How to book a villa in the Maldives to advantage: tips and holiday features
Paying visits to travel agents is in the past. And even such a specific vacation, like the Maldives, can be organised on your own – online. Read below how to do this, as well as learn about the pitfalls and benefits of booking villas online.
Photo: Anantara Veli Resort & Spa.
Transfer and taxes
The first thing a new tourist faces when going to the Maldives is transfer and taxes. Usually, online booking platforms do not include these extra costs in the price.
The Maldives has introduced the so-called government tax, which is 12%. Frequently, hotels also include a service tax – about 10%, depending on the hotel. Most online websites do not include these taxes in the room or villa price, indicating in small print that they will need to be paid upon arrival. So, having arrived on the islands, you must be ready to spend another couple of hundred or even thousands of dollars to cover taxes.
The Maldives has one international airport – in the capital of Malé. As a rule, all vacationers fly into this airport. Resorts and their hotels, where 90% of tourists go on vacation, are located on separate islands, which still need to be reached. That’s the transfer we want to speak about – from the airport to your island. Depending on the remoteness of the island and hotel services, there are several types of transfers:
- by boat or yacht;
- by seaplane (a small plane that lands on the water, providing a direct connection between the airport and the hotel);
- by local airlines + boat (flight from Malé to the nearest big city and then a boat to the hotel).
Depending on the remoteness and the chosen transport, the cost ranges from several hundred dollars to several thousand. The trip to some islands can take about an hour. As previously noted, the transfer to the hotel is usually not included on online platforms, and you need to pay for it separately upon arrival in the capital of Malé.
For example, the five-star Velassaru Hotel provides a group boat transfer (25 minutes) for $131 (+ taxes) round trip per person. The four-star Innahura is much further and provides a seaplane shuttle (a 35-minute flight from Male Airport) for 360 dollars round trip per person.
How to immediately pay for the hotel, including all extra costs
Some websites, for example, wiotto.com, already include all taxes and transfers in the price of the hotel. So, having booked a villa in the Maldives, you do not need to pay extra upon arrival. You will be met at the airport and delivered to the island at no additional cost.
What determines the cost of hotels in the Maldives
The Maldives adheres to the principle “One Island, One Resort”. The reason for this is the size of the islands. The average length of one island is about a kilometre. As a rule, one island shelters one hotel. Villas, suites and regular rooms can be divided into two types: water accommodation (the so-called water villas) and land accommodation (on the beach or at the back of an island).
Photo: Hurawalhi Maldives Resort.
As a rule, water villas are more expensive. For example, You & Me by Cocoon famous for its underwater restaurant offers Beach Suite With Pool for $2541 and Aqua Suite With Pool for $4269 for two for 4 days in April.
What determines the price:
- Hotel stars. There are 3*, 4*, 5* and 5*+ hotels in the Maldives. Therefore, the higher the category, the more expensive.
Photo: The five-star Shangri-La's Villingili Island Resort & Spa.
- Location and view. A land villa with a garden view will be significantly cheaper than a stilt villa with panoramic ocean views.
- Pool and size of villa. Pools of various types, jacuzzi, several bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers, the number of floors and the size of the villas themselves increase the price of the villa.
- Meal. Maldivian resorts offer different meal types: Breakfast (only breakfast), Half Board (for example, only breakfast and dinner, without drinks), Full Board (three meals a day, without drinks), All Inclusive (three meals a day with drinks and, for example, cocktails at the bar). In addition to these categories, hotels may often include a minibar, excursions, sports and more.
Photo: Ayada Maldives.
- Spa. One of the reasons why people come to the Maldives is its upscale Spa treatments using luxury cosmetic brands. The presence of underwater Spa rooms overlooking the coral reefs, as in the Huvafen Fushi, of course, increases the cost of vacation at times.
- House reef. Another reason to get to the Maldives is snorkelling, i.e. watching the colourful underwater world. Coral reefs, bright fish, manta rays and many other exotic inhabitants of the Indian Ocean attract thousands of tourists annually. Not all islands, and therefore hotels, can boast vibrant reefs, that’s why their presence increases the cost of an island vacation. One of the best resorts for snorkelling and diving in the Maldives is considered Lily Beach. The reef begins within 10–20 meters from the beach. Here, you can see whale sharks all year round, manta rays in the summertime, as well as the diversity of corals and fish.
- Entertainments and Kid’s club. Popular resorts have special programmes for children – from educational games to acquaintance with underwater inhabitants. Also, the resorts offer lessons with instructors in fitness, yoga, tennis, diving, and many more.
How to reduce the cost of holidays in the Maldives
Quite often, depending on the season, the number of visitors, holidays and other factors, hotels offer discounts (sometimes up to 70%) and the so-called special offers when, for example, children stay for free, or every third night is free. Frequently, you can come across an option when booking accommodation is much cheaper if made before a specific date.
Wiotto.com works directly with partners in the Maldives and shows in its catalogue all possible discounts and special offers relevant at the time of the search.
All you need to do is just to enter the desired dates and the number of guests, filter out the criteria of interest (for example, pool, house reef, Spa, Kid’s club, etc.) and select a hotel. A price calendar will open on the hotel page.
When scrolling through the calendar, you can instantly compare on which day it’s cheaper to book the selected hotel. You can often find an option when a check-in a week earlier than the selected dates will be less expensive by several hundred dollars or even thousands. It’s very convenient because you don’t need to enter new dates every time to compare the cost of living.
Pleasant benefits from wiotto.com:
- Online chat 24/7. The destination experts will help you online choose the right hotel and give practical advice on holidays in the Maldives.
- Possibility to reserve a Spa or table in the underwater restaurant. It is worth noting that such things should definitely be done in advance since, upon arrival, everything is usually booked already by tourists living in the hotel.
- Possibility to organise a marriage ceremony in the Maldives.
- Taxes and transfers already included in the price. Upon arrival to the island, you no longer need to pay for them.
- Unique price calendar described above. With its help, you can quickly find the most suitable option in the Maldives.
- Filters specially designed for island vacation:
- hotels by transfer type (families with small children prefer a quick transfer – by boat rather than by plane);
- number of bedrooms (useful for families and groups of friends who need to stay in one villa);
- price search by type of villa (water or beach villas, or a water villa with pool).