Planning a trip to Maldives? A honeymoon maybe? Or just a family getaway? This is where you can find all the information regarding traveling to Maldives midst covid-19.
Now before we move any further, I would like to mention that I am not advocating travel in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. This is merely information about Maldives, which has opened it’s doors and welcoming tourists. Most of it is first-hand information, as my husband and I just got back from the beautiful island on the occasion of our first anniversary.
Here you will find things to do in the Maldives, the hotel we stayed at, what to expect post landing in Male, and all your Maldives questions answered.
2020 Maldives update
The Maldives is open for tourism. The Maldivian government requires every individual traveling here to get a negative covid-19 test not more than 72-96 hours before departure. They are also required to fill in a self-declaration form before their arrival at the property. Temperature screenings will be conducted at all locations in the property, before check-in, and at every restaurant. For further ease, guests can also get a COVID-19 test done at the property by their on-site doctors. Some countries require a re-test 72 hours before leaving the Maldives. Kindly check this further with your respective country’s covid-19 travel rules. Most of the resorts have put a pause on multi-island hopping, or day excursions due to Covid-19. In any case, if you plan to stay in more than one resort, then you may have to take a covid-19 test 72 hours before leaving the first resort. The covid-19 test costs about $200 in the Maldives.
Doesn’t the name alone take you along crystal-clear waters and beautiful corals? At the moment, Maldives is the busiest destination in the world. The country is 99% water and only 1% land. Now, that might freak some people (like me, umm hydrophobia talking!) out there, but the islands here are so beautiful and so relaxing that it makes you forget every other worry in the world.
Planning a Maldives trip can seem overwhelming at first, thanks to the 500 different resorts there. So I’ll show you how to narrow it down to the one that fits your needs. There are resorts in the Maldives that can fit any and everyone’s budget. Honestly, every resort in the Maldives has the same things to offer. The only thing that differs is the level of ‘Luxury’ at which each service is offered. Some resorts are diver friendly, some have coral reefs right at a foot’s length, some have longer more extensive spa treatments while some others are simply party friendly.
When we were booking for the Maldives, we had about 10 resorts at first, and with extensive research, we narrowed down to three and finally chose our one. In this post, I am going to tell you why we chose Oblu by atmosphere at Helengeli and why it was the best decision (especially for me!). There is another post I will be publishing later this week, about the top 10 resorts in Maldives differing on a scale of luxury to mid-range to budget friendly, three in each category.
We stayed here!
Oblu by Atmosphere group has a tropical atmosphere, a homely environment, a beautiful restaurant setting, an outdoor pool overlooking the beach, an adult only (wink wink!) infinity pool, a beautiful Helen’s beach bar and an open-air beach grill restaurant overlooking the Indian ocean. It also has a cozy little games section by the Helen’s bar, and a wide range of alcohol options. Oblu has a range of room options. We took a 4 nights package with two nights in the beach villa and two nights in the over water with pool villa.
The other options available here is the beach suite with private pool – super fancy with lush interiors and an amazing pool view. The resort itself is about 950m in stretch, so walking around is super easy. The restaurants and bar, are located right in the center.
They have a diving center with a list of activities for guests to engage in during the stay. They have well trained and experienced instructors to help you around with anything adventurous, like deep sea dive or snorkeling. The hospitality is beyond anything I have ever experienced. The staff keep you like family and assures personal attention to each guest. They have a beautiful spa and experienced therapists and masseuse’.
Is it okay to resort-hop?
I’d rather not. The Maldives is widely spread. And due to COVID-19, it isn’t a very good idea to stay in more than one resort either. Simply because you’d have to go through the whole COVID-19 test protocol all over again to enter into another island. If I’d go back there, I’d still stick to just one resort.
What about food?
Well, this is my FAVORITE parrttt!
I LOVED the food in Oblu at Helengeli. You see, we are vegetarians and the Maldives is known for its sea food (duhh!). So, on my first day, I met with the chef and explained what I wanted. And man was I surprised. With every single meal, on every single day. At the end of each meal the chef would meet with me personally and ask what I was expecting for my next meal. And I got what I asked for EVERY SINGLE TIME. Just imagine, a whole 3 course meal custom made for you. Wouldn’t that make you feel special and looked after? And me being a total foodie, you must know how much I thanked the chef and the rest of the staff at Oblu.
However, the overall food scene in Maldives is absolutely phenomenal. I wonder where they get their chef’s form. Regardless of how luxurious the resort is, be rest assured, you’d never go hungry in the Maldives. And if you have any food specifications or allergies, feel free to get in touch with the chef, he’d be more than willing to serve you best.
There are multiple options for what you can include in your package. We went for the all-inclusive package. Simple reason being, when in Maldives, there is no where else to go, or eat, except your own resort. And since I am a foodie, we went for the all-inclusive package, which included all three meals and unlimited beverages and alcohol.
The other option include – A breakfast only option (honestly no one goes for this), a half board (breakfast & dinner included), and a full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner included). Oblu has a multi cuisine restaurant, The Spice, and a barbecue restaurant, The grill, both facing the open ocean. The former being an over water restaurant and the latter on the beach.
How many days are too many days in the Maldives?
Well, there’s no perfect answer to this. We spent 5 days and 4 nights with enough time to explore the resort, snorkel, scuba dive, kayak, fill in a photoshoot and so much more. We two couples there, who’d spent almost a week in Maldives, and another who was extending their stay by another week. So really its up to you and how much are really willing to spend. Some even come here for 3 days. But personally, I’d say that’s too little to squeeze in everything. Around 4-6 nights would be ample in my opinion.
Can Maldives turn boring?
Okay, so this is my second favorite question to answer. Simply because I am Hydrophobic and can’t stand being around water for too long (yepp, I know what you’re thinking. What on earth was I doing in maldives). Here is goes – Nop, Maldives won’t be boring IF, you are adventurous enough to try everything it has to offer. Honestly, there is a misconception among a lot of people that Maldives can turn boring after a while. You know with just being in one island, eating at the same restaurant, watching the same sunset blah blah…
If you’re going to stay in one of the resorts I recommend, I assure you have plenty to keep you busy for the entire week. From paddleboarding to sunset fishing, dolphin cruise, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, spa, oh there’s just so much to do. We had so much fun trying new things. EVEN ME. Now Prash is a water baby, while I am a Mountain baby, and even though I am hydrophobic, we had the best, most well-trained instructors who took me by the hand and helped me experience the underwater world. I even bought a book to keep me company while Prash would enjoy the waters, but believe me, I DIDN’T EVEN TOUCH THE BOOK. I guess I just never knew I could enjoy the waters so much.
What is the best time to visit the Maldives?
Maldives is busy all year round. The weather is pretty much the same throughout the year. It’s known for 80/80/80 – meaning – 80 degees, 80% humidity & 80 degree ocean water. I think that’s because it is so close to the equator. Also, from late November to early Feb, are the driest months. But the sun keeps shining bright and you’ll always always need high SPF sunblock throughout the year. There are multiple peak seasons in Maldives. So if you’re planning, make sure to book in advance.
The pandemic has changed the travel scene in the Maldives quite a bit. It is still the busiest tourist destination across the world at the moment, but due to covid-19 restrictions, not all countries have opened their international travel gates. But there’s a catch here. Because of the worldwide lockdown, and the Maldives earning it’s highest through tourism, the rates at each resort, and their offers are pretty crazy and grab worthy. They are super budget-friendly, and here’s a secret – they are open to bargain. Now by bargain, I don’t mean price-wise. But, in terms of all additional inclusions. You can always request the resort to give you some additional freebies added to your package.
What do I pack for the Maldives?
Swimwear, kaftans, bikini’s, shorts, basically anything that screams TROPICAL and breezzyy! You don’t need denims or sweaters, no matter what month you’re travelling it.
You absolutely CANNOT FORGET SUNBLOCK. Lots of high SPF sunblock is needed here. The sun rays are really strong in this island, and be prepared, that no amount of sunblock will prevent you from getting that sun-tan. But sunblock is needed anyway, so you don’t directly and awfully burn your skin too much.
You must also carry a beach hat. I missed on this one and boy did I regret later. Carry it, so you can use it well while you’re chilling with a martini by the pool (wink).
An underwater camera like a go pro is an essential if you want to take tones of underwater pictures. The sea life is so colorful in Maldives, before you know it you’ll find yourself snorkelling with baby sharks and turtles and plenty fishes everywhere.
You’d need a Power converter if you’re travelling from the US. Maybe not if you’re coming from the UK. Although, I did carry one and I come from India.
Slippers. Beach friendly, easy-breezy slippers are a must. You want to leave those heels back home. There ain’t no space for heels on the beach. Also it means so much more room in your suitcases for those gorgeous sundresses.
Which gets me to sundresses. A long breezy one, and a short strappy one, and you’re ready for those insta worthy pictures!
Is Maldives just for couples? Or does it also cater to a family crowd?
Well, it caters to everyone. The Maldives is surely famous for it’s honeymoon packages, but there are plenty families traveling there every year. It is also a perfect Bachelor/bachelorette destination. There are so many resorts that have family sized bedrooms, private pools, kids friendly activities.
Can you carry alcohol to Maldives?
NO. a simple clear no. You see, Maldives is a muslim country and alcohol as such is not allowed here. We are soo glad we googled and later crosschecked with our agent about carrying alcohol here. It’s a simple no-no. Another reason for going all-inclusive aye ?
So don’t think you can sneak it in your suitcase, ‘coz they will find it. And if found, you’ll have to pay about 200% worth charges. Also one more thing to keep in mind while booking a trip to Maldives is that alcohol is pretty expensive in the resorts. So you may want to take an all-inclusive package if you don’t want to end up paying high bills in between your drinks.
Finally, how expensive is the Maldives really?
Well, I live in India, so the flights turned out to be pretty light on the wallet. But it can be a little pricey to travel tom Maldives if you’re flying all the way from the states, or somewhere from Europe or alike. Our flights costed us about #320 per person approx. Most of the resorts are accessible via speedboat, which usually is included in your package (make sure it is included), while some others are only accessible via sea-plane, which cost about $300-$500 roundtrip per person, depending on the resort you pick.
But if you’re going to Maldives for your honeymoon or your anniversary, don’t shy away from splurging on. This is a place to splurge. So, loosen the strings a little. Pool villas cost you more than beach villas. Water activities cost a couple extra hundreds (some of these are included in the package). Added to this, the cost of spa. You must absolutely get a spa or a massage here. It is totally worth it.
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Tonnes of love and hugs from across the world ~ Sak!
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I am Sakshi from India. Travel writer by profession, traveler by passion, bibliophile at heart and photographer by hobby, I possess an endless quest for newer travels and adventures. Hiking is my annual routine and some call me the mountain queen. Nature inspires me and travel motivates me to be better, write better, live better. I am a girl living in abundance, just a girl hunting for her boarding-pass!