On a trip to paradise, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is where to stay in the Maldives! With hundreds of islands each with their own resort, no two places are quite the same. Drawing from my six trips there, I’ve broken down important factors you should consider to help you make an informed decision on choosing your hotel.
Hotels I’ve stayed at:
Firstly, this is a pretty obvious point of consideration, but probably one of your main deciding factors! The Maldives is relatively pricey compared to other countries as everything must be imported. However, it does offer everything from luxurious villas to more budget-friendly resorts. Whether you’re traveling on a honeymoon, family trip, or backpacking adventure, there’s something for everyone.
Also consider the importance of physical factors. The Maldives is split up into atolls, and most likely, you’ll arrive at Male International Airport then take a boat or seaplane to your hotel, depending on distance.
Another thing to think about is how location will impact your activities! For example, if you want to swim with whale sharks and mantas, choosing a resort in the Baa Atoll is a good bet. Hundreds of these gentle giants congregate around the area during May-November due to the plankton bloom. Alternatively, if you want to focus on island hopping, you may want to choose a main base that is in close proximity to other islands.
Each resort offers something unique that may also affect where you choose to stay in the Maldives. Here’s a list of distinctive features to help get you started!
- Private glass plunge pools – Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
- Massages with sea views – Anantara Veli
- Glass bottom bathtubs – Anantara Kihavah
- Overwater hammock – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Rooms with glass floors – W Retreat & Spa
- Hammock in the ocean – Anantara Dhigu
- Underwater suite – only for special occasions at Conrad Rangali. However, you can dine at their famous underwater restaurant, Ithaa
I’m an adrenaline junkie, and select resorts based on the activities they have!
Commonly offered activities:
- Scuba diving
- Non-motorized watersports (kayaking, etc.)
- Dolphin watching cruises
Rarer hotel activities:
- Motorized watersports (seabob, jetskiing, parasailing, wakeboarding, waterskiing)
- Kitesurfing, windsurfing
- Island hopping
- Picnicking on a private sandbank – one of the best experiences I would recommend!
- Seaplane tours
- Swimming with whale sharks
Noise / other guests
Though overall pretty luxurious, the Maldives still has a variety of resorts that cater to different audiences – from younger partying crowds to quiet honeymooners. Questions you should ask are:
- What’s the age range of hotel guests?
- What sort of clientele stay here? Where do they come from?
- How many rooms are there, and how big is the resort?
- Are motorized activities present?
There’s nothing worse than having your romantic getaway disrupted by loud kids, or on the flipside, to be stuck on a remote, quiet island if you’re looking to party and socialize!
Finally, consider traveling there for work! If you have a degree in marine biology, are a scuba instructor, or work in the tourism industry, many resorts have wonderful employment opportunities. On my trips there I met students who were traveling to study marine life. Definitely one of the cooler study abroad programs out there!
Have other opinions on where to stay in the Maldives? Let me know below!