Coral reefs are some of the world’s most colourful and diverse
ecosystems, and a hidden treasure to feast the eyes upon for any
scuba diver and snorkeller. But why should you wait for a boat trip
from your hotel when you can access these underwater Edens straight
from the shores of your resort? So without further ado, here’s our
top five hotels with the best house reefs.

Whale Shark Mozambique

Azura Quilalea Private Island, Mozambique

Visible from the sky, the Quirimbas Archipelago is a mesmerising
tapestry of colour; a chain of 32 coral islands, thick with
mangroves and encircled by white sand which dissolves into crystal
waters fringed by coral skirts – and one of these islands is the
luxurious Azura
Quilalea Private Island
. The protected reefs lining the
island’s shores offer some of the best diving in the world – expect
to see green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles, reef sharks, sting
rays, moray eels and a plethora of colourful reef fish. Depending
on the season, you might also spot humpback whales and whale
sharks. And with only nine individual villas, you’ll have the reef
all to yourself.

Coral reef at Moyo Island

Amanwana, Indonesia

Largely uninhabited and unknown to the majority of tourists,
Moyo Island is a
treasure chest waiting to be discovered. The marine park was
established long before tourism reached the area, so divers are in
for a real treat – think corals dating back more than 100 years and
a whole spectrum of fish, from frogfish, lionfish and blue ribbon
eels to white tip sharks and nudibranch the size of dinner plates
(extremely rare).

The only hideaway on Moyo Island, Amanwana is located on a
protected cove in the west. Here, you can stay in luxury tents
encapsulated by lush tropical rainforest. Most significant,
however, is the diving, with one of Moyo’s best dive sites, Panjang
Reef, mere minutes from Amanwana. In fact, the reef is so enticing
you may not spot the bigger pelagics casually gliding past behind

coral reef at Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru, Maldives

Quite simply the best house reef in the Maldives – over 150 fish
species, turtles, rays and sharks call Angsana Ihuru (the
sister resort to Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru) home. Forming a perfect
circle around the island, you can don your mask and explore these
perfectly preserved reefs straight from the chalk white shores.
Night dives? Sure, experience a different reef as you swim amongst
nocturnal manta rays and snakelike moray eels. Into wrecks? Dive
the Rannamaari shipwreck, conveniently located less than 100 metres
from the beach. Fancy a day trip? Take a boat to sister property
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and snorkel a different scene. You can even
plant a coral or two at the resort’s Marine Lab.

Soft coral diving Fiji

Qamea, Fiji

Picture a tropical paradise hideaway and you will have pictured
A place where emerald, jagged volcanic mountains meet shockingly
turquoise waters via sweeping white beaches. Most importantly, a
place where you can snorkel out to some of the world’s best reefs
without breaking a sweat. In fact, there are so many spectacular
dive sites within easy reach of the resort that you’ll be hard
pressed to experience the same topography twice. From a 100ft
vertical wall dripping in sea grapes and hard corals, to
technicolour soft coral gardens (Fiji is the “soft coral capital of
the world” after all), drift dives and swim throughs – not to
mention the whirlpool of marine life to feast your eyes upon.

Wakatobi Dive Resort

Wakatobi Dive Resort, Indonesia

About as remote as you can get, Wakatobi Dive Resort
is an adventure in itself to get to; a two and a half hour charter
from Bali followed by a ten minute bus ride and fifteen minute
boat. But it’s worth the pilgrimage – 400 species of coral and 700
species of fish have been officially recorded in Wakatobi alone.
Want to head out on the house reef solo? Get dropped off at the
perfect spot and let the current drift you along the world’s best
aquarium, spotting the most sought after species in abundance
(pygmy seahorses, crocodile fish… the list goes on) before being
conveniently deposited in the shallows to waiting staff to relieve
you of your gear in time for sundowners.

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