Top 10 Best House Reefs in Maldives

10 Maldives Resorts with Best House Reef for Snorkeling

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Updated January, 2024

House reef snorkelling is a great bonus to your Maldives beach experience. The best house reefs for snorkelling in Maldives are generally readily accessible; you only need to don a mask, a snorkel and fins, and head into the water to enjoy beautiful underwater wonders teeming with abundance marine life. This unique area in the heart of the Indian Ocean attracts sun and sea lovers from all over the world who want to discover the best coral reefs.

To fully enjoy the art of snorkeling, you must choose the right spot. All resorts offer snorkelling , but that may be a $20 boat trip once a day, at worst. The fair resorts put on several free snorkelling trips a day if their house reef is not accessible.

White sandy beaches, clear turquoise water, luxury accomodationd all make the islands are first-class holiday destinations. If it comes to the marine life, frequently asked question is what are the best snorkeling Maldives resorts? These resorts with the best house reef for snorkelling let you discover a different world; a treasure trove of natural wonders. We checked them for you, see our list best House Reefs in Maldives and start planning your next snorkeling holiday.

What is House Reef

The Maldives made up from the blocks of coral that have grown tall enough to break the surface (and collect sediment enabling plant growth, etc) ... the "house reef" is the living part of this coral block below the surface or in the tidal zone. The house reef is that area close to the vertical drop off where the coral begins to aggregate in a kind of coral garden teeming with marine life and colorful fish. The shallow water enclosed by the house reef also serves as a large natural swimming pool and protects swimmers from the ocean waves and strong tidal currents outside the reef. By definition, all maldivian islands have a house reef , but we most often talk about an island "having a house reef" if this living part is easily accessible to divers and snorkellers , instead of a large lagoon or not much notable coral growth. an "island with a good house reef" in forum jargon , would be one where you could expect to snorkel or dive off the beach or jetty.

Whether you are a snorkeller or a diver, Maldives has a lot to offer. The house reefs are the best snorkeling sites. Thanks to the resort’s house reef, ocean discovery is right here on your doorstep. In fact, a some house reefs top are so prolific that many photographers run out of dive time before they run out of subject matter. The drop off can have an amazing features like caves, overhangs and canyons. The deeper, the more differences in coral shades, and other species of marine life become clearly visible. Read More

Safe Snorkelling in the Maldives

  • Fins are a must if snorkelling and advised if swimming out of your depth. You may encounter ocean currents and fins will make it much easier to swim in the desired direction.
  • Never snorkel alone – for your safety, find a snorkel buddy or join our guided activities.
  • Keep an eye on the shore to ensure you’re not drifting too far away.
  • Join a snorkelling course for beginners or ask for advice from our team.
  • Don’t pick anything up from the sandy bottom or the coral reef – it’s safer for you, and whatever you’ve seen to simply look and admire.
  • Wear sun protection – the sun is very strong when you’re this close to the Equator and you won’t realise you’re burning while in the water. We recommend ‘Reef Safe’ sunscreen to help look after the health of our oceans. Sun protective swimwear and rash guards are a great way of reducing the need for sunscreen too.
  • Pop along to the Dive Center and find out about the local conditions and you’ll get some really good advice on the places to swim and practice snorkelling, as well as any areas to avoid due to the potential for strong currents.
  • Use traditional mask, snorkel and fins – we do not recommend full face snorkelling masks
  • Marine life in the Maldives is incredible with not only an abundance of colourful fish to watch but turtles, sharks and rays too. There’s no need to be afraid of any of it – the sharks are not interested in humans and stingrays actively move away if they sense you getting too close, in fact you’ll have to purposefully sneak up on them if you want a good picture!

Best Time to Explore

The house reef can be explored at any tide by night or day. There are periods of slack water at both high and low tide, while mild to medium currents can run along the outer reef slope during tide changes. This allows divers the opportunity to drift along the reef face at various speeds while exploring its beauty. At high tide you can enter or exit the water at numerous points along the beach. When currents on the house reef are flowing on the stronger side, the resort's dive center team will make recommendations for alternatives that might be more suitable to each individual guest.

In case you feel a little bit worried to go out snorkelling by yourself, the resort's snorkel guides are always happy to take you for the guided house reef tour. If you feel the deeper waters are not tickling your fancy, you can stay in the shallow lagoon just off the main beach and try to spot a turtle or two (they don’t mind the occasional selfie, but make sure you respect their space, and never, ever touch them!).


What to See Underwater?

One doesn’t necessarily have to join a boat excursion to experience good snorkelling and diving. The most of house reefs is easily accessible from the resort’s beach or jetty – don your equipment and get ready in the shade of the hut and off you go into the warm waters of the Maldives to experience the magic that lies beneath the surface. If the convenience alone doesn’t make you want to jump onto a plane right now, let us tell you more about what what you expect to see on Maldives' house reefs.

Tiny, colourful nudibranchs and flamboyant mantis shrimps hide amongst the corals, schools of colourful reef fish move past hiding moray eels and resting stingrays. If you’re lucky, you may even spot cruising eagle rays and reef sharks swimming along the edge where the bottom starts to drop off. The house reef is also home to the magnificent octopus, one of nature’s more curious creatures.

Fun fact: Did you know that octopus change the colour and texture of their skin to camouflage themselves into their environment? Their skin colouration also reflects their mood. They are usually brown, but turn white when afraid, and red when angry.

If you feel that you need another type of adventure, don't fret: there is also a shipwreck on a some house reefs, at which you often see a big napoleon wrasse, surrounded by the resident school of bat fish.

Which Resort Have the "BEST" House Reef Snorkeling?

The best house reefs are easily accessed, stunning house reefs make these 10 islands the icing on the wedding cake. Some you can snorkel the whole way round: Diamonds Athuruga has a seamless drop-off with great coral where whale sharks have been sighted; Eriyadu’s edge is just a short swim in any direction; and Vilamendhoo’s close-by channel attracts spectacular predators. Bathala's position at the atoll edge brings snorkellers face to face with everything from turtles and tuna to eagle rays and even hammerhead sharks. Angsana Ihuru was named the best house reef in Maldives, with an embarrassment of fish species and living coral. Equipment at Hurawalhi comes within the all-inclusive deal, and there are guided snorkelling trips all day. The new water villas at Lily Beach make access to their coral gardens a matter of a few steps and a few metres swim.

1 Oblu Nature Helengeli

house reef snorkeling at Helengeli

Best Experience:   All Inclusive, Couples, Families, Scuba Diving, House Reef Snorkeling, Value

In the North Malé Atoll, OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli is a vibrant and refreshingly modern all-inclusive resort with a stylish design and a relaxed island feel. With natural channels and a jaw-dropping house reef just metres from the island, this is a true underwater haven filled with spectacular coral and marine life that include silver-tipped sharks, lobsters and giant sea turtles. This trendy resort has a slightly younger vibe, with great watersports facilities and even Wi-Fi on your speedboat transfer, meaning you can flood your Instagram feed with pictures of paradise before you've even arrived at the resort. READ FULL REVIEW

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2 Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

Best Experience for:  Water Villa stay, Honeymoon, Family vacation, House reef snorkeling, activities, fishing, diving

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa is a luxury island hideaway on the pristine Haa Alifu atoll in the north of Maldives. Boasting with long white sandy beaches on each side of the island, crystal-clear waters, and beautiful house reef snorkeling, Hideaway Beach offers guests the luxury of space and privacy of tropical island. With some of the largest villas in the country, all 103 luxury villas and residences fall into ten categories ranging from beachfront to over-water.

The Maldives is renowned for its stunning and abundant marine life and with a spectacular coral reef on your doorstep there is no better place for snorkeling at Hideaway Beach Resort and Spa. The residents of the house reef include countless tropical fish of every imaginable color, moray eels, corals and turtles. Eagle rays, stingrays, manta rays and sharks are also frequent visitors to the reef. Complimentary use of snorkelling equipment is included with your villa. READ FULL REVIEW

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3 NH Collection Maldives Havodda Resort

House Reef in Amari Havodda Maldive

Best Experience for:   Families, Couples, House Reef Snorkeling, scuba diving, All Inclusive

Amari Havodda is a secluded luxury resort ideally located in the south area of the Maldives, one of the most untouched archipelagos in the Indian Ocean. With the pristine sands and crystall clear waters, luxury travellers'll discover a new perspective on the private beach resort experience here. Offering a luxurious accomodation, a fantastic house reef, a vast lagoon and beautiful sandy beaches Amari Havodda is set on Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll via a short 55-minute domestic flight from Male airport. Offering great value rooms on a Full Board and All Iclusive basis, guests try snorkelling on the spectacular coral reef, or relaxing on powder soft sand, this truly is a secluded haven, perfect for couples and families. READ FULL REVIEW

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4  Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

House Reef in Amari Havodda Maldive

Best Experience for:   Ultimate Luxury, Over Water Villas, Privacy and Tranquillity, spa, Wildlife, swimming with mantas

Voted most Instagrammable hotel in the world, staying in Anantara Kihavan Maldives Villas is much more than just enjoying the luxury of your private area. The island of Kihavah is entirely encircled by a magnificent house reef that is widely regarded as the best house reef in the Maldives, and easily accessible direct from the beach or even from the steps of the resort’s idyllic over water villas. Guests can go for snorkeling around without having to hop on a boat. The drop off is an exciting abyss in deep blue water, with overhangs, caves and many other things. One of the most wonderful sights at Kihavah’s famed house reef is the Golden Wall that descends to a depth of up to 25 metres. The wall is dominated by widespread colonies of soft corals in multiple colours, however, the predominant gold and yellow variations make it clear to any diver why this reef is called the Golden Wall. Sea life is beautiful, with large schools of fish, including perches and triggerfish, as well as turtles, sharks and rays. With a sandy bottom and clear waters, the beautiful lagoon is ideal for swimming and water sports. Another reason - the villas are so gorgeous that guests are only occasionally seen outside of their luxurious hideaways. READ FULL REVIEW

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5  Dusit Thani Maldives

Dusit Thani Maldives

Best Experience:   Water Villas, for Couples, House Reef Snorkeling & Diving, Mantas Watching

If the idea to stay on the Maldives in a Thai-style hotel raises your eyebrows, think about what it gives you. The warm hospitality of Thailand in an unprecedented luxury setting: two of the best aspects of an Asian luxury trip in one magnificent package. Located on Mudhdhoo island in Baa Atoll, the Maldives' first and only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Dusit Thani seduces guests with pearly white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, lush vegetation and a fantastic house reef with one of the most abundant marine life in the Maldives. Inspired by Thailand, architecture provides private life alone with a vibrant nature featuring both classical and modern styles. The resort villas and apartments are beautiful shelters of modern sophistication, with luxurious facilities and state os the art amenities. Fine cusine in an exotic setting is another highlight of this resort. The resort is also home to the largest infinity pool in the Maldives with an impressive of 750 square meters. As a visual center of the hotel, this swimming pool combines technology and nature with the flowing majestic Banyan tree. The resort is located in the heart of Baa Atoll, where an ambundance marine life has earned the status of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Fantastic house reef snorkelling and diving are guaranteed - and for non-divers - the local biologist of the resort is always at hand to learn more about marine life.  READ FULL REVIEW

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6 COMO Cocoa Island

soneva maldives resort

Best Experience:   for couples, Spa & Health, Beach, Diving

Only with 33 romantic water villas and suites on the island, Cocoa Island Resort is rated the most lovely resort for the honeymooners and there is not any kind of child-oriented facilities. Located 40 minutes by speedboat from Malé Airport, the hotel also has a high rating in the Maldives based on guest reviews, so it is ideal for adults. Uniquely inspired by dhoni boats the style and design of our newly refreshed 34 overwater suites and villas are like that of no other luxury resort in the Maldives. Throw open the glass doors, and you can breathe the sea, day and night, as it laps your private jetty. Of course, in addition to luxury accommodation and gourmet dine options, diving and snorkeling there is an excellent spa and even a pavilion for practicing yoga with a teacher. READ FULL REVIEW

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7 Hurawalhi Island Resort

house reef snorkeling at Hurawalhi Island

Best Experience: There are no kids on the island - this is a big plus; a magnificent large overwater villas with stunning views of the lagoon; Superb house reef snorkeling, a fantastic '5.8 Undersea' restaurant

Hurawalhi in the Maldives - this is incomparable, extraordinary and absolutely original. Ecologically innovative, a new 5*-star resort, the world's largest underwater restaurant, tropical champagne pavilion, stylish villas and politics just over 15 years old, and with no other resorts in the neighborhood as far as the eye can see - Hurawalhi Island Resort offers its own look at Paradise. Just 40 minutes of scenic flight by seaplane from Velana international airport (Male), and here's for you a distinctive collection of beautifully designed, exclusive and extremely spacious villas across the sparkling sapphire of clean lagoon - ideally located, so that all guests can enjoy the views of sunrise or sunset against the background of the ocean. And with restaurants that are on the beach, on the water and even under water, the philosophy here is that nothing is impossible. For sports lovers: For fans of outdoor activities there are tennis, badminton and beach volleyball, as well as a fully equipped fishing boat for deep-sea fishing. On offer is a fantastic snorkeling on the house reef, including a night fluorescent diving, and a snorkelling excursion with a marine biologist, and of course a full PADI certification course in the educational 5 * dive center READ FULL REVIEW

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8 Vakkaru Maldives

house reef snorkeling at Vakkaru Maldives

Best Experience:  Couples, Families, Water Villas, Service, Beaches, Swimming with Mantas

Nestled in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Vakkaru Maldives is a timeless sanctuary intuitively designed for guests seeking unassuming luxury and cherishable experiences. A scenic 30- minute seaplane journey from Male International Airport takes you to this secluded reef island blessed with timeless ocean views, powder-soft white sand beaches, unique deep blue holes and spectacular marine biodiversity. The 113 beautifully-appointed Over Water and Beach Villas are elegantly designed to respect the surrounding tropical nature and Maldivian charms. Additionally, indulgent dining choices, a world-class wine cellar – home to a curated selection of fine vintage and non-vintage offerings from Old to New World as well as curated leisure activities and amenities create enriched experiences for everyone. READ FULL REVIEW

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9 Baros Maldives

house reef snorkeling at Baros Maldives

Best Experience:    Honeymoon, Beach, Spa, House Reef Snorkeling & Diving

Baros is a perfect getaway located in the North Malé Atoll only a 25-minute by speedboat from Malé Airport. Located on a beautiful private island with a crystal clear coral lagoon, Baros is a 5 * star boutique hotel in the Maldives that will surpass all of your highest fantasies of the "dream island". Surrounded by clean, warm waters and snow-white sands, with groves of coconut palms and fragrant flowers, this cozy resort landscape is really worthy of fainting. Baros' house reef is known as one of the best house reefs in the Maldives. With a length of 300 meters, the coral gardens have easy access. The reef is dropped off by ledges to a depth of 20 meters, where you will find the hypnotic world of corals with an amazing variety of a vibrant marine life. Expect to see blacktip reef sharks, turtles and many species of fish, including pelagics. In Baros is particularly popular fluorescent night diving, offering a look at the underwater world in a new light. READ FULL REVIEW

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10 Avani+ Fares Maldives

Avani + Fares Maldives: house reef with fishes and corals

Avani+ Fares Maldives Resort, Avani’s first property in the Maldives has opened in a natural playground of soft white sandy beach and every colour of blue imaginable in 2023. Located on Fares Island in the Baa Atoll, the 5* star resort is comprised of 176 guest rooms, including standard accommodation and a selection of villas with pools. Every attention is placed to wellbeing, with décor blending genuine pleasures and modernity. Nearby dive site Ahivahfushi Beyru is an Eden for snorkellers and scuba enthusiasts thanks to a plethora of sea life from Hawksbill turtles to reef sharks and manta rays. READ FULL REVIEW

'Fares' means reef in Dhivehi, and boy is the resort's reef spectacular. The island is located in a channel and, due to the currents in and out of the atoll, is teeming with fish. The best place to snorkel is around the eastern half of the island, right from the beach. The colours of the corals are surreal and baby reef shark swim right up to the shoreline. Just house reef snorkelling brings encounters with hawksbill turtles and whale sharks, while nearby Hanifaru Bay is world famous for its hundreds of manta rays.

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11 House Reef in Lily Beach Resort and Spa, Ari Atoll

house reef snorkeling at Lily Beach Resort, maldives

Best Experience:   Families, Couples, House Reef Snorkeling, All Inclusive

Reopened in 2009 as a 5-star resort, Lily Beach is a romantic place for a family holiday with All Inclusive that includes food, drinks and various activities. The stylish and spacious rooms have open air bathrooms with hydromassage baths, outdoor terraces with direct access to the ocean or to the beach, as well as other facilities: from sunscreen and quality toiletries to the packed mini bars and large flat-screen TVs. The resort's family facilities include a kid's buffet in the restaurant, a swimming pool and a game club. Active guests can enjoy land and water sports, while couples have many romantic options and places to seclude. New villas over the water made snorkeling easier - just a few steps down and a short drift to the exit of the house reef. The house reef edge usually lies 10-20 meters from the beach. If there is not strong tide, snorkelers can drift right over the tops of the corals. READ FULL REVIEW

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12  Sandies Bathala

Sandies Bathala house reef snorkeling

Best Experience:  Couples, Family, Value, House Reef Snorkeling, Diving, All Inclusive

Paradise for divers and fans of snorkeling, Sandies Bathala is a new all-inclusive resort that today changed its management and returned to its roots. Perfectly placed to explore the North Ari Atoll’s spectacular underwater world, brand new for 2019, Sandies Bathala offers a great-value Maldivian experience just a 15-minute scenic seaplane ride from Malé airport, and it has long been a popular spot with divers from all around the globe. It seems that he will again be strong and healthy under Planhotel Hospitality Group.

The strong point of the resort remains the reef, which was not damaged by the renovation. Bathala's house reef is still considered one of the best and most beautiful in the country. With magnificent coral gardens and a variety of fish in shallow water, it is ideal for an exciting snorkelling. READ FULL REVIEW

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13 Mirihi Island Resort

Sandies Bathala house reef snorkeling

Best Experience: for Honeymoon, Beach, Value, Diving, House Reef Snorkelling

Combining modern and traditional elements, the small paradise has been freshly renovated and reopened in December 2014 with a new shine, but still maintaining its unique Maldivian character. Due to its size and limited number of Villas, Mirihi is considered as being one of the smallest islands in the Maldives and offers 37 villas, and has its own and unique style, filled with luxury and comfortable features that you can expect from any large 5 * resort. With one of the best house reefs in the country, snorkeling in Mirihi is an easy necessity. Discover the beauty of marine life with a night dive, or with whale sharks and manta rays trips. At Mirihi, you do not need to be a diver to discover the magic of the Maldives at its best. Mirihi under water is just another world.  READ FULL REVIEW

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14  Filitheyo Island Resort

Sandies Bathala house reef snorkeling

Best Experience:  Couples, Family, Value, House Reef Snorkeling, Diving

For many visitors Filitheyo Island Resort is one of the best hotels in the Maldives, and definitely a secret dream for everyone who loves diving and snorkeling. Filitheyo Island Resort is located in Faafu Atoll, the undisputed winner among the most unspoiled atolls of the Maldives, abundant in vibrant marine life and healthy corals. Snow-white sandy beach with fringe of palm trees reflected in the turquoise lagoon, comfortable accommodation in the depths of dense vegetation and over the water, delicious food under bright stars, spa, excursions to uninhabited islands, a large choice of activities, and last but not least fascinating diving and snorkeling at house reef - here is an approximate picture of Filitheyo, a brilliant emerald in the crown of the Maldives. READ FULL REVIEW

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15 Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa: house reef snorkeling

Best Experience: overwater villas, design, Honeymoon, House Reef Snorkeling, Diving

Built from scratch to preserve the island's natural environment, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is the pioneer of eco-designn in the country. Located in the heart of Huvadhoo Atoll, the largest and deepest atoll in the country, Hadahaa is a small, round and greenery island surrounded by some of the best, soft white beaches and a stunning house reef in the Maldives. Nothing else. You can spend hours snorkelling admiring the views of marine life. For first timers the resort's diving center offers a guided house reef tour. The resort offers the ultimate Maldivian experience of turquoise and azure waters and fine white beaches, complemented by tranquil settings. Succumb to the healing sensation of holistic wellness at Park Hyatt Hadahaa, where every experience is centred on bringing your mind, body and soul towards a new equilibrium. READ FULL REVIEW

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16 Kandolhu Maldives

Kandolhu Maldives: house reef snorkeling

Best Experience:   Honeymoon, House Reef Snorkeling & Diving

Kandolhu Maldives guarantees even more than just your dreams of an unforgettable honeymoon in the Maldives. Soaked in romance, with an incredible house reef snorkeling, couples are bound to fall in love with this cozy island. Those who have heard of Kandholhu Island know that this is one of the best house reef in the Maldives. Only resorts in the country's southern atolls can compare or surpass. An additional draw is clean and soft sandy beaches, all around a small round island whose shape in Maldivian standards is a rarity. So snorkeling is the best you can find between your water villa, the beach and the many restaurants of this 5 * boutique hotel. READ FULL REVIEW

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17 House Reef in Robinson Club Maldives, Gaafu Atoll

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa: house reef snorkeling

Best Experience:   Couples, House Reef Snorkeling, All Inclusive

Robinson Club Maldives Adults Only is all-inclusive resort set on a beautiful island in the heart of the Indian ocean with amazing blue waters and white beaches — all the ingredients for your perfect honeymoon. Located in Gaafu Dhaalu atoll a remote southern part of the Maldives, the 4-star resort occupies its own private island and offers 121 beach and garden bungalows and over-water villas with living areas and terraces. Food gets excellent reviews from guests, and Sundowner Bar is a favorite for afternoon drinks on bean bags placed along the sand. With an amazing house reef snorkeling, a wide range of activities and programs, excellent entertainment options, this is a great all-inclusive pick for couples, but keep in mind that getting there requires a 70-minute domestic flight from Malé airport followed half-hour speedboat transfer.

The House reef is beautiful! Feels like swimming in a huge aquarium. You'll snorkel every day and always something new to discove including sharks, turtles, fish, rays and dolphins. The island is surrounded by coral reefs, but today some guests have said that the coral has suffered some damage in the last few years. The snorkelling gear is free for the duration of your stay - which is great, especially if you stay in water villa built metres above the water had steps leading straight down into the water where you can swim and snorkel at your leisure. READ FULL REVIEW

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18 Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa aerial

Best Experience:   for Couples, Family holiday, House Reef Snorkeling & Diving, Value, All Inclusive

With one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, the great strengths of Vilamendhoo have always been snorkeling and diving, and affordable accommodation. After a major renovation it was re-opened as a luxury resort than ever. And it says a lot. With 184 rooms, Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is a luxury resort on a private island with a magnificent green and cozy landscape. The rooms are spacious and beautiful with furnishings from bright and playful to sober and chic. There are also Water Villas that grow from the pier at the western end. The resort boasts several swimming pools, restaurants, as well as sports fields, a spa (and much more) scattered throughout the island which is divided into the family and "adults only" areas. With a magnificent house reef and All Inclusive offering - it's a romantic, quiet choice for families and couples alike. READ FULL REVIEW

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19  Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon house reef snorkeling

Best Experience:  Couples, Family, Value, House Reef Snorkeling, Diving, All Inclusive

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon is located in Ari Atoll and its house reef and proximity to some of the most beautiful dive sites in the Maldives is the greatest attraction. Acquired by a luxury brand from Sri Lanka, Cinnamon today has 112 rooms, of average price range, that's good for couples and families. On a beautiful island, there is complete cleanliness, and guests are served by a variety of facilities to choose from, including a spa, squash and tennis courts, a children's playground, a pool, and exciting excursions. New Water Villas are the brightest and most attractive rooms, but there are other categories of accommodation with good value, and avid divers and snorkel fans should not miss the chance to explore the famous Ellaidhoo's house reef. Regardless of the season, the serene atmosphere of a beautiful island, a lot of greenery, and the rustic spirit of Ellaidhoo await you. READ FULL REVIEW

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20 Fihalhohi Island Resort

Dusit Thani Maldives

Best Experience:  Couples, Family, House Reef Snorkeling & Diving, Value, Beaches

Accessible by boat from Male airport, Fihalhohi so rich in mature palms and native trees is rarely found among Maldivian resorts. This is a real visual feast, as well as a very practical option, since the shadow between the rooms and the beach is life-saving for children playing in the sand and also for adults sitting in chaise lounges or hammocks during the heat of the day. Fihalhohi has a carefully protected turquoise blue lagoon bordered by a coral reef easily accessed by swimming where scuba diving or snorkeling could be experienced. The house reef is close by two thirds of the way around the island, with nice corals and hypnotic marine life, including sharks, rays and turtles, not to mention large schools of colorful fish. Neighboring world-class diving sites should also not disappoint you, although spots on the other side of the atoll (still very accessible for dhoni) are among the most famous in the country, around Guraidhu, Kandooma and Cocoa. READ FULL REVIEW

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21 W Maldives

Dusit Thani Maldives

Best Experience: for Honeymoon, Beach, Design, Fashion and Music, House Reef Snorkelling

In luxurious hotels mysteriously named "W", the Starwood group emphasizes a confident, young brand - oriented to design, fashion and music.  Located in the North Ari Atoll, W Maldives offers 77 escapes and suites located both ashore and overwater, including 28 Wonderful Beach Oasis, 46 Fabulous Overwater Oasis, three WOW Ocean Escape and one Extreme WOW Ocean Haven (the W brand’s interpretation of the Presidential Suite). Each chic and spacious escape features infinity plunge pool. There is a mixture of six bars and restaurants at W Maldives. Kitchen, the all-day dining bistro, and Fire, where guests have their choice of four different barbecues, provide menus for everyone’s palate. Swim up to the pool bar Wet and order a light lunch.

There is even a dining option on the resort’s private desert island, Gaathafushi, or Fish, the resort’s specialty seafood restaurant set over the water and under the stars. Fifteen Below is the only underground club in the Maldives, with its own resident DJ and a sushi bar Sushi Beat.

Guests can also spoil themselves with a selection of over 125 treatments at the award-winning overwater Away Spa. READ FULL REVIEW

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23 Reethi Faru, Bio Luxury Resort

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa: house reef snorkeling

Best Experience:  Couples, House Reef Snorkeling, Activities, Beaches

With an amazing house reef, Reethi Faru is a new 5-star resort opened in November 2017 in Raa Atoll. Stunning beach, palm trees and natural tropical vegetation form this paradise island of Filaidhoo. Meaning in Dhivehi "Beautiful Reef", Reethi Faru fully justifies its name and boasts a vibrant house reef not far from the shore. With excellent accommodation, both on the beach and over the water, with five restaurants to choose from, a spa, a wide selection of water sports, including diving and snorkeling, A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Reethi Faru Resort is the perfect holiday escape for couples or for families or friends traveling together with an excellent value for money. The new resort has 150 spacious villas, all with a traditional design that blends well with the environment, your home away from home can be found on soft sands or on stilts in the crystal clear lagoon. READ FULL REVIEW

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24 Embudu Village Resort

Dusit Thani Maldives

Best Experience:  Couples, Family, Beach, House Reef Snorkeling, Diving, Value

Embudu Village Resort is an ongoing success story that follows a simple, proven formula. Embudu's success is based on its proximity to Malé, value for money, a homely atmosphere, an excellent house reef snorkeling and top diving. The 72 superior rooms have air conditioning, fresh water, a hairdryer and a refrigerator. The furniture is simple but adequate. About half of them recently received make-up, with new beds and furniture, so they usually look fresher, although the most high-tech supplement you will find in them are new tea and coffee making facilities.

Snorkeling is a permanent source of fun in Embudu Village. House Reef has an easily access through 5 passages to ever-growing coral, a variety of schools of fish and pelagics, including rays, turtles and reef sharks. Who is interested in bizarre coral formations will find in the current free coral garden what he is looking for. And for really big sea creatures that appear here from April to November, snorkeling exursions with Mantas are run almost daily. READ FULL REVIEW

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25 Nova Maldives

Vakarufalhi Island Resort & Spa - All Inclusive

Best Experience: for Couples, solo, groups, House Reef Snorkeling, All Inclusive

Nova is all about a fun, progressive, inclusive community formed by couples and groups of friends. 76 land and ocean view Villas with private terraces, cosy furnishings and all the amenities you would require. There are multiple room types to choose from, including inter-connecting Beach Villas for families or groups of friends travelling together. From relaxing spa treatments to high tempo diving adventures, Nova offers a variety of activities for you to select from. Nova features a fantastic gym and outdoor training area, group fitness classes, and our spa focuses on treatments based on organic products.

One of Nova's star features is its location and natural proximity to the best dive- and snorkel- sites, as well as easy access to some of the most big populations of whale sharks and manta rays in the Maldives. A gorgeous house reef that located only 15 meters from the beach is close to any point on the island and is therefore ideal for snorkeling at any time and from any villa. A real draw for a resort in the Maldives. The marine life is diverse and stunning, although corals have not yet grown so much, compared to many other islands in the South Ari Atoll. READ FULL REVIEW

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26  Dhawa Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru  house reef snorkeling

Best Experience:  for Couples, House Reef Snorkeling, Two Islands One Great Price

A true island paradise, Dhawa Ihuru is an eco-friendly luxury resort located on the tiny beautiful island with the best house reef in the Maldives. The 25 minutes by speedboat from Velana (Male) airport, a peace and quiet is the name of the game in this boutique resort with 45 villas run by Singapore's Banyan Tree, one of the world's most luxurious hotel brands. For guests there is one of the best house reefs in the Maldives - literally a few meters from the beach is hypnotic snorkeling (for free!), as well as excellent diving (own 5* star dive center PADI). Delicious food and drinks are served in the restaurant, and guests should expect an easy, unobtrusive pressure from the staff offering to book a therapy session at the excellent Thai spa. To diversify the activities there is a free transfer to Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru next door, where you will also find a restaurant, bar and spa. READ FULL REVIEW

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