11 Cheapest Maldives All-Inclusive Water Villa Resorts

97247_15081712160034406358It's hard to imagine a better combination than a beautiful Maldives holiday in a water villa with the freedom of knowing that everything you want is already paid for upfront. Maldives accommodation prices are understandably high, but the best value all inclusive resorts can actually be fantastic deals, especially for drinkers.

There are many water villa resorts in the Maldives that offer all-inclusive options, and quite a few where that's the only option for every guest. There are also many resorts that offer full-board and half-board, and those might be better options for some people. We've already compiled a list of the best Maldives all-inclusive water-villa resorts, and many of those are actually quite cheap as well.

Many of us like to shop by starting with the cheapest thing and going up the affordable resorts list until we find the one that suits us best. For that reason we've compiled TWO LISTS BELOW:

  1. Cheapest Maldives fully all-inclusive resorts
  2. Cheapest Maldives water villa resorts with all-inclusive options

It would be wise to look at both lists because the cheapest resorts tend to offer an all-inclusive option in addition to half-board and breakfast-only options.

Also, be aware that there are three similar classifications for these resorts and it's important to choose the one that suits your style the best. In almost all cases, most non-motorized activities and water sports will be included in all plans, even the breakfast-only plans. So the “all-inclusive” options are generally about meals and drinks.

  • Half-board – Breakfast and dinner included, but not alcohol
  • Full-board – Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included, but no alcohol
  • All-inclusive – All meals included and non-premium alcohol included

Choosing the best option for you
Needless to say, when alcohol in “unlimited” quantities is included the price goes up by quite a bit. If you are non-drinkers or prefer no more than 2 or 3 drinks per day you will probably save money choosing a full-board plan and buying the drinks yourself. And since lunch is relatively cheap and you might be out on dive boat or other excursion that includes lunch, the cheapest option of all for light drinkers is the half-board.

The 5 Cheapest Maldives fully all-inclusive resorts

Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Resort

  • Water villas: 70
  • Total rooms/suites: 80

97247_15081712160034406343With 70 water villas and only 10 island suites, the Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa is a smaller private-island resort that offers excellent value. The all-inclusive plan is among the cheapest in the Maldives, yet the restaurant and other services tend to get rather good reviews from guests, especially for the Maldives' cheapest all inclusive.

The diving and snorkeling near the resort are also very well regarded, and there are two daily free boat trips out to the prime spots as well. Considering the reasonable room rates, the rooms themselves are a really good size, and each has the classic glass floor section so you can observe the sea life immediately under your water villa. Each also features a mini bar, private deck and steps that lead into the ocean below for easy swimming and snorkeling.

  • Low season online specials from US$671 per night
  • High season online specials from US$892 per night

>>>More information about the Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Resort
>>>Check rates

Adaaran Prestige Water Villas

  • Water villas: 20
  • Total rooms/suites: 20

165225_15122118250038660822With only 20 water villas in a special section of Meedhupparu Island that it shares with a sister resort, the Adaaran Presige Water Villas Resort is a solid 5-star property where all guests are on their generous all-inclusive plan. Each large water villa has a jacuzzi out on its private deck, and a glass section inside the room to observe the sea life below. They also feature a mini bar, air conditioning and the option of in-room massages.

The water villas here also come with a personal butler, so even demanding guests will get as much attention as they need, or as little as they want. In this middle price range there is a lot of other choices, but few that can compare on amenities with this one. Give this one a good look and check for online deals for your own dates before booking elsewhere.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,009 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,127 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Prestige Water Villas
>>>Check rates

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa

  • Water villas: 62
  • Total rooms/suites: 104

161911_15081715290034429945With 62 water villas and 42 island rooms and suites, the Centara Grand Island Resort is a solid 4-star hotel with a lot going for it. Each water villa has a private Jacuzzi spa and a rain shower in its bathroom. They also come with an entertainment system, Wi-Fi, a living room area, a mini bar and a section for preparing coffee and tea.

The all-inclusive plans here come in two forms. The main plan, which is mandatory unless you upgrade, covers all food and non-premium drinks at most restaurants. They also offer the Island Club level of all-inclusive which includes another premium dining restaurant, premium drinks, and a few other activity extras. Both get very good reviews from guests so choose whichever suits your budget.

  • Low season online specials from US$887 per night
  • High season online specials from US$888 per night

>>>More information about the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa – Maldives
>>>Check rates

Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort – All Inclusive

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

97258_15122117130038658647Just remodeled completely in 2009, the Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas consist of 40 water villas in a private section just off the island that is home to sister resort, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi Resort. Each water villa comes with a personal butler, so the moderate price for the all-inclusive plan is a better deal than it first appears.

Guests have access to 3 restaurants and several bars, as well as the restaurants and bars on the island adjacent the resort. There's a surf beach here, which is one of only a few in the Maldives at resorts, plus great scuba diving, snorkeling, and even tennis and badminton. Those who love to fish with also find fishing and crabbing.

  • Low season online specials from US$878 per night
  • High season online specials from US$990 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort
>>>Check rates

Lily Beach Resort And Spa – Maldives

  • Water villas: 56
  • Total rooms/suites: 119

41483_15060415140028499678With a very generous all-inclusive plan that is mandatory here, the Lily Beach Resort is very popular with guests, many of whom return each year. The smaller 16 water villas are just perched off the island, but the 40 even larger water villas are beautifully set out into the gorgeous lagoon, with the reef just outside of their balconies.

Outside of the rooms, guests will find restaurants and bars serving a large selection of various plates and drinks, a dive center, great for those who love to scuba dive and much more, including a 5-star spa. The low-season online specials here are phenomenal, so this should be one to check early in your search to see if the deal is available for your dates.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,223 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,314 per night

>>>More information about the Lily Beach Resort And Spa – Maldives
>>>Check rates

The 6 Cheapest Maldives water villa resorts with all-inclusive options

Meeru Island Resort

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

12159_15060819350028947817Among the largest resorts in the Maldives, the Meeru Island Resort has 106 water villas to go along with 190 island rooms and suites. They offer an all-inclusive option at quite a reasonable price, but they also have full-board (no alcohol) and half-board (breakfast and dinner only) options that might suit some people even better. This makes it so that the resort is truly accessible to all, making it a great choice on this list.

A large resort like this comes with many benefits including a very long list of water sports and activities, plus a great number of restaurants and bars to sample. The smaller class of water villas are a nice size, but one step up gets you a larger villa and a personal Jacuzzi, at only a small increase in price, so you'll want to keep that in mind when booking your stay..

  • Low season online specials from US$518 per night
  • High season online specials from US$716 per night

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

Kuredu Island Resort

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

Kuredu 3Another of the larger Maldives resorts, the Kuredu Island Resort has 50 water villas and 250 additional island rooms and bungalows. The all-inclusive packages are very popular here, but the lesser options are worth considering for certain guests as well. This is an ideal resort for a family or large group, since each couple can opt for the plan that suits their budget and tastes best.

You've got all the water sports and activities you could imagine, which is another benefit of a larger hotel like this, and there's even a small 6-hole pitch and putt golf course. With appealing online special rates year round, this is a fine option for those trying to keep their budget low and still do the all-inclusive thing.

  • Low season online specials from US$629 per night
  • High season online specials from US$704 per night

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

Vilamendhoo Island Resort

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

12171_14020414300018244604Quite an amazing value, the 30 water villas at the Vilamendhoo Island Resort each come with a private Jacuzzi. They were only built in 2010, so they are fresher than the 200 island rooms and suites that are also available to guests. The all-inclusive plan here has an option that just comes with the meals, and a Plus option that includes alcohol and some other extras, so it's a good choice for a mixed group where not everyone drinks.

The water villas are quite large, especially in this price range, and they are well appointed with luxuries including a 4-poster bed and an iPod docking station with sound tower. You can choose from among 4 different restaurants and several lounges, including a sports bar, which is a rare treat in the Maldives for sports nuts and has become very popular among guests staying here. The online special rates are very appealing all year round here as well.

  • Low season online specials from US$649 per night
  • High season online specials from US$650 per night

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

Adaaran Club Rannalhi

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

79088_16051918050042503837With only 16 water villas to go alongside 99 beach bungalows, the Adaaran Club Rannalhi Resort offers excellent value with its all-inclusive plans, plus other options to suit guests who prefer to go at least a bit a la carte. The full-board option is perfect for those who don't drink alcohol and don't want to pay for it for others. Rooms here feature fun amenities like a private deck and a ocean viewing glass floor cutout, that allows you viewing access of the sea below without having to put your bathing suit on (in most rooms).

The house reef here gets high marks so the snorkeling and scuba diving are quite good. There is also windsurfing, water skiing, and various forms of sailing, plus some scheduled nightlife, which isn't true at most Maldives resorts. In the modest price range this is a good option, with very good online special rates all year long.

  • Low season online specials from US$562 per night
  • High season online specials from US$702 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Club Rannalhi
>>>Check rates

Veligandu Island Resort

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

41486_14020513340018253647A very well-regarded 4-star resort, the Veligandu Island Resort has 64 water villas and 12 island rooms. The smaller 10 water villas are of reasonable size, but the others are all quite large and include a private Jacuzzi on the deck. The all-inclusive plan here is very generous and popular but other plans are available as well.

Each water villa has a large flatscreen TV and an iPod docking station, among many other luxury amenities including a mini bar, fridge and a partially open air bathroom with a lovely rain shower (in the jacuzzi villas). This is a popular resort that gets a lot of repeat bookings, and the modest prices are certainly part of the appeal. There are good family facilities and even a football pitch here, so it's a great resort for groups.

  • Low season online specials from US$703 per night
  • High season online specials from US$842 per night

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

Filitheyo Island Resort

  • Water villas: 16
  • Total rooms/suites: 125

12145_15061013580029141352A solid 4-star resort with a rather remote location, the Filitheyo Island Resort has 16 water villas to its 109 beach villas and suites. The all-inclusive option is the most popular here, but the other plans offer even better value for some, so it's a good idea to look at each of them when considering booking a stay here.

The diving center here has a great reputation, and there is a long list of other water sports including sailing and windsurfing, plus volleyball and a fitness center. There's also a popular spa here offering beauty and rejuvenating sessions. The low-season specials make this an excellent value among all-inclusives, and the high-season rates are still quite reasonable considering what you get.

  • Low season online specials from US$386 per night
  • High season online specials from US$596 per night

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

Top photo by Christian Steen on Flickr

  • Hamidreza Ghaderani says:

    Dear freind
    We need one room over water banglow in Meeru Island
    resort on first of December for one week full board.
    Could you send me your best offer for two adults?
    Best Regards
    Hamid Ghaderani

    • Roger Wade says:


      You’ll get the best rates for the Meeru Island Resort by booking online. Just click on the “check rates” button below the resort, and you’ll see the best prices available. -Roger

  • Amanda says:

    Need an over water villa for honeymoon. 2 adults on a budget what is there?

  • Suzanne says:

    Hi, My fiancé and I ate planning our honeymoon to the maldives. Because of our budget we won’t be able to stay in an overwater bungalow the whole time, what resorts do you recommend for staying in a regular room then switching to an overwater room?

    • Roger Wade says:


      It’s hard to recommend a specific resort for getting an upgrade, but I can tell you that you’ll have much better chances if you book at a resort with a high ratio of water villas to island rooms. For example, if a resort has 20 water villas and 80 island villas, then being the island guest to get an upgrade is unlikely. But if you book at a resort that has 50 water villas and 30 island villas, your chances are much greater.

      These resorts will generally just keep booking the cheaper island rooms, even after they are all booked up, because they know that they can upgrade people to empty water villas and they will be thrilled. Your chances are also better outside of the high season, which is December through February. Best of luck and congratulations. -Roger

  • Csyak says:

    Hi, i am planning a honeymoon trip to maldives on 24 to 27 may 2017. We plan to saty at water villa, however our budget is limited. Only $1000 for all including seaplane transfer if any.

    Do you have any suggestion? Thanks.

  • Shar says:

    May you please tell me when the rainy season is? Would like to plan for Aug 2017 for honeymoon but not sure if Aug is a good time to travel.

    • Roger Wade says:


      The “rainy season” in the Maldives is June and July, but that just means that there might be a few days in those months where it rains off and on the whole day instead of just for 20 minutes in the late afternoon. So in June and July you might have 1 or 2 days in a week if you get unlucky where you have to stay under a roof. But most likely it’s still just a quick rain-shower here and there, and those are usually over in well under an hour. August is a good month, although there is always a chance of those tropical rain showers. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Ayla says:

    Can you tell me just how much rain falls in a day from mid April to mid-May? I mean, approximately. Time-wise?Like, it is hours of rainfall or just quick showers? I’m planning this for two years from now, so I really don’t want to go and end up being stuck inside due to storms/wind/etc.
    Any suggestions are welcome!

    • Roger Wade says:


      In the Maldives they nearly always get quick rainstorms, typical of Tropical regions, where it gets cloudy in the late afternoon, rains hard for 15 to 30 minutes, and then starts clearing up again. During June and July you can have some days where it rains on and off all day, but those days are rare even then. In April and May you might get a few of those quick showers each week, and that’s it. There is almost no chance of rain lasting more than an hour a day that time of year. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Mike says:

    Hi pal,
    We’re looking at honeymoon in a Water Villa next July. on holidays we do like our wines (& beers, me) so I take it all inclusive would be the smartest move? we’re planning around 10night stay so at least some activities on the island would be nice.
    are the prices usually set or will there big some discount offers at some stage? so book now or wait and hope?

    thanks already i’ve learned a lot from all of ur replies on this owb website

    • Roger Wade says:


      Some of the best all-inclusives in the Maldives such as Meeru Island and Veligandu Island (both owned by the same hotel group) have pretty much set prices for any given time of the year. And both of those places keep rates low enough that they can fill up at least a month or so in advance, nearly all year round. I’d highly recommend both of those resorts, as they are both also fairly large so they have a wide variety of activities and such.

      But a few other all-inclusive hotels do play the game where they start discounting rooms about 3 months out if it looks like they aren’t going to be full. July is one of the slower months in the Maldives, so the rates at the two resorts I mentioned are surprisingly low, and I believe they include the All Inclusive Plus package for the normal rate of Full Board. Some of the others might also have rates that are similar, though it might not be until March or April when they start offering the promotions. You are going to love it there. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • ush says:

    hi we r travelling in dec and are vegeterians what wud b ur suggestions

    • Roger Wade says:


      I think a vegetarian would be fine at almost any of these all-inclusive resorts, as they all put on an extensive buffet and vegetarian guests are common in this part of the world. I can personally recommend Meeru Island as an all-inclusive with many vegetarian options, and great food in general. There are many guests from India there, and quite a few staff as well. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Jessica says:


    I am looking to book an over water bungalow for a few days in March. I will be traveling with my toddler (4) and husband. In other similar rooms I have not included her (as children are usually free) and simply had to sign a waiver for her to “safely” be allowed in an overwater bungalow. My question is should I include her in the reservation (I see some resorts do not allow me to select “water bungalow” when I select 1 child). Is there any resorts better than others about children being allowed in the water bungalow? (FYI she is a swimmer and has been in swim lessons since she was a few months old).
    Best regards

    • Roger Wade says:


      I know exactly what you mean, and I’ve had this question before, but I don’t have a clear answer. Many resorts have a strict age minimum for any guest in an overwater room, and you can imagine why they do that. But there are others that only require you to sign that waiver, as you mentioned. I just don’t have a list of those places. Young children are free on the reservation at most of these resorts, so it probably would be best to include her on the reservation. If you just showed up with an infant, there could be a real chance of getting turned away, at least from an overwater room. I wish I could help you, and I will keep an eye out. You might find an answer on TripAdvisor somewhere, as this is the type of thing that many other guests would have encountered in the past. -Roger

  • Whykay says:


    Need to understand if every island / island resort in the Maldives will need a sea plane transfer? Also, any idea if there are tours that allow one to swim across the equator? I hear it is to the south of Maldives.

    Also, are the waters around the overwater villas heavily populated with fish?

    Lastly, are any of these over water villa-resorts vegetarian (only egg, no seafood or meat) friendly?

    • Roger Wade says:


      Out of the 80 or so water villa resorts in the Maldives, about 60 of them require a sea plane, and about 20 are accessible by speedboat. Quite a few offer both options, with the sea plane quite a bit more expensive and with more limited hours.

      There are a few Maldives resorts around the equator, but I’m not aware of the swimming activity like that.

      There are fish in all of the lagoons below the water villas, but not as many as in the proper reefs where they offer snorkeling and diving trips from each resort. It’s usually a pretty good show below the water villas, and you even get sting rays and other large fish.

      Many of these resorts are very popular with Indian guests and also European vegetarians, so in my experience it will be easy to find vegetarian dishes. There might be a few smaller resorts with only one small restaurant where veg items could be a bit rare, but at most of them you’ll find many veg dishes. Vegan may be a bit more challenging, so it’s good that you aren’t in need of that. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Katie says:

    Firstly, thank you. Such a wonderful site with lots of information.
    My parter and I will be going on our honeymoon. I’m looking for a good price over water villa with a pool and inclusive with drinks.
    What can you suggest?
    We are going July 2017.
    Thank you

    • Roger Wade says:


      For an all-inclusive resort at a very good price I will always recommend Meeru Island. They offer Jacuzzi Water Villas that are huge for a similar rate to what you pay for a smaller water villa without a Jacuzzi at most other resorts. They keep their rates very reasonable because they like to fill up well in advance, rather than having to discount in the last few weeks to fill the place. And even though it’s one of the bigger islands, it’s almost totally full all year round. During the slow months, including July, they usually offer the All Inclusive Plus package (which included drinks) for free with their Full Board rates.

      If Meeru Island is full, which they won’t be until maybe two months out, you could try Veligandu, which is run by the same excellent company. It’s a much smaller island with slightly higher rates, and it’s more remote so you have to take a seaplane to get there. Those are your two best bets. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Shanti says:

    I am planning to book a water villa at Meeru Island. Will the resort provide the transportation from Airport to the resort?

    • Roger Wade says:


      Yes, Meeru will get your flight details and book you one of their speedboats for shortly after you arrive. They own many different boats of different sizes, and it depends on how many guests are coming in at any given time. But usually you’ll be on your way to Meeru Island within an hour of landing. The cost is about US$200 per person, round-trip. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • kristi says:

    Thank you so much for your website it is amazing!!
    We are looking at staying in the maldives for our honeymoon early June 2017. Our budget is up to 11k– we would like:
    – all-inclusive
    – delicous food / wine
    – amazing snorkling/ diving
    – daily activities
    – nightly entertainment / something to do in the evening (were young)
    – water villa with pool/ jacuzzi + very romantic
    – treated very special because of honeymoon.
    – excursions (to keep the fiance busy)

    Which resorts do you recommend for an incredible once in a lifetime honeymoon?

    TY!! Ps. we are from Canada 😀

    • Roger Wade says:


      For a romantic all-inclusive private-island resort with great-value Jacuzzi water villas, look no further than Veligandu Island. The food and drinks there are fantastic, as they are run by a company that runs several great Maldives resorts and it’s all first-class. Veligandu does have a Children’s Pool, but the water villas are generally adults-only, and the island doesn’t get many families in general.

      If you want a private pool you’ll spend quite a bit more, although still probably within your budget. Here’s our list of Maldives resorts with pool water villas. Lily Beach is an all-inclusive and one of the finest resorts in the Maldives. It’s not cheap, but you can still probably afford it because June is one of the slower months in the Maldives. June is also the only month where there can be rain storms that last a few hours rather than 30 minutes or so, but still the weather is nearly perfect the whole month and the rates are low enough that it’s wonderful value.

      Congratulations and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • Coco says:

    Hi Roger,

    Thanks for this informative site. I have the below questions:
    1) Between May and July, which month offers the lowest hotel rate?
    2) which resorts offer great house reef and snorkeling site? we are not divers hence we would like to stay at the resort surrounding by good reef
    3) do they allow a non-swimmer to go for snorkeling?

    Appreciate your advice !

    • Roger Wade says:


      In the Maldives, June is generally the cheapest month, and July is about the same or slightly higher. June is also the month where sometimes there is rain for most of a day, unlike the quick showers the rest of the year. Still, even in June it’s sunny most of the time, though if you get unlucky you could get one or two rainy days.

      It’s hard to recommend one resort for a house reef, as most of them are quite similar. Here is our list of the best Maldives resorts for scuba diving, and all of these would be great choices.

      I’ve never had or heard of a swimming test before a snorkeling trip or getting the equipment, so I think it’s up to you. If someone really doesn’t know how to swim it could be dangerous, obviously. But if it’s just that someone is a weak swimmer, it could be okay because the swim fins you get make it much easier to keep your head above water. You’ll need to ask when you get there. -Roger

  • Arthi says:

    Hi Roger,

    We are planning for a short honeymoon trip for 3 days in July (the 12th – 14th). We would like pretty quiet, cheap & not really looking forward to many activities. Kindly please advise your recommendations & suggestions. And around how much would that me in total (average).

    Any assistance will be greatly appreciated!
    Many thanks

    • Roger Wade says:


      Pretty much all of these all-inclusive Maldives resorts have similar packages of activities included. So really, I’d recommend looking at the list at the bottom of the article above. And I can honestly recommend Meeru Island as excellent value. In July you should be able to get an all-inclusive package for a price similar to a full-board package any other time of the year.

      Aside from that, check Agoda.com for your travel dates and see which resorts are offering the best promotions. July is one of the slower months in the Maldives, so you should get some good rates at places that are far more expensive other times of the year. Sorry I couldn’t give you anything more thorough or specific. -Roger

  • Carlos says:

    Hey Roger do were planning on going to the Maldives on the 3rd week of March for about 4 days which is the best priced all inclusive water bungalow you suggest? Thank you in advance

    • Roger Wade says:


      For best-value all-inclusive you won’t be able to beat Meeru Island. If you want something a bit smaller and don’t mind the extra expense of a sea-plane flight you should check Veligandu Island, which is run by the same company. They both keep rates low enough to be pretty much full all year round. If those are both full you’ll have to check the offers on Agoda.com to see if other resorts are offering great deals for your specific travel dates. -Roger

  • Charis says:

    Hi Roger,

    How are you? My husband and I plan to go to Maldives on March 31-April 5 with our two boys, 7 & 12. They’ve seen these water villas on YouTube and pretty sure it’s going to blow our mind when we stay there over the course of our trip. Plan to stay for 4 days and getting the best price wouldn’t hurt. Please suggest. Appreciate it.


    • Roger Wade says:


      Yes, those water villas are amazing when you see videos and even more amazing in person. The one challenge you’ll have is that most of the resorts don’t allow more than 3 guests per water villa, and some don’t allow children under 18. Here is our list of Maldives resorts that allow 4 guests per water villa. Your kids are old enough to keep themselves safe, so that shouldn’t be a problem although you may have to sign a form saying you accept responsibility. Good luck with this. -Roger

  • Sulley says:

    Hi Roger, great write-up you have here, and especially extensive reply.

    As many others, am also planning for honeymoon during October / November. Read that monsoon period is in October, how do you advise?

    How do you also suggest how many nights for one to enjoy the island?

    Thanks Roger!

    • Roger Wade says:


      Sorry about the delayed response. I actually never hear about monsoons in the Maldives. The rainiest month is usually June, and in all other months you tend to only get quick downpours. If I were you I’d check the reviews on some resorts you are considering from last October or November to see if anyone commented about the weather.

      Even if there was a monsoon, which is certainly possible, I know they track them for many days before they are strong enough to cause any harm. And all of the resort own speedboats so evacuation would be easy enough because they are all small islands. Again, I’ve honestly never heard anybody talk about monsoons in the Maldives and I’ve been running this website for 7 years now.

      The islands are mostly set up for people to stay for about a week. They have different activities or shows each night of the week, so it’s unlikely you’d get bored on a 7-night stay. And it’s expensive to go from one island to another, so most people just stay on one island the whole time and then fly home. Again, sorry about the late reply. -Roger

  • NICK says:


    It’s my first time traveling to Maldives. I’m a little bit confused.

    I just want one water villa with private pool and jacuzzi. Also, I want the glass floor.
    I prefer the transfer with seaplane on arrival and speed boat on departure.

    So, could you please suggest me many choices of villa with the reasonable prices.


  • Mike says:

    Hi Roger.

    Just came back to say Thank you! asked tips off you last september, spent loads of time on finding the right one for us and we ended up finding a cracking deal (IMO) to Veligandu for July. ticked all the boxes; adults only resort, good looking water villas (with jacuzzi), All inclusive, very well ranked, you recommended it.. should be good. thank you again your website was hugely helpful as there’s soooo many good options.


  • Helen says:

    My boyfriend and I are looking to travel to the Maldives for 4 nights in September of this year, at the end of our three week long trip through Sri Lanka. We want to relax and enjoy sometime doing nothing besides chilling and enjoying the endless beauty of the islands. However, as we’ve already spent quite some money on the rest of our trip we’d like to keep it as affordable as possible, without compromising on view. We don’t necessarily need an over-water-bungalow (though that obviously would be the best), but we do want a place where we’re on the beach and possibly have an outdoor shower. Also, some resorts offer an airportshuttle – but I’ve also read about the ferry transfers. Are there ferries on every island, and what are the costs. Possibly we can safe money by not taking a private transfer but the ferry? Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you. Best, Bert & Helen

    • Roger Wade says:


      I’m also a big fan of Sri Lanka so I envy you. The Maldives is a very unusual place for resorts. There are a few ferries from the airport and Male that go to some of the more populated nearby islands, and those ferries are quite cheap. But those islands only have a few scattered hotels on them, which may still be what you are looking for.

      The resorts listed on this site are all private-island resorts (according to law, each island can only have one resort). For those you can reach them by a speedboat for the ones close to the airport, or a sea plane for the ones farther away. The transportation is arranged by the resorts and you don’t have any alternate ways of reaching them, unfortunately.

      Another thing I should mention is that each of the private-island resorts is on a beautiful sandy little island and almost all of them have lovely still lagoons surrounding them, usually with turquoise water. But aside from those islands, the Maldives isn’t as scenic as you might think. Every island is completely flat so it’s just you, the trees, the sand, and the water. I’m not aware of any turquoise lagoons with cheap and easy to reach hotels around them. All that said, there are some nice beaches on the residential islands, even if the water isn’t totally clear.

      Here is our list of Maldives resorts that are close enough to the airport for a speedboat transfer. Depending on your budget, you might find a room you like on one of those. Even the speedboat rides can be US$200 per person round-trip, so the closer ones will be cheaper.

      Or if you don’t find something you like on that list, you can just look at the Maldives listings on Agoda.com, which include all of those more modestly priced hotels on the residential islands. If you just want to visit the Maldives for a couple days you might even stay on Hulhumale Island, which is connected to the airport. Many of those hotels have free airport shuttles. It’s not the Maldives that you see in those aerial photos, but it’s still pretty nice and the rooms there start at around US$100 per night, including round-trip airport transfers. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • Fatima Isaacs says:

    Hi ROger
    We are a senior couple from South Africa wanting to celebrate our wedding anniversary in the Maldives.
    Two questions :
    1. We need to be close to a hospital that has a dialysis unit available as my husband would need dialysis on the trip – Any suggestions.
    2. We are looking for cheap inclusive accommodation (not necessarily private) as our currency is so bad.
    Any suggestions please.
    Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

    • Roger Wade says:


      This might be tough. Every one of these Maldives resorts is on its own private island. The larger ones have a doctor on staff and I believe the smaller ones all have a doctor on call who can get there in a timely fashion, but I’m not aware of any with a dialysis machine. I guess my best advice would be to look into the resorts closest to the Male Airport. Each of those is accessible by speedboats, so going into Male when needed wouldn’t be too challenging.

      This is our list of the cheapest all-inclusives in the Maldives. Hopefully you can find one close to the airport. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  • Yandri says:

    Hi, can yoy get us the best offer for:

    2 persons
    From august 20-24 / 2017
    Room: over water villa
    Meal plan: all inclusive
    Including transfers airport resort airport
    Includes taxes and everything

    Is going to be our first time in Maldives in we were watching some videos of the resorts, We liked Finolhu at Baa Atoll or Ozen by Atmosphere.

    Or if you can recommend us another one as good as the other I mentioned before

    Regards, Yandri

    • Roger Wade says:


      Sorry, but we are simply an online guide to overwater resorts. You will usually get the best prices by booking online, and for the Maldives agoda.com usually has the best rates. For all-inclusive resorts, Meeru Island usually has the best deals and it’s a wonderful resort. -Roger

  • Magesh says:

    Hi Roger,

    Am planning my honeymoon to maldives for 4N in sep,17. we are looking for water villa at cheap rate with adventure water sports at low cost can you suggest some resort at this category for the same.

    • Roger Wade says:


      Try searching for your dates on Agoda.com for the best rates. The majority of the water villa resorts offer free non-motorized water sports with the room, and also have Jet Skis and other motorized options that you can book once you get there. Generally the larger islands have more sports options. Best of luck -Roger

  • Alexandre says:

    Hi Roger,

    first of all, congratulations for your work! Your site is very helpful.
    Could you please help me with somethin? I’m planning my honey moon to Maldivas, from October 15th to October 23rd, my idea is to stay for 5 nights in a “regular” room and 3 days in an overwater bungalow.
    I’m looking for an all inclusive hotel, specially with alcoholic drinks. Which hotel do you recommend?
    I saw the following: Lily Beach, Veligandu Island Resort, Constance Moofushi Resort, Kuramathi Island Resort, Centara Grand Island and Vakarufalhi… Which one do you recommend?

    Thanks in advance!!

    Best Regards,

    • Roger Wade says:


      Thank you for the kind words. Among all-inclusive resorts Lily Beach appears to be the stand out. It’s more expensive than most others, but if it’s within your price range I’d book that one. In the next price category down I can highly recommend Veligandu Island. It’s a fantastic small resort with excellent service and a good all-inclusive package. For a larger resort I can highly recommend Meeru Island, which is a sister resort of Veligandu and it’s a bit cheaper as well, yet still excellent. Have a wonderful trip. -Roger

  • Alexandre says:

    Thanks Roger!
    Another question, do you know how is the weather in the middle of October?

    Thanks again!

  • Danella says:

    I am celebrating my 50 with two of my girlfriends and looking for a facility with over water bungalows. I am looking to go July of 18 for 7-10 days. We want quality but on an educators budget! LOL! I am accustom to Marriott quality facilities. So much to choose from. We really just want to relax. Suggestions?

    • Roger Wade says:


      Congrats on the upcoming birthday. I made it to that one two years ago.

      My recommendation, especially for all-inclusive resorts, is usually Meeru Island. It’s a large island that still feels mostly empty when it’s full, and I mean that in a good way. They also keep rates low enough that they are full pretty much all year round without having to advertise. Many people go back there every year. I think it’s the best value resort in the Maldives.

      The one thing that’s important to know, however, is that most Maldives resorts and pretty much all of the more affordable ones, have a very casual atmosphere with a “no shoes, no news” policy. The reception areas even have sand on the ground, as do the restaurants. The service is excellent at most resorts and the food usually is as well. It’s just that they are mostly “island casual” rather than posh like the 5-star hotels on Waikiki. You’ll love it though and so will your friends. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Sidharth says:

    Hi Roger,

    Congratulation for wonderful website, Your site is very helpful.
    Could you please help me to plan 3 days trip? I’m planning my honeymoon to Maldives, from October 12th to October 15th, my idea is to stay for 3 nights in a “water villa” room or “water bungalow”.
    I’m looking for an all inclusive hotel, specially with alcoholic drinks(if available).Add some water activities. Which water villa do you recommend?

    Most off the hotel are unavailable now, please help me out. Which one do you recommend with-in my budget (3 day stay with All inclusive around or with-in 1500 usd)?

    Kind Regards
    Sidharth (From India)

    • Roger Wade says:


      The all-inclusive water villas in the Maldives start at around US$500 per night, and you also have to pay at least US$100 per person for airport transfers to the resort. Meeru Island is usually one of the cheapest all-inclusive resorts, but it also usually sells out in advance. I think your best bet would be to put your dates into Agoda.com and look for the cheapest available resort that would work for you. The good news is that almost every resort in the Maldives is very nice. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. -Roger

  • Nuzul Zariff says:

    Hi Roger,

    I find your list is very helpful. However, is it possible to find a watervilla resort with price around USD100 per night?

    Or what is your best suggestion for the cheapest watervilla resort in Maldives?

    Hope to have your help in this matter. Thanks

  • Shree says:

    Can we choose one day in water bungalow and 3 days of beach resort in sun island maldives ?

    • Roger Wade says:


      Yes, you should be able to book that online as two separate stays. Many people do that to save a bit of money and still experience a water villa for a night or two. -Roger

  • Khushboo vora says:


    I want to know how is Reethi resort? I m planning to come there in month of April 2018. I also want to know about transfer facility from airport to Reethi resort

    • Roger Wade says:


      I haven’t stayed at Reethi Resorts so you’ll probably want to check guest reviews for unbiased opinions. As for airport transfers, they offer sea-planes or speedboats. All of that is described on our main Reethi Resort page, including prices. -Roger

  • Hani says:

    Hi Roger, could you please advice resort with cheap airport transfer ?

    • Roger Wade says:


      Here is our list of Maldives resorts close to the Male Airport. All of these are reachable by speedboat rather than sea-plane, and generally the closer ones are cheaper. Even the closest ones charge around US$100 per person, return, and the farthest ones can be over US$200 per person. Each resort owns its own speedboats, so there are no alternate ways of getting to any of them.

      The larger issue is that the room rates for each resort vary widely, so the airport transfer cost is actually a pretty small portion of even a one-night stay, and much less for longer stays. In other words, the best room rate at a wonderful all-inclusive resort is usually at Meeru Island, and they charge around US$220 per person for the airport transfer. If you book a water villa there for, say, three nights at US$550 per night, that brings the whole stay a bit under US$2,000 for two people including transfers. If you book at a closer all-inclusive resort that charges US$800 per night and stay three nights, and if they only charge US$100 for airport transfers per person, that’s US$2,600 for the whole stay. I hope this helps. -Roger

  • Natalie says:

    Hi, I was wondering if there are any over water resorts that are kid friendly. It would be myself, my bf and my (when the savings are acquired…) 12 year old. Are there places that would be less honeymoon and more family? I would just rather be at a place that welcomes a family versus tolerates kids. Thanks.

    • Roger Wade says:


      That is a very good question and the answer is yes. The majority of Maldives water villa resorts are much more geared for couples and romantic trips, but quite a few also cater to families. Here is our list of the best Maldives resorts for families. Most of those have Kids Clubs, which tend to cater to younger children, but most of them also have swimming pools as well as activities for older children and teens. And fortunately, most water villas have a sofa-bed in them, which allows for an extra person in the villa, sometimes at no additional charge (except for the all-inclusive places, of course). Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Linda says:

    Am looking for a bungalow over the water, all inclusive, for April 28 – May 5 to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. What airport would we be flying into from Florida, in the US?

    • Roger Wade says:


      The only close all-inclusive “honeymoon style” overwater bungalows are at the Sandals Resorts in Jamaica. Have a look at them at the top of this list of overwater bungalows in the Caribbean. The problem for most of us is that they are VERY expensive. From Florida you are a bit closer to Bora Bora and Tahiti, but they don’t have any all-inclusive resorts. Still, it might be better and cheaper to buy your own lunch, dinner, and drinks there instead of flying to the Maldives.

      But if you DO want to fly to the Maldives you’ll probably fly from Miami to Dubai and then on to Male International Airport in the Maldives. From there you’ll meet your onward transportation to the resort, which will either be a speed boat or a sea plane, neither of which is all that cheap. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • Mohammed says:

    Hello Sir, I am plnaing I am planing for a 3 days honnymon on the last week of April.So please recommned me a good afordabl price resorts will all meals and activity. What I looking for is paying once and enjoy the trip. A small help will means big help for me.

    • Roger Wade says:


      The cheapest all-inclusive resort in the Maldives is usually Meeru Island. The base prices include full board (all meals) and there is usually an extra fee for “all-inclusive plus” which includes alcohol. If you can skip the alcohol you can get a better deal. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  • Sunaina says:

    These sea plane and speed boat rides are hella expensive! If you could please suggest some all inclusive resorts nearer to Male airport please??

  • Sabina says:

    My daughter and I would like to go to the Maldives this July. I just wondered if there are any islands that have indoor bathrooms. My daughter is 13 and scared of creepy crawlies!! I hope you can help.

    Many thanks

    • Roger Wade says:


      Most of the bathrooms at the Maldives resorts are “indoors” although many of the water villas also have a portion of the bathroom that is outdoors (and 100% private). In the water villas in particular there isn’t much to worry about with insects that don’t fly. Most water villas are a long way off the shore and there is no chance of a crawling insect getting out anywhere near that far. I hope this helps. -Roger

  • Vanessa Templer says:

    Hello Roger,
    I am looking to send a group of seniors to the Maldives possibly for 5-7 nights. They are looking for reasonably affordable but not budget with the least number of children on a full board basis or all inclusive option. I would be most interested in your suggested venues.
    Regards Vanessa

    • Roger Wade says:


      Sorry for the slow response. My go-to suggestion for an excellent-value full-board or all-inclusive resort is Meeru Island, and they keep rates low all year to try to keep full. Most other resorts only drop rates when they look like they have too many rooms available, so you can get good deals on different resorts at different times. -Roger

  • Christy says:

    Hei roger, i saw you were active to answer all comment right here.
    did you know how much exactly tax at maldives?
    i’m searching from online but i think it’s very expensive

    • Roger Wade says:


      I seem to remember the tax being 10%, but I’m not 100% sure. Needless to say, the tax is built into the final price you pay for your room, and you can probably check it on the booking sites such as Agoda.com. -Roger

  • Aashish says:

    Hi, I am planning to visit maldives in Mid of July, can you suggest me some good Budget water villa ?

    • Roger Wade says:


      If you are looking for a full-board or all inclusive water villa in the Maldives the best value is usually at Meeru Island, and it’s a wonderful resort. They keep rates low enough so they are fully booked all year round. Other resorts have promotional rates when they are slow, but still usually Meeru Island is the best value. -Roger

  • Christy says:

    i contact to anantara veli resort, they said speed boat transfer airport cost $195/person. ( some resort include free transfer, but more expensive )
    that speed boat is too expensive for me. did you have suggest another way go to anantara veli resort? thanks roger

    • Roger Wade says:


      Unfortunately the resorts control the transportation to and from their private islands, so I don’t know of a way to get it cheaper. It does seem like a lot, but once you factor in the overall price it might still be your best option. Sorry I don’t have better news. -Roger

  • raine says:

    hi good day!planning for a honeymoon trip to maldives most probably february 2019.from the list of resorts we’ve checked,it seems like most of the rooms accomodate 1 person max,though the bed is either king or queen size,how is that?thank you

    • Roger Wade says:


      Actually, nearly all Maldives resorts can accommodate three people per room, and finding a single room is almost impossible. All of the resorts have either a king bed or two twins, plus nearly all of them have a pull-out sofa in the room as well. -Roger

  • Chloe says:

    Hi my mother is celiac (can not eat gluten) would there be many options for her food wise at some of these resorts?

    • Roger Wade says:


      My guess is that she’ll be fine at any of the larger resorts such as Meeru Island because they have large buffets with many items. In fact, the larger resorts tend to also have many different styles of cuisine such as Indian, Chinese, Italian, and meat items at each meal because they have so many visitors from different parts of the world. -Roger

  • Rahul says:

    Hi Roger,
    Planning a 3 night Honeymoon trip to Maldives this December starting 22nd Dec 2018.
    Could you suggest some budget resorts (100-150 US$ per night) for a sounding experience? Besides any recommendations on the island which would be good to stay !

    • Roger Wade says:


      Unfortunately that is Christmas week and it’s the most expensive time of the year in the Maldives. Even in the slowest time of the year (June and July) water villas start at around US$350 per night for two people. The cheapest hotels in the Maldives on a beach are those on Hulhumale Island, which is connected to the island where the airport is located. Hotels (not resorts) there start around US$100 per night for two people in a small room, but at least you are on or very close to a sandy beach. On that budget I would go somewhere other than the Maldives and you get a lot more for your money. Best of luck. -Roger

  • Chrissie says:

    Dear Roger, I’m impressed by your knowledge! Maybe you can help me find the right spot for my birthday in early January. I will be travelling with my teenage son, so the
    option of 2 separate beds (or, if not crazy expensive, 2 bedrooms) would be great.
    We love snorkeling, so a good house reef would be essential.
    An over water villa of course would be best.
    All inclusive option (good food) should be available.
    No Spa or entertainment needed, but WIFI in the room free of charge (it is annoying to pay extra for it when cost is already high)
    And as an extra, not a must, but would make everything perfect, free Kayaks.
    I have been to Embudu Village before and I found the water villa nice enough and loved the beach and snorkeling, but I would consider to spend more for my Bday.
    I know it’s a lot, and it’s also high season, where some resorts will be way too expensive, but I hope you can recommend something for us.
    Thanks in Advance!

    • Roger Wade says:


      Sorry for the slow response. I know some of the resorts in the South Pacific have rooms with two separate beds, but I haven’t seen many in the Maldives. And I think the better snorkeling at most Maldives resorts is from the twice-daily (free) boat trips they do to nearby reefs rather than at house reefs. The other constraint is that you are looking for all-inclusive or at least full board. My go-to recommendation for all inclusive resorts might be your best choice and that is Meeru Island or their sister resort Veligandu. Meeru Island is much larger, but the island is so large that each guest feels like they have a section of it to themselves. The food is fantastic and there is slow wi-fi free in the water villas (you can pay for faster service). Since Meeru Island operates on a full-board basis it might be a good choice so you don’t have to pay so much for alcohol for other guests, and you can still buy drinks for yourself at fairly reasonable prices (for the Maldives).

      Again, the tricky thing is the all-inclusive because so many of those resorts (about 15 or 20 of them) are focused on boozy couples rather than recreation and such. And most charge quite a bit for the all-inclusive part, while Meeru and Veligandu offer that as an affordable upgrade, or you can just do full board. Another one to consider, which I haven’t visited yet, is Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa. It’s another all-inclusive resort that usually has very good rates compared to the others. Best of luck on this. -Roger

  • Ed says:


    Me and my family (4 of us) is going to maldives this December 2018.
    My question is, are all the resort reachable by boat? We try to avoid seaplanes as it would be costly?

    we will be staying in Maafushi for 2 night, and planning to go to a private resort or island to experince a little of luxury in maldives. SO we might come from Maasfushi to the private resort by boat? Can you suggest of a nearbly private resort in maafushi?

    thanks in advance.


    • Roger Wade says:


      Most Maldives private-island resorts are only accessible by sea-plane, but about 20 of them are close enough to the airport that they can be reached by speed boat. As you probably know, Maafushi is about a 90-minute ferry ride from Male. In order to reach another resort you’d have to go back to Male and then take the private speedboat transfer from the resort itself. The closest resort to Maafushi appears to be the Holiday Inn Kandooma, and Adaaran Club Rannalhi is a bit farther. There’s a chance that these resorts have daily boat service to Maafushi for supplies or for their “island hopping” trips so you could contact them to find out.

      Otherwise you’d have to go back to the ferry port in Male and then go on a speedboat owned by whichever resort you chose. Here is a list of Maldives resorts close enough to Male Airport for speedboat transfers. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  • Ed says:

    Thanks Roger. I will sure look into these resort. Another question, are all these speedboats owned by the reosrt or hotel owners or we can contact negotiate any speedboats in Male? OR it is really strictly the private speedboat owned by the resort?

    I do appreciate your patience in replying any questions. This website and ur reply are wealth of information.


    • Roger Wade says:


      My understanding is that all resorts own their own boats, or at least use specific charter companies that have the contract for the whole resort. And they all (as far as I know) request that you book the airport transfers when you make your reservation because it’s typically the only way. That said, I know there are a couple of independent transportation companies that say they can bring people to various islands and resorts. They claim to be cheaper as well, which would make sense. So it could be worth Googling for Maldives speedboat transfers and see what you can find. I’m sure they would know if it’s possible to book independently like that, although you’d also want to check with the resort before you booked just to be sure. I hope this helps. -Roger

  • Sara says:


    I’m interested in booking my honeymoon in June in Maldives, however, I’m looking for a luxury suite/room with private access for us to beach and a pool. Is that possible & if so, then where? Something closed off for the both of us.

    please and thank you

    • Roger Wade says:


      There are definitely water villas that have private pools, although in the Maldives they tend to be on the front deck, so anyone swimming in front of your villa potentially has a view. It’s rare that guests swim in front of neighboring villas, but it can happen and if you require absolute privacy that wouldn’t work. On the other hand, it’s common that Jacuzzis are fully enclosed by four walls, so that’s an option. That’s the set up at Meeru Island in their Jacuzzi water villas, for example.

      And overwater bungalows don’t have their own access to the beach if they are true overwater bungalows. Even beach villas tend to be open so other guests can walk along the beach around the island.

      If you are looking for a fully-enclosed pool in a water villa the only ones I know of are in Malaysia. The Grand Lexis Port Dickson has amazing large water villas that have a pool inside a courtyard in the center of the villa. You can’t swim below the water villas easily like you can in the Maldives, but the rooms are fantastic and very good value, plus they allow for 100% privacy in your own pool. -Roger

  • Jagdish says:

    Hi Roger,I m planning honeymoon trip for five days,but I m confused while booking hotel and water villa.please I t will be a great help if u recommend me as per my requirements.
    for first three days I want hotel with drink facilities also there should be availability of water sports and for fourth day I want a good water villa.please suggest me with some good affordable price.

    • Roger Wade says:


      I’ll be happy to help, but I’m unsure what you mean by “drink facilities”. Do you mean an all-inclusive resort that includes alcohol? If you give me a bit more info I’ll try to help right away. -Roger

  • Jagdish says:

    Roger my requirements is as under…..

    For first 3 days I want to stay at hotel ,there should be alcohol facilities and I also want to enjoy different water sports in these 3 days.
    On forth day I want a water villa like Meeru island’s water vulla,where alcohol facilities are available.

    Please recommend something good economical as per my above requirements.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Roger Wade says:


      As I so often mention on here, Meeru Island almost always has the best value of the all-inclusive Maldives resorts. They keep their rates low enough so they are fully booked all year round without having to do last-minute promotions or advertise. They also have a wide variety of island villas in addition to their Jacuzzi Water Villas, which will be perfect for that one night. The place runs as full board so all meals are included in the room rate, and almost all non-motorized water sports are also included. The All Inclusive Plus plan includes unlimited alcohol and they have about 8 different bars, including a really nice one just at the end of the piers for the Jacuzzi Water Villas. If you plan on having more than 3 or so drinks per day it’s usually a very good deal.

      As for the island villas, the stand-alone villas are all fantastic and have their own little section of beach, but the absolute cheapest rooms they offer would not be suited to a honeymoon. They are more like normal hotel rooms that are all connected and only have a front window. They are great for people who want an affordable place to sleep because they’ll be on the beach all day, but they aren’t very romantic. -Roger

  • Lai Chris says:

    Dear Roger, I have booked our flight to Maldives from 7-13 Jun 19.
    Looking at 1 night stay at Male, 2 nights at airBnB type and 2 nights at watervilla.
    We have 3 adults and 5 teenagers. Am keen on:
    1. Daily activities like snookering, dophine watching, whale shark if possible, sports.
    2. Full boarding meals.
    3. Sparkling beach caused by biolummuscience.

    Would like to seek your advice.

    • Roger Wade says:


      This is an unusual trip for the Maldives. Male doesn’t have much to see, strangely enough. I’d never considered an Airbnb in the Maldives, but it looks like quite a few semi-commercial guest houses are listed so hopefully you can find a suitable one. One of the challenges in the Maldives is you have to take ferries to reach any of the other inhabited islands, and that can be a bit complicated.

      As for a water villa, most only allow 3 guests per room although there are some Maldives water villa resorts that allow 4 guests per room. Best of luck with all of this. -Roger

  • Roy says:

    Hi Roger,

    Firstly , a well written blog and a complete guide about Maldives.

    We (couple) are planning a visit to Maldives End of March for 3 nights.

    In order to reduce the total expenses, prefer the first 2nights to be spent is beachfront room by doing water activities available nearby such as scuba or snorkeling.

    Any information on the charges for the above activities?

    The 3rd night we prefer to move to Overwater room and for laid back evening.

    Does the above make sense ? and do you recommend to opt for full meal package or are there decent restaurant and bars considering we go light with the meals ?


    • Roger Wade says:


      I’m glad this is helpful. The good news is that non-motorized water sports are included in the room price at almost every resort. Scuba diving usually requires taking a boat to a proper nearby reef because the water is very clear under most of the water villas. The scuba boats are sometimes included and sometimes cost money, and the equipment rental will cost at most places as well. However, snorkeling is usually free and most resorts have one or two free boat trips to nearby reefs each day. We have the list of included activities on the page for each resort, so that should help.

      Your idea to stay in an island villa for two nights and a water villa for one night is a great one to save money. Also, there are many cases where people who book that way will get upgraded to a water villa for one of the island nights, especially compared to someone who only booked an island villa.

      As for full board or all-inclusive or a la carte (every resort includes breakfast though) will depend on what you’d spend on those things. You typically get great value at the all-inclusive places and some of them are only a bit more expensive than the breakfast-only resorts. That’s because the full-board and all-in places tend to have buffets, which obviously cuts down on the number of servers they need. The food at the Maldives buffets is generally excellent for buffet food. These places are charging US$500 per night and up in most cases so they don’t try to cheap out on the food.

      Alcohol at these resorts usually starts at around US$6 and up for a beer, US$8 and up for wine, and US$10 and up for mixed drinks. I really enjoy drinking on a tropical island holiday so I really love the all-inclusive experience. I can highly recommend Meeru Island as a place to check out because they usually have the best rates for all-inclusive resorts. Their Jacuzzi Water Villas start at around US$500 per night with full board and about US$600 per night with all-inclusive for two people. They also have many island villas at appealing rates, though I wouldn’t recommend their cheapest room category because those are more like standard hotel rooms where you share walls on both sides. -Roger

  • E.O. says:

    Hi Roger,

    Which resort would you recommend for a solo female traveler?


    • Roger Wade says:


      Sorry for the slow response. The Maldives is tricky for any solo traveler because nearly all water villas are priced for two guests, even if you are going alone. The only resort I’ve seen that offers discounted water villas for solo travelers is Gangehi Island Resort, so I’d start with them.

      Aside from the price issue, I don’t think being a female would bring any other challenges at these resorts. The Maldives is a fairly conservative Muslim country and the guests at these private-island resorts are generally well behaved, or so it seems. Many of the staff are females so I don’t believe there is much of a culture of harassment of female guests. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Ronak says:

    Hi Roger,

    Greetings from india,

    firstly your blog is really helpful for all of us.
    Thumbs up to your work buddy.

    here i need your help

    we are a newly married couple planning honeymoon trip to maldives in July Aug. Date is not yet decided. can you help us to plan the trip along with activities and site scenes in maldives.
    I have no idea regarding the places to visit.
    who much it would cost for 5 days spending in maldives ? any idea? suggestion regarding resorts? we are looking for water villa if in budget.


    • Roger Wade says:


      I will try to help you, but fortunately the Maldives is a simple place to plan your own trip. All of the water villas are on private-island resorts (one resort per island, by law) so it’s just a matter of choosing a resort that has the activities and features you prefer. Once you are there all the options will be obvious, and there aren’t really any other options. The main capital island of Male isn’t very interesting and it’s very crowded so I would skip it.

      The Maldives is all about relaxing on the beach or in your water villa and snorkeling or scuba diving or sailing or whatever else the resorts offer. Most resorts have an “island hopping” trip where they take you in a boat to one or more neighboring islands that have small local populations so you get to shop for souvenirs and try local food, but that’s really the only option that isn’t at the resort. It will cost at least US$400 per night for a water villa and at least US$250 per couple for transportation from the airport to your resort, with many being MUCH more expensive than that for a sea-plane ride. In other words, for a 5-night Maldives holiday you are looking at at least US$2,300 and it can go way up from there. -Roger

  • E.O. says:

    Hi Roger! Thanks for your reply to my question, “Which resort would you recommend for a solo female traveler?”. I guess my main concern is the atmosphere of the island. I’m looking for a resort that offers entertainment for solo travelers and not just couples and with lots of activities (yoga, water sports, etc.).

    I currently have two bookings for an all inclusive overwater villa, Veligandu and Meeru, and I have a month to decide which one to keep or maybe book a different hotel that’s more suitable for me if you have any other suggestions.

    Also, would you have any suggestion for a local island to stay for 3 nights?

    Thanks in advance, Roger!

    • Roger Wade says:


      Okay then, I’d definitely recommend Meeru Island in that case. I stayed there as a solo person on a research trip and I was very pleased at how easy it was to meet and mingle with other guests. No doubt ALL of the Maldives resorts are oriented towards romantic couples and some for families as well, but at least Meeru is one of the largest islands with about 8 or 10 bars and different activities and nightlife every night. Even on the included Dolphin Cruise I was mingling with loads of different guests, and I was surprised by how easy it was under the circumstances. For the record, I tend to be quite an introvert and I’m the opposite of a social butterfly, so that doesn’t come easy to me. And I’ve also visited all-inclusive resorts elsewhere where I was borderline miserable because they were only set up for couples and families and there were no communal social areas.

      As for a local island, I only have experience with Hulhumale and Male itself. Male is crowded and totally lacks charm, while Hulhumale (attached to the airport so it’s the easiest to reach) is open and has a nice vibe. On the other hand, most guests staying on Hulhumale are just staying one night on their way to or from a resort, so it might not be as social as some of the others that you can reach by ferry. I hope this helps. -Roger

  • E.O. says:

    Hi Roger! Thanks for your quick reply! I really value your input.

    That’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid…be miserable! Haha! Although I always try to find ways to get entertained and just have a positive mindset but if that can be totally avoided, then so much the better! Sounds like Meeru would be so much fun!

    The only thing with Meeru is that you only need to take a speedboat and I kinda wanted to take a sea plane to view the Maldives from above. Is there any other resort island like Meeru? If not, I’ll forego the sea plane. Maybe the flight to MLE would be enough to view it. =))

    As for the local island, I am actually not planning on staying at Male or Hulhumale but an island where you need to take a ferry to reach it. I was reading blogs on local islands to stay and Maafushi is recommended for solo travelers. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again Roger! I hope to hear from you again soon!

    Eris O.

  • Amit says:

    Hi…any best budget watervilla in maldives for day trip. Including one time lunch o dinner. Main purpose is to get good couple pictures over watervilla.

    • Roger Wade says:


      Unfortunately there are no convenient resorts for a day trip. It costs about US$100 return per guest for a speedboat from the airport and back, so it won’t be cheap. I’ve read that Adaaran Club Rannalhi has a day trip program, and perhaps the ferry rides are a bit cheaper for that. Good luck. -Roger

  • Chris says:

    Hi Roger,
    Thank you so much for all of your comments and the time you spend in replying to everyone – They have been so helpful to us already.

    We are newly weds but couldn’t afford the Maldives at the time we got married. Now that we can, we would love to go but are slightly unsure on when is best to in relation to making the trip cost effective and how much to risk it with the weather…

    Our options are:
    December 2019
    April 2020
    July 2020
    We don’t mind a bit of rain here and there but just don’t want a wash out!

    We have around an 8k budget and would like to be on a quiet resort with an all inclusive (plus if possible) board basis. We’d love to be able to afford an over water villa with a jacuzzi however know that a beach villa with a jacuzzi may be slightly more realistic with our price range.

    If possible, we’d really appreciate your advice on any resorts that would fit a similar criteria!

    Many thanks in advance,

    • Roger Wade says:


      I’d go in December if you can. The last 10 days of the month are the peak season for hotel rates, but early in the month is quite reasonable. The weather should be almost perfect. It can rain any day of the year in the Maldives and it’s always somewhat humid. Late May to early July is the only period when it might rain for hours at a time. Otherwise it’s just a 30-minute storm here and there.

      For all-inclusive Jacuzzi water villas at a reasonable price I always recommend Meeru Island and Veligandu Island. They are run by the same respected company and both offer very good rates. -Roger

  • Nikita says:

    Hi Roger,

    I am planning to visit Maldives in Dec for Honeymoon.

    I am confused with the Resort – Should I go for OBLU Select or Olhuveli Resort

    • Roger Wade says:


      I haven’t been to either of these yet, but Olhuveli has always been one of the lower-price resorts that gets good (not great) reviews, where OBLU SELECT at Sangeli just opened in 2018 and has been getting fantastic reviews. OBLU Select is also an all-inclusive so if you want meals and drinks included it’s the better choice. I’d choose OBLU Select for sure. -Roger

  • Greeshma says:

    Hi Roger,

    We are planning a 4 nights trip to Maldives this Nov end.
    We were thinking of 2 nights at a water villa and 2 at a beach villa at the same resort. When we do this will they arrange airport transfer accordingly? Also do resorts take in such bookings?


    • Roger Wade says:


      Yes, this kind of booking is fairly common and I think it’s a good idea. If you book through Agoda or another online site they will ask you for your flight details before you arrive and you can put in the full stay. In other words, it’s not tied just to one room reservation, and you can contact the resort directly if it looks confusing. Have a great stay. -Roger

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