Editor’s Choice: 6 Finest super-luxury Maldives water villa resorts
With nearly 80 Maldives resorts that feature overwater villas, it's rarely easy to find the one that suits you best. Just because a hotel has a high rack rate doesn't mean that it's one of the best out there, so we've gone through all of them to create a list of the absolute best of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives to help you find the best for you.
The majority of the overwater bungalow resorts in the Maldives are 4-star or 5-star, so expectations tend to be high at any of them, but some deliver on the super-luxury promise far better than others, and those are listed below. We keep a list of all of the most luxurious Maldives resorts for those who have the time to spend the time researching a great number of them.
The best resorts have amazing service and an exclusive feel
All of the private-island resorts listed below feature very large water bungalows with luxury amenities, but at the best resorts it's the service that make them stand out from the pack. In many of these each water villa has a private host assigned to them upon arrival who will accommodate you however possible, including arranging restaurant reservations and activities.
On top of all of this the finest luxury resorts also offer a sense of something special that you can't get at the crowded resorts and their buffet restaurants. All of the hotels listed below get among the very best guest reviews in the Maldives, so they offer excellent value on top of everything else listed.
Best super-luxury resorts in the Maldives
- Water villas: 30
- Total rooms/suites: 75
Arguably the most famous overwater villa resort in the Maldives, Baros Island invented the 5-star style in this area. They have 30 water villas beautifully set in a semi-circle in the lagoon for maximum privacy, in addition to 45 island rooms and suites. Each water villa is quite large and filled with high-end amenities, some of which are a private in-villa wine chiller and bar, an espresso machine and a bathtub with a view of the sea beyond.
The excellent diving and snorkeling here as well as its convenient location only 20 minutes by speedboat from the main airport add to its charms, but it's really all about the service. The Baros Resort gets amazing reviews and a constant stream of repeat guests, so considering they are among the more expensive options, you know they are doing something right here.
- Low season online specials from US$1,485 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,596 per night
- Water villas: 45
- Total rooms/suites: 45
A different kind of luxury, the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives (formerly known as Soneva Gili by Six Senses) resort is designed for comfort and privacy, where most guests happily go barefoot for days at a time. Among the 45 water villas here is by far the largest in the world at 1400 square meters, and there are 7 others along with that one that are only accessible by boat. These are some reasons many celebrities choose this resort when in the Maldives.
Even the smaller classes of overwater villas are enormous with multiple levels, but it's important to note that they are built with many outdoor areas so guests can relax in the warm tropical breezes rather than only in an air conditioned bedroom area. The summer low-season online specials at this resort make it one of the best luxury bargains in the Maldives, if not the world.
- Low season online specials from US$1,506 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,932 per night
- Water villas: 32
- Total rooms/suites: 150
A stunning and unique island, the One & Only Maldives offers 32 water villas in small clusters set off at angles for maximum privacy. There are 118 island rooms as well, each with its own strip of beach, and everything is 5-star plus throughout. The One & Only resort chain is known for super-luxury properties and the finest service, for those who can afford it.
All the water villas are huge and each comes with a personal villa host to attend to your every need. The largest two are much larger and come with a private pool out on the terrace. All of the suites feature air conditioning, a private bar and a split level deck to enjoy. Guest reviews here are overwhelmingly positive, which isn't always the case in this price category, so it's obvious that One & Only are very serious about their goal of creating the best experiences for all guests.
- Low season online specials from US$1,463 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,918 per night
- Water villas: 60
- Total rooms/suites: 142
With a very remote location that is billed as the Maldives first and only resort south of the Equator, Shangri-La's Villingili Resort is a newer 5-star property with 60 huge ovewater villas in addition to nearly 90 island rooms and suites. The diving and snorkeling are among the best in the Maldives, and guests rave about the absolute beauty of the island itself.
With 5 restaurants and bars as well as a long list of activities of all types, this resort is great for families though also very popular with the honeymoon crowd, making it a multifaceted resort. Among its best features is its close proximity to a small airport where private planes can land, so it's very popular for those with access to their own aircraft.
- Low season online specials from US$870 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,086 per night
5 – Kanuhara Resort
- Water villas: 20
- Total rooms/suites: 95
Each of the 20 huge water villas at the Kanuhura Resort comes with its own private villa host, so amazing service is virtually guaranteed. There are 75 island rooms and suites, and everything on the property is a serious 5-star in quality, including the unique Kandu restaurant on its own private islet in the lagoon.
You can count on excellent diving and snorkeling plus a large variety of other water sports options, and even an attended Kids Club, making this one of the better luxury choices for families. With a total of 9 different restaurants and bars plus an actual nightclub, the Kanuhara Island Resort offers fantastic variety for fewer than 100 guest rooms.
- Low season online specials from US$1,586 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,921 per night
- Water villas: 71
- Total rooms/suites: 150
Actually set on two private islands that are connected by a long elevated walking path, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort offers a rare adults-only area on one island for those who'd prefer a kids-free environment. There are 71 water villas and 79 additional rooms in total, each appointed as you'd expect for this luxurious wing of the Hilton Hotels chain with Wi-Fi, an entertainment system, room service, ocean view baths and more.
The water villas here come in a variety of sizes and configurations, with many including their own outdoor spa tub or a plunge pool. Among the other luxurious novelties here are the world's only all-glass undersea restaurant and an overwater restaurant and an overwater spa.
- Low season online specials from US$751 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,081 per night