A whole category of Maldives offerings that I’ve not yet seen are the guesthouses and liveaboard/yacht options. I have researched them quite a bit. And Hotellier Maldives asked me to share a few perspective from my investigation for people considering these alteratives. The result is the recently published article “Bunking with the Billionaires on a Budget – Part 2”.
- “Some guest houses cost as little as $50/night. For certain types of travellers, being on an inhabited island has added dividends of being able to explore and interact with the local community and experience their island life. But these offerings also have a number of constraints that you should be aware of and do limit their appeal to some visitors.”
- “Liveaboards have long been a cheap option for divers to bunk while going from dive site to dive site. But in the Maldives, the cruising options have gotten quite sophisticated and expansive. You can find quite well appointed bedrooms in lovely vessels serving delicious food. Some boats even offer spa services onboard.”
- “If your room is a bit faded and worn, then step outside and you can enjoy the same gorgeous sunset that the millionaires in the fancy resort across the water are paying ten times as much to enjoy.”
Once again, I was invited to share my Maldives expertise with the readers of Hotelier Maldives, the leading industry publication for Maldives resorts. I covered a pretty comprehensive response to the 3rd most frequently asked question posed to me: “How can I afford to go to the Maldives?”
The article titled “Bunking with the Billionaires on a Budget” recommended:
- Ignore the Reviews.
- Go Half-Board.
- Brave the Six-Week Game.
- Go Garden.
- Brave New Openings.
- Use Loyalty Points.
- Inhabited Island Resorts.
- Avoid Seaplanes.
- “Remember you are going to the Maldives for its unique landscape, dazzling waters, lush tropical paradise, and underwater adventure and these are the same if you are in a luxury resort or a more basic property.”
Historically, when it came to the rest of the world first visiting the Maldives, Gan was the centre of the map, in fact the very heart of navigation and in the whole Indian Ocean area. The Addu Island has a proud aeronautical legacy that goes back decades and continues to this very day. And for a cargo plane full of fun facts that I picked up during my stay there this summer as well as some follow up research, check out Maldivian Holidays’ latest issue features a piece on Gan by yours truly. You can read their online version, and (appropriately enough) it is also distributed as an in-flight magazine in the Maldives.
As it happens, Equator Village welcomed the latest resort manager, Mohamed Waheed, this past week. May this resort fly high for many years to come.
I try to help.
Most of the material on Maldives Complete is aimed at helping prospective visitors to the Maldives decide on the best resort for them (my response to the question I get asked most frequently…”there is no *best* resort overall, just the ‘best’ one *for you*“). As I’ve discussed many times, I’ve leaned towards more of the underserved groups like families going to there, but over time I’ve covered just about all niches including the mainstays of honeymooners and now, especially after the Dive Site database addition, divers.
One group that I also help where I can are the resorts themselves. A number of resorts follow the “Things I Haven’t Seen Yet” series. I always have delightful, extended chats with the resort management and the Ministry of Tourism when I visit. After nearly 20 years of visiting and over 50 resorts visited, not to mention my countless hours of on-going research and input from the website fans, I have many thoughts and perspectives about the Maldivian experience.
A number of resorts will often pitch me that their resort is a “Best of the Maldives” candidate for some special feature only for me to deflate them by citing several resorts who offer the same thing. On the other hand, I always uncover unsung treats on their island that they didn’t even know was unique in the Maldives. My island tours are like mini treasure hunts for me seeking out these overlooked gems as well as missing (incomplete!) data and photos of the property.
Recently, I was invited to do a guest piece by one the leading publication for the industry, Maldives Hotelier – “Marketing and Differentiation: How do you choose?” It discusses a principle at the heart of good marketing, the destination of the the Maldives itself and any self-respecting resort – “distinction”. A big nod to Seth Godin “Purple Cow” thinking about being “remarkable” as well as other tips I have noted during my travels here and elsewhere. And all about finding both the gems on your property as well as *being* the best resort for maybe not everyone, but certainly for many.
As I have noted, my very first vision for Maldives Complete was a site to provide information to families interested in visiting the Maldives. At the time, there were tons of sites for (a) honeymooners, and (b) divers, and yet I always felt that the destination was just as ideal for families as well.
A while back, the Mega Maldives Airlines invited me to write a piece which graced the cover of their in-flight magazine, “Ideal Family Vacation,” on just this subject which many people interested in the topic might find of interest…
“Nearly 10% of visitors to the Maldives were children last year…One of the biggest concerns of a parent travelling with children is safety. And a reassuring sense of security is one of the treasured qualities for a parent in the Maldives. Because the resorts are such small islands one classic fear that dissipates is that of them getting lost. You never would get the feeling that they were lost in the wilderness or snatched in a bustling area. In the Maldives, they might run off, but they can only go so far. And all of the resorts are contained to guests only with access on and off the island tightly monitored…Their unique archipelago topology means than most islands are surrounded by shallow calm lagoons, often protected several metres offshore by a coral reef. This means that there is often very little current and swimming in the ocean is like swimming in a paddling pool (or your own personal aquarium when you consider all of the colourful fish around – always a delight for the children).”