• Liesl

A Guide to the Maldives


Just picture the clearest turquoise water, the whitest sandy beaches, the most spectacularly colorful sunsets, beautiful over-water villas, deliciously fresh seafood, and the most relaxing experience of your life; that is what a holiday in the Maldives looks like. We recently spent a luxurious week in this picturesque part of the world, and I thought I'd share with you some of the things I learned while researching and planning for our trip; including how to choose a resort out of the hundreds of amazing options, which resort we ended up choosing, and other general things to know before you go!

Overview of the Maldives

  • The Maldives is an island country (consisting of around 1200 small islands that forms 22 atolls) in the north-central Indian Ocean.

  • Male is the capital city, and also where the main airport is located.

  • Most people visit the Maldives for an island vacation at one of their many luxurious resorts and hotels. (It is not the best destination for budget-minded travelers.)

  • There are more than 100 luxury resorts in the Maldives. (And almost each of these resorts occupy an entire island.)

  • The weather is pleasant all year round, but technically the "high season" is from December to March, and the "low season" is considered from May to October when monsoon rains are common.

  • You can find much better deals during the "low season" months, and who cares if it rains a few times on your visit? Just another great reason to stay in bed all day!

Domestic Transportation

  • Most international flights arrive at Male International Airport, also known as Velana International Airport (previously it was known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport).

  • You will be taken to your resort island from Male International Airport by seaplane, domestic flight, speed boat, or a combination of these options. (The further away your island resort is from Male, the more expensive this transportation will be.)

  • For most islands, seaplanes are the fastest way to get there (and also the most expensive). A more affordable option is a combination of a domestic flight and a speed boat. If your resort is close to Male, just a speed boat transfer will be necessary.

  • It's not possible to organize your transfer from Male to the resort island by yourself, everything is organized by your chosen resort. They will organize your transportation from Male to the resort's island, and you will only receive the information of your travel time and other details after you've arrived in the Maldives (or a day in advance). I know this can be frustrating if you're a control freak like me who wants to know every detail of the travel plan way in advance, but you can trust them to take care of you, it is a well-organized procedure.

  • Transportation between different island resorts is expensive, so don't expect that it will be easy to go island-hopping during your stay. Most visitors stay at one resort for their entire stay.

Choosing a Resort

This can easily be the most difficult part of planning your trip to the Maldives. You'll have a plethora of options of absolutely stunning resorts, and the abundance of choice is completely overwhelming. So here's how I recommend you choose a resort:

  • Go to your favorite online hotel booking site. We recommend booking.com

  • Search the Maldives for your travel dates.

  • Use the filter to refine your search, for example "5-star hotel", "Free Wifi", "swimming pool" and all the things that are important to you, and that are non-negotiable.

  • Go through them all, and save the resorts that you really love.

  • At this point you can refine your options more according to your budget.

  • When you've narrowed it down to at least five resorts, you should go to those resorts' official websites, and then email each of them for quotes.

  • In the email, tell them your travel dates, what type of accommodation you're looking for, and whether you'd like an all-inclusive package (all meals and drinks), full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) or half-board (breakfast and dinner). You can also mention which of the transportation options you'd prefer as this will be included in your resort quote.

  • Wait a few days for the resorts to respond, and then compare the quotes and communicate with the resorts to assure you get the best deals.

  • We managed to refine our list drastically by communicating with the resorts directly; we immediately eliminated the resorts that took a long time to respond, weren't that professional, or that didn't make the effort to personalize their quotes.

  • Make sure you are clear with the resort about including the full price (including all taxes and fees) for your accommodation and transportation in your quote.

  • You can make your official booking straight from the resort's own website (usually this will give you the best deal), or through your favorite hotel booking site like booking.com if you want to accumulate member points.

Why we chose Dusit Thani Maldives

We narrowed it down to about five resorts that we liked, and then contacted all of them to get quotes. Dusit Thani Maldives was the one that stood out to us the most from the beginning, as they were the most responsive and communicating with them was clear and easy. Their quote was within our budget, and they were able to offer us everything that we wanted; a luxurious 5-star experience, staying in an over-water villa for three nights, and a beachfront villa for three nights. We also wanted an all-inclusive package, so that we didn't have to keep track of our spending while on vacation. They were able to give us the total cost for our entire vacation (including accommodation, the all-inclusive experience, domestic transportation) and all the taxes and fees involved. This made it clear to us how much the entire vacation would cost.

Our Experience at Dusit Thani Maldives

Arriving at Male International Airport and our transfer hotel

We arrived at Male International Airport after 8pm, which meant we had to stay in a transit hotel that evening before we could head to our resort island. We chose the Samann Grand Hotel because of their good ratings online, and also because they offer complimentary round-trip transportation between the airport and the hotel. A representative from the hotel was waiting for us when we arrived, and the transportation process went smoothly. (It took about a 10 minutes' drive from the airport to the hotel.) Once we arrived at our hotel, we checked in and they also gave us our transportation schedule for the next day, including our flight and speedboat details to our resort island.

Transfer from Male and arriving at Dusit Thani Maldives

Even though I was nervous about not being in full control of the transfer process, I quickly realized that this is a well-oiled machine and that a representative from your island resort will take care of you the whole way from Male International Airport until you set foot in the hotel. Just go with the flow, follow the representative and they take care of everything. We took a domestic flight from Male International Airport to another airport closer to our resort island, and from there a speedboat to Dusit Thani Maldives. When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by a friendly and lively group of staff members.

First impressions and meeting our butler

We loved the friendly greeting when arriving, and immediately were introduced to our butler for the week. The butler is there to take care of you, make your reservations, answer your questions, and basically just be there to cater to your needs and make sure you have the most relaxed experience. There are no cars on the island, only bicycles and golf carts, and we were whisked away to our beach villa, which was our home for the first three nights. I can't begin to explain how beautiful the island is; photos and videos can't do it justice! And every single staff member we encountered was so friendly, helpful and professional.

Our villas

We stayed in a beach deluxe villa with a private pool for our first three nights. The villa is very spacious, and we love the outside area including the pool, beach beds and the fact that we were only a few steps from the ocean. We basically had our own private beach, and went snorkeling right outside our villa every day. After three days, we moved to an over-water villa with private pool. It was even better than what we imagined it would be! We also had a private pool at our over-water villa, and a ladder from which we could access the beautiful coral reef right in front of our villa to go snorkeling. We highly recommend you to stay in an over-water villa when you're in the Maldives, it's just a magical experience!

To see more room types and the prices at Dusit Thani Maldives, you can check it out here.

Beach Deluxe Villa with Private Pool

Beach Deluxe Villa with Private Pool

Beach Deluxe Villa with Private Pool

Beach Deluxe Villa with Private Pool

Beach Deluxe Villa with Private Pool

Beach Deluxe Villa with Private Pool

Beach Deluxe Villa with Private Pool

Beach Deluxe Villa with Private Pool

Water Villa with Private Pool

Water Villa with Private Pool

Water Villa with Private Pool

Water Villa with Private Pool

Water Villa with Private Pool

The restaurants and food

Dusit Thani Maldives has three restaurants and two bars. We opted for the all-inclusive package, which meant we could eat and drink around the clock and it was all included in the price already. If you choose the "full board" option, your breakfast, lunch and dinner is included in the price, and "half board" is breakfast and dinner included. We LOOOVED all of the restaurants and bars, and got to know the staff quite well as you can imagine. They were fabulous! The Market is the buffet restaurant where they serve breakfast and dinner. The selections were always extensive and everything was delicious! They serve a good variety of food, and have special dinner events, too. Benjarong is their stylish, signature Thai restaurant, serving lunch and dinner. The sunset view from there is stunning! Next to the resort's giant pool is the Sea Grill, where you can enjoy a more casual lunch or dinner. The two bars, Sala Bar and Sand Bar are both wonderful! They serve every single alcoholic beverage you can imagine, and they're also very willing to whip up some special concoctions to suit your tastes.

Sand Bar

Sea Grill

Sea Grill

The Market

Sala Bar

In-Room Breakfast

Floating Breakfast

Other facilities, activities and events

Each guest gets a bicycle on which to get around the island. It took about 10 to 15 minutes to circle the entire island, and we loved exploring it this way. They also have a great fitness center which we went to every morning. On top of that they have a fitness trail on the island, tennis courts, and a badminton court. There's an an array of water sports, activities and tours to take part in, like snorkeling, scuba diving, sunset cruises, tours to nearby islands and lots more. They also have an outdoor cinema, a souvenir shop, and a photographer whom you can hire for a photo shoot.

To see more of what Dusit Thani Maldives has to offer, please check it out here.

Cycling around the island.

View on our sunset cruise.

Departure from the resort and our transfer back to Male International Airport

On the morning of our departure, our butler provided us with our domestic travel itinerary and plan for the day. Because our flight from Male International Airport was very late that night, we only had to check out of our villa at 6pm (that gave us almost another full day at the resort!), and it was the same situation as when we arrived in the Maldives. The resort completely takes care of everything, and all we had to do was follow the resort's representative from the resort on our speed boat to another island nearby that has a small airport. From there we took our domestic flight to Male International Airport, and everything went really smoothly. It was nice to have someone guide us all along the way; we never had to lift a finger, and we were completely taken care of.

Pin it!

More Resorts We Recommend

Fushifaru Maldives

Reethi Faru Bio-Luxury Resort

Cocoon Maldives

One&Only Reethi Rah

Anantara Veli Maldives Resort

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

If you're passionate about beach vacations, go ahead and put the Maldives on your travel bucket list! We had the most relaxing and luxurious experience at Dusit Thani Maldives and I'll never forget it! If you have more questions, please feel free to get in touch by messaging us at hello@astylealike.com

#Travel #Maldives #DusitThaniMaldives #Resort #Hotel #Asia #Islands #Vacation #Beach #LuxuryVacation

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

Copyright © 2020 A Style Alike 

All Rights Reserved.

Taipei, Taiwan