The Maldives is notably one of the best scuba diving designations in the entire world, partly due to the clear waters that are consistently warm all year round, and partly because the Maldives is home to an abundance of sea life surrounding each of its excellent private-island resorts. Here you'll find large schools of tropical and colorful fish, larger marine life and some of the healthiest coral on the globe. With this, you can choose nearly any Maldives water villa resort and you'll find some of the best diving in your life. However, with this said, there are of course some resorts that offer better diving experiences compared to others.

First off, if you are an avid scuba diver and you aren't really interested in staying in a lovely resort then you should certainly choose a Maldives liveaboard. These are special diving boats of varying luxury that go out to the best diving spots for days at a time, almost like a mini cruise. The Maldives holiday diving scene is very popular so it's important to choose a specialist company wisely. If you are interested in spending at least part of your holiday in a luxurious water villa then check the recommendations listed below.

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Choosing a private-island Maldives resort for diving

As mentioned up above, you’ll find that pretty much every single Maldives resort offers some type of diving program that includes PADI training and certification, gear rental, and regular (usually daily) excursions to the best nearby spots with a qualified dive master.

 

When visiting, you’ll find that all of the resorts in the Maldives offer excellent snorkeling, usually within their house reef and sometimes very good snorkeling right below the water villas. Some also offer daily boat excursions to the better and best in the area snorkeling spots. With this, you’ll find that these excursions are usually included in the room price, or at least much cheaper than scuba diving.

 

We’ve gone through all the options to find the absolute best resorts where guests also rave about the scuba diving and dive center. The diving opportunities are similar enough at all resorts that you are much better off picking a highly-rated resort with great diving rather than focusing only on the diving and perhaps having a miserable time when not in the water.

 

The 6 recommended resorts are all:

 

  • Among the highest in overall guest reviews
  • Have scuba diving and dive centers that get great reviews
  • Offer good value

6 Best Maldives water-villa resorts with excellent scuba diving

COMO Cocoa Island Resort – Maldives

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

 

Great scuba diving isn’t the only interesting feature at the COMO Cocoa Island Resort. You’ll also find 33 unique water villas that are interestingly, shaped like traditional Maldivian fishing boats. You’ll also note that there are only 3 beach villas, which helps to make this resort one of the smallest and most exclusive resorts in the area. Importantly, this resort also receives the best reviews of any Maldives resort, so it’s likely to only get more and more popular throughout the coming years.

 

Even though this boutique resort only has a one restaurant, there’s also room service, a bar and an excellent spa. If you’ve come to the area for it’s ocean life, you’ll find plenty when you snorkel or scuba dive. Those looking for a unique and luxurious small private-island resort should put this at the top of their list.

 

  • Low season online specials from US$1,243 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,835 per night
>More information about the COMO Cocoa Island Resort – Maldives >Check rates

Baros Resort – Maldives

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

 

Located only a short speedboat ride away from the international airport, the Baros Resort is one of the first and thus most famous overwater villa resorts in The Maldives. The scuba diving here is not only great, but pairs well with the on-site marine biology center and a coral planting workshop, so this is a perfect choice for nature lovers who also love to scuba dive. If you have an underwater camera, not only will you want to make sure you bring it with you on vacation, but you’ll want to make sure to have it fully charged each and every trip into the water.

 

The 30 water villas here are all on the large side and generously loaded with luxury amenities, as you’d expect in this price category. There are 4 restaurants and 2 bars here, which is impressive considering there are only 75 total rooms. You’ll also find that each water villa comes with its own wine-chiller.

 

  • 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

Constance Moofushi Resort Maldives

  • Water villas: 86
  • Total rooms/suites: 110

 

Serving as an all-inclusive resort with a very reasonable price, the Constance Moofushi Maldives is one of the newer resorts in the area. The scuba diving here also receives very high marks from guests, which makes this one of the best value resorts on this particular list.

 

When looking at photos of the resorts, you’ll note the 86 water villas spread over a stunning lagoon, as well as the 24 island rooms and suites. Because there are really no facilities available to young people, this resort is unofficially an adults resort, for better or worse. There are 2 restaurants and 3 bars, making for plenty of choice for a small number of guests.

 

  • Low season online specials from US$1,097 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,244 per night
>More information about the Constance Moofushi Resort Maldives >Check rates

Kuramathi Maldives

  • Water villas: 129
  • Total rooms/suites: 360

 

Another resort that specializes in all-inclusive plans is the Kuramathi Maldives resort. This particular resort is one of the largest in the Maldives, with 129 water villas among its 360 total rooms. The diving is supposed to be very good, as is the snorkeling, which again is pleasant news considering everything else included the very moderate price for the all-inclusive plans.

 

There are 12 restaurants and 7 bars, so not too many people are going to struggle to find something or some place they’d like to eat at. The advantages of a large resort include a much wider range of activity and dining choices to select from, and for many people that is extremely important.

 

  • Low season online specials from US$683 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,072 per night
>More information about the Kuramathi Maldives >Check rates

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives

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

 

Compared to some of the others listed above, you’ll find that this resort is a bit more on the pricy side. As this is a very exclusive and remote resort, this price is out of range for most of us. Those who can afford a trip here will find 60 water villas and 90 island rooms and suites. The location just south of the equator puts it into rare waters, which help explain why the diving is so well regarded here and very impressive to even the most experienced of divers.

 

When booking at this particular resort, you can expect an enormous water villa, in addition to the best of everything and impeccable service. The remote location also allows for some solitude. With that said, however, it’s also conveniently located a short speedboat ride away from an airport that can handle private planes, so fuel up your jet and book a villa here.

 

  • Low season online specials from US$961 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,398 per night
>More information about the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives >Check rates

Vakarufalhi Island Resort – Maldives

  • Water villas: 25
  • Total rooms/suites: 75

 

Quite different from the others on this list, the Vakarufalhi Maldives resort is a small all-inclusive hotel that houses 25 water villas and 50 island rooms and suites. The diving here is also revered, as is pretty much everything else, in spite of the fact that there isn’t the usual long list of water sports. Though the rooms don’t currently include room service, guests will find a private terrace, Wi-Fi, an entertainment system, and a beautiful semi-open bathroom with a garden.

 

This is a resort where many guests return year after year, and they love the fact that they often go barefoot for days at a time. The low-season prices are quite tempting considering that’s an all-inclusive rate for a couple. For a more traditional Maldives island holiday, this is one to book.

 

  • Low season online specials from US$544 per night
  • High season online specials from US$705 per night
>More information about the Vakarufalhi Island Resort – Maldives >Check rates
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  1. I’m looking for a 2 bed or 2 bedroom overwater bungalow for early 2025. I know it’s too early to get rates but I have to start researching now. It would be in February 2025. 3 adults, 2 bed/bedrooms.
    Is this all inclusive?
    Is there a way to stay in the overwater bungalow for 3 days and the rest of the nights at the hotel on land?
    Is the seaplane the only way to get to your location? or is there a ferry?

    1. Kunta,

      There are all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives, but not all of them. Almost all of the water villas have one large bed and most have a pull-out sofa. If you need two large beds you’ll probably have to book two water villas. There are a few places that have 2-bedroom water villas, but the prices are pretty much always much more than the price of two single water villas. The 2-bedroom places are super-luxury suites and usually start at at least US$3,000 per night.

      Yes, you can book a few nights in a water villa and the rest of your stay in an island room. Some people even get upgraded that way and end up longer in the water villa.

      Most Maldives resorts require a seaplane journey to get there, but the ones closer to the airport can also have a speedboat option and sometimes both. The sea-planes are obviously expensive, but they are an amazing and thrilling ride as well so most people love them. I hope this helps. -Roger