Affordable water villas in the Maldives – 30 overwater bungalows that will blow your mind

Staying in a water bungalow is probably on everyone’s bucketlist. While finding affordable water villas in the Maldives may seem like an impossible task, I can assure you that it isn’t. Of course, it will never be as accessible as a hostel in South-East Asia, but it’s not impossible to find a cheaper solution either.

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Tips on finding cheap overwater bungalows in the Maldives

Of course, none of the options below will help you find what you are looking for unless you are willing to put in some work as well. I have searched for the most affordable options for you, but saving more will be a task for you as well. So check out the following tips if you want to spend less and enjoy more.

For a trip as expensive as this one, using a cashback app like WayAway Plus is a great option. You will probably make some money back right from the flights, and there’s quite a big chance that you’re going to get more than it costs very quickly.

I made a rough simulation with a return flight from San Francisco to Male and 7 nights at one of the cheapest resorts on the list, and you get the following cashback: about $150 for the accommodation and around $30 for the flights. This already covers the cost of WayAway Plus for a year, and I’m sure you can use it for other trips as well.

For the best chance to find the best water villas in the Maldives on a budget, compare prices before you book. In my experience, Agoda always has better prices for destinations in Asia, but Booking can be worth it if you are already a member with a good Genius status. Also, you can integrate Booking with WayAwayPlus and get even more cashback this way.

Always compare meal plans when it comes to the Maldives. As each island is a resort, you cannot really go to a cheap restaurant. You either buy their meal plans or you eat a la carte, but this is rarely an affordable option. So prioritize offers that include at least breakfast and dinner, if you want a better deal.

Breakfast and dinner are quite enough if you’re not a foodie. You can have a later breakfast and an early dinner and you won’t feel the need for lunch, especially if you’re more eager to go on activities than to just eat. If you drink alcohol daily though, look into an all-inclusive package as it will be the best value for you.

For each of these options, I have added the transfer price from Male as well. This can be quite an amount, especially if you’re going to fly a water plane. On the other side, the further you go from the main airport, the better the environment will be.

As the best season to visit the Maldives is between November and March, try to avoid the entire month of December and the 14th of February as well. The prices around these dates can increase exponentially and there’s a slim chance you’ll find what you wish.

If you want to save even further, you can even visit the Maldives off-season or during the shoulder season. One of the locals has told me that a good off-season month to visit is July, but make this decision with the full understanding that you might get rainy days on your trip as well.

If you only want to check the water villa for an Instagram post or you really have limited resources, you can choose a standard room for most of your trip and stay in the overwater bungalow for one or two nights only. In the end, the sea is the same, no matter where you sleep at night.

It’s not exactly the same experience, but local islands are a great idea to incorporate into your trip. You can find some that are not very crowded, and the coral and water will be less damaged due to the lack of overtourism (but please keep them this way as well).

And last, but not least, you can check out the rest of my tips on traveling on a budget. This short and sweet eBook will tell you everything you need to know to spend less while traveling, allowing you to go on multiple trips without increasing your budget.

Want to travel more without increasing your budget? Check out my eBook on ways to travel on a low budget and make it happen!

130 tips on how to travel on a low budget - eBook

So, without further ado, let’s see the most affordable Maldives overwater bungalows!

Affordable water villas in the Maldives – the lowest price options

Before we dive in (see what I did there?), I want to specify that the prices I based my calculations on are for one night, 2 persons, on the 16-17th of November 2022 or 1-2nd of February 2023, using Booking as the main search engine. You will have to use the provided buttons to get real prices for your estimated time.

My top pick from this category? I would say the Gangehi Island Resort & Spa, as it offers you both meals at a very decent price. I would also recommend, if you can stretch your budget a little further, to book the overwater deluxe room, as it’s really great value for money (but the standard one is great as well).

Hotel name: Gangehi Island Resort & Spa
Room: Overwater standard room
Guest review: "The view from each room was breathtaking and you can jump from the bed straight in the ocean each morning."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.7
Meal plan included: Breakfast & dinner
Transfer from Male: $435 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Reethi Beach Resort
Room: Water villa
Guest review: "The reef is just Amazing - both sides (one with amazing reef and one with a high chance to see rays and sharks)."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.6
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $315 roundtrip per person, by domestic flight and speedboat / $430 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Sun Island Resort & Spa
Room: Water villa
Guest review: "From the moment you arrive, the staff go out of their way to ensure you leave the island with only the best memories."
Stars: 5*
Rating: 9.0
Meal plan included: None
Transfer from Male: $485 roundtrip per person, by domestic flight

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Kandima Maldives
Room: Aqua villa
Guest review: "Kandima is out of this world. There is absolutely nothing to dislike. It's a perfect destination for a dream vacation!"
Stars: 5*
Rating: 8.8
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $380 roundtrip per person, by domestic flight and speedboat / $595 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Medhufushi Island Resort
Room: Water villa
Guest review: "The property was clean, house was very comfortable and great value for money."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 7.6
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $416 roundtrip per person, by seaplane / $232 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Sun Siyam Olhuveli
Room: Deluxe water villa
Guest review: "Exceptional catering and food service especially breakfast, dinner. Excellent quality and very fresh - wide variety infact, you are spoilt for choice."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.8
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $264 roundtrip per person, by domestic flight and speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!

Affordable overwater bungalows in the Maldives – mid-range budget

Yes, prices are already starting to increase. It might not look like it, but these are actually good prices for overwater bungalows, and most of the offers include other services as well like whirlpool bathtubs, private butlers, or spa offers. A surprise in this category is one of the 3-star water villas in the Maldives, which I expected to find in the previous category.

My top pick from this category? Definitely, You & Me Maldives, as it has great perks for a very good price. You get to enjoy an underwater restaurant, exactly like you have seen on Instagram. You also have two meals included in this price, which is great as you get to spend so much less on food. The only downside is the bigger price for the transfer, but this is mainly because of the location further from the main airport.

Hotel name: You & Me Maldives
Room: Manta villa
Guest review: "Special recommendation for underwater restaurant, spa, all restaurants with different cuisines, and for many of those programs and excursions honeymoon couples are getting significant discounts, giving you the opportunity to try them all."
Stars: 5*
Rating: 9.1
Meal plan included: Breakfast & dinner
Transfer from Male: $420-470 roundtrip per person, by seaplane / $420-470 roundtrip per person, by domestic flight and speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives 
Room: Overwater villa with sea view
Guest review: "Everything in Holiday Inn is special, the location, the food, the sport activities and my main important one is the privacy."
Stars: 5*
Rating: 8.7
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $125 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives
Room: Lagoon water villa
Guest review: "The minute we set foot onto this beautiful island we had the most amazing time...beautiful location, exceptional services and facilities...this place is absolute paradise."
Stars: 5*
Rating: 9.0
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $215 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon
Room: Water bungalow
Guest review: "The reef here is fantastic and really it’s best feature. The water bungalows are nice and clean, food was really good and pool was nice."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.2
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $202 roundtrip per person, by speedboat / $355 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Cocoon Maldives - All Inclusive
Room: Lagoon Over Water Suite
Guest review: "Just ended my trip to Cocoon Maldives and im already missing the views and the nice people I have met there!"
Stars: 5*
Rating: 9.0
Meal plan included: All inclusive
Transfer from Male: $420 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Adaaran Club Rannalhi
Room: Water bungalow
Guest review: "Underwater life on this island is amazing, we've met shy octopuses, lonely turtle, sneaky sharks, majestic stingrays, blue lobsters, and gazillion types of colorful fish."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.6
Meal plan included: All inclusive
Transfer from Male: $165 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives
Room: Deluxe overwater villa King
Guest review: "Had an amazing two nights at Centera Ras, right from the pick-up from the airport to check out was handled exceptionally well by the team. We stayed at one of the water villas with sunset/sunrise views and got to experience both."
Stars: 5*
Rating: 8.7
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $150 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Embudu Village Resort
Room: Water villa
Guest review: "Embudu delivers on what they promise - a nice traditional resort with good food."
Stars: 3*
Rating: 8.8
Meal plan included: Breakfast & dinner
Transfer from Male: $80 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort
Room: Sunrise beach pool villa
Guest review: "Beautiful sea, good landscaping, cordial staff, beautiful place to do snorkelling(saw many varieties of fishes and corals)."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.3
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $85 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Riu Atoll-All Inclusive
Room: Overwater Junior Suite
Guest review: "It was fabulous, beyond words! Literally heaven on earth and the honeymoon of our dreams!"
Stars: 4*
Rating: 9.2
Meal plan included: All inclusive
Transfer from Male: $395 roundtrip per person, by domestic flight and speedboat / $685 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives - All Inclusive
Room: Water Bungalow - Standard All Inclusive
Guest review: "Loved everything honestly, delicious food, super friendly staff ….super beautiful place. Everything is 10/10"
Stars: 4*
Rating: 9.2
Meal plan included: All inclusive
Transfer from Male: $485 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!

Affordable Maldives – higher-end water villas

Finding a Maldives water villa on a budget is not an easy task, but I can assure you that paying up to $1000 a night for one is not at the luxury end of the prices. Particularly in this situation, I would suggest you apply the tip of staying in the villa for just one or two nights while spending the rest of them in a standard room.

My top pick? Hard to tell, but I would suggest taking a closer look at Meeru Island Resort & Spa and Sandies Bathala. Both have great reviews, offer a complete meal plan, and have decent transfer costs for the location.

Hotel name: Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Room: Overwater villa with spa bath
Guest review: "Stayed at an overwater villa, it was absolutely beautiful and completely worth it for newlyweds and couples."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 9.2
Meal plan included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Transfer from Male: $175 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Kuredu Island Resort & Spa
Room: Water Villa
Guest review: "It was amazing, I was living my dream and will make sure to return to Kuredu!"
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.9
Meal plan included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Transfer from Male: $380 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Summer Island Maldives Resort
Room: Water Villa
Guest review: "Resort has all facilities you would look for your perfect holiday in Maldives - stunning views, white sand, blue ocean, incredible infinity pool, multiple bars and restaurants."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 9.0
Meal plan included: Breakfast & dinner
Transfer from Male: $170 roundtrip per person, by speedboat / $400 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Amari Havodda Maldives
Room: Overwater Villa
Guest review: "The island is stunning, we had an overwater villa with a pool which was excellent especially as we travelled with youngish children. The reef is extremely well preserved so snorkeling was excellent."
Stars: 5*
Rating: 9.1
Meal plan included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Transfer from Male: $390 roundtrip per person, by domestic flight and speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Sandies Bathala
Room: Bungalow - Water Front
Guest review: "Everything about our stay was excellent. The staff, food and facilities were perfect and, even in the rainy season, we had great weather."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 9.1
Meal plan included: All inclusive
Transfer from Male: $325 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Filitheyo Island Resort
Room: Water Villa
Guest review: "Absolutely everything - the site is breathtaking, lodges are lovely, buffet food is great and varied. Service was really kind and professional."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.7
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $416 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: South Palm Resort Maldives
Room: Water Villa
Guest review: "The island and property where we stayed are the most beautiful place we have seen and visited so far."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.2
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $370 roundtrip per person, by domestic flight and speed boat, $70 on speedboat if arriving directly at GAN International Airport

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives
Room: Water bungalow
Guest review: "Best hospitality, very helpful staff since the moment you land in the airport till the moment you leave the hotel you feel like you are being cared."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 9.0
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $168 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Sun Siyam Vilu Reef
Room: Reef Villa
Guest review: "Waking up to one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen. Staying in the reef villa and having the ocean right below was great."
Stars: 5*
Rating: 9.1
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $512 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat
Room: Water Villa with 20% off on SPA
Guest review: "The whole vacation was really amazing. I will remember it till the end of my life. Thank you guys. You are the best people in the world. Love you."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.9
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $345 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah
Room: Lagoon Pool Villa
Guest review: "This resort is like true paradise! The villa, pools, food, drinks, beaches, scenery, spa are all truly outstanding."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 9.0
Meal plan included: Breakfast
Transfer from Male: $405 roundtrip per person, by domestic flights and speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Fihalhohi Island Resort
Room: Water Villa
Guest review: "Very nice place - nice reef for snorkeling and beautiful beach, good restaurants, barefoot island - they care about the infrastructure and the nature with a lot of staff - price/performance ratio is top - everything is well organized"
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.8
Meal plan included: Breakfast & dinner
Transfer from Male: $160 roundtrip per person, by speedboat

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!
Hotel name: Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
Room: Lagoon Villa
Guest review: "The resort is stunning, the food was amazing and staff so friendly and helpful. The turtle rescue center was a highlight."
Stars: 4*
Rating: 8.8
Meal plan included: Breakfast & dinner
Transfer from Male: $386 roundtrip per person, by seaplane

Check availability on Booking here!

Check prices on Agoda here!

Affordable water villas in the Maldives – the takeaway

WOW, that was hard! Not only trying to find the best options for you but looking at all of those pictures without being able to visit them all was quite depressing. I hope you’ll have a great holiday in one of these affordable water villas in the Maldives. Send me pictures if you manage, I would be delighted to daydream and live vicariously through you.

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