10 Luxury Resorts in Maldives with an Exceptional House Reef 2024

June 27, 2024

Here are 10 resorts with an exceptional house reef that can be great for snorkelling and/or diving on your next vacation to the Maldives. The Maldives is home to a multitude of luxury resorts and coastal hotels, famous for emphasizing the one island, one resort concept.

This concept extends to each island’s house reef; not every island has one where you can snorkel or dive. This list of resorts features those surrounded by magnificent house reefs, packed with tropical corals and a variety of aquatic life. Below are the 10 best Maldivian resorts for your underwater adventures!

Mirihi Island Resort

Located in the beautiful South Ari Atoll, Mirihi Island Resort is just 350 meters long and 50 meters wide. The island features glistening white beaches and a turquoise lagoon. Mirihi is considered one of the smallest islands in the country and is uniquely surrounded by a breathtaking house reef.

At Mirihi, you can:

  • Explore different reefs in the Atoll
  • Check out the shipwreck at Mirihi House Reef
  • Encounter the gentle whale shark
  • Go night snorkelling and observe sleeping fish

Anantara Kihavah Maldives

Anantara Kihavah is based within the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, offering exhilarating snorkelling and diving adventures around their treasured reef. The island is nestled in the Baa Atoll, which is also home to Hanifaru Bay, a world-renowned haven for protected marine life.

At Anantara Kihavah, you can:

  • Discover the plankton’s bloom from May to November
  • Snorkel with squadrons of mantas and encounter whale sharks feeding alongside them
  • Participate in exciting excursions like Dolphin Discovery or Turtle Quest
  • Hire a marine biologist for a private dive

Kandolhu Maldives

Kandolhu Maldives is conveniently located in the central Ari Atoll, enveloped by a stunning house reef. Additionally, the resort provides access to 12 classic dive sites, with more sites within reach in North Ari Atoll.

At Kandolhu Maldives, you can:

  • Get up close with gigantic mantas and hawksbill turtles
  • Discover the 30-year-old famous Fesdu shipwreck
  • Encounter big schools of fusiliers, batfish, and bannerfish
  • Dive at protected marine areas: Maaya Thila, Orimas Thila, Kari Beyru Thila, and Fishhead

Hurawalhi Maldives

Hurawalhi Island Resort Maldives is located on a private coral island in the north of Lhaviyani Atoll. The resort is adults-only and surrounded by a vibrant house reef. Lhaviyani Atoll has over 50 dive sites, with new sites revealed regularly.

At Hurawalhi Island Resort Maldives, you can:

  • Snorkel and dive at house reefs, underwater islands, and out reefs of Lhaviyani Atoll
  • Go on half and full-day snorkelling trips
  • Explore colourful corals, anemones with clownfish, hawksbill turtles, and large tunas
  • Participate in the Hurawalhi Manta experience

Kuredu Island Resort Maldives

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa rests on the northern tip of Lhaviyani Atoll, located just a 40-minute scenic seaplane journey from Velana International Airport. Kuredu features a vast turquoise lagoon and fringing reefs perfect for snorkelling, with a house reef home to an abundance of fish and marine life.

At Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, you can:

  • Dive at over 60 dive sites accessible from Kuredu
  • Dive at famous sites like Kuredu Caves, Anemone Thila, Fushivaru Thila, and Kandu Express
  • Hang out with pelagic fish and cruise along with sharks
  • Encounter dancing mantas

Vakkaru Maldives

Lying in the heart of Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Vakkaru Maldives is a secluded island blessed with timeless ocean views, powder-soft white sands, and a house reef with unique marine biodiversity. This luxurious resort offers an extraordinary marine discovery journey around the atoll.

At Vakkaru Maldives, you can:

  • Dive and snorkel on the big house reef, which has many kilometres of coral and a deep blue hole
  • Join guided underwater trips during the day and night. You can even try special night diving where sea life glows in the dark
  • Visit the island's blue holes, which are very close to the water villas (only 20-30 meters away)
  • Join daily excursions to Hanifaru Bay

Milaidhoo Maldives

Located 126 km northwest of Malé, Milaidhoo is encircled by a beautiful coral reef, making it famous for snorkelling and diving. The resort is part of the UNESCO biosphere reserve and is close to the renowned Hanifaru Bay.

At Milaidhoo Maldives, you can:

  • Go snorkelling and meet the five resident hawksbill turtles at the house reef: Sam, Bumblebee, Emmy, Flori, and Milly
  • Experience the nightlife of the sea by night diving or fluoro night dives
  • Encounter the world’s largest group of mantas
  • Get up close with the gentle whale shark

Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort located in the Laamu Atoll, surrounded by a rich house reef that offers incomparable underwater adventures. The house reef is home to colourful corals and various types of marine life, ideal for snorkelling and diving.

At Six Senses Laamu, you can:

  • Go on a 2-hour snorkelling adventure with guides and the resident marine biologist
  • Swim along with mantas, stingrays, barracudas, Napoleon wrasses, turtles, sharks, and whale sharks
  • Choose from various diving activities, from private diving to diving with the Laamu Mantas
  • Explore favourite dive sites, including reef dives, kandus, and thilas

Baros Maldives

Located in the North Male’ Atoll, just a 25-minute speedboat ride away, Baros Maldives is bordered by a brilliant house reef. The island is well-known for remarkable snorkelling experiences, with the house reef located close to the shore.

At Baros Maldives, you can:

  • Take part in the Baros house reef tour
  • Engage in night snorkelling or private snorkelling
  • Get up close with reef sharks, turtles, moray eels, and mantas
  • Dive with the PADI 5-star Gold Palm Dive Center team

LUX* South Ari Atoll

The lavish LUX* South Ari Atoll resort inhabits the island of Dhidhoofinolhu as per the one island, one resort concept. The island is a picturesque 25-minute seaplane journey from Velana International Airport, featuring an extensive lagoon surrounding the island.

At LUX* South Ari Atoll, you can:

  • Encounter shoals of butterfly fish and oriental sweet-lips, turtles, dolphins, and mantas
  • Say hello to the whale shark with the guidance of the resident marine biologist
  • Choose from tailored programs led by the 5-star PADI IDC Dive Center’s experienced instructors
  • Go night snorkelling and explore the corals, fish, and other marine life under fluorescent light

What is a House Reef?

A house reef is a coral reef located very close to the shore of an island or resort, typically within swimming distance. These reefs act as natural barriers and provide rich habitats for marine life, making them excellent for snorkelling and diving activities.

House reefs usually contain a variety of coral species, fish, and other sea creatures. This diverse ecosystem allows guests to explore a vibrant underwater world without needing boat trips or long swims.

The proximity of the reef to the resort offers easy access for both beginners and experienced water enthusiasts. This convenient location provides an immersive way to experience the underwater beauty of places like the Maldives.

House reefs are valuable features for resorts, as they allow guests to enjoy marine life observation and water activities directly from the property. This accessibility makes house reefs popular attractions in coastal and island destinations.

What makes a house reef exceptional?

An exceptional house reef is vibrant with diverse marine life, and clear waters, and is easily accessible from the resort. It provides opportunities for snorkelling and diving, allowing visitors to experience the underwater world right at their doorstep.

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