There is a reason The Maldives tops almost every list of ‘aspirational travel’ destinations ever created. Such a stellar reputation brings myriad options for your trip- and accommodation is one of them. However, having so many choices can make selecting a resort in the Maldivesan an intimidating task. So, to help ease the process, here is a quick guide to choosing a Maldives resort.
Chain Hotels Aren’t Necessarily The Way Forward
While most hotel chains have properties in the Maldives, choosing the right one may not be as straightforward as it is elsewhere. Therefore, even if you are a loyal customer of a specific hotel brand, their Maldives resort may not be ideal for your Maldives adventure. So, prepare to opt for something other than your norm.
Budget plays a significant role in the Maldives. Accommodation choices here range from basic backpacker-style lodging to some of the most extravagant luxury villas in the world.
For example, you can land a lovely 3-star beach villa with no frills for as little as $100 a night (including breakfast). Next, in the $300-a-night range, you get a beach villa at a property where a superior level of comfort and service is standard. Finally, for $500 a night and above, you can expect luxury accommodation (with breakfast); and from about $800 a night, you can enjoy a 5-star overwater villa on an all-inclusive basis.
Pro tip: Consider resorts yet to open if you want to find good deals. These resorts often offer “soft opening” rates so that you can get fantastic deals. Even better, no shortage of new resorts is opening up in the Maldives.
Food and drinks in the Maldives can be expensive. So, any room rate inclusions are crucial, particularly considering that the resorts are mostly on their islands. Unfortunately, this positioning means there is no way to go off-resort for cheaper meals. Thankfully, Maldives resorts are great about publishing their restaurant menus on their websites. As a result, you can calculate the cost of meals and drinks not included in your room rate.
Look closely at this option, as it can significantly affect your holiday’s total cost. By factoring in your eating habits and preferences, you can choose the all-inclusive or half-board options.
Please note that reviews for Maldives resorts skew higher than properties in other destinations. Consequently, there is typically an extensive quality and luxury range within the 4.5 to 5-star average-rated resorts.
You cannot expect to take an Uber from the airport to your resort. Instead, transfers will either be by seaplane, speedboat, or domestic flight, then a speedboat- depending on your resort’s location.
Direct speedboat transfers are only available for the resorts reasonably close to Male. These options are less costly and cumbersome than the others. However, opting for a resort within speedboat range may put you in view of the capital. So, it would be best to determine whether you are content with having the ‘real world’ visible on your escape.
If you opt for a resort that requires seaplane transfers, you must be aware that they only operate during daylight hours. Therefore, you’ll have to plan to spend a night close to the airport if your international flight departs earlier than 9 am or arrives after 4:00 pm. However, please note that the airport is on an island known as Hulhumalé, just next to Male. So it is more convenient to stay in Hulhumalé rather than go into the city.
If your ideal resort requires a domestic flight followed by a speedboat, it demands more time and budget. Therefore, avoiding resorts that require such transfers may be better if your visit is less than a week.
Luxury is part and parcel of the Maldives but comes in many forms. So before you get too deep into the resort selection process, choosing the general style you prefer may be best. But make no mistake, your choice here will significantly affect your overall experience.