Editor’s Choice: 6 Finest super-luxury Maldives water villa resorts

With nearly 80 Maldives resorts that feature overwater villas, it's rarely easy to find the one that suits you best. Just because a hotel has a high rack rate doesn't mean that it's one of the best out there, so we've gone through all of them to create a list of the absolute best of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives to help you find the best for you.

The majority of the overwater bungalow resorts in the Maldives are 4-star or 5-star, so expectations tend to be high at any of them, but some deliver on the super-luxury promise far better than others, and those are listed below. We keep a list of all of the most luxurious Maldives resorts for those who have the time to spend the time researching a great number of them. [read more]

Huge 5-star Maldives water villa now only US$406 per night per couple

As I search out the best promotional deal of the week, the resort names can get familiar because some consistently offer the best rates. But this week the featured deal is an amazing resort that I haven't written about in quite a while, which just happens to be offering a 30% discount off its already reasonable rates for some of the largest water villas in the Maldives.

The Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Maldives Resort is a boutique 5-star resort with 30 water villas (which they call ‘Aqua Villas') and 20 Island Villas. The most stunning feature of this luxurious resort is that the water villas are about the size of a suburban house at 186 square meters including a huge private deck. In this price range in the Maldives you'll normally get 50 to 60 square meters so this is a degree of spaciousness and luxury that most of us normally don't even daydream about. [read more]

Huge 5-star overwater bungalow in Bora Bora for US$765 per night

Typically we feature overwater bungalows that are near the cheaper end of the range, but many honeymooners and others looking for the trip of a lifetime are more interested in quality than price, so this is for you. Simply put, the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is easily one of the finest of the 5-star Bora Bora resorts, and even as the high season is approaching they are offering special rates that put in more in the mid-range category.

There are two amazing InterContinental resorts in Bora Bora, and another in Moorea, and this is by far the best of them. The overwater bungalows here are larger and nicer than the standard overwater bungalows at the Bora Bora Hilton, and they are similar to the St. Regis Bora Bora at a much lower cost. [read more]

Three new luxury Maldives water villa resorts have recently opened in 2012

Water villas and overwater bungalows continue to gain in popularity around the world so it's no surprise that new resorts keep opening that feature the rooms on stilts. The Maldives alone now has 81 water villa resorts with more than 3,100 water villas combined, which is nearly two-thirds of the world's total.

In the past few months we've seen three new resorts opening to the public, with one aimed at the mid-level market and the other two at the high end. In fact, the most luxurious of these new resorts features the second largest overwater bungalow in the world, which is still being completed as of press time. Let's look at the three new resorts below. [read more]

The undersea restaurant in the Maldives: More than a novelty

The Maldives is already one of the most unusual and magical holiday destinations in the world, particularly as home to about two-thirds of the world's overwater bungalows.

But for those who want to take the sea-life observation one step further than watching through a glass panel in your bungalow floor, you can dine at the world's first undersea restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort.

Open since 2005, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is made of all glass and has 180-degree views of the magnificent tropical sea and plant life. [read more]

About overwater bungalows and water villas

First introduced in the South Pacific only a few decades ago, the overwater bungalow is now one of the hottest trends in the resort world. Honeymoon couples have been staying in these iconic rooms since the beginning, but now they are popular with families and adventure travelers as well.

For many people, the South Pacific island of Bora Bora is the most famous destination for the best overwater bungalows, but it's actually the Maldives, which is just southwest of India, where most of these huts-on-stilts exist. The Maldives has more than 90 resorts that feature water villas (as they are typically known there), with several new private-island resorts opening every year.

In the South Pacific you will find almost a dozen resorts on Bora Bora, another five on Moorea, and two on Tahiti that have over water villas. There are about 10 additional overwater resorts on other South Pacific islands stretching all the way to Fiji and New Caladonia.

There are also about a dozen overwater bungalow resorts in the Caribbean, mostly off the coast of Central America, with nearly all of them being diving-oriented “eco resorts.” But a few luxury overwater bungalows exist and more are being built on St. Lucia and other islands in the popular areas of the Caribbean, and this website will be the best place to look for information on all of them.