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Advice for newbie!

Lincolnshire...
Level Contributor
197 posts
47 reviews
Advice for newbie!

Hi totally new to the Maldives forum so would appreciate any help or advice from the experts!

We usually travel to the high end Turkish hotels in Belek, 5* All Inclusive but next year is our 25th wedding anniversary so would like something different.

I’m currently looking at Centara Grand Island Resort or the new OBLU Select and would appreciate your opinions!

We want total R&R, picturesque setting, good food and fab staff! Not bothered about diving or excursions. TIA

29 replies to this topic
England, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
9,710 posts
27 reviews
1. Re: Advice for newbie!

Hi

When booking the Maldives I recommend using a Maldives specialist agent rather than a high street travel agent. This will get you better value for money and you will be dealing with someone who knows the country.

Try contacting...

Simply Maldives

Magic of Maldives

Purely Maldives

To see what is available for your budget.

If you would like us to make island suggestions you need to give us more information.

Budget

When are you going

Duration

Type of island

And so on....

The key to starting your research is deciding on your budget.

Darryl

Lincolnshire...
Level Contributor
197 posts
47 reviews
2. Re: Advice for newbie!

We are going for 10 nights in February 2019 and budget is around 6k.

I’ve been dealing with Virgin at the moment and to be honest theirs are the best prices I have seen for these 2 hotels but I will look at the ones you have suggested thank you.

Edited: 29 May 2018, 15:49
Cardiff, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
2,481 posts
24 reviews
3. Re: Advice for newbie!

Hi Digby,

Just to add to Darryl's excellent advice, another factor comes in to play when you work with the Maldives specialist agents he's recommended; their incredible personal knowledge and experience of the resorts, what the offer and how they'll sit with your wish list.

I simply don't think representatives from companies like Virgin (and we have used them for other destinations and been very happy) can have visited the number of resorts, have such an awareness or "on the ground" feel for resorts as the specialist agents. If you drop them a line with your "wish list" for this very special trip they will come back with suggestions tailor made to meet your hopes, dreams and expectations. Their input and experience really is priceless and I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised by what they suggest and can offer for your dates and budget.

Happy Hunting!

Hemel Hempstead
Level Contributor
26 posts
4. Re: Advice for newbie!

I've just got back from Centara and spent 2 very happy weeks there.

We had their club membership which just made the whole holiday very special. We only ate in the buffet resturant a couple of times and found the food to be good quality although probably geared towards a more Asian taste which suited us perfectly.

We got chatting to lots of fellow travellers whilst there who all seemed equally as happy with the island.

Although it's not a favourite on here it was a very good holiday and have no complaints at all.

Their ultimate all inclusive is just that the 30 min spa treatment a day was excellent. The only additinal money we spent was on tips and gifts whilst on local island tour.

We did all 5 of their included trips and loved them all. I don't have any other maldives islands to compare it too but have visited Turkey, caribbean, Mexico and Egypt and found the service and quality equally as impressive.

Northumberland...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
4,210 posts
56 reviews
5. Re: Advice for newbie!

What I would add to the advice above is that Virgin and other well known travel companies do not always offer a wide selection of resorts whilst the recommended agents have a lot more at their fingertips. They can offer accommodation only trips but also flight inclusive packages with the comfort of insurance which comes with package holidays.

lisae79 is correct that Centara Grand is not widely promoted by regulars on this forum as we feel there are better resorts out there however many people do have wonderful holidays there. I think that the more often we regulars visit The Maldives, the pickier we become but first timers tend to be blown away by pretty much any resort.

If you drop an email to the recommended agents they should be able to suggest the best resorts to fit your budget and want list.

Lincolnshire...
Level Contributor
197 posts
47 reviews
6. Re: Advice for newbie!

Thank you everyone for the fab advice- I will go back to the drawing board and see if I can find anything better vfm!

We’re the same with Turkey-getting pickier as we go along so that’s why I thought I’d pop on here and get advice from the best people!

Also has anyone flown Etihad Airways? What were your views? Is there much difference from the typical Jet2, TC package experience?

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
203 posts
22 reviews
7. Re: Advice for newbie!

Etihad are just as good at Emirates/Qatar and BA - not much difference between them.

I will always choose based on price and flight times.

There are a lot of differences flying Lost Cost to Long Haul - free booze and in seat entertainment comes to mind :)

Northumberland...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
4,210 posts
56 reviews
8. Re: Advice for newbie!

Apart from price, other things to take into consideration when choosing long haul flights are the transit times thorough the airline's home airport as some can be very long or have more than one departure so be sure to pick the right one, also the arrival times/departure times at Male because if a seaplane transfer is chosen they only fly in daylight hours and often resorts stipulate that you must arrive before around 3pm.

The big difference between the long haul flights and jet2 etc apart from size of the planes and length of the journey, is that you need to change aircraft and transit through the airline's home airport ( except for BA who are the only ones currently flying direct from the U.K.). You will have a through ticket so your luggage will automatically be transferred to the onward flight and on check in in the U.K. you will receive boarding passes for both flights and likewise on the return. The seats in economy may be a bit more comfortable but not necessarily. You don’t have to pay for meals or drinks but may have to pay if you want to select your seat prior to check in depending on the airline. There is usually a reasonable selection of entertainment available.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives, Disneyland Paris
Level Contributor
2,754 posts
9. Re: Advice for newbie!

Dianna's point about looking at flight times when choosing your airline is a really good example of where 'mainstream' agents might let you down and not tell you about considerations around seaplane schedules. And it is, as she says, worth some thought - for the return flight as well. We prefer a late flight home even if we are transferred out of resort earlier. We feel like we get the best part of an extra day in resort, and don't mind having a chill around the airport hotel pool until it is time for our flight. We do not like having to get up at the crack of dawn to leave...but some people like to get up and out and on their way, and while it isn't my preference, I can understand why they feel that way.

Lincolnshire...
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
9,711 posts
321 reviews
10. Re: Advice for newbie!

There are so many potential Resort islands to pick from. If you look at the offerings from some of the high street companies then you will restrict your options. The agents who are specialists for the Maldives will be able quote for your shortlisted islands (including meal plan, transfers, taxes and international flights), once you decide which islands suit your criteria. These agents will also be in touch with any special deals or offers.

If you think a bit more now about what would ideally suit you then we may be able to match up a few options for you to look into. Have a look through this to give you some ideas about what might help to build your selection criteria:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293…

Edited: 29 May 2018, 22:05
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