Villas on stilts out in the sea is indeed a feature distinctive to the Maldivian tourism industry. Many resorts in the Maldives feature these iconic water villas, and they continue to amp up in size, services and experiences year after year.

The World Travel Awards introduced World's Leading Water Villa Resort award in 2010, and since then Maldivian properties have been defending the prestigious accolade.

Water Villas at Baros Maldives -- (Photo/BAROS MALDIVES)

This year, no less than seven Maldivian properties are nominated for the World's Leading Water Villa Resort award. Other than the seven from Maldives, a property from Malaysia is also in the running. Nominees from Maldives also include previous winners.

Nominees for World's Leading Water Villa Resort 2020

  • Baros Maldives (won in 2011)
  • Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (won in 2012 and 2013)
  • Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
  • JA Manafaru, Maldives
  • Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, Malaysia
  • Sun Siyam Vilu Reef, Maldives (won in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019)
  • Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives
  • Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Maldives
Water Villas at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi -- (Photo/SUN SIYAM IRU FUSHI)

Lines are open for online voting on the World Travel Awards website until October 25, 2020, and travel professionals and consumers are encouraged to register and vote. World Travel Awards 2020 Grand Final Gala will be held on November 27, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.

Water villas at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island -- (Photo/CONRAD MALDIVES RANGALI ISLAND)

The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.