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Maldives! From India! Does anyone have any advice for us?

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We are a family of 5 (2 adults, 2 seniors, one infant) who will be in Bangalore for two weeks in January 2012 and were considering a short (maybe 4 day) trip to the Maldives. Air India flies directly from B'lore to Male for about $330 US per peson. We are looking at the third week in january (so after the Christmas/New years' holidays) but package deals are few and far between on the usual suspects (expedia, travelocity, etc(, it seems, and many require 6 night stays. I am having a hard time finding availability and rates. On travelocity I found a package using the "Holiday Inn Kandooma" for $900 pp but that is without board or transfers.

I have reached out to a few travel agents and am getting quotes for $1100-1500 per person for a four-night stay. We are not DYING to go but we would love to go, for the right price. I am thinking $900 pp for a four night stay (including transfers and board). Not sure this is realistic unless I get a last minute package.

I have read the Lonely Planet have done some searching and now have some specific questions...

1. Has anyone on this board gone to the Maldives (my searches indicate not too many).

2. Can anyone recommend a reputable package tour company (I have reached out to travelchachacha based in Delhi - who provided me the the above quote)?

3. Are last minute packages a possibility?

4. If you went to the Maldives, where did you stay?

5. Should I look to lakshadweep or the Andaman and Nicobar Islands instead? Any other alternatives?

Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions,

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