Le Meridien Maldives House Reef: A Snorkeler’s Review 

by | Last updated Mar 24, 2024 | Best Snorkeling Maldives, Maldives

My husband and I come to the Maldives for one reason: snorkeling! Now, don’t get me wrong. The Maldives has beautiful beaches and resorts, but it’s the exceptional sea life that makes the 36+ hour flight from the United States worth it. We had the chance to explore the Le Meridien Maldives House Reef, which exceeded expectations! Here is our firsthand experience of what we saw and where to snorkel.  

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Le Meridien House Reef Rating

House reef at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

We have been on quite a few “snorkations,” so I have assigned personal ratings on all of my snorkeling guides to give you a sense of what to expect.

Please see my snorkel rating key for interpretation.

Le Meridien Snorkeling Report Card:

Snorkel Rating: 🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿 🤿

Fish Soup: 🐠 🐠 🐠

Big Marine Life:  🐢 🐢 🐢

Where’s Waldo: 🐙 🐙 🐙

Unique Snorkel Encounters: Manta Rays

Map of Where to Snorkel at Le Meridien

Map of where to snorkel at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Map of where to snorkel at Le Meridien Maldives 

PRO TIP: Always ask the resort’s dive center where to snorkel. So many people just jump right in with no direction, see a few fish, and say the snorkeling was just “ok.”

Another tip is to make friends with the lifeguards. If they have seen anything cool recently, they will let you know.

Gotta know where to look.

Also, be aware the currents sometimes can be strong. Always assess the ocean conditions before you jump in. I always wear my snorkel vest, which gives me a little more confidence in the water when I get tired.

If you love snorkeling, I strongly advise booking an Overwater Sunrise Villa on the western end of the property.

It’s the closest point to the house reef. Plus, it’s in the more “adult” section of the property. The Riviera Adults-Only Pool and the best restaurant on the island (Tabemasu) are located on this side.

See my detailed Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa review for all the juicy details.

Two Snorkeling Routes

Our safari ranger and tracker at Lion Sands River Lodge

Ladder leading into the ocean from the Overwater Sunrise Villa at Le Meridien Maldives

Route #1 starts from the Overwater Sunrise Villa.

We snorkeled to the house reef directly from our villa. There is a ladder leading from the deck, allowing for quick access to the water.

As you snorkel out to the reef (marked by Buoy #4), you may see a porcupine ray. We saw them twice in super shallow water.

I had seen plenty of sting rays in Ambergris Caye, Belize and at Francis Bay in St. John USVI, but this was my first time seeing a porcupine ray!

At first, I thought it was a sting ray that had its tail bitten off, lol. But no, that is what they look like! See my snorkeling photos below.

Once you reach the reef at the drop-off, then snorkel to the right (east) until you reach the next buoy.

Our safari ranger and tracker at Lion Sands River Lodge

Buoys at Le Meridien Maldives marking the house reef

Buoy #3 (noted in the photo above) marks where the seagrass section starts.

This area is where large sting rays, eagle rays, and turtles like to hang out. We saw all of them! It is a deep snorkel, so it’s difficult to get too close, which you’ll see in my photos later on.

We swam across the seagrass towards Buoy #2 to see all the larger sea life.

Then we snorkeled from Buoy #2 towards #1. Do NOT go past that last buoy!!! This is where the seaplanes come across.

Refer back to the snorkel map for orientation.

Our safari ranger and tracker at Lion Sands River Lodge

Map of Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

I am hesitant to share Route #2, but I assume if you are Googling “Le Meridien Maldives House Reef” then you must be a snorkeler. And if you are a snorkeler, I would hope you respect the sea life and coral.

Here it goes.

Overwater Sunset Villas at Le Meridien Maldives

Overwater Sunset Villas at Le Meridien Maldives

If you want to see octopuses (yes, plural, not just one!), then snorkel under and around the pier at the Overwater Sunset Villas.

I went from never seeing an octopus to seeing up to 3 at a time.

The best part? All these octopus sightings were in shallow water! Not like at Salt Pier in Bonaire, where I had to squint to make out an octopus body.

We also saw lionfish (which are an invasive poisonous species). They taste better as a fish burger (#4 on my best things to do in Bonaire list!).

There are some beautiful pockets of coral around this area. Another cool spotting was a large sting ray cruising the sea floor.

Surprisingly, every time we snorkeled here, we were the only ones.

Le Meridien House Reef Snorkeling Photos

Alright now for the best part of this review, the photos!

All the snorkeling photos were captured with my favorite underwater camera.

If you need help with fish identification, do not miss my fun Maldives Fish Chart I created of the 42 fish species we saw while snorkeling at multiple resorts in the Maldives.

Here is a picture story of what we saw on Le Meridien’s House Reef:

Turtle at Outrigger Maldives Resort

Porcupine ray 

School of Moorish idols at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Side view of porcupine ray (they do not have a venomous stinger but instead sharp thorns on their body). So no, something did not bite its tail off like I first thought, lol 

Blacktip reef shark at the Outrigger in the Maldives

Curious blacktip reef shark

A stingray hiding in the sand at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Puffer fish at Le Meridien Maldives

Graceful eagle ray in the seagrass section at Le Meridien Maldives House Reef

Graceful eagle ray in the seagrass section

Large moray eel at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

School of redtail butterflyfish and humpback red snapper

Longfin batfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Octopus on the sea floor 

Poisonous stonefish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Octopus changing colors 

Parrotfish and a school of sergeant majors at Le Meridien Maldives House Reef

Parrotfish and a school of sergeant majors

Parrotfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Stingray

Parrotfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Bluefin trevally with a blacktip reef shark

Painted coral lobster hiding under the brightly colored coral at Outrigger Maafushivaru Resort

Humpback unicorn fish

Painted lobster hiding under coral at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Striped surgeonfish

Juvenile blacktip reef shark swimming under the sunset jetty at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Porcupine ray seen above in the seagrass bed 

A clownfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Beautiful octopus

Sleeping nurse shark under the sunset jetty at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Onespot snapper 

Oriental sweetlips at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Blacktip reef shark cruising the reef

School of fusilier at Le Meridien Maldives House Reef

School of fusilier 

An octopus finding his next hiding place at Le Meridien Maldives

Octopus finding his next hiding place

Swimming with multiple baby blacktip reef sharks at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

A turtle seen during a deep snorkel over the seagrass bed at Buouy #3 at Le Meridien Maldives

A regal angelfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Pair of Meyer’s butterflyfish

Turtle munching on the reef at Outrigger Maldives

Trying to keep up with a fast moving eagle ray 

Turtle munching on the reef at Outrigger Maldives

Octopus camouflaging into the coral on the pillar of the overwater villa

Blue surgeonfish at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Fish soup at the house reef 

Baby honeycomb grouper at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Bluefin trevally 

Curious blacktip reef shark checking me out at Outrigger Maafushivaru Resort

Stingray cruising on the sea floor near the overwater sunset villas

Surgeonfish giving his wife a kiss at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

An octopus hiding under a rock at the overwater villas at Le Meridien

Surgeonfish giving his wife a kiss at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Beautiful pockets of coral near the overwater sunset villas at Le Meridien Maldives

Massive stingray at Le Meridien Maldives

Massive stingray at Le Meridien Maldives

Curious baby blacktip reef shark at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Picasso triggerfish

Curious baby blacktip reef shark at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort

Octopus and banded coral shrimp at Le Meridien Overwater Sunset Villas (Sorry! I’m obsessed with octopuses, so I’ve included lots of photos!) 

Snorkeling with surgeonfish , unicorn fish, and fusiliers at Le Meridien House Reef

Snorkeling with surgeonfish , unicorn fish, and fusiliers at Le Meridien House Reef

Convict surgeonfish at Le Meridien Maldives

Convict surgeonfish 

Snorkeling with a Blacktip reef shark at Le Meridien

Snorkeling with a blacktip reef shark at Le Meridien

Colorful clam near overwater sunset villa at Le Meridien Maldives

Colorful clam near overwater sunset villas at Le Meridien Maldives

Octopus getting ready to hide under a rock at Le Meridien Maldives

Octopus getting ready to hide under a rock

Painted rock lobster at Le Meridien Maldives House Reef

Painted rock lobster 

Octopus getting ready to take off at Le Meridien Maldives

Last octopus photo, I promise. I can’t help myself. They are such beautiful interesting sea creatures. 

Final Thoughts

Excited? You should be.

The Le Meridien Maldives House Reef really does offer a great variety of marine life from blacktip reef sharks to porcupine rays to octopuses to large schools of fish. Plenty of fun sea creatures to discover. It rates in our top 6 for best snorkeling resorts in the Maldives!

Besides knowing WHERE to snorkel, my other tip is to bring your own snorkeling gear to have an exceptional experience.

If you have no idea what to look for, check out my blog posts on my favorite snorkel masks and travel snorkeling fins to get you started.

Happy snorkeling!

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Questions about our snorkeling experience at Le Meridien’s house reef?

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