A brief guide to Maldives is absolutely vital for tourists, specially for the ones who are new to the beautiful destination. Here, we have listed some of the important things to consider when visiting the Maldives
GETTING TO MALDIVES
International flights arrive at Male’ International Airport, which is the main gateway into the country. Many tourists arrive on chartered flights, but there are scheduled services with carries such as, Emirates (via Dubai), Qatar (via Doha), Air Sri Lanka (via Columbo) and Singapore Airlines (via Singapore). Transfers from the airport to your preferred resort island will be either by speedboat, seaplane or domestic flight, depending on the distance from the main airport. If your resort requires a seaplane transfer, there are few things to take into consideration: the seaplanes only operate in daylight hours, so if you arrive after sunset you'll have to stay in Male or Hulhumale’, where you will be able to find transit hotels in abundance to stay overnight before being able to transfer to your resort. You are lucky If your flight is early morning so that you will be able to reach the resort island before afternoon. The seaplane journey in itself is a quite an experience, as you get majestic views of the atolls. It is always advisable to try to get a window seat in order to experience scenic aerial views. The seaplane will usually land next to a floating platform, from which you will be picked up by resort’s boat to be escorted to the resort, where you will be welcomed warmly in Maldivian style.
SELECTING YOUR RESORT
Price is obviously the prime factor affecting your decision in choosing a resort. In Maldives, there are resorts ranging from premium luxury to budget, giving tourists options in abundance. But there some other factors which may have an impact on your selection of resort. Below are some:
Room Types: Most resorts boast an array of room types including beach and overwater villas, some with private pools at varying prices. Upgrading from the basic room booked to a more spacious room, or beach to overwater, can have a considerable change on the cost of your holiday. Ask your travel for the pictures and description of each room so that it will be easy for you to choose the suitable room in consideration to your preference. The main difference in rooms tends to be location - set on the land or beach, or over the water. Many resorts offer water villas on stilts over the sea, but not all of these have steps down into the water or private pools, meaning you have to walk out of the villa and to the beach if you fancy a swim in the sea.
Number of Rooms. In Maldives, the islands vary in terms of size, but they also vary in number of rooms, and a smaller island doesn’t always mean less rooms. Normally, the more expensive an island the fewer rooms for the size. It is absolutely vital to check the overview of the island and have a comparison prior to your holiday to Maldives. If a resort has all beachfront villas, it is worth noting that you will have your own private beach areas to relax all the time.
Resort Facilities. Secluded away from cities, Maldives resort islands gives utmost privacy. All the resorts in Maldives have necessary and thrilling in-house facilities so that guests do not have to go elsewhere for facilities. Most of the resorts have at least 2 or 3 restaurants, so if you are choosy with your food, ensure you select one that offers a buffet rather than a set menu. Not all resorts have an infinity pool, though some would argue that Malidves being surrounded by Indian Ocean, there is no need of pool. Most of the resorts have sports facilities such as tennis courts or a gym, some offer watersports such as windsurfing and kayaking. Check with your travel agent the descriptions and if you have pay for them. Most resorts have spa and diver centers, mostly run by outsourced parties. Night life perhaps be limited, but some resorts are much livelier and will offer nightly discos or live music.
Distance from Male. Resorts which are nearby Male’ International Airport will have a speedboat transfer, which will be shorter and on the other hand a bit noisier since about 60% of the commercial activities happens nearby Male’. If you are going to a resort further away, you will be provided with Seaplane or Domestic Flight transfer, which is better if you intend to experience scenic aerial views of the island.
Diving and Snorkeling. If you have a wish to snorkel amongst the magical coral reefs in Maldives, choose a resort with good house reef. Some resorts have attractive broad lagoons that are ideal for swimming and windsurfing, but compel to have a boat ride to go out to the coral reef zone. If you an avid diver, it is advisable to choose a resort in consideration to proximity of decent dive sites and the facilities offered by the dive center. It is imperative to know the famous dive sites, especially in Ari Atoll or Raa Atoll, homes to some of the best resorts in Maldives.