UPDATE: At the time of this post the Maldives, indeed offer visitors the opportunity to bypass COVID-19 testing and quarantines. However, in response to several recent COVID-19 cases of resort staff and even foreigners testing positive at the resorts, the Maldives has revised their entry guidelines again.
Now, all tourists are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival.
After more than three months of lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic, the Maldives has reopened for tourism. Flights began returning to the island nation in mid-July. They seem to have the logistics worked out fairly well, so maybe now is a good time to consider looking at a vacation to this stunning destination. The best part? The Maldives reopens without quarantine for most visitors!
Maldives Reopens Without Quarantine
If you have dreaded the thought of being forced into mandatory quarantines to your next destination, the Maldives offers a reprieve. Yes, the Maldives reopens without quarantine!
Upon arriving in the Maldives, quarantine is waived for guests staying at one of the many world-class resorts! For visitors, you simply submit an online Health Declaration form before departing for the Maldives. What I have suggested for my clients is to book a stay at one of luxury resort that has implemented the ‘new normal’ cleaning and hygiene protocols. Many resorts now provide a private speedboat to take you directly from the airport to your deluxe resort.
The Maldives is famous for its sparkling clear waters with amazing shades of azure and sapphire. All islands are atolls, so the land is fairly flat and you can see out across the waters for miles. The beaches are composed of fine crystal-like grains which are white and very fine. Blessed with temperate tropical weather through most months of the year, Maldives makes a perfect choice for a relaxing beach escape. It is found often on many travelers’ bucket lists! Maldives, the definitive dream of indulgence and serenity.
Where Are the Maldives Located?
Its official name is the Republic of Maldives. It is located about 600 miles south-southwest from India’s coastline in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It is also about 635 miles southwest of Sri Lanka.
Travel To The Maldives
Stunning white-sand beaches, fabulous underwater world and world-class luxury resorts make the Maldives a dream vacation of a lifetime.
These airlines historically (pre-COVID-19) provided service to the Velana International Airport (MLE) airport: Aeroflot, Air India, AirAsia X, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Scoot, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines. As things return to a ‘new normal’ in the Maldives, expect these airlines to announce restoration of their flights.
Currently, non-stop flights are scheduled from these locations: Abu Dhabi , Bangalore, Bangkok , Doha , Dubai , Kuala Lumpur , Mumbai and Singapore.
Using these airlines and points of departure, Maldives can be reached in many different ways. As the Maldives reopens without quarantine it might be time to figure out how to get there.
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Visitors are amazed to find nearly all of the 1,200 islands of the Maldives offers powdery, white and sparkling beaches. Nearly every beach is protected by an outer reef, so the waters are tranquil near the sandy beaches. The waters are simply spectacular for guests, featuring clear, calm and crystalline blue shades of color with incredible visibility.
Amazing Underwater World
The serene and clear waters of the Maldives provide visitors with incredible snorkeling and diving opportunities. Once divers explore beyond the reefs, they find a magnificent underwater paradise surrounded by stunning coral formations, intricate caves and a multitude of brilliantly decorated tropical fish. Underwater visitors may catch a glimpse of large sea turtles, manta rays as well as sharks.
You definitely should consider picking up a great underwater or action camera before heading to this water surrounded playground.
Personally, I am now using a GoPro HERO8 Camera with Touch Screen. It features 4K Ultra HD Video, shoots 12MP Photos, has Live Streaming, Stabilization and can automatically produce short movies from your videos clips! It’s currently on sale at $299 ($50 off the standard price!) It’s waterproof to 10 meters, or you can use the protective housing and go down 60 meters!
Peaceful Relaxation and Indulgence
This splendid tropical escape delivers so much for so many. It is a favorite of honeymooners, seeking a private retreat. Maldives is the perfect respite for globetrotters, really anyone, looking for an escape from the pressures and issues of the outside world. Stay and enjoy the peaceful relaxation the island nation has to offer guests. In most upscale resorts guests are able to be pampered by professional, trained spa and massage therapists. Now that the Maldives reopens without quarantine it’s sure to be at the top of many lists to visit again sooner, rather than later.
Immigration Visa Information
Tourist visas are granted for all nationalities on arrival to Maldives. As such, tourists travelling to Maldives do not require pre-approval for the visa. However, each traveler must meet the basic entry requirements to get immigration clearance upon arrival.
Visitors to the Maldives are required to submit a Traveller Health Declaration (THD) within 24 hours prior to their travel. You may submit the form electronically via http://imuga.immigration.gov.mv
Best Time To Visit The Maldives
Visitors will find the ideal conditions are found from December to March. This is the dry season, featuring low humidity, little rainfall and sunny cobalt blue skies. Typically, prices during this ‘high season’ are greater. However, due to the pandemic, I have seen a lot of resorts offering fantastic deals to guests, especially for extended stays longer than 5 nights. If you are looking deeper into 2021 dates, then early April through mid-May is a great second-choice for your visit. There will be warmer temperatures, but also great weather. From then on through most of November (the wet season) you are likely to encounter rainfall and perhaps a storm during your stay.
Where to Stay:
Here are my best suggestions and recommendations currently for a stay in this idyllic destination. These are based on the latest health protocols and procedures. Staying at these resorts should help visitors avoid the quarantine, as mentioned at the outset of this post. These resorts (with enhanced health protocols) are embracing that the Maldives reopened without quarantine requirements for guests.
Here are my picks for the best All-Inclusive 5-Star resorts in the Maldives. Each resort features incredible accommodations, wonderful epicurean delights and top class drinks and cocktails. Each destination resort also feature their own luxurious spa and wellness centers. Of course, there’s so much more to these properties like free equipment and daily activities. These stunning havens truly are the definitive destinations for living it up in fine style and relaxation.
Diamonds Thudufushi – Located on Ari Atoll, a 25-minute seaplane flight south of Malé International Airport. This is what most people dream about when they envision the Maldives. All bungalows on the island itself offer direct access to beach. Each one has a private veranda with sunbeds; perfect for watching those sunsets across the Indian Ocean. The overwater bungalows each provide a private terrace, which also have their own staircase to the lagoon.
The resort is always near the top of the best Five-Star resorts in the Maldives. Whatever you are seeking, Diamonds Thudufushi can provide!
The Eco-Beach bungalows feature an all-inclusive rate of $2,225 (per couple/7 nights) which is a savings of more than 70% off the standard rate!
Overwater bungalows can be grabbed up with an all-inclusive rate of $4,525. That’s a savings of more than $9,400 off the standard rate of $13,986!
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa – The Hyatt property in the Maldives has long been a favorite choice for World of Hyatt members. It has its own dive shop on site. Located on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, the Hyatt is located the farthest from the airport. It’s about 250 miles south of the Malé airport.
A Park Villa room “features a king bed with chaise lounge, private deck with table and chairs, sunbeds, indoor and outdoor rain shower area with terrazzo bathtub and direct access to the beach.” (Hyatt) The rates start at $4,463 (couple, 7 nights.) For an overwater villa, featuring 1,238 sq. feet of living space, the rates start at $7,438. Still, that’s a huge savings of more than 40% off the standard rate of more than $13,000.
Free Transit to Hotel Offer
VARU by Atmosphere – Varu has the complete package! They include free transportation to/from the Male airport in their all-inclusive rates. Guests receive free spa therapy plus twice-daily snorkeling trips.
Their overwater bungalows feature private pools, terrace and stairs to the crystal clear waters below.
The hotel provides nightly entertainment, a great way to unwind after your busy day swimming, snorkeling and sun bathing along the sandy beach of the atoll.
Overwater bungalows feature free minibar replenishment twice per day. Rates for a couple for 7 nights start at $4,454. These bungalows provide more than 1,000 sq. feet of accommodations.
Brand New Five-Star Resort
You and Me Resort is a brand new 5-Star resort on an intimate island. Surroundings which enhances a sense of being alone in paradise. It even has its own underwater restaurant with a view. On three sides of patrons, the sea comes alive above and next to your table! Water villas are perfect. Huge Discounts! Sue to be a favorite of future bucket lists!
Every room choice is an overwater bungalow. The You and Me Suite features more than 3,000 sq. feet of accommodations, including a private pool. The standard rate is close to $24,000 for 7 nights. However, at the moment, the hotel is offering that spectacular overwater villa for $10,125 for a week!
Other overwater villas can be had for less than $3,150/week.
Mid-Range Budget Resorts
South Palm Resort Maldives – You can take a boat (about 30 minutes) from the MLE airport and skip the flight. You’ll not regret getting to the resort this way. Beautiful clear blue waters rush past you as you glide across the waters headed north to your resort. I found the food excellent and the staff very friendly. Daily, the resort offers guests free trips, like snorkeling, which includes free equipment.)
All-inclusive rates for a couple (staying 7 nights) start at $1,868 for a sunrise villa. If you prefer a walk-out beachfront villa, those can be had now for the same rate! This is a special free upgrade option at the resort. That makes a tremendous savings off the standard rates! A slowdown in tourism works for the smart travelers right now.
Canareef Resort Maldives – Includes an all-inclusive option (as low as $1696/7 nights for a couple)
The resort is located within 8 miles (as the crow flies) on the atoll island of Meedhoo. The island is just northwest of the MLE airport. The resort has an outdoor swimming pool, BBQ facilities as well as on-site shops, bars and restaurants. The all-inclusive package allows guests to enjoy free drinks at the bars, coffee at the coffee house, plus complimentary chocolates and cookies. The hotel’s restaurant staff will even prepare pre-packed lunches for guests who choose to take off on a picnic for the day.
*Note: One thing that guests should be aware of…flying of drones by guests on the resort property is prohibited. (As a drone operator, that was a deal-breaker for me, however it may not matter to others.)
Budget Resort Options
Equator Village Resort – Located just down the street from the Velana International Airport, also features a small beachfront area, but a large swimming pool. It also has an all-inclusive rate starting as low as $1,483/7 nights for a couple. That is a savings of more than 24% off the standard rate. The same room without the all-inclusive (but a free daily breakfast) is on sale for $862 for the same 7 nights.
Final Thoughts as Maldives Reopens Without Quarantine
It has been hard to be positive about travel in recent months. However, the reopenings of many destinations to global travelers is encouraging news.
The Maldives is often near the top of travelers’ to see lists. Whether it’s your first time, or your tenth, maybe now is the time to take another look at this idyllic destination.
Now that the Maldives have lifted the mandatory quarantine for guests going directly to a resort, opportunity may be knocking.
If you think the Maldives is a bit far off. you can look closer to home by checking out our reopening guides:
What do you think of the latest move to stimulate tourism as the Maldives reopens without quarantine?
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