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Old 28th October 2021, 21:27   #1
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Default Exploring Maldives, post-Covid

After being fully vaccinated and seeing the Covid cases remain low for decent amount of time, we decided to plan our first overseas trip as a married couple. Maldives looked like the safest and most beautiful option and the fact that a lot of people had already traveled there in recent weeks also gave us confidence.

Planning

After doing a lot of online research, following were our priorities for the trip:
• Stay in a Water villa on a private island resort – This is Maldives’ USP and we just had to experience how it feels like staying literally inside the Indian ocean!
• No point of staying in a beach front or any other form of room on a private island resort – you could get similar experience on a local island as well
• Water activities at a local island – cheaper than private resort and higher number of options

So we decided to stay for a couple of nights in a Water Villa of a private island resort (Centara Ras Fushi Resort) – this was a full board (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) booking and 3 nights on a local tourist island (Maafushi)

Travel Formalities

• RT PCR negative report, test done max 96 hours prior to time of departure from India and filled-up IMUGA (Health declaration for Maldives) form
• RT PCR negative report, test done max 72 hours prior to time of departure from Maldives and filled-up IMUGA (Health declaration for Maldives) form as well as Air Suvidha form

First Stop – Centara Ras Fushi Resort

• All resorts and hotels have dedicated counters at the Male International Airport, we contacted our counter, had to wait for 10 minutes and our speedboat was ready
• It took us about 25-30 min to reach the resort and we were taken directly for lunch
• After lunch, we were taken to our room – The room itself was pretty good but the view was simply breathtaking!
• To have a staircase from the deck of your room going straight into the Indian Ocean – such an amazing experience
• The water outside was fairly still and around 4-5 feet in depth so you can easily stand and walk there
• The best part was that there was hardly anyone in the water at most times so whenever we decided to go it felt so peaceful and the low water depth made it easy for my non-swimmer wife to be comfortable in there
• The resort itself had a lot of locations where you could just sit and chill or indulge in water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling etc
• The food – veg options were very limited and the non veg items were decent in taste but had that kind of sea foody taste even in the chicken and mutton options, didn’t suit my North Indian palette. Fresh breads and dessert options were amazing though

Second Stop – Kaani Palm Beach Hotel Maafushi

• The resort dropped us at Male Airport and then we contacted the hotel’s counter to arrange for our speedboat
• It took 25 min to reach Maafushi and at the jetty we were greeted by an executive of the hotel
• The staff was excellent and answered most of our queries without us even mentioning it
• After the resort, we didn’t have much hope for the view from this room but we were pleasantly surprised, the hotel was at a very central location to the main tourist beach there is on the island
• The whole island had a nice holiday vibe to it without it being too over the top. Lack of alcohol on the island also helped!
• The next day we decided to go on an excursion trip which included – Snorkeling with sharks, snorkeling around a ship wreck, trip to a local island and lunch on a sand bank
• Swimming with sharks was an equally scary and exciting experience. These were sharks which did not have teeth and in general do not attack humans, but still!
• Sand Bank is basically a very small piece of land with no habitation, just sand – looked very cool
• The next day was Karwa Chauth and my wife was on a full day fast so I planned for a special beach side dinner
• There were decent amount of restaurant options available and did have better veg options than the resort

Time for photos now!

Water Villa

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Resort

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Maafushi Island

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Kaani Palm Beach Hotel

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View from the room

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Excursion

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Stingray on the sandbank

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Feeding Stingrays

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Ship wreck

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Swimming with sharks

Last edited by Aditya : 31st October 2021 at 06:02. Reason: Rule #11
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Old 30th October 2021, 00:45   #2
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Default Re: Exploring Maldives, post-Covid

Awesome travelogue, glad you enjoyed it. How much should one budget for a weeklong vacation in Maldives? I might want to go there but it’ll probably be out of budget if I try to go in the last week of 2021.
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Old 30th October 2021, 23:18   #3
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Default Re: Exploring Maldives, post-Covid

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoConsultant View Post

So we decided to stay for a couple of nights in a Water Villa of a private island resort (Centara Ras Fushi Resort) – this was a full board (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) booking and 3 nights on a local tourist island (Maafushi)
Great writeup and pictures I stayed in Centara Ras Fushi in January this year and also had a great time there.

Are they checking for vaccination certificates on arrival or you have to upload them to their portal ? My wife and I are fully vaccinated but we took Sputnik which is not WHO approved yet.

Maldives was so enchanting that I am going there again in two weeks time
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Old 31st October 2021, 20:10   #4
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Default Re: Exploring Maldives, post-Covid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crow View Post
Awesome travelogue, glad you enjoyed it. How much should one budget for a weeklong vacation in Maldives? I might want to go there but it’ll probably be out of budget if I try to go in the last week of 2021.
Budget is a very subjective topic.

Watervillas are the costliest (start from around Rs 30k per night - all meals inclusive - and there's no upper cap here) but are the USP for Maldives and should be experienced for a couple of days IMO

Getting any other rooms on a private resort would be relatively cheaper (~Rs 15-20k per night) and one should go for it if they just want to experience a private island resort

Rooms on a local tourist island like Maafushi are much cheaper (~Rs 5-6k per night) and you can spend more days here to even out the budget

Apart from this, there are a lot of overhead costs, main one being transferred - Our resort was very close to Male and we had to pay $150 per person for the to and fro speedboat transfer from the resort. Male and Maafushi also cost us $20 per person per trip. RT PCR costs $50 and there's Green tax ($7 per person per night). Flights from Delhi cost us around 38k for two people return trip.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat View Post
Are they checking for vaccination certificates on arrival or you have to upload them to their portal ? My wife and I are fully vaccinated but we took Sputnik which is not WHO approved yet.
They didn't feel much concerned about vaccination status, mainly focussing on RT PCR test.
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