Where to stay in Maldives
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 ensuite facilities. Most of the resorts have air-conditioned rooms with mini-bar. 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.
Most hotels in the capital Malé are midrange and fairly mediocre. Business travellers used to world-class hotels usually stay in one of the several resort islands near to Malé.
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.
Bed and breakfast
There are no guest houses or hotels on any of the inhabited islands, although there has been a growth in locally owned guesthouses on inhabited islands. These guesthouses have allowed local people to work for themselves and contribute more time to their community. Staying in these establishments will allow you to get a closer look at traditional Maldivian life. These are often located in close proximity.
There are no campsites in the Maldives, and wild camping is not allowed.
The Maldives have some incredibly unique accommodation as more and more resorts compete against each other in an increasingly busy luxury marketplace. Try Coco Prive Kuda Hithi Island, for a private island with access to a butler, private chef and personal spa therapist (tel: +960 3346 666;https://cococollection.com), or the Conrad Maldives (tel: +960 6680 629;www.conradmaldives.com), 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 setup. 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.