Search Blog
Car Hire – Search, Compare & Booking → Compare 500 companies at over 10,000 locations. Best price guaranteed

How to choose a hotel and island in the Maldives (for vacation)

Maldives (Republic of Maldives) - the world's largest "coral state", located in South Asia, on a group of atolls.

Atoll - a coral island or archipelago, having the form of a continuous or broken ring surrounding the lagoon.

Many of those people who want to get to the Maldives use the services of tour operators. Travel packages to the Maldives →

When preparing for a holiday in the Maldives on your own, one of the fundamental steps will be to choose a hotel, or rather, to a greater extent, it is the choice of the island (or islands, if you want to travel around the Maldives and better explore them) on which the holiday will take place.

The Maldives is divided into 26 atolls, which, in turn, consist of a total of 1,192 islands, among which there are industrial islands, an airport island, resort islands, local islands and islands-reserves, some of which can only be visited as part of a guided tour.

Suitable for holidays in the Maldives: islands-resorts (islands-hotels, - resorts where the local population does not live) and local islands (residential islands).

The beaches and lagoons of the Maldives differ not only from island to island, but also in different parts of the same island, even a resort, the beach strip can be different, and it is not only pure white sand - there are pebbles and algae. It's over, the beaches at the resorts are "cared for" better - they are cleaned and the sand is leveled. Moreover, the beaches "walk" - they are washed away on one side and washed away on the other, so from year to year the picture of the same beaches can be different. Coral fragments can be found both on beaches and on the sea floor.

Near some islands in the sea water, breakwaters are installed, from the washing of the shore, there are also stone barriers near the water's edge or near the coastline.


Islands-resorts (resorts islands) or islands-resorts / islands-hotels - separate single islands, the entire territory of which is occupied by one hotel (rarely-two or three hotels).

It is these islands ("Bounty») we see them in the ads and they are preferred by the majority of tourists in the Maldives.

Local residents on such islands do not live permanently, but work as service personnel. In bars, alcohol is poured without restrictions. Alcohol is not allowed in the Maldives.

You can dress as you like and walk in anything, while on residential (local) islands, you are allowed to wear swimsuits only on the beaches of "Bikini Beach" (Bikini Beach).

On the islands-resorts there is an atmosphere of universal rest and relaxation, and the entire infrastructure is focused on tourists: villas on the beaches and on the water, spa and fitness centers, swimming pools, restaurants and bars, souvenir shops and, most importantly, what everyone visits the Maldives for is clean beach strips with snow-white soft sand, bordered by the blue and turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean.

In terms of size, all the Maldives are small, they can easily be reached on foot in 1-2 hours, or even less. The infrastructure, like the reef, depends on each particular island. There are islands with shallow waters, there are those with deeper waters and those where the depth of sea water comes almost immediately. There are more calm and peaceful ones, and there are ones designed for active vacationers, which will be located, for example: mini golf, tennis courts, the opportunity to ride bicycles, etc.

More often, the price of rooms (bungalows, villas) of hotels includes a choice of breakfast, breakfast + dinner, breakfast + lunch + dinner or all-inclusive system.

Since it is possible to eat on the islands-resorts only in hotel restaurants, and to buy alcohol in the bars of the same hotel, the prices in which can be very high, many tourists prefer to take full board or all-inclusive.

From hotels:

- 5-star Deluxe Resort Kudadoo Maldives Private Island-Luxury All inclusive, which is considered one of the best in the Maldives.

This is a central complex based on the water surface. It is located on a secluded island of 30,000 sq. m.

To services of guests: spa, restaurant, wine cellar and cheese room, bar, games room and swimming pool. Link to the hotel

- The Nautilus Maldives 5-star Resort - small and exclusive with a coral reef located a few meters from the beaches.

Guests can enjoy free non-motorized water sports, including windsurfing, canoeing, sailing and snorkeling.

Each of the hotel's 26 houses has a separate living room and bedroom, as well as a private butler, private pool and ocean views. Each house offers free Wi-Fi, free water, tea, coffee, soft drinks, a bottle of champagne on arrival and a gourmet dinner. There is also a minibar and a refrigerator with wine. Some rooms have glass floors in the living room. Link to the hotel

- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi 5-star Resort with a spa and wellness center, tennis court, fitness center, kindergarten, and 11 restaurants, including a Chinese, Middle Eastern, and specialty restaurant located in a tree.

On-site activities include diving, as well as a water sports and yoga center.

In the villas of the hotel: spacious living area, infinity pool and outdoor gazebo. Guests can enjoy a selection of Nespresso coffee and tea, as well as a mini-bar and an iPad.

Bicycles can be rented free of charge at each villa. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas featuring private infinity pools, free Wi-Fi, a water spa, fitness center and tennis court. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Pullman Maldives All-Inclusive Resort, surrounded by a forest and a natural lake.

In a hotel: 2 swimming pools, 6 restaurants and bars, spa and fitness center.

Guests can enjoy a variety of motorized and non-motorized water sports, as well as diving courses and daily excursions, including snorkeling, dolphin watching cruises and sunset fishing.

Two of the hotel's villas have underwater bedrooms. There are also family villas. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Soneva Fushi Resort with villas and rooms, butler service, garden, swimming pool, outdoor cinema, restaurants and bar.

Guests can rent bicycles for free, enjoy free non-motorized water sports, or go on a 2-bedroom yacht trip. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Banyan Tree Resort Vabbinfaru with free Wi-Fi in all areas, a spa and wellness center, a fitness center, a restaurant, a bar and villas with private pools. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa-Deluxe with two swimming pools, a bar, a spa and wellness center, free Wi-Fi and an "all-inclusive" Deluxe package which includes:

  • complimentary welcome drink; in-room mini-bar; non-motorized water sports equipment, including snorkeling (mask, snorkel and fins); twice-weekly 20-minute group snorkeling session with an instructor; guided tours; a wide selection of wines and drinks in the bars. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Dhigufaru Island Resort with a year-round outdoor pool, spa and fitness centers, restaurant, bar, billiards, 24-hour front desk, free Wi-Fi, babysitting services and water sports facilities. Link to the hotel

- The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives 5-star Hotel with spacious villas above the water, spa and fitness centers, restaurants, bars, a panoramic pool for adults with ocean views and a pool for the whole family surrounded by tropical greenery. Link to the hotel

- 4-star Kuredu Island Resort & Spa with villas on the beach and on the water, bungalows on the beach, with water sports facilities, an outdoor pool, a 24-hour front desk, a tour desk, a bar, a restaurant, a spa and a free fitness center. There is a home reef. Link to the hotel

In the Maldives, there are whiter budget resorts with classic villas, bungalows or rooms. Of course, the variety of infrastructure in such hotels will not be so extensive, and the beaches may be a little worse.

From hotels:

- 3-star Fun Island Resort & Spa it offers 2 restaurants, a fitness center and spa, a bar with free Wi-Fi, and rooms with private balconies.

Guests can enjoy a game of beach volleyball or water sports, including windsurfing, canoeing, diving and snorkeling. Link to the hotel

- 4-star Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort featuring a spa center, hot tub, water sports facilities and a restaurant. Link to the hotel

- 3-star Biyadhoo Island Resort, set amidst tropical greenery.

In a hotel: restaurant, bar and a wide selection of water sports. Link to the hotel

- 4-star Gangehi Island Resort & Spa with a spa, diving center, gym, beach volleyball court and library with books and DVDs.

The hotel offers outdoor yoga classes and a variety of water sports, snorkeling, fishing and canoeing. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Royal Island Resort & Spa with quiet beaches, villas with private patios and ocean views, free Wi-Fi, spa, beach restaurant, bar, pool and tennis court.

Guests can go diving, take a sunset cruise, go water skiing or go kitesurfing. Link to the hotel

- also: 4-star Fihalhohi Island Resort, 5-star Sun Island Resort & Spa, 4-star Eriyadu Island Resort и 4-star Adaaran Club Rannalhi.

Home Reef

For lovers of the deep sea and its inhabitants - diving and snorkeling (snorkeling), it is worth paying attention to the islands-hotels with a good home reef, which will give a great opportunity to enjoy the life of the sea "depths" and their inhabitants without leaving the island.

The best places for snorkeling and snorkeling are the islands with narrow home reefs, lots of channels and wide lagoons.

The slope of the reef is also important, if it is not sharp and not very gentle, then it is interesting in such features of the structure, which are similar to overhangs, terraces or caves and change with increasing depth.

If you are not comfortable exploring the reef alone, the hotel guides can arrange a tour of the home reef for you.

If you don't want to visit the reef, you can always stay in the shallow water near the beach.

Home reefs are praised at the following resorts:

- 5-star Hurawalhi Island Resort with the world's largest glass underwater restaurant, outdoor pool, spa and bar. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Robinson Club Maldives Adults Only Resort all-inclusive with bungalows and villas with hot tubs, terraces and outdoor rain showers, as well as free snorkeling equipment. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Diamonds Athuruga Resort all inclusive with spacious over-water villas and garden bungalows, a spa with Ayurvedic treatments, a diving center and restaurants. Link to the hotel

- 5 Star OBLU SELECT Resort at Sangeli - Premium All Inclusive with Free Transfers with premium all-inclusive service, detached villas and suites, outdoor pool, restaurant, over-water gym, garden spa and wellness complex. Link to the hotel

- 5-star W Maldives Resort suitable for a relaxing holiday, with villas with private plunge pools, spa, diving center, fitness center, infinity pool, bar and restaurant. Link to the hotel

- Angsana Ihuru 5-star Eco-friendly Resortfeaturing a 5-star diving center, Maldivian cooking classes, underwater safari tours, a restaurant, bar and free Wi-Fi. Link to the hotel

- Dusit Thani Maldives 5-star Hotel with Thai-style villas and residences, located in a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve in the Maldives.

In a hotel: one of the Maldives ' largest panoramic pools, tree-top spa, free Wi-Fi, over-water restaurant, beach restaurant, bars and a reef stretching around the entire island. Link to the hotel

- 5-star Mirihi Island Resort with a great home reef, villas near the beach or on the water, free Wi-Fi in the rooms, 3 dining options and a spa.

Water sports such as windsurfing and sailing can be enjoyed on the beach. Link to the hotel

- Milaidhoo Island Maldives 5-star Boutique Resort, located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, next to Hanifaru Bay.

On the territory of the hotel: protected coral reef, which is considered one of the best places for snorkeling and diving in the Maldives. Popular activities include sailing, kayaking, and sailing on yachts and catamarans.

In a hotel: the air-conditioned villas feature a sun terrace with a private freshwater pool and panoramic views of the island's nature.

A 24-hour personal assistant service is available. Link to the hotel

- 4-star Lily Beach Resort and Spaall-inclusive villas and suites with free Wi-Fi in all areas, 2 outdoor pools, diving center, restaurants and bars. Link to the hotel

- 4-star Sandies Bathala Resort featuring water villas, a fitness center, a 24-hour front desk, a shared lounge, a restaurant, a swimming pool and free Wi-Fi. Link to the hotel

- 4-star Safari Island Resort featuring an outdoor pool, fitness center, restaurant, bar, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk. Link to the hotel

- 4-star Fihalhohi Island Resort with lush vegetation, a diving school, restaurant, bar and fitness center. Link to the hotel

- also: 5-star Kandolhu Maldives, 5-star Baros Maldives, 5-star Reethi Faru / Bio Luxury Resort, 4-star OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli-All-Inclusive with free Transfers, 4-star Filitheyo Island Resort, 4-star Bandos Maldives with Free Transfers, 4-star Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, 3-star Embudu Village Resort и 3-star Biyadhoo Island Resort.

Local islands

Local islands - these are the islands where the locals live.

On such islands, the infrastructure for permanent life is created: streets, private houses, shops, cafes, schools, mosques, etc.

There are also hotels (gethouses) and apartments on the local islands. Residential islands, as well as resorts, are small and you can move around on foot.

Local islands, of course, are not the Maldives that many people dream of. The beaches can be mediocre, the service is not at the highest level, alcohol is prohibited (Maldives is a Muslim country). You can be in swimsuits on the beaches of "Bikini Beach", which are quite a lot. However, on such islands, housing is cheaper and you can get to the islands yourself.

Thanks to all this, a vacation on a local island can be a good solution for those who want to relax in the Maldives on a more budget, because hotels on such islands are sometimes even cheaper than in your neighboring city.

There are quite a lot of local islands in the Maldives:

- Villingili, Gali or Gulhi, Guraidhoo, Dharavandhoo, Dhangethi, Dhigura (Dhigurah), Dhiffushi, Kendhoo, Kudahuvadhoo, Maamigili, Maafushi, Mathiveri or Mathiveri, Rasdu (Rasdhoo), Toddu (Thoddoo), Thulusdhoo, Ukulhas, Fuvahmulah, Fulhadu, Huraa, etc.

The best are considered to be: Toddu (hotels), Fulhadu (hotels), Maafushi (hotels), Mathiveri (hotels), Dhigura (hotels) and Ukulhas (hotels).

Local islands located near Velena Airport (Male):

- Hulhumale (Hulhumale island) - an urban-type island, which has a beach strip. Hotels in Hulhumala →

- Male - there are no beaches as such, - this is the capital of the Republic of Maldives, as well as the largest settlement. Hotels in Male (Male City) →

Usually tourists use the islands of Hulhumale and Male to spend the night after arrival or before departure near the airport, as well as, if anyone is interested, to walk and see the life of the locals.

Hotels near Male Airport: 3-star Hulhule Island and Noah Safari Vessel Holiday home, located on a yacht.

Velana International Airport (VIA), also known as Male Airport, has both international and domestic terminals and is the most sought-after international airport in the Maldives.

Velena Airport is located on the island of Hulhule (island-airport), which is connected to the islands of Male and Hulhumale by transport and pedestrian bridges. Flights to Maldives →

!!! We do not recommend this or that hotel-resort or local island. Everything is very individual in the choice of location and accommodation facilities. In such matters, all opinions: "Like" or "Dislike" - are purely subjective.

In the Maldives, as elsewhere in the world, a 5-star hotel is not always better than a 4-star hotel, and a higher-priced hotel will not always be better than a more budget-friendly accommodation. In addition, prices may vary depending on the season, the situation in the world, the country, etc.

The only thing that can be said: "When choosing a holiday destination and a hotel in the Maldives, you should be guided only by personal preferences, desires and proceed from your own capabilities."

When choosing an island, both a resort and a local one, you can start from the atoll in which the island is located.

Atolls near Male Airport:

- North Male (North Kaafu / Kaafu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- South Male (South Kaafu / Kaafu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Ari and Alif-Alif (Ari Atoll / Alifu Alifu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Rasdu (Rasdhoo). Hotels →

- Vaavu (Vaavu atoll). Hotels →

Atolls in the north of the Maldives:

- Baa (Baa Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Laviani or Lhaviyani (Lhaviyani Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Raa (Raa Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Haa Alif (Haa Alifu Atoll / Thiladhunmathi Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Nuun or Noonu (Noonu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Shaviyani or Shaviyani (Shaviyani Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Haa Daalu (Haa Dhaalu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

Atolls in the southern Maldives:

- Dhaalu (Dhaalu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Gaafu (Huvadhoo Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Siinu or Addu City (Addu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Laamu (Laamu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Faafu (North Nilandhe Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Meemu (Meemu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

- Thaa (Thaa Atoll / Kolhumadulu Atoll). Hotels in Atoll →

All accommodations in the Maldives can be viewed and booked here

Details on how to get to the Maldives and from the Maldives airport to the hotel, as well as how to move between the Maldives, can be found here →

Useful for trips / travel

Donate now →
Leave a review ↓
Nobody has left any reviews.