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Language: Dhivehi | Currency: Rufiyaa (ރ.) | Local time:UTC+05:00 | Avg. Flight time: 12.5 hrs
With luxury resorts far outnumbering ordinary hotels and hostels, tourism in the Maldives is really all about the five-star experience.
Remoteness is a common theme among the Maldives’ high-end resorts, with many located on otherwise uninhabited islands where there are no other facilities. So if all you want to think about is which swimsuit and sunglasses to wear that day, then a five-star resort could be just the ticket.
If you fancy a more active holiday in the Maldives, the option of independent travel is there for the taking. Though resorts were once the only option for travellers to this glorious tropical nation, a series of smaller guesthouses have sprung up on the islands over recent years.
Nevertheless, it is still very much the norm for tourists to visit the Maldives on a package deal that includes board, food and transport. So even on inhabited islands, restaurants and other tourist facilities are a little thin on the ground.
A beachfront suite is a serious saving compared with expensive over-water villas, and still comes with all the benefits of a luxury resort.
If you are looking for a deal to the Maldives, the country’s private island resorts are a good place to start. With promises of pampered days in a spa and explorations of the fish and coral-filled seas, the tranquil resort hotels of the Maldives are an ideal place for a happy hiatus from everyday life.
Paradise comes at a price, of course, and the Maldives isn’t exactly a bargain, but it is possible to find some cheap deals, especially either side of the peak season from late December to mid-April. If you don’t want to go down the package holiday route, the islands’ guesthouses, inns and lodges can prove cheap alternatives.
The Maldives are spread out over a vast area that is more than 804 kilometres (500 miles) long and 128 kilometres (80 miles) wide, but most hotels are found on islands within easy reach of the capital city Malé.
If you are bringing the kids, choose a family-friendly resort near Malé – you’ll be thankful for the short and simple transfer. If, however, snorkelling is your thing, you may want to look among the northern islands, where gorgeous reefs thrive in the nutrient-rich waters.
And if you’d rather spend your days underwater, you will probably want to stay near the deeper lagoons of the south.