There is something quite magical about checking into an overwater villa and most resorts offer them. Over the years, the overwater villa has evolved. Now they can be duplex, four-bedroom “mansions” – complete with private swimming pools, indoor glass floors and ceilings, waterslides into the Ocean, Jacuzzis, whirlpools, al-fresco dining areas, hammocks and of course, direct access into the Indian Ocean.
Some resorts even have water villas that are not connected to the main island – offering fabulous privacy! There are of course many who would rather live on island and resorts now offer beach villas with easy access to the ocean.
And, of course, you can even choose a sunrise or sunset view. Marvellous.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best overwater villas in Maldives:
Kudadoo Maldives Private Island:
Each 310 square metre villa (the two, two-bedroom villas are 390 square metres) is orientated away from its neighbours to enjoy its own vista of the Indian Ocean, this private space ensured by slanted wooden slats which lets the light and breeze through whilst maintaining privacy. Indeed, the entire villa, with its floor to ceiling windows strategically positioned, has been designed to let the cool cross breezes permeate the property yet the smart eco system will snap off the air-conditioning when the doors are open. Natural materials proliferate lending the feel of a Japanese ryokan – unsurprising perhaps considering the nationality of the architect – yet it still has that sense of place so important to travellers these days – it feels Maldivian still, just modernist in its integrity. All the wood comes from sustainably managed forests in Canada, New Zealand and Indonesia – cedar used in the exteriors and teak and oak inside.
With a sun-bleached deck offering a 44 square metre infinity pool, dining table and sun loungers with unobstructed views over the broad blue ocean, steps leading down directly to the lagoon, the décor is simple, clean and sophisticated – functional build elements becoming design highlights with the repetition of wooden patterns adding interest to the interior and exterior. With a natural overhang, umbrellas and canopies, more than 50% of the private outdoor deck has been designed to offer at least five hours of shade per day.
The palate is natural, wood, creams, whites and turquoise to represent the ocean with Tasmanian oak floors and custom-made furniture by Warisan of Indonesia. Amenity wise, each villa has state of the art electronics including a 137-centimetre flat screen television, Bang & Olufsen surround sound, IPTV with the latest films, television series, Netflix and Spotify; a fully automated lighting system with dimmers; an energy-efficient cooling system and an iPad. Bathrooms are spacious with standalone soaking tubs, separate walk-in showers and Healing Ocean bath products which are environmentally friendly.
A personal butler is appointed to each villa, available 24/7 to fulfill any wish and to perhaps suggest activities that might appeal.
COMO Cocoa Island:
The 33 overwater villas’ architecture is simple and uncluttered mixing contemporary and traditional Maldivian styles with more than a little touch of Hamptons style in the minimalist yet stylish interiors. They range from the ingenious Dhoni (indigenous local boats) styled water and loft water villas to the more usual water villas with pool, sunrise and sunset villas – positioned to follow the sun. The structures combine New Zealand pine with Kajan thatched roofs with natural materials used throughout with high raftered ceilings and teak flooring.
The villas are positioned off planked walkways forming two sweeping arcs across the ocean with those with private pools on one side and those without on the other.
Each room has handmade Italian linens, private sundecks with lounges and dining areas; bathrooms with separate showers, tubs, hairdryers and custom Shambhala bathroom amenities; air conditioning and antique colonial ceiling fans; private bars; complimentary tea and Nespresso machines; complimentary fresh fruit and bottled water daily. There are also 107-centimetre flat screen LCD TVs with satellite channels and select movies, private safes, iPod docks and Bose sound bars with Bluetooth connectivity. There are also yoga mats and complimentary beach bag and flip flops.
The Dhoni Water Villas are split level and shaped like a traditional Maldivian fishing boat. Offering a generous 75 square metres of living space with private decks with loungers and dining tables and stairs down to the ocean, the space is sleek and clean lined in a monochrome colour palette with a vaulted ceiling and floor to ceiling windows opening out onto the deck and the ocean beyond. The Dhoni Loft Water Villas (110 square metres) follow a similar design but have a larger living space ideal for families downstairs whilst the master bedroom is upstairs.
The Loft Water Villas (123 square metres) offer the best of indoor / outdoor living with the living areas downstairs and the master suite upstairs. These also offer a secluded outdoor rain shower. For those who love a pool, the slightly large (125 square metre) One Bedroom Water Villas with Pools sit on private jetties surrounded by an azure ocean.
The two largest villas – the Two Bedroom COMO Sunrise Villa (300 square metres) and the Three Bedroom COMO Sunset Villa (590 square metres) – as the titles might suggest – follow the route of the sun with the former offering two wings and two ensuite bathrooms and balconies and the latter effectively two linked overwater villas connected by a wooded walkway, each with their own infinity pools. It also features a private gym and has the services of a private butler.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi:
Over water villas start with the King Overwater Villas with Pool at 283 square metres of space with King Grand Overwater Villa with Pool roomier at 334 square metres of space. Both come complete with a unique glass floored dressing room revealing the reef below. Larger accommodation includes the Two Queen Bedded Overwater Villas with Pools, the Two Queen Bedded Grand Overwater Villas with Pools. The largest accommodation in these categories is reserved for a Two Bedroom and Three Bedroom Overwater Villa ranging in size from 624 square metres to 1,113 square metres of living area. These rooms offer the true Maldivian experience, sitting overwater and looking out over an azure ocean and an endless horizon.
The Ocean Reef villas offer the best of all worlds. On land with sand underfoot but over the water and access to the reef and Indian Ocean. Fantastic!
The two Stella Maris Ocean Villas are stand-alone duplex structures which are more like contemporary homes, accessible only by boat, ensuring a complete castaway experience. The stars of the show, no pun intended, these stunning modern villas feature horizontal design lines rather than the typical Maldivian pitched thatched roofs of the rest of the resort, with overhangs lending shade and uninterrupted views out over the Indian Ocean. Named for the Star of the Sea used by ancient mariners to navigate, the Stella Maris Ocean Villas offer an open plan layout and tall ceilings allowing the soft ocean breezes to find their way through the villa. The upper floors, which are entertaining spaces, are linked by a custom-made spiral staircase. Even better, guests wake up to a complimentary floating breakfast delivered in villa whilst high up on the second floor, there is a chef’s barbeque for a custom designed menu for that à deux moment.
The upper deck is also the perfect place for a private couples’ romantic massage which uses warm heart shaped Himalayan salt stones to improve circulation, exfoliate the body and eliminate stress. The treatment concludes with an exclusive gold infused oil, Champagne and heart and star shaped chocolates. The resort gifts a heart-shaped salt stone to each couple as a memento of their stay.
Over water, there are nine categories in total starting with the Water Villa with Pool at 89 square metres of space. As you go up the categories, both the rate and the size increases with the Lagoon Villa with Pool and Slide and the Water Villa with Pool and Slide both at 98 square metres, the Ocean Villa with Pool and Slide and the Reef Villa with Pool and Slide at 110 square metres of space and the Water Pavilion with slide at 185 square metres, the latter category part of The Beach House Collection as is the Grand Water Pavilion and Slide at 350 square metres of space.
The two other categories are the two and rhree-bedroom Lagoon Villa with Pool and Slide at 210 and 352 square metres of space respectively.
The water slides are great fun ... well done Siyam World!
One&Only Reethi Rah:
No Maldivian escape is complete without an over water villa and One&Only Reethi Rah offers some of the best. High stilted walkways lead to a cluster of immersive villas again sharing a similar design style but with an over-water split level deck with sun loungers and a direct staircase into the ocean. Some prefer to relax on the netted hammocks suspended over the water.
One category up, and villas include a stunning infinity pool stretching from the deck to the water’s edge. The ultimate over-water accommodation is the Grand Water Villa with Pool, located on the island’s west side.
Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa:
Overwater entry level accommodation starts with the Sunrise and Sunset Water Villas with pools, both at 70 square metres of villa space and 113 square metres of exterior space. There is a wide deck with loungers and over water hammocks, a living and dining pavilion and an infinity pool which blends so well with the ocean it is difficult to fathom where one stops and the other starts. The exterior gazebo offers welcome shade as well as steps down into the ocean. The Sunrise Family Water Villa with Pool offers 91 square metres of interior space and 55 square metres of external space with a children’s room located off the separate living and dining space.
There are four speciality over water accommodations including the Sunrise Two and Three Bedroom Water Suites and the Sunset Two and Three Bedroom Water Suites ranging in size from 165 square metres of interior space and 242 square metres of external space to 240 square metres of interior space and 278 square metres of external space. These are lavish spaces with an infinity pool reflecting the sun’s movements with both outdoor and indoor dining and seating areas looking out over the sea.
There are five types of over water accommodation available. The starting point are the Water Villas at 100 square metres of space which are essentially a one-bedroom suite with an infinity pool sitting out in the Indian Ocean. There is a lounging area on a lower deck looking out directly over the ocean (with direct water access) and a shaded thatched outside seating area for staying cool. The Sunset Water Villas are similarly sized but offer those prized sunset views.
The luxury versions – Luxury Water Villas and Sunset Luxury Water Villas – are both sized at 108 square metres of space and come with separate, spacious living rooms, a large sundeck with private infinity pool and a state-of-the-art home and lighting system with the Sunset version again, orientated to enjoy the sunset views. The largest over water residence – Three Bedrooms Ocean Residence with Two Pools – is literally a mansion afloat – 400 square metres of living space (990 square metres in total) with three bedrooms each with dressing rooms and two built in wardrobes; two living rooms, two infinity pools and even a private spa room for in-room indulgences. It also offers the most amazing uninterrupted ocean views from both terraces and balconies.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadadaa:
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa offers just 51 luxurious villas, 18 of which are built over water. All the elevated water villas are sensitively positioned to offer expansive ocean views out to the horizon from the private deck outside and individual access to the coral-filled waters below with the Sunset Pool Villas featuring a private freshwater plunge pool and outdoor cabana. Each villa features a personal home entertainment system, digital media hub, in-room iPad with interactive resort compendium, flat screen televisions, DVD and CD players, four bottle of complimentary water daily and coffee and tea making facilities.
At 895 square metres, the Hadahaa Overwater Presidential Residence is one of the finest villas in the Maldives. With 24-hour butler service, private chef, 85-inch television, gym, outdoor barbecue, 3-bedrooms, 3-bathrooms, whirlpool on a private terrace, private infinity pool and direct access to the house reef, this Residence is truly special.
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