The Maldives is expensive
The view that the Maldives is always an expensive holiday is gradually overshadowed. However, premium leisure time on the islands is still popular. If desired, tourists can relax budgetary in the Republic, but some services and opportunities will be limited for them. If you don’t want to be denied anything during a secluded, romantic or family vacation, your choice is expensive in the Maldives. Today you will learn why some prices in the Maldives bite and what it is really worth paying for while travelling to this paradise.
The table of contents
- Airline tickets to the Maldives
- Expensive transfers within the Republic
- The most expensive hotels on the islands
- Unique services and leisure excursions
- Gastronomic tourism
Flights to the Maldives last from 9 to 11 hours, and direct flights are considered rare. Taking into account even the minimum meals and luggage, there is a considerable amount of money involved. There is only one international airport in the Republic – in the capital Male (or rather, 2 km away from it), but it is possible to fly from different cities of Russia. It is even cheaper to fly from the regions (whether it is the Volga region, the Urals or the Kuban). The option to go to the Maldives on tour is suitable for those who do not care about the lack of independence and freedom of movement between the islands. What are the ways to get to the Maldives if you are not constrained by the means?
Ticket sales to the Maldives are rare, mostly in the low season (summer-autumn). Tourist influx is observed from the beginning of winter to the middle of spring, so it is better to buy tickets in 3-6 months, if you want to fit in the amount of about 30 -35 thousand rubles for the road back and forth from one person. For 4-6 weeks before departure the cost of tickets jumps up to 40-50 thousand. «Aeroflot», «S7» as well as Turkish, Finnish and French airlines operate flights to the Maldives.
A separate chic is to fly to the Maldives business class. Additional comfort is not really unnecessary, as you will want to sleep on board, and if you have children, you will have to take them somehow and provide proper flight conditions. Prices for such tickets start at 70 thousand rubles (if you buy them long before the trip) and reach up to 450 thousand for one person. For such money you will be put in a soft folding armchair, fed 2-3 times, allowing you to choose hot dishes and snacks from the menu, provide access to a mini-bar with strong alcohol and vintage wines. Entertainment program and separate waiting rooms are also necessary. Interestingly, some airlines have a promo fare for business class flights, that is, it is still possible to save money, but the tickets will be non-refundable and, perhaps, will pick up an inconvenient flight.
You can fly to the Maldives with increased comfort and by a separate plane (with 10-50 seats) – private airlines offer this service from Moscow. Naturally, the bill will cost millions of rubles, but you will be helped with passport control and reserve a separate terminal at the airport.
The Maldives is an archipelago, and to get from the artificial atoll where the airport is located to the capital city and other islands, you need to use a public ferry, private speedboat or boat (especially if the tourists join the group). The cheapest transfer options are ferries, for no more than 5 dollars. If a speedboat is provided by the hotel, the price for the transfer will reach 100-200 dollars per family in one direction. However, such options are suitable if you get directly to the neighboring island. But what if you need to go to a remote location in the Maldives?
For such cases there is a comfortable variant with increased cost – a seaplane of private airlines. Hydraulic planes fly from morning till early evening, however, it is necessary to book seats in them in advance, preferably through the hotel. Schedule, respectively, is formed on the basis of demand for 1-2 days before departure. Due to bad weather, the flight may have to be rescheduled or it may be necessary to wait 30-120 minutes due to intermediate stops. On average, the distance from the airport to the desired island is 100-150 kilometers, and the flight lasts no more than an hour. You will have to pay from 400 to 600 dollars (luggage and hand luggage transportation is included, a separate waiting area at the airport, and sometimes a transfer to the hotel). To order a seaplane entirely costs 2.5 thousand dollars plus fuel costs.
By the way, there are regular flights from the state company as well. Regular domestic flights cost 250-400 dollars, and for this money you will overcome 400 kilometers and still be able to ride a boat, if it is required for delivery to the island.
By the way, private and public seaplanes always offer discounts for children (from 10% to 40%).Many years ago there was a company in the Maldives that delivered tourists by helicopter. And also carried out on them tourist flights for 30 minutes. But this company was closed down because of the crashed helicopter. Now only seaplanes are used as air transport between the islands of the atoll.
Read more about the flight to the Maldives in our other article.
There are almost no 3-star hotels on the islands. However, even among the 4-star and 5-star hotel complexes there are leaders in prices and services. Usually they offer separate bungalows and houses (water) on the islands-resorts. Let’s talk about the most expensive hotels in the Maldives and their offers:
- One of the most luxurious hotel chains is Banyan Tree. Two hotels – one larger, the other more compact and more expensive do not have many villas, but each has a beach and pool. Rooms can reach the size of 3 thousand square meters. m., and in a separate bathroom you can take all the spa procedures. The cost of accommodation is 3000 dollars per night.
- A little over $2,000 will cost you a vacation at Anantara Kihavah Resort. The hotel is located on a picturesque island in a quiet lagoon. Each bungalow is made in ethnic style, and water villas are created with glass flooring. Infrastructure on the island resort Kihavah includes dry cleaning, beauty salon, massage rooms and spa, as well as several bars.
- Six Senses owns two large hotels – Gili and Soneva Fushi. These resorts are often visited by Hollywood stars, as the hotels are 100% ecological and located in proximity to interesting reefs, accessible for exploration. Soneva Gili has only 45 villas on the water, united by a common ferry, and a huge secluded residence with access only by boat. Tourists will be pleased to see individual servants, spa center, coral pool with slides, fitness club. The price of one night per person is 2000 dollars.
- At the same price you are offered to relax in Four Seasons hotels. This chain has three hotels, but the most luxurious one is Landaa Giraavaru. The secluded nature and the highest level of service attracts billionaires from all over the world. The architecture and interiors of the hotels combine rustic style with minimalism. Villas have separate exits to the beaches, private area with a broken garden, paths for walks. Service is also possible within the villa, so you can avoid going to the restaurant yourself. One of the hotels also has a night spa. The network also offers the best opportunities for ocean safari and surfing lessons.
- Huvafen Fushi Hotel costs rich tourists $1,800 per night. There are spacious bungalows with private bathrooms and courtyards. Local restaurants offer a variety of food, and private beaches are regularly cleaned. The hotel is known for its unique spa: each massage room is made of glass and is located directly under water.
- One & Only has two islands at once, Reethi Rah and Kahuhura. The cost of one night is 1500 dollars. The advantages are the ideal location and a beautiful reef within walking distance. Each house has its own butler. The beaches have clean beds, beautiful umbrellas and sheds. The hotels have high-class restaurants with strict dress code. One & Only hotels are ideal for honeymoon and wedding travel. In addition to spa, bars and fitness facilities, there is a tennis court.
- From $1,400, it costs a night at the Taj Exotica Resort. A secluded, quiet island, a hotel made of natural materials, swimming pools with jumps and slides – all work for paradise. The thing of the hotel is an exotic spa center, working on the basis of ancient Indian traditions. Here you can find yoga, meditation and mud baths. There is even a special spa-kitchen.
- For $1200 you can get a night at the luxury hotel W Hotel Maldives, which belongs to the chain of Starwood hotels. Tourists love the discreet design, the high level of service and a few dozen villas with private beaches and huge swimming pools. The hotel is located on the island of Fesdu.
- Conrad Resort is a luxury destination for Hilton Hotels. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is known for its luxurious underwater restaurant and relatively affordable room rates ranging from $1,100 per night. The villas are located on two islands connected by a beautiful 500 m long bridge. Another feature of the hotel is the organization of unusual wedding ceremonies, for example, for divers under water.
- About $1,000 will cost a night at the Baros Resort Boutique Hotel. The renovated old hotel is very popular with British tourists due to its brevity and quality water villas. The hotel on Baroque Island has a separate home reef as well as a huge wine cellar. Clean turquoise lagoons, private sunbathing verandas and beautiful wedding ceremonies – Baros Resort can surprise and satisfy holidaymakers.
If you have money, you can use very exotic services in the Maldives:
- A Super Falcon 3S submarine trip is one of the most expensive excursions in the Maldives. It is a high-speed electric boat sailing through the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve. The project was developed by the already mentioned Four Seasons hotel chain together with water sports company. The boat can accommodate three people, including the captain. The trip lasts about 60 minutes and involves diving 35 meters. The pilot comments on all the views from the individual viewing domes. Cost of excursion is 1500 dollars for two plus the tax 12 %. By the way, if you want to relax a little cheaper, take advantage of the Whale Submarine offer. A half-hour walk along the coast of Male on a submarine will cost an average of $80. For this money you will see coral reefs, shark feeding area, shipwreck site and a welcome drink.
- A weekly cruise with meals, but without drinks on the yacht costs $1500 (plus 165 euros – cash fee per person). This cruise refers to entertainment tours.
- A surfing tour (with accommodation and breakfast) will cost $1,200.
- Weekly trip for divers (1-2 dives a day) comes out a little more expensive, about $ 1400.
- The next most expensive entertainment in the Maldives is ordinary boat fishing. Again, much depends on the rented boat (from the coast fishing on the islands is prohibited at all), the duration of the event, such as fishing and time of day. Evening and morning exits to the ocean cost 200-500 dollars if you sail alone, sometimes you have to pay extra for cooking caught fish. If you go fishing in a group, the price will be much lower.
- A VIP fishing trip where you will be fishing for 5-6 hours for large non-targeted fish, such as tiger acurus or swordfish, will cost $700.
- The average price for a photo session in the Maldives is $200 per hour. But here you need to consider a lot of factors. A photographer will have to pay for travel to the right island. If you need to shoot within a few days (morning, evening shooting), you will have to pay for his stay on the island.
- For entertainment, you can order a 30-minute excursion flight on a hydroplane for 150-300 dollars.
- Of the unusual and expensive entertainment, it is worth noting the cultivation of coral. Some resort hotels on the islands allow you to buy back part of their reef, plant coral under the guidance of marine biologists and follow him online. The price of such services from 200 to 400 dollars.
- Preparing and holding a romantic dinner on a desert island will cost $450.
- A sunset cruise in a traditional Maldivian boat (dhoni) will cost $180 per couple.
- If you want a safari with dolphins, it will cost $100 per person.
Remember that all excursions organized by a resort hotel will cost more (sometimes ten times more) than similar private offers on individual islands.
The most expensive restaurant in the Maldives is Ithaaa Undersea Restaurant. Cozy tables with total capacity for 15 guests and panoramic glass dome are complemented by author’s cuisine. The restaurant belongs to the Hilton Tourist Complex, which is submerged for five meters. Entrance to the restaurant costs 120 dollars, and a standard dinner of three or six dishes is estimated at 350 dollars (plus drinks and tips). The reservation is scheduled for a month in advance, although the menu obviously includes fish dishes and shellfish. There are also delicacies: black beef loin, caviar with sour cream, risotto with yellowtail. The menu is based on European cuisine. It has soft lighting and pleasant music. You should take into account that small children are not allowed in the restaurant. Restaurant Ithaaa is an ideal variant for a romantic meeting.
Generally speaking, food in the Maldives is more expensive at resorts – $100 per modest lunch or dinner for the family.
To order a romantic breakfast in a hotel room costs $300. Add to this the cost of service charge, tips and drinks. Even water in some hotels is limited, and the cost of one bottle of 0.5 liters is 2 dollars and above. In supermarkets, fruits are the most expensive, because they are imported.
Since alcohol is banned almost everywhere in the Maldives, spending on it is a separate big item in the budget of every tourist who loves pleasure and relaxation. The entrance to the islands where alcohol is allowed is about $100 (drinks included). You can also visit the boat bar in neutral waters. A cocktail in such places will cost 6-10 dollars, a bottle of wine – 65 dollars, a glass of wine – 10 dollars. For comparison, a small bottle of beer at the hotel costs $15.
The high cost of many aspects of tourism in the Maldives is primarily due to the relatively recent development of the industry. Only 10 years ago, private guest houses were allowed to be built on the islands so that travellers could live on the same atolls as locals. Resort islands, which belong to specific hotels, always put higher prices for accommodation, transfer, food and entertainment: they have a privileged status, organized leisure time, increased comfort. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the huge property prices in the Republic and the need to pay for the labor force. There are limited resources in the Maldives and due to the active import of a number of products there are expensive shops and restaurants.