Hotels of the Maldives
As we approach the landing strip of the capital city of Malé, we begin to realize the extent of the Maldives archipelago: about 1200, for the most part uninhabited islands, spread throughout the Indian Ocean south of India, with a total surface of 225 square kilometers of land emerged from the surrounding water. And on some of the 202 inhabited islands, we find luxury hotels. The economic concept of the Maldives government is “one island, one hotel.” Developing upscale luxury tourism by offering concessions to international hotel groups has been the policy of the Maldivian authorities since the end of the 1980s. The result is that every year, nearly a dozen new hotels open their doors. In spite of this competition, each establishment manages to position itself differently from the others to the point that the offer is large and varied enough to satisfy all types of vacationers, including couples in search of romance, families, deep sea diving enthusiasts, lazy, laid back vacationers and fans of ecology. And so, with our sarongs and flip flops in hand, let’s embark on a journey to 17 ports of call representing the finest addresses in the Maldives.
The Maldives for families
For a long time, the policy of hotels in the Maldives was: “No kids allowed!” Things have changed, and a number of hotels now propose accommodations and activities designed for children. Families are now welcome on the islands and are considered by hoteliers to be a more and more precious clientele.
The exceptional length of Lhavyani Island has enabled this first five star hotel in the Maldives to offer its guests space either in one of its 20 villas on stilts, or in one of its 80 beach villas. A great many ecological activities and water sports are available to children, supervised by a highly competent and multi-lingual staff.
The Conrad, a member of the Hilton group, is the only hotel complex in the Maldives spread over two separate islands connected by a 500 meter long wooden pontoon. There are no less than 8 kinds of accommodations, 7 restaurants, one of which is underwater, an underground wine cellar and an exceptional cheese reserve where guests can enjoy authentic fondu Savoyard every Thursday evening, not to mention the spa pontoon with its treatment rooms built on stilts.
Built after the devastating tsunami, the Dhigu’s 110 villas are the imaginative work of the inspired Maldivian architect Mohamed Shafeeq. From the ocean, nothing is visible since the constructions blend in perfectly with the surrounding nature. Designed for families, the welcome is warm, the service exating and the activities for children very numerous including a highly active kids’ club.
A vacation in the Maldives naturally responds to the expectations of those who go there, whether it’s for a 21st century Robinson Crusoe experience, for the splendor of its ocean depths, for the delightful spas, for the variety of the gastronomy, the quality of service, the delicate nature of its décor or for the magnificent blue sky and turquoise ocean, the luxury hotels in the Maldives possess everything guests dream of in the way of services. And for those who are afraid of being bored on a semi-deserted island, a bit of advice: change the type of accommodations within the hotel, or why not stay in two different hotels? Just take advantage of the fast hydroplane shuttle service…