Over the top or overwater, when it comes to the Maldives, you get both in spades. Here are three of the islands’ most beautiful overwater oases.
This luxury adults-only resort is within swimming distance of sister resorts Anantara Dhigu (@anantaradhigu), geared towards families and Naladhu (@naladhumaldives), designed for beach lovers. These stilted villas have a refined elegance and coziness compared to other palatial and pricier options. The intricately carved bathroom doors with soaking tub look out onto one of the Maldives’ most spectacularly turquoise natural lagoons—as does the villa’s private pool. Its pitched wooden roof and flooring give it a classic Maldivian vibe, while bright touches pop against a gobsmacking blue backdrop.
One of the Maldives’ best and most design-centric resorts has a glamorous, feminine touch owed to its Turkish owner Esin Güral Argat.
JOALI’s super spacious overwater villas with private pools are decked out in rose gold finishes with sky-high bamboo-thatched ceilings, artfully carved wood doors, pastel pink throw pillows and an emerald green marble shower. It’s also the first art-immersive hotel in the Maldives, with 13 pieces scattered around the island. The most popular being the manta ray-shaped treehouse, perfect for a photoshoot or an outstanding multi-course meal.
Live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies at this ultra-sustainable overwater-only retreat. There are 45 rustic yet luxurious overwater villas to choose from, including their stand-alone Crusoe Residences with a private water hammock. Gili Lankanfushi’s reclaimed wood villas have unique touches like handmade rocking chairs and mirrors made from driftwood. There’s an abundance of outdoor living space with multiple lounge areas, a semi-open-air bathroom and several villas with private pools. The rooftop terrace is the best place to spot passing eagle rays or drift off to sleep in a bed set up for you to sleep under the stars.