While the Maldives is certainly known as a honeymoon and sunshine filled holiday destination, the country also impresses with very good surf spots at a variety of locations throughout the entire archipelago. If you decide to focus your entire trip on surfing in the Maldives then you might want to contact a tour operator that specializes in those types of trips, but if you're looking to surf for a few days as part of your trip then you've come to the right place.

Most of the water villa resorts on private islands in the Maldives offer wind-surfing alongside diving, snorkeling, sailing, and fishing, but only a limited number have, what most people would consider proper, surf beaches on their islands or very nearby. The water villa resorts that offer surfing are listed below, and fortunately for us, they come in all sorts of price ranges. The best surf is said to be at the Chaaya Island Dhonveli, which is the cheapest on the list as well. Others are in the moderate or luxury price categories, so there's a great choice for every budget.

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Surf seasons in the Maldives

The Maldives islands are spread out over thousands of kilometers, with some that are actually located below the equator, and you’ll find that the surf season peaks at different times in different places. For the most part, you’ll find that the peak season in the North Malé Atoll, which is where most of the region’s resorts are located, is April through October.


In the Outer Atolls, the peak season usually goes from February through April as well as September through November.


The surf is notably dead during the months of December and January, so if you are coming during those months (which tend to be the busiest as well as the most expensive) then you might not be getting conditions good enough to make it worthwhile.

Maldives water villa resorts with surfing

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives

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


With 60 water villas (in two different classes) that go alongside 55 island rooms and suites, the Chaaya Island Dhonveli Resort offers popular all-inclusive meal plans that offer an excellent value. The surfing beach here is supposed to be among the best in the region, and certainly one of the very best of those attached to private-island resorts. In fact, this particular resort is world famous for its surfing, making it a hot spot for those chasing waves.


This is also one of the few resorts that has reliable nightlife in addition to a Maldivian culture show. The modest prices help seal the deal for the right crowd, so it should be a top choice for surfers and those who aren’t coming to the Maldives to simply read a novel on a deck chair.


  • Low season online specials from US$1,226 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,226 per night
>More information about the Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives >Check rates

Sun Island Resort & Spa – Maldives

  • Water villas: 68
  • Total rooms/suites: 426


This is the largest private-island resort in the Maldives, with 68 water villas among the 426 total rooms. A resort of this size has some real advantages, and in this case one of the advantages is a surfing beach. What’s really special about this is that most resorts in the area (at the smallest ones) barely have room for a beach at all.


The water villas here are on the small side, however, with that said, they are still quite roomy compared to a city hotel, and the modest price is one of the better values in the Maldives. Most guests who stay here opt for the all-inclusive plan, but there are other plans that are an even better value for people who don’t drink or who prefer to sick dining on rich buffet food around the clock. Those who come here to surf will find that surfing spots are very easy to reach. In addition, there are special surfing trips that can be arranged any time during your stay.


  • Low season online specials from US$356 per night
  • High season online specials from US$446 per night
>More information about the Sun Island Resort & Spa – Maldives >Check rates

Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas All-Inclusive – Maldives

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


For visitors who really like the idea of having their own personal butler included in the room rate, the Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas Resort is a perfect choice. The surfing beach here offers both rentals and lessons in addition to a perfect left venturing down the entire side of the island, but that’s only one aspect of this luxurious hotel with 40 lovely water villas.


The whole place was remodeled in 2009, so it feels much more modern than many others do in its price category. Each water villa is quite large, and they offer a long list of daytime activities and water sports in addition to the surfing, so this is a great choice for active travelers.


  • Low season online specials from US$1,300 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,403 per night
>More information about the Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas All-Inclusive – Maldives >Check rates

Robinson Club Maldives

  • Water villas: 25
  • Total rooms/suites: 101


Primarily an all-inclusive hotel, the Robinson Club Maldives is a great 4-star resort that plays host to 25 huge water villas. What makes these water villas even more impressive is the fact that they each come with their own Jacuzzi. The resort is German-run, and therefore extremely popular with Germans, which could be good or bad news depending on your own preferences.


In addition the the water villas, there are 76 beach bungalows, making it  so that the Robinson Club is large enough to offer many other activities, including fantastic scuba diving. The lagoon villas here are notably on the larger side, but for families there is also a Lagoon Suite on the end that comes with 2 bedrooms and a private pool on the sundeck. If you’re interested in surfing, but have yet to try the sport you’ll also have access to surfing lessons in addition to surfing itself.


  • Low season online specials from US$450 per night
  • High season online specials from US$620 per night
>More information about the Robinson Club Maldives >Check rates

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives

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


In the case of the Shangri-La Villingili Resort,  the on-site surfing beach is only one small part of the charms of this place. The 60 water villas here are each as big as the house you grew up in, assuming you grew up in a pretty big house. If you’re interested, you can also book surfing vacation packages here that offer 2 hours of surfing everyday, making it a paradise for many.


Another thing you’ll want to note about this particular resort is the remote location which is actually south of the Equator and about 600 kilometers away from the main airport. The good news is that there is an airport that can handle private planes just an 8-minute speedboat ride away, so this is a popular option for those who lease or own their own planes.


  • 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

Ayada Maldives Resort

  • Water villas: 50
  • Total rooms/suites: 62


A relatively new resort, the Ayada Maldives Resort has gotten a lot of attention for its 50 ultra-luxurious and huge water villas, all of which are designed in a Turkish theme. There’s a nice surfing beach here as well as a traditional hammam (Turkish bath).


The location of this resort is quite remote so it does requires a charter flight and then a speedboat ride to reach the island, but that seclusion is a big plus for the high-end visitors who are booking at the Ayada Resort. Surfing wise, you’ll find that great breaks are only a short boat ride away. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s perfect for a select group.


  • Low season online specials from US$1,185 per night
  • High season online specials from US$1,490 per night
>More information about the Ayada Maldives Resort >Check rates

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

  • Water villas: 42
  • Total rooms/suites: 96


With 42 water villas set over a beautiful and enticing lagoon, the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa Maldives is one of the most famous and photogenic of the resorts in this region. The surfing beach isn’t as extensive as some others are on this list, but it is there and lessons and rentals are available to paying guests. In fact, guests will also find that there are surfing cruises available. If you’re really exciting about taking a surfing vacation, you’ll want to consider on of these cruises.


Those familiar with the Four Seasons name certainly know that this is a 5-star deluxe resort with all the trimmings, and with that, a price to match. The water villas here come in several different categories and you’ll find that the cheapest of them are relatively small for this price category, but people who prefer a chain like the Four Seasons will likely be satisfied knowing they’ll get the amazing service they are known for.


  • Low season online specials from US$2,218 per night
  • High season online specials from US$2,218 per night
>More information about the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa >Chec rates

Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

  • Water villas: 40
  • Total rooms/suites: 102


A small surfing beach might seem out of place for this sister resort to the one mentioned just above, but again, the people at Four Seasons enjoy offering the best of everything. The 40 water villas at the Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Givaavaru are all quite large, and prices are a bit higher than the other resort, as you’d expect.


You’ve got 7 restaurants and bars to choose from, as well as a world-class spa that is located over the water itself. There’s also great scuba diving and snorkeling, in addition to 5-star service that’s presented from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.


  • Low season online specials from US$1,380 per night
  • High season online specials from US$2,893 per night
>More information about the Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru >Chec rates
57 thoughts on "Editor’s Choice: 6 Best cheap Maldives water villa resorts"

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  1. first of all sincere thanks to you for giving the detailed guidance to everyone for Maldives, good work..!!

    I have a few questions as below:

    We want to visit maldives in Nov first week and is a family of 5 Adults plus a 5 month baby.

    1. Which resorts in your list can accommodate us with a baby?
    2. Can you explain differences between All inclusive, full board and other normal booking?
    3. Can we split a stay in a resort between different category of rooms, does it have a cost impact?
    4. With baby is it advisable to take sea boat transfer or sea plane transfers?
    5. Is it advisable to take a far off resort from Male airport?
    6. If we prefer water villa which will be most budget friendly?

    1. Pratz,

      I’m happy to try to help.

      1. Unfortunately, it’s rare to even find Maldives resorts that allow 4 guests per villa. The only that allow 5 or 6 are a few large 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom units at a few resorts and those cost many times what normal water villas do, so it’s cheaper to get 2 water villas.

      2. All resorts offer an included breakfast with a normal booking. Half Board also includes dinner. Full board includes 3 meals per day, but not alcohol. All-inclusive includes all meals (usually served at buffets) and usually unlimited alcohol and other drinks. In some places the top-shelf drinks cost a premium, while they are included at others. A few resorts also include a tour or excursion with the all-inclusive plan.

      3. Yes, you can book an island room for part of your trip and a water villa for another part. It’s not only cheaper, but sometimes you’ll get upgraded to a water villa for one or more of your island days if they’ve got an empty villa.

      4. I’m not sure about that. Both are quite loud. The sea planes don’t fly very high so I don’t think pressure is as much of an issue as it is in a big plane.

      5. The resorts closer to Male Airport usually have cheaper transfers so they can actually save you money. I don’t think any of them are in the flight path to the point that it’s annoying, so staying near the airport will save time and a bit of money.

      6. The list above shows our picks for the best of the cheaper resorts. But the rates can change for any given date depending on availability. My suggestion is to check the dates at a resort that appeals to you, and then also check your dates for all resorts on Agoda.com, which usually has the best rates. Sometimes you’ll see a promotional rate for your dates if a resort has too many empty rooms. It’s hard for me to know which is best on any given dates so it’s best to check yourself. Some good news is that pretty much ALL of these resorts is really as wonderful as the photos look. A couple Maldives resorts have quite a few disappointed guests, and I don’t even list those on this site. -Roger

  2. HI ,
    I would like to get 2 days normal resort and 1 day water villa. Which one do you recommend and how much it will cost.

    1. Yash,

      Obviously it depends on where you’d stay. Island villas at some resorts start at around US$150 per night, and water villas at those same resorts start at around US$350 per night. You also have to pay between US$100 and US$700 per person for transfers from the airport to the resort. Have a great trip. -Roger

    1. Thorsten,

      I totally understand and the speed boat transfers do feel kind of like a rip-off at first. But each resort (for the most part) has to buy and operate their own boats and it’s pretty expensive. I think your best bet is to look into the resorts that are closest to the airport, as a few of them offer transfers close to US$100 per person, return. Here is our list of the closest water villa resorts to the Maldives Airport. Best of luck. -Roger

    1. Francesca,

      Sorry about the delayed response and it might be too late. For the Maldives each resort has its own speedboats and when you book a room they will ask you for your flight details so they can arrange a pickup at the dock just in front of the airport. The speedboats are fairly expensive so you have to research those prices before you book, and that’s why we list them on each page of this site.

      As for a 3-year-old, yes, it will be an issue. Many resorts don’t allow guests under 13 or even 18, while other resorts just make you sign a waiver saying that you understand the risks. Speaking of that, the piers that go out to the water villas do NOT have rails, and it’s easy to just walk right off the decks in most water villas as well, so you’d really have to stay focused on that. -Roger

    1. Estee,

      I haven’t been to Adaaran Club Rannalhi, but I’ve heard good things and I’ve spoken to the people who run it. It’s true that the resorts all look so amazing and almost all of the reviews are glowing as well. In my experience it turns out because they ARE so amazing. It seems like it’s so expensive to build and run these private-island resorts that operating them poorly is a bad strategy. There are 2 or 3 Maldives resorts that tend to get many bad reviews and I don’t even list those resorts on the site because there are enough great ones to list.

      As for the sea planes, it’s true that some of them drop guests at one resort on their way to another, but actually most people love the sea plane flights because they offer the most amazing views of the islands you can get. If you are not comfortable flying in a plane with 10 or 12 people then it might be better to opt for one of the resort with speedboat transfers. And the sea planes only operate during daylight hours, while speedboats can go at night if they need to, so that’s another factor. Best of luck with whatever you decide. -Roger

  3. hello Roger,
    great site with alot of information but with that im trying to plan a honeymoon probably in June and ok with it being a rainy month especially if the cost can be slightly discounted. Dont want to stay at a resort that is overly expensive.
    I want a location that is all inclusive and want to stay maybe 3 nights over water and 3 nights non. I see you recommend meeru alot and the price is very good. I know its one of the older resorts do you still think it stands up for honeymoon and todays standards.
    Is there any other resorts you would recommend I also would like it to have some activities so we dont get too bored.
    Also what is the best time to book is now good or wait till closer will it have better deals.

    1. Andre,

      It’s true that June usually has the greatest chances of a rainy day or two, as opposed to just a quick rainstorm here and there, but most days in June are still mostly dry so I agree that it can be worth it to take advantage of the lower rates and smaller crowds, and you might get very lucky with the weather anyway.

      And it’s also true that Meeru is indeed a resort that I recommend a lot, and in my opinion it definitely holds up to the newer resorts. You might also look at Veligandu, which I also recommend, as they are run by the same respected company. Meeru Island is huge compared to most so it feels very private and spread out even when it’s full, and they have more restaurants and activities than almost any other resort. Veligandu is smaller, but also with quite a few choices.

      One reason that I recommend Meeru so often is their strategy is to offer an excellent product at a fair price, and stay almost fully booked all year round. At least half the people I met there had been there before and they come back again and again because of the quality and value. Most other resorts advertise with much higher room rates and then start offering promotions about 3 months out in order to fill the villas. If you are aware of that you can actually get a pretty good deal with 2 or 3 months to go, but you also have to settle for places that have enough vacancies to offer promotions. Places like Meeru and Veligandu (and that company runs 2 or 3 other resorts that aren’t all inclusive) have prices low enough to be full a month or two out all year round. They just prefer to be full of happy guests rather than having to keep running promotions to get new guests in at the last minute.

      All of that said, even most of the newer Maldives resorts tend to be quite casual rather than posh. The service is usually excellent, and you can check all the recent reviews yourself to confirm, but since they are sandy islands where most guests walk around barefoot most of the time, they are more like beach bungalows than 5-star hotel suites. Meeru and Veligandu usually run good rates all the time, and often I see that they offer All Inclusive Plus included in the rate in June. If that is what you are seeing I think booking soon would be wise if that is what you want. But if you wait until next March or so you might see a couple other all-inclusive places start offering rates that are similar. It’s a bit of a gamble, but since June is the slowest month it’s not like you won’t find a room, even at the last minute. I hope this helps. -Roger

  4. Hi Roger

    Thanks to your suggestions, I am at the last stage of booking Meeru for 2 nights. I have 3 queries, I would be reaching Male International Airport at 16:20 hours.
    1. By what time would we be able to reach the resort?
    2. IF I book the water villa for one night and water front villa for 2 nights, would it be okay or booking Water Villa for 3 nights would be a better idea (Is there a huge difference in the experience or just experiencing it for one night and saving bucks for other 2 would be wise?)
    3. IF i book the villas through travel agents like Makemytrip and not through the Meeru website, how will I be able to book the Speedboat? Booking through the Meeru website is costlier.


    1. Anurodh,

      I’m sure you’ll love it there. The speedboat transfer can depend on how many other guests are coming in on that flight or flights around the same time. If you land at 16:20 you should have your luggage by 17:00 and you’ll go find the Meeru representative outside of customs. The speedboat ride is about an hour each way and it might leave right after you get there, or you might have to wait for another couple or two. Usually it seems to be on its way in an hour or less because they own quite a few speedboats that are going back and forth around that time of day.

      That’s a tough call. In my opinion a water villa is an amazing novelty for at least 3 days or so, but after that you are used to it and notice that the restaurants and bars and such are a longer walk than from the beachfront villas. If you can afford the three nights I would do it. One night is much better than zero though.

      The lowest rates on Meeru Island are usually on Agoda.com, and those are much cheaper than the official website. After you reserve your room on the website it will ask you for your flight details and then charge you for the speedboat all at the same time. Since there are no other options of getting there, they just add it right on top of the room charge before you pay the first time. Have a great trip. -Roger

  5. Hi Roger,
    I looked at about 30 resorts already, in almost every website I see the option to enter a coupon code.
    Two questions:
    1. How do I find such coupons?
    2. What’s the best time to book prior to arrival to get the best prices/deals?

    I’m looking for over-water outdoor jacuzzi villa at up to $700 so limited my choice to:
    1. Meeru
    2. Vilamendhoo
    3. Olhuveli
    4. Am I missing any option at this price range? (Centara and Sun Siyam are around $900…)

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Max,

      Those top 3 on your list are the ones that come to mind for me, and I’m glad you found them. Meeru Island has very large Jacuzzi Water Villas in your price range with full board or even all-inclusive.

      As for hotel coupons, I don’t think they exist for most places. I’ve found the best rates are on Agoda.com in most cases and I don’t think they use coupons (at least for resorts like these).

      Have a great trip. -Roger

  6. Hi Sir,
    I am looking for a 4D3N/5D4N Honeymoon Package.
    The Travel dates will be by end of Dec.
    Looking for a romantic tour, resort should be mostly all inclusive, water villa with Jacuzzi, spa and water sports facilities.
    Please help to find a suitable villa.
    Budget for the trip is 500-600$ per day.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Shreyas,

      We are simply an online guide to overwater hotels and we don’t do bookings. The last week of December is peak season for the Maldives (and every other tropical island destination) so your budget might not be enough, especially for all-inclusive. Your budget is enough for the excellent Meeru Island resort if you can go a little earlier or later than that last week in December. The Jacuzzi Water Villas there are huge and the service is fantastic. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  7. Dear Roger,

    Thanks so much for this and other articles, have you heard of Sun Island Resort and do you have any thoughts on it? They have over the water bungalows for a low price. Thanks

    1. Ani,

      I haven’t personally been to Sun Island, but I’m familiar with the place. The reason that the water villas there are cheaper is that they are semi-detached, so they have 68 bungalows in 34 structures. The water villas are also smaller than almost any other in the Maldives at around 32 square meters or 340 square feet, which makes them similar in size to a normal 4-star hotel room in a big city. Most other Maldives water villas are at least 50% larger and many are many times larger. All of that said, the place has a very good reputation and gets great reviews, and I’d be very happy to stay there myself.

      When comparing these resorts it’s important to compare what you get for the price. In other words, for the same price as a water villa at Sun Island, you could instead get a larger beach villa at another resort, or at Sun Island itself. At least for part of my stay I would personally prefer to stay in the water villa over the clear lagoon because that is an experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger