November and April are considered ‘shoulder season’, when room rates and flight prices are lower, travelers can make serious savings and weather still averages 88°F.
When is the cheapest time to visit the Maldives?
The cheapest time to visit the Maldives is during the low season, which is May to November. The low season sees hotel rates drop substantially, with free transfers, free nights and room upgrades thrown in regularly. You risk some cloudy days and light showers, but temperatures remain in the mid-80s, so you’re still in for a treat of a trip. If you’re looking for more tricks, then take a look at our guide on how to have a cheap holiday in the Maldives.
A few extra tips: swap the seaplane for a speedboat to save yourself more than $250, and be on the lookout for new hotels, which offer introductory deals in the first few months of opening.
What’s winter like in the Maldives?
Whether you’ve got your PADI or you just fancy a fun dive, dipping beneath the archipelago’s surface is a magical experience. From the native corals, colorful anemones and otherworldly nudibranch to the docile sea turtles, swooping manta rays and curious (but harmless) whale sharks, the excellent visibility here makes it one of the best places to witness marine life in its natural habitat. Many resorts have in-house marine biologists who enable budding conservationists of every age to learn more about the environment and help make a positive impact on it. Indulgent infinity pools and white sandy sweeps descending into shallow, sparkling waters are primed for a paddle; secluded picnic spots and private terraces make for the finest of dining experiences; overwater villas make even your down-time up-market; wellness centres and bespoke spa experiences help you to fully embrace the go-slow pace.
What are the Maldives like during Christmas and New Year?
During the festive season in the Maldives, Santa doesn’t use a sledge, he flies by seaplane. And despite the Maldives’ quiet, low-key attitude, many of the resorts still know how to throw a party and get guests in the festive mood: Gili Lankanfushi kicks off the season with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, whilst the The Nautilus hosts Santa hat-making classes for kids and Father Christmas drops off gifts for adults and kids at Joali. From Christmas movies on the beach to New Year’s celebrations under the stars, even those trying to escape all the duties that holiday season can bring can’t help but get into the festive spirit.
Where to stay in the Maldives
Truly, it’s hard to find a bad resort in this slice of paradise. Where you choose to stay will depend on your budget, but Kudadoo, the country’s first solar-powered hotel and its first all-inclusive luxury hotel, is a good place to start. Arranged around a circular wooden walkway out at sea, its 15 rooms conjure spacious Japanese ryokans, fronted by a wide deck, plunge pool and ladder into the swirling blue sea.
Gili Lankanfushi is set in one of the most eye-wateringly beautiful lagoons in the country, a vision of broad white beaches, and all the villas here are stilted over the water, keeping the island wild and the beaches on full dazzling display.
At the JW Marriott Maldives Resort and Spa, an Indian Ocean version of the white-picket perfection of the Hamptons, there isn’t a hibiscus out of place or a palm that hasn’t been preened. This is an ultra-slick take on the tropical paradise blueprint.
A version of this article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller.