The Maldives is without a doubt the go to luxury holiday destination, so if you’re a budget backpacker it might not be the place for you!
But if you’re looking for somewhere to really treat yourself and live a life of luxury, you’ve come to the right place, as the Maldives is home to some of the world’s best luxury resorts.
Of course the Maldives is certainly a bucket list destination as it’s truly one of the most magical and mesmerizing destinations in the world.
But with some many luxury resorts available it can be hard to know where to stay to make the most of your time in the Maldives. So we’ve saved you the hassle and rounded up the 20 BEST water villas in the Maldives.
Tourists are likely to fly into the Maldivian capital of Male. However visitors quickly leave here and escape to the tranquility of their resort.
Altogether the Maldives is made up of around 1200 small coral islands, which are grouped in clusters of atolls. Around 200 of these islands are inhabited.
You’ll notice that a lot of the resorts we have recommended below are private islands, and we believe this is often the best way to experience the Maldives.
The Maldives’ main airport, Velana International Airport, is located in the capital of Male. Many major airlines operate here and you can get a flight from all over the world.
Direct flights from London to the Maldives are available, whilst flights from the Middle East, Europe and North America all fly into Male.
There are 17 local airports around the Maldives. You can book domestic flights to get between the different islands, these should be booked well in advance though. You might be able to get discounted travel to local islands if you ask at your hotel or guesthouse.
A more popular way to travel between islands in the Maldives is by Seaplane. Trans Maldivian Airways, offer the largest seaplane fleet in the world. These seaplanes can transport tourists between pretty much any island in the country. Resorts will likely provide chartered seaplanes.
The cheapest way to get around the Maldives is by taking the public ferry. Fares range from around $5 to $30.
Once you’re at your resort, or at your island destination, you’ll simply be able to walk around the area, hire a bicycle, or take part in an excursion to explore further afield.
Kicking off our collection of the best water villas in the Maldives is the Rihiveli Resort, which is in the Kaafu Male South Atoll. A 50 minute speedboat journey transports you the 27 miles from Male Airport to Rihiveli.
There’s 6 different villas on offer. The smallest caters for just 2 adults, whilst their largest villa can accommodate up to 6 adults and 2 children. All the bungalows have a private terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean.
An array of activities are available on site including sailing, PADI deep sea diving courses, volleyball and billiards. Or you can treat yourself to a spa treatment at Nala Spa.
Laundry services are included in the rates, as well as private sun loungers and hammocks.
Rihiveli offers a trio of dining options. Lagoon overwater restaurant serves buffet meals and Sunset Bar offers a la carte and cocktails. There’s also regular entertainment evenings with DJs and karaoke. Private Dining experiences are also available.
All rates include laundry services, private sun loungers and private terraces. There’s all inclusive options, or cheaper alternatives offering half board, or just breakfast.
Siyam World is found in Noonu Atoll on Dhigurah Island. This five star luxury all inclusive resort boasts 54 acres of ‘wow’. It’s a 40 minute seaplane from Male Airport to Siyam World. Or you could take a half an hour domestic flight to Maafaru Airport, and then a 15 minute speedboat.
There’s various transfer options to choose from when you book. There are transfers included in your bookings between certain dates. Or you can pay a premium fee for private transfers. Check the fine print before finalizing your booking to see your options.
There are some truly once in a lifetime activities available at Siyam including moonlit deep sea diving and marine biology tours of the reef. Watersports include jet skiing and windsurfing, or you can opt for kayaking and paddle boarding if you want to take it a little easier. You can also find the Maldives’ largest floating water park here!
One of the best activities is right on your doorstep though. Siyam has a whopping 6km of white sandy beaches for you to relax on, wander along and enjoy.
There are 6 restaurants and 8 bars at Siyam World with a variety of cuisines. From raw vegan to cultural specialities, there really is something to tempt everyone’s taste buds.
Lying within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll, Vakkaru is the epitome of Maldives luxury. The resort consists of 113 villas and suits, with glass floors so guests can marvel at the crystal clear waters below.
Vakkaru will be able to help arrange transfers, via either a 30 min seaplane or a 20 min domestic flight and 30 min speedboat.
There’s an array of facilities available to guests such as an outdoor wellness area, spa boutique, Merana Spa, nail salon, a dive center and sports fields. There’s even 24 hour clubs for kids and teens.
Bespoke dining experiences are available for guests, as well as 5 restaurants, 2 bars and a wine cellar.
Located in the North Male Atoll Paradise Island Resort and Spa is 9km from Velana International Airport. The 20 minute speedboat transfer to Paradise Island is provided by the resort, and charges must be paid on arrival.
All villas have private terraces and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, with an outdoor pool available to all guests. But if you want a more private experience, some of the premium villas have their own pools.
There’s lots of different dining options for guests too, with speciality Italian and Japanese restaurants, or the Farumathi Seafood Restaurant serving the finest Maldivian lobster.
Bageecha is the main restaurant on site which caters to all dietary requirements, and the Hulhangu Bar and Dhavani Coffee Shop serve food and drink 24/7 so perfect if you’re after a midnight snack. There really is something for everyone!
Facilities at Paradise Island include a fitness center, tennis courts and snorkeling and diving equipment. Excursions include night fishing, submarine visit, island hopping, day trip to Male and dolphin spotting at sunset.
After a 25 minute seaplane transfer admiring the breathtaking Maldivian scenery, you’ll arrive at Vilamendhoo Island Resort, in the South Ari Atoll. This is one of the few places in the world with a year round aggregation of whale sharks.
In fact, Vilamendhoo is home to some of the best marine biology in the Maldives. There’s over 50 diving sites around the island, as well as a crystal clear lagoon and stunning house reef. This makes Vilamendhoo the ideal snorkeling and adventure island.
Excursions include experiences with nurse sharks, whale sharks, turtles and manta rays. You can pre book excursions and check out upcoming events using their app.
Dining experiences include buffet restaurants, including an adults only restaurant, as well as private al fresco dining on the beach. Or if you simply want to relax for the evening you can just opt for room service. There’s also special dining events hosted at Vilamendhoo.
Accommodation consists of garden villas and beach villas, all within steps of the shore, with free wifi and outdoor pools at all villas.
And as if all this wasn’t enough, Vilamendhoo is committed to delivering on sustainability.
The 5 star all inclusive Emerald Resort is on the island of Fasmendhoo, located a scenic 40 minute seaplace journey from Male Airport.
There’s beach villas and water villas with patios over the sea. There’s a choice of pool views, garden views and sea views. You can also upgrade to a villa with a private pool and/or jacuzzi. Before booking your stay you can enjoy a virtual tour of the villas on their website.
The onsite Emerald spa offers Balinese and Thai treatments, as well as an Indonesian-style pool, Turkish baths, jacuzzis and saunas. There’s a watersports center with kayak and windsurfing equipment. Jet skis are available at an extra charge.
Emerald also has a diving center where PADI professionals offer courses for those who want their PADI license. See more information about pricings. This Indian Ocean is an amazing place to learn to dive, with stunning coral reefs, and over 1000 species of fish.
If you’re a solo traveler, Emerald Maldives Resort has discounted rates for single occupancy villas.
By their own admission, Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa is the ideal water villa in the Maldives for honeymoon, ‘taking romance to another level’. Their adults only Platinum Island offers the ultimate romantic experience with a private pool, restaurant, bar and lounge.
It’s a quick 45 minute sea transfer from Male Airport to the Meemu Atoll, where you’re welcomed by the turquoise halo surrounding the island. Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa is surrounded by one of the largest, shallowest lagoons in the Maldives.
There’s a spa specializing in relaxation and indulgent therapies. And it’s been described as world class. Other facilities for guests include a fitness center, watersports and a diving center. The Malaafaiy Restaurant offers a buffet spread whilst the Nalha Falhul bar, perched on stilts, is the ideal setting for intimate after dinner drinks.
Whizz a quick 25 minutes by sea plane over to Constandce Moofushi, your own secluded island found in the South Ari Atoll. Transfers are provided by the resort, and charges are paid on arrival.
Their all inclusive packages take care of everything, from their mini bar and tea and coffee facilities, to the wifi and infinity pool. All villas have air con, flat screen TVs, private sundecks and designer furniture.
On site dining experiences include barefoot dining experiences with white sands, ocean views and an international buffet at the Manta Restaurant. The Ailzee Restaurant allows you to dine on the beach, under the palm trees, enjoying an a la carte menu. After dinner you can have a relaxing cocktail, smoothie or iced tea with the ocean breeze on your face at the Totem Bar.
As we mentioned before, the South Ari Atoll is one of the best diving sites in the world, but if you’re not busy experiencing it for yourself, head to their on-site spa for a bio marine treatment. The USPA by Constance spa and wellness center offers body massages and has a yoga pavilion.
Branding itself a secluded sanctuary, JA Manafaru guests can choose from villas with a view of either the sunrise, or the sunset. There are varying sized villas available, as well as three bespoke residences ideal for families and friends traveling together. All villas have private plunge pools and daily breakfast is included in all rates. Check out a 360 degree VR tour of all the units before you book.
Pick up and drop off is offered by JA Manafaru for an additional charge. The resort is reached by chartered seaplane, or by domestic flight and speedboat.
There are seven breathtaking dining venues to choose from. The White Orchid Lounge is perfect for afternoon tea, the Ocean Grill serves local seafood and Andiamo Bistro offers flavors from the mediterranean. The Cellar at JA Manafaru is home to the first and deepest subterranean wine cave in the Maldives.
There’s lots happening everyday for guests including entertainment like live music, movie nights, bike tours and cooking classes. Excursions include the dolphin sunset tour and game fishing operate most days. Or there’s Elemis treatments and Maldivian massages at Calm Spa Sanctuary, as well as manicures, hair treatments, and saunas.
Dusit Thani is found on Mudhdhoo island, in the Baa Atoll, the Maldives’ first UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It’s a 35 minute seaplane journey from Velana International Airport.
Dusit Thani aims to incorporate warm and friendly Maldivian culture with Thai heritage. There’s several luxurious villas to choose from. There’s beach, water or ocean villas, with and without private pools.
There’s an array of cuisine options available including the Sand Bar, home to one of the largest infinity pools in the Maldives. Benjarong makes a nod to the resort's heritage, serving authentic Thai dishes. Floating Breakfasts, with or without champagne, can be ordered to your own private pool.
One of the most exciting experiences at Dusit Thai has to be their 3 night excursion to Hanifaru Bay. From May to November this area is alive with all sorts of fascinating marine biology including plankton, whale sharks and manta rays.
Nestled in the heart of the North Ari Atoll, Constance Halaveli offers spacious villas all with stunning views of either greenery or the turquoise lagoon. All villas have private plunge pools and sun terraces and flat screen TVs.
Different sized villas are available to suit all types of guests, whether it’s a romantic couples trip, or a big family holiday. If you’re traveling as a family, the Constance Kids Club will keep the children entertained.
Your dining options consist of an Asian-European fusion at Jing, international dishes at Jahaz and fresh seafood at Meeru. Luxury dining and wine tasting experiences really set this resort apart from the rest.
Certain activities like tennis, kayaking, SUP, and windsurfing are all complementary. And of course no Maldives trip would be complete without some snorkeling! Guests can pay a premium fee for motorized water activities like wakeboarding and jet skiing. Day excursions include fishing and diving trips
If you need to chill out after the excitement of the water sports, you can step into tranquility at the Constance Spa. Treatments here use aromatic natural products, inspired by plants from the Indian Ocean. There’s also a yoga room, hot and cold plunge pools, and a sauna.
Movenpick Resort Kuredhivaru is a 45 minutes seaplane journey from Male Airport in Noon Atoll, one of the least disturbed atolls in the Maldives.
There’s over 72 overwater villas with private plunge pools, patios and sundecks, as well as air-con and flat screen TVs. There's also a sunset-facing outdoor infinity pool for all guests to enjoy.
Dining options are varied with a buffet breakfast served every morning, an over water restaurant serving local seafood, and a grilling cuisine restaurant. There’s also a poolside bar to enjoy some relaxed drinks. The restaurants host ‘Chocolate Hour’ 60 minutes every afternoon - it looks even more delicious than it sounds!
Health and wellbeing is well prioritized at Movenpick Kuredhivaru, with a volleyball court, an overwater over and exercise jetty and a 24/7 beachfront fitness center with personal training available. They even have an onsite resort clinic to deal with any injuries or illnesses whilst away.
Now it wouldn’t be a Maldives resort without a spa…
The Sun Spa by Healing Earth allows you to curate your treatments based on your skin type. Treatments take inspiration from the natural healing power of Africa’s rich natural resources.
If you’re looking for a profoundly luxurious experience, look no further than Raffles Maldives. It’s located in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, which is considered to be one of the most pristine in the world.
You’re really in your own luxury safe haven, hidden in the far south of the Maldives archipelago. You’ll need to take a 60-minute domestic flight to Kaadedhdoo, and then a private speedboat to get there. And once you’ve arrived you’ll be greeted by your own butler!
This eco-friendly hotel has a variety of beach villas and overwater villas with pools. Villas with sunset views are available. Continental or a la carte breakfasts are available daily.
There’s also lots of dining options to choose from. The Fire Pit restaurant will guarantee a memorable dining experience, eating on the pristine white sands under the stars. If you’re average a beverage or two, Yapa Sunset Bar serves South American and Japanese cocktails, whilst Long Bar serves some of the most prestigious champagnes.
You can keep up your fitness regime whilst staying at Raffles at their overwater fitness room and yoga center. Or enjoy the fresh air around the garden jogging track, outdoor pool or in the crystal clear waters of the surrounding lagoon.
Check their rates and availability - make yourself aware of the mandatory charges before booking.
On a private island nestled in the heart of a UNESCO biosphere reserve is Anantara Kihavah Maldives. The area has been well preserved over the years, and not a single tree has been moved since the island has been inhabited.
A scenic 30 minute seaplane transfer from Male Airport takes you to what has been dubbed as ‘The World's Most Instagrammable Hotel’. Hotel transfers are available at an extra charge. On arrival you’ll meet your 24 hour private villa host, who will ensure your stay is nothing short of perfect. Anantara Kihavah is engulfed with turquoise waters and offers 80 beach and pool villas.
Start your day by venturing around the resort by bicycle, or use your complementary snorkeling equipment to explore the reef and its five species of turtle.
Then head to one of the six overwater spa treatments suites. Treatments showcase the 5000 year old natural science Ayurved, which offers guidance and pathways towards health and harmony through holistic treatments.
In the evening there’s seven restaurants and bars to choose from, four of which come together to create the four-in-one dining experience - SEA.FIRE.SPICE.SKY. SEA is an award-winning underwater restaurant and wine cellar, serving European food, paired with the perfect wine.
To end the day you can stargaze at the world’s only overwater observatory.
Summer Island Maldives aims to combine the barefoot island lifestyle with the comforts of resort living. It’s only a quick 15 minute seaplane transfer from Male Airport. Summer Island is in the North Male Atoll, which means warm days and fabulous sunsets are guaranteed all year round.
Water villas are suitable for 2 adults, with direct sea access just steps away. They all come with private sundecks, jacuzzi baths, and a choice of a sunrise or sunset view.
On-site facilities include the Kiyaa Library, an in-house doctor, an infinity pool, concierge, laundry and ironing services, watersports, tennis courts and live music. There’s also The Firuma overwater spa offering detox, hot stone and relaxation treatments.
Excursions include a unique trip to a local Maldivian island, where locals have aimed to preserve their culture and ways of living for thousands of years. Or you can head over Male for a tour of this one-of-a-kind floating capital.
An array of dining experiences are on offer including ‘Sand and Stars’ - the ultimate candlelit dinner on the beach. Bubbly breakfasts are available to book, or a lunch time picnic on the pristine white sandbank. If you’re craving a night in, you can always order room service!
This adult only resort has got to be one of the best water villas in the Maldives for a honeymoon escape. Komandoo Island Resort was actually ranked seventh in Trip Advisors Top 25 Romance Hotels in Asia. A scenic 40 minute seaplane journey from Velana Airport takes you to Komandoo Island Resort in the Lhaviyani Atoll.
Facilities at Komandoo include a private beach area, a swimming pool, snorkeling and windsurfing. Water villas all come with jacuzzis. There’s lots for wellness enthusiasts too, like group yoga sessions, and the specialist Duniye Spa. They practise ancient beauty therapies using natural treatments from Thai, Indian and Balinese therapists.
Unique dining experiences include private outdoor dining on the beach, and the 5.8 Undersea restaurant where you can enjoy your dinner 5.8m under the ocean. There’s also Aqua, their a la carte restaurant on stilts above the lagoon, and the buffet style Falhu restaurant with 6 live cooking stations.
Like other water villa resorts in the Maldives, Komandoo offers a variety of excursions, but a truly unique excursion here teaches you about the fragile Maldives marine life and shows turtles being nursed and rehabilitated.
Komandoo Island offers single occupancy rates and ‘book now pay later’ deals.
Bathala island is on the eastern side of North Ari Atoll. The island and its Sandies Bathala Resort are home to thousands of species of fish. There’s a direct seaplane from Male Airport to Sandies which takes just 15 minutes. You can book the transfer when booking your stay at Sandies Bathala, and the resort will organize the transfer for you.
The resort has 24 water villas, as well as 46 beach bungalows, all with sea views.
There’s only one restaurant at Sandies which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, taking inspiration from the mediterranean. You can treat yourself to a private dining experience under the stars. These must be pre booked and are only available from 8pm-9:30pm. The Island Bar is open 10am-midnight everyday. They serve all inclusive drinks, house wine, local beer and juices.
Wellness facilities at Sandies Bathala include the Muva Spa, swimming pool, gym, beach volleyball and Complementary snorkeling is available to all guests. But there’s the opportunity to take a snorkeling excursion with a qualified marine biologist for an additional charge. You can also privately rent a Dhoni, a typical Maldivian boat.
A 20 minute seaplace journey drops you off at Diamonds Athuruga Resort in the South Ari Atoll. The resort can help organize your transfer for you. There are 21 water villas here, all with a canopy bed and living areas.
Water villa guests can dine for free in the Thari over water restaurant, where a fusion a la carte menu is offered. Other dining options include Thila, a Japanese restaurant with live cooking in a small thatched hut. ‘Dining with the Stars’ is a unique chance to watch JRE chefs from around Europe cook. There’s the opportunity to learn skills and recipes from some of the world's top chefs.
For those who follow a plant based diet, Diamonds Athuruga offers a special vegan experience. This all inclusive option includes daily coconut water and herbal teas to your room, and a specialized a la carte menu. This must be pre-booked.
Guests can enjoy yoga, pilates, water gymnastics, or a treatment inspired by the ancient heritage of Ayurveda at the Serena Spa. And if all this wasn’t enough, there’s a Nintendo Wii for guests to play on!
Yet another resort nestled in the UNESCO Baa Atoll, a mandatory 30 minute transfer takes you from Male Airport to the Royal Island Resort. Fees must be paid on arrival.
All the villas are steps away from the pristine white sands and crystal clear lagoon. Inside you’ll find intricately carved wooden furniture and marble features.
World class restaurants and bars at Royal Island include the 24 hour Boli Bar. There’s something for everyone to enjoy in the evening with dancing, karaoke and live music on the moonlit deck. And if you get peckish at any hour there’s always room service available.
One of the most popular, and more unique, watersports available here is parasailing. Fly above the water with amazing views of the turquoise lagoon and bright sands.
Treatments at the spa use therapeutic essential oils, exotic plants and herbs. All treatments are 50 minutes, and guests can choose a complementary added extra on top.
And last but not least, Kandima Maldives rounds up this incredible collection of the best water villas in the Maldives. This resort is in the Dhaalu Atoll, thought to be one of the most remote atolls in the Maldives. It’s made up of 57 islands, only 7 of which are inhabited.
It’s 171 km Male Airport which can be tackled by seaplane, or domestic airline. Pre-book your transfer here.
Kandima boasts 10 restaurants and bars for guests to choose from. Perhaps their best dining experience is the Sea Dragon and Forbidden Bar, with a vast array of authentic asian dishes, and live music every night. The Aroma Cafe serves specialty coffee all the way from Ethiopia.
Wellness facilities include aqua bike lessons, anti gravity yoga and zumba. Signature local treatments are available from the esKape spa like full body exfoliation using locally sourced Maldivian coconut.
Perhaps the most unique feature of Kandima is painting and craft classes at the KULA art studio. KULA means colors in Dhivehi and is the inspiration behind the KULA art initiative.
Every year 20 local artists come to Kandima and showcase their skills to the world. It’s the first of its kind to happen at any resort in the country. Throughout KULA Kandima becomes the trendiest art center in the Indian Ocean.
The best time to visit the Maldives is during the dry season which lasts from November through to April.
The monsoon season in the Maldives is between May and October.
March and April are probably the best months to visit the Maldives - the weather is hotter and drier, and the resorts are typically a bit quieter.
Avoid the Easter holidays though as it’s pricier!
Bear in mind that the Maldvies is a muslim country so it’s respectful to dress a little more conservatively around the airport, in Male, and small villages.nIt’s a good idea to bring a loose cover up. Once at a resort or island though, it won’t matter as much as you’re surrounded by tourists.
As the Maldives is amazing for snorkeling you might want to invest in an underwater camera. A dry bag is useful for boat trips and water sports.
Remember that the sea planes have a luggage weight limit, which could be less than your airline's luggage limit.
As the Maldives is a muslim country, there are limitations to buying and consuming alcohol. You won’t be allowed to bring alcohol into the country with you. You also can’t buy alcohol from stores in the Maldives.
On island resorts you can buy alcohol, but it won’t be cheap. There’s an additional 22% tax on top of menu prices too. All inclusive resorts include alcohol in their rates.
Long holidays are very popular in the Maldives, especially as it’s a long journey to get there. Often holidays are between 10 days and 2 weeks which is ideal for a relaxing beach holiday.
However if you like a faster paced holiday, don’t make the mistake of spending too many days in the Maldives. 4 to 5 days gives you time to enjoy lots of the main attractions.
If you’re looking to do specific activities such as deep sea diving, these will add more time to your itinerary.
A holiday to Maldives certainly won’t be a cheap one! Especially in one of the resorts we’ve recommended above. You won’t be able to enjoy one of these properties on a shoestring budget.
Remember though, that the properties we have listed above offer all-inclusive, so there might not be much need to spend extra when it comes to food and drink. Additional adventure activities of course come with a price tag.
The average spend for a holiday to the Maldives for 2 people is around $3300.
Hopefully you are feeling inspired to treat yourself to a luxury Maldives vacation.
Which of the above villas do you think you’ll book for your trip to the Maldives?
Or do you have any other suggestions of the best villas in the Maldives?
Let us know in the comments below.