Castaway-style overwater villas splashed across screensavers and social media feeds have become synonymous with the Maldives. But the islands’ sprawling, bountiful beach villas are also all too underrated options.
Sitting directly on the sand, just steps from your own piece of private beach, these villas offer unparalleled privacy and, often, extra square footage. From two-story sustainable escapes with roaming rabbits to curved beach mansions with outdoor decks bigger than most apartments, here are eight of the Maldives’ best beach villas.
Naladhu Private Island Maldives
With just 20 houses, consider Naladhu Private Island your home away from home. Split between Ocean Houses and Beach Houses—both with private pools—the only difference is the sand-filled backyard. The resort’s 2021 refurb gave its interiors a fresh look with dark timber against airy white interiors and pops of blue.
But its massive 3,288 sq. footprint didn’t change. The expansive deck area still includes a dining area, plush sun loungers and a swinging bed with peek-a-boo ocean views.
On this 113-villa former coconut farm, there’s a near-even split between beach and overwater options. Designed by the owner’s wife, each of Vakkaru’s beach villas scream understated elegance with earthy tones, canopy beds, sleek timber wood, and Maldivian artwork. The resort’s one and two-bedroom Residences are ideal for families who love direct and safe access to the beach.
Plus, every Beach Villa and Residence comes with a private plunge pool.
Raffles Maldives Meradhoo
Opened in 2021, Raffles Maldives nearly touches the equator. Its Gaafu Alifu Atoll locale gives its 21 beach villas and residences a far-flung feel. True to its cherished brand, the colonial architecture and standout service carries through to every corner, from the palm-frond ceiling fans to navy striped blues.
Its Beach Villas and Residences include private pools and gardens with direct ocean access when you’re not walking along the cotton-ball-colored shores of this small island.
One of the Maldives’ premier resorts, JOALI has 24 beach villas, including ones with multiple bedrooms and multiple pools, plus an enormous Four-Bedroom Beach Residence. Apart from a surplus of space, JOALI’s villas are swimming in style. Elegantly designed, each has expertly thatched wood headboards and teak-carved panels. Rose gold fixtures, baby pinks and creams decorate rooms, while bathrooms wow with emerald marble indoor showers and outdoor showers adorned with bright green bamboo tiles.
The interiors are almost too pretty to leave, but the private pool and outdoor lounge areas beckon you out to enjoy even prettier beach views.
Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
For those looking for a less eye-watering expensive vacation option, there’s Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu. Rustic and rugged, 75 of the resort’s 98 villas are located on the sand, so it’s safe to say beach villas are their specialty. Design highlights include pitched thatched roofs, terracotta tile floors, open-air bathrooms, and four-post beds with mosquito nets that create an aesthetic as relaxed as its island home.
Covered with lush ferns and palms, the beach villas here are also supremely private, with paths leading out to the pristine beach.
As the Grand Dame of the Maldives, Soneva Fushi is credited with pioneering barefoot luxury and focusing hard on sustainability. This large natural island in the Baa Atoll also has some of the most impressive and character-filled beach villas. There are endless categories to choose from, like a 1 Bedroom Crusoe Villa with Pool and Three Bedroom Sunrise Retreat, each made from reclaimed wood with expansive ocean views.
The only thing more impressive than these beach villas is the island itself. Here, bunnies jump around the jungle, bespoke service is among the best in the world, and separate cheese, charcuterie, chocolate, and ice cream rooms are open to guests 24/7.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Thanks to its multimillion dollar reno, Conrad Maldives is once again sitting pretty as a top resort in the Maldives. Split between two islands, the adults-only Rangali Island and the family-friendly Rangali-Finolhu Island, beachgoers have a multitude of sand-strewn options. From multi-bedroom villas with pools to single-bedroom ones without, each has a contemporary feel with light and bright colors and intimate spaces to enjoy your dream beachside vacation.
The Nautilus Maldives
A bohemian beauty, The Nautilus offers guests a uniquely bespoke experience. No clocks, a whatever-you-crave menu, and an easy-breezy attitude make it among the most relaxed resorts in the Maldives. Just 26 houses, most of them on land, have curved architecture, custom-made furniture, geometric flooring, bright nautical colors and, of course, private pools with incredible ocean views.
Three Beach Residences and a nearly 10,000-sq. ft. Mansion offer the ultimate beach getaway.