Maldives Overwater Villas

Overwater villas – the classic choice for many visitors to the Maldives - first appeared there in the 1980s, based on a water bungalow built in Tahiti in the 1970s. Set on stilts in lagoons and attached to their islands by wooden walkways, they add to the ‘get away from it all’ feel of the Maldives, with private sundecks and steps down into the water. Many add extra touches of luxury such as open-air showers and bathtubs, plunge pools or even swimming pools. Some of the top ones even have a water slide. 

The Maldives now accounts for around two-thirds of the 8,000+ overwater villas estimated to exist around the world;. The following are some of our favourite overwater villas.

Anantara Kihavah 

The water villas at this slice of barefoot luxury in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve come with private pools (some infinity-edge), outdoor showers, 24-hour on-call villa hosts, yoga mats, and bikes for adults and children. Some have hammocks and/or glass-bottomed bathtubs, and some add a bodu beru drum and an acoustic guitar. There are also ‘Residences’ with up to 4 bedrooms, glass-viewing panels and 24-hour private butler service.


The secluded overwater villas and suites at this resort - all with their own pool and direct lagoon access – include seven lavish Private Ocean Reserves with waterslides into the ocean and dedicated jetties. OZEN Reserve Bolifushi has been cleverly designed to embrace the island’s raw tropical beauty both through its architecture and its interior design: think thatched roofs, garden pools, cascading walls, rich, rainforest-green marble in pools, stone tiles and handwoven wallpapers for a back-to-nature feel.

Siyam World

Some of the overwater options at this new-in-2021 property have a water slide into the lagoon, while villas with up to six bedrooms sleeping as many as 16 make it a blissful retreat for multigenerational parties or other groups of family or friends. Villa extras might include sunset views, outdoor showers, private butler service and a kitchenette. Another standout here is the biggest floating water park in the Maldives, in the sunrise lagoon.

Soneva Jani

The overwater retreats, residences and reserves at this ultra-luxe resort spread over five private islands all come with their own pool with catamaran nets, barefoot butler and a stretch of private lagoon. Some also have exclusive features such as retractable star-gazing roofs, fitness rooms, cute kids’ sleeping areas and waterslides into the lagoon. And the largest have four bedrooms, making this famous eco-friendly resort another great choice for multigenerational holidays.

Jumeirah Maldives

Also new in late 2021, this addition to the iconic Jumeirah fold embraces overwater villas with infinity pools, expansive roof terraces, shaded sunken lounges and a sleek, contemporary aesthetic that sets the place apart from many other resorts in the destination. Talise Spa is also an overwater sanctuary, with yoga, fitness and five separate treatment pavilions that seem to float above the Indian Ocean.

COMO Cocoa Island

This is an intimate property of just 34 overwater villas, all with bleached-wood interiors and direct access to the lagoon, and some echoing the design of traditional wooden dhoni boats to make you really feel like you’re floating over the water. Some have loft-style mezzanine sleeping areas (the sitting area below can double as a kids’ bedroom) and/or outdoor rain shower, others add a private jetty and a pool, and one has a private study and a gym.

To book your overwater villa in the Maldives, call your Travel Counsellor today.


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