Tucked away off the southern coasts of India and Sri Lanka in the Laccadive Sea, The Maldives is a tiny island nation comprising 26 atolls. Characterized by white sand beaches and diverse underwater ecosystems, the Maldives has long been a favorite destination among honeymooners with cash to splash. And while many of the Maldives opulent resorts are certainly splurge-worthy, there are a few more modest accommodation options for those with tighter purse strings. Here are a few of the best over-water bungalows in the Maldives for travelers of all budgets:
Anantara Veli Resort & Spa
Bungalows at the Anantara Veli Resort and Spa are notably spacious (starting at 62 square meters) and come with private decks and in-room WiFi (an amenity that is sorely lacking in many of the Maldives over-water bungalows). The largest units are spread out over 125 square meters and have their own private plunge pools. There’s also a gorgeous Ayurvedic spa on-site along with a dive center offering PADI certification and nine bars and restaurants serving a variety of cuisine (including Japanese and Italian options). However, the experience doesn’t come cheap, and room rates are on the high side, even by Maldives standards.
Offering both beach-side villas and over-water bungalows, the Ayada Maldives is a good choice for families and couples alike. The over-water units have their own outdoor terraces with hammocks and plunge pools with infinity edges that make them appear to merge with the sea beyond. The property also offers babysitting services, children’s menus, and a kids’ club offering supervised water sports activities and craft activities.
It’s hard to imagine staying in an over-water bungalow on a budget, but it’s possible at Embudu Village, a value property with simple over-water bungalows featuring private decks and glass-topped peepholes on the floors for guests who want to watch the fish swim by under their feet. This beachfront resort has great snorkeling offshore at a coral reef and an on-site dive center, and though there’s no swimming pool, it still offers great value for money.
Holiday Inn Resort
While a stay at the Holiday Inn is not the obvious choice for most travelers seeking a relaxing Maldivian getaway, don’t let the brand’s chain-hotel image deter you. This particular branch of the hotel goes far beyond the bog standard, offering gorgeous, bright, airy over-water bungalows with floor-to-ceiling windows, open bathrooms with outdoor showers and tubs, and decks with hammocks that are submerged during high tide. The hotel also has great on-site facilities, including a fitness center, kids’ activities, and a marine life center with on-site marine biologists.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
Among the most luxurious options in the Maldives, the Taj Exotica Resort features gorgeous villas, most of which look right out over the lagoon from private decks. Many also have their own outdoor plunge pools for those who don’t want to dip straight into the ocean. The resort is located on a private island, but it’s only a 15-minute boat ride away from the airport.
– Contributed by Margot Bigg