Everything You Needto Know About All-Inclusive Resorts in the Maldives
There is a serious love-hate relationship when it comes to all-inclusive resorts. For some travellers, the terms “all-inclusive” sounds like music to the ears, while for others, it’s the embodiment of watered-down drinks, mediocre food, and sub-par service. However, this rather polarising term comes with many benefits, and it is especially beneficial in countries like the Maldives that are known to be quite heavy on the wallet.
This guide will take you through everything you need to know before booking an all-inclusive stay in an island resort in the Maldives.
What is Included and Not Included in an All-Inclusive Package?
While the answer to this may sound obvious, it is essential that you know what is included in your package. Despite its name, an all-inclusive package is not as inclusive as it sounds, which is why it’s important to read the fine print! While policies and what’s on offer vary from island to island, there are a few general things that will be included in this offer.
All meals, as well as afternoon tea and snacks, are usually covered in an all-inclusive resort. However, these meals are most often served in a buffet style, so if you’re looking for a more intimate dining experience and order from the à la carte menu, you will most likely have to pay extra.
2. Dining Experiences
While meals are included in your package, dining experiences are not. If you’re thinking of trying one of the resort’s different restaurants or a private meal on the beach, or even room service, it will come at an additional cost. However, some resorts have offers where you get a complimentary meal at a special restaurant if you book a certain number of nights at the resort.
3. Alcohol & Other Beverages
Beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic are included in your package. With that said, some resorts have all-inclusive packages with alcohol and some without, so do your homework beforehand to see if there are any extra charges. Also, mini-bar refreshments are generally not included in these packages.
4. Resort Facilities
All free facilities are available in an all-inclusive resort. If you’re on this package you will be able to use the pool, gym, kids’ club (ideal when you need some R&R), and all non-motorised sports and water sports are part of your package. Some hotels may offer a complimentary spa treatment, but this depends on the hotel’s policy.
As exciting as an all-inclusive package sounds, it is imperative that you do your research beforehand because at times you can easily go over your budget when you have to pay for extra charges.
Is an All-Inclusive Package Worthwhile?
These packages are certainly worthwhile if you’re on a tight budget and especially useful when travelling with children. The Maldives can be quite pricey, so an all-inclusive package allows you to experience all the wonders of the country without stressing out about the extra cost of food and beverage.
An important fact to keep in mind is that the Maldives consists of a series of small islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, which means these resorts import virtually everything. While this means you get to enjoy the finest produce from all over the world, it also results in a high service charge for resorts to offset their import duties.
Also, while the words ‘all-inclusive’ sound like a budget traveller’s dream come true, in the Maldives, these packages can be pretty pricey and can change depending on the type of room you select. Overwater villas are a hallmark of the country and everyone wants to stay in one during their holiday. However, due to the high demand of these bungalows, they tend to be more expensive, and a night here with an all-inclusive deal can still cost $1,000 or more. While that may be expensive, before you back out of your Maldivian holiday, take into consideration all the meals, drinks, perks, and the five-star service, you can enjoy.
Other Packages Available in the Maldives
If you’re still unsure whether an all-inclusive package is a right fit for you, here are some other packages that most resorts offer.
1. Full Board
This is very similar to all-inclusive; all your meals will be covered, again buffet style, but you will need to pay for add-ons. Drinks, dining at different restaurants, and other excursions are not included in this package.
2. Half Board
Half board gives you a lot more freedom than other options and is perhaps the favoured package of the lot. With this, your breakfast and dinner will be covered but your lunch will be excluded. This gives you the opportunity to visit one of the other restaurants or visit a neighbouring resort for lunch. Again, snacks, drinks, and activities are not part of this offer.
3. Bed & Breakfast
This package is pretty self-explanatory, you only receive breakfast and have to pay for the other meals, snacks and beverages. This is not a very practical option if you’re staying on a resort island because you would not necessarily find a cheap restaurant or café. However, if you’re staying at a guest house on a local island, this would be a good option.
4. Room Only
Finally, the room only package would be very impractical if you’re on an island resort as you would rack up quite a large bill with all the additional costs. It is, however, a good option if you’re staying in a guest house or hostel on a local island.
Ultimately, visiting the Maldives is a once in a lifetime experience, and if the only way you can visit the country is on an all-inclusive package you should definitely go ahead!