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  4. What food systems are there in the Maldives: all the nuances and pitfalls

The cost of all-inclusive hotel rest can be 2 times more expensive than the base price for breakfast. Is it worth overpaying what types of food exist in the Maldives and which is more profitable to take

Resorts food types pros and cons

Choosing a hotel in the Maldives, you have the opportunity to choose the type of food for yourself. After all, you can modestly opt for breakfasts, or you can immediately pay for all inclusive, so as not to deny yourself anything. However, on exotic islands, there are many nuances that should be taken into account when choosing the type of food.

Sun Siyam Olhuveli
Sun Siyam Olhuveli

Typically, a resort hotel occupies the entire island and offers the following types of food

  • BB. Breakfast only included. Usually guests are offered a buffet with a rich selection of dishes. At 4 and 5 star hotels in the Maldives, you will find excellent continental breakfasts. However, the question of lunches and dinners arises there is no alternative to hotel restaurants. In addition, even mineral water will have to be bought at a hotel at high prices.
Tip: The breakfast option is suitable for tourists who plan regular excursions and will practically not be in the hotel.
  • HB (Half-board). It includes two meals a day - breakfast and dinner. At breakfast, as a rule, the principle of a buffet works, where guests choose their own dishes. But for dinner or lunch, meals are served à la carte. Cons - drinks are not included. However, how the food will actually go depends largely on the hotel. In five star hotels, half board may include drinks, as well as discounts on meals at hotel restaurants.

Example of a Maldives hotel Half board includes breakfast and dinner at the main restaurants. The choice of soft drinks is limited water, tea, instant coffee, carbonated drinks.

Tip: half board is the best option if you plan to take an excursion after breakfast and return to the hotel in the evening.
  • FB (Full board). The classic boarding house offers three meals a day breakfast, lunch and dinner. Typically, breakfast is buffet style and lunch and dinner are à la carte. But drinks are at the discretion of the hotel.

An example of a full board in a Maldivian hotel breakfast, lunch and dinner at the main restaurants. The choice of drinks is limited water, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks.

Tip: suitable for those who plan to stay mainly in the hotel. But it is worth considering that in the hot Maldives you will have to pay extra for drinks, including water. And also because of the heat, not all tourists will want to eat three times a day.
  • FB + or HB +. Extended board (half board). In high class hotels, the guesthouse (and half board) also offers snacks and drinks throughout the day. In addition, discounts of up to 30% may be provided for visiting A la carte restaurants. This is the best option, a mix of a boarding house and all inclusive.
  • All (all inclusive). A system in which no additional payments are required. Upscale hotels on the islands offer themed dinners, rare food tastings, private villa dining, and private beach picnics. There may only be a charge for dinners in à la carte restaurants, although some hotels offer several meals in restaurants for free. And you will also need a surcharge for branded drinks.
  • UALL (ultra all inclusive). It works like an all-inclusive system, but premium alcoholic drinks and fresh juices are included.
Choose hotels of any category and with a variety of food in the WIOTTO catalog. You can quickly and conveniently compare the cost of different food systems in the same hotel, in different villas.

Hurawalhi Maldives
Hurawalhi Island Resort


Drinking alcohol is prohibited in the Maldives, but it does not apply to resort hotels. What you need to know about spirits in Maldives resorts

  • In all catering systems, except for all-inclusive, an additional fee is required for alcohol.
  • Not only the variety of the cocktail menu is impressive, but also the cost a cocktail from $ 6 to $ 15. A glass of beer costs about $ 8-10.
  • The all inclusive price, which includes unlimited alcohol, is high.
  • There may be a difference in the choice of drinks between five-star and four-star hotels. Fours can limit themselves to serving wine for dinner and lunch, and cocktails and beer in bars throughout the day. In five-star hotels, alcoholic beverages can be served around the clock. The all inclusive program includes beer, wine, cocktails, as well as drinks with a higher degree.
  • Branded drinks are usually not included in the all inclusive system they must be paid for separately. The exception is the ultra all inclusive system at the hotel. However, in luxury hotels the all inclusive program sometimes includes premium drinks for guests.

Kudadoo Maldives Private Island
Kudadoo Maldives Private Island

Hotel food in the Maldives: the price

The all-inclusive system is the most convenient, but expensive. The difference from the base price can be up to the cost of the accommodation itself.

  • The difference between breakfast and all inclusive meals for two for 7 days can be $ 2500.
  • Supplement for all inclusive to the cost of full board - about $ 500 for two people.
  • On the resort islands, lunch or dinner will cost $ 70-100 per person, excluding alcoholic beverages. The cost of a bottle of mineral water is $ 5. That is, only for dinners you need to pay about $ 1000 if you decide to take a hotel without meals. There is no alternative: on the resort islands, guests are not allowed to go outside the hotel to find a supermarket or cafe.
Tip: Ask the WIOTTO manager for the restaurant menu to navigate the prices and decide what is more profitable for you. Choose your favorite hotels in the WIOTTO catalog.

Kurumba Maldives
Kurumba Maldives

A la carte restaurants and set menus

If the buffet in the main restaurant of the hotel is a little tired and you want to change the setting, then the guests have a choice.

  • A la carte restaurants. They are sure to be presented at any resort. As tourists from all over the world come to the Maldives, you will find Russian, Italian, French, Mediterranean, Thai, Indian, Chinese, European, fusion and other cuisines of the world. Most often, there are Italian and Japanese restaurants: there are especially many tourists from these countries. Another strong point of restaurants is seafood. The cost of the meals is quite high. However, guests may be offered discounted rates at the à la carte restaurant.
  • Set menu. One of the proposals at the hotels. High-end hotels include gourmet cuisine with beautiful presentation. Often they choose a special place for service: a view of the sunset, or an underwater restaurant.
  • Picnics. For a small surcharge, you can take part in a barbecue or eating seafood on the beach. It can be a lobster dinner for two on the beach or in your villa.

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort

All-inclusive in the Maldives

In fact, in the Maldives, the difference between all inclusive and ultra all-inclusive is rather blurred. As a rule, ultra all-inclusive means the use of branded drinks. But there are premium-class hotels that provide the same service for their guests under the ultra all inclusive system. What options can be found in the Maldives?

  • All inclusive in the "five". Breakfast, lunch dinner, local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Drinks at the beach bar by the pool and other coffee shops. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, fruit juices, house wine, beer, alcoholic drinks such as gin, vodka, rum or whiskey are included. Unlimited number of non-premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during dinner or lunch, as well as in hotel bars. For an extra charge - premium wine and champagne, as well as premium alcoholic drinks, fresh juices, cappuccino, espresso, wine list, branded drinks.
  • Ultra all-inclusive (sometimes called platinum all inclusive). In addition to the usual all inclusive program, guests can choose any restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, “A la carte” restaurants are usually paid. Unlimited drinks of any kind, including premium brands. Large selection of beer, juices, drinks, cocktails in all restaurants. Also, dinner can be cooked right in front of you, themed evenings are held. Snacks are served around the clock, as are local and imported drinks. Service is often round-the-clock, but may end at midnight. Free coffee, minibar drinks including beer, soft drinks, water and ice cream without limitation. Special 3 course set menu for dinner.
  • All inclusive in a premium hotel. In some five-star hotels, even the all inclusive program includes premium brands of spirits in restaurants, as well as two brands of cigarettes. Sumptuous breakfasts, a choice between several restaurants where you can dine, a specially prepared dinner with a choice of several restaurants, fresh juices at no extra charge. A la carte restaurants can be paid or several dishes to choose from are free upon prior reservation. The hotel can serve liqueurs, cocktails, soft drinks, wine, champagne, beer, premium spirits. In-room service includes soft drinks, juices, beers and snacks.
Book a villa in 4 * and 5 * hotels on WIOTTO. You are guaranteed to be offered a choice of menus and restaurants.

Innahura Maldives Resort
Innahura Maldives Resort

Kids Food

Resort hotels that accept travelers with children always have a children's menu.

  • For younger guests, you will find a separate menu in the restaurant or a children's buffet.
  • Hotels often provide highchairs for free.
  • Meals for children under one and two years old are provided less often in hotels, but often it is free.
  • Children do not like to wait for a gourmet restaurant to prepare their food, so the buffet is much more convenient for them than a la carte restaurants.


Vegetarian cuisine

The choice of buffet dishes is quite large, so vegetarians and vegans will have no problem finding the right dish for themselves. Please indicate at the time of booking that you are on a specific diet. If you choose boarding or half board, meals will be served according to your preference.

National cuisine of the Maldives

Local cuisine is a fusion of Indian, Sri Lankan, Arab and Oriental cultures. It is rich in rice, fish, and canned tuna is used in many dishes. Several local dishes are served daily at the resorts in a buffet style. Evenings dedicated to Maldivian culture are also organized, where you can taste local dishes and get acquainted with the national flavor. Be careful, Maldivian cuisine may seem overly spicy. Dishes are prepared using onions, chili, coconut, tuna, honey, ginger.

Kandolhu Maldives
Kandolhu Maldives

Features of hotel food in the Maldives

On the first day, guests are assigned a table at which they will be served throughout their stay.

A waiter is assigned to the table, who is ready to bring any drink on demand. If we are talking about a buffet, then you should go for the dishes yourself.

Often, hotels practice payment at check-out. That is, guests do not pay right at the bar. The invoice is written to the hotel room in which the guest lives and is payable upon check-out.

The schedule is usually something like this:

  • 7:30 am to 9:30 am - breakfast
  • 12:00 to 14:00 - lunch
  • 19:30 to 21:30 - dinner

Snacks and drinks can be served 24 hours a day or only during the day until midnight. It is worth noting that many islands have their own time, differing by an hour or two from the local islands. It is installed to make it easier for tourists to watch the sunsets.

Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa Maldives
Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa Maldives

What kind of food to choose in the Maldives: we draw our conclusions

When choosing a catering system, compare the hotels you like to find a better deal.

  • Compare the difference between the cost of different types of food.
  • Choose your meal plan based on your vacation plans. If you do not plan to spend time at the hotel and you have a lot of excursions planned, there is no point in taking all-inclusive: maximum breakfast and dinner. This way you won't be tied to the restaurant during the day.
  • If your vacation must be alcoholic, then choose the all-inclusive system.
  • Please note what exactly is included in the all-inclusive package, as the difference between hotels can be significant.
  • Families with children should choose all-inclusive or full board, preferably extended. Otherwise, you will either have to often deny the child his "want", or pay rather high bills for whims.
  • If you do not drink alcohol, you can opt for the full board or half board system. Ideally, an extended version so that you don't incur additional costs for drinks.
  • Was the chosen power system not enough for you? You can upgrade right at the hotel by paying extra for boarding or all inclusive.
  • If you want to save on food, choose a hotel in the capital of the Maldives, Male, or on the islands nearby. This gives you an alternative: local cafes, supermarkets and markets.

Kurumba Maldives
Kurumba Maldives

Guesthouses in the Maldives: what they offer tourists

On the local islands, guesthouses are common - these are private guest houses, the owners of which offer guests rooms. They correspond to the level of three-star hotels. As a rule, guesthouses offer breakfasts, boarding or half board, although sometimes it is all inclusive.

  • Breakfast, dinner and lunch can be served as a buffet.
  • If there are only a couple of rooms in the guesthouse, then most likely there will be no buffet. Small hotels tend to have a family atmosphere. You will be offered to cook something based on your wishes or choose from the proposed options.
  • Drinks are at the discretion of the hotels themselves. But in the Maldives, it is common practice when the choice of soft drinks is limited and you have to pay extra for them.
  • Please contact the hosts in advance to inquire about meals and a children's menu.
  • It is forbidden to drink alcohol in guesthouses, as they are located on the islands where the locals live. Even in all-inclusive guesthouses, there will be no alcohol.

Choose where it is more convenient for you to dine: in the guesthouse or in local cafes. On the local islands there is an opportunity to eat outside the hotel. Most of the options, of course, are in Male, the capital of the Maldives. However, few tourists stay on vacation in the bustling city, which cannot boast of the crystal clear beaches. If you are in resorts located near the capital, you can only choose breakfast. This gives you complete freedom from hotel schedules. You can always pay extra for half board or boarding on the spot.


Eat on our own: cafes and supermarkets

There is a joke: food in Maldives resorts is either expensive or very expensive. There are practically no products of its own in the Maldives, so everything is imported. Bananas, chili, onions, and, of course, coconuts are common.

  • Do not place high hopes on shops located on small islands. In them you will find a very simple assortment, mainly including snacks. Look for local markets. There are supermarkets only on the larger islands.
  • On the local islands, you can rent apartments or hotels with a kitchen to cook on your own.
  • If you are relaxing on the local islands, then just go to any local cafe to taste what the Maldives eat. For $ 10 dollars you can have dinner or lunch at local cafes. But not all tourists can eat at local cafes for 10 days, especially if they are used to European cuisine. Because the main diet of the inhabitants of the Maldives is fish, rice and all kinds of spices. After all, the people of the Maldives love spicy and sweet spices. The choice of products on the islands is rather limited, so almost everything is prepared from fish.
  • For those who do not have access to alcohol in the hotel, there are special floating bars where you can drink alcohol. Such bars are on duty near the local islands. Customers are delivered to the bar free of charge by boat. The cost of drinks at the bar is quite high.

The choice of food in the Maldives depends on where exactly you decide to settle. For guests vacationing on the resort islands, the best option is the all-inclusive system or board / half board. However, with a boarding house, be prepared to incur additional costs for drinks. If you are close to the local islands or are planning a lot of excursions, you can safely choose breakfast or half board.



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