With nearly 80 different private-island water bungalow resorts in the Maldives, it would be very easy t spend a week or more sorting and combing through all the prices, features, and guest reviews to find the one that suits you best at a decent price. Because we have spent many months sifting through this information, we're publishing our “Editor's Choice” resort recommendations to save you time finding the best resort and deal.

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

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

Meeru Island Resort – Maldives

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


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


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


  • Low season online specials from US$518 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,062 per night
>More information about the Meeru Island Resort – Maldives >Check rates

Kuredu Island Resort – Maldives

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


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


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


  • Low season online specials from US$936 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,060 per night
>More information about the Kuredu Island Resort – Maldives >Check rates

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa – Maldives

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


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


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


  • Low season online specials from US$649 per night
  • High season online specials from US$650 per night
>More information about the Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa – Maldives >Check rates

Veligandu Island Resort – Maldives

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


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


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


  • Low season online specials from US$825 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,065 per night
>More information about the Veligandu Island Resort – Maldives >Check rates

Sun Siyam Olhuveli Resort & Spa – Maldives

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


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


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


  • Low season online specials from US$464 per night
  • High season online specials from US$650 per night
>More information about the Sun Siyam Olhuveli Resort & Spa – Maldives >Check rates

Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Luxury Resort

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


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


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


  • Low season online specials from US$1,286 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,346 per night
>More information about the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Luxury Resort >Check rates
8 thoughts on "Editor’s Choice: 6 Best Maldives water-villa resorts with excellent scuba diving"

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  1. We have a group that is looking for a resort with scuba diving for the end of July. It would be several couples and some teenagers. Are there any resorts where the diving is included?
    Thank you

    1. Sam,

      I’m not aware of any Maldives resorts where scuba diving is included or even heavily discounted. The good news is that almost every island offers diving and most offer instruction. So your best bet is to find a resort that you like at a reasonable price, and the diving package will probably also be reasonably affordable. Best of luck with this. -Roger

    1. Kelly,

      I’m glad this site has been helpful. Our list of scuba diving resorts will cover snorkeling as well. For the most part, snorkeling below water villas in the Maldives isn’t very exciting because there aren’t large reefs inside the lagoons where the resorts are located. In general the resorts all offer boat rides to nearby reefs, and many of those boats to go the same places. Most resorts seem to offer at least one if not two snorkeling boats per day, and they are usually included in your room price. There are probably some exceptions though. And of course the larger resorts are more likely to have more boats and departures than small resorts. So my advice would be to choose a resort based on everything else and then check to see if they offer snorkeling trips. If so then check the TripAdvisor reviews by searching for "snorkeling" and you’ll get the reviews that mention it. -Roger

  2. Hello
    We are looking for an OWB that has a pool for May. Would you have a recommendation for which would be best? We have heard you want to be in the Northwest in May to avoid bad weather

    1. Lori,

      After having read literally thousands of Maldives resort reviews, I see very few that ever mention any weather disappointments. Still, the weather in the north might be less volatile during the summer season, and you can get a great deal at some of the resorts up there.

      Specifically, have a look at the Beach House at Iruveli Maldives, which is a 5-star resort that is as far north as you can go in the archipelago. In May they are offering their huge water villas (110 square meters) for only around US$550 including all taxes, and each has a plunge pool out on the terrace.

      If that one doesn’t work for you, let me know and I can probably find one or two others, but this is the best one that comes to mind. -Roger