Maldives: Favorite Places
The Maldives, a suite of over 1,000 islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, have been on honeymoon and tropical-vacation wishlists for as long as anyone can remember. It’s no wonder, as the hotels scattered on this East Asian archipelago offer peerless luxury and natural beauty in its truest sense. The colorful and accessible underwater world, exciting blend of cultures, and long list of the world’s best beaches secure the Maldives as a bucket-list destination for all.
Hotels in the Maldives: Where to stay and what to do?
Choosing your hotel in the Maldives
Where you end up in the Maldives is mostly based on the hotel you’re looking for—as almost all resorts are housed on their own private islands. The hotels are diverse, but equally stunning and luxurious. Most offer all-inclusive or mostly-inclusive packages, making it so you never have to leave your slice of paradise, which most often comes with a piece of private beach, onsite snorkeling, and a suite of first-rate restaurants and bars to choose from. Romantic, honeymoon, and adults only hotels provide a sanctuary from the world as you know it, and often have a minimum age requirement, ensuring you won’t be disturbed by rowdy teens or packed pools. If you have some rowdy ones of your own, family hotels offer free Kids’ Clubs, children's entertainment programs, and even babysitting services to ensure you won’t have any worries on your family-oriented vacation. The hotels are mostly composed of private bungalows that stretch out on manmade fingers into the crystal-clear water from small islands, equipped with pools and wellness areas galore. If you’re looking for the utmost quiet, a true escape from everything, choose a resort that’s furthest from Malé, so as to avoid potential disturbances from planes or boats. All the hotels, though, are about curating a totally peaceful atmosphere, within which guests have the opportunity to relax and reset.
The beaches in the Maldives are consistently out-of-this-world beautiful and the biggest pull for visitors from all over the world. Seldom will you find such pristine white sand sloping into totally clear waters. For an unforgettable honeymoon, hightail it to any one of the hundreds of palm-fringed beaches and allow yourself some time for love in the bright sun and warm water. If somehow you get tired of the immaculate beauty of these golden beaches, the bioluminescent beaches promise something special. As total darkness settles, the tide brings in with it a bright-blue glow, specked over the tips of waves. Luckily, the glowing plankton visits almost all of the beachy shores of the Maldives, so you’re likely to stumble upon this natural phenomena at some point during your stay. If this is a priority, look for a place on Baa Atoll.
Scuba-diving, snorkeling, and seaplanes
The Maldives is all about the water and how you move through it: whether up-close-and-personal, kitted out in SCUBA or snorkeling gear, on a gentle swim off a white beach, or in a seaplane, taking off directly from the water. Because of the country’s rich and diverse underwater make-ups, lovers of marine exploration travel from all over the world for a taste of the Maldives’ rainbow reefs, hammerhead sharks, and whale sharks. Some hotels offer all-inclusive diving programs, that include up to 3 dives a day with trained personnel, allowing you to get the most out of your stay if it’s diving that you’re after. Seaplanes are a very special part of any trip to the Maldives. As there is really only one major airport to fly into, and not so much land otherwise, many resorts offer seaplane transfers from Malè to your island. These flights are usually quite short but incredibly beautiful, and taking off and landing on the ocean is an experience unique to the Maldives and not to be missed.
Shopping & sightseeing in the capital
Malè, the little capital of the Maldives, has an airport, several cultural attractions, fish and fruit markets, and great shopping around the Chandani Magu street and the Singapore Bazaar, which offers traditional craftwork for purchase. There are some modern hotels here, as well as restaurants and clubs to go out in, which are largely western-influenced. Wander through the large mosques with golden-domed roofs, the green Sultan Park, and the imposing Presidential Palace. The entire land is fully-developed and filled with locals, making it the perfect place to stay for those looking to get to know the culture and people.
Good to know
Getting there: Nowhere in the Maldives is a particularly short ride from anywhere, but it’s promised to be worth it. Almost all flights come to Velana International Airport on the island of Hulhule, which is next door to the capital, Malè. Fly British Airways, Sri Lanka Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airlines, or TUI. From here, more high-end resorts will arrange for a transfer for you from the airport, via seaplane or speedboat. Other resorts offer these transfers as well, but they are not included in the cost of the room. There’s also two domestic airlines that fly within the Maldives, Maldivian and FlyMe, so getting to your resort without a scheduled transfer and for cheaper than the seaplanes is possible.