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All-inclusive Maldives? All sorted.

An archipelago comprising almost 1,200 islands, the Maldives is a paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, famed for its spectacular scenery. While most of the islands are uninhabited, locals live on about 200 of them, and another 100 or so house exclusive resorts – most of which are all-inclusive.

The Maldives really is one of the most beautiful all-inclusive destinations in the world. Every island has a beach with almost pure-white sand, and the surrounding water is a glittering blue. Palm trees sway gently in the breeze and a carefree attitude predominates. Relaxation is the principal pastime in the Maldives. Simply swim, sunbathe or snorkel the day away – or enjoy the range of activities on offer at your resort. Unsurprisingly, most activities in the Maldives are centred on the water, and it has some of the best diving in the world. But if diving’s not your thing, you can always see the atolls and beaches from above on a flight over the reefs. And the best bit? On an all-inclusive holiday, many of these activities will be complimentary.

Another perk of going all-inclusive is the food and drink. There’ll be expansive all-you-can-eat buffets, beach bars serving drinks and snacks through the day, and probably a number of à la carte restaurants dishing up a variety of cuisines. And if you’re going with a partner – especially if it’s your honeymoon – you’ll be pleased to hear that nearly every resort in the Maldives offers private beachside dining, so you can enjoy a romantic meal under the stars.

The standard of service and facilities in the Maldives is famously high, so whether you’re staying at an adults-only resort or somewhere family-friendly with the kids, you’re sure to have a memorable time. And since practically everything’s included on a Maldives all-inclusive holiday, there’s no need to worry about the size of the bill at the end of your stay.

Accommodation

Activities

Best time to visit

Food

Maldives accommodation

Most resorts in the Maldives offer a range of accommodation. But, because of a law stating that no resort building can be higher than the tallest tree on the island, accommodations are mostly all single storey, or double storey at most. However, the standard of accommodation, and style of décor, can vary massively from one resort to another. While some will have terraced blocks, others – particularly high-end resorts – comprise solely of single units to allow more privacy.

 

Beach bungalows and garden villas frequently include features like outdoor showers and bathtubs, and a private pool. But the quintessential Maldivian accommodation is the overwater villa. If you’re looking to splash out on your all-inclusive holiday to the Maldives, this is where you’ll want to stay. Built on stilts above the lagoon, overwater villas have steps leading directly into the water. And from your private deck you can enjoy incredible, uninterrupted views of the sunrise or sunset, depending which side of the island you’re on.

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Resort activities

If you go on an all-inclusive holiday to the Maldives, you’re likely to spend a significant amount of time in the water. Diving and snorkelling are the premier activities here, with many resorts even featuring an official PADI dive centre. But they’re by no means the only activities available.

Nearly all resorts will offer a range of watersports. Kayaking and windsurfing are pretty much a given, but water-skiing, kitesurfing, parasailing, banana boating and jet-skiing are available at certain resorts as well. Surfing is also becoming increasingly popular in the Maldives, so some resorts will have surf boards to hire. Fishing trips, glass-bottom boat tours and dolphin-watching cruises are common too. While most non-motorised watersports will probably be included in your all-inclusive package, other activities may carry an additional fee.

Away from the water, your resort is likely to have a spa and a gym, so you can indulge in a massage or body scrub – or fit in a workout if you’re feeling active. Tennis and yoga are widely available, as are cooking classes and arts and crafts.

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Best time to visit the maldives

Located just 200 miles north of the equator, the Maldives enjoys a tropical climate. So while it stays warm all year round – temperatures typically range between 24 and 31oC – it has distinct wet and dry seasons.

The dry season usually begins in December and continues until April. At this time of year, humidity is low, winds are gentle, and rain is rare. Underwater visibility is also at its highest level – if you’re diving or snorkelling, you can expect to see for up to 50 metres. Unsurprisingly, though, the dry season is also peak season. So prices are generally higher, resorts are busier, and over Christmas, New Year and Easter you may have to commit to a minimum stay.

Although the idea of rain on the beach can be off-putting, don’t be too quick to write off a Maldives all-inclusive holiday during the wet season. While downpours are heavy, they’re fairly spasmodic. It’s unlikely to rain all day, every day. Plus there’s a better chance of finding a great deal if you go between May and November. Resorts can be more expensive in July and August, though, to coincide with European school holidays.

You’ve also got a greater chance of spotting whale sharks and manta rays if you go to the Maldives in the wet season. And when it does rain, see it as an opportunity to make use of the spa, or enjoy the indoor activities offered by the resort.

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Food in the Maldives

Every all-inclusive resort in the Maldives will have at least one restaurant, although most will offer multiple dining options. While certain restaurants will serve an à la carte menu – particularly for lunch and dinner – there’ll almost certainly be an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. These offer plenty of choice, and give you the chance to try various different foods.

Generally, the more restaurants a resort has, the greater the number of cuisines available. If you stay in a high-end resort, you’ll probably find some combination of Thai, Italian, Japanese, Indian, French and Middle Eastern. But one cuisine you’re unlikely to find in any resort is Maldivian.

The Maldives doesn’t have the land for large-scale agriculture or livestock production. Pretty much the only things grown locally are coconuts, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas and pineapples – and there’s also an abundance of fish and seafood. But, despite limited native ingredients, Maldivian cuisine is far from bland. It’s heavily influenced by flavours from nearby Sri Lanka and India, so it’s typically hot and spicy. While it’s rarely served to tourists in all-inclusive restaurants, you’ll be able to try real Maldivian food in Malé, or if you go on an excursion to a local island. Depending which resort you stay at, you may also be able to sample it during a cooking demonstration.

Show More
Show Less

Accommodation

Maldives accommodation

Most resorts in the Maldives offer a range of accommodation. But, because of a law stating that no resort building can be higher than the tallest tree on the island, accommodations are mostly all single storey, or double storey at most. However, the standard of accommodation, and style of décor, can vary massively from one resort to another. While some will have terraced blocks, others – particularly high-end resorts – comprise solely of single units to allow more privacy.

 

Beach bungalows and garden villas frequently include features like outdoor showers and bathtubs, and a private pool. But the quintessential Maldivian accommodation is the overwater villa. If you’re looking to splash out on your all-inclusive holiday to the Maldives, this is where you’ll want to stay. Built on stilts above the lagoon, overwater villas have steps leading directly into the water. And from your private deck you can enjoy incredible, uninterrupted views of the sunrise or sunset, depending which side of the island you’re on.

Show More
Show Less

Activities

Resort activities

If you go on an all-inclusive holiday to the Maldives, you’re likely to spend a significant amount of time in the water. Diving and snorkelling are the premier activities here, with many resorts even featuring an official PADI dive centre. But they’re by no means the only activities available.

Nearly all resorts will offer a range of watersports. Kayaking and windsurfing are pretty much a given, but water-skiing, kitesurfing, parasailing, banana boating and jet-skiing are available at certain resorts as well. Surfing is also becoming increasingly popular in the Maldives, so some resorts will have surf boards to hire. Fishing trips, glass-bottom boat tours and dolphin-watching cruises are common too. While most non-motorised watersports will probably be included in your all-inclusive package, other activities may carry an additional fee.

Away from the water, your resort is likely to have a spa and a gym, so you can indulge in a massage or body scrub – or fit in a workout if you’re feeling active. Tennis and yoga are widely available, as are cooking classes and arts and crafts.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit

Best time to visit the maldives

Located just 200 miles north of the equator, the Maldives enjoys a tropical climate. So while it stays warm all year round – temperatures typically range between 24 and 31oC – it has distinct wet and dry seasons.

The dry season usually begins in December and continues until April. At this time of year, humidity is low, winds are gentle, and rain is rare. Underwater visibility is also at its highest level – if you’re diving or snorkelling, you can expect to see for up to 50 metres. Unsurprisingly, though, the dry season is also peak season. So prices are generally higher, resorts are busier, and over Christmas, New Year and Easter you may have to commit to a minimum stay.

Although the idea of rain on the beach can be off-putting, don’t be too quick to write off a Maldives all-inclusive holiday during the wet season. While downpours are heavy, they’re fairly spasmodic. It’s unlikely to rain all day, every day. Plus there’s a better chance of finding a great deal if you go between May and November. Resorts can be more expensive in July and August, though, to coincide with European school holidays.

You’ve also got a greater chance of spotting whale sharks and manta rays if you go to the Maldives in the wet season. And when it does rain, see it as an opportunity to make use of the spa, or enjoy the indoor activities offered by the resort.

Show More
Show Less

Food

Food in the Maldives

Every all-inclusive resort in the Maldives will have at least one restaurant, although most will offer multiple dining options. While certain restaurants will serve an à la carte menu – particularly for lunch and dinner – there’ll almost certainly be an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. These offer plenty of choice, and give you the chance to try various different foods.

Generally, the more restaurants a resort has, the greater the number of cuisines available. If you stay in a high-end resort, you’ll probably find some combination of Thai, Italian, Japanese, Indian, French and Middle Eastern. But one cuisine you’re unlikely to find in any resort is Maldivian.

The Maldives doesn’t have the land for large-scale agriculture or livestock production. Pretty much the only things grown locally are coconuts, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas and pineapples – and there’s also an abundance of fish and seafood. But, despite limited native ingredients, Maldivian cuisine is far from bland. It’s heavily influenced by flavours from nearby Sri Lanka and India, so it’s typically hot and spicy. While it’s rarely served to tourists in all-inclusive restaurants, you’ll be able to try real Maldivian food in Malé, or if you go on an excursion to a local island. Depending which resort you stay at, you may also be able to sample it during a cooking demonstration.

Show More
Show Less

Hotel

How to do the Maldives

Whether you’re planning your honeymoon or heading off on a family holiday, our experts can tailor-make a holiday to suit you

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