On the Resorts
On a typical Maldives day, holidaymakers who had been worried about what they might do for a fortnight on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean are relaxing on the beach, or snorkelling lazily around the island’s reef.
Mealtimes punctuate the day, and an occasional game of beach volleyball or trip to a local island add a bit of variety. Even on the resorts where little else is arranged, no one is complaining of boredom. There is nowhere else in the world where you can unwind quite like you can in the Maldives.
Some resorts have no entertainment at all, not from lack of care or imagination but because that’s how the guests want it. There are a small number at the other end of the spectrum that offer everything from a video games room to golf and a show every night. If you’re still worried about what to do on the resort, read What is There to Do?
How to dress
There is no dress code on the resorts, and just one rule: no nudity, which rules out topless sunbathing. In practise, even this depends on the style of resort and the extent of the privacy.
Light cotton clothes are ideal during the day. Don’t forget your sunglasses and lotions. A sarong or wrap is useful and can always be bought in the resort shop. Sandals and slip-on leather or canvas shoes are all you will need on your feet.
You won’t need a pullover of any sort but a light shawl might be added to a dress for evening wear. Similarly, a smart, long sleeve shirt can lend a sense of occasion to the evening. Then just a bit of spangle and dash for the nightclub nights.
When one forgets the day so easily, marking the hours won’t happen. So isolated from the rest of the world are the resorts that many of them set their own time. Island clocks are put one, one and a half or even two hours ahead of the time in Male (UTC+5).
In this way you are up and about for more daylight hours. What seems to be eight in the morning is actually six or seven o’clock. You get up earlier than you think. So close to the equator, daylight runs more or less from 6am to 6pm.
Why not enjoy as much of it as you can?
Relating to staff
Every Maldivian is a Sunni Muslim and speaks Dhivehi, although the southern atolls have a distinct dialect.
Maldivian people have developed a calm, non-confrontational manner as a result of living closely together on confined islands. They deal with tension quietly. This makes them easy to get along with, and you can respect them by not arguing or raising your voice.
Tipping in general is frowned upon, although it is customary to tip your room boy and your waiter (you will normally have the same one all holiday) in one go at the end of your stay. Never during your holiday. The accepted rate is around one US dollar per day.
Finally, one thing that resorts don’t do well is music. Have a word with the management if you, too, don’t enjoy the repetition of ten-year-old pop hits well past their listen-to dates. Let’s urge them to improve.