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Where to stay in Maldives

Hotels

There are numerous resorts in the Maldives, which vary from extravagantly luxurious to fairly simple. Accommodation in the Maldives almost invariably consists of thatch-roofed coral cabanas with en suite facilities. Most of the resorts have air-conditioned rooms with mini-bar, although some of the resorts still have fan-cooled rooms. Many resort groups have recently installed desalination plants to provide clean tap water.

The resorts are fully integral communities with sport and leisure facilities including scuba-diving and snorkelling, restaurants and bars and, in some cases, a shop and/or disco. There is a shop on every resort island. Different islands tend to attract different nationalities. Resorts specifically geared towards divers are very common in the Maldives, as it's one of the country's biggest attractions. The best diving resorts are a long way from other resorts, meaning that it's rare to encounter dive groups from other islands. Dive resorts always cater to non-divers too, and each one has a good beach as well as other activities such as water sports or a spa.

Hotels in the Maldives are world class, with an unmatched range of top end luxury resorts, as well as plenty of mid-range accommodations and a smattering of cheaper (yet still not budget) diving resorts.

Malé is the only place you’ll find hotels rather than resorts. All are midrange and fairly mediocre. Business travellers used to world class hotels usually stay in one of the several resort islands near to Malé.

There are no guest houses or hotels on any of the inhabited islands, although the government have announced plans to build a network of guesthouses on inhabited islands to attract independent travellers.


Contrary to popular belief, there is a cheap end to the Maldives' accommodation market, though it's still relatively pricey compared to those in most Asian countries. Budget resorts in the Maldives tend to be favoured by divers and families, and many are much larger in size than the average, although there are plenty of laid back, quiet resorts in this category too.

Camping

Other accomodation

Maldives has some incredibly unique accommodation as more and more resorts compete against each other in an increasingly busy luxury marketplace. Try Dhoni Island, a resort that boasts just eight rooms, each of which includes a fully kitted out traditional dhoni (boat) where guests can sleep, or the Conrad Maldives, which features its own underwater restaurant where you can eat a meal surrounded by fish.

Maldivian ecotourism is also thriving, and there are several top end resorts that have a very environmentally conscious set up. Be careful when choosing though – some resorts promote themselves as eco-friendly while only paying lip service to the idea. The very best resorts support projects in the local community, recycle obsessively, conserve water, don’t have swimming pools and limit the use of air conditioning.

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