The Maldives Affair: Part II – KYMB (Know Your Maldives Better)
Updated: Mar 4, 2022
Picking resorts and evaluating how much it will burden your pocket
Welcome to Part II of knowing Maldives better. If this is your first read on Maldives, kindly read about Part I from this link – The Maldives Affair: Part I
Going by statistics, Maldives is mostly visited due to private islands which disconnects you from the rest of the world physically for the duration of the stay. As soon as you enter Maldives’ airspace you will see a collection of beautiful islands all over. From the sky, all the islands are almost similar, a little green patch covering the whole island and properties connecting to the island as a caterpillar trying to enter its nest.
Every property offers almost the same luxuries on a platter and it’s just a matter of how architecturally and creatively they have been assorted. In our research before visiting the Maldives, we were informed that marine life is better in north atolls as compared to south atolls, so we chose North, and still, we were a little disappointed. Maybe our expectations were high or the corals at our resort were not that aesthetical as compared to others.
If you google Maldives you will get umpteen results. When every small island is a resort and Maldives is a group of more than 100 small islands, you have a choice problem. Not only that every resort will have 4 stars at least. From various perspectives like beaches, spas, and restaurants, all resorts give very similar vibes, this is excluding the likes of Taj or Hard Rock high-end resorts, if you have the budget for supreme luxury then you have already made up your mind.
Then how do you choose which resort has your calling?
It is easy, if you are doing your research, try getting a better deal whether from CRED, Agoda, Booking.com, or any other travel website. If you are taking a package deal from an agent, ask at least for three to four options.
All the resorts have two basic property offerings with luxurious add-ons:
Beachside properties- located on the island grounds and a big opening right on the beach.
Water villas- giving the vibe of floating houses supported by a wooden structure built on the ocean floor. When you stand in front of these, they don’t look like huge property, but as you open the door, it’s like down the rabbit hole.
Luxury water villas- premium category of water villas with private pool/water slides/ bigger carpet area.
Water villa properties look exquisite and are comparatively expensive. If you are booking through an agent, they will give you an option to have your stay split into both. Water villas from photographs look exquisite, appealing and give that wow feeling. To be honest, we found beach properties more comfortable and enjoyable. As water villas tend to sway and may make feel you are in some ship in the sea. Also, the water level is max waist high and not enough for diving from the villa floor ;P
Resorts additionally have cuisine-based restaurants, spas, water sports to offer. Prices for these services may vary a lot and should be critically considered before choosing a resort.
Now, with that thing covered, let’s look at the spending spree for Maldives. There are two major cost heads: Flights and Resort (Includes meals) and Miscellaneous – Transfers (Sea boat / Plane depending on the booking) and Water sport activities. If you are booking through an agent or resort directly, the transfer cost is covered, else you will have to bear an additional one (Check it out before booking).
Pre covid, travelers used to do island hopping however in Post Covid era, Island hopping had been discontinued by Government.
If you book at least one to two months in advance, it will cost you around 40,000 INR for a one-way flight for two from India/Delhi NCR. A 5 day stay with a mix of both beach and water villa will be around 130,000 INR in stay for two and generally, this includes meals, basic water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and pedal boat. For other water sports, you will have to shell a few more bucks and this depends on the resort. Some resorts charge exorbitantly for scuba and other activities like whale watching/ turtle watching separately. Check these costs on the resort’s website before finalizing.
Another factor in the pricing is the meal plan. You can go full board (all meals inclusive) or all-inclusive plan which includes meal and drinks both or happy hour drinks access. Above pricing includes full board i.e. only meals.
Depending on your choice of property your majority expenditure will be decided. In case if you go for a full stay at a beach villa it will come around INR 100,000 and a full water villa stay around INR 150,000 with around 20% standard deviation for 4N/5D
Some good options
Some of the good resorts that you can pick from are – Centara Ras Resorts, Kuramathi, Sun Siyam villu reef, Adaaran club, Kihaa, Ohuveli resorts among many others. Ensure to check the food menu and water sport activities beforehand. You can also drop a mail for the same and the resort representative will share the details with you.
We finalized Centara Ras Fushi and we returned elated with our choice. Its hospitality had been outstanding and worth every penny. Right from the time we reached Centara Ras, the housekeeping staff was standing for our welcome, and even when we left, the whole staff was there to escort us, and it was not just for us, it was a time routine. We were visiting after the first Covid wave in November 2020 and all resorts were struggling with a shortage of staff. We saw the property manager picking plates as they were running short on staff during all meals. Among all this, there was one more coincidence we met one of my collegiate and friend who was visiting at the same time. One thing that went in our favor was the temperature. Given its geographical location, we expected to etch sun rays however we got rains during peak afternoon cooling the weather and leaving us with cool sunsets. In the whole experience what left us dissatisfied was the scuba diving cost, it was exorbitant. The experience was good but not valuable for money.
We have seen people question if you are going to spend time in a resort why not pick a luxurious resort in Goa or any place near to the beach in India? And that is a valid point if your objective is to have a good time with the company, roam around, then yes, no point going to the Maldives. The only thing the Maldives is adding on top of the company is the disconnection from the rest of the world in the best summer place to be. If this is important for you then you have the answer if the Maldives is for you or not.
Hope this was a good read and clarified your doubts related to Maldives. In case you have any queries reach us on social media, and will be happy to assist.
Till next time – Adios!!