Travel hack: How Kiwis can experience the Maldives cheaper than Fiji | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack


Most people assume the Maldives is a playground for the rich and famous – but few Kiwis realise they can experience it for less than $100 a night.

Here’s a quick introduction to the Maldives: it’s an archipelago in the Indian Ocean with 1,200 pristine islands that look like they were designed in Photoshop. It sits off the coast of Sri Lanka, to the south of India. There are more than 160 resorts scattered among the islands, and most have overwater villas. It’s my favourite place in the world.

Here are five cheaper ways to experience this paradise, in some cases cheaper than you’d find for the equivalent in Fiji.

READ MORE:
* The adults-only side of Hanmer Springs
* Bucket-list experiences: 11 things you should do now we can travel again
* Sawa-i-Lau Caves: How to find the world’s most beautiful secret lagoon

1) Booking a bargain

There are many specials available in the Maldives as resorts look to fill rooms.

Brook Sabin/Stuff

There are many specials available in the Maldives as resorts look to fill rooms.

My first experience in the Maldives was back in 2012. I booked a room on a luxury island for $550 a night. It remains one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.

I recently booked that same room, at the same resort, for $318 a night – including all meals. (It’s Kuredu Island Resort and Spa, and specials are still running if you book before the end of October. I find the lowest prices on booking.com)

As resorts look to fill their rooms following two years of Covid interruption, many are offering significant discounts. On top of this, the Maldives was a popular escape for Russian tourists. However, there are currently only a limited number of flights leaving Russia because of sanctions from the war in Ukraine. That means resorts are scrambling to fill rooms with other guests.

The result is some incredible specials that aren’t likely to be seen again, especially as rooms fill up.

There are around 5000 overwater villas in the world, and about two-thirds of them are in the Maldives. You’ll find overwater rooms for $1500 a night including all meals, much cheaper than the equivalent in Fiji or Bora Bora.

2) Consider a local island

Local islands are much cheaper, but come with a few drawbacks.

Brook Sabin/Stuff

Local islands are much cheaper, but come with a few drawbacks.

If you’re on a budget, consider staying on “local island” – in many cases less than $100 a night.

For decades, the only place to stay in the Maldives was at the flashy resorts, however, the government has changed the law so locals can open up guest houses on the islands where they live.

These guest houses are basic – but improving each year – and give tourists an affordable way to explore the stunning underwater corals and sea life the Maldives is renowned for.

The better guest houses are run by those who used to work at five-star resorts, so you’re in for a quality experience. Others have little idea what they’re doing, so thorough research is needed.

A local island we stayed on, our room came to $90 a night.

Brook Sabin/Stuff

A local island we stayed on, our room came to $90 a night.

Prices range from around $60 to $180 a night and are found on the main booking platforms.

A note about local islands: Almost all Maldivians are Muslim, meaning on these islands tourists are only allowed to swim at certain beaches (known as “bikini beaches”). Alcohol generally can’t be consumed in public and many islands have mosques. During the holy month of Ramadan, you’ll hear the call to prayer fives times a day, including during sleeping hours. None of the resort islands have any of the above.

3) Airbnb

Airbnb has beach front rooms for around $100 a night.

Screenshot/Supplied

Airbnb has beach front rooms for around $100 a night.

The Maldives has also seen a considerable increase in Airbnb listings, with beach front rooms at around $110 a night.

One of the advantages of Airbnb is its review system, where the best properties quickly rise to the top under a “super host” status – giving you a quick indication of the best places to stay.

4) Location is everything

Seaplanes are needed for many islands – the experience is spectacular, but a little costly.

Brook Sabin/Stuff

Seaplanes are needed for many islands – the experience is spectacular, but a little costly.

So, you’ve booked a great deal at a resort? There could be some hidden costs you need to be aware of.

The entire country is roughly the length of the South Island, meaning many of the resorts can only be reached by seaplane – and the fare will add around $600 per person to your trip.

The best resorts are far away and require flying – however, if you’re looking to save money, consider a resort closer to the capital Male with free boat transfers.

(Note: a seaplane trip is one of the most magical experiences, so if you can afford it, consider sticking with a resort that requires one.)

5) Go off-peak

Club Med Kani is a popular option without the need for a seaplane.

Brook Sabin/Stuff

Club Med Kani is a popular option without the need for a seaplane.

The Maldives lies on the equator and traditionally had a very stable dry and wet season. However, climate change has upended that, and resort staff I’ve spoken to on various visits say the weather is no longer predictable.

On a recent trip during the dry season, we had 10 days of rain.

The dry season was traditionally December to April, and this is when prices peak. However, consider going outside that period to get the best deals.



Original Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

twelve + = 13