HomeTravelThe Maldives' best overwater vllas

The Maldives’ best overwater vllas

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(CNN) — Glass-bottomed bogs, roof-deck water slides and stairs main straight into the ocean. What may very well be dreamier? For vacationers craving for a tropical escape, overwater villas are the epitome of trip objectives.

While Tahiti could have began the overwater development within the Nineteen Sixties, the Maldives has undoubtedly perfected it.

This 12 months marks 50 years of tourism for the idyllic Indian Ocean nation, and in the present day, there are over 150 resorts welcoming company with a chilly towel and a coconut, or different signature treats. Best of all, these resorts are dedicated to sustainability, that includes every little thing from water desalination vegetation to reef restoration tasks.

Ready to guide that journey? Here are 12 of the best overwater villas within the Maldives. (Starting charges are in US {dollars} per evening.)

Kudadoo Maldives

All 15 of Kudadoo’s overwater residences are powered by photo voltaic panels.


One of the smallest and most sustainable resorts within the Maldives, Kudadoo has simply 15 overwater residences powered solely by photo voltaic panels.

Designed by Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki, it has a contemporary ryokan aesthetic, most notably in its onsen-inspired bathing space.

Covered in latticework wooden patterns, the supplies used come from sustainably managed forests in New Zealand, Canada and Indonesia.

Each residence has a plunge pool, a glass-bottomed deck part for peeping at parrot fish and a personal butler to get you something you need, at any time — all included.

Kudadoo Maldives, Kudadoo Island, Lhaviyani Atoll . Rates begin at $3,000++ per evening, all-inclusive.

Soneva Jani

Soneva Jani’s not your typical luxurious resort. Here’s what guests at this “no shoes, no news” property can anticipate.

Thanks to social media, aerial views of Soneva Jani’s winding jetty and personal water slides have turn out to be synonymous with the Maldives.

But Soneva has additionally turn out to be synonymous with sustainability.

Its by no means ending initiatives, together with upcycling nearly every little thing with its Waste to Wealth program, Eco Centre, carbon-neutral standing, beef-free menu, plastic-free coverage and sprawling natural on-site backyard make it a world chief in sustainable luxurious.

Its 51 Water Retreats vary from a one-bedroom with no slide (because of low tide) to a four-bedroom palace perched over the crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean. Each is crafted with sustainable, whitewashed wooden, limitless plush seating areas and, for all however two, a retractable roof for stargazing.

The resort is split into Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, all sides simply accessible by speedboat, electrical bike or butler-driven buggy. At the newly-opened Chapter 2, it is an all-inclusive expertise, together with spa remedies on the new Soneva Soul spa.

Soneva Jani, Medhufaru Island, Noonu Atoll. Rates begin at $2,340++ per evening for a 1-bedroom Water Retreat.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Each villa's vertical wooden slats are made from sustainable timber.

Each villa’s vertical wood slats are comprised of sustainable timber.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

At this new five-star island escape, the vast majority of its 100 villas are over water. Channeling the movement of the ocean, every is uniquely round in design and outfitted with distinct, vertical wood slats comprised of sustainable timber shipped over from Austria and Germany. The majority of the resort’s villas have solar-paneled roofs and administration goals to have all 100 of them outfitted with the expertise by 2023.

The resort is perennially fashionable for Americans utilizing factors on a keep, however with so many individuals spending time of their villa, you’d by no means comprehend it. Guests can spend the complete day cooling off of their villa’s infinity pool, studying on its lavish loungers or snorkeling off its expansive outside deck.

If underwater actions are your factor, The Ritz is the primary Asia Pacific resort to characteristic Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of The Environment program. These extremely expert marine biologists present company how they use drones to identify and reduce off fishing nets caught in reefs and observe stingray habits. They additionally lead guided underwater classes, together with an illuminating evening snorkel.

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

The resort features 44 modern overwater villas.

The resort options 44 trendy overwater villas.

St. Regis Maldives Vommuli

The 44 overwater villas on the St. Regis are designed to seem like the manta rays you may even see swimming beneath them. Modern and minimalist, the bogs are coated in slick marble, whereas the bedrooms are lined with shiny, Scandi-style timber. The beaded room divider and sea foam inexperienced decor add a tropical vibe to the smooth house.

If you are planning a household trip and do not thoughts a serious splurge, guide the John Jacob Astor Estate. This three-bedroom overwater villa is the biggest lodging on the island. Equipped with a health club, cinema room, three swimming pools and personal therapeutic massage rooms for each bed room, it would not get any swankier than this.

Behind the glitz and glam, the island has its personal absolutely automated bottling plant to take away plastic water bottles from the island. Alongside it’s a recycling plant and natural waste compost used to fertilize the island’s natural herb and vegetable backyard, which supplies the resort with 100% of its mint and basil.

InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort

All 24 overwater villas have plunge pools.

All 24 overwater villas have plunge swimming pools.


This IHG resort opened in 2019 with 81 seaside, overwater and lagoon choices (a intelligent hybrid of the 2 classes). Its 24 placing overwater villas have infinity plunge swimming pools and sublimely serene views from the soaking tub.

Each is a beachy design delight with grey concrete flooring and white brushed partitions offset by artistic pops of shade like yellow, rope-woven room dividers, blue-two-toned rugs and trendy, but delicate, orange furnishings.

With a noticeable juvenile manta ray inhabitants within the atoll’s Maamunagau Lagoon, the resort works with Manta Trust researchers to assist within the schooling and conservation of those large, playful fish and their habitat.

Velaa Private Island

Vella offers 47 exquisitely custom-made villas.

Vella affords 47 exquisitely custom-made villas.

Velaa Private Island

It’s exhausting to fault the 47 exquisitely custom-made villas and residences on this pristine island. Built in 2013, they give the impression of being model new, with each inch completely completed by a staff of craftsmen from Europe.

In the native Dhivehi language, Velaa means turtle, so company can spot turtle motifs across the villas and the island. Tumbled travertine covers the bogs, and the strategic use of mirrors makes the already spacious rooms really feel bigger. Thoughtful aquatic touches like a fish scale accent wall comprised of clam shells and puka shell-lined mirrors might be discovered all through.

Apart from main one of many Maldives’ largest coral regeneration packages, Velaa’s Green Awareness Program aids each native island in Noonu Atoll with sustainable instruments and schooling on inexperienced waste administration practices.

Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi has 45 villas.

Gili Lankanfushi has 45 villas.

Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

A fast 25-minute speedboat journey from Velana International Airport takes you to this barefoot island paradise.

Celebrating their 10-year anniversary, the stellar service here’s a large a part of the island’s appeal, however its overwater villas aren’t far behind. Split into 10 classes, among the 45 sustainably-built villas include swimming pools, and a few with a number of bedrooms.

For those that love seclusion, the resort’s Crusoe Residences are second to none. These seven rustic-chic, thatched-roof villas standalone within the turquoise water. Sure, adventurous company can swim to and from, however why would you when you have got your personal boat to motor round in. Plus, there is a crew of drivers on-call at any time.

Known for serving among the best vegan meals within the Maldives, chef Harinath Govindaraj takes company on excursions of the natural gardens ending with a vegan feast ready in entrance of you. The resort can also be beginning a rooster farm for day by day contemporary eggs.

Gili Lankanfushi, Lankanfushi Island, North Malé Atoll. Rates begin at $1,314++ per evening in off-season.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort has 55 overwater villas.

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort has 55 overwater villas.

Waldort Astoria

A keep on the Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi begins with fashion. Accessible by a 45-minute luxurious yacht journey from the airport, it is one of many bigger five-star resorts within the Maldives. There are 55 overwater villas and two standalone Stella Maris villas among the many property’s 118 lodging choices.

While the interiors are elegant and modern with a signature glass-bottomed closet ground, you will wish to spend all of your time outdoors, soaking on this piece of paradise. The overwater villas have extra outside house than indoor, together with an infinity pool giant sufficient for laps, a swinging daybed, a cabana and a number of overwater hammocks. At the ultra-luxe Stella Maris villas, there’s a two-story deck with a eating space and BBQ station.

When you do resolve to go away the villa, be a part of the resort’s marine biologist in making and planting a coral line within the coral nursery. Guests who undertake coral will obtain pictures and updates on its progress each three months till its planted in the home reef.

JOALI Maldives

JOALI's 48 overwater villas line one of the longest jetties in the Maldives.

JOALI’s 48 overwater villas line one of many longest jetties within the Maldives.

Joali Maldives

Glamorous. Feminine. Sustainable. That’s JOALI Maldives in a nutshell. It’s additionally what makes it one of the vital fabulous resorts within the Maldives.

Its 48 overwater villas line one of many longest jetties within the islands. Each is decked out with sky-high cathedral ceilings, hand-carved ornamental doorways, rose-gold finishes and pops of fairly pastels. The most tough determination of the day is whether or not it’s best to wash the ocean salt off within the beautiful emerald inexperienced marble bathe or the tropical outside bathe lined with shiny inexperienced bamboo tiles.

This female-owned, art-immersive resort locations excessive significance on alternatives for Maldivian ladies. JOALI’s Women in Art program offers native feminine artists a platform to showcase their artwork and do workshops with company. They additionally accomplice with native island faculties to host creative classes for younger ladies.

JOALI Maldives, Muravandhoo Island, Raa Atoll. Rates begin at $1,326++ for a 7-night keep.

The Nautilus

The Nautilus offers 11 overwater accommodation options.

The Nautilus affords 11 overwater lodging choices.

The Nautilus

There are a number of ideas that do not exist at Nautilus: edges and time. Its 26 villas and residences are product of solely curved partitions, resembling the circulate of waves lapping on its shores.

The resort’s motto is, “time stands still.” Guests at this Maldivian-owned hideaway can do or eat something each time they need, day or evening. It’s a completely bespoke expertise in an ultra-relaxed seaside haven.

The 11 overwater homes, residences and retreat are the epitome of boho-chic with braided tapestries and shiny items of custom-made furnishings. The glass-bottomed front room cut-out is a pleasant contact, as is the custom-made, wood beaded chandelier and geometric ground patterns all through.

This Maldivian-owned resort goals to safeguard its house. Nautilus works with surrounding islands to buy regionally grown produce, purchase handcrafted decor and make use of craftsmen. It’s additionally the resort with the very best focus of Maldivian residents in administration positions.

The Nautilus, Thiladhoo, Baa Atoll. Rates begin at $2,700++ per evening.

Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island

Jumeirah's overwater villas are impressively large and stylishly decorated.

Jumeirah’s overwater villas are impressively giant and stylishly adorned.

Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island

Miami Beach meets Mykonos at this fashionable, all-white resort. Formerly LUX * North Male, it is lately had a Jumeirah rebrand.

The island’s overwater villas are impressively giant and stylishly adorned, given the worth level. From one to three-bedroom choices, every has a rooftop terrace for personal BBQ dinners or film screenings below the celebs. The pink touches, from the rooftop’s sunscreen to the tiles across the infinity pool, add to the resort’s youthful vibe.

Speaking of youth, the resort’s complimentary coral planting initiative is a well-liked manner for households, notably youngsters, to become involved in marine schooling and hands-on coral propagation to bloom on the island’s home reef.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

The overwater villas at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru are decorated in Cobalt blues and charcoal grays.

The overwater villas at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru are adorned in Cobalt blues and charcoal grays.

Four Seasons

Not to be confused with its sister property, Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa, the overwater villas at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru are a slight step above.

Cobalt blues and charcoal grays beautify the Maldivian-style thatched oasis. For sun-worshippers, the villa’s large overwater nets and tender loungers are made for engaged on a strong base tan (utilizing reef-safe sunscreen, in fact).

Its lengthy lap pool is the proper spot to look at the sunshine change, whether or not you have chosen a dawn or sundown villa. If you have had sufficient H2O for the day, the second-story stargazing loft is a enjoyable various.

Famous for its Maldivian turtle rehabilitation middle and conservation program, the Four Seasons additionally has a manta ray program. Home to The Maldivian Manta Ray Project, researchers on the resort have been learning these mild sea giants to higher perceive and foyer to guard them across the globe since 2005.



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