More 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.
Getting the best deal
Villa rates below are per villa, per night, double occupancy, including all taxes
A very large 5-star resort with almost 300 rooms on-site, the Kandima Maldives Resort offers basically everything that you could want in a tropical resort. With great reviews detailing the snorkeling, staff and food, you’ll find that there are lots of choices for you and your loved one. These include a swimming pool overlooking the beach, a game room, kids club, gym, spa, snorkeling and various restaurants and bars.
The 60 overwater rooms feature 24 hour room service, Wi-Fi, a coffee and tea making area, a private bathroom featuring a shower and bathtub and a private deck that offers great views of the ocean.
With different types of rooms available, both on land and over the water, the Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa is great for those who love a good amount of choices. In fact, the resort houses 64 overwater bungalows and 76 island villas, all with great views. Though not an all-inclusive option, they do provide half board stays that help to create a good value.
There are also a large number of activities and amenities to choose from including snorkeling, scuba diving, other water activities and a luxury spa on-site. Located just south of the airport, it can be reached by a short 15 minute speed boat ride both day and night.
Nearly identical to its sister resort mentioned just above, the Diamonds Thudufushi is another established resort that recently added 25 unique water villas designed by a noted Italiand architect. This is a similar all-inclusive resort where guests of the water villas can choose from the main island restaurant in addition to the overwater restaurant.
The rooms are large here and have huge bathrooms featuring double shower heads and access to a private outdoor terrace area. There’s a kingsize bed with luxurious bedding as well as a sofa bed that looks out into the stunning lagoon. The house reef at both resorts here is among the best in the Maldives so this is a great choice for snorkeling and diving fans.
A small resort surrounded by beauty, the Emdubu Village Resort is a great value for those looking for a tropical vacation on a budget. Here you’ll find 106 beach rooms alongside 16 overwater bungalows. These bungalows however, differ from your normal stand alone villa and instead are grouped into 4 villas per building. This means that each room will have 1 or 2 neighbors sharing a wall.
Due to the small size of the resort, there is a limited amount of activities to be enjoyed and only 1 restaurant on-site but the value is hard to beat. If you’re not looking for amenities galore and the absolute best in luxury, you’ll find that this resort is perfect for your budget friendly, yet splendid holiday.
Newly 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.
One of the few in this price range that operates on an all-inclusive basis, the Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa offers good value and deluxe facilities. Each of the 30 water villas here has its own Jacuzzi spa among other amenities, making it quite popular with the honeymoon crowd.
The normal all-inclusive rates are quite reasonable, and guests can choose to upgrade to the all-inclusive plus plan, which includes alcohol and other extras, so those who like to drink a bit on holiday might get good use of that option. With 184 total rooms, this is one of the larger resorts of its kind, and it features 8 different restaurants and bars for your dining and drinking pleasure.
Featuring 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.
A 4-star resort will within the budget range, the Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort is a great choice for those who are looking for private overwater bungalows that offer all of the basic amenities plus a few more. There are 3 different room choices that are based over the water, yet they all include a kingsize bed, Wi-Fi, room service, air conditioning and a private outdoor deck with steps leading into the ocean.
The resort also plays host to 2 different restaurants, giving you the option to either eat in your room or at a table at one of the restaurants. In addition to the dining options, you’ll find various outdoor activities to enjoy, including snorkeling, jet skiing and scuba diving. The on-site spa caters with different massages as well, great for after a day on the water. This resort also has a kids club, making it a great destination for families as well as romantic couples.
With 14 water villas complete with a jacuzzi, the Komandoo Island Resort located on a private island is a great choice for those who are looking for an intimate, adults only vacation on the lower end of the price spectrum. There are also 31 beach villas available, each with views of the ocean.
Most book a stay here with the all-inclusive plan, which features all meals in the main restaurant. Lots of water and land activities are available though most spend a lot of time participating in the snorkeling and scuba diving available on the house reef.
Similar 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.
A 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.
A large resort with a total of 360 rooms, 129 of which are over the water, the Kuramathi Maldives 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 12 restaurants and 7 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.
A 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.
Specializing mostly in all-inclusive packages, the Kuredu Island Resort offers 50 water villas plus 250 beach rooms and suites, making it one of the largest resorts in the Maldives. This hotel is very popular with families and groups, both large and small, as it’s very reasonably priced and loaded with activities and a long list of restaurants and bars. There’s even a 6-hole golf course here with a pro shop.
Honeymoon couples might find more privacy elsewhere, but for a good-value 4-star holiday with almost endless water sports and other activities, this is perfect for many groups in particular.
Great 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.
A rather large resort for the Maldives with 112 rooms, the Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon Maldives has 24 water villas that are fantastic value as long as you don’t mind having one attached neighbor. Considering the price range, this resort gets extremely good reviews from previous guests.
The list of things to do during the day isn’t quite as long as at many other places, and the nightlife is quite mellow as well, but that actually suits many visitors to the Maldives just fine. The house reef is very close to the beach and it’s said to be one of the better reefs in the region, so this is especially good for divers and snorkelers.
With only 2 water villas, the Bandos Island Resort & Spa is actually more of a beach resort than anything. It also is very close to the airport, making it convenient for travelers who wish to experience a Maldives vacation without the hassle of finding transportation to islands further away.
Even though there are only 2 overwater villas at the resort, each one is very spacious and quite luxurious, with a price to match. As a family oriented resort, guests will find that the rooms are great for kids and large groups. There is also a long list of activities available, including snorkeling and diving.
Anantara 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.
A 5-star resort offering both land and overwater villas, the Grand Park Kodhipparu Resort is a great choice for both families and romantic couples. If you’re looking for a wedding destination, you’ll want to keep this resort in mind. Here you’ll not only find wedding facilities, but a spa as well. If you’re traveling with kids in tow, you’ll be glad to know that the resort provides a kids club right on-site. You’ll also find lots of outdoor activities to partake in like snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, kayaking and more.
In each of the overwater villas, you’ll find a mini bar, a desk, room service, Wi-Fi, and a private deck with direct access to the water below via a set of stairs. On the outdoor deck, you’ll also find an outdoor shower and sun loungers. Back inside the room you’ll find a fun see through glass floor section that allows you the ability to see the ocean below without having to actually get in the water.
Housing both land based and overwater villas, the Hard Rock Hotel Maldives is part of a large chain with resorts and hotels around the world. This particular resort charms with amenities fit for families with both young and older children as well as romantic couples. Here you’ll find a spa, plenty of dining options, a dive center, tours, an outdoor swimming pool, cooking classes, and a fitness center with yoga.
Inside of the overwater villas, you’ll find lots of luxuries, both big and small, to enjoy. These range from the large bed to the private terrace outfitted with sun loungers and a private pool that showcases the ocean beyond.
Only open since late 2010, the Constance Moofushi Resort is one of the newest and most modern 5-star private-island resorts in the Maldives. The Constance group runs a variety of luxury hotels throughout the Indian Ocean region, and they are known for extremely high standards and attention to detail. The price here offers better value than it might seem at first, since the whole hotel operates on an all-inclusive basis, and meals and drinks do tend to be very expensive in the Maldives, and especially at 5-star resorts.
There are two excellent restaurants and two bars here, plus a luxury spa with extensive facilities. The water villas in the cheaper class are not as large as some others in this price category, but each one includes a special entertainment system that includes a Mac Mini computer.
With a convenient location on a small island only a short speedboat ride away from the airport, the Velassaru Maldives resort has 45 water villas that range in size from large to very large, so it offers good value for those who put a premium on private space. Amenities such as a wine chiller, an espresso machine, and a home theater system in each room make this a well-appointed 4-star property.
This is mostly a couples resort, and while families are welcome, the Velassaru Maldives is better suited to honeymooners and romantic getaways. There are four restaurants and all the usual water activities available.
With a very remote location, the Medhufushi Island Resort is still simple enough to reach, and it’s a popular 4-star private-island hotel. Among its 46 water villas are two special Honeymoon Villas, which are huge, luxurious, and only accessible by a short boat ride from the island. The remaining water villas are fairly large as well, making this another good-value resort.
Though it’s definitely popular with the romantic-couples crowd, the Medhufushi Island Resort offers a great number of water sports and daytime activities. The house reef is fairly shallow, so guests must take a short boat ride to the best nearby diving spots, but otherwise there are many great options plus several restaurants and a full-service spa.
Another 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.
The larger and slightly more expensive of the two Coco Palm properties in the Maldives, the Coco 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.
Part of the anticipated CROSSROADS project by Hilton, the SAii Lagoon Maldives Resort offers a lot of great features and amenities, even though it is on the lower end of the Maldives overwater villa price bracket. At this particular resort, you’ll find dining, drinks, and activities right on-site, but you’ll find even more just on the other side of a 100 meter long footbridge that takes you over the lagoon and onto the main island, which boosts entertainment, dining, and shopping options.
You’ll also find several different types of room options, including overwater villas that feature their own private terrace, along with steps that lead directly from the terrace into the lagoon below. Inside the rooms you’ll quickly notice how large the space is, giving you ample room to move about without bumping into your luggage.
A luxurious 4-star all-inclusive resort, the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa has 62 water villas in 3 different styles and sizes in addition to its 42 island rooms. The basic all-inclusive package comes with food and most drinks, but the resort also offers a premium Island Club level that also includes an additional restaurant and other features.
All the water villas here are large and well appointed, and almost all of them feature a Jacuzzi spa and a heavenly rain shower on the deck. The prices are higher than many of their all-inclusive competitors in the Maldives, but the quality is there to justify it, even without the Island Club add-ons.
Only 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.
As 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.
This resort is currently closed.
A large resort catering with 115 rooms, some land based while others are situated over the lagoon and ocean, The Standard Maldives is designed for the adventurous soul who would also like a few moments of relaxation. If you’re looking for a full board experience, you’ll find one here with a full board package that includes drinks and unlimited access to the resort’s very own water park.
There are 10 different room choices, with all of the overwater rooms featuring a private outdoor deck and a private pool. Inside you’ll find air conditioning, a king size bed, Wi-Fi, a coffee machine and minibar. Though the rooms are impressive and offer a lot, the snorkeling and scuba diving are the main attractions. In fact, there are multi day cruises available through the resort as well.
Having 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.
Part of a chain of similar resorts in the Maldives, the Adaaran Club Rannalhi features 15 water villas that are all on the large side, in a gorgeous setting on a private island. The house reef here is said to be one of the best, so divers and snorkelers tend to be very satisfied.
There are four restaurants and bars, and the resort offers full-board plans that include all meals, plus all-inclusive plans that also include alcohol. Those who like to indulge could find those to be very good deals in the end, since food and drinks are usually astronomically expensive at these small private-island resorts. Overall, if you can get their special online rate, this is among the best deals in the Maldives.
Opened in 2012, this boutique resort is meant for the young and stylish, offering something new for the Maldives. The Viceroy Malidves is part of a worldwide chain of upscale properties, all known for impeccable service. The 32 water villas here each come with a private pool and are huge on the inside and out, and the furnishings are more urban than most upmarket tropical resorts.
Even with only 61 total rooms, there are 5 restaurants and bars and the usual long list of water sports and excursion options. The most notable feature of the Viceroy Maldives is its single Royal Villa, which has 3 bedrooms, several pools and Jacuzzis, and is the second largest water villa in the world. The resort is not cheap, but it looks like a great choice for those with bigger budgets.
A large resort with 12 overwater rooms, the Kihaa 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.
A very large resort with over 50 overwater rooms, the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is a private island resort that is actually pretty close to and easy to travel from the main Maldives airport. You’ll find that this resort is the only overwater resort in the Maldives that will accept guests throughout the night, alongside regular daytime hours.
You’ll also find that this resort is a fantastic choice for those seeking an exciting overwater tropical vacation that’s filled with lots of ocean based activities. Notable activities include wakeboarding, banana boats, and snorkeling the clear waters that surround the rooms. With that said, if you’re also looking to relax a bit, the on-site spa offers a full service menu with treatments and therapies in a private pavilion.
Another of the larger resorts in the Maldives, the Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives Resort is set apart by the fact that it’s one of the very few with its own surfing beach. The 55 water villas complement the 60 rooms on the island, and all are roomy and comfortable.
In this price range this resort seems like excellent value, with a long list of daytime activities and very good nightlife as well. Those who prefer quiet at night will be able to find better choices in the Maldives, but those who like to live it up a bit should find this resort quite appealing.
A 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.
A highly reviewed overwater resort that caters to couples, the Noku Maldives Resort is a solid choice in this price range. At this property you’ll find three different types of villas to select from, totaling to 50 rooms situated over the water and on land. The water villas differ in size and only some of them feature a private pool, but other than that, they all house the same amenities, including an outdoor shower that acts as an addition to the inside shower.
When venturing around the resort, you’ll find a gym, a spa, a yoga studio, a gift shop, and a watersports centre. This center grants you access to scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing and more.
Featuring only 36 villas total, 30 of which are over the water, the Mirihi Island Resort is one of the smallest private-island resorts in the Maldives. Unlike most of the larger islands, there are almost no child-friendly activities here, so it’s more or less a couples resort that is ideal for romantic holidays.
The water villas are fairly good in size and offer most 4-star amenities, but they have no televisions, which could be good or bad depending on your goals. Those looking for a small and intimate private island will find the Mirihi Island Resort to be ideal and a great value.
A haven for ocean enthusiasts, the Fushifaru Maldives Resort offers guests splendid opportunities to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving through one of the many tour options that the resort offers. In addition, guests will also find fishing, a gym, an outdoor swimming pool, and a private beach.
The overwater villas offer guests 24 hour room service, air conditioning, a mini bar, and a private outside deck that offers stunning views of the ocean. Though this resort is more suited to couples, you’ll see a few families here from time to time.
A large resort featuring the same amount of land based rooms as overwater suites, the Emerald Maldives Resort caters to both romantic couples and families traveling with their children. Each room aims to impress with a minibar, large terrace, private jacuzzi, and private pool that overlooks the ocean. In addition, each overwater villa comes with steps that lead directly into the ocean, perfect for a quick swim.
Outside of the rooms, guests will find plenty of activities to enjoy, each and every day of their stay. These range from the ever popular snorkeling and scuba diving to kayaking, tennis, and jet skiing. If you’re traveling with children, you’ll also note the enormous on-site kids club offers a nice sized variety of activities that are kid approved. Those traveling with romance in mind will love the resort’s on-site spa.
A 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.
Offering its guests both land based and ocean based rooms, the Sun Aqua Iru Veli Resort prides itself on large rooms that deliver expansive views. In the overwater villas here, you’ll notice that the room itself spans outward onto a 2 story private deck, a private pool, and private steps that lead out into the ocean making it so that you can enjoy an afternoon swim.
Alongside luxury rooms, guests here will enjoy a spa, dining options, ocean activities and the option to select an all-inclusive stay. Because there is a reef right off shore, you’ll have lots of time to enjoy the underwater world while staying at this resort by either snorkeling or scuba diving, or both.