Inside the only Maldives-style overwater villa resort in Europe

BRITS who want the Maldives experience without the price or the long flight thankfully don’t have to travel too far.

Found in Greece on the island of Crete is one of the only hotels with the iconic overwater villas often seen at Maldives resorts – and they are welcoming guests again.

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You can stay at overwater villas much closer than the MaldivesCredit: instagram
While it certainly looks Maldivian, the resort is actually in Greece

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While it certainly looks Maldivian, the resort is actually in GreeceCredit: instagram

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Stella Island Resort‘s overwater villas are identical to many of the Maldives options, the only difference being that the lodges are over a large pool, rather than the sea.

The resort has a range of lodges to choose from, with 225 rooms overall, some with private pools and others with pool views.

This includes the Island Villa and Pool View rooms, although it is their Over Water Bungalows and Swim Up rooms which have the best

Yet each bungalow has a private pool deck and hammock, with direct access to the swimming pool.

If you want even more luxury, their Grand Overwater Bungalows feature overwater hammocks and private hot tubs.

The overwater bungalows start from £177 per night, making them a fraction of the cost in the Maldives.

Also at the resort is the huge lagoon pool, with sun loungers and day beds to relax on which overlook the water, as well as an indoor heated pool at the spa and fitness centre.

Guests can choose from a range of water spots including scuba diving, water skiing or parasailing, as well as land activities such as trekking and horse riding.

The designer of the hotel said they “always wanted” to design a resort over water, but would be impossible over the Greek sea, hence its overwater villas over the swimming pools.

There are also five restaurants and bars – Kimata, a “creative buffet” experience, Oceania for Mediterranean food , Vegara for Greek food, Umami for Asian cuisine and the La Parrilla grill bar.

All guests can a free private transfer from the airport if staying for at least three nights, as well as 15 per cent discounts on spa treatments and welcome treats on arrival.

The resort is also adults only, with guests under 15 not allowed – so you won’t see any young kids in the pool.

Crete is just a four hours away by flight, which start from £17 each way.

Many of the villas have direct access to the swimming pool

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Many of the villas have direct access to the swimming poolCredit: instagram
The larger lofts have swim up pools and hammocks

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The larger lofts have swim up pools and hammocksCredit: https://stellaisland.gr
While the villas are over the pool rather than the sea, they are a much cheaper overwater option

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While the villas are over the pool rather than the sea, they are a much cheaper overwater optionCredit: instagram
The hotel also has five restaurants, a spa and fitness centre

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The hotel also has five restaurants, a spa and fitness centreCredit: instagram
Flights are just four hours, and start from less than £20

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Flights are just four hours, and start from less than £20Credit: instagram
The largest overwater villa in the world has opened in the Maldives


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