we first had the idea to create a worldwide directory of every overwater resort in the world, we honestly assumed there were about 20 or maybe 30 of these places. It turned out we underestimated by quite a bit, and since new ones keep opening up, the number keeps getting higher and higher.

A couple months ago I wrote a post called where are overwater bungalows, which lists all the major spots in the world where you can find these things. However, continued research means that I've uncovered quite a few more places, so that original post will be updated very soon.

One small problem persists though, in that in some cases it's difficult to classify whether a place has real overwater bungalows or not. There are a few places with entrances on the shore but most of the room is over the water, and there are also places that have up to 6 rooms per structure, so they probably don't qualify as “bungalows” or “villas.”

Still, I thought people might be interested in exactly how many resorts and rooms are out there, so below are some facts I've collected. There might be a few more resorts that I've yet to uncover, but for the most part this list is nearly 100% accurate.

Contents [Show]

Countries with overwater bungalow/water villa resorts

Maldives

 

75 resorts – 3005 overwater rooms

 

Bora Bora

 

11 resorts – 652 overwater rooms
(note: 1 resort is closed until 2012 for refurbishment)

 

Moorea

 

5 resorts – 179 overwater rooms

 

Tahiti

 

2 resorts – 44 overwater rooms

 

Elsewhere in the South Pacific

 

12 resorts – 136 overwater rooms
(includes Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Huahine, Tikehau, Vanuatu, Tahaa)

 

Malaysia

 

5 resorts – 527 overwater rooms

 

Thailand

 

5 resorts – 56 overwater rooms (many not technically bungalows)

 

Philippines

 

3 resorts – 73 overwater rooms

 

Honduras

 

3 resorts – 30 overwater rooms

 

Panama

 

3 resorts – 21 overwater rooms

 

Belize

 

2 resorts – 7 overwater rooms

 

Switzerland

 

1 resort – 24 overwater rooms

 

Mexico

 

1 resort – 14 overwater rooms

 

Indonesia

 

1 resort – 13 overwater rooms (not all technically bungalows)

 

Bermuda

 

1 resort – 13 overwater rooms (closed until 2012)

 

Mauritius

 

1 resort – 11 overwater rooms

 

World total: 113 resorts

Total overwater bungalow rooms in the world as of February, 2012: 4965


Resorts with most overwater bungalows

#1 – Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa – Malaysia: 392 overwater bungalows

#2 – Meeru Island Resort – Maldives: 106 water villas

#3 – Four Seasons Bora Bora – 100 overwater bungalows


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101 thoughts on "Editor’s Choice – 6 Best Honeymoon Water Villa Resorts in The Maldives"

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  1. Hi Roger,

    Can you please give some insights about Medhufushi Island. I am planning honeymoon trip in jan and considering 3 nights Beach villa and 1 night water villa. Is there any better option to consider?

    1. Andrew,

      Unfortunately I’ve yet to make it to Medhufushi Island. It’s got a good reputation and I see that the recent reviews are very strong, so I think it could be a good choice as long as you are getting a good rate. In my experience, the reviews on Agoda.com and TripAdvisor tend to be very reliable for Maldives resorts. It can be hard to believe because almost all resorts get glowing reviews from almost all guests, but in my experience these Maldives resorts almost all live up to the hype. It seems that competing on quality and reputation is the business strategy that works best there. A few resorts get average and lower reviews very often, and I don’t even include those resorts on this website. Sorry I couldn’t help more but I imagine you’d be quite happy there. -Roger

  2. Hi Roger! We are planning for honeymoon 7 nights in August 2019!
    What is the best website to book and when is the best time to have a reasonable price for a water Villa? What are the average cost per night per person?
    What does it mean all inclusive booking?
    Please suggest some resorts for budget 300 Euro per night
    thanks in advance

  3. Hi, really useful website but so many options. I am looking for 7nights honeymoon in Maldives at the end of Feb 2020 in a water bungalow over the sea. Ideally with a small jacuzzi or private pool, at least 3 good restaurants, a few activities, all inclusive food and drink – for approx USD800 per night. Thanks

    1. Jay,

      The challenge is that nearly all of the all-inclusive resorts have a buffet restaurant and usually one other. Meeru Island has quite a few restaurants and Jacuzzi Water Villas that are in your price range.

      Their sister resort, Veligandu Island, is smaller and probably better for honeymoons. They’ve also got Jacuzzi water villas in your price range, but only two restaurants plus dining on the beach. I’d look at Veligandu if they have something in your range. -Roger

    1. Kevin,

      I’m aware of several Maldives resorts that offer water villas with a totally private Jacuzzi for that price, but I don’t know of any that have private pools for under about US$1,000 per night. If a Jacuzzi is enough (they are the kind where two people sit next to each other in opposite directions), then try Meeru Island, where you get full board and probably all-inclusive for that price.

      If you really prefer a pool you have some choices for under your price in Malaysia. Check this list of water villa resorts in Asia and look for the ones in Port Dickson in Malaysia. The Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson Resort has a plunge pool on the front deck of each of its 522 water villas. And the Grand Lexis Port Dickson has a small swimming pool in the middle of most of its water villas where it’s 100% private. -Roger

  4. Looking for a honeymoon resort with the following:

    1) secluded bungalow
    2) butler if possible
    3) food and beverage package or all inclusive
    4) 7 nights
    5) private slide would be nice

    1. Randy,

      The only Maldives resort I know that has all of that is the Gili Lankanfushi, and unfortunately they just had a fire that burned several of their water villas and they are currently closed until further notice. I suspect they’ll be open again in a few months, but they haven’t put out a date yet. The water villa that has a slide into the water there also goes for about US$15,000 per night.

      If you want the best all-inclusive water villa resort in the Maldives I’d look at the Lily Beach Resort. They have 4 Sunset Water Suites that include butler service and are each 1,959 square feet. The service at that place is excellent based on its reputation and most people agree that it’s the finest of the all-inclusives.

      Quite a few other Maldives resorts have butler service, but the other super-luxury places tend to only come with breakfast and then everything else is a la carte. You’ll find many of those on our list of super luxury Maldives water villa resorts. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  5. Hi,

    I am planning to visit Maldives in the first week of February. I would like to know the best places to visit in Maldives and things to do in Maldives for 3 days. We will be staying in Hulhulmale Island.

    1. Rahul,

      The Maldives is a very unusual destination in that nearly all visitors fly in and then head to one of the private-island resorts where they have beaches and water sports and such. If you are on Hulhumale Island it’s pretty quiet there, aside from a few nice stretches of beaches. You can obviously take a ferry or taxi (now that the new bridge is open) over to Male, although it’s a very crowded city with very few notable sights. The Maldives is mostly about relaxing in the sun, and you can do that on Hulhumale Island. You can also take the public ferries from the terminal on the west side of the island to several other islands that are populated. One thing you won’t find is alcohol, unless you are staying on one of the private islands. I’m not sure if this helps. -Roger

  6. Hello,

    I am planning to visit maldives in January. I would like to know the best place to visit maldives for honeymoon. Please suggest the best resort & place where we can enjoy water sports.

    1. Aparna,

      Most of these Maldives resorts are popular with honeymooners and January is a great month for weather. Nearly all resorts also offer similar water sports options, with the non-motorized ones usually included in the room rate. The list above are the ones we think are best suited to honeymooners for the reasons we have included. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  7. Hey Roger,

    Firstly, thanks for the great guidance you are giving here! I am planning my honeymoon for 4N5D to Maldives & I have booked the Adaaran Prestige Sunset Ocean Villa all-inclusive. Please advise if it is a wise choice?? How would you rate the snorkeling experience near the Ocean Villas??
    Kindly also advise any other details you have for the Resort.
    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    NM

    1. NM,

      I haven’t been to that resort, but I’ve been hearing good things about it for years. Adaaran has a very good reputation and I think the positive reviews are probably correct in general. I’ve also seen that they are offering pretty good rates at that resort so I think it could be a great choice for you. Sorry I can’t help more. -Roger

  8. Hi Roger,
    firstly,I appreciate your gesture. I think this website is very helpful to those who have never been to the island before. I will be honeymooner going to visit island in first week of November for 4-5 days.I understand that full board/all-inclusive will be the the best bet for money.I am looking for a more private and quieter experience as both me and my fiancee loves calmness. Can you suggest a good Resort with Jacuzzi/in house pool. Considering the premium charge, I think all hotels should be top notch in service and food quality?Also we intend to split our stay as 2 days on beach villa and 2 days on water villas.Please suggest what best options we have and what is the best time to book to avail the early bird discounts.Lastly, I am curious about the fact that most properties with less on land stays give free updates to water villas??:P whats the luck that we could get that;p.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Rishh,

      One thing you are definitely right about is that pretty much every Maldives water villa resort provides an excellent product and wonderful service. In a normal resort city there are great hotels and run-down hotels nearby, but I think because building and getting to these resorts is so expensive that it’s impossible to make money running one of these hotels if it gets mostly bad reviews. Since every resort is on its own private island and you have to arrange for transportation (speedboat or sea-plane) in advance, almost no one comes to the Maldives without a reservation, so bad places just don’t get booked.

      Among the all-inclusive resorts the ones I recommend for best value are Meeru Island and its sister resort Veligandu Island. Meeru Island is one of the largest islands, but it’s so spread out that it feels very calm and uncrowded even when it’s totally full. Veligandu is smaller and maybe a better choice for honeymooners, but usually a bit more expensive. Both of those resorts keep their room rates fairly low so they are usually filled with repeat guests all year round. Many other resorts charge much more for something similar, and then they start offering promotional discounts if they have too many vacancies about two or three months out.

      Have a look at those two resorts and check their rates. And then compare those to rates at other similar places. You might just find a promotional rate at a place that has many open rooms so you get an even better deal. Those two resorts offer very good value all year round though, so if they have availability they would be a good choice.

      I think the idea of booking two days in an island villa and two days in a water villa is a good move. I’ve seen many reviews where people who did that were upgraded to a water villa for extra days or their whole stay, but I think it’s mostly luck. Meeru Island, for example, has a large number of island villas compared to other places, but still I think they would upgrade people who are already booked in a water villa later in their stay before they would upgrade guests who never planned on staying in one. So I think your chances are decent, but it’s mostly luck. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  9. We are planning 4 nights in Maldives in October and would like to experience both the tree house villas and water villas. What are your recommendations. Thanks

  10. Hiya , looking for best deal for over the water bungalows. Unsure which island is best, for a couple end July to end August no date decided. For 7 days ideally all inclusive. Thanks

  11. Hi,

    My husband and I are planning our anniversary trip to the Maldives. We are planning on staying 5 nights. What do you suggest for activities? Also, are there shops and any local goods the Maldives are known for?

    1. Michelle,

      All of the nicer resorts in the Maldives are on their own private islands, by law. So the only shopping you get will be the gift shops at the resorts. You can also book an "island hopping" boat trip that takes you to a few other nearby islands, and in those places you’ll encounter some little souvenir shops. I wouldn’t recommend shopping in Male because it’s not really very touristy so it is mostly just local goods for daily life.

      As for activities, each resort has a long list of things and most of them are included in the room price. Snorkeling is popular and most resorts have a free boat trip once or twice a day to a nearby reef. Larger resorts have more choices, and most people just go to the Maldives to relax on a beach or in their water villa. -Roger