How to plan your Maldives holidays

If you want to get away from the stress of everyday life, there’s no better place to escape to than the Maldives. This is as close to paradise you will get here on earth! Unparalleled luxury. Picture perfect beaches with talcum powder sand, swaying palms and crystal clear waters. Plus the most amazing aquatic life which you can admire standing in ankle-deep water. As settings go, it doesn’t get much better than this.

The Maldives comprise 1,190 coral islands near the equator of which the local population inhabits just 200. Another 90 or so have luxury resorts and because the islands are really small, just one resort per island is more or less the norm. Visitors land in Male, the bustling capital, or at the newly opened airport in Gan. There’s not much to do or see in Male and no alcohol is served here so most visitors head straight to their island resorts. If your resort is close to the airport, you will be taken there by speedboat. Otherwise transfers are by seaplanes with a maximum travel time of about 30 to 40 minutes. Be warned that the seaplanes only operate during the day and should you land at the airport after sunset, book into a nearby hotel for the night or be prepared to spend the night at the airport.

Luxury Resorts

The Maldives caters to high-end tourists. So there’s very little in terms of accommodation that can be termed as affordable. Be ready to spend big. The quality of the resorts, the wonderful service and, most importantly, the breathtaking scenery are all worth the expense. Of particular note are the spas, some of which are even located underwater and have glass walls!

As you can expect, the seafood here is exquisite. Most resorts have at least two to three restaurants. The trouble is that once you are on your island resort, you are more or less confined to it unless you want to take a seaplane back to Male. You can’t really go and dine at the restaurants of other resorts. There’s also not much of nightlife. But tourists who come to the Maldives are generally looking for a relaxed holiday and the sunsets are so spectacular that nobody complains about the nightlife. This is also a favourite destinations for honeymooners.

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of bungalows available at the resorts – beach bungalows and over-water bungalows. Most resorts make extensive use of wood for their bungalows and the roof is often made of thatch. The rooms are luxuriously appointed, even if the look is seemingly minimalist. The service is discreet and some of the resorts also have private butlers for each villa or bungalow. In short, you will be thoroughly pampered.

Beach Bungalows

They are located just a few meters from the sea and typically measure 900sq.ft. or more. Expect an outdoor shower, sundeck, private garden and a separate living room and bedroom. Some of them also have their own plunge pools. The décor is tasteful.

Over-water Bungalows

These bungalows are built on stilts directly over the lagoon. So you can just take the few stairs down to the sea and feed the fish! The endless views of the ocean are spectacular. Some bungalows have glass tiles so you can see the fish swimming in the water below. Sundecks, rain showers, bathtubs overlooking the sea and a pampering experience is a given. If you can afford it, this is the way to live it up!

Activities

The water is so clear that the visibility is an amazing 60 meters. So even if you don’t want to snorkel or dive, just looking down at the seabed will reveal an array of colourful coral and fish. Over 70 types of coral and 700 species of fish are found in the Maldives, making it a diver’s paradise. There are some great dive sites and your resort will organize dives and snorkeling. For water enthusiasts, there’s also surfing, sailing and parasailing.

Top Resorts in the Maldives

No matter where you stay, the scenery will be absolutely gorgeous. But do choose your holiday resort with care so you can enjoy a great holiday in the Maldives. Below is a list of resorts recommended by us.

• Cocoa Island, South Male Atoll
• Banyan Tree Madivaru, Ethere Madivaru Island, North Ari Atoll
• Soneva Gili, North Male Atoll
• W Retreat & Spa Maldives, Fesdu Island, North Ari Atoll
• Anantara Resort Maldives, South Male Atoll

• The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, South Ari Atoll

Best time to visit:

December to April is when the weather is calm and there’s very little rainfall so plan your holiday travel during this period if possible. This is also the peak season so rates are a bit high. Temperatures range from 25 to 32˚C all year round.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 5:46 am and is filed under Maldives Holidays. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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