Recently the Maldives has become the new Bora Bora. All the bloggers are going there, everyone wants their honeymoon there and well, I want a piece of the action too.
I’ve researched the Maldives in the last few years over a handful of times. I’ve checked out the different resorts and airfare prices to the magical islands. However, up until recently (was planning on going after Sri Lanka), I’ve learned about a whole other dynamic of visiting the Maldives that I didn’t know about before and figured that maybe other people don’t know about it either.
So here are a few quick tips on things to consider before booking your dreamy Maldives adventure.
1.A “Beach Villa” isn’t necessarily an over “Water Villa/Bungalow”
While it may look like you’re getting a killer deal for a water villa, it may very well be just a simple beach villa. The phrases resorts use for an over water bungalow are water villa, lagoon villa and bungalow over water. It’s not a standard room, beach bungalow or deluxe villa. Although I will say that rooms that aren’t water villas look outstanding. They tend to be very spacious and sometimes more luxurious.
2. Not all resorts have dreamy water bungalows
That’s not to say it’s a bad thing or a good thing, but something to consider and be aware of. Most hotels that don’t have a water villa default photo in your search, not always, but most of the time don’t have water villas. It may come as a shocker or a surprise to some, so always make sure and double check.
3. Watch out for hidden fees and taxes
While searching for hotels and resorts, I saw amazing deals like $465 for a 2 night stay in a water villa. Later I noticed that when you click to check out, somehow the total becomes $1100! How? You ask. Well, the resorts add 23% tax, an environmental fee and shuttle fee per person. This price was for a single person; if it were two people going, which most times is the case, the total would be $1600! So be prepared for that. This fee example didn’t include food.
4. Half board, full board, all-inclusive?
Many resorts don’t offer all-inclusive, however, there are some. When booking your reservation, do your research. Figure out how many people you’re going with, if the hotel includes breakfast, if they offer half-board or full board. For those of you who don’t know what that means, I’ll explain. In most places, half-board means that all of the meals are included. However, in the Maldives, it means some meals are included, like only breakfast and dinner. Full-board means all meals, and alcohol is included. Depending on the type of person that you are and your eating habits, figure out what works best for you. For example, I normally don’t really drink when traveling, especially if I’m alone. I also know that many times I only really eat 2 meals a day. I eat a good breakfast, then I like to explore and do some kind of activity and then have dinner. So in that case, the half-board would be a good idea for a person like me.
Of course, adding a half or full board will bump up the price by a lot, in many cases by a few hundred dollars. So also check out the prices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some resorts charge $40 for lunch and $80 for dinner, no matter what you end up eating. So do your research guys.
5. Paying $500 for a plane ride to your resort
The Maldives is a country made up of a bunch of islands. Almost every resort has its own island and there are 2 ways of getting there; the first is by boat and the other is by plane. You are going to have to pay for that plane ride to the island, prices range from $135-$565 per person! This is included in your total price when you check out. I almost think it’s funny because to get to the Maldives from Sri Lanka runs about $150-$200, sometimes even less for a round trip, but then you also have to take into consideration the private plane fee that costs more than double.
LOVE IT? PIN IT!
6. Picking sunset and sunrise views
While booking your water villa, make sure to pick either sunset or sunrise view, many hotels give you that option. This, of course, depends on if you’re more of a morning person or a night owl like me. Picking sunset or sunrise could also change the price just as an FYI.
7. Tell them it’s your anniversary, honeymoon or birthday!
Hotels and staff will go out of their way to make sure you have a memorable stay if they know you are celebrating something special!
8. There are cheap water villas and expensive ones
Ideally, I think that the Maldives can be affordable. I have found through my research of every hotel in the Maldives that you can find some super cheap water villas and super expensive ones.
A few affordable hotels to check out are:
- Coco Bodu Hithi
- Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa
- The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Luxury Resort Maldives
- Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
- Adaaran Club Rannalhi
- Olhuveli Beach And Spa Resort
9. Underwater restaurants
I have found that there are 2 hotels in the Maldives that offer a magical dining experience unlike any other. The more popular one that was recently featured on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and on many Pinterest boards is Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. But there is also another one at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas.
If this is something you’re interested in experiencing, it’s best you stay at these resorts.
10. 100% Islamic Population
Lastly, the Maldives has 100% Islamic population, I didn’t know this until recently. Here is why it’s important to know this bit of information. Since the Maldives population is Muslim, there are strict rules and laws on women wearing a bathing suit and revealing their bodies. There are no alcohol stores, you won’t find restaurants that serve pork, public affection is also prohibited (that includes kissing or holding hands). You’re also not allowed to bring in any other bibles that represent any other religion than Islam when entering the country, “Public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited”. The only exception to all of this is when you’re at your resort, so don’t worry ladies and gentlemen, you can still wear a bikini, enjoy your honeymoon, eat whatever you want to eat and get alcohol at your resort. You just won’t find any Muslims engaging in these things or being allowed to do any of these things at the airport or out and about, unless you’re at your resort. So ladies, please be respectful at the airport and not reveal too much skin, until you get to your hotel.
Now you’re ready to book your perfect vacation in the Maldives, enjoy, have fun and be safe!