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Please help! Where to stay?!

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Please help! Where to stay?!

There are sooo many places to stay in the Maldives, I'm more than daunted. And, as can be expected, lots of conflicting reviews...

Travelling Jan/Feb/March 2006, we're flying from Auckland to Sydney to Dubai to South Africa to Dubai to Maldives to Dubai to Sydney to Auckland. Good old Emirates, why we got airpoints with you I'll never know... I have, at the moment, a budget of $7,000 - $10,000 NZD [about $5,000 - $7,000 USD] for the Maldives staying hopefully 10 nights and excluding flights.

Big question is where to stay. Unfortunately the Maldives looks really expensive. I'm only 20 and my partner is 21 so paying $1,000 USD a night for a room seems a little crazy [even though those water ones look incredible]. I've been able to find 10 nights accommodation at a number of other locations in the South Pacific, Thailand and Australia at deluxe hotels for much less than that price.

Places like Bayan Tree look really nice, but seem like they'll be expensive. I think Angsana might be the best I've looked at so far, but I'm not 75% sure... :P Please don't even suggest Club Med because we're young... ;)

So I guess what I'm trying to get some help with is where can I stay in the Maldives, be really [important] comfortable, have as much included as possible, have lots of sun, snorkel great reefs, AND, stick to my budget. If anyone can help me, I'd be stoked. :)

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21. Re: Please help! Where to stay?!

Although I do totally agree with you that Banyan tree is a better resort than Angsana, I have to re-iterate that it should be because it is a lot (50%) more expensive so it should be. I would disagree when you say every level, because even you aqdmit the spa on Angsana is better and all the reviews I have read say the snorkelling is better (I know you disagree with this, but yours is the only review I have read that says BT is as good)

With regards to the hilton I totally disagree, The hilton is basically two islands that make up one large resort. One of the islands smaller and more expensive/exclusive and the other is larger and cheaper. On the face of it yes some of the lower type room grades are cheaper but when you add in full board and very expensive drinks prices (even for the maldives). The price works out to be more, I know I have actually compared this. Also having been to a large island in the past the experience is not the same and it doesn't feel so intimate, you are one of hundreds as opposed to one of tens. I do agree about the restaurants because it is nice to have a choice, but not many sub 60 room islands have more than one option. Baros does and it is being refurb'd this year so will give Banyan Tree a run for its money next year.

I guess it comes down to requirements/budget not just budget. I Personally think Banyan Tree looks like a first class resort that is on my list to visit definately, but if it was just the fact that I wanted to go there and nothing else mattered I would go for 8-10 days this year. The fact is I don't think 8 days is enough and my requirements were to go for 2 weeks and a 2 day stopover in Dubai, I got the whole package for a similar price to 10 days at Banyan.