Any scuba diving vacation is great. But imagine if you could walk out your hotel room door and dive straight from the resort’s shoreline. That’s exactly what you can do at these 12 dive resorts with the best house reefs.

From Indonesia to Norway, house reefs offer a relaxing and intimate way to dive. Simply wake up, don your scuba gear, do your buddy check and walk into the water. It’s as easy as that.

At the best house reefs in the world, you can see everything from healthy coral reefs and wonderful macro life to manta rays and whale sharks. Keep reaching to check out our list of 12 dive resorts with the best house reefs. Then, start planning your trip to these dive paradises ASAP.

best house reef aerial shot of marsa shagra in egypt

1. Marsa Shagra Village – Marsa Alam, Egypt

Marsa Shagra is a lively diving village with one of the most beautiful and well-protected house reefs in the Red Sea region of Egypt. The coral reef is home to a wide variety of marine species including corals, fish, reef sharks, turtles, and occasionally dolphins. Best of all, the resort offers unlimited diving on the house reef as well as the option to add on truck dives or boat dives to world-famous dive sites, such as Elphinstone and Marsa Abu Dabab. Furthermore, the resort’s eco-diving concept has been internationally recognized as a model of tourism development, and the villages offer the experience of what has become known as “The Eco-Diving Adventure”.

When to Go: Year-Round

w maldives reef

2. W Maldives

The W Maldives offers direct access to their house reef from either the beach or their overwater villas. Guests can jump in and mingle with the vibrant colors of the coral forest and the captivating diversity of marine life. While diving here, you may spot colorful and exotic fishes, turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays and many more. Swimming further to the edge of the reef may reveal dolphins on the horizon or manta rays in the deep waters, coming close to the reefs from time to time. Alternatively, guests can go for a night dive when a black light torch shows the magical bio-fluorescence of the reef.

When to Go: December to March or June to September

best house reef aerial shot of wakatobi dive resort

3. Wakatobi Dive Resort – Wakatobi, Indonesia

Wakatobi Dive Resort is an all-inclusive, eco dive resort located in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia in the Banda Sea. Just offshore, you’ll find the most wonderful tropical house reef. Within this UNESCO Marine Biosphere Reserve and macro haven, look out for cuttlefish, lionfish, sea turtles, scorpionfish, pufferfish, mantis shrimp, octopus, bubble coral shrimp, frogfish, pygmy seahorses, pipefish, nudibranchs, various species of corals and large sea fans.

You can also experience unique fluo diving here. Not to be confused with bioluminescence (or phosphorescence), fluorescence is the absorption of one wavelength of light and emission of another. See marine life in a whole new light!

When to Go: March to December

underwater shot with turtle of paradise taveuni resort house reef

4. Paradise Taveuni Resort – Navaca, Fiji

Paradise Taveuni Dive Center is located on the oceanfront of the Paradise Taveuni Resort in Fiji, offering fast access to scenic unspoilt Fiji diving, including the world famous Rainbow Reef and the Great White Wall – known as one of the Top 10 Dive Sites in the World – a must for all divers. The resort’s location, adjacent to the marina where Taveuni Dive’s fleet is moored, reduces your room-to-reef commute time from 35 minutes to 15 minutes. This is the shortest commute to Rainbow Reef on Taveuni.

When to Go: Year-Round

underwater shot of gulen resot house reef

5. Gulen Dive Resort – Dalsøyra, Norway

While most divers don’t often think house reefs exist outside the tropics, Gulen Dive Resort in Norway offers a house reef known as one of the best macro sites in Europe and across the world, offering 85 different species of nudibranch for you to discover outside your front door. There are also many WWII wrecks, intact and in good condition, lying a short boat trip away in the gorgeous waters of the Norwegian fjords. And if you like giving back, the dive center offers regular beach plastic clean-ups alongside local, community organizations. If you’re staying when there’s one going on, just ask and you’re welcome to join in.

When to Go: June to August

aerial shot of tawali leisure and dive resort

6. Tawali Leisure Dive Center & Resort – Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

Tawali Leisure and Dive Resort is a boutique waterfront resort in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea with one of the best house reefs on our list for night diving. The reef offers the chance to enjoy an abundance of soft corals, large sea fans, anemones with clownfish and occasionally large pelagics, such as whale sharks or hammerheads.

Furthermore, Tawali Leisure and Dive Resort offers convenient access to remote and thriving marine eco-systems. All the area’s famous dive sites are within a 25 to 40 minute boat ride from Tawali to 20+ dive sites. The local marine topography consists of pinnacles and walls, both covered in coral and frequented by large and small creatures.

When to Go: Year-Round

best house reef buddy dive resort bonaire

7. Buddy Dive Resort – Kralendijk, Bonaire

Bonaire may be famous for “drive and dive”, but sometimes you just don’t feel like hitting the open road. When that feeling hits, check out Buddy Dive Resort’s fabulous house reef. This on-your-doorstep reef is home to turtles, macro life and reef fish as well as occasionally dolphins and rays. It’s also important to note that this popular Bonaire dive resort boasts a great central location, offering easy access to both north and south diving hot spots along the world-famous western shoreline.

When to Go: Year-Round

best house reefs sunset house on grand cayman

8. Sunset House – Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Sunset Divers at Sunset House is Grand Cayman’s longest running dive operation, with 50+ years of experience. Part of their success can be owed to their amazing house reef, which is accessed via a private, onsite jetty. The jagged, mostly rocky shoreline gives way to a diverse dive site, which even boasts a 9-foot underwater bronze mermaid statue to discover. The seas here are warm and clear year-round, with visibility topping out at about 40 meters (130 feet). When you aren’t diving, the hotel is a 15 minute walk from George Town, and an intimate, white sand beach is a short stroll away.

When to Go: November to May

best house reefs seaventures dive rig in malaysia

9. Seaventures Dive Rig – Mabul Island, Malaysia

Seaventures Dive Rig in Malaysia is a unique dive platform and resort where you can eat, dive, sleep, repeat to your heart’s content. The house reef is located at the base of the old oil rig on which the resort is located. Dives on the house reef, which is located just off the island of Mabul, are free and unlimited, and Seaventures boats also make daily trips to Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai. Sipadan Island is one of the best dive sites in the world for its stunning reef dives, wall dives that drop 600 meters and its enchanting swim-throughs. And, while you’re relaxing at the resort between dives, you can embrace the 360-degree views of the Celebes Sea or enjoy stunning sunsets from the raised vantage point or the oil rig deck.

When to Go: Year-Round

best house reefs misool resort in indonesia

10. Misool Resort – Raja Ampat, Indonesia

When it comes to diving, the Misool Resort is perfectly located. The eco-focused private island resort is nestled in remote southern Raja Ampat, surrounded by a 1220 square kilometer marine reserve founded by the owners. It’s also inside the Raja Ampat Shark and Manta Sanctuary. So, it’s no wonder the house reef here is off the charts. You will be diving one of the most pristine reef systems left on Earth, and it will be just outside your hotel room door. When you aren’t diving, you can paddle board or snorkel with baby sharks in the lagoon or indulge in fresh cuisine made from local, sustainable ingredients.

When to Go: October to May

best house reefs kalimaya resort near komodo

11. Kalimaya Dive Resort – Sape, Indonesia

Built on the vision of six dive professionals, the Kalimaya Dive Resort is scuba heaven. At this remote resort, you’ll find a 400-meter long house reef that’s part of a Marine Protected Area, which was established by the Kalimaya crew. The best part? Your stay at the resort includes unlimited dives on the house reef. In addition, Komodo National Park, Gili Banta and Sangean Volcano are only a boat ride away. At all of the 50 dive sites in the area, the biodiversity is overwhelming. You’ll experience spectacular muck diving, drift diving and coral diving. There’s also a nearby manta cleaning station, and white and black tip sharks are regularly spotted in these waters.

When to Go: Year-Round

best house reefs dunbar rock villa with boat

12. Villa on Dunbar Rock – Guanaja, Honduras

Converted from a private residence, Villa on Dunbar Rock in Honduras is an intimate resort perched on a private cay and offering glorious views of Guanaja, the open ocean and nearby Cays. Located off the mainland island of Guanaja, this resort offers access to 50+ dive sites with a diverse mix of vertical walls, pinnacles, lava tunnels and wrecks. The on-site house reef is shallow, so it’s great for beginners and recommended for night diving, too.

When to Go: Year-Round

Ready to dive into the best house reefs? Check out PADI Travel for the best deals on these dive resorts and more around the world.

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