Now that you've decided you'd like to take a vacation in an overwater bungalow or water villa, the first step is to try to figure out where to even begin. So, how does one start the planning process? This is the single most common question we get at this site, and it's understandable because these amazing accommodations are only common within a few parts of the world.

Another complication for most of us that makes planning a bit more difficult is that overwater bungalows are among the most expensive hotel rooms in the world. However, with that said, there is an increasing variety among resorts that are less expensive, as well. Honeymoon couples and others who are looking forward to a romantic getaway will often dream of overwater bungalows for both the gorgeous setting and privacy, but there are also some fantastic family resorts and even eco-resorts where scuba diving is the main activity.

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Honeymoon-style water bungalows, or a scuba diving holiday?

Starting off, if you’re like most people, then you’re interested in staying in one of those amazing huts on stilts out over a crystal clear lagoon in the tropics. We like to call those “honeymoon-style” overwater bungalows, and they are mostly found in the South Pacific (Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti) and the Maldives (just southwest of India).

 

With this said, there are now some solid honeymoon overwater resorts in the Caribbean, on both the islands of Jamaica and St. Lucia.

 

But, you’ll want to keep in mind that there are also more than a dozen overwater “eco resorts”. At these resorts, the main attraction is daily scuba diving excursions and other local wildlife as well as sea life. Now, when looking into this type of holiday you are either going to want to check out the overwater huts in the Caribbean (mostly off Central America), or the overwater huts in Asia in Malaysia or Indonesia.

Honeymoon-style water bungalows

Okay, so you do want to stay in an overwater suite that juts out over a turquoise lagoon. Now you’ll have to figure out where to go, which will largely depend on where you start from. The South Pacific and the Caribbean are much closer to North America, while the Maldives is considerably closer to those who live in Europe and the Middle East.

 

There are a few other great resorts in different parts of Asia, and they might be worth a look if you are starting from Australia or somewhere within Asia, but for almost everyone their best bet is one of the main three regions listed above.


Basic information about the main overwater resort areas

The section found just below should hopefully help to answer your first questions and better help you decide which part of the world is best for your holiday.


The Caribbean

A destination that’s been largely made famous by books, movies, and TV shows, the Caribbean is composed of hundreds of islands as well as the Caribbean coast of Central America and Mexico. The islands themselves only offer a few choices and have thus far been dominated by the famed Sandals brand. Though there are only a few overwater resorts to choose from, each of the 3 Sandals resorts- the Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort, the Sandals Royal Caribbean All Inclusive Montego Bay, and the Sandals South Coast Resort Whitehouse, Jamaica– impress every traveler with large rooms, luxury amenities, and great dining options that deliver the taste of the sea, along with other plate options.

 

With that said, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that Mexico also keeps up with 3 overwater choices. These resorts offer overwater rooms between US$500 and US$1,500 a night, allowing for guests with different budgets to enjoy a stay in paradise.

 

Prices

 

  • Jamaica overwater bungalows start off at US$3,244 per night per room
  • Mexico overwater bungalows start off at US$1,330 per night per room

 

Getting there

 

When researching how to reach the Caribbean, you’ll immediately find that there are several international airports that operate flights to the islands, with the most commonly used airport being the John F. Kennedy International Airport located in New York City and the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport that’s seated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. If you’re flying from Europe, you’ll also find several options, with most travelers passing through (or starting from) the London International Airport in England. Because each destination is so far from each other, some are based on the Caribbean coast of Central America while others directly on a Caribbean island, you’ll find that most of the resorts are reached via a different airport.

 

More information

 

Overwater resorts in the Caribbean
Overwater resorts in Mexico

South Pacific

Located very far south of Hawaii, you’ll find the famed and beautiful islands of Tahiti, Fiji, Moorea, and Bora Bora, plus 7 other islands with one resort each. Bora Bora is home to about 10 of these overwater resorts, including a large number of the most luxurious resorts in the South Pacific. You’ll wan to note that Bora Bora also houses some of the most expensive as well. Moorea is a beautiful island just off Tahiti, and it’s home to 5 of these overwater resorts, while Tahiti itself has 2 larger international resorts that offer guests some overwater bungalows in their accommodation list.

 

Prices

 

  • Tahiti overwater bungalows start at US$300 per night per room
  • Moorea overwater bungalows start at US$146 per night per room
  • Bora Bora overwater bungalows start at US$205 per night per room
  • Fiji overwater bungalows start at US$358 per night per room

 

Getting there

 

For nearly all of the resorts in this region, you’ll need to fly from Los Angeles to Tahiti as part of getting there. This is true even if you are starting in Europe. Thankfully, the Tahiti resorts are pretty close to the main airport. You can book an onward 5-minute flight to Moorea for only a bit more, or opt to take a short ferry ride. To reach Bora Bora you’ll fly to Tahiti and then take a 50-minute flight to Bora Bora itself.

 

More information

 

Overwater resorts in Tahiti
Overwater resorts in Moorea
Overwater resorts in Bora Bora
Overwater resorts elsewhere in the South Pacific

The Maldives

Located south of India and stretching all the way to below the equator, the Maldives is home to over 80 resorts with “water villas”, as they are tend to be called there. Each resort, by local law, rests on its own private island, and they range from tiny boutique resorts to large family resorts that cater with hundreds of rooms.

 

All of the islands in the Maldives chain are completely flat, meaning you won’t find mountain views like you would in the South Pacific. However, each island is surrounded by its own clear lagoon and thus offers great snorkeling and scuba diving, making it still feel like paradise.

 

What you’ll find is that the Maldives resorts range from all-inclusive package hotels that offer one large buffet restaurant serving every meal for a week, all the way up to super-luxury islands where there are an impressive 10 restaurants and bars that serve only 70 rooms.

 

Prices

 

Maldives water villas start at around US$306 per night
All-inclusive Maldives water villas start at about US$370 per night for two people

 

Getting there

 

The Maldives is an island chain that is incredibly and widely spread out, but with that said, all vacations to the country will still start out with travelers flying into the Malé International Airport, which is just northeast of the main island of Malé. To reach this airport from Europe you’ll almost certainly be taking an overnight flight, changing planes in the Middle East (Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai), and arriving in Malé in the morning.

 

Once you land at the Malé International Airport you’ll be met by staff from your resort who with either guide you to a private speedboat that takes you directly to the island. Or they’ll put you on a sea-plane for a short flight to the island. When you make your hotel reservation they’ll include the cost of the boat ride or flight, so it’s best to save money and book it yourself online.

 

More information

 

Overwater resorts in the Maldives

Overwater scuba and eco resorts

While there is certainly some great scuba diving and snorkeling at all the honeymoon-style resorts, there are also over a dozen specialty resorts where diving is the main activity and the sole reason guests fly in. If you are looking for this kind of trip your best bets are just off the coast of Central America, in the Caribbean, or in Malaysia or Indonesia in Asia.

 

More information

 

Overwater resorts in the Caribbean
Overwater resorts in Asia


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103 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

      1. Hi
        Was planning a last minute honeymoon. However I have been told it’s not the best idea to book May/June due to winds and rain… Is this accurate? We will be flying in from Canada – then week in France – end off with a few days in Maldives .

        1. Sandip,

          June does tend to be a bit rainier and windier than the other months of the year, but only by a little. Honestly, the weather in the Maldives is almost the same all year round. It’s true that in June there are a few times where it might be raining for half the day or even a bit longer, instead of just 30 minutes at a time the rest of the year, but most days are mostly sunny. The room rates are usually lowest in June so many people enjoy taking a bit of a chance and are usually rewarded with great weather anyway. Best of luck! -Roger