Wanderlust

Maldives? Yes, please!

The Maldives is a small island nation in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. Or south-west of Sri Lanka if that’s easier for you to picture. When I think of the Maldives, I picture calm, clear blue waters, white soft sand, tranquility… sort of like that time we went to Bora Bora.


Some facts & info about the Maldives

  • Religion: Islam, and therefore celebrate Islamic holidays such as Ramadan
  • Local laws & customs*:
    – local laws reflect that it is an Islamic country. Violations of local laws may lead to a prison sentence.
    – public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited.
    – people must respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times.
    – there is absolutely no possession and/or consumption of drugs.
    – nudism and topless sunbathing are not allowed anywhere, including on resort islands.
    – same-sex relations are illegal.
    – import of certain items such as pornography, materials deemed contrary to Islam including ‘idols for worship’ and bibles, pork and pork products, and alcohol, are strictly prohibited.
    – alcohol is technically illegal but the exception to this rule has been made for the resort islands and hotels.
    – business days are Sunday to Thursday.
  • Temperature: the Maldives stay at a warm 25-30C year-round, and only drop a few degrees at night. The water temperature barely falls below 25C.
  • Sunshine: there’s an average of 8 hours of sunshine every day
  • Peak season: December to April when the climate is drier, less windy, and the weather is hotter.
  • Language: Dhivehi, but English is widely spoken
  • Voltage & electricity: Voltage is 220v AC

For more info, here is a guide I found online: Lonely Planet Guide to Maldives.

*A lot of these are similar to the UAE and therefore don’t phase us.


Deciding where to stay in the Maldives

There are about 1,200 small coral islands in the Maldives but you can only stay on a fraction of them. There were a few things I discovered while doing my research in trying to decide where to stay:

Firstly, Velana International Airport (VIA) is the main international airport in the Maldives, which is nearby the capital island, Malé.

Secondly, almost every Maldivian resort is on its own island. This means that once we land in VIA, we would need to take a transfer to our chosen resort by either seaplane or speedboat, or a domestic flight first from VIA, and then a speedboat.

Thirdly, the more remote the selected resort is, I would need to make sure it has all the facilities I want because the Maldives is not really where you can leave one island to go to another for the day, or island hop. So, I’d be limited to what the resort offers.

So with all this being said, my ideal island/resort criteria ended up being:

a) largely caters to couples, like honeymooners,
b) not be too far from the airport island, and
c) have over-the-water room villa / bungalow, so I could access the water easily.


Island after island, resort after resort

Below is my current shortlist of resorts, ranked in order of preference, that meet my above criteria. But with so much choice, it will ultimately come down to availability and price at the time of travel. I added them all to my Tripadvisor shortlist.

#1. COMO Cocoa Island (not adults only, but has no kids club)

How to get there from airport:45-minute speedboat
Type of room:Dhoni Water Villas
Room rate/package:Cocoa Island Adventure package:
– breakfast, lunch or dinner
– one activity like cooking class, candle light dinner, snorkeling expedition, UV night snorkeli
– yoga class, snorkeling equipment, non-motorised water sports equipment
Room rate for 3 nights, 17-20 Feb:$4,605.70 USD (inclusive of $350 round-trip, per adult transfer)
URLS:www.comohotels.com/en/cocoaisland/about
Tripadvisor
Why:This made it to my top spot because I like the design of the water villas (shaped like traditional Maldivian ‘dhoni’ fishing boats), it is accessible by speedboat, and the all-inclusive package has a lot of inclusions.

#2. Komandoo Maldives Island Resort (18 and over only)

How to get there from airport:40-minute seaplane
Type of room:Jacuzzi Water Villa
Room rate/package:All Inclusive package:
breakfast, lunch and dinner and selected beverages
Room rate for 3 nights, 17-20 Feb:$4,183.20 USD (inclusive of $390 round-trip, per adult transfer)
URLS:www.komandoo.com
Tripadvisor
Why:I love that this hotel is adult only and the all inclusive package covers enough at the price range. It made it to #2 spot because it is accessible by seaplane instead of speedboat.

#3. Baros (no kids under 8)

How to get there from airport:25-minute speedboat
Type of room:Water Villa
Room rate/package:Blissful Baros package
– breakfast, dinner, champagne & fruit basket on arrival
– transfers
Room rate for 3 nights, 17-20 Feb:$4,950 USD (inclusive of $260 round-trip, per adult transfer)
URLS:www.baros.com
Tripadvisor
Why:This hotel does not include many extras but has the shortest transfer time from the airport.

#4. Hurawalhi Maldives (no kids under 15)

How to get there from airport:40-minute seaplane
Type of room:Ocean Villa
Room rate/package:All inclusive package:
– breakfast, lunch, dinner
– free wi-fi
– selected excursions ((like yoga, canoes, snorkeling lesson)
– 24hr snacks
– unlimited alcohol & non-alcoholic drinks
Room rate for 3 nights, 17-20 Feb:All inclusive: $5,501.60 USD (inclusive of $460 round-trip, per adult transfer)
URLS:www.hurawalhi.com
Tripadvisor
Why:This is the most expensive hotels on my list and although the all inclusive package features a lot, their ocean villas do not even have bathtubs. This is why this it is last on my list.

My Maldives Bucket List

☐ Swim, daily
☐ Walk along the beachfront, daily
☐ Try a new dish (something I haven’t tried before)

So this pretty much wraps up my plans for the Maldives. Ahhh.. one day.

The Maldives are welcoming guests back to the islands as of 1st September. With it being an approximate 5 hour direct flight from here, it may not be one we need to wait too long to be able to do… I hope!

I’m off now to continue daydreaming. But before I go, I want to thank you for reading this.


BONUS RESEARCH

Now, this would be the motherload hotel island.

This would be if we won the lottery and our ‘money issues’ were about having too much than too little.

The below is an exclusive private island experience where everything, and anything is all included.

Kudadoo Maldive (private island experience)

How to get there from airport:40-minute seaplane
Type of room:Ocean Residence
Room rate/package:Anything Anytime Anywhere Experience package:
– Unlimited spa treatments, private diving, water sports, private excursions
– Unlimited in-residence dining, private dining
– Unlimited premium champagne, wines & beverages, non-alcoholic drinks
– Private yoga & meditation, private personal trainer
Room rate for 3 nights, 17-20 Feb:$20,558 USD (inclusive of transfer)
URLS:https://www.kudadoo.com/
Tripadvisor
Why:This is the most expensive hotels on my list and although the all inclusive package features a lot, their ocean villas do not even have bathtubs. This is why this it is last on my list.

So as you can see, it’s only a little more than $20k…

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