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  4. Maldives: prices and cost of an island vacation

No matter how much you hear and read about the Maldives, you need to see it at least once in your life! To organize your trip as correctly as possible and choose the best offers, we will see what the price of a vacation on the paradise islands depends on and what you should pay attention to when considering the resort and the options it offers.

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Vacation in the Maldives
Vacation in the Maldives | Canareef Resort Maldives

Factors Influencing the Cost of Holiday in the Maldives

The possibilities and diversity of this coral republic are endless! Each of the 26 atolls has dozens of resorts. The Maldives professes the philosophy “One island - one hotel”. Before going to the Maldives, consider several factors:

  • Flight cost. A good price from Kyiv will be about 1000 USD, from Moscow - a little less than 600. Usually, it takes 1-3 transfers.
  • Taxes and fees. The Maldives has introduced a government tax or VAT in the amount of 12% for tourists. Since October 2018, the so-called “green tax” has been in effect - 6 USD per person per day. Often, hotels also ask to pay a service tax - about 10%, depending on the resort. Most booking platforms do not include these taxes in the price, so be ready to pay a few additional hundreds of dollars after arriving in the islands.
  • Hotels and meal type. These are, by far, the more expensive things of the holiday on exotic islands. We will tell you more about them later.
  • Excursions and entertainment. In addition to luxurious beaches, a warm ocean and free options, the resorts offer many trips to neighbouring islands, yacht cruises, training in diving and surfing, and Spa treatments. For example, an average cost of a two-hour individual diving lesson will cost 70-100 USD, a trip to the nearest islands - 30-40 USD per person, a full-day sightseeing tour with lunch - about 300 USD, an hour of general massage in a SPA - from 80 to 150 USD.
  • Transfers to hotels. All tourists fly to the international airport of the capital of Male. From here, they go to their hotels on different atolls. Usually, transfers are paid separately. You can read more about this below.

Travellers entering the country for up to 30 days do not need compulsory insurance. Although tour operators usually advise buying standard insurance because the Maldives is exotic, and the cost of medical services is high here. You don’t need to pay for a visa either because you will have a stamp put in your passport upon arrival at the airport and completely free of charge.

The resort infrastructure of the Maldives is very developed. Each hotel has comfortable apartments, bungalows or villas, private and shared pools, gyms and sports grounds, Spa centres and diving schools. Now let’s see what the cost of your vacation will depend on.

Resort in the Maldives
Resort in the Maldives | LUX* North Male Atoll

The price is determined by several factors:

  • Hotel stars. It is a common misbelief that all resorts in the Maldives are fashionable. There is a huge selection of hotels of different categories - from 2 to 5 stars. The higher the category, the more expensive the vacation. For example, the cost of 10-days in Standard Room with meals at the popular 4-star Biyadhoo Island Resort ranges from 2,700 USD for two. And the same number of nights in Overwater Suite of the luxurious 5-star You & Me by Cocoon will cost three times more expensive - about 10,500 USD.
  • Location and amenities. Pools, Jacuzzis, multi-level terraces, bathtubs with ocean views, private tropical gardens and private access to the lagoon - the more options, the more expensive.
  • Villa or room. Of course, spacious, secluded several-room apartments with a panoramic pool guarantee a luxury vacation. But you know what you have paid for. After all, in most cases, you are provided with everything you could wish for, including 24-hour personal butler service. For example, a week-long rest in Beach Spa Residence with a swimming pool at the luxurious Movenpick Resort Kuredhivaru will cost 20,000 USD. For this money, you relax with your whole family (maximum number of guests - 6 people) and get delicious breakfasts and a lot of additional services.
  • Maldives resorts adhere to the international principle of meals in hotels. Breakfast (BB) - a continental breakfast, Half Board (HB) - often, breakfast and dinner with an extra fee for drinks, Full Board (FB) - 3 meals a day with an extra fee for drinks, All Inclusive or Ultra All Inclusive - 3 meals a day with drinks, including cocktails in the hotel bars. Often, resorts add additional options to these categories - a minibar or excursions.
  • The Maldives is an equatorial state with a tropical climate, so you can and should go here all year round because the temperature will always be at least 26-28°C. But it has some peculiarities. The high season on the islands is from January to April, when the ocean is perfectly clean, the rainfall is very little, and the winds are light. From May to November, the southwestern monsoon dominates here. Thus, the waves will be higher, and the air will be fresher due to short-term rains. By the way, this period is considered ideal for surfing. Prices in hotels can vary from 15% to 30%. For example, a week-long stay for two in Beach Villa with Ultra All Inclusive in one of the popular 5-star resorts, Lily Beach Resort & Spa, in August 2020 costs 5,670 USD, whereas in the still high season in April - 6,540 USD.
  • Special offers. They mean early booking or services for honeymooners, free accommodation for children or transfer. Each hotel defines these options out of preference.
  • Entertainment and Spa. Fashionable resorts often offer free water activities, for example, kayaking or snorkelling equipment. Such an all-inclusive option, as well as luxurious Spas, which are so famous in the Maldives, makes the price of vacation higher.
  • House reef. Not every island in the Maldives can boast of a rich underwater world and its own coral reef. Therefore, a house reef with colourful inhabitants increases the cost of accommodation. After all, tourists go to exotic islands because of memorable diving and snorkelling. One of the most beautiful reefs is at Kihaa Maldives, where you get a unique opportunity to swim in the famous UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the centre of Hanifaru Bay, and see sharks, stingrays and turtles.
  • Kids club. Popular resorts always take care of children’s leisure by offering art classes, cooking courses, underwater exploration and much more. Usually, children’s and teenage clubs are free, but, of course, they affect the overall price policy of the hotel.

Kitchen for Everyone: Eat Like Always or Try Exotic Food

Depending on the size and class of the hotel, each island resort has from two to several dozen restaurants, bars and cafes. 5-star resorts usually also offer a huge selection of European wines and tasting cellars, pastry shops with signature desserts and vibrant shops with local products.

Variety of wines and cheeses in the Maldives
Variety of wines and cheeses in the Maldives | Lily Beach Resort & Spa

In fact, you have two options - eat on an all-inclusive basis, paying the price when booking apartments, or have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the island’s establishments. Remember, the latter is always more expensive.

Often, restaurants serve traditional cuisine from around the world. The most widespread of them are Mediterranean, Italian, traditional Thai and Japanese cuisines. An average price for a dinner for two without alcohol will range from 100 to 300 USD. Alcohol is a separate pleasure here. A bottle of French or Italian wine will cost 40-70 USD, a glass of beer - about 7 USD, a bottle of gin - 90-110 USD. You must remember that the Maldives is a Muslim state, so local people do not drink alcohol, and it is imported here only for tourists.

Cuisine in the Maldives
Cuisine in the Maldives | Baglioni Resort Maldives

Abundance of Entertainment

UNESCO marine reserves, unique tropical gardens, vibrant local life and ocean cruises - the Maldives will surprise even the most satiated travellers! Each resort offers plenty of entertainment on land and water. Choose from:

  • Diving and snorkelling. If you want to enjoy the ocean in full, you need to dive into it! Therefore, scuba diving or snorkelling is the first point in the must-do list when in the Maldives. Most of the islands include PADI certified instructors and offer a full range of services. Prices depend on the duration, remoteness of the place of diving, type (individual or group heats) and hotel category. The popular 5-star Furaveri Island Resort & Spa offers dives in the house reef for beginners from 45 USD and remote training courses and heats for experienced swimmers from 117 USD. The resort also allows to arrange subscription or pay for several dives at once - prices range from 190 to 599 USD, including equipment.
  • That’s another unique activity worth trying on the ocean! It is the Maldives that boasts some of the best surfing spots in the world. Some islands feature surf schools, where beginners will be taught to stand on the board, and experienced ones will be able to ride a wave of their dream. One of the best surf resorts is considered Six Senses Laamu.
  • Most hotels offer a dozen of them. For example, a one-minute seaplane flight for a photo will cost 160 USD, a group sunset dolphin safari on a yacht - about 90 USD, a 45-minute sailing in a traditional dhoni boat - 150-180 USD for two. There are also exclusive activities. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru offers the world’s first three-person submarine, Falcon. When immersing, the dome of your personal cabin disappears into the water, dipping you into one of the richest ecosystems on Earth: the only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives!
  • Sports fields and gyms. Beach volleyball and football, table tennis, petanque, jogging and cycling routes - hotels in the Maldives always have good conditions for a healthy and active lifestyle. Luxury resorts often feature beautiful green tennis courts with night lighting.

Kayaking in the Maldives
Kayaking in the Maldives | Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Yacht or Seaplane to Get to the Resort

All international flights to the Republic of Maldives are hosted by Velana Airport (its code is MLE, and its name is given in honour of the house of former President, Ibrahim Nasir) located on a separate island of Hulhule, near the capital of Male. There are several types of transfers from here. Depending on the remoteness of your hotel, you can get there by:

  • Speed boat or yacht (ground transfer)
  • Seaplane from the airport (a small plane that lands on the water)
  • Domestic flight + boat (flight from Male to the nearest big city and a speedboat travel from there to the hotel)

For example, the 5-star Velassaru offers a group 20-minute boat shuttle service for 131 USD (+ taxes) round trip per person. And the 4-star Innahura located much further away provides a 30-minute seaplane flight from Male for 360 USD round trip per person.

Seaplane | Innahura Maldives Resort

You should note that many online services often do not include transfer and taxes in the price, so after arrival, you may expect an unpleasant surprise in the form of several hundred or thousands of dollars for the trip to your hotel.

Such websites as, for example, wiotto.com, have all these expenses already included in the price of the hotel. Therefore, having booked a villa in the Maldives, you do not need to pay extra upon arrival. You will be met at the airport and delivered right to the island.


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