I am surprised your travel had so little information about the
Maldives, the last great undiscovered paradise, though expensive.
"Resorts in the Maldives woo tourists with promises of 'the last
paradise on earth', and if your idea of paradise is a pristine
tropical island with swaying palm trees, pure white beaches and
brilliant turquoise lagoons, then the Maldives will not disappoint.
It's also a major destination for scuba divers, who come for the
fabulous coral reefs and the wealth of marine life. But it's not a
place for low budget backpackers or amateur anthropologists who want
to travel independently and live as the locals do." History, culture,
statistics and more. - illustrated - From Lonely Planet -
- the quote is from the website, the review is from my Maldives page.
Welcome to Maldives.com - Resort Islands __ Start planning your trip.
There are many good reasons here for a vacation in the Maldives. -
illustrated - From maldives.com - http://www.maldives.com/ - You will
notice there are no quotes around this review. I used none from the
website and the review is from my Maldives page. You will find
information, photos, and more about several resorts
Just a side note" You mentioned the 'bars.' You will find they are
associated mostly with the resorts as the Maldives are an Islamic
nation and alcohol is not found in Halal establishments. - - Nor may
you bring any into the country with you.
Now I could continue to list the information found on the page but
that would be no more than re-inventing the wheel.
I already have a good web page about the Maldives covering everything
from tourism to law to politics and plenty of information for the
traveler. It answers everything in your question plus much more.
http://www.archaeolink.com/country_study_maldives_history_c.htm - As
required in the name of total disclosure, I must identify the page as
There are a couple of things you do need to know. The entire country
is not open to tourism.
Tourist facilities have been developed by private companies and since
the early 90s they have consisted of sixty-eight "island resorts" with
nearly 10,000 hotel beds. Tourists are not allowed to stay on Male so
as not to affect adversely the Muslim life-style of the indigenous
people. Wilingili Island has also been off limits for tourist
accommodation since 1990 to allow for population overflow from Male to
But in spite of this, there is still plenty to see and do and here are
some great photos of the beaches, palms and water where you can see
and do them.
http://www.travelin-maldives.com/gallery.html - From
travelin-maldives.com - You may want to browse through the rest of
this website as well.
The Maldives have been actively developing tourism as an industry only
for a couple of decades. However, it already accounts for more than
17% of the GDP. In 1991, 196,112 tourists visited the Maldives,
mostly from Germany, Italy, Britain, and Japan in that order and the
numbers have been growing ever since.
If you are traveling from the US - A valid passport is required.
Tourist visas valid for 30 days are issued upon arrival at no charge.
Visitors must have proof of onward/return transportation and
sufficient funds. Requests for extensions of stay up to 90 days may be
approved with evidence of sufficient funds. A fee of $10.00 must be
paid upon departure.
The Maldives has limited medical facilities. Some medicines are not
available. The capital has two hospitals, one private and one
U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States
and in fact, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide
payment for medical services outside the United States at all. Doctors
and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Credit cards are accepted only at certain clinics and at the private
hospital in Male. Uninsured travelers who require medical in the
Maldives care may face extreme difficulties. If you are not from the
US, you may want to check what the insurance regulations are in your
Maldivian customs authorities prohibit the importation of non-Islamic
religious materials, including religious statues. Personal Bibles are
permitted. Pornographic materials are banned, as are arms and
ammunition, all alcohol and spirits. Also nothing made of pork
products including leather items.
The above information from US Government Consular Information sources.
"The lack of local resources makes it necessary to import virtually
everything a visitor needs, so it can't really compete on price. The
strategy has been to develop a limited number of quality resorts, each
on its own uninhabited island, free from traffic, crime and crass
The tourism strategy also aims to minimise the adverse effects of
tourism on traditional Muslim communities. Tourists can make short
guided visits to local fishing villages, but must then return to their
resort. To stay longer or to travel to atolls outside the tourist zone
requires a good reason, a special permit, and a local person to
sponsor the visitor." - Quote from Lonely Planet. link listed above.
As for the best place to go, that is rather subjective in nature.
What is best for one may not be best for another. As you go through
the list of resorts linked above, you will be able to determine which
would be the best in your case.
search - Google
terms - went to my Maldives page
If I may clarify anything, please ask.
Cheers and have a great trip
Clarification of Answer by
24 Jul 2004 14:09 PDT
We can start with Hilton's own webpage about their accomodations in
the Maldives. You will find room rates, specials, dining, recreation
and more. The website states diving and other activities as "on the
premises" but no mention as to whether they rent equipment. However I
cannot imagine a diving 'pro-shop' in such a resort not having
They also advertise many services for business meetings but nothing
specific about computer access for such meetings. However, each guest
room 'does' its own have internet access.
The hotel sits on twin islands connected by a bridge. Please note
that if you are planning to go in December, one of the islands will be
closed a couple of days for rennovation.
Hilton Maldives Rangali Island
This website from ndianoceanholidayresorts.com offers a slide show of
the hotel and accomodations.
Here is another page dedicated to the Hilton Rangali describing
amenities including the restaurants and bar as well as recreation.
Also by using the links on the right side of the page, you can check
out many other Maldives resorts.
And with this website, the mystery of rental equipment may be solved:
- - "Diving: Scuba Diving for international certified divers (more
than 30 dive sites), rental of snorkeling gear, Introductory dives &
Resort-courses, Certification Courses (PADI) in several languages,
medical statement required for all courses, personalized diving
videos." - Please note, they mention the rental of "snorkeling gear"
but no mention of scuba gear. Also note that if you want to scuba
dive, you must be certified. - - From Maldives Hotel - Hilton Maldives
Resort & Spa, Maldives
As for scuba rentals, it seems such rental is part of the resort
"diving schools." - - "With a few exceptions, all resorts have a fully
equipped diving school. ... All diving schools in the Maldives are
required to follow international standards of safety during diving.
Therefore, participants in open water scuba diving will require fins,
mask, snorkel, compressed-air cylinder and valve, buoyancy control
device with low pressure inflator, backpack, regulator, alternate air
source, submersible pressure gauge, weight belt and appropriate
exposure protection. These items may be hired from the diving
schools." - - - And the Hilton 'does' have a diving school.
If I may find other information or you need further clarification, please ask.
Maybe next time I can talk you into going to the Red Sea - - my favorite spot.