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Maldives Frequently Asked Questions
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  4. Top 15 hotels with the best house reef in the Maldives

The underwater world is one of the main attractions in the Maldives. In addition, even if you do not know how to dove or snorkel, everything will definitely change in the Maldives. The coral islands with crystal lagoons reveal all the richness and diversity of the Indian Ocean parrotfish, clownfish, moray eels, turtles, rays and even gray reef sharks.

Belle Co
Belle Co

What is a house reef?

This is the name of the outer side of the reef, which is close to the shore and is convenient for snorkeling. The reef goes deep into the depths - it is in this place that the so-called coral gardens with many colorful fish grow. Tourists choose hotels in the Maldives with a house reef, as they are attracted by the proximity to the snorkeling site.

Reef islands are of several types:

  • Round or oval. In the center, there is an island, and on all sides, a coral reef borders it. This reef is very convenient for snorkeling, because it starts right off the coast. Its only drawback is the lack of lagoons.
  • The reef is in the shape of a crescent. The inner part of the crescent island resembles a natural pool, calm and transparent. The reef protects such an “inner” lagoon, while the outer part of the island is exposed to strong currents.

What to look for

  • A large lagoon may separate the coast from the house reef. In this case, it is impossible to get to snorkeling on your own. You will be forced to rent a boat, and this often requires additional costs.
  • When choosing a hotel for snorkeling, you can easily appreciate the island's reef from the map or the photo above.
  • Many coastal house reef resorts offer overwater rooms, with individual descent into the water.

Hotels in the Maldives with a good house reef will not take a long time to look for. There are plenty of them. The best of the best are offered below.

Ishan
Ishan

Lily Beach Resort & Spa

The long-established Lily Beach Resort & Spa reopened its doors after renovation in 2009. Now it is a 5-star all-inclusive hotel with a profitable system of special offers. The resort is very green and well maintained. One of the most beautiful house reefs in the Maldives also surrounds it. The island is long and narrow and offers 10 convenient snorkeling sites.

A huge plus of the resort - overwater villas with direct access to the house reef. Just a few steps down, and you can already observe the rich underwater world of the island colorful corals, variegated fish, turtles. There are manta rays and reef sharks.

The proximity of the house reef at Lily Beach Resort & Spa allows you to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling as much as your heart desires. Snorkel masks are issued for the entire rest period.

Location: Huwahendho Island, Ari Atoll.

Distance from Male: 80 kilometers. Transfer by seaplane 25 minutes.

Lily Beach Resort & Spa
Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Bandos Island Resort & Spa

The resort has many virtues, and the house reef is on this list. The 4-star Bandos Island Resort & Spa has one of the best reefs in the popular North Male Atoll. There are a lot of underwater animals. In some places the house reef opens 30 meters from the coast. Snorkeling on the rich reef is accessible from the boat. Dive Bandos diving center operates on the island. Experienced instructors help you master diving techniques and snorkeling. The house reef of Bandos Island is worth your while.

Location North Male Atoll.

Distance from Male 7 kilometers. Transfer by speedboat 15 minutes.

Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Bandos Island Resort & Spa

Biyadhoo Island Resort

Snorkeling is the main attraction on Biyadu Island. Guests of the budget resort Biyadhoo Island Resort 3*  note the presence of an excellent house reef. In particular, its nature and the island itself, which has preserved its pristine nature, are the main reasons for the demand for the resort.

For divers and snorkelers, there are about 2 thousand species of marine life squid, octopus, lobster, turtles, schools of colorful fish, stingrays and reef sharks.

The underwater world around Biyadhoo is also rich in a variety of corals. The house reef has seven entry points. Night snorkeling allows you to see all the beauty from a slightly different angle.

Location Biyadu Island, South Male Atoll.

Distance from Male 30 kilometers. Transfer by speedboat is about 40 minutes.

Biyadhoo Island Resort
Biyadhoo Island Resort

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

The Vilamendu house reef is one of the most attractive divers and snorkelers in South Ari Atoll. The natural phenomenon of El Niño at one time caused the death of the local corals. But, over time, they begin to recover. The lagoon is once again full of marine life, which means the home reef of Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is regaining its former popularity.

Location South Ari Atoll.

Distance from Male 88 kilometers. Transfer by seaplane about 25 minutes.

Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa
Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

OBLU SELECT at Sangeli

The new and modern Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts OBLU SELECT at Sangeli has been open to guests since 2018. In addition to the excellent infrastructure, all-inclusive service and luxurious villas, the resort offers a stunning setting for observing reef dwellers. If you choose a room of the Water Villas category, then it will be convenient to do it 24 hours a day. Sangeli Island's house reef snorkeling is truly amazing. There are stingrays, sharks, octopuses, starfish and a variety of variegated fish.

Location: North Male Atoll.

Distance from Male: 53 kilometers. Transfer by speedboat 50 minutes.

OBLU SELECT at Sangeli
OBLU SELECT at Sangeli

Reethi Faru Resort

The name of the island speaks for itself. Translated from Dhivehi, Filaidhoo means “beautiful reef”. He's really beautiful. The vibrant and lively reef boasts ideal snorkeling and diving conditions and stunning underwater scenery. The home reef of the 5-star Reethi Faru Resort begins almost at the beach and extends 30-80 meters.

Location: Filaydu Island, Raa Atoll.

Distance from Male: 160 kilometers. Seaplane transfer 45 minutes.

Reethi Faru Resort
Reethi Faru Resort

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

A vibrant house reef and close proximity to several dive sites raise the ratings of Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon 4 *, located on the small private island of North Ari Atoll. The island is surrounded by a picturesque lagoon and a fairly lively coral reef. While snorkeling, you can meet many small ocean dwellers, as well as stingrays, reef sharks and even whale sharks.

Location: North Ari Atoll.

Distance from Male: 65 kilometers. Transfer by seaplane for 25 minutes, or on a spit boat for 1.5 hours.

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon
Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

Embudu Village

Snorkeling at the Embudu Village 3 * resort exceeds all expectations. After all, the category of the hotel may in no way depend on the nature of the island. By the way, guests of the neighboring Taj Exotica resort often come to Embudu for snorkeling on its stunning house reef. The resort itself and its green island are very cozy and welcome guests with special cordiality.

Diverland Embudu Dive Center rentals all the diving and snorkeling equipment you need.

Location: South Male Atoll.

Distance from Male: 10 kilometers. Transfer by speedboat 20 minutes.

Embudu Village
Embudu Village

Filitheyo Island Resort

The picturesque island of Fileitheo, covered with dense jungle, has one of the best reefs in the Maldives. Enjoying the underwater environment is the main activity at Filitheyo Island Resort. The abundance of marine life and healthy corals bring back all snorkelers who have visited the island before. In some places the house reef is located quite close to the shore. Guests are also offered a fun snorkel-safari with manta rays, turtles and reef sharks.

Location: Faafu Atoll.

Distance from Male: 118 kilometers. Transfer by seaplane 35 minutes and then 15 minutes by Spitboat.

Filitheyo Island Resort
Filitheyo Island Resort

Hurawalhi Island Resort

An excellent snorkeling reef surrounds the amazingly beautiful island on which the adults-only Hurawalhi Island Resort is located. The close proximity to the coast makes Hurawalhi House Reef even more attractive for both experienced and novice divers.

The most interesting and memorable will be night snorkeling on the island's protected reef. In the dark, the local waters containing plankton are subject to currents and bioluminescence occurs. That is, the ocean shimmers with millions of stars-like lights. Where there is plankton, there should be manta rays not far away. This is the main highlight of the reef.

Location: Lhaviani Atoll.

Distance from Male: 130 kilometers. Transfer by seaplane 40 minutes.

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort

Kandolhu Maldives Resort

The luxurious five-star resort of Kandolhu Maldives is located on the ideal island of North Ari atoll by Maldivian standards. It is ideal due to its lively and very convenient house reef for exploring. Colorful corals and a rich variety of marine life are guaranteed. The resort also organizes boat trips to over 30 dive sites and several marine reserves.

Location: North Ari Atoll.

Distance from Male: 70 kilometers. Transfer by seaplane 25 minutes.

Kandolhu Maldives Resort
Kandolhu Maldives Resort

Anantara Kihavah Villas

Anantara Kihavah Villas Luxury Hotel, one of the most prestigious in the Maldives, is located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Do I need to clarify that the beauty of the local nature is beyond description. The home reef of the private island is inhabited by representatives of the marine fauna. Also, the resort is actively recovering bleached corals. Marine biologists are engaged in the revival of corals and are happy to demonstrate this process to vacationers.

Near the beach of the resort, you can observe an amazing creation of marine nature - Golden Wall - corals with a gilded hue. It is one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the Maldives. Take a short boat ride from the resort and you can snorkel in Hanifaru Bay and watch the manta rays feed.

Location: Baa Atoll.

Distance from Male: 134 kilometers. Transfer by seaplane 30 minutes.

Anantara Kihavah Villas
Anantara Kihavah Villas

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Real tropical heaven called Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa 5 *, in addition to unsurpassed comfort, can give an unforgettable experience of exploring the house reef. You should not travel all over the Maldives to see velvet corals and the inhabitants of the Indian Ocean. You can simply spend your vacation on an idyllic island 55 kilometers from the equator. Hadahaa Reef amazes with its diversity even for the most experienced divers.

At the water sports center, all guests of the resort are provided with snorkeling equipment and introductory instructions upon arrival. And then you can immediately go in search of colorful fish, bright corals, turtles, stingrays and other interesting sea inhabitants.

Location: Gaafu Alifu Atoll.

Distance from Male: 405 kilometers. Transfer by domestic plane to Kuddoo Island (1 hour), then by speedboat  for about 30 minutes.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Banyan Tree Boutique Hotel Vabbinfaru is renowned as a stunning retreat for a luxurious romantic getaway. A very small island surrounded by an excellent house reef with a crystal lagoon. There are more than enough snorkeling sites and plenty to see underwater. The home reef of Vabbinfaru Island is full of colorful fish. There are also reef sharks and turtles. Snorkeling equipment is rented free of charge for the entire stay.

Location: North Male Atoll.

Distance from Male: 18 kilometers. Transfer by speedboat is about 30 minutes.

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Furaveri Island Resort 5*

A comfortable resort in the midst of incredible tropical nature. The 5-star Furaveri Island Resort is located on the large Maldives island, which covers an area of ​​23 hectares. The island itself is already a considerable part of what should be seen here. But boat trips along the luxurious house reef should not be left for later. Snorkeling and diving off Furaveri Island can be very rewarding. If you are lucky, from the very first swim you will meet stingrays, reef sharks and huge sea turtles.

Location: Raa Atoll.

Distance from Male: 150 kilometers. Seaplane transfer 45 minutes.

Furaveri Island Resort
Furaveri Island Resort

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