This week the UK budget was delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer with a pretty stark theme of austerity. So what is a Maldives aficionado to do in such times of austerity?
Naturally, all sorts of pre-booking, pre-opening, last-minute and other quirky deals can be found. But all things being equal, the rack-rate lowest starting point is Asdu Sun. They quoted a penny-preserving rate for mid-July of $70 per person per day on full board (flights not included).
But you do get less…unless you truly think less is more. Speaking with Reservations, Asdu Sun takes pride in being back to basics island. No mini-bars. No spa. No fitness centre. No underwater golf range. Not even hot water! The reservations assisted boasted (perhaps another superlative for them) of being the ‘simplest island’. Old school nostalgic simplicity. A plot of sand and a palm tree.
If you are looking for something a little less spartan, Biyadhoo is often cited as one of the best economy-priced resorts. They have hot water and a spa as well as a one of the best house reefs. They quoted $191 for two people per day (for 2 people sharing) Full Board in July which works out to $95 per person per day.
Hopefully, in the future the Maldives government will pave the way for even more economical options according to recent reports on their concerns about catering to the mid-market.
Maybe Asdu Sun’s nickname should be ‘ASDA Sun’. The tag line fits, “Saving you money every day.”
Having been an active TA Maldives Forum participant (“Maldives Complete”) for a while now, I’ve noticed that one does see the same sort of things come around as regularly as sting rays at feeding time. Discussions mosquitos, weather, snorkelling, children, snorkelling children, whale sharks. Many of these have been helpfully turned into FAQs by the Destination Experts (DEs). Obviously, one that comes around very regularly (about one out of every ten posts I discovered) is the question “Which resort?”. With over a hundred resorts to choose from and a few dozen more in the works, we can all appreciate the dilemma.
But for all of the extensive choice, I found it curious that some resorts seemed to dominate the Forum while other great ones were virtually non-existent. I wondered whether it was just my perception so I did a little test. I pulled the Maldives Forum posts for the past six months (August through January) and simply logged any resorts mentioned in the post title. Not extremely scientific as an indicator, but easy, effective and objective.
Vilamendhoo came out the most popular resort enquired about. But just only as they pipped Reethi Beach 49 mentions to 48 over the last 6 months. Rounding out the top 5 were Kuramathi (40 mentions), Lily Beach (38), and Biyadhoo (37). The lions share are shown above which you can click on to see in a clearer, larger version.
I was also intrigued by the quite prominent resorts that have never come up on the forum at least as an explicit post. Many were Italian oriented resorts more like to go to an Italian language site – Alimatha, Dhiggiri, Gangehi, Kihaadhuffaru, Madoogali. Other were pretty exclusive so that the butlers probably book the travel – Banyan Tree Madivaru, Dhoni Island, Nika, The Rania Experience. There was clearly an bias towards the lower priced resorts in terms of mentions. Admittedly, while there are typically fewer rooms/guest on the more expensive/exclusive islands, the modest difference in bed number was not enough to explain the quite extreme difference in post numbers.