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michmich11 Apr 19th, 2010 05:34 PM

Maldives budget question

I'm starting to plan my honeymoon for August in the Maldives. Besides for airfare and the nightly hotel rate how much can I expect to spend per day on food/drink/entertainment? (I'm looking into Cocoa Island and Alila Villas, other recommendations welcome!)


Hanuman Apr 19th, 2010 05:42 PM

The food and drinks at most resorts are very expensive IMO. I remember that a bottle of Australian mediocre white wine cost over $50 and soft drinks cost around $5 a can or glass. Make sure you get breakfast included with your room rate as that help a lot. Note that you cannot bring Alcohol into the Maldives so the resorts can charge what they like. Prices for food will depend on the individual resort themselves since some only have 1 restaurants where other might have 2 or 3. Try emailing them for their menus and price list so that you can be prepare.

Money aside, it's beautiful there and even in August with the rain it's very romantic and the resorts will be empty.

michmich11 Apr 19th, 2010 06:11 PM

Good idea, thanks!

crellston Apr 19th, 2010 10:46 PM

Many tour operators here in the UK offer "All Inclusive" deals to the Maldives, which, given the exhorbitant prices charge for food and drinks, are a really good deal. I would be inclined to search out one of these deals.

Cicerone Apr 20th, 2010 07:39 PM

Yes, I was also going to suggest that you look for a full or half board option. Two to consider would be the Veligandu Island Resort and J Resort Handhufushi Both <i>include</i> full or half board. These are each about a year old, and so even though they only 3/4 stars, because they are so new and the rooms are nice and modern and all the public facilities are new too. In 5 years I may not think these places are so great, and in 10 years unless they are completely refurbed, I would not go to them (that’s the problem with the lower-end resorts, redos are few and far between).

The Veligandu Island Resort is a 15 minute sea-plane flight from Male. The J Resort Handhufushi Resort is in the southernmost atoll in the Maldives, which means you have to fly from Male to Gan, and then take a little boat for like 20 minutes. This may make the southern atolls less attractive to you. (The Gan airport is international, however I think they only take charter flights currently. Do check on this.) Gan is actually a very charming little place, it’s a string of islands put together and it actually would be worth and afternoon visit, there is a little village with lots of the coral buildings still left, some shops and a few restaurants along the beach roads. You can ride it all by bicycle. It is much more charming than Male, which is really just a very crowded place that is not worth spending any time in. The one issue with Gan in the rainy season is that it will tend to have more rain than the north.

There is also a brand-new Shangri-La hotel in Gan which you might want to look at if you want more of a luxury experience. They are offering a half board option (breakfast and dinner) plus round trip flights from Male for summer stays which seems quite attractive. Pay for 5 nights and get 2 free nights. See

Even at hotels which may not specifically list full or half board as an option, it is worth asking if you can get a package which includes some meals.

I would agree that getting at least breakfast included will help, I think you will find that most resort rates include breakfast (including the Coco and the Alia from what I see on their websites). Other than that, I would plan at least US$30 per person for lunch and probably twice that per person for dinner, not including wine or liquor. So US$100 per person per day for food, would IMO be a reasonable budget, but you probably will exceed it on some days. (Stay away from the minibar!) As noted above, you really can’t bring liquor into the Maldives (your luggage is x-rayed) so I wouldn’t even try. There is no where to buy it either.

Cicerone Apr 20th, 2010 11:24 PM

Sorry, for other costs, water sports that don’t involve a motor are usually free. Snorkel gear, kayaks, sailboats, etc. (You can also of course bring your own snorkel and diving gear, other than tanks, which you will have to pay to use.) If the resort island is large enough for bicycles, those are usually free. Rental of jet skis and motorboats for water skiing or snorkel/diving trips, and the rental of diving tanks and some gear you have to pay for. Sorry, I can’t really give an estimate, as resorts seem to be all over the place on those charges. Some packages include one or two daily motorized water sport activities. Some hotels have things like free sunset cruises, others you have to pay for. Check websites. Virtually all resorts have gyms, which are free, and spas, which are not. Some have tennis courts and if they do, will usually provide rackets as well, usually for free. Most have one or two PCs in a recreation centre which you can use for free.

When making a booking, you should list a preference for reef or lagoon side if you can. The lagoon side is where the boats and seaplanes generally dock, and there may be noise issues, although I have not really found this to be a problem. (Seaplanes don’t run at night, but boats often will.) I usually prefer the reef side, as I like to be able to go from my room right into the reef for snorkeling. This is esp. the case if you are in an over-water bungalow, you will see much more fish life from your room on the reef side. It’s also pleasant to listen to the surf hitting the reef walls. However, I also prefer the sunrise side, as seeing sunrise from your room is really lovely. (You can always find a place on the island from which to watch the sunset, many resorts have their bars oriented toward it.) Best of all, the sunrise is also moonrise side, and seeing a full moon rising up over the water in the Maldives is just magnificent, so having this from your room is quite special. (Assuming your trip coincides with a full moon.) The best combination of course would be a reef side which is also sunrise side. So look at maps of the resort and see what works.

michmich11 Apr 27th, 2010 06:37 PM

Thanks for all the info!

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