The Maldives is what vacation dreams are made of. White wispy sand spit islands, crazy sea life, and of course, those overwater bungalows the country is known for. To ensure your Maldives vacation is as good as it can be here are my top 5 things to consider when booking Maldives resorts.
1) Overwater is not Overrated
Although exotic package holidays to Thailand offer incredible relaxation and great value, you won’t find overwater bungalows as you will in the Maldives.
My biggest take away from my Mercure Maldives resort experience is that the overwater bungalows are well worth the price. Prior to booking, I went back-and-forth on if the extra price was warranted or not. A lot of reviews I read stated overwater bungalows are overrated. This made me seriously question spending more money on one of them or splitting my time between a beach bungalow and an overwater bungalow. ?
In the end, I booked an overwater villa and I’m happy to report that, despite clearing out my bank account, it was well worth it! Besides the coolness factor, the unobstructed ocean views were incredible. On top of that, I was blown away by the sea life at my front door. Every day to and from my room it felt like I was walking through a freaking aquarium. I saw everything from puffer fish to cuddle fish to blacktip sharks. On top of that, snorkelling amongst hundreds of colourful fish was a simple step off my deck.
Also, if I booked a beach villa I would have been more susceptible to mosquitoes and bugs as the bungalows, although more private, are set back in the jungle. The view would have been of the overwater bungalows so that would not have sat well either.
- Heading to the Maldives? Check out these low hotel prices!
2) Splurge on the Pool Villa
Another splurge I am happy to have done is on an overwater villa with a private pool. I was shocked at how much time we actually spent in it. I thought that if we didn’t have one we would just hang out at the bar pool. We spent maybe 30-minutes at the bar pool one day before retreating back to our much better private pool, drinks in hand of course.
On top of that, if we didn’t have an overwater villa with the pool we would have been fuming while watching those with it. The villas without were mixed in with the ones that had pools and I caught sad eyes with our pool-less neighbours more than once.
3) Shop Around
My next tip when booking Maldives resorts is to shop around. It was crazy to me how much I saw prices fluctuate in the lead up to my trip. Although every booking site was stating crazy discounts, I found them all comparable. Some, however, included meals at the same price. Also, I signed up for property reward programs to unlock lower prices. In the end, I booked the Mercure Kooddoo Resort direct as it was the cheapest option I found for an overwater pool villa.
4) Go All-Inclusive…or Not
Another factor in my Maldives resort selection was an all-inclusive option. Prior to my visit, I was worried that once you were at the resort you would be handcuffed to resort prices. I wanted an all-inclusive option to get around overpaying. I got around this in the past with all-inclusive holidays to Thailand.
In the end, I was able to get two of my four days at the all-inclusive rate which included one à la carte restaurant meal plus drinks for a couple of days. The drinks, although plentiful, were oddly restricted for an all-inclusive resort. Be sure to check on what is and is not included and see if you have an option to pick your all-inclusive days as I did.
5) Don’t Stress About the Weather
Next up on this list of things to consider when booking Maldives resorts is to not pay too much attention to the weather. I travelled to the Maldives in November which is the end of Monsoon Season. After being drenched in Ella, Sri Lanka, I checked the forecast for our Maldives island and found thundershowers forecasted for the whole stay.
Then I remembered a take away from my first Safari experience in Africa – there will be weather. This mentality was all about forgetting the forecast and making the most of what you have in front of you that day. Makes sense. At that point, there was no need to stress. There was nothing I could do about it. I was going to the Maldives regardless, thundershowers or not.
In the end, I’m happy to say that I enjoyed beautiful weather for 3.5 out of the four days I was in the Maldives. Large dark clouds loomed but, for the most part, they passed in the distance.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget the Sunscreen!
Last up on this list of things to consider when booking Maldives resorts is to make sure you pack the essentials. I am talking sunscreen, aloe, and a surf shirt for snorkelling. I brought sunscreen but underestimated just how much was needed and had to pay resort prices for more.
Also beer cosies. The only thing worse than Lion Lager is warm Lion Lager. You’ve been warned.