Believe it or not, there are a few golf courses on islands in the Maldives. The ones that are now open are quite small, but definitely better than nothing for someone who likes to mix in at least a bit of golf on their sunshine holiday.

Two pitch & putt courses (6 holes and 9 holes) have been operating for a while now, and a longer course with 9 holes that average 123 yards has just recently opened. This is the first course where you might need to bring more than a wedge and a putter, but the good news is that each of the 3 golf resorts also have proper-sized driving ranges so you can actually bang around with your woods if you are in the mood.

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A new full-sized golf course planned for 2013

The plan sounds a bit too ambitious to be true, but sometimes these things actually happen. A Dutch company has designed and is supposed to be building a 27-hole “floating” golf course on 3 islands only a short boat ride away from the Male International Airport. Golfers will go between islands in underwater tunnels, and the project is said to be budgeted at around US$500 million.


The schedule says that it won’t be complete until 2015, but will be ready for play by the end of 2013. There are 200 villas planned as well, so it appears to be a full-on golf resort if they actually build it. We’ll update things as we hear news.


January, 2017 update: The golf course was never completed.

3 Maldives water-villa resorts with golf courses

Kuredu Island Resort – Maldives

  • Water villas: 50
  • Total rooms/suites: 300


Primarily an all-inclusive resort, the 50 water villas here plus the 250 island rooms and suites make this one of the larger resorts in the Maldives. The villas and rooms come in a great variety of sizes and configurations, so this is an ideal resort for families and groups who might be coming in with different budgets among them.


The golf course here is only 6 holes and a pitch & putt course as well, so it’s probably more of a novelty than a place to get some serious golf in. However, the resort has modest prices and a lot of other things in its favor, so if you want to get a bit of golfing in while staying in the Maldives this is an obvious choice.


  • Low season online specials from US$629 per night
  • High season online specials from US$704 per night
>More information about the Kuredu Island Resort – Maldives >Check rates

Meeru Island Resort – Maldives

  • Water villas: 106
  • Total rooms/suites: 286


With 106 water villas plus 180 island rooms and suites, the Meeru Island Resort is one of the larger private-island hotels in the Maldives, and with that size you get many extra features that aren’t found elsewhere. Even the smaller water villas come with a private Jacuzzi on the deck, so there is no sacrificing in room amenities in order to get all the extras out on the island.


The Meeru Island Resort has many sporting activities, including a golf driving range, a putting green, and a 9-hole pitch & putt golf course. This is one of the advantages of staying on one of the largest Maldives islands.


  • Low season online specials from US$518 per night
  • High season online specials from US$716 per night
>More information about the Meeru Island Resort – Maldives >Check rates

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives

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


If you are a budget traveler you might as well look away now, because this is not a resort for you. It’s the first and only Maldives private-island resort south of the equator, and its remote location does make it harder to reach for many, but it happens to be only an 8-minute speedboat ride away from an airport where private planes can land. This is a popular resort for the super-rich, and also now for super-rich golfers.


The golf course opened in March, 2012, and is the largest in the Maldives with 9 holes that average 123 yards each. You’ll also find a club house and a pro shop on-site.


Each of the 60 water villas is huge and loaded with luxury amenities. The service is extremely attentive, and the 5 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 if you can afford it.


  • Low season online specials from US$725 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,065 per night
>More information about the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives >Check rates

Golf photos for the above resorts

9 thoughts on "Why you don’t need a travel agent for a perfect Maldives water villa holiday"

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  1. Without a travel agent you are on your own!!! a total misconception
    that agents are a lot more expensive than online. What happens if something goes wrong the computer wont help but an agent will –
    do a bit more research to the original writer and i only hope you
    never need assistance apart from a computer to get you out of a situation!!!!!

    1. Roz,

      If I was a travel agent I’m sure I’d feel the same way. But the fact is that things don’t go wrong very often and even when they do it’s usually easy to fix as long as you deal with legit companies and resorts. For someone who has an extremely low risk tolerance travel agents are probably a great idea. For everyone else, it’s probably not worth it. -Roger

  2. There is so much more to a travel agent than just booking the trip. Yesterday I spend 1/2 my day changing a client’s flights and hotel reservations because her son suddenly got sick during the trip. Last weekend I had 2 sets of clients miss their flights so I spent my time accommodating and reassuring them, while they relaxed at the airport lounge. When a traveler is on vacation, unexpected things can happen. Emergencies can arise. A travel agent can handle all of this for them, so they can focus on their sick child, or whatever the case may be. "In all fairness", you are right. They may not NEED a travel agent for the booking process, but when the unexpected arises, they will need us then! And as the others have said, pricing is almost always the same whether you book online, or with an agent. We also have access to most all the same hotels as online…. plus the extra consortia perks, as Gabrielle mentioned.

  3. I have to agree with others that this article is just not true of what Travel Professionals truly offer a client. Most Travel Professionals don’t charge planning and booking fees. They often offer a low price guarantee and price match if they need to. Many Travel Professionals who do charge a planning or booking fee often apply it towards your balance and/or the tips and money they save you are far more than any planning or booking fee they may charge.

    Booking through a website (just a computer and not a true travel professional) is not a great option. Nobody is asking you the right questions to fit you to the best resorts/flights or council you on the merits of this and that because it’s a computer…..You can’t just go by the pretty pictures on the internet. We say "The Internet is for looking and not booking"

    Each resort has a different vibe, you need to be personally matched to the best accommodations out there that will fit you both because there are so many resort/flight/room choices out there and they’re not all the same or even good. There’s much to think about and consider when picking the right destination, travel dates-weather, resorts/flights/rooms.

    The question that you should ask yourself is, "Why would you take a chance on your Travel Investment and not call a Travel Professional" One whose actually been to the destination with hands on advice? A real reputable Travel Professional wants to talk to you or at least email you and not just put a website out there for you to self-book on while they try to make money on you while they sleep with website bookings that they’re making full commission on, that’s what they don’t want to tell you.

    Trying to talk potential clients out of booking with real Travel Professionals when you’re acting as an "absent" travel agent on a website and doing very little for the client in reality is ironic.
    I feel like this website/article attacks true Travel Professionals in an underhanded way so I will speak the real truth here.

    There are many Travel Professionals who highly specialize in Over Water Bungalows throughout the world, they’ve been to many of these resorts themselves so they have value in their knowledge and have professional relationships with resort owners, management and ground operators. Travel Professionals provide a wonderful service to you and that’s what its truly all about besides offering you some of the lowest prices with price drop guarantees and a host of many other perks!

    1. Heather,

      If I was a travel agent I’m sure I’d feel the same way you do. The point of the article is that savvy travelers (not necessarily first-time travelers) CAN book a Maldives holiday online and still get the exact same VIP experience that other visitors get. Websites like Agoda also book far more resorts than any offline travel agent does, so consumers get more choice. And many resorts do in fact offer lower prices when you book online.

      Some travelers are fussy and require hand-holding and make mistakes and want to make changes. It’s great that you are there for those types of travelers. But there is also a misconception that you NEED to use an offline travel agent to book a Maldives holiday and that’s definitely not true. Thanks for your passion and for all the help you give to those who need you. -Roger

  4. Hi there,
    With respect, I find the information in this article to be largely untrue. Travel agents work with all resorts (and even some B & B’s). They also have buying power and can secure better rates than what is seen online in a lot of cases. I think there is a real misconception out there from people who have only really ever booked online but really, there is a missed value, both monetary and experiential that goes with booking online. Also, many agents are part of a consortium that for example, will provide complimentary meals, complimentary nights, etc, whereas booking online you don’t get these kinds of things. Just my 2 cents anyway!

  5. disagree most of it!, i’ve always secured better deals from travel agents in the UK. Some of them offer upgrades, lounge access which were helpful. And most importantly we need ATOL protection for our whole booking which is only provided by the UK tour operators. This protects our flights all transfers and the resort booking. In any emergency we have the ATOL protection to bail us out.
    If you are not a fussy customer who wouldn’t mind ending up in a room that don’t wish to be, then booking from any other source is fine.
    Anyways, these are my thoughts. Hope you will publish this.

    1. Ryan,

      You make some good points and I guess each person has their own risk tolerance level. These days it’s common for purchases on many Visas and Mastercards to automatically have this kind of coverage, and you can buy travel insurance to cover it as well. Still, many people prefer a traditional high-street travel agent. My main point is that you don’t NEED a travel agent to book an ideal Maldives holiday because the online booking process is now so well organized and you don’t need any hand-holding once you land. Thanks for the comments. -Roger