10 of the Best Water Villas in the Maldives
From dreamy ocean hideaways to showstopping overwater residences, we’ve rounded up ten of the best water villas you’ll find in the Maldives.
When you think of a Maldives resort, it’s hard not to picture rows of luxurious wooden villas hovering above a crystal-clear lagoon. They’re an iconic part of a Maldives holiday, and beautiful moments like soaking up the sun on the deck of your villa with a glass of champagne or watching the sunset surrounded by the Indian Ocean stay with you for a lifetime.
Yet not all villas are created equal. Some of the best water villas in the Maldives offer stunning infinity pools and glass bathtubs with ocean views, while others literally become your own private playground with water slides into the lagoon (thank you, Soneva). So to give you some inspiration for your next trip or just fuel for your imagination, here’s our pick of ten of the very best.
Soneva Jani is ranked among the best luxury resorts in the Maldives, with multiple awards to its name, including accolades from the likes of Condé Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure. Its spacious overwater villas, which range from one to four bedrooms, are designed to ignite a spark of excitement from the moment you see them as you arrive at the resort by seaplane.
Arranged on either side of a whimsical wooden walkway, each villa has a private pool and, perhaps most famously, a waterslide into the lagoon. The accommodation is spread across two floors, and many villas feature a retractable roof, so you can stargaze from the comfort of your bed.
Soneva Jani is ultra-luxurious but laid back, and highlights include a spa and open-air cinema, plus dreamy activities like snorkelling and dolphin cruises. The resort also hosts regular events, such as sessions with renowned wellness experts, dinners with top chefs, and coaching with professional athletes.
North Malé Atoll
Although only 20-minutes from Malé by speedboat, Gili Lankanfushi offers peace and serenity in an unspoilt haven and is the perfect place to switch off from the world. Every one of the resort’s 45 rustic-luxe villas is set over the water, providing tranquility and unparalleled views of the beautiful turquoise waters that surround the island.
The jewel in the crown at Gili Lankanfushi is its Private Reserve. Located a short boat ride from the shore, it’s the largest standalone overwater villa in the world, measuring a sprawling 1,700 sqm. And while you have the use of a private boat to come and go, there are plenty of reasons to stay put, including a stunning infinity pool and sundeck, an air-conditioned gym, a spa with a sauna and steam room, and a cinema.
The Island View Crusoe Residences are also stand-alone villas accessible only by boat and offer exquisite privacy alongside breathtaking views. Each villa features glass floor panels and a private rooftop to immerse you in the natural beauty of your surroundings.
Besides superb relaxation, Gili Lankanfushi also offers a variety of watersports, including snorkelling, scuba diving, and surfing, plus whale shark and dolphin-watching excursions, cooking classes, and a spa.
LUX* South Ari Atoll
South Ari Atoll
Located on Olhuhali Island in South Ari Atoll, LUX* offers a sublime luxury getaway in modern bungalows. Over 60 water villas are available, many featuring spacious sun decks and private infinity pools. The water villas are arranged along two wooden walkways, with one area reserved for adults only.
You’ll find a variety of activities to while away your time in paradise, including yoga, snorkelling, paddle boarding, and whale shark excursions. Or why not explore one of the eight restaurants and five bars on the island?
Amilla Maldives Resort & Residences
Located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Baa Atoll, Amillia Maldives is a mixture of contemporary and modern-day living. They classify their overwater villas as pearls across azure waves overlooking the ocean.
Although they have a few accommodation options on land, their most beautiful villas are overwater. Choose from a beach pool, water pool, or sunset villa and enjoy breathtaking views of the tranquil ocean. With many restaurants and bars available, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Amilla.
Located in the south of the country in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Ayada Maldives is a five-star resort with fantastic service that will make all your worries disappear as soon as you land.
Relaxation is the primary activity in Ayada’s water villas, with plunge pools and overwater hammocks included in most. Glass-panelled floors allow you to see the marine life swimming under your feet, and an outdoor shower awaits after a dip in the pool or ocean.
One of the main attractions at Ayada is their eight different dining options. A few of the possibilities are a wine and cheese island, a Turkish café, and beach barbecues, amongst other delectable options. With adventurous activities and excursions also available, you’ll never get bored at Ayada.
As well as boasting some of the most gorgeous water villas in the Maldives, Ayada also offers access to some incredible and uncrowded surf spots too.
Located in Baa Atoll, The Nautilus is an exclusive Bohemian getaway perfect for couples. The small resort offers just 26 beach and overwater bungalows, all with a healthy dose of privacy and seclusion. All villas have private pools, high ceilings, and are very spacious. In the overwater residences, glass covers the entire floor so you can spend hours admiring the underwater world and some beautiful fish species.
Some of the fantastic activities the resort offers are big game fishing, manta ray spotting, Baa adventures by plane, and much more. Also, if you’re an early bird, you can treat yourself to breakfast aboard a luxury yacht.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
The St. Regis seamlessly blends futuristic design with Maldivian charm throughout the resort and its 44 water villas. Each remarkable residence boasts exquisite Indian Ocean views and a private plunge pool, with many providing the ideal vantage point to enjoy the Maldives’ spectacular sunsets.
The most luxurious villa on the island – and the largest three-bedroom overwater villa in the Maldives – is the John Jacob Astor Estate, so-named in honour of John Jacob Astor IV, the founder of New York’s St. Regis hotel. The lavish villa, which can accommodate up to 12 people, features a 92 sqm infinity pool, a private gym, a cinema room, floor-to-ceiling windows, and personal St. Regis Butlers.
Anantara Kihavah is another fantastic resort located in Baa Atoll. Each of its stunning water villas offers breathtaking, picturesque views.
The resort has 80 different overwater and beachfront villas, offering a fantastic and personalized experience. All the overwater options have an amazing private pool, villa host services, and personalised bikes.
There are three water villa variations at Anantara Kihavah – a sunset overwater pool villa, a regular overwater pool villa, and a much larger residence, perfect for accommodating four to six adults or a family of seven to eight.
The only resort located in Thaa Atoll, COMO Maalifushi is a luxury beach and overwater resort on Maalifushi island. If you are looking for a quiet getaway, complete with stunning overwater villas in the Maldives, this is the place to head.
These villas are all a great size, very spacious, and private. Recommended for newlyweds, these villas all come with a sun deck and private pool. The larger villas also offer the option of a personal butler.
The overwater villas have four different options to choose from: water villas, water suites, Maalifushi water villa, and COMO villas. The resort provides experiences such as cruises, watersports, snorkelling, events, and much more.
Lily Beach Resort & Spa
South Ari Atoll
Lily Beach Resort and Spa has everything you need for a luxury tropical escape – fine dining, spas, and luxury villas. Each villa features a private plunge pool and a fantastic sundeck.
There are only two options available, the majority being the deluxe water villas, all with a glass floor section. Then, they have the four sunset water suites, which are bigger and come with butler services and oversized day beds, perfect for days relaxing in the sun.
Have your say on the best water villas in the Maldives
There you have it – that’s our pick of the best water villas in the Maldives. But with so many incredible options, narrowing them down to just ten was no easy task. So what do you think, do you agree with our choices? Have you stayed somewhere that should be on this list but isn’t? Head over and join us on social to continue the conversation.
And, of course, if you need any help finding the ideal Maldives water villa or resort for you, just get in touch.