Editor’s Choice: 6 Best Maldives water villa resorts for families

41483_15060415140028499595Many people consider the Maldives to be primarily a destination for honeymoons and romantic trips, but it's also extremely popular with families. Out of the nearly 80 water villa resorts in the Maldives, a few dozen have special “Kids' Clubs” (as they are usually called) specifically built and staffed for the young ones.

Most of these resorts also have swimming pools and tennis courts in addition to beach and water sports, so a range of ages can have a trip they'll never forget, leaving the parents some time on their own as well.

Finding the best family-oriented resorts on your own could take weeks, so we've narrowed the list down to our 6 absolute favorites that we think will impress. Our editor's choice family resorts combine all the necessary staffing and facilities for family guests with the best reviews of all Maldives water villa resorts. The 6 listed below should at least help you narrow down your choice quickly.

6 Best Maldives water villa resorts for families

1 – Lily Beach Resort And Spa – Maldives

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

41483_15060415140028499547A very popular 5-star private-island resort that operates on an all-inclusive basis, the Lily Beach Resort and Spa features 56 water villas, although 16 of those are barely perched over the edge of the lagoon rather than out on stilts as the others are. The Lily Beach Resort gets among the best reviews of all Maldives private-island hotels, so it deserves to be the top pick among family-oriented resorts. Rooms here come with air conditioning, Wi-Fi and room service, perfect for those nights in with the hungry kiddos

There's a Kids' Club and 2 childrens' swimming pools in addition to the adult pool area, so this resort clearly caters to the family crowd. There's also tennis courts, beach volleyball, and billiards, so the teenagers will have plenty of fun things to keep them busy. The high season rates here are in the luxury category for sure, but off-season special online deals put it into the bargain category if you can get them.

  • Low season online specials from US$823 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,529 per night

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

2 – Constance Halaveli Resort

  • Water villas: 57
  • Total rooms/suites: 86

165484_15122911510038778007An amazing value for families, the Constance Halaveli has 57 water villas, each with its own private plunge pool on the sun deck. Each villa also has a 42″ satellite TV and even an iMac entertainment system, so younger guests will have plenty to keep them happy and busy just in the room.

There's also a Kids' Club, a fresh-water swimming pool, and paddle boats, among the many other water sport options. This resort gets fantastic reviews from families as well as its other guests, so the rates are hard to beat. The high-season prices are still quite a good deal, but the off-season rates make it a real steal for a family water villa resort.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,024 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,423 per night

>>>More information about the Constance Halaveli Resort – Maldives
>>>Check rates

3 – Kuramathi Island Resort

  • Water villas: 70
  • Total rooms/suites: 296

161631_15122918070038790767Occupying one of the largest and most impressive private islands in the Maldives, the Kuramathi Island Resort is a 4-star property that has nearly 300 rooms, 70 of which are water villas that come in two classes. The less expensive class of water villas are still quite large and they are very reasonably priced, with the island rooms being even cheaper.

The all-inclusive meal plans available here are a good way to keep things predictable, and the cuisine at the long list of restaurants gets surprisingly good reviews with many being very pleased withe the large selection of dishes to choose from. There's a Kids' Club and a childrens' pool in addition to many water sports activities. In the moderate price category, the Kuramathi is a perfect choice for families preferring an all-inclusive option for there vacation.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,000 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,120 per night

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

4 – Kanuhara Resort

  • Water villas: 20
  • Total rooms/suites: 95

41481_15060417390028554455Each villa at the Kanuhara Resort comes equipped with its own private host, which sets this luxurious 5-star hotel apart from most other family-oriented resorts. It features 20 huge water villas with all the first-class amenities you'd expect, and there are 95 additional rooms on the island, so this is one of the larger resorts of its kind in the Maldives. Rooms here include a private outdoor shower, a private balcony and a personal villa host.

The Kanuhara Resort has a Kids Club and an extensive program for younger guests including fun tubes, a games room, beach volleyball, and even two lit tennis courts. The island rooms are more affordable than the water villas so this might be a good choice for a family needing multiple rooms for a reasonable price. Reviews for the resort are exceptional so it's a great choice for families.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,320 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,611 per night

>>>More information about the Kanuhara Resort
>>>Check rates

5 – Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa

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

70348_16051614460042366589Offering among the best values in the 5-star category, the Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa features 36 water villas that are all enormous, each coming complete with an infinity-edge bathrub-for-two with a view of the lagoon. The Dhoni Kids' Club will keep the younger ones active and busy, while the long list of beach and water sport activities will keep the older ones very happy as well.

There are four restaurants at the Anantara Dhigu Resort, which should insure that everyone can find something they really like, but better still, guests here can take a quick and free ferry ride to the adjoining resort and use their restaurant and facilities as well. This one is more for families and the other is more for couples, but still it's nice to have both options. Reviews for the Anantara Dhigu Resort are excellent as well, making this resort a solid choice.

  • Low season online specials from US$820 per night
  • High season online specials from US$909 per night

>>>More information about the Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa
>>>Check rates

6 – Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

  • Water villas: 71
  • Total rooms/suites: 150

Aerial shot of our hotelPart of a 5-star resort division of the Hilton Hotels group, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers great value in the luxury class, especially with their off-season online special rates. All water villas here are large or huge, and all are well equipped with luxury amenities that you'd expect in a top-end Hilton hotel. Some of these amenities include Wi-Fi, ocean view baths, a private deck with steps that lead into the ocean and a private jacuzzi plunge pool.

There's a Kids' Club here, plus even a Kids' Spa, so everyone can stay active and even get pampered a bit. There is also a tennis court and a large infinity swimming pool in addition to the many water sports activities on offer. The Conrad Maldives Rangali gets great reviews from everyone, including from families, so it's worth consideration if the price is right.

  • Low season online specials from US$748 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,201 per night

>>>More information about the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
>>>Check rates


  • Terry says:

    These places are a dream come true…so beautiful and as close to heaven as one can get. I just wish I had the dough to pay for it.. beautiful.. Thanks for sharing.

  • Russell says:

    Anybody been to Maldives with teenagers. I am looking for a preferably over water bungalow that can sleep entire family, 2 adults and 2 teenage girls. Anything around $1000 a night. If not over water, recommend any place for a family of 4.

  • bhupinder says:

    I want to stay in water villas at low budget of 200us dollar pl recommend

  • Stephanie says:

    Im searching for a budgetted vacay with my husband and baby girl.
    It is for our first honeymoon. Im looking for a water villa with a private pool, preferly all inclusive at 1000 US$/night or lower.
    Im located in Canada.. taking in conscidiration that US rate is pretty high right now..
    Please helpp! I appreciate it.

    • Roger Wade says:

      Stephanie,

      One challenge would be that flying 3 people to the Maldives from Canada will cost about US$1,200 per person and take a bit over 24 hours each way. And then once you get to the Maldives Airport, you’ll have to pay from US$150 to US$500 per person to get to your resort. It’s an amazing place, but so is Moorea and Bora Bora, and if you don’t have a huge budget it may not be worth the long and expensive trip to get there.

      And the next challenge is that there are no overwater bungalows with pools in Bora Bora or Moorea, except for the deluxe suites that start at around US$2,000 per night. If you are okay using one of the wonderful public swimming pools at the high-end resorts in the South Pacific, you can get an overwater bungalow starting around US$600 per night. They don’t do all-inclusive in Bora Bora or Moorea, so you would have to pay for drinks and at least one or two of your meals each day.

      You’d think that someone willing to spend US$1,000 per night would be able to get almost anything they desired, but there are so few of these resorts and all of them are far from you, so it’s just not that easy yet. In a couple years they will open a new resort in Panama that seems to have what you are after. Until then, you’ll have to compromise something. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • Andrew Lee says:

    Hi Roger, need some advice – we are a family of 4 (2 teens aged 14 and 16). Do you know of any resorts that allow for all 4 of us to stay in 1 room? Advanced thanks.

  • Tiffany says:

    Hi Roger,
    I’m looking to plan a family trip with 6 adults and a 9 month old. We’re looking into the over water bungalos but are open to other suggestions. Do you know if there are overwater bungalos that accommodate 6 adults but also allow for a baby? Also which area would you recommend for the best budgeted spot with those accomodations? Any chance any of them are all-inclusive? Thanks

    • Roger Wade says:

      Tiffany,

      Unfortunately, nearly all of these overwater villas are designed for 2 adults each. Most have one kingsize bed, almost most also have a sofa-bed in the living room area. A few of them offer twin beds instead of a kingsize. Only a few resorts actually allow up to 4 adult guests in one villa. For 6 adults you’d need to book at least 2 water villas, and maybe 3. There are a few resorts that offer 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom water villas, but those villas are literally starting at over US$3,000 per night, so getting 2 or 3 villas elsewhere is much cheaper.

      Here is an overview for where overwater bungalows are located and the kinds of resorts in each place. There are many all-inclusives in the Maldives, but not in most other areas. Let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

  • ivy says:

    which hotel allow kids stay at water villa? thx

  • Jay says:

    Hi Roger:
    I’m looking at spending about 4 days in Maldives – have been researching and viewing all the different resorts with 4 star and higher water villas. I’m a widower and this will be my first solo vacation, my planned dates are: mid December or mid January. Is one time better than the other weather wise and price wise?
    I just want a quite get away with a great spa. I’m also a strict vegetarian – will I have issues with food variety and I don’t drink alcohol?
    Is it good to take an all inclusive option, because I understand the meal are rather expensive? Can you recommend 3 places that fit what I’m looking for and my max budget is upto $700/night.
    I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
    Jay

    • Roger Wade says:

      Jay,

      December and January are the same for the weather, and as long as you avoid the Christmas and New Year’s weeks, the rates should be similar as well. I’d guess that mid December would be a bit cheaper because many people don’t go until after the holidays.

      As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, I’d suggest a full board resort or just paying as you go. The all-inclusive resorts typically add about US$100 per room just for alcohol to their rates.

      There are two lists on this article about the cheapest Maldives all-inclusives. The first list are the best of the all-inclusive resorts, while the list below that is of the full-board places that offer all-inclusive options. I think any of the ones on that bottom list would be great, including Meeru Island and Veligandu, which I recommend often.

      The Maldives gets many vegetarian guests, from Europe and also from India. Many of the workers there are from India as well, so they are obviously very familiar with veg cooking. As long as you choose one of the larger resorts, with at least 80 or so total villas (including island villas), I’m sure you’d have many veg options at every meal. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • Gabriel says:

    Hi Roger,
    You seem to be quite an expert so wanted to ask for your opinion!
    We (My wife, 2 year old ,9 months old and I) are planning to spend 3-4 nights in the Maldives towards end of March/April.
    1- Would the weather be OK then?
    2- Is a beach villa “safer” for our toddler – Ideally we would want a water villa.
    3- Is it better to take a full board option?
    Any recommendation from your end would be highly appreciated! (I checked the lists of Family resort AND the water villas for 4 that you published which I found very useful).
    Thank you in advance!
    Gabriel

    • Roger Wade says:

      Gabriel,

      Sorry for the slow response, but I was moving.

      1. The weather in the Maldives is pretty much perfect and identical all year long, except that June can be a bit rainy. Otherwise it’s warm every day and every night, and the rain storms tend to last no more than 30 minutes at a time.

      2. Many resorts won’t even book young children in a water villa, although some will if you sign a waiver. They all have a heavy sliding glass door or other heavy door to get out to the deck, so as long as the 2-year-old isn’t able to open that on their own, you should be okay. The decks do usually have one fully open side, so you’d want to have strict supervision when the kids are out on the deck. The walkways to reach the villas are usually without rails as well, so you do need to be careful.

      3. Most resorts include breakfast in the room rate. The full-board option would include a buffet lunch and dinner, so it really depends on what the rates are with or without that. Food in the Maldives is not cheap. In an a la carte restaurant at one of these resorts you’d be paying at least US$20 or so for lunch and probably US$30 for dinner for the adults. So for a couple, those meals will add about US$100 per day to the cost. If the full-board option is cheaper than that, it’s a good deal.

      I don’t have any specific recommendations for water villa resorts for families with young children. And again, many places won’t even allow them in the water villas. You might even consider an island villa for part of the stay and a water villa for only one or two nights, so you can experience it without having to worry the whole trip. Sorry I can’t be of more help on this. -Roger

  • Jeff says:

    Roger, my question is slightly different. I have a family of 5 (2 boys – college and 1 daughter – HS). We are exploring the Maldives from a trip to Dubai. So far, so good. And from your answers, I got most of my lodging questions answered. The issue is then getting to Africa. Flights out of Male appear challenging. If we were trying to get to either Narobi or Capetown from Male, are we somewhat kidding ourselves or am I missing anything?

    • Roger Wade says:

      Jeff,

      MalĂ© International Airport is a tricky one. There are a few flights each day to Colombo and Singapore, but aside from that it’s mostly flights going to and from big cities where wealthy people can afford a Maldives holiday. You can see all of the destinations that fly there directly on the Wikipedia page for the airport. My best guess is that the cheapest flight to southern Africa would be through the UAE or Qatar, even though you have to go quite a bit north to make that connection. Best of luck on this. -Roger

  • Kristen says:

    How is the drinking water in the Maldives? Strange question, I know, but when we vacation in Mexico and have to be ever vigilant about avoiding ice cubes and tap water, and when I travel to India for work and worry about pathogens in water and food, it’s EXHAUSTING. I’m hatching a plan to take a big trip with my family, but I don’t have the energy to police my kids on what they eat/drink etc.

    • Roger Wade says:

      Kristen,

      The tap water at most Maldives resorts gets shipped onto the island and fed into the system. From everything I’ve heard, it’s actually drinkable for the most part, unlike most other places in Asia. However, I think pretty much all resorts not only recommend that you drink bottled water, but they typically leave a couple bottles in each room each day. You can also buy more from a little store on each island, or pay a higher price if you drink additional bottles out of the minibar. Obviously it depends on the resort, but my experience is that safe bottled drinking water is always a fairly reasonable price in places where tap water isn’t perfectly potable.

      Overall you will be very impressed with the Maldives, at least once you get to one of the private-island resorts. The standards of hygiene and that sort of thing are much better than you’d typically get in Thailand, for example. Have a wonderful trip. -Roger

  • Sinta says:

    Hi Roger, need a help here. Planning to go to Maldives in mid-end Dec. A family of 6, 4 kids (14, 12, 7 and 4). We really want to experience water villa and look for where 6 of us can be in 1 villa. Any suggestion and advice are greatly appreciated.Thanks

    • Roger Wade says:

      Sinta,

      Sorry for the slow response, but I was on a trip. Unfortunately, the most you can fit into a standard water villa in the Maldives is 4 people, and most limit it to 3 people. Many of them don’t even allow younger children in the water villas at all because the piers don’t have hand railings and the terraces for the villas don’t either. A handful of the super-luxury water villa resorts have 2-bedroom units, but those start at around US$3,000 per night. So your best and cheapest option would be to get 2 normal water villas at a more affordable resort. With your situation with 4 children that may not be ideal, of course. Sorry the news isn’t better. -Roger

  • Laine says:

    Hi Roger,
    So much choice I need your advice please!
    My husband and I have been to Maldives a few times but now thinking if taking our 3 teenage daughters with us so looking for a more teenage friendly as opposed to couply resort. They’re not into kids/teenage clubs, organised activities etc. Into water sports, snorkelling etc. Would like water bungalows although not sure how this will work possibly 2?!

    Thanks in advance

    • Roger Wade says:

      Laine,

      One challenge is that most Maldives resorts only allow 3 guests per water villa, and a few allow 4 guests, but none allow more than that except for the 2-bedroom units, which start at around US$2,500 per night. So you’ll need 2 water villas, or perhaps 1 water villa and one island room.

      If you don’t need “family” facilities such as Kids Clubs, you should probably just search among the larger resorts for good deals on your travel dates. The larger resorts typically have many more water sports and activities. I often recommend Meeru Island, which is the largest, but it’s such a large island that it feels half empty even when it’s full. They have more facilities than any other resort, including a small golf course and several pools. Best of luck with this. -Roger

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