We review the top 10 best house reefs at luxury hotels in the Maldives. While all hotels in the Maldives offer great beaches and waterfronts, not all have great house reefs.
Hotel house reefs are coral reefs that can be found adjacent to the hotel’s beach or a short swim from the shore. If you can step off a beach or pier and onto the reef (i.e., the reef is connected to the island you are staying on), this is called a house reef.
Remember to avoid the rainy season in the Maldives, which arrives between April and May and lasts until October or November. While the prices can be lower, the rain can be annoying, and there are more mosquitos flying about during the rainy season than during the dry season. The mosquitos can get so bad that you are constantly swiping them away.
We have reviewed what we consider to be the 10 best Maldives hotels with amazing house reefs:
1. Soneva Fushi
Soneva Fushi is surrounded by a magnificent house reef, frequented by turtles and dolphins that pass by the island. A particularly good place to snorkel is off the sunset jetty and bar, where you can climb down the ladder into a deep channel that houses numerous colorful fish.
Soneva Fushi has 61 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms, hidden among dense foliage and located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Watch classic movies at the outdoor Cinema Paradiso. Choose from 9 different dining options, 500 wines, and 11 types of pillows. Unwind at the on-site Six Senses Spa. Nature’s resources are transformed into art at the Glass Studio, while The Den gives children the freedom to live their island dreams. Glorious days can be spent stargazing at the Observatory, sampling organic delicacies, and exploring the coral reef.
2. Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu has a beautiful house reef packed with numerous fish, sharks, rays, turtles. You can swim with these aquatic creatures and beautiful corals, just steps from your room.
This resort is the only luxury resort in Maldives’ southern Laamu Atoll. This eco-friendly hideaway is a surfer’s haven, with Yin Yang – the archipelago’s most famous wave break – located just offshore.
Gentler water play can be found along the pristine reef, home to dolphins and exotic marine life. The 97 rustically stylish villas, scattered about the beach and over the lagoon, feature upper decks to fully appreciate the panorama.
If you want to treat yourself you can cocoon yourself in a treatment nest at the holistic Six Senses Spa.
3. Baros Maldives
Baros Maldives is one of the best hotels in the Maldives for snorkeling and diving. The reef is close to the shoreline with corals intertwining and turtles and sharks swimming about. Staff at the Baros Marine Centre organize underwater trips, including fish identification, coral gardening, and a snorkeling safari.
4. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru is situated on one of the world’s most beautiful islands: a natural UNESCO Biosphere Reserve wilderness where iridescent blues, jungle greens and dazzling whites meet innovation, conservation, and wellness.
Snorkel with mantas in aquarium-like waters, rehabilitate sea turtles in their Marine Discovery Centre, experience world-class wellness at AyurMa, and indulge in more-than-Michelin-starred dining at Blu Beach Club.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives has an excellent house reef with loads of marine life. You get full access to this just by snorkeling. The beach villas here tend to have better access to the reef than the water villas, which do not tend to be directly above the reef.
5. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is an exotic playground that includes the world’s first undersea residence. The other 150 villas and suites are equally surreal, with private sun terraces, plunge pools, and stairs leading straight into the Indian Ocean. At the overwater spa, alchemists work their magic using pure Himalayan salts and essential oils.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers a house reef that is teeming with life, huge in size, and one of the best in the Maldives.
6. Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Alfresco pavilions, swaying hammocks, and jaw-dropping views come with the territory at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. Stay in one of the 119 beaches, reef, or overwater villas. Relax the mind and body with bespoke spa treatments and exercise programs. And feast on exotic cuisine in the 11 dining venues and bars, including Terra, where guests can dine among the treetops in one of seven bamboo nests.
The house reef here is good but not as good as the reef at Baros outlined above because there is less marine life. But you can take a 15-minute boat ride to a small chain of islands where the diving is fantastic with manta rays, fish, eels, turtles, and silvertip sharks.
7. COMO Maalifushi
COMO Maalifushi is the only resort on Thaa Atoll, south of Malé, and has 65 open-plan suites and villas, all with plunge pools, and over-water villas that sit right over the turquoise lagoon so you can swim directly from your private terrace.
Find Asian therapies at the award-winning COMO Shambhala Retreat, with overwater spa pavilions. Water activities include diving, fly-fishing, and surfing, and the resort’s signature COMO Shambhala Cuisine is rich in living enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, so you will be rejuvenated during your stay here.
The house reef here offers excellent snorkeling. Although the coral in the house reef is bleached, the amount and variety of sea life are some of the best in the Maldives. They also have a “sea garden” with beautiful coral and some fantastic sea life, although snorkeling here is limited to high tide and around the perimeter.
8. Amilla Fushi
Amilla Fushi is amongst the finest Maldives luxury resorts. Discover a tropical playground of powdered sugar sand, lush jungle, and crystalline waters. One of the main reasons to stay here beyond the level of luxury is the Amilla Blue Hole, one of the Baa Atoll’s most unique reef formations. Just a short trip away from the main reef, this deep hole in the coral can be explored by divers.
9. W Maldives
W Maldives is a luxury 5-star private island resort. Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves drumming against the infinity pool, a wonderland of white-sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, and breathtaking reefs.
Unwind at the pampering AWAY® Spa. Explore the world beneath the waves at DOWN UNDER and glide with reef sharks in one of the best house reefs of the Maldives.
W Maldives house reef is not the largest at 2km in length, but it is easily accessible to the beach and is particularly good near FISH restaurant, and the jetty area.
10. JOALI Maldives
Joali Maldives is a luxury, immersive art resort. The 73-villa property offers unconventional luxury in a private setting and a distinct focus on design by internationally-renowned design studio Autoban, architecture, and design firm Atolye4n and Tokyo-based Studio Glitt.
Innovative dining concepts include Japanese restaurant Saoke; authentic Asian Vandhoo and Levant restaurant Tuh’u; Tuscan-inspired Bellinis; personalized dining and cooking school Her Kitchen; as well as numerous destination dining experiences. The Spa by ESPA invites guests on a wellness journey along with a world-class fitness center and expert trainers.
The house reef can be found next to the dive center. It has plenty of fish but lacks sharks, rays, or other more interesting marine life.
In this article, we also considered Gili Lankanfushi, Cheval Blanc Randheli, Jumeirah, and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives, which are all incredible hotels, but their highlight is not their house reef.
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