Top 5 house reefs in the Maldives

Many hotels and resorts around the world boast fantastic locations with easy access to the beach and ocean. But a resort that features its own house reef sets itself apart – particularly for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts.

What is a house reef?

A house reef is a coral reef that is easily accessible from a dive resort and is usually right off the beach and comfortably within swimming distance. There is nowhere better for house reefs than the Maldives as the Maldivian islands are made up not of rock, but of the tips of coral formations that have grown tall enough to break the surface of the water.

The Maldives has around 2,500 total reefs, with nearly 900 house reefs – meaning that there can be a daunting number of options when planning a snorkelling and diving holiday.

We wanted to make your choice a little easier so, without further ado, here’s a list of our five favourite house reefs in the Maldives.

1. Baros

This is a destination that is famous for its snorkelling and diving. The reef itself boasts incredible diving and snorkelling and is located so close to the shore that it can be easily explored by beginners. This beautiful reef is the home of stunning coral formations and incredible wildlife including turtles and sharks. As an added bonus, the staff at the Baros Marine Centre can organise a series of underwater adventures including fish identification, coral gardening and a snorkelling safari.

2. Angsana Ihuru

With over 140 species of bright and beautiful fish, splendid coral growth and a steep drop-off – this house reef is a dream come true for diving and snorkelling. Located just a few steps from the beach, the house reef at Angsana Ihuru spans the full circumference of the island and its huge size offers a wide range of opportunities for guests of all ability levels, with the PADI certified training centre found at this family resort offering courses for eager learners.

3. Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi is a favourite haunt for some of the world’s most recognisable faces and comes complete with a stunning technicolour house reef. One of the main draws for the celebrity contingent is the Amilla Blue Hole – one of the Baa Atoll’s most unique reef formations. Just a short trip away from the main formation, this tropical wonder is a deep hole in the coral that can be explored by adventurous divers who will discover stunning groups of schooling tropical fish.

4. OZEN by Atmosphere

OZEN by Atmosphere may seem like a strange choice for this list as it doesn’t actually have its own house reef. But what it does have affords you far more variation than any one house reef possibly could. This contemporary resort has over 30 dive sites nearby including rare marine life, wrecks from bygone ages, mysterious caves, immense canyons and incredible coral. Shuttles are provided for guests and the different locations provide opportunities for both beginners and experts – even swimming with sharks.

5. Waldorf Astoria

Alongside incredible accommodation that allows you to step straight into the ocean at any moment, Waldorf Astoria has one of the most dramatic features of any of the resorts on this list. When you leave your villa and walk out to sea, after 20 metres of sandy shallows and 20 metres of rocky ocean bed, you reach the “drop-off”. One minute the water is four feet deep, the next it is 20 feet deep and the ocean floor falls away into a deep abyss that is just begging to be explored.

Sarah Roberts is Director of Inspiring Travel Company. The Inspiring Travel Company, established in 1974, offers exceptional tailor-made luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most elegant and desirable destination across the globe.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blogin order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (11)

  1. Will says:

    I’m not a great sailor, after about 10 minutes on a boat I usually begin to feel a bit sea sick. That’s always put me off of having a go at diving. I never know that house reefs existed. That could be the ideal way for me to start.

    • Sarah Roberts says:

      You should definitely try it – choose a house reef that has support and classes to help you acclimatise to the environment.

  2. John says:

    Don’t want to sound mean or anything. But did anyone actually look at these resorts and rate them? Because I’ve heard that the Waldorf Astoria reef is average.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      That opinion is supported by just 3% of Tripadvisor reviewers, John! 87% of them rate it as ‘excellent’ and 94% as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

      Here’s the breakdown from 115 reviews:

      Excellent 100
      Good 8
      Average 4
      Poor 1
      Terrible 2

  3. Jon says:

    Agree that these are all nice. I would recommend picking a resort in the north as well as the south so that you can experience different sealife as well. We paired Angsana Ihuru with Mirihi, both of which were top notch in terms of housereefs and attention of the staff. Kihaa in the north also is near the UNESCO sanctuary of Hanifaru Bay, famous for mantas.

  4. Mike Watkins says:

    I’ve never been to either the Maldives or the Seychelles but seeing all these pictures makes me think that I’ve really been missing out. Nothing booked in my holiday diary for 2020 yet so I think I ought to get my girlfriend to take a look at this post. She enjoys water sports a bit so I think a house reef would be her sort of thing.

    • Sarah Roberts says:

      Hi Mike, I hope your girlfriend enjoys the content and you get something in the diary for 2020. The Maldives and the Seychelles are definitely on many people’s bucket lists.

  5. Kevin says:

    Man, I’ve just been thinking about visiting the Maldives this time of year. The Waldorf Astoria looks GORGEOUS to me. Antalya, on the coast of Turkey, has the same kind of water along the beach with a rocky coast that shoots straight down. Looks like it would be a great swim!

  6. Adrian Robinson says:

    I notice Coco Bodu Hithi, North Male Atoll, did not get on your list… do you know it? I haven’t been but I am hearing good feedback and wondered what you thought. Thanks!

Leave a comment

Your actual name, not your online persona, website name, company name or keywords, otherwise your comment won't be published

Please do not advertise and make sure your comment adds value, otherwise we regret that it won't be published. Comments such as "Nice post. Thanks for sharing." do NOT add value to the discussion! Homepage links (not deep links) are allowed in the 'Website' field only - if you would like to advertise, please contact us for details and we will be happy to help.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Our readers also enjoyed these posts…