As there are already more than 80 resorts in the Maldives that feature water villas, and more opening every year, we've broken them down into price categories.
It shouldn't be surprising that even the cheapest water villas in the Maldives are relatively expensive by most standards. They start at around US$200 per night (even lower in June and July), and some of the cheapest of them are based on all-inclusive (including alcohol) plans, so they offer better value that it might first seem. However, you'll need to spend at least a bit more to get a stand-alone water villa set over a crystal clear lagoon.
With around 30 private-island resorts listed below, choosing the best one for you can be a challenge.
For this reason we’ve sorted through all of them to find the six best based on price, user reviews, and location.
If your time is limited you might skip right to the following list.
Villa rates below are per villa, per night, double occupancy, including all taxes
Offering 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 bathtub-for-two with a view of the lagoon. Each water villa also has a large private deck with an outdoor shower, which is a common feature in the super-luxury resorts.
There are four restaurants at the Anantara Dhigu Resort, each offering high quality menus and interesting offerings, but guests here also have access to four more restaurants and plus activities at the Anantara Veli Resort, which is a short-and-free boat ride across the lagoon. This is a great choice for romantic couples in particular.
An all-inclusive property, the Angaga Island Resort has 20 water villas and 50 island rooms. This is another that is known for an especially good house reef so it’s a solid choice for divers and snorkelers looking for an all-inclusive in the lower price range.
There’s one main restaurant plus an overwater bar, but there is no swimming pool or kids’ club here, so this resort is definitely best suited for romantic couples rather than families. The low-season specials make it a great value for most of the year as well.
With 426 total rooms, villas, and suites, the Sun Island Resort is the largest private-island hotel in the Maldives. They have 68 water villas that are relatively small, but include quite a few modern amenities. Sun Island also specializes in all-inclusive packages, and offers very good value for those with good appetites.
There are many restaurants and bars here, along with a very long list of water sports and other activities, so Sun Island is ideal for those who like to mix things up. The water villas should be fine for those on romantic holidays, though there are better choices for those who can afford to spend a bit more.
Offering 47 water villas that range from large to enormous, the Sun Aqua Vilu Reef Resort operates mostly on an all-inclusive basis, and offers very good value for its category. The main buffet restaurant is also huge, which may be a turn-off for some, but it does help to speed service along.
Even the smallest class of water villas here come with a 2-person Jacuzzi on their private deck, and the larger categories all come with plunge pools or other amenities that put them more into the deluxe grouping. The list of water sports and other daytime activities here is long, so it could be ideal for families or groups, or even honeymoon couples looking for something at a reasonable price that offers a little exploration and fun as well.
Featuring 20 large water villas in addition to 140 island and beach rooms and suites, the Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort is a popular choice among the bigger Maldives resorts. You’ll find many 4-star amenities in the water villas that you wouldn’t find at many of the independent resorts.
The water villas are in fairly shallow water, especially during low tide, and there is no house reef at the island, but there is a full dive center and regular diving and snorkeling excursions so it’s still a very good choice for water sports lovers. The price is moderate considering the resort’s features, but very positive guest-reviews indicate that it’s common for people to return again and again, which is obviously a very good sign.
With a selection of water villas, semi overwater villas and beach villas, the Safari Island Resort and Spa offers a bit of everything for everyone. In total, there are only 84 rooms, great for those who are looking for a smaller resort with more privacy and seclusion.
Though the resort and rooms may be on the small side, the rooms are still larger than most regular hotel rooms. Each also features a glass bottom coffee table and steps right into the lagoon from a private deck
A fantastic choice for both romantic couples and families, the Reethi Faru Resort offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Offering both land and over the water rooms, you’ll find plenty of amenities in each. Some of these include Wi-Fi, a coffee and tea making area for those mornings in, air conditioning for those hot days, a private terrace and the ever popular private steps that lead directly into the ocean below.
The resort also plays host to various dining options, a swimming pool, an aqua gym, yoga classes and a spa. You’ll also find lots of different water activities to join in on. These range from snorkeling to windsurfing. An important feature of this resort that is worth noting are the all-inclusive options that are available.
Specializing in all-inclusive packages, the Robinson Club Maldives is a German-run 4-star resort that is very popular with groups from mainland Europe. Each of the 25 water villas is huge and has its own private Jacuzzi in addition to many other luxury amenities.
The all-inclusive buffet restaurant gets rave reviews for its quality and service, so this resort can be good value for those looking for a solid 4-star all-inclusive resort. On the basis of the rest of the offerings, there are probably better choices unless you arrange an appealing package price.
With some of the largest overwater bungalows in this price range, J Resort Alidhoo offers guests spacious rooms at a great price. There are also 5 different restaurants to choose from, providing a bit of everything for guests with different tastes. There’s also a nice sized list of water sports and land activities to partake in, making this resort great for families and active guests.
The resort is also great for those who want to keep in touch during their vacation. Rooms offer free Wi-Fi and there are many services around the island, helping to make the transition from daily life to vacation mode a little easier.
The Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa is a four-star hotel that features 60 water villas of varying classes, including many with their own Jacuzzi tub. The villas are a bit on the small side, but they are quite modern and feature some luxurious amenities, making this one of the better choices for honeymooners in the budget price range.
The all-inclusive plans are popular here, and include a good list of different restaurants and bars, so variety is available to all. There is also the standard list of diving, snorkeling, other water sports, and quite a nice spa, making this a good value resort in this range.
Operating exclusively as an all-inclusive resort, the VOI Maayafushi Resort is a small Italian operated hotel that is particularity popular with the Italian crowd. There are also only 8 overwater rooms located at the very end of the island, making a great location for those looking for privacy during their visit.
The water villas are on the basic side but still include all of the amenities that you would need to enjoy your stay. If you’re not looking for the best of everything, you find that this price is just right. With that said, 3 buffet meals per day are included and you’ll drink beer and wine for free. There is also a great house reef next to the island, making it unnecessarily to charter a boat to another location to snorkel or scuba dive.
Lovers of all things Italian should be interested in the Gangehi Island Resort, which is run by and popular with Italians. This private island resort has 16 water villas and only 40 total rooms, making it one of the smallest and most intimate resorts in all of the Maldives.
There are 8 Over Water Bungalows just at the edge of the lagoon, and 8 Deluxe Over Water Bungalows that are much larger (and quite a bit more expensive) well out over the lagoon. The full-board plan is most popular and prices are quite reasonable considering all that is included.
Featuring 106 water villas in addition to 180 beach suites and villas, the Meeru Island Resort has more overwater rooms than any other resort in the Maldives. Each villa is quite large, and even the smaller water villas come equipped with a private Jacuzzi in an open-air section of the suite, making them ideal for honeymooners and romantic types.
The size of the resort also means that it has a very long list of restaurants and bars, plus water activities of all types. The rates are more reasonable that it seems since they each include three meals per day for two guests, which can add up to a big savings in the Maldives.
Slightly different from your typical overwater resort, the Reethi Beach Resort is one of the more affordable Maldives resorts around. Instead of a room completely over the ocean or lagoon, guests will find that 30 of the resort’s rooms are semi detached with half of the room on the beach, and the other half over the water while the other 90 are completely island based.
As a medium size resort, you wouldn’t expect a ton of options but this resort has 10 different bars and restaurants to choose from along with bed and breakfast plans and an all-inclusive option. Reviews are pretty high, making this a great choice for those who would like to stretch their money as far as possible.
Thanks to special low rates that are often available, the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Luxury Resort (formerly the Hilton Maldives) usually offers the best value water villas in the Maldives, at least in the budget price range. There are 80 water villas that are each decked out with 5-star amenities and features, reminding guests of resorts where they’d cost twice as much.
This is a large resort with 10 restaurants and bars, all the diving and water sports options, plus a huge and fancy spa. A large and popular resort where every water villa is huge, this was a favorite when it was a Hilton, and the new management seems at least as good.
Packed with activities, both on land and in the sea, the Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili is a great choice for active vacationers never wanting to sit down and relax, at least not for days on end. Here activities reign king with a large selection available from snorkeling to water sports.
Water villas offer views of a lifetime with views of the reef, open ocean, beach and the island to the back. Though the rooms themselves are under $1,000, land and water excursions are independently priced so you’ll want to keep that in mind when booking and planning your stay.
Featuring 25 water villas that stretch out into the sea, the Vakarufalhi Island Resort is a small island that operates almost solely on all-inclusive stays. It also houses 50 island bungalows that stand completely on land. A relaxed feel, this resort reminds guests of a more traditional Maldives stay and is great for those who wish to go barefoot and bikini-clad the entire time.
With a 4-star rating, the resort receives very good reviews with guests loving the house reef and the many ocean activities available including snorkeling and scuba diving. Those who rather go against the grain a bit can also try their hand at freediving. Staff is very attentive and helpful and rooms are one the large size.
A small resort with a small nightly rate, the Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat Maldives is a solid choice for those seeking privacy, comfort, and lots of great ocean activities. In fact, the main ocean attraction here is the resort’s whale shark adventure which allows you the chance to swim next to one (or more) of these gentle giants. In addition to ocean adventures, guests will find plenty of time to relax at the on-site spa, which offers massages and body treatments.
When looking at the rooms, there are 30 all together, with 20 of them based over the water. These overwater villas impress with views inside and outside of the room, due to the addition of a private terrace and steps that lead directly into the water below. Inside the rooms, guests will find a private bathroom, a seating area, a desk, and Wi-Fi.
One of the cheapest overwater resorts in the Maldives, Summer Island Maldives is a great choice for budget minded travelers that don’t want to miss out on that perfect Maldives vacation. Here you’ll find a total of 156 rooms, most of which are land based. The ocean based rooms however, are impressive for the price. They’re also very private, with a ‘no children allowed’ policy and either a sunset or sunrise view.
As the resort operates on an all-inclusive basis, you’ll find full board meals, drinks, and a snorkeling trip each day included in your nightly rate. Even though the nightly rate is budget friendly, the rooms here, along with the large amount of amenities and activities to partake in, make it feel more like a luxury resort.
Another good-value property that specializes in all-inclusive meal packages, the Veligandu Island Resort has 64 water villas, 54 of which feature their own semi-outdoor Jacuzzi. This is a smaller resort that is very popular with honeymoon couples and those on a romantic retreat.
In spite of the buffet-style dining, the restaurants have a great reputation for quality, making this one of the most popular choice in this price range. There are some family options as well, though in general water villas are not suitable for younger children at any of these resorts.
One of the larger 5-star private-island resorts in the area, LUX* South Ari Atoll Maldives features 87 water villas in several classes in addition to 106 beach villas and suites. The least expensive water villas here are not as large as most others in this price category, but they all have large private decks and are outfitted with luxury amenities.
The resort features a total of 9 restaurants and bars, which means guests have a wide variety of choices even for longer stays. The island is also packed with facilities such as two swimming pools, a 24-hour fitness center, and a long list of water sports options.
With a convenient location fairly close to the main international airport, the Thulhagiri Island Resort has 34 water villas and 56 island rooms. The resort operates on an all-inclusive basis with a few options as to exactly what’s included, so it’s most popular with package tourists coming for a solid week at a time.
This is a simple island with a casual atmosphere and a relatively short list of activities available, plus only one restaurant, making it ideal for visitors who mostly plan on relaxing in the sun. The resort gets good reviews from most so it has a fan base, even if it’s not perfect for most people. The off-season special rates are an excellent bargain if they are available for your dates.
Designed for both couples and families with little ones, the Movenpick Resort & Spa Kuredhivaru, aims to please with lots of great activities and amenities that are well suited for different age groups. For instance, if you love the ocean, you’ll find snorkeling, scuba diving, and other water activities to enjoy. If you are interested in keeping up with your fitness regime, or at least close to it, you’ll find the beachfront fitness center to your liking. Families with young children will find that they not only get to stay for free, but eat for free as well.
The overwater rooms here are winners with a private pool each, air conditioning, a walk in closet, hardwood floors, large bathrooms, a private wooden deck outfitted with sun loungers for comfortable seating, and lots of little extras like bathrobes and slippers.
One of the larger private island resorts in the Maldives, the Fihalhohi Island Tourist Resort features 150 rooms, though a surprisingly low number of 12 rooms are located overwater. Most guests who stay here opt for the all-inclusive package which includes drinks, though drinks are a good price to begin with.
Though English travelers do stay here, most vacationers are actually French and German so you might want to touch up on your language skills a bit before traveling. With that said, the staff get extremely high marks and are known for making guests feel welcome and at home. There are lots of activities to choose from here, though some are charged separately from your room.