5 top tips for picking the perfect Maldives resort

The Maldives is one of the hottest destinations around, with a stream of top-end hotels entering the market and reimagining luxury resort design. Here you will find an ultra-luxe resort to suit even the most discerning traveller. Whether you are searching for a secluded castaway-style bungalow immersed in nature or a futuristic glass-walled villa with a restaurant under the sea; a glamorous retro-inspired fun-loving resort or driftwood-hued villas complete with retractable roof and waterslide – be sure that your idyllic Maldives resort is out there just waiting to be found. If you are planning a holiday to the Maldives, here are 5 top tips to help you pick the perfect resort.

1. Budget

Discussing the budget is never a sexy topic. But when it comes to planning a luxury holiday in the Maldives, you need to have a vague idea of how much you want to spend. For those indulging in 5-star luxury in the Maldives, villa pricing can still range from $1000 to $10 000 a night (or more). Due to the one island one resort concept, you don’t really have the option of wandering off to find a cheaper place to dine. It’s worth contacting the resort and looking at the pricing of their food and drinks, so you know what to expect during your stay. Some resorts offer full-board, half-board and all-inclusive packages. Be sure to find out exactly what is and is not included in these packages, to determine which option provides the best value for your style of holiday. If you enjoy indulging in a day at the spa or going for dive excursions, find out the pricing of these activities too. Note that service charges and taxes are usually an additional cost. Resort transfers can also be quite costly ($600 pp), so be sure to factor this into the budget too.

2. Distance from Malé

The Maldives are an archipelago of around 1192 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls. Depending on where your resort is located within this vast region, you will require a resort transfer from Malé by speedboat, seaplane or domestic flight plus speedboat. For those guests with limited time in the Maldives, you may prefer to choose a resort close to Malé for the convenience of a quick speedboat transfer. Do note that resorts near Malé may not provide the seclusion you are looking for – as you can still see other islands in the distance plus lights from Malé at night. If you want to truly experience idyllic island life, look at resorts that are located further out from Malé. The seaplane transfer is a spectacular experience that you will never forget, offering a stunning aerial perspective of the jewel-like archipelago.

3. House reef

The clear waters of the Maldives are home to an abundance of neon-hued sea life and colourful coral reefs, just waiting to be discovered. When choosing which resort to stay at, consider the quality of the house reef and your snorkelling opportunities. Some resorts have house reef all around the island, making the snorkelling opportunities plentiful. Other resorts are surrounded by an expansive blue lagoon. This is striking to look at, but requires a boat trip to go snorkelling. If you want it all then opt for a resort that offers both a house reef and an abundant lagoon.

4. Target market

Each resort in the Maldives is designed to appeal to a certain type of guest. For guests planning their honeymoon or a romantic getaway, look for a secluded adults-only resort. If you have your heart set on staying in a water villa, be sure to check that your resort offers this type of accommodation. For those travelling in a large group, pick a resort that offers large villas and some night life. If you are travelling with your little one, check out resorts that have a great kids club and babysitting options. Be sure to view the resort policy regarding children staying in water villas (some do not permit children due to safety; others require you to sign a waiver).

5. Resort facilities

Look into the resort facilities and activities that are on offer for your stay in the Maldives. If discovering the myriad of marine life is your number one priority, find out if the resort has a dive centre that offers regular dive trips. If you want to immerse yourself in blissful relaxation, look at the day spa packages and find out about beachside yoga classes. If you are travelling with tots, check out the Kids Club facilities, babysitting services and if there is a medical clinic onsite. There are even resorts with golf courses! Find out about the range of dining options that are available at the resort too. Larger resorts generally have multiple dining venues and may also offer a nightly themed buffet to mix up the flavours. Contact the resort and peruse the restaurant menus to see if the offered cuisine is to your taste.

Comments (3)

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  1. Ted Liptak says:

    Dear Nooreen,

    What could be the duration for early booking advantages? I mean how many months early should we book? Thanks in advance.

  2. Nooreen Ebrahim says:

    Hi Ted,
    We find that booking at least six months in advance helps us to get good hotel deals and well-priced air fares. If you have your heart set on a particular resort but only book a few months in advance, you run the risk of not getting the room you want (ie. all water villas may be booked).
    Nooreen :)

  3. Ted Liptak says:

    Thanks Nooreen for the tips.
    I will try to book as early as possible, like 2-3 months max for me :)

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