Is a Trip to the Maldives worth the expensive price tag?

IMG_0016-2Arrive by Seaplane

My feelings about the Maldives are mixed.  On the one hand, the islands are just fabulous with pristine beaches, crystal clear waters plentiful fish, Dolphins, Turtles and more to see.  One is spoiled for choice with top five star hotels on the islands represented by many of the top hotel groups.

Perfect beaches

The beaches really are just as perfect as they look in the pictures and fish swim around your feet as you paddle in the shallow water.

IMG_0814-2Heavenly, pristine beaches

On the other hand, if like me, you enjoy visiting countries for their culture, exploring and finding different restaurants and special places  – you will be bored after a few days.  I dislike, intensely, an ‘all inclusive’ resort.  The mere mention of the word makes my heart sink!  In the Maldives you are pretty much trapped on an island and forced to eat in the resort/hotel complex.  Unless you are sailing and island hopping, of course.

Watersports:

Firstly, the things I did enjoy:   I loved hiring a speedboat with the watersport staff to accompany us and show the best spots for snorkelling and diving.  Sadly, I didn’t have an underwater camera – I definitely intend to buy one!  The seas are filled with Turtles, Dolphins, Stingray and too many fish to name.

PicMonkey Collage

Who wouldn’t enjoy whizzing around on a jetski without any one else to be seen except for a few dolphins!

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Friendly and helpful staff and delicious food.  I’m aware that you will think that I’m living up to my diva name by complaining!  BUT … the terrific staff are woefully underpaid and I for one find it very uncomfortable when relatively wealthy guests are paying more for a bottle of wine that the staff are earning in a month.  I know this is true of many poor areas of the world, but I try and contribute in some way to the communities I visit, and this is not possible here.  The only ones profiting from tourism are the super-wealthy Hotel groups.

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The guests are so well looked after and pampered from the moment they arrive and luggage is whisked away by buggies.

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cocktails watching the sunset going down on the beach, so relaxing, romantic and just magical- there is so much to enjoy.

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This is all very lovely for a few days ….. and then you start to go stir crazy!  Trapped on a small island – you can’t pop out to a local restaurant or visit some sites because there aren’t any!  You can’t go anywhere because there isn’t anywhere to go – particularly if you are staying on an island that is a plane ride away from Male.

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Classic Maldives 

Another downside to staying here is the price.  Now, I don’t mind paying for a top quality holiday – but I feel the Maldives is way too expensive for what you get for your money.   Everything has to be imported and so this makes everything expensive.  There are many places in the world just as idyllic and a fraction of the price.

To recap – you will love the Maldives if you want a complete get away from it all break, enjoy all inclusive set-ups and have a devil may care attitude to cost!  Will I return? well, never say never I suppose!

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Information:

We flew with British Airways http://www.britishairways.com

35 Comments

  1. April 7, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    Its looks picture perfect and beautiful. I like you said would be bored out of my brain after a few days i would think. I am sure i could find this sort of white sand and blue waters for much cheaper elsewhere in Asia though.

  2. April 7, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    It does look absolutely stunning. I’m a sucker for clear water and white sand. Maybe someday.

  3. April 7, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    Totally beautiful, but of course looks aren’t everything. Probably a great honeymoon spot.

  4. April 7, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Wow, love your honesty! The Maldives do sound like a dream and the photos are amazing! But I totally agree with you on not wanting to travel and see nothing of local culture and only support 5 star resorts. And I would go crazy. Maybe I will take a small library with me and then I’ll be fine.^^

  5. April 7, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    Interesting read! I have never been but I have wondered about a few points that you mentioned here in the Maldives. I do wonder however, why didn’t you venture to Male or some of the other islands that are more inhabited by locals?

    • marie
      April 7, 2016 / 9:22 pm

      The Islands are spread over a large area. We were in a very remote area – Male was a long plan ride away. Thanks for your comment!

  6. April 8, 2016 / 6:13 am

    Very interesting. Which island were you on? We are thinking of going for diving and maybe kiteboarding but we are more camping and budget folks so hoping we could find something low key…

    • marie
      April 8, 2016 / 7:42 am

      Kanuhura. I don’t recommend it, which is why I didn’t talk about it in the blog. I only recommend places that I love!

  7. April 10, 2016 / 2:56 am

    Interesting- you confirm some of what I think the Maldives would be like. When I worked a high pressure, busy job this would have been paradise, just doing nothing for a week! Now my world thankfully moves at a slower pace.

  8. April 13, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    I’ve never been, but it looks beautiful! I don’t think I’d like to only have the option to eat at the resort. It’d be nice to have more choices, but looks like there’s definitely some fun things to do on the beautiful water!

  9. April 13, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    I can’t wait to visit this Paradise:)

  10. Rosi C.
    April 13, 2016 / 4:28 pm

    Hi. Love pics here and instagram. Glad I am following you 🙂 I guess it is best for those who want to bum out. Need to sometimes.

    • marie
      April 13, 2016 / 5:25 pm

      Thanks Rosi!

  11. April 13, 2016 / 6:37 pm

    I used to live and work in Maldives in Hulhumale and can totally relate to this! I often visited restorts on my weekends or school holidays and found 2 nights was more than enough. If possible, definitely try some local islands next time! I would recommend Thulusdhoo, Maafushi and Gan island. Especially if you’re around during Eid celebrations, its a fantastic insight into local life!

    • marie
      April 13, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      Thank you for the recommendations Sarah – shame I didn’t know you before 🙂

  12. April 13, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    Perfect timing! After my aunt visited the Maldives and loved it last year, I’ve been wondering if we should also go. But I had suspicions that I would be bored out of my head with nothing but beach. I’m like you, I need culture and busy city lifestyles and history. I don’t think the Maldives will be on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

    • marie
      April 13, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      It is an expensive trip too! Thank you for the nice comment.

  13. April 13, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    The Maldives really do look picture perfect. I am a sucker for the beach, but like you, am not a fan of the all inclusive resort. It’s nice to hear an honest opinion about this paradise!

    • marie
      April 13, 2016 / 9:42 pm

      Thanks Jessica 🙂

  14. April 13, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    Yeah, I go stir-crazy pretty easily. I guess I’d just have to make sure to island hop if I go there, because I really would like to see it. It just looks so beautiful! But I’ve never been one to just lounge on the beach all day.

  15. April 14, 2016 / 12:51 am

    I’ve never been anywhere super tropical and it’s because I do worry about the price, but the photos you got were gorgeous!

  16. April 14, 2016 / 4:42 am

    Hubby and I have been wondering about the Maldives and this just about sums up both the good and bad fears we have had! All in all I’d say I think I’d rather spend the money on somewhere just as glamorous but with local flair. things to do and see, and I agree about waitstaff/feeling weird spending so much while they make so little…I want to at least have the choice to eat somewhere the staff could afford to eat too! 🙂

    • marie
      April 14, 2016 / 5:52 am

      Thanks Andrea, you summed it up perfectly!

  17. April 14, 2016 / 7:52 am

    Can I ask why you chose this island in particular? Was it recommended to you, or did you think you’d enjoy being on a remote island more than you did? In any case, I can understand why you’d get a bit restless after a few days!

    • marie
      April 14, 2016 / 7:55 am

      Hi Emily, I guess you have to try everything once in life! Thank you for your comment.

  18. April 16, 2016 / 1:16 am

    Wow, I miss the beach! Great post!

  19. April 20, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    I completely agree with you about not just sticking with an all inclusive resort. You have to get out and explore! I stayed on a boat the whole time I was in The Maldives (no hotel at all for me) and it was a great way to explore.

  20. April 21, 2016 / 4:32 am

    Yup, you just convinced me never to go to Maldives. Although I love the concept of all inclusive but I would lose my mind not being able to visit local restaurants or markets. I need variety and if I’m stuck on an island resort for too long, I’d go nuts.

    I think 2-3 days is more than enough but the price of the ticket and stay wouldn’t be worth it then to come all the way. I think Seychelles is a better choice.

    • marie
      April 21, 2016 / 6:15 am

      Yes, or Sri Lanka, near the Maldives but fascinating and full of culture and history.

  21. April 27, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    The Maldives have fascinated me. I love snorkeling and being pampered:) I can see what you mean though, it is nice when you can buy some local goods and help the people versus just the big hotels. I have stayed at all inclusives and really like them, so many adventure activities and ease of the trip is great.

    I will have to see if there is a way to add more adventure and local flavor to a trip there:)

  22. May 29, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Hi Marie,

    Well, no destination is perfect and why Maldives would be the exception. I do not think I would have a problem feeling “trapped” but more of the cost of the travel along with accommodation. I really appreciate your honest opinion which you barely find on many tour guides. People will usually tell you the advantages but not disadvantages of the place they visited. Great post and photos, thank you!

    Zaria

    • marie
      May 29, 2016 / 4:34 pm

      Thanks Zaria, you are very kind! I worry I am too honest sometimes, so your comment has given me a ‘boost’.

  23. May 30, 2016 / 6:48 pm

    Great honest post. Personally I enjoy all-inclusive vacations from time to time. That being said, there are many of those on paradise beaches in the Caribbean which would cost a fraction of the price. Agreed that when you travel that far and spend that much money you want a little bit of everything (variety of restaurants, local culture, impressive sights etc).

  24. May 31, 2016 / 6:36 pm

    The Maldives is our favorite destination. I wrote a bunch of photo posts about them.
    My wife and I always choose an island with a live coral reef, and most of our time we spend underwater for photographing.

    • marie
      May 31, 2016 / 7:15 pm

      Thank for your comment Victor!

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