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

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

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

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

Meeru Island Resort

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

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

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

  • Low season online specials from US$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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veligandu Island Resort

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

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

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

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

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

Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa

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

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

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

  • Low season online specials from US$432 per night
  • High season online specials from US$593 per night

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

Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Luxury Resort

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

168871_16051821120042462906Another 5-star resort that sometimes has excellent online special rates, the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi 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$875 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,147 per night

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

  • ashoke ganguly says:

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

  • Sonal says:

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

  • sukanya says:

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

  • Srinivas says:

    Hi Guys,

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

    • Roger Wade says:


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

  • Khalid Nazary says:


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

  • Simon Marcus says:

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

    Thx in advance!


    • Roger Wade says:


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

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

  • Mohammad says:

    Hi Roger,

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

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

    Which one do you recommend?

    • Roger Wade says:


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

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

  • Ali Shahid says:

    Hi Roger,

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

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


    • Roger Wade says:


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

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

  • naseem says:

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

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

    can u guide me Which one is better??

    Half Board or All Inclusive ( we are non alcoholic)

    Waiting for your Vaiable suggustion.

    • Roger Wade says:


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

  • Abbe says:

    Hi Roger,

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

    Our needs are

    – private pool, private place to sunbathe

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

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

    – Prefer halal meat in the main restaurant

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

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Roger Wade says:


      I’ll answer your questions in order…

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

      Here is our list of Maldives resorts with private pools.

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

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

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

  • awais says:

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

    • Roger Wade says:


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

  • Vibeke says:

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

    Best regards, Vibeke

    • Roger Wade says:


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

  • Rubesh says:

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

    • Roger Wade says:


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

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

  • Halil says:

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

    • Roger Wade says:


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

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

  • Pragya says:


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

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

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

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

    Thank you so much, Roger!

    Pragya 🙂

    • Roger Wade says:


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

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

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

  • Danielle says:

    Hi Roger, we are coming to Maldives in June with 3 couples and would like to stay in overwater bungalows. Are there any overwater bungalows with 3 bedrooms? If not we are looking around $400-$600 per night per couple. Any tips on best locations would be great.

    • Roger Wade says:


      There are a few resorts that have huge 2-bedroom water villas, but they start at around US$3,000 per night and go way up from there. So it’s far more economical to get 3 separate water villas at a resort in your price range. In that price range, and especially if you are interested in all-inclusive, my recommendation is always Meeru Island. You can get a huge Jacuzzi Water Villa there for around US$600 per night most of the year, and it will be less in the slower month of June. They tend to include their All-Inclusive Plus package for free in June, so you can book the Full Board rate and get it all. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • Suzanne says:

    Good morning
    Just wondering what the best place to stay in a over water villa for our 10year wedding anniversary next November with 2 adults and 2 kids (aged 7&6) that’s all inclusive or half board and not over top expensive – we do have a budget and ideally a jacuzzi or pool on villa

    • Roger Wade says:


      I sometimes sound like a broken record on this, but I keep getting questions about the best-value all-inclusive Maldives water villa resorts, and the answer continues to be Meeru Island or Veligandu Island. Meeru is one of the larger islands but it’s so big that it still feels mostly empty even when it’s fully booked. They have very large Jacuzzi Water Villas starting around US$500 with full board and closer to US$600 per night with their All-Inclusive Plus plan.

      Veligandu is a smaller island that is a bit more expensive and requires a sea plane to reach instead of a speedboat, but it’s run by the same company and quality there is very high in the price range. Congrats and best of luck on this. -Roger

  • Anita says:

    Any recommendations on a water villa over “quiet” water/ lagoon? I have stayed on Herons Hideaway on South Water Caye in Belize which was on a gorgeous island BUT the villa was facing the breaker water side and it was not as peaceful an experience as we wanted. Thinking of visiting Meeru in the month of Jan.

    • Roger Wade says:


      Meeru Island would be a fantastic choice. Interestingly enough, the water villas closer to the shore are much quieter and more peaceful than the ones farther out. There is a permanent wave break not far from the end of the Jacuzzi Water Villa pier, and you can hear the waves crashing from the last few villas on each side. There are other water villas at Meeru that aren’t as close to the breakers, but they aren’t the newer Jacuzzi Water Villas.

      There is no hard and fast rule with this. The breaks are fairly consistent at each resort, but it depends on which was the villas are going out into the lagoon and all of that. However, I don’t hear many complaints at all from those who’ve stayed all over the Maldives about wave noise. In other words, what I’d recommend is to choose a resort based on everything else, and then check the recent online reviews for that resort. Most likely you’ll see that there are almost no complaints of unwanted water noise, but if there are you might look elsewhere or at least request a quiet villa closer to the shore. Sorry about the delay in responding. -Roger

  • Magdalena says:


    We are having our Honeymoon this year in September:) We are stuck between Adaaran Prestige Water Villas and Veligandu Island:) Somehow, we prefer Veligandu because of its beach but we are a little afraid that the jacuzzi water villas are rather old and maybe not so comfortable? Can You recommend which island is better for Honeymooners looking for peaceful relaxation, snorkelling, delicious food and getting some tan on the beautiful beach? 🙂


    • Roger Wade says:


      I’ve stayed at Veligandu’s sister resort, Meeru Island, which is run by the same company. It also has some rooms that are older than at some resorts, but they do an excellent job of keeping everything up to date. I’ve heard good things about the Adaaran resorts as well. Still, Veligandu is usually better value. Almost all of these Maldives resorts get glowing reviews from nearly all past guests and it can look like they might be fake. But the interesting thing is that because the Maldives is set up the way it is with each resort having to be on its own private island, they just can’t run these resorts by making short cuts and still stay full. There are almost 90 of these resorts and competition is fierce so standards are extremely high. I think you’d enjoy Adaaran Prestige, but I’m even more confident about Veligandu. Congratulations and best of luck with this. -Roger

  • Yan says:

    Hi Roger, I have been reading a lot of your stuff lately and made kind of my own research through yours. As we will go on honeymoon probably next summer and that we do not like to trow our money by the windows for nothing, we are trying to make the smartest decision possible.

    We want the cheapest possible, of course, but this is a honeymoon after all! Therefore, we want some sort of privacy, somewhere that doesn’t look old, clean and cute room, and Jacuzzi is important. We are drinker (maybe heavy drinker) and think an all-inclusive would be a smart choice. Correct me if im wrong, but it seems that our best bet could be the Meeru Island in June (cheapest month, isn’t it?)

    Our plan would be a couple days in the Jacuzzi water villa over water and a couple days on the beach, just like you suggest you would like to do, seems like a good idea.

    However, I am trying to make sense of the difference between the water villa and the Jacuzzi beach villa.

    The water villa seems to be right next to the beach couple meters away from the water and is more expensive than the Jacuzzi beach villa. However, the setting of the shower and Jacuzzi seem nicer and bigger in the Jacuzzi beach villa, am I wrong? Also, how far are they from the water, they seem to be a little further behind trees, no?

    2 more things:

    I believe I have read this, maybe from you, is there some sort of book for a weeks and get a couple days for free? Also, I thought I read that at Meeru, in slow month, the all inclusive option could be upgraded at no cost. Can seem to find neither of those when I check the prices only through your link.

    Thanks in advance for your recommendation! (sorry for the length of your message)


    • Roger Wade says:


      As I so often say, Meeru Island seems to consistently be the best value all inclusive resort in the Maldives, and you’ll love it there. It’s not something I talk about much, but I am a holiday drinker myself, and I was extremely impressed by the all-inclusive drinks. Of course they have beer and wine, but all mixed drinks are made with good stuff and mixed freshly rather than from pre-mixed bottles.

      Those Water Villas at Meeru Island are on a beach that is at the edge of the water line, and sometimes there is water under them and sometimes it’s dry. You can’t swim beneath them, but there is a wonderful beach in front of them which is almost private.

      I toured all of the room types when I was there. Honestly, the beach villas are maybe a 5 to 15 second walk from the water, depending on the tides. The Water Villas are all lined up, but the Beach Villas are staggered a bit for more privacy. I would be thrilled with any of them. Hopefully (and probably) Meeru would give you one of the nicest locations for your honeymoon. The service there is very personalized.

      Also, I didn’t see much difference between the placement of the shower and Jacuzzi in any of the villas. Each of them is 100% private, with walls that are nearly 3 meters (9 feet) high and no roof. Some other resorts have on-deck Jacuzzis that are mostly enclosed, but these are fully enclosed except the roof.

      Meeru Island adjusts their offers and prices depending on demand and season. June and July are the slowest months, so if they are light on bookings for those months they usually offer promotional rates and sometimes the free All-Inclusive Plus option. In my experience they tend to only start with the promotions about 3 or 4 months out because they want to fill up as many villas as possible before they start cutting prices. If you are going in those months you will have many great promotional rates available if you wait it out a bit. Those are the slowest months in the whole country, so it’s a buyer’s market.

      One thing about June specifically though, people in the Maldives tell me that it’s the only month of the year where visitors can get unlucky with the weather. Almost all year you can get a storm that comes and goes in 30 minutes or so, but once in a while (not the whole month) they get a day or two where it rains on and off the whole day. Personally, I find that to be cozy and romantic because it’s still warm and all of the bars and restaurants have roofs, but obviously it’s harder to get a tan on those days. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • Ani says:

    Dear Roger,

    Thanks so much for this and other articles, have you heard of Sun Island Resort and do you have any thoughts on it? They have over the water bungalows for a low price. Thanks

    • Roger Wade says:


      I haven’t personally been to Sun Island, but I’m familiar with the place. The reason that the water villas there are cheaper is that they are semi-detached, so they have 68 bungalows in 34 structures. The water villas are also smaller than almost any other in the Maldives at around 32 square meters or 340 square feet, which makes them similar in size to a normal 4-star hotel room in a big city. Most other Maldives water villas are at least 50% larger and many are many times larger. All of that said, the place has a very good reputation and gets great reviews, and I’d be very happy to stay there myself.

      When comparing these resorts it’s important to compare what you get for the price. In other words, for the same price as a water villa at Sun Island, you could instead get a larger beach villa at another resort, or at Sun Island itself. At least for part of my stay I would personally prefer to stay in the water villa over the clear lagoon because that is an experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • Shreyas Kulkarni says:

    Hi Sir,
    I am looking for a 4D3N/5D4N Honeymoon Package.
    The Travel dates will be by end of Dec.
    Looking for a romantic tour, resort should be mostly all inclusive, water villa with Jacuzzi, spa and water sports facilities.
    Please help to find a suitable villa.
    Budget for the trip is 500-600$ per day.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Roger Wade says:


      We are simply an online guide to overwater hotels and we don’t do bookings. The last week of December is peak season for the Maldives (and every other tropical island destination) so your budget might not be enough, especially for all-inclusive. Your budget is enough for the excellent Meeru Island resort if you can go a little earlier or later than that last week in December. The Jacuzzi Water Villas there are huge and the service is fantastic. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  • Max says:

    Hi Roger,
    I looked at about 30 resorts already, in almost every website I see the option to enter a coupon code.
    Two questions:
    1. How do I find such coupons?
    2. What’s the best time to book prior to arrival to get the best prices/deals?

    I’m looking for over-water outdoor jacuzzi villa at up to $700 so limited my choice to:
    1. Meeru
    2. Vilamendhoo
    3. Olhuveli
    4. Am I missing any option at this price range? (Centara and Sun Siyam are around $900…)

    Thanks in advance,

    • Roger Wade says:


      Those top 3 on your list are the ones that come to mind for me, and I’m glad you found them. Meeru Island has very large Jacuzzi Water Villas in your price range with full board or even all-inclusive.

      As for hotel coupons, I don’t think they exist for most places. I’ve found the best rates are on Agoda.com in most cases and I don’t think they use coupons (at least for resorts like these).

      Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Max says:

    Thanks Roger,
    do you know anything about Ayada? Looks more expensive…

  • Anurodh says:

    Hi Roger

    Thanks to your suggestions, I am at the last stage of booking Meeru for 2 nights. I have 3 queries, I would be reaching Male International Airport at 16:20 hours.
    1. By what time would we be able to reach the resort?
    2. IF I book the water villa for one night and water front villa for 2 nights, would it be okay or booking Water Villa for 3 nights would be a better idea (Is there a huge difference in the experience or just experiencing it for one night and saving bucks for other 2 would be wise?)
    3. IF i book the villas through travel agents like Makemytrip and not through the Meeru website, how will I be able to book the Speedboat? Booking through the Meeru website is costlier.


    • Roger Wade says:


      I’m sure you’ll love it there. The speedboat transfer can depend on how many other guests are coming in on that flight or flights around the same time. If you land at 16:20 you should have your luggage by 17:00 and you’ll go find the Meeru representative outside of customs. The speedboat ride is about an hour each way and it might leave right after you get there, or you might have to wait for another couple or two. Usually it seems to be on its way in an hour or less because they own quite a few speedboats that are going back and forth around that time of day.

      That’s a tough call. In my opinion a water villa is an amazing novelty for at least 3 days or so, but after that you are used to it and notice that the restaurants and bars and such are a longer walk than from the beachfront villas. If you can afford the three nights I would do it. One night is much better than zero though.

      The lowest rates on Meeru Island are usually on Agoda.com, and those are much cheaper than the official website. After you reserve your room on the website it will ask you for your flight details and then charge you for the speedboat all at the same time. Since there are no other options of getting there, they just add it right on top of the room charge before you pay the first time. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • andre richardson says:

    hello Roger,
    great site with alot of information but with that im trying to plan a honeymoon probably in June and ok with it being a rainy month especially if the cost can be slightly discounted. Dont want to stay at a resort that is overly expensive.
    I want a location that is all inclusive and want to stay maybe 3 nights over water and 3 nights non. I see you recommend meeru alot and the price is very good. I know its one of the older resorts do you still think it stands up for honeymoon and todays standards.
    Is there any other resorts you would recommend I also would like it to have some activities so we dont get too bored.
    Also what is the best time to book is now good or wait till closer will it have better deals.

    • Roger Wade says:


      It’s true that June usually has the greatest chances of a rainy day or two, as opposed to just a quick rainstorm here and there, but most days in June are still mostly dry so I agree that it can be worth it to take advantage of the lower rates and smaller crowds, and you might get very lucky with the weather anyway.

      And it’s also true that Meeru is indeed a resort that I recommend a lot, and in my opinion it definitely holds up to the newer resorts. You might also look at Veligandu, which I also recommend, as they are run by the same respected company. Meeru Island is huge compared to most so it feels very private and spread out even when it’s full, and they have more restaurants and activities than almost any other resort. Veligandu is smaller, but also with quite a few choices.

      One reason that I recommend Meeru so often is their strategy is to offer an excellent product at a fair price, and stay almost fully booked all year round. At least half the people I met there had been there before and they come back again and again because of the quality and value. Most other resorts advertise with much higher room rates and then start offering promotions about 3 months out in order to fill the villas. If you are aware of that you can actually get a pretty good deal with 2 or 3 months to go, but you also have to settle for places that have enough vacancies to offer promotions. Places like Meeru and Veligandu (and that company runs 2 or 3 other resorts that aren’t all inclusive) have prices low enough to be full a month or two out all year round. They just prefer to be full of happy guests rather than having to keep running promotions to get new guests in at the last minute.

      All of that said, even most of the newer Maldives resorts tend to be quite casual rather than posh. The service is usually excellent, and you can check all the recent reviews yourself to confirm, but since they are sandy islands where most guests walk around barefoot most of the time, they are more like beach bungalows than 5-star hotel suites. Meeru and Veligandu usually run good rates all the time, and often I see that they offer All Inclusive Plus included in the rate in June. If that is what you are seeing I think booking soon would be wise if that is what you want. But if you wait until next March or so you might see a couple other all-inclusive places start offering rates that are similar. It’s a bit of a gamble, but since June is the slowest month it’s not like you won’t find a room, even at the last minute. I hope this helps. -Roger

  • estee says:

    Hi im planning a trip to the maldives and have checked out the resorts on your list. Honestly, everything in maldives looks amazing and im spoiled for choice. Would like to get yor opinion on the water bungalow at the adaaran club-rannalhi?

    And also i have a friend who went to the maldives and mentioned it was a bad choice to get a resort with sea plane transfer. That’s because the plane transport and offload people to different resorts, so he ended up flying and landing several times before he reached his resort. Is this a common practice for seaplane transfer?

    • Roger Wade says:


      I haven’t been to Adaaran Club Rannalhi, but I’ve heard good things and I’ve spoken to the people who run it. It’s true that the resorts all look so amazing and almost all of the reviews are glowing as well. In my experience it turns out because they ARE so amazing. It seems like it’s so expensive to build and run these private-island resorts that operating them poorly is a bad strategy. There are 2 or 3 Maldives resorts that tend to get many bad reviews and I don’t even list those resorts on the site because there are enough great ones to list.

      As for the sea planes, it’s true that some of them drop guests at one resort on their way to another, but actually most people love the sea plane flights because they offer the most amazing views of the islands you can get. If you are not comfortable flying in a plane with 10 or 12 people then it might be better to opt for one of the resort with speedboat transfers. And the sea planes only operate during daylight hours, while speedboats can go at night if they need to, so that’s another factor. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

  • Francesca says:

    Hi, we are a family of 3 planning departure for next week, as we should land on a Friday, how do we do for transport? For the same reason I would ask you to suggest me some islands easy to reach as we don’t want to be travelling too much after landing.
    Also a question please, is there any restriction to stay in an overwater bungalow? I mean the fact that we have a 3 years old with us? Thank you very much for your answer!

    • Roger Wade says:


      Sorry about the delayed response and it might be too late. For the Maldives each resort has its own speedboats and when you book a room they will ask you for your flight details so they can arrange a pickup at the dock just in front of the airport. The speedboats are fairly expensive so you have to research those prices before you book, and that’s why we list them on each page of this site.

      As for a 3-year-old, yes, it will be an issue. Many resorts don’t allow guests under 13 or even 18, while other resorts just make you sign a waiver saying that you understand the risks. Speaking of that, the piers that go out to the water villas do NOT have rails, and it’s easy to just walk right off the decks in most water villas as well, so you’d really have to stay focused on that. -Roger

  • Thorsten says:

    Hello Roger, me and my girlfriend are travelling thrue south east asia, and came over some pretty cheap tickets to the maldives from singapore..
    Since we are on a backpackerbudget we dont have all the options in the world.. and if we dont go to maldives now we probably never will!
    So, we really want to stay at some overseavillafor about 1 or 2 nights, and after that spend maybe additionaö 5 days on shore or something way cheaper..
    Is there any place/way to avoid this ridicolously highpriced speedboat transfers?!
    We have some money that shouldnt be spent on our journey, we actually could use for this special occasion, cus I understand those overseavillas IS expensive no matter what.. so i would love if you could recommend something! 🙂

    Best regards!

    • Roger Wade says:


      I totally understand and the speed boat transfers do feel kind of like a rip-off at first. But each resort (for the most part) has to buy and operate their own boats and it’s pretty expensive. I think your best bet is to look into the resorts that are closest to the airport, as a few of them offer transfers close to US$100 per person, return. Here is our list of the closest water villa resorts to the Maldives Airport. Best of luck. -Roger

  • yash says:

    HI ,
    I would like to get 2 days normal resort and 1 day water villa. Which one do you recommend and how much it will cost.

    • Roger Wade says:


      Obviously it depends on where you’d stay. Island villas at some resorts start at around US$150 per night, and water villas at those same resorts start at around US$350 per night. You also have to pay between US$100 and US$700 per person for transfers from the airport to the resort. Have a great trip. -Roger

  • Pratz says:

    first of all sincere thanks to you for giving the detailed guidance to everyone for Maldives, good work..!!

    I have a few questions as below:

    We want to visit maldives in Nov first week and is a family of 5 Adults plus a 5 month baby.

    1. Which resorts in your list can accommodate us with a baby?
    2. Can you explain differences between All inclusive, full board and other normal booking?
    3. Can we split a stay in a resort between different category of rooms, does it have a cost impact?
    4. With baby is it advisable to take sea boat transfer or sea plane transfers?
    5. Is it advisable to take a far off resort from Male airport?
    6. If we prefer water villa which will be most budget friendly?

    • Roger Wade says:


      I’m happy to try to help.

      1. Unfortunately, it’s rare to even find Maldives resorts that allow 4 guests per villa. The only that allow 5 or 6 are a few large 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom units at a few resorts and those cost many times what normal water villas do, so it’s cheaper to get 2 water villas.

      2. All resorts offer an included breakfast with a normal booking. Half Board also includes dinner. Full board includes 3 meals per day, but not alcohol. All-inclusive includes all meals (usually served at buffets) and usually unlimited alcohol and other drinks. In some places the top-shelf drinks cost a premium, while they are included at others. A few resorts also include a tour or excursion with the all-inclusive plan.

      3. Yes, you can book an island room for part of your trip and a water villa for another part. It’s not only cheaper, but sometimes you’ll get upgraded to a water villa for one or more of your island days if they’ve got an empty villa.

      4. I’m not sure about that. Both are quite loud. The sea planes don’t fly very high so I don’t think pressure is as much of an issue as it is in a big plane.

      5. The resorts closer to Male Airport usually have cheaper transfers so they can actually save you money. I don’t think any of them are in the flight path to the point that it’s annoying, so staying near the airport will save time and a bit of money.

      6. The list above shows our picks for the best of the cheaper resorts. But the rates can change for any given date depending on availability. My suggestion is to check the dates at a resort that appeals to you, and then also check your dates for all resorts on Agoda.com, which usually has the best rates. Sometimes you’ll see a promotional rate for your dates if a resort has too many empty rooms. It’s hard for me to know which is best on any given dates so it’s best to check yourself. Some good news is that pretty much ALL of these resorts is really as wonderful as the photos look. A couple Maldives resorts have quite a few disappointed guests, and I don’t even list those on this site. -Roger

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