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

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Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:35 AM
  #1
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Maldives! From India! Does anyone have any advice for us?

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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Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:47 AM
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The Maldives is not really a place for seniors or an infant IMO. More of a romantic man-made coral island destination where one resort = 1 tiny island. Most resorts there are very expensive and rates are often over $1,000 per night.

You also don't need a package tour from a travel agent as I can't see what the benefit of a package tour will be. Check directly with the resort or airlines that flies there, as they often have special promotions. Transfer should be a part of any resort stay but they will charge extra in most cases.
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:49 AM
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Thanks. We just wanted to chill and enjoy the secenery and it is sooo close to Bangalore (just 1.5 hour by plane). That was our thinking. The prices are outrageous. I would love to go to Krabi Thailand again but it is just too far.
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:51 AM
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How about Sri Lanka? I hear the beaches there are nice.
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:57 AM
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My father recommended Lanka as well but can you swim there? I was talking to some British people who went there and said it was lovely but once they got there they found out that they could not swim!

The reason why I thought Maldives is it is so easy to get to from Bangalore. We are in Karnataka from jan 7 to Jan 30 with no plans except to be with my family in their house...we thought it might be nice to go to a beach.
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:58 AM
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Oh, the reason I thought I might look for a package (air, flight, transfers) is because I thought I might be able to save some $$ that way. Transfers are sooooo expensive!
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 07:24 AM
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A some times of the year in any ocean beach location the water will be too rough to swim. But it certainly isn't true that in general you can't swim at the Sri Lankan beaches.

Sri Lanka is lovely. See what you can find there.
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 07:30 AM
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I guess I never really considered Sri lanka because I remember reading about all of the violence there in the 1980s...things must have changed! Will take a look....
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 07:31 AM
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Also, I can only go somewhere that is easy to get to Bangalore. Because our trip will be short, we need a nonstop flight and transfer with minimal fuss. We will be travelling with a 10 month old!
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Sep 23rd, 2011, 08:54 AM
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bkmk
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Sep 24th, 2011, 02:42 AM
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somehow I cannot picture 80 years old people at the resorts that I've been to. Jet skiing, snorkeling, diving, sunbathing, diving into the sea from the deck of a water villa etc. At the same time, thankfully there were no infants running around the places I've visited as well. I guess it depend on the resort!
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Sep 24th, 2011, 11:15 AM
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Sri Lanka does have some beautiful beaches which are fine for swimming, the problem is thta they are so far from the airport as to make it hardly worthwhile for a 4 day trip. The beacheseast of Galle are great but iit would take 6+ hours to drive there on a good day. Negombo is closer (2 hours), but is not my idea of a great beach location.
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Sep 24th, 2011, 01:06 PM
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Thanks for your reply.

Bruce...I looked into Kandooma and people say the beaches are not pristine and white but rather rocky. Is that true?
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Sep 25th, 2011, 03:10 AM
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Username...you should make a point of going to whatever resort Hanuman will next be at, so he can see that people of all ages enjoy beautiful places and resorts. And yes, Hanuman,I've seen "80 yr old" people who swim and sunbathe, and look just fine doing it!
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Sep 25th, 2011, 03:21 AM
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Username, How about flying from BLR to Trivandrum and hitting one of the beach resorts on the South end of Kerala? There are nonstop flights on Kingfisher and Jet.
If you book this far in advance, you should be able to find some great round-trip plane fares from BLR, $100 pp or so. There are a huge range of hotels/resorts, from Leela at Kovalam Beach at the high end, and places that are far less.
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Sep 25th, 2011, 03:38 AM
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I think you are mistaking the intentions of my advice CaliNurse. Here are some of the reasons why I advise that the Maldives is not suitable for the elderly and infants based on the resorts that I've visited.

1. Long walk or a bicycle ride to the main restaurants from the villas.
2. Walkways are sand, wooden piers and no hand rails.
3. No suitable medical facilities to take care of the elderly.
4. Transfer by speedboat or seaplane which could be a big bumpy.
5. Most of the activities are not for the mobility challenged like the elderly people in my own family.

I would not recommend my own elderly relatives to go there and would advise that they go somewhere else more suitable for the sun and sea.
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Sep 25th, 2011, 12:53 PM
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Thank you for explaining, Hanuman. It is much more helpful to read your specific reasons.

Where do you see that the OP's parents are in their 80s, or even "elderly" Did i miss that?
And "elderly" does not necessarily mean "mobility-challenged."

As you said, i guess it depends on the resort. But it sounded like you were generalizing about both resorts AND the older generation, not speaking of a specific place. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

I sure hope the OP returns, because I think a gogreous rsrot in Kovalam or nearby would work for his family. The Leela is having a "special" rate during his needed dates.
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Nov 3rd, 2011, 10:40 AM
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Ha....my parents are very healthy & mobile 70 year olds and infants, BTW, don't run around. My baby probably won't be walking then! The Maldives are just to expensive for us. But thanks CaliNurse for your recommendation - I am going to look into Kovalam.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 12:21 AM
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If I can recall,some months ago Indian Airline & the Taj Group had a package,all inclusive ex-Bangalore for around USD 7509(3N/4D) in one of the resorts,either Taj Lagoon Resort or Taj Coral Reef.
You could check with them here:

The Taj Lagoon Resort, Em-Boo-Dhu-Fin-Olhu, South Male Atoll, Republic of Maldives. Phones: 00960-440037/ 441991, 444451.
Taj Coral Reef, PO Box 53, Hembadhu, North Male Atoll, Republic of Maldives. Phone: 00960-441948.
Bombay: 022-2022626, 2022524.
New Delhi: 011-3322333.
Calcutta: 033-2233939.
Madras: 044-8222827.
Bangalore: 080-2255055.
or go to their web site.

Maldives doesn't come cheap.Its simply out of the world.Do agree Kerala has some good beaches, but not a patch on what Maldive got to offer.BTW the island nation,it is said will be gone for ever in time to come(rising water levels).I would recommend you go there,worth the little extra.
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Nov 4th, 2011, 12:30 AM
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Sorry.Typo! Cost meant to read U$D 750.
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