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Forums Other Destination advice Alternatives to the Maldives

  • Angelamc11 196 posts

    I’ve noticed when some mention the Maldives on this forum that others say there are great alternatives. I am hoping people can provide more info on these alternatives.

    I’m cautiously considering the Maldives for a trip that includes myself, husband and 12yo + 16yo. But, I would like to check out better alternatives.

    The main interest for this trip is snorkelling and water activities. Plus, experiencing the overwater villas/beach villas. Amazing scenery and a luxury feel is a must. Flights must be able to use the 241 vouchers and hotels preferably with Marriott or Hilton on points.

    The exorbitant costs of the Maldives and the isolation of the islands are putting me off. We like to explore and do stuff/socialise as opposed to lazing around.

    TIA

    warrior01 10 posts

    Have you looked into Indonesia (Raja Ampat, Bunaken Marine Park or even Bali)? You can get to Singapore using the 2-4-1 and then a cheap Scoot/AirAsia flight over to Indonesia. Or look at the Tioman Islands in Malaysia – again, fly to Singapore with BA and short hop to Malaysia. Same for the Philippines.

    There are quite a few overwater bungalow resorts in Malaysia that could easily compete with the Maldives. Look at Pangkor Laut Resort or AVANI Sepang Goldcoast. Compared to most places, luxury Malaysia accommodation is fairly cheap.

    meta 1,470 posts

    If overwater villas are not a must, then you’ve got Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique (double check for unrests in the north), Zanzibar. All have luxury options. In terms of prices, everything will be cheaper than Maldives and French Polynesia.

    Angelamc11 196 posts

    Thank you some really interesting suggestions here. I have done Bali last year, but Madagascar seems like the most interesting of these (though more research needed) as we are keen wildlife enthusiasts.

    Great to have some new ideas to think about!

    Jill Kinkell 163 posts

    I’m a fan of Mauritius. Been a number of times. Luxury hotels offer a load of water sports. Hire a car and get out and about. Much preferred Mauritius to Seychelles.

    gtellez 163 posts

    I went to Madagascar in 2017 and we loved it. However we didn’t do any luxury hotel at all (I think there are few resorts in the north). Beware that if travelling by car (we hired a driver for the 15 days trip), even a short distance can take hours. Even without luxury, it was truly an adventure that we truly enjoyed. The best of all were the people we met there. If you need more info, happy to help
    We have also been in Maldives, Seychelles and Madagascar. Probably our favourite was Seychelles, but maybe because it was part of our honeymoon…

    masaccio 777 posts

    Following with interest. Do any of the alternatives have the water bungalows over good reefs? Our best Maldives experience was the 4* Filitheyo which has water bungalows a short swim from the reef drop off so you are swimming over the blue through shoals of tropical fish.

    Sandals do overwater rooms now but they have completely missed the point.

    meta 1,470 posts

    You’ll find water bungalows in the Philippines and Indonesia (Raja Ampat etc) with excellent sea life, but it’s not as luxurious and don’t expect overwater pool villas.

    meta 1,470 posts

    @gtellez many luxury options in Noisy Be and around that part of the coast including Constance, Relais&Châteux property. For ultra luxury options you have Miavana from Time+Tide on the northeast coast. Just started my research for 2025.

    Cat 125 posts

    You’ll find water bungalows in the Philippines and Indonesia (Raja Ampat etc) with excellent sea life, but it’s not as luxurious and don’t expect overwater pool villas.

    Yes, I can second this – I’d recommend exploring Indonesia (beyond Bali) and the Philippines. Some of the best snorkelling I’ve seen, incredible wildlife on the land too, lots of amazing accommodation options (though @meta is right – not as luxurious as the Maldives), loads to see and do to keen the kids occupied. I’d steer clear of the Hilton and Marriott and branch out a bit, though.

    NorthernLass 8,220 posts

    Using avios/241 makes it more complicated. I was hoping to book QR to SEZ (BA dropped the route after the pandemic), but the 3 am departure from DOH really puts me off! Cash fares from other destinations seem astronomical though, even in economy. It’s a shame as the MAN flights on QR really suit us.

    BA serves quite a few US/Caribbean destinations where with a short connection you can be somewhere similar to what @Angela describes, e.g. US/BVIs, outer Bahamas Islands, Turks and Caicos. Hawaii is another option, vis LAX/SFO.

    S 29 posts

    Have you looked into Indonesia (Raja Ampat, Bunaken Marine Park or even Bali)? You can get to Singapore using the 2-4-1 and then a cheap Scoot/AirAsia flight over to Indonesia. Or look at the Tioman Islands in Malaysia – again, fly to Singapore with BA and short hop to Malaysia. Same for the Philippines.

    There are quite a few overwater bungalow resorts in Malaysia that could easily compete with the Maldives. Look at Pangkor Laut Resort or AVANI Sepang Goldcoast. Compared to most places, luxury Malaysia accommodation is fairly cheap.

    Pangkor Laut Resort looks good thanks for the recommendation. Are there any other similar kind of luxury beach resorts (not necessarily overwater villas but bonus if so) in Malaysia aside from those in Langkawi and the two that have been mentioned here?

    masaccio 777 posts

    You’ll find water bungalows in the Philippines and Indonesia (Raja Ampat etc) with excellent sea life, but it’s not as luxurious and don’t expect overwater pool villas.

    I’ve never understood the interest of having a pool outside your room when you have the ocean at the bottom of a few steps.

    RS 14 posts

    If overwater villas is not a must then I can highly recommend Mombasa/Diani Beach on Kenya’s south coast. There is some amazing snorkelling and diving opportunities there as well as top notch private beaches and beach villas. Easy to get there from Nairobi with BA flying LHR-NBO as well.
    Much cheaper than Maldives but many high quality beaches and hotels (although not many bookable with points)

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