Maldives Water-Villa Resorts Near Malé Airport

With over 80 different water-villa resorts in the Maldives to choose from, it should be of no surprise that they are spread out over huge distances in this archipelago nation. Most of the earliest resorts opened up very near the main international airport, but most of the more recent openings are a long way away, which requires a sea-plane flight that can be both time consuming and expensive.

Fortunately, there are many water-villa resorts within a short range of the airport, including many newer ones and a surprising number of the top-rated resorts. These private-island hotels are all between a 15 and 55-minute speedboat ride from the dock at the airport itself, so guests can literally be swimming in the lagoon below their water villa an hour after their flight lands, while many are still waiting for their sea-plane flight to leave.

Lower cost and more flexibility

41474_15041919090026960064Many people don't realize that hotel guests have to pay to get to their resort from the airport, and those costs aren't trivial. A speedboat ride can range between US$50 and US$450 per person return, and the sea-plane flights range from US$350 to US$600 per person, return.

Another reason to choose a resort near the airport is that you can come or go with more flexibility. It's true that most flights arrive and depart from the Maldives in the morning, but not all of them, and for those that don't you will have to stay the night near the airport. Many of the resorts listed below can pick you up or drop you back at any hour of the day, while the sea-plane flights can only go during sunlight.

Perfect for a short stay in the Maldives

While most people agree that the sea-plane flights are actually a highlight of their trip, they can eat up a big part of your arrival and your departure days. Many people are still at the airport many hours after their long-haul flight landed, waiting for their sea-plane flight, and all the resorts insist on guests leaving very early in the morning to get back to the airport.

With a resort close to the airport you can often go with only a couple hours to go until your flight. If you are staying a week or more this isn't a big problem, but for those staying only 2 or 3 nights you don't want to lose many hours both coming and going.

Maldives Water-Villa Resorts Near the Malé International Airport

Below are 16 water-villa resorts from the closest on out, which range from 15 minutes to 55 minutes by speedboat directly from the airport.

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives

  • Water villas: 64
  • Total rooms/suites: 140

15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa MaldivesA beautiful resort with a large amount of rooms to choose from, the Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives is a great choice for those looking for luxury without having to pay an arm and a leg for it. In fact, this resort holds a 4-star ranking and deals a lot with half-board options, meaning that though it's not fully all-inclusive, there are some added perks with each stay.

Room wise, you'll find Wi-Fi, an entertainment center, room service, a furnished terrace with wooden steps that lead directly into the ocean, ceiling fans, a mini bar and a coffee and tea making area. Guests will also find a lovely spa with nine different massage and treatment rooms, a large swimming pool, a fitness center, water sports and a water sports center and a nice little island boutique for some fun shopping.

  • Low season online specials from US$855 per night
  • High season online specials from US$933 per night

>>>More information about the Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives
>>>Check rates

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

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

15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

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$875 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,046 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Prestige Vadoo
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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

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

15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

she3442ex.66456_xxPart of a larger international chain, the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is a rather large resort with a total of 176 rooms, 56 of which reside over the water. The overwater villas feature Wi-Fi, an entertainment system, 24 hour room service, air conditioning, a ceiling fan, a wine fridge, a refrigerator and a fully stocked mini bar. In addition, guests will find free daily mineral water, plush bathrobes, bath slippers and beach towels.

Outside of the rooms, the Shine Spa impresses with a wide assortment of massages, treatments and select therapies. If you're looking for a fun activity or two to enjoy, you'll want to try your hand at scuba diving, sailing, snorkeling, water skiing, knee boarding or one of the other available activities. When you're done having fun on the water, make sure to enjoy a new favorite dish at one of the resort's many dining options.

  • Low season online specials from US$729 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,111 per night

>>>More information about the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

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

15-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

12169_14012919440018210375Located 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$986 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,125 per night

>>>More information about the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives
>>>Check rates

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives

  • Water villas: 60
  • Total rooms/suites: 115

20-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

Chaaya-Island-Dhonveli-1024x686Among the best value resorts in the Maldives, the Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives Resort is also only 20 minutes by speedboat from the airport, so it's an ideal choice for a water villa holiday on the tightest of budgets.

This resort offers half-board (breakfast and dinner) packages as well, so guests don't have to worry about the sometimes extraordinary cost of food in the Maldives. They have a surfing beach here too, which is unusual for the Maldives, though it does come at a slightly higher price. If you are looking for an inexpensive water villa (or island room) for a short stay, this should be one of the first places you consider.

  • Low season online specials from US$606 per night
  • High season online specials from US$704 per night

>>>More information about the Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives
>>>Check rates

Paradise Island Resort – Maldives

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

20-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

1632919405-picWith 282 total rooms and villas, the Paradise Island Resort is one of the largest in the Maldives. The location is only 20 minutes from the Male Airport by speedboat so the transfer price of around US$200 per person is cheaper than the more remote resorts that are only accessible by sea plane.

This is more of an old-school resort, although it has been updated and renovated on a regular basis. The water villas here are often booked way in advance, so it can be challenging to find availability. If you are okay with an island bungalow then this one offers some very good rates that are ideal for shorter stays.

  • Low season online specials from US$692 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,012 per night

>>>More information about the Paradise Island Resort
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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort

  • Water villas: 45
  • Total rooms/suites: 45

20-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

2767142While it's not the most expensive, the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort (formerly known as Soneva Gili by Six Senses), might be the finest overwater villa resort in the world. Each of the 56 water villas here is enormous and loaded with features and luxury amenities. Even their least expensive water villas includes a large open-air living room with daybeds and a dining area, while the others get even more decadent.

The two restaurants and two bars here are among the best in the Maldives, as is the on-site spa. Guest interested in extreme privacy might like to choose one of the 7 Crusoe Residences, which are huge and each is only accessible by a small private ferry that runs whenever a guest pleases. Better yet, the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort resort features what they call their Private Reserve, which is even farther out into the lagoon, and at over 1400 square meters, it's by far the largest water villa in the world.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,262 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,956 per night

>>>More information about the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort
>>>Check rates

Baros Resort Maldives

  • Water villas: 30
  • Total rooms/suites: 75

25-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

41474_16032818170041126044An extremely popular resort that some consider to have one of the most beautiful settings in the region, the Baros Resort Maldives is a 5-star hotel that is popular with both honeymooners and families. The 30 water villas here are all large, and pleasantly configured in a semi-circle so guests don't have direct neighbors like they do at most other nearby resorts.

There are four restaurants, two bars, and a full-service spa, which is impressive for only having 75 total rooms. The diving and snorkeling here are great, and there are many other activities and excursions available. Many guests come back year after year, which certainly indicates Baros Island is doing something right.

  • Low season online specials from US$1,540 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,826 per night

>>>More information about the Baros Resort Maldives
>>>Check rates

Velassaru Maldives

  • Water villas: 45
  • Total rooms/suites: 129

25-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

12154_14093016080022504427With 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.

  • Low season online specials from US$962 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,022 per night

>>>More information about the Velassaru Maldives
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Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort – All Inclusive

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

30-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

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$878 per night
  • High season online specials from US$990 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort
>>>Check rates

Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa

  • Water villas: 38
  • Total rooms/suites: 110

35-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

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 bathrub-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$778 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,088 per night

>>>More information about the Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa
>>>Check rates

Anantara Veli Resort

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

35-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

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.s

  • Low season online specials from US$617 per night
  • High season online specials from US$629 per night

>>>More information about the Anantara Veli Resort
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COMO Cocoa Island Resort

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

40-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

65498_15060814270028875850For an unforgettable boutique 5-star experience it's well worth considering the COMO 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$977 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,251 per night

>>>More information about the COMO Cocoa Island Resort
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Adaaran Club Rannalhi – All Inclusive

  • Water villas: 15
  • Total rooms/suites: 115

45-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

79088_16051918050042503849It's a 45-minute speedboat ride from Male International Airport to Adaaran Club Ranhali, so it's another great choice for a shorter stay or a guest who doesn't want to go by sea plane. This is one of the few all-inclusive resorts within close range of the airport, so it's actually a much better value than you otherwise might realize.

They've only got 34 overwater bungalows to go along with the 96 island bungalows, so sometimes the water bungalows can get booked up well in advance. Since much of the room rate goes towards the food and alcohol packages, the differences in rates for the water rooms isn't that much. In other words, they tend to be good value when they are available.

  • Low season online specials from US$562 per night
  • High season online specials from US$702 per night

>>>More information about the Adaaran Club Rannalhi
>>>Check rates

Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa

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

45-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

49058_16061415530043550142The Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa is another of the larger private-island resorts within a speedboat ride of the Male International Airport. They have 60 water villas, 34 of which are Jacuzzi Water Villas, and they have several posh water villa suites as well.

The round-trip speedboat transfer to Olhuveli is about US$500 per person, which is one of the more expensive speedboat transfers in the Maldives. In fact, that's about what you pay for a sea plane ride to resorts that are in more distant atolls. The one advantage with this one is that the speedboats can operate almost around the clock, while the sea planes can only depart between sunrise and about 3:30pm. In other words, depending on when your flight comes in, you might have to stay near the airport if you need a sea plane, while you can come straight to Olhuveli in the late afternoon or even into the evening.

  • Low season online specials from US$432 per night
  • High season online specials from US$593 per night

>>>More information about the Olhuveli Beach Resort & Spa
>>>Check rates

Meeru Island Resort

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

55-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport

MeeruMaldivesAerial530An extremely large resort with nearly 300 different rooms, the Meeru Island Resort is a great choice for those looking for a well priced stay in the 4-star range. Each of the rooms available, including the 106 overwater villas, comes with a grand amount of amenities including but not limited to Wi-Fi, a sitting area, air conditioning, tropical plants, a wooden sundeck and a private walled in outdoor area with a jacuzzi, and stairs that lead directly into the sea.

Outside of the rooms, guests will find several dining options as there are more than a dozen restaurants and bars on-site. If you're traveling with family, especially those of a young age, you'll find lots to do and see including a wide variety of water activities including snorkeling and a children's wading pool. If you're more romantically inclined, don't count this resort out as there are 2 beautiful and large honeymoon suites that may serve as just the thing you've been looking for.

  • 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
>>>Check rates

Top photos by Beauty and Peace on Flickr and Michael Foley Photography on Flickr

  • danny g says:

    do you know if you can get to any of these via public ferry? would love to avoid that expensive speed boat!

    • Roger Wade says:

      Danny G,

      The public ferries only go to populated islands and by law all of the Maldives resorts like these have to be on a private island. So unfortunately there are no public ferries to private islands, at least not that I’m aware of. -Roger

  • Sushil says:

    Hey Roger.
    Looking to holiday in the Maldives in November.
    We are a family of 4 (2 kids, 5 and 13).
    Could you suggest a good water villa resort not too far from the airport.
    One thats all inclusive and decently priced.
    Thanks and Regards ❤

  • Priyanka says:

    My husband and I are looking for a pool water villa/ pool beach villa accessible by speedboat from Male airport, for our 15th anniversary. We would prefer something that is all inclusive (includes alcohol), and has a luxury feel to it, but is not exhorbitantly priced.It will be a romantic getaway for 2. We stayed in Taj Exotica for our 10th and loved it – want to explore another property this time. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Arun says:

    Hi ,

    Me , my wife and my 1 year kid is planning to visit maldives on june 2nd week.

    To avoid a long drive , we would like to take a good private resort near the airport also which includes full meals.

    Could you suggest a good place for us. privacy and safety are our main concenrns

    • Roger Wade says:


      The article above shows all of the resorts that are close to the airport, and most of those are within 45 minutes by speedboat. I wrote it to specifically answer questions like this. -Roger

  • Richard says:

    Hi Roger,

    Me and my wife will be in Maldives in August 2018.
    i was looking for a resort witch can be access via speedboat and seaplane, i was thinking if we can arrived at the resort via seaplane and back to male via speedboat.

    thanks a lot.

    • Roger Wade says:


      Quite a few Maldives resorts offer both speedboats and sea-planes so you should be able to do what you are hoping. I don’t have a list of the resorts that do offer both, but on this website we have prices for each option on each of our resort pages and we have both prices for the resorts that offer both. In other words, if you look around this site a bit you should be able to find some resorts that look good to you and offer both modes of transport. -Roger

  • Sue says:

    Hi Roger, me and my husband are planning a 10 night vacation to the Maldives and would appreciate first hand advice from you pls…….we are looking for as close as possible to the main airport, butler service, all inclusive if poss and over the water accom with splash pool on deck and exceptionally clean is a must! Many thanks, cheers

    • Roger Wade says:


      Unfortunately, I haven’t visited nearly enough of these resorts to be able to recommend one with butler service near the airport. The list in the article should be helpful because we list all of the resorts from closest to the airport and going out from there, and all of them have speedboat transfers. I’m not sure any of the places that have butler service also do all inclusive.

      You might look into Gili Lankanfushi (formerly Six Senses)

      They don’t have all inclusive but they are fairly close to the airport and they have amazing service and great suites. Sorry I can’t be of more help on this. -Roger

  • Renata Sia says:


    Please I would like to know which Resorts/hotels in Maldives offer the symbolic weeding? Also, which are the cheapest? Thank you in advance!!!

  • Cindy says:

    Hello there Roger! This is a very helpful article. I would like to ask if the room fits 2 people and it says 560usd per night does that means 560×2 per night? We are planning to go by next yr and we are group of 7.


    • Roger Wade says:


      If you are referring to the information on this website, yes, every water villa fits two people (and most of them actually fit 3 because they have a pull-out sofa), and the prices we quote are for the whole room with two guests and that includes the taxes. We update the rates at least once a year, and if you are looking at high season you might see higher rates. But generally speaking you can use the prices on this site as what you’ll pay for two guests per night in a water villa. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  • LCJones says:

    Hi Roger,

    Do you know what the weather is like in the Maldive in May? I am struggling to get a common answer off travel agents?
    Also do you know if it is possible to get a speed boat transfer from the airport to the Shangri la Villingili?

    • Roger Wade says:


      From Late May through early July it can be rainy for most of a day or two at a time in the Maldives, but during the rest of the year the rain tends to last only 20 or 30 minutes at a time and is often overnight. Also, the Maldives covers a huge area and resorts south of the equator can have different weather patterns from the ones closer to Sri Lanka, so you have to drill down. The general weather forecasts including my advice is for the area fairly close to the capital and airport. -Roger

  • alex says:

    Hi Roger, Thanks for this. What are your thoughts on the Club Med resorts in comparison to those you have listed here? are the on the same / better / worse level? Thanks very much

    • Roger Wade says:


      I’ve never stayed at a Club Med, but generally I hear very good things about them and their customers seem to be loyal. As far as I can tell, Club Med offers a premium product at a premium price. I think you can get something similar for less money elsewhere, and nearly all of the Maldives all-inclusives are very high quality. My guess is that people are willing to pay more for Club Med because they trust that it will be great, and to book at a small chain or an independent resort means taking a little chance. I can tell you that Meeru Island and Veligandu Island, which are both run by the same local company, are excellent. I hope this helps. -Roger

  • Mika says:

    Am planning my honeymoon on 21/12/2018 till 28/12/2018 I know it’s the high season but I want to ask what it the best water villa with pool in good resort around $800 – $1000/ night all inclusive ? And if u can also tell me what transfer is best to that resort and how much it will cost /person ? Thanks a lot

    • Roger Wade says:


      I’m not sure how many all-inclusive Maldives resorts have private pools, although quite a few of them have private Jacuzzis. Check our list of the best Maldives resorts with pool water villas. I think the all-inclusive resorts with private Jacuzzis such as Meeru Island and Veligandu Island are going for around US$700 to US$900 per night for that week, and those are usually the cheapest, so I’m not sure if you’ll find a pool villa in that price range. As you know, that is literally the busiest and most expensive week in the Maldives and everywhere else in the Tropics.

      As for airport transfers, each resort books you on their own speedboats or through a charter sea-plane company and they add it to the room price when you book. The speedboats for the closer places start around US$100 per person, return, and the sea-planes can be as much as US$700 per person, return. We list the transfer options just below the normal room rates on our page about each of the resort, along with the price for each option. I hope this helps and best of luck with this. -Roger

  • Talina says:

    Hello Roger,
    Thanks a lot for all the information! We just booked a 4 days stay in Meeru Island, and I wanted to check with you if the speedboats can only be booked via the hotel for a fixed price, or are there different websites/companies with different rates?
    Many thanks,

    • Roger Wade says:


      I’m only aware of booking speedboats through the resorts. Meeru owns quite a few different boats and they send the appropriate size to the airport to pick up the people who have just landed, usually within an hour or so. I’ve heard of private speedboat companies, but I don’t think these private-island resorts allow transfers through them. You are going to love Meeru Island. -Roger

  • Priya says:

    Hi Roger, great list. Do you know if any of these resorts are particularly baby friendly — offer cribs and childcare, etc?


  • Game says:

    Hi Roger,

    if i take a ferry first to the city. Will it be possible to book a watervilla from there via some travel agent or some rep ?

    • Roger Wade says:


      I would assume that it would be possible, but I’m not sure. Because of the fact that airport transfers are built into the reservations could make it awkward to book once in Male. Also, I doubt you’d get a better deal there because the best deals tend to through and if someone has an office they would find it hard to compete. I know there are a couple of online travel agencies based in Male, but I don’t know if they have walk-in offices. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  • Amit says:

    I have booked Paradise island resort for 3 night stay in December but I want to visit underwater restaurant like Ithaa or 5.8 but unable to get information how can I go there ? Please help me the cheapest way of travel from my resort to the underwater restaurants

    • Roger Wade says:


      Generally speaking, there isn’t much transportation between resorts. It’s mostly between the airport and the resorts. It would be best to check the website of the resort with the underwater restaurant and see what their policy is. Best of luck. -Roger

  • jim says:

    Hi Roger
    I am visiting Male on a cruise ship and would like to get a day ticket to a nearby island. Could you recommend one or two with good snorkling and give any advice on the best way to book.


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