Maldives water villa resorts – A complete guide
There are over 5,000 water villas (called overwater bungalows in the South Pacific) in the world, and around two-thirds of those are located in the islands of the Maldives. This includes more than 80 different private-island resorts, which range from 3-star to 5-star-plus. Choosing a resort here can be daunting, so we’ve included our best recommendation on this page, explaining why each one is so special.
You’ll find details of every water villa resort in the Maldives on the pages linked just below, so if you don’t see one that appeals to you here, you’ll certainly be able to find one by digging deeper.
- Budget Maldives water villas – US$270 to $400
- Luxury Maldives water villas – US$401 to $700
- Super-luxury Maldives water villas – US$701+
Editor’s Choice Maldives resort picks
With over 75 Maldives water villa resorts to choose from, we are creating lists of the best picks in different categories to help you find the perfect place quickly.
Best of the cheaper resorts
Best all-inclusive resorts
Best for honeymoons
Best for families
Best for scuba diving
Best resorts with private pools
Best for extreme luxury
Best resorts with no children
High season and low season
In the Maldives the high season for resort prices is generally December through April, with December and January being the most expensive months. The low season is May through November, with July and August usually being the cheapest months.
Many resorts have fairly similar prices all year, while others drastically discount during the off season. If you are coming between May and November you should check this list below.
Best resorts for stays of 3 or fewer days
Many resorts require a long sea-plane flight from the main international airport, which can add several hours extra to your arrival and departure day. If you are only coming for a short stay it’s worth considering one of the water-villa resorts that are a relatively short speedboat ride away, which saves time, money, and adds flexibility.
Below you’ll find our top pick in each category, along with a link to our full selections in each category. The resorts below are the highest rated by previous guests among all that meet the criteria so you can be confident that they combine quality, excellent service, and very good value.
–Best cheap water villa resort in the Maldives–
- Water villas: 64
- Total rooms/suites: 76
A solid 4-star resort that offers both all-inclusive and full-board options, the Veligandu Island Resort represents amazing value in its class. The 10 smaller water villas are fairly large and come with a whirlpool tub, but the 54 Jacuzzi water villas are your best bet, with an upgraded bedroom suite and a walled-in area on the deck with a 2-person Jacuzzi.
There are several restaurants and bars from which to choose, plus a huge list of daytime activities that are suited for families or active types, plus a huge infinity-edge swimming pool. The Vegigandu gets fantastic reviews and many repeat guests, so theirs is a winning forumula and an obvious bargain in the Maldives.
- Low season online specials from US$370 per night
- High season online specials from US$416 per night
–Best all-inclusive Maldives water-villa resort–
- Water villas: 56
- Total rooms/suites: 119
One of the highest rated of all Maldives hotels, the Lily Beach Resort and Spa offers a very generous all-inclusive plan as its only option. There are 16 Lagoon Villas here that are quite large, just perched over the edge of the lagoon, but the 36 Deluxe Water Villas are huge, each with its own private on-deck Jacuzzi.
This is a 5-star private-island hotel with 2 swimming pools, excellent diving and snorkeling, plus a full-service spa. It’s so popular that it stays quite full during the high season, even in the super-luxury price category, but during the slower summer months the online special rates are fantastic, making the Lily Beach perhaps the best bargain in the Maldives for the 5-star category.
- Low season online specials from US$578 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,038 per night
–Best honeymoon water villa resort in the Maldives–
- Water villas: 33
- Total rooms/suites: 36
With only 36 total guestrooms, 33 of which are water villas, the Cocoa Island Resort is one of the smallest and most intimate in the Maldives. The water villas come in a variety of sizes and configurations, but all are quite large and all are shaped like traditional Maldivian fishing boats for added flair.
This resort has no facilities for children so it’s an ideal choice for romantic couples who prefer an adults-only atmosphere. The spa here is excellent, as is the scuba center, and there’s even a yoga pavilion with a resident instructor for guests who want to do more than just relax. The Cocoa Island Resort also gets the best reviews of any Maldives resort from past guests, so it’s a perfect choice for those looking for a small and romantic island retreat.
- Low season online specials from US$536 per night
- High season online specials from US$1071 per night
–Best Maldives water villa resort for families–
- Water villas: 57
- Total rooms/suites: 86
With a Kids’ Club, a freshwater swimming pool, pedal boats, and a long list of other water sports that are great for families, the Constance Halaveli is a top choice for those with children coming to the Maldives. Each of the 59 water villas is quite large and has its own plunge pool on the deck, so the young ones will be entertained at all times, even if just hanging around in the room.
The resort features all the most popular features of private-island hotels, with special online rates that make it a stunning value, especially during the summer months. The reviews are very positive as well, so it’s building a solid fan base who return each year.
- Low season online specials from US$395 per night
- High season online specials from US$653 per night
–Best Maldives water-villa resort with excellent scuba diving–
- Water villas: 86
- Total rooms/suites: 110
With 86 water villas in two different classes in addition to 24 island rooms and suites, the Constance Moofushi is one of the newer Maldives resorts, only open since late 2010. The scuba diving at and near the island is said to be among the very best in the Maldives, and the entire property gets very good reviews all around.
Operating fully on an all-inclusive basis, this hotel offers even better value than it might first seem. In the 5-star category the room rates for proper all-inclusives usually start much higher, so the online discounts often available make it as affordable as a typical 4-star.
- Low season online specials from US$620 per night
- High season online specials from US$851 per night
–Best Maldives water-villa resort with private pools–
- Water villas: 55
- Total rooms/suites: 64
A private plunge pool built into your water villa’s sun deck is a feature available at many of the most expensive 5-star resorts, but it’s also available at 33 of the 55 water villas at the Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, at quite a reasonable price. This is an adults-oriented (no family facilities) property run by the famous Taj Hotel Group of India, so it’s as elegant as you could hope for.
There are several restaurants in addition to private-island dining available, and all the amenities you would expect at a proper 5-star Maldives resort. Another notable feature is that it’s relatively close to the Male International Airport (but not too close) so you can arrive by private speed boat at any time of day or night, rather than waiting for a pricey sea-plane flight that only operates during the daytime.
- Low season online specials from US$638 per night
- High season online specials from US$935 per night
–Cheapest Maldives fully all-inclusive resort–
- Water villas: 70
- Total rooms/suites: 80
For guests whose main priority is keeping costs low and predictable while staying in a Maldives water villa, the Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa resort is perfect. There are 70 water villas and 10 island rooms at this well-regarded property.
The all-inclusive plan does include most food and even alcoholic beverages at the resort, but some of the water sports come with extra fees, as you’d expect at this low rate. The online specials that are available all year round make this an excellent bargain in a country not known for them.
- Low season online specials from US$311 per night
- High season online specials from US$371 per night
–Cheapest Maldives water villa resort with an all-inclusive option–
- Water villas: 106
- Total rooms/suites: 286
The 106 water villas at the Meeru Island Resort are the most of any hotel in the Maldives, and the second most in the world. When added to the 180 island rooms and suites, this is one of the largest private-island resorts in the country as well, and with that larger scale comes reasonable prices and lots of options.
They offer an all-inclusive plan as well as full-board and half-board plans here, so the Meeru Island is ideal for groups and families who might prefer different rate plans and even room types, since non-drinkers can save money that way. This is a very popular resort with many repeat guests each year, and their online special rates are some of the lowest in all of the Maldives.
- Low season online specials from US$278 per night
- High season online specials from US$314 per night
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Top photo courtesy of thew…g on Flickr