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Is It Worth Staying In A Water Villa Maldives?

There are a number of beautiful islands all over the world, so why do the Maldives receive so much of our attention? The Maldives represents the holy trifecta of any successful family vacation; rich culture, jaw-dropping scenic beauty and a world of adrenaline building activities at your fingertips. Add water villas to your stay, and you might just want to be on vacation forever.

This article address all your burning questions about staying in a water villa in the Maldives.

What Is a Water Villa?

Water villas are exactly what they sound like; villas (buildings) supported by stilts on top of the water, either along the shoreline or built over a shallow reef accessed by an elevated wooden pathway. At first, you may be a little worried about the stability of these houses or anything built over water, because you’ve likely not experienced it before. 

Thankfully, these sturdy villas are well-built into the sand and located in shallow waters, so that you can enjoy a perpetual view of the sand and sea without any risks of being swept away in wild seas.

Also, it’s unlikely that these islands will sink any time soon due to Global Warming, so you definitely should experience them in your lifetime!

Are Overwater villas worth it?

That is a resounding yes. You’re going all the way to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island for a taste of the ocean view, sunset view, white sands, romantic setting, scuba dive, and overwater villas are designed to give you exactly that. I know what you’re thinking, they look beautiful, but will it offer the same comforts that a hotel room on the shore can give me? The following is a list of the pros and cons of staying in a water villa.


  • You can access the ocean whenever you want. Whether you want to dive in for a swim or just sunbathe on a sun deck, living on the ocean will let you do this during the span of your vacation without any prior planning or long conversations with travel agencies. I think cannonballing into the ocean at a moment’s notice is a massive perk, don’t you?
  • You’d have beautiful sunset views to look forward to at sun-down. Everything is very picturesque when you are living in a water villa, whether it’s the crystal clear rippling waters of the Maldives holiday at your feet or the endless horizon that you witness every time you glance out of your windows. You have to select your side of the island based on what you want (Sunrise, sunset etc). Some beaches have finer sands than the others while the southern side of the island gets more sunlight and might be what you need to speed up that tan.
  • Water villas aren’t exactly primitive ways of living, modern villas are equipped with all the amenities that you would get in a hotel, even first-class room service. Most water villas that you can look into before you reach the island belong to resorts with world-class facilities, so if it’s the comfort that you are looking forward to, they will not disappoint.
  • Water villas are located on secluded beaches and are built looking away from each other. There are no other curious tourists you need to worry about while you rest and recharge for the rest of your trip.


  • You won’t have a ton of dining options on all islands. Since these villas are mostly located on a secluded island resort where there is one resort per island, there are fewer restaurants and activities that you can look forward to on a larger island.
  • However, you can find great dining options in the Veligandu Island Resort, or Adaaran club rannalhi resort itself, feed yourself fresh locally-sourced food and go to the high-class Centara grand island resort restaurant. Dining options are pricier in resorts due to the costs involved in sourcing and transporting the food, so make sure to factor this in when you’re deciding on one. Some resorts offer complimentary meal options as a part of the stay so you don’t have to think about food, a good element to look for in your packages.
  • Each resort and island will have activities, but not all resorts are equal. For example, if you are into surfing, not all islands have direct access to the surf.
  • Snorkelling and a few other water activities are definitely on the charts for your villa stay, and you can always go for swims to work some of that pent-up energy off.
  • If it so happens that it is raining for your stay, there are further limits on what you can do. You can’t exactly go to the Mall, essentially restricted to indoor activities like the Gym, Cards, Restaurants.

These cons can be avoided by going to a villa located on the main islands with towns, but you will find more of a crowd here. 

Typically people head to this secluded island specifically to escape the hustle and bustle, slow down and contemplate the simple things in life. 

You can book a villa on a busier island to not miss out on any activities while you recharge in your villa and access diverse dining options or choose a quieter island and get around on a transfer boat.

Which is better: Beach Villa or Water Villa?

Beach Villa At The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

Beach Villa At The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

Let’s discuss a few elements of your vacation and how either stay would contribute to them.


It’s safe to say that water villas allow for a great deal of privacy by their very nature. They’re housed in resorts that take care of this for you and if you want to go an extra mile to ensure this, you could always choose a villa on a secluded island instead of the main islands.

This is a bit trickier with beach villas, but not too challenging.

Again, how crowded the island tends to get plays a major role here. You also have to look into how your villa intersects with the rest of the beach. The goal here is to select one with a direct entry to the beach so that you don’t have to take detours or encounter other tourists on your way to the sea life.

View of the beach

This is a given with your water villas and probably one of the main reasons you even began considering it. You have a front-row seat to the beauties of the Indian ocean if you choose to stay in a water villa. Ensure that you choose a villa with a sundeck so that you can venture out and get a better view.

A beach villa can also give you a great view of the Indian ocean, but you have to be careful to ensure that. Make sure your villa can get as close to the ocean as possible and that you don’t have the

resort garden blocking your view.


Contrary to popular belief, water villas aren’t exactly great if you want to snorkel. You can of course contact local guides who will take you snorkelling, but there isn’t much to see if the plan is to dip down from your villa itself. Most wildlife is destroyed when these villas are built so you will have better luck from other parts of the shore.

With beach villas, you’d have to get in touch with snorkelling instructors wherever you are. Main islands provide better services in this regard.

Peace and Quiet

Both villas offer this, but the sound of the underwater world overlapping underneath the water villa could bother some people.


Both villas are tailored for family vacations and are safe. However, some water villas have slippery steps that you may find difficult to climb because of the lapping water. Some villas ban children because of this reason. The boardwalks may also get very hot under the walk past sun, so it is good to factor this in.

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What is the cost of a water villa in the Maldives?

The cost varies according to the amenities that you have in mind. It is important to remember that water villas cost more than beach villas, sometimes twice as much. The prices fall in the monsoons, as there isn’t much tourism to speak of, so expect lower prices from May to November. As the Christmas holiday begins to approach, prices rise again. Summer also sees heavy tourism.

Prices can range from $350 per night to upwards of $1000 per night.

Hotels We Recommend For Water Villas

St Regis Maldives Vommuli Island Resort

Water Villas At The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

This resort boasts great architecture, so if you have an eye for that- this place would interest you. The resort is peaceful and secluded and is the best place for you to observe marine life. There are different variations of affordable water villas, affordable resorts here, we’d recommend a 2-bedroom sunset overwater villa. You get private pools with a private deck, or private infinity pool, room service and a sundeck for your basking needs.

Kudafushi Resort & Spa

This resort is very easily accessible, you can fly directly to it from the capital of Male. You could also reach it by boat, both routes are equally scenic. The place has a lot of greenery which gives you a view to kill for when paired with its crystal clear waters. If you’re a stickler for white-sand beaches, you will not be disappointed. You could opt for a water villa with or without a pool.

Emerald Maldives

This resort is huge, with 20 hectares of island and 120 villas to choose from. They have 60 water villas and if peace and seclusion are what you’re looking for this beach pool villas is as close as you’ll get to it. Soft white beaches and top-notch room service will have you rested like a baby by the time you walk out of here.

Water Villas: The Verdict

Simply put, water villas are for everybody. There’s really nothing that you can’t like about these places, it’s got it all. I’d like to dispel the illusion that most people have of snorkelling right beside their water villas, the mere existence of these villas drive marine away for some distance. There are some places that you can still enjoy this though, a little bit of research always comes in handy.

If you want a jam-packed schedule with lots to do, choose a villa on the main islands. If you want to lounge around then the smaller, single resort islands will be perfect for you. So enjoy your stay in a water villa for your future Maldives Holidays.


Is over water villa noisy?

No. As they are usually placed a little further away from the beach, there is little to no noise. It gets very quiet at night, so all you’ll be able to hear is the sound of waves lapping at the beach or against the stilts holding up the Villa. It isn’t much you’ll hear from the other guests as well, since all the villas are usually fanned out, pointing in slightly different directions to maximum privacy.

Is overwater bungalow safe?

Yes, very. They are built very sturdily and are built on stilts that are rooted deep into the sand.

Is over water bungalow expensive?

It depends on the resort you choose. Overwater bungalows price ranges from a low of $700 to as high as $4,100 depending on the resort.

Do over water bungalows have bathrooms?

Yes, they are equipped with all the top-notch amenities that you need. Showers, bathtubs and toilets are all a part of the package. They are fully equipped luxury villas, just like a hotel room.

Are kids allowed in water villas?

Many villas have an age policy for their guests, as some parts of the water villa require guests to be careful. Some villas allow children over the age of five, however, you will need to sign a legal waiver absolving the resort of any responsibility. So be sure to check the resort policy before booking.

Can you take a baby to the Maldives?

Yes, as long as you’re being careful about regulations and the safety of your baby. Be sure to give constant supervision if your baby is closer to the age of a toddler. Some water villas may have age restrictions due to being above the water. So be sure to check the resort policy before booking. You may need to stick to a beach villa.

What is the difference between Ocean Villa and Lagoon Villa?

Ocean Villas are located in slightly deeper waters and face open ocean channels. They usually allow you direct access to the ocean via stairs. The water level also rises when the tide does, something that you can tell if you spend a lot of time (like me) on the stairs.

Lagoon Villas are located in shallow waters and also open up to the turquoise lagoon via stairs. The water level here is not as high. Although, not always standing depth.

Are overwater villas worth it?

Yes, if you’re looking for the ultimate luxury amenities and relaxing getaway. Basking in the sun loungers and enjoying your resort’s room service is what I would recommend, before proceeding with the rest of your action-packed vacation. If you do have the means for an overwater villa, then it is well worth it. You don’t want to be in your beach villa, looking out to the ocean villas only to think “I wish we were staying there”.

Do overwater bungalows have air conditioning?

It can get very hot in coastal areas in the daytime, so this can be a big concern. Overwater bungalows and villas have modern amenities and this includes air conditioning.

What is the difference between a water bungalow and a water villa?

This is highly dependent on the resort chosen and the terminology they use. However, typically the difference lies in the size. I recommend a bungalow for those travelling with family. 

Do all villas come with a pool?

Some resorts offer this as a part of the regular package, but most resorts have separate packages with plunge pools or without. Usually, the villas with a pool are bigger and demand a higher price.