The fancy gem of the Maldives are the resorts. You don’t have to stay there in order to enjoy their services. They are more than happy to welcome day visitors.
Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Resort
Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Resort is a 5 star compound with water villas only. You arrive there in the morning around 9.00 and you will be picked up 17:45. In the morning you are greeted with a welcome drink and you get to enjoy the island with all their All-inclusive benefits (unlimited drinks, served lunch, beach chairs, loungers, towels, pool), so actually the same thing as staying there. The place has an incredibly romantic vibe. Of course we checked how much a night would be: the cheapest they could offer was 580$ with half board in an over water villa excluding taxes and surcharges. They offer snorkelling + picnic lunch (comparable with our Sandbank tour) for 93$. We also informed ourselves, how much is diving at their diving centre. They said it’s 55$ per dive on the house reef without equipment, which is aprox. 35$ extra. Of course excluding government and service charge (12% & 11%).
The cost of the day trip with transport (30min) from Maafushi is 100$ per person (with the company iCom).
Centara Ras Fushi Resort
The second resort we visited was a 4-star Centara Rasfushi Adults only resort. One star less was very obvious. Not as nice as Adaaran, but with a nicer pool (but who needs that in the Maldives 🙂 ).
They also have bungalows on the beach which are still very expensive at around 400USD per night. If I would arrive to an expensive resort and would be put to a bungalow like that, I would be disappointed. The bungalows are small, cramped together and totally overrated. The over water villas looked nicer, but again seemed a bit small. They completely changed the shape of the island, destroyed the lagoon, hence snorkelling is not that good. The all inclusive offer here was better, because they had cocktails at the swim-up bar, lunch was an amazing buffet with a huge variety of food. Unfortunately no welcome drinks, pretty crowded beach, but towels, sunloungers and umbrellas were also provided. Of course we wanted to know, how much is diving: 80$ per dive with equipment (+ 12% tax + 11% service charge)
The cost: 120$ per person. The transport is here a bit longer, 45 minutes.
So, what is the next step? Get a plane ticket to Male (from Europe you could get deals for around 400€), get a nice room on a local island and start enjoying this picture-perfect paradise.