Crystal clear seas, powdery white sand and indulgence beyond measure are three things that come to mind whenever the Maldives is mentioned.
While the country is famous for its unique beauty and extravagant resorts, it is not solely dedicated to the wealthy tourist – it offers various accommodation options catering to a diverse range of preferences. These facilities are broadly categorised into four types: resorts, hotels, guesthouses and liveaboards.
Ever since the relaxation of tourism rules, which restricted tourism to resorts on uninhabited islands, the guesthouse industry has boomed in the Maldives. Since then, many guesthouses have been developed in inhabited islands, with the greater Male region being the main hub.
The styles of guesthouses range from budget to boutique, B&Bs and more.
The amenities, service and luxury vary from that of resorts but guests have access to similar types of activities that resorts offer. Opportunities for excursions to nearby islands and sandbanks, watersports, snorkelling and diving are available. Most of the islands with guesthouses also have watersports and dive centres.
By staying at a guesthouse, tourists will have the prospect of experiencing the rich culture of the country like a true local; make new friends, discover the history of the island by visiting accessible historical hotspots or even partake in day-to-day activities. For the budget traveller, the backpacker or the knowledge-seeker, the stay will surely reap benefits to last a lifetime.
The biggest difference one may notice is that while resorts adhere to the one-island-one-resort concept, guesthouses do not. This means that tourists must bear in mind to be respectful of the local community, its customs and traditions.
As the Maldives is a 100 per cent Muslim country, women are expected to dress more modestly on inhabited islands than in designated resorts. Consumption of alcohol and pork, while not forbidden for tourists, is also usually frowned upon.
But this is offset by the many other wonderful opportunities the islands have to offer. Witness kids as they play in their own imaginative worlds, play a game of football in the evening, hang out on the beaches while sipping a cuppa and eating hedhikaa (short eats), or simply join in the chit-chat among the locals.
Guesthouses across the Maldives are currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but they will be allowed to reopen from August 1.
Meanwhile, resorts can begin hosting guests from July 15.
Celebrate Earth Week with Nature’s Embrace at Oaga Art Resort
Join Oaga Art Resort from March 21st to 27th, 2024, for a week dedicated to connecting with the beauty and wonder of our planet. Immerse yourself in a program filled with creative activities, meaningful experiences, and a deep appreciation for Earth’s magic.
Unwind with Earth-inspired creativity:
March 21st, as the world celebrates Poetry Day, start your day with a poetic breakfast, followed by a lunchtime fusion of traditional Maldivian Boduberu beats and poetry called ‘Farihi’. In the evening, enjoy some poetry reading and a captivating performance by local duo “Something Lovely”.
On March 22nd, tap your feet to the lively rhythms of a Boduberu jam session at lunch. As the stars emerge, witness the artistry of a sand artist create their magic on the Raa Baa deck.
Connect with nature in a mindful way:
March 23rd, as part of Earth Hour, join a peaceful candlelit Earth Meditation and sound healing session. Later, light your own candle and take part in an art installation under the moonlight. Savour a delicious Earth-conscious buffet and enjoy unplugged music around a bonfire.
On the same day, a special coral planting cocktail is to take place during sunset at the beach. Witness firsthand the wonders of coral restoration as you help plant 60+ coral frames in Oaga’s reef nursery. This project, in partnership with Coralive, aims to completely restore the house reef by 2028. Savour refreshing cocktails and learn about the crucial role coral reefs play in our ecosystem while contributing to a sustainable future.
Celebrate Holi traditions with an eco-twist:
March 25th, witness the creation of a stunning sand mandala and participate in the traditional Full Moon ritual. Dance the night away at a vibrant Holi Full moon party with minimal lighting and glow-in-the-dark paint.
Reflect and reminisce under the stars:
March 26th, cuddle up for a captivating movie night featuring nature documentaries under the starlit sky.
A grand finale on World Theatre Day:
On March 27th, engage your children in a fun puppet show and enjoy a live performance by the energetic band Sky Rock. The week culminates with a special Earth-themed solo performance at the Kaa Kada dinner in celebration of World Theatre Day.
Beyond these highlights, Earth Week weaves its theme throughout Oaga’s daily activities. Whether it is to explore nature-inspired percussion in Take Notes sessions or to let your kids unleash their creativity with eco-friendly crafts in the Fiyoh Kid’s Club, there is something engaging for everyone.
Join Oaga and embark on a journey that reconnects you with nature, celebrates our planet, and leaves you feeling empowered to make a positive difference.
Hurawalhi Island Resort’s Exemplary Commitment to Marine Conservation Shines in the Maldives
Hurawalhi Island Resort, nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of the Maldives, proudly reaffirms its steadfast dedication to marine conservation through pioneering initiatives aimed at safeguarding the region’s diverse marine ecosystems.
Saoirse Macklin, the esteemed Resident Marine Biologist at Hurawalhi Island Resort, emphasizes the Maldives’ distinguished status as one of the world’s most biodiverse marine environments. “At Hurawalhi, we prioritize the dissemination of knowledge and wonder about our marine world,” states Macklin. “As a Marine Biologist, it’s been a privilege to inspire and educate guests about the remarkable marine life surrounding our island.”
Hurawalhi’s commitment to marine conservation materializes through a range of educational experiences offered to guests. From immersive Turtle Tours, shedding light on the pivotal role of seagrass in sustaining turtle populations, to awe-inspiring Manta Search excursions, each journey represents an enlightening voyage of discovery.
During these excursions, science and education take precedence, ensuring guests acquire profound insights into the intricate ecosystems enveloping the island. As the resident Marine Biologist, Macklin spearheads efforts to monitor and safeguard turtle and manta populations, employing cutting-edge photo identification techniques to meticulously track and document individual specimens during every expedition.
Hurawalhi extends a warm invitation to guests to partake in Marine Biologist-guided reef snorkeling experiences, providing an unparalleled opportunity to explore coral reef and seagrass ecosystems while championing their preservation. Participants not only revel in the splendor of the house reef but also actively engage in efforts to protect these delicate habitats.
Furthermore, Hurawalhi’s commitment to marine conservation is evident in its ongoing projects. The resort’s diligent monitoring and maintenance of its artificial reef program adjacent to the iconic 5.8 Underwater Restaurant aim to rejuvenate and revitalize reef systems. In 2021, a total of 114 artificial reef frames were transplanted, laying the groundwork for reef regeneration.
Recent initiatives include the creation of “festive frames,” crafted by guests during the holiday season, with regular updates fostering continued guest involvement in conservation endeavors. Annual monitoring of benthic habitats and species abundance by the Marine Biologist team is pivotal, collecting data to track changes in habitats and biodiversity over time. This scientific endeavor provides valuable insights into the health of Hurawalhi’s marine life and serves as a cornerstone for future conservation efforts.
The data collected holds immense potential, serving as a catalyst for initiatives aimed at securing protected status for Hurawalhi and its surrounding waters. Through collaboration with government-led conservation programs and local stakeholders, the resort aspires to designate Hurawalhi as a protected area, ensuring its continued vitality and resilience.
In the face of unprecedented challenges to ocean conservation, Hurawalhi remains resolute in its mission to preserve and protect the marine marvels of the Maldives. Through collective understanding and concerted action, the resort endeavors to safeguard these invaluable ecosystems for generations to come.
Bandos Maldives Easter Eggstravaganza: A Celebration of Fun and Adventure
Bandos Maldives is thrilled to announce the Easter Eggstravaganza, set to take place on March 30th, 2024. This vibrant celebration promises an unforgettable Easter experience for guests of all ages. The event will feature an array of exciting activities designed to bring joy and excitement to the holiday festivities.
Guests are invited to step right up to the Kokko Club Playground and immerse themselves in a world of fun at our Mini Carnival. Additionally, participants can test their luck and skill at the Blackout Bingo Bonanza, where dabbing their way to victory awaits.
For those with a creative spirit, our Easter Art painting session offers the perfect opportunity to unleash their artistic talents and paint their way into spring. Meanwhile, adventure seekers can embark on a thrilling Bunny Trail Adventure, joining the epic Bunny Hunt Challenge to locate all the hidden bunnies lurking around the Kokko Club.
At Bandos Maldives, we are committed to providing our guests with extraordinary experiences, and the Bandos Easter Eggstravaganza is no exception. This Easter, make memories that last a lifetime at Bandos Maldives. Don’t miss out on the excitement!
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