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  4. How to choose a hotel in the Maldives: tips and examples

The Maldives is synonymous with luxury hotels and romantic bungalows, charming water houses and luxurious villas. The Maldives is also full of modest guesthouses and relatively inexpensive hotels. How to choose a hotel from all the variety that is ideal for your vacation - in our article.

Kandolhu Maldives Resort
Kandolhu Maldives Resort

Resorts islands

One island - one hotel. Many luxury resorts located in the tropical Maldives follow this principle. Luxury island hotels or island resorts occupy the entire territory of the island. The locals do not live here. Sometimes 2-3 hotels coexist on one island, but this is rather an exception to the rule. We are familiar with the resort islands from colorful advertising videos. You can do whatever you want and dress the way you feel comfortable. The atmosphere of general rest and relaxation reigns.

The entire infrastructure is focused on the tourist white beaches, spa, fitness center, villas, and swimming pools. Such islands are small for a maximum of a couple of hours to completely bypass them. Popular island resorts include

Kuramachi Island

One of the largest in the archipelago. Located 60 km from the airport. Its length is about 2 km. You can fly from Male by seaplane in 20 minutes. Here is one of the most beautiful hotels - Kuramathi Maldives with many restaurants, jogging tracks, tennis, sports clubs, a football field.

Gan Island

Located in the southern part of the archipelago, beyond the equator. It is quite large for the Maldives, almost 15 thousand square meters. There is a diving center that allows you to get an international certificate.

Kudafoludu Island

Quite tiny, but no less popular for that. A tourist mecca since the 80s. It is located more than 70 km from the airport. Here is the romantic hotel Nika Island Resort & Spa 5*, which attracts tourists seeking solitude. The bungalows are designed in the form of shells, each enclosed by a tropical hedge.

Conrad Rangali Island

Famous for the hotel Conrad Maldives Rangali Island 5*, which is located on two neighboring islands connected by a bridge. Located in South Ari Atoll. Discos, entertainment shows, sports clubs, water activities - this is a place for entertainment.

Ihuru Island

A rounded island located just 10 minutes by speedboat from the capital. Angsana Ihuru 5* has 50 bungalows built with eco-materials including palm leaves. Among other things, you can taste Italian cuisine here.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Our selections will help you in choosing a hotel

  1. The most beautiful islands in the Maldives 10 best places
  2. 14 best spa hotels in the Maldives
  3. Maldives 9 best hotels on the islands
  4. 9 best 4 hotels in Maldives
  5. Top 12 Hotels in Maldives
  6. 10 most luxurious villas in the Maldives
  7. 12 Best Water Villas in the Maldives

      Rest on local islands

      These are the islands where the locals live. It is these islands that can please the budget tourist who is not ready to pay several hundred dollars for an overnight stay at a luxury resort. Housing prices start at $ 30-40 excluding taxes (don't forget the $ 6 environmental fee per person per day). But here you will have to taste the local life, which is not always clean and tidy. And to respect local traditions of walking in clothes covering the body, as Islam is practiced in the country. On the beach, clothes must also be covered, with the exception of special bikini beaches.

      This is not the Maldives from advertising brochures, but a budget option for a vacation on the islands. Among the popular local islands are Maafushi, Villingili, Guraido, Ukulhas, Toddu.

      Asad Photo Maldives
      Local island in the Maldives | Asad Photo Maldives

      Distance from airport

      Moving between the islands is the transport pain of the Maldives. International planes arrive at the airport - the capital of the Republic of Maldives, Male. Ferries are available to nearby islands. As a rule, this applies to local islands where locals live. More distant resort islands have to be reached by speedboat or seaplane.

      • If the island is far from the capital, be prepared to spend a few extra hours on the road. For independent travelers, these are additional expenses.
      Advice if you are planning a vacation in the Maldives for 3-4 days, choose an island near Male. So that in 20 minutes we get from the main airport of the Maldives to your resort. If you choose a remote island, then a few hours' journey to the hotel will only tire you and do not have time to rest.
      • For a seaplane transfer, you will have to pay an additional $ 200 per person, if the hotel does not organize the delivery of tourists.
      • When choosing a hotel, pay attention to whether the transfer to the island is included in the price. For example, you can select options for hotels with included transfers here.
      • If the transfer is not included in the price, check in advance how much it will cost to get to the island and how it is more convenient to get there.
      • Remember, ferries do not run on Friday in the Maldives.
      • Seaplanes fly from 900 to 1530. Take this into account when planning a connection with a flight at Male airport so as not to have to spend the night in the capital of the Maldives.
      Read more about speed boats, seaplanes and other types of transportation in the article on transport in the Maldives.

      Asad Photo Maldives
      Seaplane in the Maldives | Asad Photo Maldives

      Resort type and service level

      The island has guesthouses, hotels of 3, 4 and 5 stars. But you should not be guided only by the European gradation of stars awarded to hotels. The Maldives also use the Deluxe, Superior and Standard grades.

      When choosing a hotel in the Maldives, you should pay attention to the following nuances

      • The concept of all inclusive can mean not only food, but also the use of sports equipment, rental of boats, fishing tools, windsurfing equipment and other activities. Sometimes in all inclusive hotels, Wi-Fi Internet may not be turned on for a fee.
      • Typically, the Maldives offers two types of land bungalow rooms or water villas.
      • Houses are also different. A bungalow or villa can be extremely private and secluded, or it can include 2-3 rooms located next to each other.
      • Also pay attention to the private pool near the villa, the presence of a jacuzzi. Such amenities, accordingly, increase the value of the villa. The most luxurious are the water villas with a private pool and jacuzzi, as, for example, at the Anantara Kihavah Villas.
      • The villa can be located directly on the reef. Rooms delight with sunset or sunrise views. There are villas with two-sided views.
      • When choosing a water villa, pay attention to many hotels that do not rent water villas to families with small children, there are age restrictions.
      • Water villas are more expensive than beach villas. Some hotels equip special slides for guests to make it easier to slide into the water. On the plus side, there are no mosquitoes and you can immediately find yourself in the water upon leaving your room.

      Anantara Kihavah Villas
      Anantara Kihavah Villas


      Several food systems are common in the Maldives

      1. Bed and breakfast
      2. Half board
      3. Full board
      4. Ultra all inclusive - when not only three meals a day are included, but also snacks, elite alcohol, as well as many entertainment on the island.

      Nutrition Tips

      • If you go to a luxury resort, you should choose Half board or Full board. On the island, you will not have a large selection of restaurants, with the exception of establishments located on the territory of the hotel island. Separate lunches and dinners can be more expensive than an all-inclusive system.
      • If you are staying at a hotel on a local island with access to shops and a variety of cafes, you can choose a hotel with breakfast only.

      Since alcohol is prohibited in the Maldives, alcoholic beverages are not included in the all inclusive system in some Maldivian hotels. Wine may be served for lunch or dinner. Possibly cocktails in the main hotel bar at certain times. There is no alcohol in hotels on the shared islands.

      In luxury hotels for adults, beer, wine, cocktails and several types of stronger alcohol can be served.

      There are luxury hotels in which the use of alcohol and its choice is not limited. For example, on the side of the Ari atoll, on the Nalaguraidhoo Island - the Sun Island Resort. However, the cost of such hotels is also higher in comparison with the non-alcoholic option.

      Kurumba Maldives
      Kurumba Maldives

      Family or romantic getaway

      Holidays in the Maldives with children have their own characteristics.

      • Some islands are for adults only. Especially if they have resorts offering alcohol to their guests.
      • Going on vacation with children, pay attention to the choice of a villa. Some villas are not safe for children - we are talking about water villas. Many hotels have an age restriction for water villas.
      • Accommodation for children under 2 years old is usually free of charge. For older children you need to pay extra.
      • Almost all large hotels provide special conditions for children's recreation, playgrounds, rooms, shallow pools, animation. This gives the parents a chance to rest.
      • If you have a family vacation, pay attention to the children's menu. Preferably with free highchairs.

      Beach and lagoon condition

      Let us make an important remark right away, not all hotels have their own beaches. A three-star hotel can operate an “all-inclusive system”, but this hotel will not have its own beach.

      Of course, if you go to a luxury resort on your own island, then all the beaches on the island are yours. However, if you choose a local island and an inexpensive hotel, it may not have its own beach. In this case, you will have to look for a specially designated bikini beach for a good rest.

      Expensive hotels will not have problems with cleanliness, the availability of sun loungers, and all kinds of water activities. The same cannot be said about “bikini beaches” on local islands.

      Asad Photo Maldives
      Local island beach in Maldives | Asad Photo Maldives

      Island size matters

      If this is a vacation, you will have to spend at least a week on the island. If it is tiny, then there will be nowhere to walk and you will quickly get bored in paradise. Because in the Maldives you find yourself isolated from the whole world.

      Some islets are only 300 m long. Therefore, if you want space and entertainment, then choose an island based on its size.

      House reef

      If you go to Maldives for not only the white beaches, but also the rich underwater world, you need to pay attention to the islands, which have their own good house reef. This means that you can enjoy the underwater world close to your own villa. Otherwise, you will have to travel outside the island, which is inconvenient and plus additional costs. Considered some of the best house reefs around these hotels:

      If snorkeling does not matter to you, then you can splash in the shallow waters without worrying about the reef beauty around the hotel.

      Bandos Maldives
      Bandos Maldives

      Variety of leisure activities on the island

      Most of the island hotels are quite compact. Not all hotels have sufficient entertainment infrastructure. Therefore, choose a place of relaxation where everything you need will be a spa, massage room, children's room, fitness room, and hairdresser. Pay attention to how many bars, disco clubs, restaurants there are on your chosen island. Is there a diving center and other water activities.

      Green islands

      Not all of the paradise islands are actually surrounded by tropical vegetation. On some islands, it is practically absent, and they are just an elongated strip of sand with rather sparse green spaces.

      Be sure to check out some of the hotel's photos, including drone shots, to make sure you are heading to the island of your dreams.

      Baglioni Resort Maldives
      Baglioni Resort Maldives

      Excursion entertainment

      Of course, all luxury resorts offer a wide variety of excursions for their visitors. However, you need to understand the distance of interesting objects from your island. For example, the islands that are located near the equator offer romantic dinners on a yacht right on the equatorial line.

      Without exception, all resorts offer water activities diving, surfing, catamarans, and water skiing.

      You can go to live on a desert island if it is nearby.

      If you want to visit the capital of the Maldives and see local attractions, then you should choose an island that will be located at a reasonable distance from Male.

      Мале, столица Мальдив
      Male, capital of the Maldives

      Features of choosing a resort

      • Different resorts offer different services to their guests. You can have your own private beach exclusively for your villa, such as at Hurawalhi Island Resort. Some islands have bays that can be easily snorkeled even on windy days, such as Naladhu Maldives. There are islands where villas are set in trees, like Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa. Six resorts in the Maldives boast underwater restaurants. Learn all the nuances before choosing a hotel.
      • Read about the island before booking your hotel. This way your vacation will have fewer surprises, including unpleasant ones.
      • If the island is tiny, and there are many villas on it, think about your comfort. Personal space may not be enough. Take the time to look at the photos taken from the drone to assess at least the scale of the island and correlate the free space with the number of villas. And since most of the islands are small, this is an important parameter on which all comfort depends.
      • Do not choose a hotel just by the picture. Compare hotels by service, location, reviews and price.
      • Read the reviews. Do not forget to check out the opinions of previous travelers.
      • By the way, keep in mind that if there are several hotels on the island, then the infrastructure may be common. In addition, even if you stay in a budget hotel, you can take advantage of some of the benefits of a more equipped resort.

      Naladhu Maldives
      Naladhu Maldives

      As you can see, the choice of a hotel in the Maldives has many nuances. However, the paradise islands can offer a vacation for every taste, satisfy even the most discerning tourist and allow even budget travelers to find themselves in the azure waters.


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