Ok. Let’s start by putting this in perspective. Affordable is a very subjective term when one talks about the Maldives. To begin with nothing is particularly affordable. Especially if you insist on staying in a water bungalow like we did. But then can you really blame us ? Exhibit A.


So we began our research to find the most ‘affordable’ of the lot. The average price of a bungalow was Rs.30,000-Rs.50,000 a night. Yes. Not including any meals. And then we stumble upon a deal by MakeMyTrip. 4 nights, 5 days at the Adaaran Club Rannahli. Rs.70,000 per head which included flights, stay in a water bungalow, all meals and unlimited alcohol (certain types of course) ! We booked without giving it another thought. And we had a holiday to remember.

Our top three things of the trip !

1. The entire place !!

When you get there you only think “How is this real?”. Powdery white sand beaches, hammocks to laze on, an ocean with the most brilliant hues of blue and noone in sight. It doesn’t get better than this. From the time you get on the speedboat to take you to your own island, (each hotel is on an entire island. Seriously.) you feel you have dropped down a rabbit hole into another dimension. Imagine a postcard. And then imagine yourself in it.

2. Snorkelling

The abundance of coral and marine life and its proximity to the surface of the ocean makes snorkelling a dream here. Those gorgeous blue formations you see in the ocean from your flight? Well that’s coral reefs. Ride off into the never ending blue and jump off somewhere in the middle of the ocean only to find coral just a few feet below you. Meet Nemos and turtles and manta rays in plenty apart from a host of fish and coral. Our favourite snorkelling moment was meeting this adorable fellow !

3. Our water bungalow

Picture your own bungalow on stilts in the water. A deck with two lounge chairs to relax on, a staircase to enter the ocean and snorkel around whenever you feel like it, and a glass floor inside so you can always see what’s happening below you. Jump into the ocean at your own will and snorkel all around the island, or enjoy many a sunset on the lounge chairs just soaking in the beauty around you. Our favourite evening ritual was lounging on our deck, book in hand, tea and cookies, and the view. Definitely get a water bungalow in the Maldives. It’s worth it.

 

Some things we did not get to do but should be on your list

1. Diving

We unfortunately do not have our diving certification but Maldives is a dream for any diver. We did a beginners open water dive but, to be honest, you see much more snorkelling than doing this dive here. Once certified, there is no limit to the things you can see here. Check out our friend and brilliant photographer, Anup J Kat’s page for more. If you enjoy diving and are certified you could consider doing a liveaboard experience where you live on a boat. And dive. All day and night. Sounds like quite the experience.

 

2. Go visit the glow in the dark beach.

Yes is it exactly what it sounds like. The Vadoo islands or at the Dusit Thani resort, you can see this scene which seems straight out of some fantasy movie. These phytoplankton are bioluminescent and provide for the most breath taking experience.
Maldives and Adaaran Rannahli truly spoilt us and gave us a breathtaking experience. The foodies in us expected a little more though. This resort offers only all inclusive packages which means no ala carte and the buffet didn’t really do it for us. If you do go here carry some fun munchies along! 🙂

If you need a holiday which relaxes you like no other, Maldives is the place to go!