The island resorts in this tiny island nation have captivated the minds of luxury travellers for years, and with your usual summer travel budget already beefed up (thanks to all those plans you had to cancel), you could well go all-in for a holiday you will never forget. We’ve picked our favourite water villa resorts from the Maldives to help you make an informed choice
Cheval Blanc Randheli
$1,750 (Rs1.2 lakh approximately) per night
The water villas by Cheval Blanc Randheli create the illusion of a plush house that’s afloat on a dreamy blue floor of water. The stilted water villas are among the largest you find in Maldives. It has a massive master bedroom, with a double dressing room. The decks are where you could enjoy a one-of-its-kind dining experience over the water.
The villa has its own 12.5m private infinity pool that’s straight out of a travel magazine wish list. The bathroom is nothing less than one you would find in a 5-Star hotel on the mainland, with the finest amenities, a separate rain shower, and vanities for him and her. You are spoilt for choice with the cuisine served here, while wellness and relaxation facilities are just a stone’s throw away.
Como Cocoa Dhoni
$1,800 (Rs1.3 lakh approximately) per night
Located on Como Cocoa Island, the Dhoni Loft Water Villas are shaped like actual dhonis (traditional fishing boats). And yes, they also have a loft. However, unlike any dhoni, it is awash with luxury.
While a water villa cannot really afford expansive spaces, the villas use floor-to-ceiling windows to create a panoramic backdrop of the ocean, making your living experience more natural and larger than life. Since it has a master bedroom on the mezzanine, the living area at the lower level is much larger than you would expect in a typical water villa.
The Dhoni Loft Water Villas offer a private terrace where you can have a good time, especially during and after sunset as you lean back and take in the night sky. Unlike several other Maldivian islands, the Como Cocoa Island doesn’t need you to fly a seaplane; it is just a 40-minute speedboat ride away from Malé's Velana International Airport.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
$1,700 (Rs1.2 lakh approximately) per night
Another reputable chain of hospitality experiences, Four Seasons brings its finesse and touch of class to the Maldives. The incredibly comfortable rooms of the Sunrise Family villas are so comfortable that they match the allure of the ocean outside.
It is truly a five-star experience in a water villa, with ample room that is taken up by a large bedroom with a king-size bed, a living area, a study area, a deck, a pretty big pool (for a water villa) with direct access to the ocean via a short descent of stairs. Unlike several water villas, the Sunrise villas face the east and have more modern aesthetics in the interiors. It can accommodate up to four people, which can include two children.
A unique feature about the Sunrise villas are the over-water nets for you to sack out lazily while off your time between sea and sky. The villas also offer an indoor shower and two outdoor ones. You can enjoy organic bath amenities by Ila, a self-guided Yoga trial, the option to snorkel, kayak, windsurf or sail on a catamaran, avail of the gym and fitness centre and enjoy daily refreshments of fruits, tea, and coffee.
One&Only Reethi Rah
$1,850 (Rs1.3 lakh approximately) per night
The Reethi Rah villas offer double occupancy and comprise of six unique villas located on the water. They offer private infinity pools and have a homely touch to their interiors. The décor mirrors local styles and the view of the ocean is simply spectacular.
The ceilings are higher, doors and windows stretch from ceiling to floor, the bathroom offers spectacular ocean views as you sink into the comforts of luxurious bath essentials.
You can enjoy the private breakfast that is served on the deck and also indulge in a private Yoga session with One&Only’s wellness professionals. It’s a truly wholesome experience that you will carry from here.
$2,200 (Rs1.6 lakh approximately) per night
If you’ve looked up ‘overwater villa in the Maldives’, you’d most likely have come across the famous villa with a slide that leads into the ocean. That’s the Soneva Jani.
The massive 411sqm property is part of a unique over-water habitat developed by the brand, with several villas sporting one-bedroom retreats. The excess of wood in the interiors and the large glass windows and doors are a classic aesthetic that is consistent across all their villas.
They even have a retractable roof, so that you can enjoy the best of the sky above you or choose to cool off with the AC. The water slide starts off at the upstairs dining area and plunges into the azure water. The villas come with a separate children’s sleeping area, an outdoor bathroom with private lagoon access, a minibar, and a provision for bicycles to access the main hotel area.
Anantara Khava Villas
$1,100 (Rs80,000 approximately) per night
The Sunset Over Water pool villas of Anantara offers the best and the most coveted West-facing villas that treat visitors to fabulous sunsets over infinite sapphire expanses of the Indian Ocean.
The villas may not be distantly located from one another but they sure offer the private comforts within and outside the living quarters. The upper decks are the main living spaces, while lower down, is the pool. You can literally step out of bed, go down a few stairs, and find your toes in the crystal-clear ocean waters.
Anantara spoils you with a mouth-watering wine collection, should you request for one during your romantic dinner on the deck, with the sunset as your backdrop.
Other comforts include a glass-bottom bathtub that teases you with views of fishes swimming under your villa, a choice of pillows on the king bed, a private pool, iPad concierge, iPod docking, Bose sound system and a 24-hour villa host.
St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
$1,500 (Rs1.1 lakh approximately) per night
You take St. Regis’ elegant charm and place it over the sapphire water of the Maldives and magic happens. That’s what these stunning one-bedroom overwater villas promise. The large villa has its own 16sqm pool, a wooden gazebo for all those Instagram-worthy moments, overwater hammocks, and state-of-the-art technology to keep you entertained.
Large glass sliding doors fill the villa with natural light, while the flooring of the living room sports a fine mahogany finish. You have butlers at hand around the clock, ensuring that you are well taken care of, while a fine selection of wine could be explored before you sink into the deep soaking tub.
The bathroom is made of marble, while chandeliers adorn the ceilings in what can easily be called one of the most exquisite experiences on the surface of the Indian Ocean.
Raffles Maldives resort
$1,100 (Rs80,000 approximately) per night
Raffles truly brings bespoke luxury to the entire over-water villa experience. Their Overwater Villas in the Maldives are distinct from most others as they allow you to open up the entire living area to enjoy the sea breeze, or close it up and switch on the air-conditioner, should the temperatures soar. Like most other villas in this list, you get a private deck with a glass viewing panel that gives you a glimpse of the beautiful reef below. You have a butler and marine butler service at hand, always
The 24-hour in-villa dining is a blessing, especially if you want to stay disconnected from the world outside and not socialize. You also get a personal bar, walk-in closet, deep-soaking bathtub, access to the wellness facilities, and your very own private pool. The rooms have a modern touch, while the adjustable panels seamlessly fit into the mix without too much effort.