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.
A new entry for this upscale resort brand, the Niyama by Per Aquum Maldives resort features 44 water villas in addition to 40 island rooms and suites. Each of the water villas features its own private plunge pool on an oversized sun deck, so combined with the interior space these are among the largest accommodations in the Maldives.
There are also Deluxe Water Studios as well as Water Pavilions and Ocean Pavilions that are increasingly larger and coming with more amenities. The top two classes even come with personal on-call Thakuru (Maldivian butler) service, so it's obvious that this resort is meant for people who are willing to pay extra to make sure everything is exactly as they like. The off-season rates starting at US$714 per night seem quite reasonable for villas like these, though they may just be introductory promotional rates.
Moving even a bit further up the price scale, The Residence Maldives Resort has opened recently with 75 water villas and 19 beach villas. This is a new entry for a small chain that operates luxury properties in Tunisia, Mauritius, and Zanzibar already, and the opening here appears to have gone flawlessly as it's received nothing but 5-star reviews so far, which is a difficult feat in this market.
Even the smaller class of water villas here is huge by normal standards, and nearly half of the total have a private plunge pool on the sun deck as well. Each of the water villas has a separate bedroom, and there are family-friendly services, so this would be a good choice for those bringing children. For larger families there is are 2-bedroom water villas available, along with butler service. Off-season rates are starting at US$912 per night.
Still in the process of opening in summer of 2012, the Viceroy Maldives Resort is an exciting new entry from a Los Angeles-based resort chain that aims for the top of each market. This one has 32 water villas and 29 island villas, each of which is larger than a typical suburban house in the United States. Of course, each of the water villas has a plunge pool out on its private sun deck, but the differences might be more profound indoors.
The furnishings and style of these water villas are quite a departure from the standard tropical look, clearly aimed at the younger and more trendy upscale market. The largest of them is the Royal Villa, which is 638 square meters (6,867 square feet) inside and out, making it the second largest overwater bungalow in the world. Unlike the largest, which is at the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort, this one appears to be one giant 3-bedroom structure, so in some ways it is indeed the largest. Off-season rates are starting at US$1,057, and nearly double that in the winter.