The Maldives is the perfect destination to visit if snorkelling and diving are top priorities! However, not every hotel provides access to spectacular reefs from the shores of the resort. We’ve rounded up the best house reef resorts in the maldives to help you make the right decision.
What is a house reef?
A house reef is a coral reef that can be easily accessed from a hotel resort. A good house reef will be teaming with marine life and colourful fish. The main benefit of visiting a resort with a good house reef is that you can start exploring an underwater paradise from the beachfront. There’s never any need to worry about organising trips to other islands.
Best House Reefs in the Maldives 2021
Anantara Kihavah Villas, Baa Atoll
The Anantara Kihavah Villas in Baa Atoll was named the most Instagrammable hotel in the world by the Luxury Travel Advisor Magazine in 2018.
This five star resort is also home to one of the best house reefs in the Maldives. Strong swimmers can snorkel around the edge outside the house reef to spot large schools of fish, and up to five species of turtles. The famous Hawksbill turtle is the most common. For divers, the drop off is an exciting abyss in deep blue water, with overhangs, caves and more.
Whether you choose to snorkel or dive at the Anantara Kihavah Villas, you can rest assured that you’ll be safe. There are experienced instructors at the resort who provide first class rental equipment, and operate comfortable Dhonis (Maldivian boats) to the best dive sites.
Book your stay at the Anantara Kihavah Villas
Cocoa Island by COMO, South Male Atoll
Cocoa Island by COMO is an exclusive island resort made up of 33 exclusive overwater villas. The villas are the gateway to one of the most beautiful house reefs in the Maldives.
Perfect for snorkelling – flanked by a curl of beach which tapers into a spit of sand, the waters are clear and inviting. For divers, Cocoa Island is always a top pick for a Maldives honeymoon. And, from May to December, there’s even the opportunity to spot elusive manta rays. PADI certified instructors are on hand at the resort to ensure that guests are safe.
Regular boat trips depart from the resort and visit over 20 dive sites in the area for divers planning to spend more than a few nights in the Maldives. If you’ve never dived before, fear not! There’s a PADI sanctioned diving course which can be booked prior to your stay by the hotel concierge.
Book your stay at Cocoa Island by COMO
Angsana Ihuru Maldives, North Male Atoll
With over 150 fish species, splendid coral and a steep drop-off – this house reef is a dream come true for diving and snorkelling.
Located just a few steps away from the beach, the house reef at Angsana Ihuru spans the full circumference of the island. Don’t worry if you’ve never dived before either, as there is a PADI certified training centre within the resort. Over the years, Angsana Ihuru Maldives has become very popular with divers for night diving. This spectacular activity allows divers to swim amongst nocturnal manta rays.
As the Angsana Ihuru is the sister resort to the Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, guests of the resort can travel by boat to the Banyan Tree for an entirely different underwater experience.
Book your stay at the Angsana Ihuru Maldives
Bandos Island Resort & Spa, North Male Atoll
The Bandos is one of the oldest resorts in the Maldives. It opened in 1976!
But that’s not the only thing that makes Bandos Island Resort special. The resort is also renowned for its house reef which is considered one of the best in North Male. The reef is home to an active fish population ranging from reef sharks and turtles, to lionfish and lobsters. A small wreck offers divers an additional attraction at the front of the diving centre too.
At this resort, it’s also possible for experienced divers to visit Bandos Rock – another part of the house reef. The resort provides a free shuttle service.
Book your stay at the Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Coco Bodu Hithi, North Male Atoll
Coco Bodu Hithi is located in the North Male Atoll with a fantastic house reef. At this 4* Maldives resort, there is a strong emphasis on marine conservation. The Coral Nursery Programme at the resort has been specially designed to educate guests on ways to preserve the sustainability of coral reefs.
Armed with a renewed sense of appreciation for coral reefs, guests are then encouraged to explore the underwater kingdom’s for themselves. The reef offers fantastic snorkelling and diving with plenty to see.
Ocean Bodu Hithi is the resort’s PADI certified dive school. In addition to running courses for adults, Ocean Bodu Hithi also runs two diving programmes for children which are split by age.
Book your stay at the Coco Bodu Hithi
Filitheyo Resort, Faafu Atoll
Filitheyo Resort in Faafu Atoll is renowned for being home to one of the best house reefs for snorkelling in the Maldives. There are seven access points to the reef, and the reef also houses 2 boat wrecks and a variety of fascinating marine life.
3-4 Dhonis depart every day to take divers to diving points near the island. The daily frequency means that guests at the resort can choose to dive in a new location every day. Each spot is designed to suit divers of different abilities, and there are over 30 dive sites on offer.
Book your stay at the Filitheyo Resort
Lily Beach Resort and Spa, South Ari Atoll
The 3 kilometre house reef around the five star Lily Beach Resort makes it one of the top diving and snorkeling spots in the Maldives. By booking a stay in one of the overwater villas you will be just steps away from the exit of the house reef.
As the house reef is well protected, novice snorkelers can snorkel at ease. If there is not a strong tide, novice snorkelers can drift right over the tops of the corals. Divers looking to explore the marine life deep below will be amazed by the variety of marine life. The chance of encountering turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks is not uncommon at this resort.
For divers looking to explore South Ari Atoll further, the Lily Beach Resort can be used as a jumping off point. There are over 50 dive sites within easy reach, and new sites are regularly discovered by the experienced Prodivers team.
Book your stay at Lily Beach Resort and Spa
Robinson Club Maldives, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll
Located in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, the four star Robinson Club is an all-inclusive adults only resort. Not only is the resort on its own private island, but it’s also in a remote part of the Maldives – further south than nearly any other resort.
The island is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and the hotel provides guests with complimentary snorkeling equipment for the duration of their stay to ensure that they can swim and snorkel as much as they choose to. When it comes to diving, a variety of fish, turtles, and dolphins can be spotted in the reef.
Book your stay at Robinson Club Maldives
Baros Maldives, North Male Atoll
Despite the Baros Maldives Resort being just 25 minutes away by speedboat from Male Airport, the resort is surrounded by one of the best house reefs in the Maldives.
Baros house reef is humongous – with a total length of 4 kilometres. Access to the house reef is easy from the island or water villas. Expect to see vibrant coral, blacktip reef sharks, turtles and many species of fish. The west side of the island in the lagoon next to water villas is the best place to see the manta rays.
At night, the Baros resort organises ‘fluorescent night diving’ to help divers literally see the reef in a new light.
Book your stay at Baros Maldives