W Maldives is a snorkeling Paradise. The superb Luxury resort is amongst the best island to snorkel from its shores. W island, or Fesdhu in Dhivehi, is gifted with breathtaking close-by reefs where thousands of fishes, turtles and corals are waiting for you at a step away from your villa.
Follow me around the island and you will see why W Maldives is a true Dream for snorkeling Lovers.
Snorkeling at W Maldives. Summary
- W Maldives at a Glance
- W Maldives, a Dream for snorkelers
- Snorkeling accessibility for all levels
- The Island amazing House Reef
- Snorkeling access around the resort
- Snorkeling access from the villas
- Other Essential snorkeling areas around the Island in photos
- W Maldives Snorkeling Program
- Diving at W Maldives
- Overall Dream Score
We have personally stayed at The Resort
Ask me any question
W Maldives house reefs have let us speechless. The amount of coral plates and fishes is absolutely remarkable. Take your gear, step out from your villa and go explore.
The underwater dream has never been so satisfying.
Listed in my 15 best & favorite Maldives Resorts to Snorkel, W Maldives offers extraordinary snorkeling spots for every levels
The island offered us some of our best snorkeling in the Maldives. The resort house reef is just breathtaking. It is amazing to see so many coral plates, and all mostly intact !
Snorkeling spots are literally in front of most of the island shores.
The Maldives islands can be divided into 3 categories.
( see my complete Maldives snorkeling guide for more information )
W Maldives Island is a Type 1.
The Absolute Dream for Snorkeling.
Close-by House-Reef everywhere around the island.
= Extraordinary snorkeling
W Maldives Aerial View
W Maldives at a Glance
W Maldives is a super stylish luxury resort located on a gorgeous small island of North Ari Atoll called Fesdhu.
Alike all W Hotels around the world, W Maldives has an ultra stylish atmosphere with a contemporary and cutting-edge style, focused on lifestyle and design. The resort defines itself has “A Luxury Playground” with a true “Wow Effect” at arrival. Inventive and hip, friendly and laid-back – W Maldives is definitely one the most glamorous Resort of Maldives and amongst the best we’ve seen.
There are so many reasons we love it. ( read my complete review here together with more photos ).
Ranging from extraordinary Suites to fabulous Beach and overwater villas, the resort features 78 superbly designed and spacious private Retreats that offer an immediate access to snorkeling.
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W Maldives design
W Maldives “Let It Glow” Design
The resort offers different snorkeling activities, from discoveries for beginners to snorkel excursions by speedboat or private yacht to night snorkeling for the bravest.
In the following video we filmed during our last stay, you will see W Maldives stunning surroundings
The opening is entirely dedicated to the beauty of the house reefs around the island Maldives. The place filmed is located at at the level of the Fabulous Overwater Oasis (see more on the map below).
Our Video of W Maldives
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W Maldives, a Dream for snorkelers
Corals close to W Beaches
If you like adventure, you should not miss the night snorkel around the island reef. Snorkeling equipment is free of charge and many guided snorkeling tours are organized ( day and night ).
Parrot fish and Convict surgeon fishes encounter on W Maldives house reef in Shallow Waters
You can snorkel alone but before you go explore underwater please take a moment to discuss with a team member of the Dive Centre.
Currents can be dangerous in Maldives and professional advices are gold!
Snorkeling accessibility for all levels
At W, snorkeling is accessible for all levels. The island house reefs and their incredible corals are easily accessible for all levels snorkelers, including kids and seniors and are very close to the villas and the island shores.
Here, the reef located around the spa in front of the Beach Villas ( where the umbrellas are ) is one of the best example.
The corals around the spa in front of the BEach Villas
Snorkel around W Maldives resort according to your level
Snorkeling level : beginner to intermediate
If you’re a beginner to intermediate : stay close to the island, in front of the spa, the beach villas, the main jetty, Fish restaurant and close to SIP Bar. To reach the water villas, please snorkel inside the lagoon, there is a big drop off and the sea at end of the water villa jetty can be rough, with strong currents.
A view at the extraordinary house reefs located close to the water villa jetty
Snorkeling level : Expert
If you’re an expert, the all island is entirely accessible : snorkel at the same locations as above and also try to go explore the outside reefs located at the level of the water villas.
Water villas facing north are very close to the drop off point ( Fabulous Ocean Oasis ), other water villas face the lagoon ( Spectacular Lagoon Oasis )
A view at the house reefs surrounding the water villas. The Drop Off on the Fabulous Ocean Oasis ( at the top of the photo ) for experts, the Spectacular Lagoon Oasis are the ones at the bottom, facing the lagoon
The Island amazing House Reef
W reefs are truly fabulous and rich with a rare abundance of marine life.
The resort has several snorkeling channels around the island with different access and exit points designed to offer the easiest way of snorkeling and swimming around the resort.
Look at this map where I pinpoint the resort snorkeling areas located all around the island. They are literally everywhere.
The spa and the beach beach villas are at the foreground. The corals there are absolutely stunning. Step in and you can quickly swim with a turtle ! Continue further ( according to your level ) and it gets even more exciting.
click to enlarge
Snorkeling access around the resort
W Maldives has excellent snorkeling access for all levels. The Island is surrounded by a exceptional close-by house reef on the West side, up to the North Side with stunning coral walls easily reachable and located at a few meters away from the beach shores.
You can go snorkeling from your beach villa, your water villa, the main jetty, the beach. Basically, from almost every places around the island.
Snorkeling access from the villas
Due to the excellent location of W Maldives stunning house reef, all villas with no exception, provide a quick & direct access to amazing snorkeling spots.
You will be spoiled by the choice that W Maldives offers in term of snorkeling access. The difference will only reside in your ability to snorkel.
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Direct Snorkeling access from your water villa
With direct access to W rich house reef from all Water Villas, you can go snorkeling and swim with turtles, tropical fishes and eagle rays anytime.
Snorkeling from W Water villas. Map
click to enlarge
W Maldives best Water Villa location
If you stay in a Water Villa choose the ones located on the west side too, you will step in an incredible coral garden.
the Spectacular Lagoon Oasis
The Spectacular Lagoon Oasis are located on the east side of the island, inside the lagoon. They have direct snorkeling access with the first corals accessible from the deck. These water villas are perfect for beginners and kids.
Here is the view from one of them. The ladder leads you directly down under.
The view and access
The Fabulous Overwater Oasis
The Fabulous Overwater Oasis are located on the west side of the island, directly on the island drop off. They have an immediate and sensational snorkeling access due to this edgy location. These water villas are perfect for beginners to experts.
We couldn’t take a photo or a footage directly from the deck, but this aerial view shot by Sakis perfectly shows the drop-off located right in front of them. The Fabulous Overwater Oasis also feature a ladder that leads you directly onto the corals beneath the villas.
Aerial view at the house-reef drop off located on the Fabulous Overwater Oasis side
W Ultra Luxury Retreats
W Maldives offers 4 Ultra Luxury retreats. The largest one, The Extreme Wow Ocean Haven and 3, a bit smaller but still very spacious and luxurious : the Wow Ocean Escapes.
Each retreat has 2 bedrooms, a superb design and amenities as well as an extraordinary snorkeling access and views.
remark : all water villas have a fantastic snorkeling access, but these villas have more privacy and space.
The Extreme Wow Ocean Haven surrounded by the 3 Wow Ocean Escapes
The Extreme Wow Ocean Haven
The Extreme Wow Ocean Haven is W Maldives largest and most luxurious villa.
The 2 bedroom overwater retreat, which covers 492m2, is located at the very end of the water villa jetty over an amazing snorkeling area.
The Wow Ocean Escape
The WOW Ocean Escapes have 2 bedrooms and are also located at the end of the water villas jetty. Their impressive 323m2 stretch over an amazing snorkeling area and offer absolute privacy.
Direct Snorkeling access from your Beach villa
All beach villas ( all called the Wonderful Beach Oasis ) have a direct access to snorkeling. Just cross the beach, step into the lagoon, make 5 fathoms and say hello to the turtles !
Snorkeling from W Beach villas. Map
click to enlarge
The Wonderful Beach Oasis
Completely hidden with a direct beach access, the Wonderful Beach Oasis offer 2 levels. On the outside, at the lower level, a spacious 118sq deck includes a plunge pool and a circular daybed nestled within complete privacy. Upstairs a shaded deck with lagoon view features a swing daybed, a fridge and a BBQ area beckon. Also available as interconnected Retreats.
W Maldives best Beach Villa location
In my opinion, W Maldives best Beach villas for snorkeling are located on the spa side. This is where we stayed.
Other Essential snorkeling areas around the Island in photos
As stated earlier, you can go snorkeling from almost every places around the island. Here are in photos other beautiful areas where you can easily snorkel around the Spa, FISH restaurant and SIP Bar.
Remark the corals visible and accessible on each photo.
W Maldives Snorkeling Program
W Maldives dive center offers several snorkeling options. If you are new to snorkeling, you can take a beginner’s course and opt for a guided tour of the resort house reef.
Snorkeling gear is free of charge ! Just go the dive center and grab your mask, flippers and lifevest ( absolutely necessary for kids ! ) . You can keep them in your villa during you stay and bring them back before living.
Go snorkel with the turtles ! But don’t touch them please.
W Marine Biologist
A Resident Marine Biologist will help you discover and understand the underwater world at the W Marine biology station. At the menu : guest educational programs, presentations, guided trips, Sea watching adventures and more…
Photo © W Hotels
If you’re a snorkeling enthusiast, you should go explore the island reefs by night. After the sun falls into the Indian Ocean, one of the diver takes you on a snorkeling tour of around the island house reef, where the life on display is as different as, well, night and day. Armed with just snorkeling equipment and a black light, which clips on to the mask, you are able to see the stunning fluorescent coral and marine life in Technicolor.
Night Snorkeling is a one hour discovery between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m with an extra fee.
Marine Life around W house reefs. Photo Gallery
click to enlarge
All Marine Photos © W Hotels
If W island is not enough for you and you want to see other species, go explore Ari Atoll wonders at different reefs on a snorkel hopping adventure by speedboat, including Gaathafushi, located at 5 mns by speedboat from the resort.
Explore Gaatafushi underworld
Gaathafushi is W Maldives private island. The tiny paradise island can be entirely yours for a few hours or a romantic overnight stay in a villa under the stars.
its surroundings are absolutely untouched and out of this world.
See our video for more.
Go onboard of W Luxury Yacht and go swimming with Whale Sharks
If your budget allows it, you can also go for a thrilling snorkeling experience onboard of W luxury sailing yacht ESCAPE, a fabulous 24 meter private yacht. You will set sail to the south of Ari Atoll to snorkel and encounter the majestic whale shark.
Diving at W Maldives
Located in the Northern part of the famous Ari Atoll, W Maldives is close to most of best diving areas of North Ari Atoll. The Atoll is full of small thilas (reefs) and home to several large species such as whale sharks and hammerhead sharks which are often seen in the region.
The Dive Centre
The Dive center DOWN UNDER, is equipped with the latest latest state-of-the-art diving equipment, a fully geared W Limousine diving boat, a Marine biology station and a decompression chamber within 10 minutes from the island. DOWN UNDER also offers top equipment like Bauer B-trox Nitrox compressor, latest top quality Scubapro diving gear, dolphin re-breathers, cool underwater scooters and top quality underwater photo equipment rental.
Diving sites Accessible from the resort
From W Maldives, you will have access to some of world’s best dive sites are close to the Island itself. Among the classical and top Diving sites of North Ari Atoll, you will find : Maaya Thila, Fishhead, Malhoss Thila, Himendhoo Thila and the resort own Fesdhu shipwreck to name just a few.
Diving spots are reached on board of a super comfy (W)UNDER dive limousine, fully outfitted with fun after dive facilities.
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W Maldives “Let It Glow” Design
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Dreamy Review by Dreaming of Maldives
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Overall Dream Score
W Maldives Snorkeling Dream scoreW Maldives Snorkeling Guide and Review by Dreaming of Maldives
Overall House Reefs Accessibility100/100 DreamyHouse Reefs access around the island
House Reefs accessibility from the water villas100/100 Dreamy
House Reefs accessibility from the beach villas100/100 Dreamy
Underwater marine life abundance and variety100/100 Dreamy
Coral overall quantity100/100 Dreamy
Coral overall quality75/100 Very good
Snorkeling equipment Free Of Charge100/100 Dreamy
- Extraordinary House Reefs close-by the island shores
- Amazing Snorkeling access from everywhere around the island
- Suitable for every level of snorkelers, even experts are amazed
- Extraordinary marine life encounters
- Night snorkeling
- In matter of snorkeling : Abolutely NONE