If you’re travelling to a new destination, one of the hardest things to do is choosing your accommodation. What’s the best area to stay at? How much should I spend to get somewhere decent? Should I choose a villa or a hotel? So we figured we’d lend you a hand and begin a series of posts aptly named, “How to Choose” (it’s a working title 🙈)
We’ll begin this series with a bang, starting with the Maldives because y’all keep asking us about this.
How to choose a resort in the Maldives
I don’t blame you for getting super flustered and frazzled when trying to choose a Maldives resort. There’s many of them! And they all look so similar?! Fret not, we’ve got you covered.
The first thing you need to do is firmly settle on your own budget. The Maldives is an *expensive* destination. You can choose to spend a couple of hundred, thousand or even hundred thousand dollars during your stay. So knowing your budget helps you to narrow down your choices massively. For this article, we’re only covering resorts and as a guide, you can expect to spend the following on your accommodation only per night. Keep in mind, prices will vary drastically depending on when you travel.
3 star: Starting from USD 200 per night excluding tax
4 star: Starting from USD 400 per night excluding tax
5 star: Starting from USD 700 per night excluding tax
Choosing your location & sorting transportation in the Maldives
All islands in the Maldives are grouped into small clusters called atolls. So choosing your atoll is very important. For instance, if you’re looking to dive a lot, Baa Atoll or South Ari Atoll would be great choices. But equally, the atoll you choose is a crucial decision that impacts your transportation.
The Maldives has only one major international airport, Velana International Airport which is on its own little island. (Some websites may refer to the airport as Male’ International Airport) This where all international flights land. So how do you get to your resort? This is pretty key. Your resort will always arrange transportation for you from the airport, and the form of transportation depends on how far away the resort island is to the airport. Resorts typically offer the following choices, depending on where the resort island is located.
Resorts clustered around the airport will use speedboats. These will typically be no more than 60 minutes of travel, with most ranging from 20-45 minutes. Speedboats are arranged via the resort’s own private fleet and timings will be at the resort’s discretion. Most resorts base the timings on the arrivals of the day, however a few do follow set timings like a private ferry schedule. Speedboats do travel late at night as well, although they are not permitted to travel during bad weather.
Planes that land on water. Awesome. Seaplanes take off from the seaplane terminal at Velana Airport and land directly by your resort. These trips can take up 40 minutes, and seaplanes do cross atolls as well. There are a couple of key things to note with seaplanes. Firstly, your seat on the seaplane will be booked by the resort. You can’t book it directly with the seaplane company. Secondly, seaplane timings aren’t fixed since its highly weather dependent. Not to worry, your resort will take care of this and will keep you in the loop. Finally and very importantly, seaplanes only fly during daylight hours. Which means, if your flight lands in the Maldives past 6pm, you cant get to your resort on the same day if the only transportation method they offer is seaplane. So, you’ll either have to check if your resort offers an alternative form of transportation or stay overnight at a hotel near the airport and fly the next morning.
There are a number of domestic airports dotted across the country so if your resort is really far away from the international airport, chances are you’ll take a domestic flight, land at the domestic airport, and take a small speedboat to your resort.
Phew! That’s a lot to take in.
Food & Beverage in the Maldives
Maldives resorts are typically private islands with a single resort per island. So unless you plan to hop around, you’ll have all your meals on the resort itself. Before you book, check what meal plans they offer as prices can vary wildly.
Lastly, what’s the vibe you’re looking for? Something rustic with classic island vibes? Something pretty glam? Have a look at some of the pictures online and see what suits you. The great thing about the Maldives is that even 3 star resorts will offer your snorkelling, diving and other water sports. But you do also have to be pretty realistic with your budget. So for instance, if you can only afford to spend USD 200 a night, don’t expect a giant over water villa with all meals and alcohol included. It all comes down to budget!!