Luxury water villas in the Maldives

12145_15061013590029141387More than half of the water villas in the world (which are known as overwater bungalows in the South Pacific) are located in the Maldives. There are over 80 resorts here featuring these popular rooms and nearly all of them are luxurious, but since there are so many we’ve divided them into three groups.

This middle group includes a wide range of resorts, some which specialize in all-inclusive meal and drink plans, and some which are intimate and are very popular with the honeymoon crowd. Finding the perfect fit may feel daunting, so you might want to check out the main page that recommends resort for over a dozen different preferences.

Below is our middle section, with a great range of possibilities and styles.

  • High season is generally December through April
  • Low season is generally May through November

Getting the best deal

  • The best rates are usually when booked for a full week, and often include 1 or 2 free days as part of the special rate.
  • Many resorts offer up to 25% off for those who book at least 30 to 60 days in advance, so those early-bird discounts are included in many of the rates below.

Water villas starting from US$600 to US$899

Villa rates below are per villa, per night, double occupancy, including all taxes

Veligandu Island Resort

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

41486_14020513430018253807Another 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.

  • Low season online specials from US$615 per night
  • High season online specials from US$809 per night

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Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa

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

49058_16061415530043550142The 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.

  • Low season online specials from US$631 per night
  • High season online specials from US$872 per night

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Filitheyo Island Resort

  • Water villas: 16
  • Total rooms/suites: 125

12145_15061013580029141352Featuring 16 of the largest water villas in the Maldives, the Filitheyo Island Resort has a rather remote location, but prices are very reasonable compared to its competition. This is a 4-star hotel that may not be as fancy as some of the others, but those who enjoy spreading out and having a large private space will enjoy it here.

There are 109 beach villas, and only three restaurants and bars, so service does lag at times when everyone decides to dine at the same time. However, there are plenty of activities to choose from and this place gets many repeat guests, so it could be a good choice for many people.

  • Low season online specials from US$638 per night
  • High season online specials from US$933 per night

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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

  • Water villas: 56
  • Total rooms/suites: 176

12147_15091701450036102964Similar to the Hilton Maldives mentioned above, the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is nicer and more posh than you’d expect for an international chain hotel. This is a large resort with 56 water villas that are kept to a high 4-star standard. The location is also very convenient, being only a 20-minute speedboat ride north of the airport.

As such a large resort, guests have six restaurants and bars to choose from, plus a very long list of water sports and activities, plus a few nightlife options that are rare in the Maldives. The spa here is also excellent and very popular, so this could be ideal for honeymooners of anniversary trips where the theme is pampering.

    • Low season online specials from US$647 per night
    • High season online specials from US$1,132 per night

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Paradise Island Resort – Maldives

  • Water villas: 62
  • Total rooms/suites: 282

12161_16032413510041041811Another of the larger private-island resorts in the Maldives, the Paradise Island Resort is a deluxe 4-star hotel that features 62 water villas plus 220 beach villas and suites. The new Haven section of the resort features 22 water villas and its own restaurant, so guests in that section can choose to stay over water for days at a time if they please.

The water villas here are all quite large, and there is a very long list of activities and restaurants available, plus a luxurious spa. The location is also very convenient, being one of the shortest speedboat rides from the airport. The size of the resort combined with the separate overwater Haven section means this could be ideal for a honeymoon or even a group holiday. Considering the amenities and size of the villas, the prices here are very reasonable as well.

  • Low season online specials from US$656 per night
  • High season online specials from US$726 per night

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Kihaad Maldives Resort

  • Water villas: 12
  • Total rooms/suites: 118

337641_15061014110029145923A large resort with 12 overwater rooms, the Kidaad Maldives Resort prides itself on great views that will keep you coming back again and again. There are also 106 rooms on island that allow guests quick access to both the beach and water. Though this is a very family friendly resort with a Kids Club and swimming pool, the overwater bungalows are a kid free zone. This makes them perfect for romantic couples looking for a bit of peace, quiet and privacy.

The resort itself operates as an all-inclusive and houses 4 restaurants and 3 lounges along with lots of activities. It is also very close to a domestic airport, great for those who rather venture on a commercial flight than the sea-plane option.

  • Low season online specials from US$672 per night
  • High season online specials from US$917 per night

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Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

  • Water villas: 40
  • Total rooms/suites: 40

49121_15122114490038653976A boutique resort that only opened in 2009, the Adaaran Prestige Vadoo consists solely of 40 water villas, each with its own personal butler. Each water villa is large and very well appointed, and the butlers have a reputation for smoothing out the details of a holiday, including putting meal orders in early and automatically, among other things.

Each villa also comes with a glass floor section for viewing of the sea life directly below, as well as a large Jacuzzi tub with a view in the bathroom. The snorkeling and diving are excellent in the house reef within the lagoon, so it’s popular with water lovers. There’s only one restaurant plus a cigar bar, but the restaurant is also located over the water and serves food of very high standards, so this is an ideal smaller resort for romantic couples in particular.

  • Low season online specials from US$672 per night
  • High season online specials from US$773 per night

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The Residence Maldives Resort

  • Water villas: 75
  • Total rooms/suites: 94

295576_15061514540029539502Newly opened in summer of 2012, the Residence Maldives Resort features 75 water villas that are all very large, about half of them with their own private plunge pool on the sundeck. This is the newest in the Residence chain, which already operates 3 other hotels in Africa and the Indian Ocean, all of which are highly acclaimed.

The resort features two gourmet restaurants and a bar, plus private dining opportunities, and a long list of daytime activities and excursions. Early reviews literally couldn’t be any better, which is unusual for a Maldives launch because it’s difficult to have everything ready at the same time. For this reason, we think this is going to be a real winner in the upscale category.

  • Low season online specials from US$688 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,052 per night

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Kanuhara Resort

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

41481_15060417390028554455With each villa coming equipped with its own private host, the Kanuhara Resort is a luxurious 5-star hotel that features 20 huge water villas with all the first-class amenities you’d expect. Among its many restaurants and bars is what is billed as the Maldives’ first private-island restaurant, where guests arrive by boat to a perfect and intimate tropical setting.

The Kanuhara Resort also features what they say is the first and only proper disco in the Maldives, but with so many other choices it seems that there is something for everyone. They also have a Kids Club and other family facilities, though the huge and private water villas could still be ideal for romantic couples.

  • Low season online specials from US$692 per night
  • High season online specials from US$850 per night

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Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort – All Inclusive

  • Water villas: 40
  • Total rooms/suites: 40

97258_15122917440038789772Having undergone a full remodel in 2009, plus a name change and the addition of 40 water villas, the Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort is now in the solid 4-star category, but with some 5-star features such as a personal butler for each villa. In addition to the normal selection of water sports, this resort also has a proper surf beach plus rentals and lessons, so it’s popular with the surfing crowd.

The water villas are all quite large and luxurious, which isn’t true of the beach villas at the sister resort on the island, so it’s probably best to pay for the better rooms. There are four restaurants and bars in addition to 24-hour in-villa room service, so this could be a good honeymoon hotel, especially for those who like to surf.

  • Low season online specials from US$694 per night
  • High season online specials from US$770 per night

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Zitahli Dholhiyadhoo Resort

  • Water villas: 65
  • Total rooms/suites: 100

161589_15061014050029143461With 100 villas in total, the Zitahli Dholhiyadhoo Resort is at the top of its class and treats guests like royalty. Out of all of the villas, 65 are over the water and provide guests with 3 different villa choices from deluxe aqua villas, super deluxe villas with a pool and stand alone aqua villas with pool. These villas are very large in size with the largest composed of 2 levels.

Here, there is also a large amount of activities to choose from including world class snorkeling. There is also a first class spa on-site with many different spa treatments and options available.

  • Low season online specials from US$740 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,216 per night

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Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort

  • Water villas: 20
  • Total rooms/suites: 160

161587_16012716450039438662Featuring 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 amentities 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.

  • Low season online specials from US$753 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,066 per night

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Nika Island Resort All-Inclusive

  • Water villas: 10
  • Total rooms/suites: 37

70347_15081619440034373666Especially popular with an Italian crowd, the Nika Island Resort is a rather small and unusual private-island hotel. The 10 water villas are relatively new, and the 27 beach bungalows are noted for having their own little private beach out front, each with a private Jacuzzi as well.

Most guests find the resort quite charming and are fond of the food as well as the house reef, but things here are a bit more basic than at most of the larger and more modern resorts so it’s not an obvious choice for most visitors who aren’t getting a fantastic package deal.

  • Low season online specials from US$756 per night
  • High season online specials from US$926 per night

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Maafushivaru Resort Maldives

  • Water villas: 22
  • Total rooms/suites: 48

409631_15060813150028855193A small boutique private island resort, the Maafushivaru Resort Maldives houses 48 villas, 22 of which are situated over the water. Each villa is large in size and comes with a mini bar and bathtub with views of the ocean.

If you love coffee, you’ll find exactly what you need at an on-site coffee shop alongside two restaurants and a few bars, one of which serves only wine. You’ll also find a unique resort amenity, a private ‘desert island’ a short boat ride away. Ocean lovers will have a blast exploring the sea by snorkeling and diving the house reef.

  • Low season online specials from US$776 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,257 per night

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Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas – Maldives

  • Water villas: 25
  • Total rooms/suites: 71

49057_14052614340019571337An established all-inclusive resort that recently added 25 stunning water villas, the Diamonds Athuruga Resort along with its sister resort (below) adds a new sense of Italian style to the Maldives. Each bungalow is very large and decorated in white both inside and out. If you prefer European elegance to an Indian Ocean hut then these resorts could be ideal for you.

The all-inclusive plans here include most alcohol and even a few excursions and activities that aren’t included at most resorts. With this in mind the value here is quite good for a 5-star private-island resort. Each room here also includes an Apple iMac computer with movies and music ready for you, which is a classy touch that you won’t find elsewhere.

  • Low season online specials from US$792 per night
  • High season online specials from US$925 per night

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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 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.

  • Low season online specials from US$793 per night
  • High season online specials from US$909 per night

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Amilla Fushi Resort

  • Water villas: 42
  • Total rooms/suites: 70

759829_16032913410041142202A different take on the usual overwater resort, the Amilla Fushi Resort allows guests to choose between different ‘houses’ some of which are on land while others over the water. Each of the overwater houses faces out into the ocean, providing guests with beautiful views of the ocean from their private sundeck or pool.

Adventures will find great snorkeling and diving opportunities around the island as well as a beach and swimming pool to relax in. There is also a spa on-site that offers a full range or treatments, hair services and even some yoga. If you’re a foodie, you’ll find a nice selection of dishes to try at each of the resort’s 4 restaurants.

  • Low season online specials from US$793 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,190 per night

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Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa

  • Water villas: 60
  • Total rooms/suites: 142

149061_16051808000042426230As the Maldives’ first (and so far only) resort south of the equator, the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa has a remote location, though it’s fairly convenient to reach. Those with private planes can fly directly to an airport that is only 8 minutes away by speedboat, making this place popular with the super-rich.

Each of the 60 water villas is huge and loaded with luxury amenities. The service is extremely attentive, and the 6 restaurants and bars are all of very high standards. In spite of the price and remoteness, they have good facilities for children and families, so this is a good choice for romance or for a group.

  • Low season online specials from US$799 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,723 per night

>>>More information about the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives
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Constance Halaveli Resort

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

165484_15122911510038778007A popular choice for active couples, the Constance Halaveli Resort has 57 water villas, each with its own plunge pool on its private sun deck. The water villas are quite large inside as well, and include a modern entertainment system based around an iMac computer.

There are 4 restaurants and bars, and notable nightlife, which will be ideal for some but a turn-off for others. There are many activities and excursions available as well, so this is a very good choice for couples and families who want to sample what the Maldives have to offer rather than just sit in the sun. The low-season online special rates make it an excellent value.

  • Low season online specials from US$822 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,437 per night

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Cocoa Island Resort

  • Water villas: 33
  • Total rooms/suites: 36

65498_15060814270028875850For an unforgettable boutique 5-star experience it’s well worth considering the Cocoa Island Resort, which features 33 water villas that are all shaped like Maldivian fishing boats, plus 3 beach villas. As one of the smallest of the water villa resorts, this provides an intimate experience that is ideal for honeymooners, but probably not well suited to families or groups.

There’s only one restaurant and one bar, but each are of top-quality standard and offer a large variety. The diving and snorkeling in the area are excellent, which might help make up for the smaller number of other activities. Still, for romantic holidays, the style and simplicity of the resort might be perfect.

  • Low season online specials from US$824 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,086 per night

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Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

  • Water villas: 14
  • Total rooms/suites: 94

65497_15060718540028776942Great for those looking to unplug from their busy lives, the Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Resort offers an island paradise free from stress filled days. It’s also great for newlyweds and romantic couples as privacy is ever present. There are 14 different overwater villas and 80 land villas, giving guests a choice of where they would like to stay.

Each villa is nicely sized and large by villa standards. They also include a private plunge pool that overlooks the ocean. If you’re looking for a super sized villa, you’ll find 2 Sunset Lagoon Villas that are almost twice the size of the other water villas on-site. There is also a large amount of water sports and other activities to choose from along with 5 restaurants and bars.

  • Low season online specials from US$841 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,223 per night

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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

  • Water villas: 55
  • Total rooms/suites: 64

12169_13100312460016828268Located on a small private island not far south of the capital, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is a 5-star property operated by the famous Taj Resorts group of India. The 55 water villas here come in several classes ranging from large to enormous. The least-expensive class offers great value considering this small island is first-class all the way.

The higher classes of water villas each include their own private plunge pool on the deck, plus many other luxury amenities. They even have one Presidential Villa Suite, which is one of the largest and most luxurious water villas in the world.

  • Low season online specials from US$843 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,031 per night

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JA Manafaru Resort

  • Water villas: 48
  • Total rooms/suites: 84

168882_15081914510034606593A resort ranked high in both customer service and food, the JA Manafaru Resort is perfect for families and couples. With that said, families with kids under 18 must stay in the beach villas while anyone older than 18 can have their choice of overwater bungalow. Each of the 48 water villas comes with a private deck and private pool overlooking the ocean, creating that perfect romantic moment.

There are also a large number of activities to choose from including snorkeling the reef, kayaking over the reef, jet skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving and tennis among others. There is even a kid friendly CoolZone.

  • Low online specials from US$849 per night
  • High online specials from US$987 per night

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Club Med Kani

  • Water villas: 75
  • Total rooms/suites: 210

club-med-kaniServing as the only overwater bungalow resort within the Club Med brand, Club Med Kani has become very popular among guests who love to stay in the lap of luxury while still being close to the airport. Although priced higher than other resorts in the 4-star category, this resort is perfect for those who love to drink and go on daily adventures.

In fact, guests will find a Sailing school, snorkeling, kayaking, soccer, beach volleyball and tons of other sports and activities to choose from. As an international destination resort, there is lots of activity day in and day out which is great for families and groups but may be ill suited to honeymooning couples.

  • Low season online specials from US$850 per night
  • High season online specials from US$850 per night

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Anantara Veli Resort

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

148962_14021316150018333336Anantara operates three resorts that are on neighboring islands, and the Anantara Veli is at the heart of it. Featuring 50 water villas and no other rooms, this small private-island resort has a luxury boutique feel, at prices that are surprisingly reasonable.

Even the bottom class of water villas are large, and there are four different restaurants and bars available, plus a luxurious spa. Guests can also take a short boat ride to a neighboring resort to experience any of their four restaurants or other facilities, so the Anantara Veli affords guests great variety and possibilities along with an intimate size.

  • Low season online specials from US$854 per night
  • High season online specials from US$964 per night

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Lily Beach Resort And Spa – Maldives

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

41483_15060415140028499547Another 5-star private-island resort that operates on an all-inclusive basis, the Lily Beach Resort and Spa features 56 water villas, though 16 of those are barely perched over the edge of the lagoon rather than out on stilts as the others are. Even the least expensive water villas here are large, and include a special outdoor private bathroom with a Jacuzzi.

There are two restaurants and one bar, all of very high standards. The Lily Beach Resort also has extensive facilities for children, including two kids’ pools, so it’s ideal for families. Considering the all-inclusive nature and the 5-star standards, this resort offers quite good value for the Maldives.

  • Low season online specials from US$864 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,639 per night

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Zitahli Resort & Spa Kuda-Funafaru Maldives

  • Water villas: 30
  • Total rooms/suites: 50

161589_15061014050029143461Only open since 2008, the Zitahli Resort & Spa Kuda-Funafaru is a luxury 5-star boutique resort located on one of the smaller private islands in the Maldives. Each of the water villas is huge, and spaced at least 10 meters from its neighbors, so privacy and romance are at a premium here.

There are two fine-dining restaurants plus a cafe and two bars, which with only 50 total villas, means that everything is intimate and secluded. This is one of the more remote islands in the Maldives, involving a 50-minute sea plane flight from the main airport, but it’s already very popular with honeymooners and those on anniversary trips.

  • Low season online specials from US$864 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,094 per night

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Coco Palm Bodu Hithi

  • Water villas: 56
  • Total rooms/suites: 100

12142_14031718400018733444The larger and slightly more expensive of the two Coco Palm properties in the Maldives, the Coco Palm Bodu Hithi is a 5-star resort that has 56 water villas that are all very large and loaded with luxury amenities. There are three restaurants and one bar here, all with excellent offerings and service.

Each water villa here has a split level private deck with an outdoor shower, suspended over one of the better lagoons for snorkeling and scuba diving in the region. The larger villas are enormous and have the most privacy, making this another ideal resort for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.

  • Low season online specials from US$880 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,282 per night

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Adaaran Prestige Water Villas

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

165225_15122916570038787834Sharing Meedhupparu Island with its sister resort, the Adaaran Prestige Water Villas are a new and modern set of 20 large water villas in their own private section of the island. Each comes with a private butler, and service in general is excellent and of 5-star standard.

There’s a restaurant and bar in the Adaaran Prestige Water Villas section, but guests here also have access to several other restaurants plus all the activities in the neighboring resort, which isn’t true in reverse so this is an exclusive place. For those who can afford it, this is one of the better choices in the top luxury price range.

  • Low season online specials from US$884 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,113 per night

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Kuramathi Island Resort

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

161631_14031913180018762531A large resort with a total of 296 rooms, 70 of which are over the water, the Kuramathi Island Resort serves as one of the largest 4-star resorts in the Maldives. On top of that, it’s also one of the largest private islands with a mixture of beach and wilderness areas. Because the property is so large, there are many different activities for guests to partake it as well as a nice selection of 7 restaurants and 6 bars which can be included in your all-inclusive package.

Though honeymooners do vacation here, it’s probably better for families or large groups due to the amount of activity going on everyday. In fact, families will find both kid and teen facilities alongside a number of evening entertainment options.

  • Low season online specials from US$899 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,022 per night

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