two to enjoy, you’ll want to try your hand at scuba diving, sailing, snorkeling, water skiing, knee boarding or one of the other available activities. When you’re done having fun on the water, make sure to enjoy a new favorite dish at one of the resort’s many dining options.

  • Low season online specials from US$647 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,132 per night

>>>More information about the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

  • Water villas: 55
  • Total rooms/suites: 64

15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

12169_14012919440018210375Located on a small private island not far south of the capital, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is a 5-star property operated by the famous Taj Resorts group of India. The 55 water villas here come in several classes ranging from large to enormous. The least-expensive class offers great value considering this small island is first-class all the way.

The higher classes of water villas each include their own private plunge pool on the deck, plus many other luxury amenities. They even have one Presidential Villa Suite, which is one of the largest and most luxurious water villas in the world.

  • Low season online specials from US$843 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,031 per night

>>>More information about the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives
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Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives

  • Water villas: 60
  • Total rooms/suites: 115

20-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

Chaaya-Island-Dhonveli-1024x686Among the best value resorts in the Maldives, the Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives Resort is also only 20 minutes by speedboat from the airport, so it’s an ideal choice for a water villa holiday on the tightest of budgets.

This resort offers half-board (breakfast and dinner) packages as well, so guests don’t have to worry about the sometimes extraordinary cost of food in the Maldives. They have a surfing beach here too, which is unusual for the Maldives, though it does come at a slightly higher price. If you are looking for an inexpensive water villa (or island room) for a short stay, this should be one of the first places you consider.

  • Low season online specials from US$346 per night
  • High season online specials from US$578 per night

>>>More information about the Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives
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Paradise Island Resort – Maldives

  • Water villas: 62
  • Total rooms/suites: 282

20-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

1632919405-picWith 282 total rooms and villas, the Paradise Island Resort is one of the largest in the Maldives. The location is only 20 minutes from the Male Airport by speedboat so the transfer price of around US$200 per person is cheaper than the more remote resorts that are only accessible by sea plane.

This is more of an old-school resort, although it has been updated and renovated on a regular basis. The water villas here are often booked way in advance, so it can be challenging to find availability. If you are okay with an island bungalow then this one offers some very good rates that are ideal for shorter stays.

  • Low season online specials from US$656 per night
  • High season online specials from US$726 per night

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort

  • Water villas: 45
  • Total rooms/suites: 45

20-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

2767142While it’s not the most expensive, the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort (formerly known as Soneva Gili by Six Senses), might be the finest overwater villa resort in the world. Each of the 56 water villas here is enormous and loaded with features and luxury amenities. Even their least expensive water villas includes a large open-air living room with daybeds and a dining area, while the others get even more decadent.

The two restaurants and two bars here are among the best in the Maldives, as is the on-site spa. Guest interested in extreme privacy might like to choose one of the 7 Crusoe Residences, which are huge and each is only accessible by a small private ferry that runs whenever a guest pleases. Better yet, the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort resort features what they call their Private Reserve, which is even farther out into the lagoon, and at over 1400 square meters, it’s by far the largest water villa in the world.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,519 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,836 per night

>>>More information about the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort
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Baros Resort Maldives

  • Water villas: 30
  • Total rooms/suites: 75

25-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

41474_16032818170041126044An extremely popular resort that some consider to have one of the most beautiful settings in the region, the Baros Resort Maldives is a 5-star hotel that is popular with both honeymooners and families. The 30 water villas here are all large, and pleasantly configured in a semi-circle so guests don’t have direct neighbors like they do at most other nearby resorts.

There are four restaurants, two bars, and a full-service spa, which is impressive for only having 75 total rooms. The diving and snorkeling here are great, and there are many other activities and excursions available. Many guests come back year after year, which certainly indicates Baros Island is doing something right.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,147 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,492 per night

>>>More information about the Baros Resort Maldives
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Velassaru Maldives

  • Water villas: 45
  • Total rooms/suites: 129

25-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

12154_14093016080022504427With a convenient location on a small island only a short speedboat ride away from the airport, the Velassaru Maldives resort has 45 water villas that range in size from large to very large, so it offers good value for those who put a premium on private space. Amenities such as a wine chiller, an espresso machine, and a home theater system in each room make this a well-appointed 4-star property.

This is mostly a couples resort, and while families are welcome, the Velassaru Maldives is better suited to honeymooners and romantic getaways. There are four restaurants and all the usual water activities available.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,282 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,525 per night

>>>More information about the Velassaru Maldives
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Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort – All Inclusive

  • Water villas: 40
  • Total rooms/suites: 40

30-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

97258_15122917440038789772Having undergone a full remodel in 2009, plus a name change and the addition of 40 water villas, the Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort is now in the solid 4-star category, but with some 5-star features such as a personal butler for each villa. In addition to the normal selection of water sports, this resort also has a proper surf beach plus rentals and lessons, so it’s popular with the surfing crowd.

The water villas are all quite large and luxurious, which isn’t true of the beach villas at the sister resort on the island, so it’s probably best to pay for the better rooms. There are four restaurants and bars in addition to 24-hour in-villa room service, so this could be a good honeymoon hotel, especially for those who like to surf.

  • Low season online specials from US$694 per night
  • High season online specials from US$770 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort
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Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa

  • Water villas: 38
  • Total rooms/suites: 110

35-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

70348_16051614460042366589Offering among the best values in the 5-star category, the Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa features 36 water villas that are all enormous, each coming complete with an infinity-edge bathrub-for-two with a view of the lagoon. Each water villa also has a large private deck with an outdoor shower, which is a common feature in the super-luxury resorts.

There are four restaurants at the Anantara Dhigu Resort, each offering high quality menus and interesting offerings, but guests here also have access to four more restaurants and plus activities at the Anantara Veli Resort, which is a short-and-free boat ride across the lagoon. This is a great choice for romantic couples in particular.

  • Low season online specials from US$793 per night
  • High season online specials from US$909 per night

>>>More information about the Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa
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Anantara Veli Resort

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

35-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

148962_14021316150018333336Anantara operates three resorts that are on neighboring islands, and the Anantara Veli is at the heart of it. Featuring 50 water villas and no other rooms, this small private-island resort has a luxury boutique feel, at prices that are surprisingly reasonable.

Even the bottom class of water villas are large, and there are four different restaurants and bars available, plus a luxurious spa. Guests can also take a short boat ride to a neighboring resort to experience any of their four restaurants or other facilities, so the Anantara Veli affords guests great variety and possibilities along with an intimate size.s

  • Low season online specials from US$854 per night
  • High season online specials from US$964 per night

>>>More information about the Anantara Veli Resort
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Cocoa Island Resort

  • Water villas: 33
  • Total rooms/suites: 36

40-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

65498_15060814270028875850For an unforgettable boutique 5-star experience it’s well worth considering the Cocoa Island Resort, which features 33 water villas that are all shaped like Maldivian fishing boats, plus 3 beach villas. As one of the smallest of the water villa resorts, this provides an intimate experience that is ideal for honeymooners, but probably not well suited to families or groups.

There’s only one restaurant and one bar, but each are of top-quality standard and offer a large variety. The diving and snorkeling in the area are excellent, which might help make up for the smaller number of other activities. Still, for romantic holidays, the style and simplicity of the resort might be perfect.

  • Low season online specials from US$824 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,086 per night

>>>More information about the Cocoa Island Resort
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Adaaran Club Rannalhi – All Inclusive

  • Water villas: 15
  • Total rooms/suites: 115

45-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

79088_16051918050042503849It’s a 45-minute speedboat ride from Male International Airport to Adaaran Club Ranhali, so it’s another great choice for a shorter stay or a guest who doesn’t want to go by sea plane. This is one of the few all-inclusive resorts within close range of the airport, so it’s actually a much better value than you otherwise might realize.

They’ve only got 34 overwater bungalows to go along with the 96 island bungalows, so sometimes the water bungalows can get booked up well in advance. Since much of the room rate goes towards the food and alcohol packages, the differences in rates for the water rooms isn’t that much. In other words, they tend to be good value when they are available.

  • Low season online specials from US$571 per night
  • High season online specials from US$787 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Club Rannalhi
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Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa

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

45-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

49058_16061415530043550142The Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa is another of the larger private-island resorts within a speedboat ride of the Male International Airport. They have 60 water villas, 34 of which are Jacuzzi Water Villas, and they have several posh water villa suites as well.

The round-trip speedboat transfer to Olhuveli is about US$500 per person, which is one of the more expensive speedboat transfers in the Maldives. In fact, that’s about what you pay for a sea plane ride to resorts that are in more distant atolls. The one advantage with this one is that the speedboats can operate almost around the clock, while the sea planes can only depart between sunrise and about 3:30pm. In other words, depending on when your flight comes in, you might have to stay near the airport if you need a sea plane, while you can come straight to Olhuveli in the late afternoon or even into the evening.

  • 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
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Meeru Island Resort

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

55-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

MeeruMaldivesAerial530An extremely large resort with nearly 300 different rooms, the Meeru Island Resort is a great choice for those looking for a well priced stay in the 4-star range. Each of the rooms available, including the 106 overwater villas, comes with a grand amount of amenities including but not limited to Wi-Fi, a sitting area, air conditioning, tropical plants, a wooden sundeck and a private walled in outdoor area with a jacuzzi, and stairs that lead directly into the sea.

Outside of the rooms, guests will find several dining options as there are more than a dozen restaurants and bars on-site. If you’re traveling with family, especially those of a young age, you’ll find lots to do and see including a wide variety of water activities including snorkeling and a children’s wading pool. If you’re more romantically inclined, don’t count this resort out as there are 2 beautiful and large honeymoon suites that may serve as just the thing you’ve been looking for.

  • 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
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Top photos by Beauty and Peace on Flickr and Michael Foley Photography on Flickr

  
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