What people know about Maldives
Maldives is known mainly for its resorts and water villas. Accommodation in Resorts are pretty expensive and the norm in the maldives is that the Displayed price does not include taxes, another 23% and 3$ per night taxes are usually added to the price at check out.
Maldives transportation to and from Hotel/Resort isn’t affordable to anyone, basically one would need to pay around 300$ for a speedboat roundtrip and 500$ per pers. for a seaplane transfer.
Excursion booked from Hotel/Resorts are expensive since they subcontract those services to external providers and the fact that on private islands there is no competition, they are able to charge huge prices for those services. it also usually happens with large groups of tourists (20-25 pers.) which makes it less enjoyable if you were looking to enjoy the quietness of the sea and its relaxing calm waves sounds.
Lunch and Dinner at Resort/Hotel is pretty expensive, and again, displayed price does NOT include taxes. One should plan for a minimum budget of 50$ per pers. per meal.
Resorts activities and freedom are limited because of transportation high price and facilities limited to those of the resorts.
The only people available are tourists and resorts residents which makes it not so interesting if cultural immersion is a requirement when you visit a different country.
Resorts Islands are man-made and you won’t find much wild life or natural unspoiled landscape on those island and the main activity on resort islands is relaxing next to the pool at the bar or resting on the beach which can become quickly boring after 3-4 days.
What you need to know about the Maldives
Recently, the Maldivian government has allowed guest house and hotels to open in the local inhabited island. Local island accommodation are a lot cheaper than resorts, the Quality is 3-5 stars, the food is excellent and you can try yummy traditional dishes at pretty reasonable rates.
Local people are extremely friendly, welcoming and warm and Each local island has its own wild life which makes it different from other islands and way more interesting than resorts. each Maldivian island offers a different stunning white sand beaches.
On local islands, bikinis are not allowed except on the bikini beach which is reserved for sunbathing. On other parts of the island, a more conservative dress code is required(T-shirt and short minimum).
Local islands are accessible through ferry, private speedboat and domestic flights for the most remote islands which will be cheaper than resorts transportation.