16 incredible Maldives hotels with overwater villas
S nooze in a floating hammock; watch the sunset from a glass-bottom outdoor bath tub; or paddle in a private infinity pool that seems to flow into the sea. It seems a shame to visit the Maldives and not go the whole hog by splashing out on an overwater villa. Here is Telegraph Travel’s selection of the best to suit all budgets, from boat-shaped sleeping quarters and traditional huts on stilts to contemporary new kids on the block with private decks and romantic whirlpools under the stars.
T his relatively new boutique luxury resort has its own house reef and ocean villas with ‘secret’ rooftop loft decks that offer staggering mint-green sea views. Guests can relax with a cocktail in a swing chair on their sundeck while listening to the spuming waves, or do laps in a private freshwater infinity pool that seems to stream seamlessly into the sea. Bathrooms have tubs that peer out onto the water. Luxury touches include a personal butler and champagne on arrival. Milaidhoo is also home to a restaurant located on a boat in a lagoon; expect cuisine inspired by the Maldivian Spice Route.
St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
T he best of the vast overwater villas at this daringly designed tropical resort face west so guests can experience the dramatic chiffon-pink sunsets that unfold each evening with a glass of something in hand. All have private pools and hammocks suspended above the sea. Butler service, deep-soaking tubs and a complimentary hamper of wines come as standard. The lobster-shaped spa, with six overwater treatment rooms positioned in the pincers, is not to be missed. Guests can also dine in sunken wine cellars, and pop champagne corks in a bar that looks like a whale shark.
T hink castaway island meets cosseting luxury hideaway. Vibrantly-decorated Water Pool Villas are peppered across its lagoon. The sleeping quarters on stilts boast plunge pools and private decks that look out over the Indian Ocean. The villas also feature indoor-outdoor bathrooms with open-air rain showers and overwater hammocks where guests can watch the sunset while swinging to the rhythm of the lapping waves. Kanuhura will suit those with a penchant for watersports and gourmet pig-outs; options for the latter include eight restaurants, bespoke romantic dinners, and private picnics.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
T his idyllic tropical resort – spread over two islands connected by a bridge – boasts a clutch of quiet overwater villas with steps that lead straight down to the warm Indian Ocean. Outdoor whirlpool baths change colour, making them an apt venue from which to watch the purpling sunsets above. Four-poster ‘floating’ beds showcase 360-degree views of the sea. The resort has two spas, tennis courts and a dive centre that loans guests free snorkelling gear (you can even get prescription masks). Ithaa Undersea restaurant, where you can watch shoals of fish dart by as you dine, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Loama Resort Maldives at Maamigili
L oama’s overwater and beachside villas aren’t the biggest in the Maldives, and only a couple of them boast private pools, but they are bright and pretty, and ideal for those who dream of sleeping in the middle of the ocean but have budget constraints. Locally made rattan furnishings add a nice dose of style, as do high-tech touches like iPod docks, flat screen TVs and free films. Spa-seekers should make a beeline for the elegant wellness centre with overwater treatment rooms and a tome-like treatment menu covering everything from gold-leaf facials to massages for divers.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
A n award-winning hotel with some of the finest diving in the archipelago and water villas with direct access to the reef. These also feature sundecks with day beds and 180-degree ocean views. Sunset Water Villas have the best seats in the house for watching the nightly spectacle of the sun collapsing into the sea. The Vidhun Spa, set amidst lush gardens, offers a range of spoiling treatments. There’s also yoga classes, scuba diving, a good choice of restaurants, and a bar designed to resemble the upturned hull of the Maldivian fishing boat.