Beach or water villa? What to choose in the Maldives
When the skies open up again and we start looking ahead to plan that long-awaited holiday, the idea of escaping to your own private villa on a secluded island in the Maldives might be just the thing. It doesn’t get much better than stepping out of your bed and onto the beach or into the electric blue waters of the Indian Ocean, but which option is right for you? We delve deeper into the beach villa vs. water villa debate and reveal some of the best in the Maldives.
Maldives beach villas
Beach villas are perfect if you love relaxing on the shore and want to be just a few steps from the white sands and crystal clear Maldives waters. Many have a private deck to relax on just outside your villa, with views over the beach and ocean, and you can often upgrade to one with a private pool. We know the Maldives inside out and have picked out a few of our favourites…
This is one of our most popular islands in the Maldives and for good reason. Larger than most, Kuramathi Maldives has an incredible choice of villas and things to do on the island, with a whopping 12 restaurants and world-famous dive sites close by. Our favourite beach villas include the Deluxe Beach Villa, which faces the lagoon and has a four-poster bed, terrace and its own hot tub. If you’re travelling with friends or as a family, opt for the Two Bedroom Beach House. These beachfront two-storey houses face the lagoon or reef; and have an amazing sundeck with its own daybed overlooking the beach.
Kandolhu Maldives is one of the smallest islands we offer but packs a punch when it comes to the 30 super-sleek villas on the island. Opt for a luxurious two-storey Duplex Pool Villa for a huge beach villa set right on the sand. The outdoor deck on the upper level offers incredible views of the Maldivian sunsets and the private pool adds a little indulgence right next to a stunning stretch of beach.
"The Villas on Kandolhu are jaw-dropping and have the most incredible bathrooms with a beautiful free standing half-moon bathtub."
Emily – Kuoni Maldives expert
The newly revamped Maafushivaru Maldives is small, romantic and ideal for a honeymoon – with its own deserted sister island for candlelit dinners and starlit sleepovers. The spacious Beach Villas of this boutique island resort have modern design and a private decking area that’s just steps from the gorgeous beach. They also have a semi open-air bathroom to really add to that rustic Robinson Crusoe feel.
Maldives water villas
There are few places around the world where you can stay in an overwater villa and the Maldives has the best choice on Earth. You can listen to the soothing sound of the lagoon below and it’s only a few steps down a staircase into the water, where you’ll often be surrounded by psychedelic-coloured fish, so definitely worth considering if you love the water and snorkelling. Many water villas are positioned on the west coast of an island to get the very best sunset views and this room type often offers greater privacy. Here are a few of our favourites…
One of the world’s best resorts, Gili Lankanfushi is luxury and glam with an understated vibe. All of the 45 villas here are overwater – but they are astounding huge palaces on stilts, with some only accessed by boat! Each one has an overwater sun-deck with loungers, a hidden roof-top sun deck with day beds, and butler service to cater for your every need.
Niyama Private Islands
Niyama Private Islands is the epitome of cool, with an underwater music den and unique dining in a pod suspended in the treetop. This is one resort across two islands and the overwater pavilions and studios here are sleek, modern retreats, each with their own pool and steps leading into the lagoon. These water villas have the wow factor, with clean lines and incredible ocean views.
This is a great value choice for a stay in a water villa. The super stylish white-walled water villas of Diamonds Athuruga have a contemporary feel and you can choose between a sunrise and a sunset view. Each one has a big wooden deck, the use of an iMac and free Wi-Fi, plus exclusive access to a restaurant only for water villa guests.
The small yet stunning island of Baros features some of the most luxurious water villas in the Maldives and you can upgrade to a Water Pool Villa for the use of your own private plunge pool. Each has an espresso machine, wine chiller and of course, a spacious wooden jetty with panoramic views of the ocean. You’ll also have your own villa host to make the most of your stay. There’s a real emphasis on the bespoke here, from dining to diving, and experiences can be created just for you.
Glass-floored villas in the Maldives
For something truly special, why not take your overwater villa experience to the next level and see the ocean life beneath you in a glass-floored villa.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Already world famous for its awe-inspiring underwater restaurant, the exceptional Conrad Maldives Rangali Island also shows-off life below the waves in its luxurious and mammoth Sunset Water Villas. Relax in your lounge as you watch the mesmerising marine life swim in the turquoise waters below you.