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.

There are only 14 seats and 7 tables so it's wise to take advantage of the fact that you can make a reservation starting two weeks before you arrive, considering that the resort has 150 villas and rooms.

The cuisine is Maldivian-Western fusion with a seasonal menu, and it's open for lunch and dinner daily. Dress is “smart” and children under 12 aren't allowed to dine at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at all.

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Conrad Maldives Resort is one of the finest in the Maldives

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Seeing that all Maldives resorts are on private islands that are usually quite far apart, this isn’t a restaurant you can visit if you are staying anywhere else. In fact, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is two islands connected by a unique walkway, with a special area on one island dedicated to adults only. For this reason it’s a great choice for those looking for Maldives resorts with no kids.

 

Those fortunate enough to be staying at the Conrad Maldives will be treated to 5-star luxury throughout, with 71 overwater villas and 79 island villas to choose from. There’s also the Sunset Grill, which is an overwater restaurant, allowing diners to observe things from yet another angle, as well as an overwater spa.

>More information about the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Attractive off-season online specials

Honestly, the Conrad Maldives is among the most expensive of all Maldives resorts, with high season (December through April) rates starting at around US$1,400 per night for the water villas. But during the summer months (June through September) you can get amazing online specials starting at only US$675 per night in a water villa if availability is high.

 

Even if you see a rate under US$1,000 per night at any time of the year, it’s good value considering the quality and popularity of this special private-island hotel. They also do wedding planning and services, plus it’s obviously very popular among honeymooners, so it’s an excellent choice for a romantic getaway.


Video showing the undersea restaurant from above and then entering below

 

Photo courtesy of memorypixel on flickr


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32 thoughts on "Maldives Water-Villa Resorts Near Malé Airport"

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  1. Hi Roger
    I am visiting Male on a cruise ship and would like to get a day ticket to a nearby island. Could you recommend one or two with good snorkling and give any advice on the best way to book.

    Thanks

  2. I have booked Paradise island resort for 3 night stay in December but I want to visit underwater restaurant like Ithaa or 5.8 but unable to get information how can I go there ? Please help me the cheapest way of travel from my resort to the underwater restaurants

    1. Amit,

      Generally speaking, there isn’t much transportation between resorts. It’s mostly between the airport and the resorts. It would be best to check the website of the resort with the underwater restaurant and see what their policy is. Best of luck. -Roger

  3. Hi Roger,

    if i take a ferry first to the city. Will it be possible to book a watervilla from there via some travel agent or some rep ?

    1. Game,

      I would assume that it would be possible, but I’m not sure. Because of the fact that airport transfers are built into the reservations could make it awkward to book once in Male. Also, I doubt you’d get a better deal there because the best deals tend to through Agoda.com and if someone has an office they would find it hard to compete. I know there are a couple of online travel agencies based in Male, but I don’t know if they have walk-in offices. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  4. Hi Roger, great list. Do you know if any of these resorts are particularly baby friendly — offer cribs and childcare, etc?

    thanks!

  5. Hello Roger,
    Thanks a lot for all the information! We just booked a 4 days stay in Meeru Island, and I wanted to check with you if the speedboats can only be booked via the hotel for a fixed price, or are there different websites/companies with different rates?
    Many thanks,
    Talina

    1. Talina,

      I’m only aware of booking speedboats through the resorts. Meeru owns quite a few different boats and they send the appropriate size to the airport to pick up the people who have just landed, usually within an hour or so. I’ve heard of private speedboat companies, but I don’t think these private-island resorts allow transfers through them. You are going to love Meeru Island. -Roger

  6. Am planning my honeymoon on 21/12/2018 till 28/12/2018 I know it’s the high season but I want to ask what it the best water villa with pool in good resort around $800 – $1000/ night all inclusive ? And if u can also tell me what transfer is best to that resort and how much it will cost /person ? Thanks a lot

    1. Mika,

      I’m not sure how many all-inclusive Maldives resorts have private pools, although quite a few of them have private Jacuzzis. Check our list of the best Maldives resorts with pool water villas. I think the all-inclusive resorts with private Jacuzzis such as Meeru Island and Veligandu Island are going for around US$700 to US$900 per night for that week, and those are usually the cheapest, so I’m not sure if you’ll find a pool villa in that price range. As you know, that is literally the busiest and most expensive week in the Maldives and everywhere else in the Tropics.

      As for airport transfers, each resort books you on their own speedboats or through a charter sea-plane company and they add it to the room price when you book. The speedboats for the closer places start around US$100 per person, return, and the sea-planes can be as much as US$700 per person, return. We list the transfer options just below the normal room rates on our page about each of the resort, along with the price for each option. I hope this helps and best of luck with this. -Roger

  7. Hi Roger, Thanks for this. What are your thoughts on the Club Med resorts in comparison to those you have listed here? are the on the same / better / worse level? Thanks very much

    1. Alex,

      I’ve never stayed at a Club Med, but generally I hear very good things about them and their customers seem to be loyal. As far as I can tell, Club Med offers a premium product at a premium price. I think you can get something similar for less money elsewhere, and nearly all of the Maldives all-inclusives are very high quality. My guess is that people are willing to pay more for Club Med because they trust that it will be great, and to book at a small chain or an independent resort means taking a little chance. I can tell you that Meeru Island and Veligandu Island, which are both run by the same local company, are excellent. I hope this helps. -Roger

  8. Hi Roger,

    Do you know what the weather is like in the Maldive in May? I am struggling to get a common answer off travel agents?
    Also do you know if it is possible to get a speed boat transfer from the airport to the Shangri la Villingili?

    1. LCJones,

      From Late May through early July it can be rainy for most of a day or two at a time in the Maldives, but during the rest of the year the rain tends to last only 20 or 30 minutes at a time and is often overnight. Also, the Maldives covers a huge area and resorts south of the equator can have different weather patterns from the ones closer to Sri Lanka, so you have to drill down. The general weather forecasts including my advice is for the area fairly close to the capital and airport. -Roger

  9. Hello there Roger! This is a very helpful article. I would like to ask if the room fits 2 people and it says 560usd per night does that means 560×2 per night? We are planning to go by next yr and we are group of 7.

    Thanks

    1. Cindy,

      If you are referring to the information on this website, yes, every water villa fits two people (and most of them actually fit 3 because they have a pull-out sofa), and the prices we quote are for the whole room with two guests and that includes the taxes. We update the rates at least once a year, and if you are looking at high season you might see higher rates. But generally speaking you can use the prices on this site as what you’ll pay for two guests per night in a water villa. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  10. Roger,

    Please I would like to know which Resorts/hotels in Maldives offer the symbolic weeding? Also, which are the cheapest? Thank you in advance!!!

  11. Hi Roger, me and my husband are planning a 10 night vacation to the Maldives and would appreciate first hand advice from you pls…….we are looking for as close as possible to the main airport, butler service, all inclusive if poss and over the water accom with splash pool on deck and exceptionally clean is a must! Many thanks, cheers

    1. Sue,

      Unfortunately, I haven’t visited nearly enough of these resorts to be able to recommend one with butler service near the airport. The list in the article should be helpful because we list all of the resorts from closest to the airport and going out from there, and all of them have speedboat transfers. I’m not sure any of the places that have butler service also do all inclusive.

      You might look into Gili Lankanfushi (formerly Six Senses)
      https://www.overwaterbungalows.net/gili-lankanfushi-maldives

      They don’t have all inclusive but they are fairly close to the airport and they have amazing service and great suites. Sorry I can’t be of more help on this. -Roger

  12. Hi Roger,

    Me and my wife will be in Maldives in August 2018.
    i was looking for a resort witch can be access via speedboat and seaplane, i was thinking if we can arrived at the resort via seaplane and back to male via speedboat.

    thanks a lot.

    1. Richard,

      Quite a few Maldives resorts offer both speedboats and sea-planes so you should be able to do what you are hoping. I don’t have a list of the resorts that do offer both, but on this website we have prices for each option on each of our resort pages and we have both prices for the resorts that offer both. In other words, if you look around this site a bit you should be able to find some resorts that look good to you and offer both modes of transport. -Roger

  13. Hi ,

    Me , my wife and my 1 year kid is planning to visit maldives on june 2nd week.

    To avoid a long drive , we would like to take a good private resort near the airport also which includes full meals.

    Could you suggest a good place for us. privacy and safety are our main concenrns

    1. Arun,

      The article above shows all of the resorts that are close to the airport, and most of those are within 45 minutes by speedboat. I wrote it to specifically answer questions like this. -Roger

  14. My husband and I are looking for a pool water villa/ pool beach villa accessible by speedboat from Male airport, for our 15th anniversary. We would prefer something that is all inclusive (includes alcohol), and has a luxury feel to it, but is not exhorbitantly priced.It will be a romantic getaway for 2. We stayed in Taj Exotica for our 10th and loved it – want to explore another property this time. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

  15. Hey Roger.
    Looking to holiday in the Maldives in November.
    We are a family of 4 (2 kids, 5 and 13).
    Could you suggest a good water villa resort not too far from the airport.
    One thats all inclusive and decently priced.
    Thanks and Regards ?

  16. do you know if you can get to any of these via public ferry? would love to avoid that expensive speed boat!

    1. Danny G,

      The public ferries only go to populated islands and by law all of the Maldives resorts like these have to be on a private island. So unfortunately there are no public ferries to private islands, at least not that I’m aware of. -Roger