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How to Choose Your Maldives Island

It's a happy dilemma to be in, but choosing which Maldives island to stay on (and which resort to relax in) is a toughie. These are the questions you need to ask before booking the holiday of a lifetime...

What’s your budget?

From the silky white sands to the crystal-clear Indian Ocean, everything about the  Maldives oozes exclusivity – but it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Book wisely, and you can find some great deals: 7 nights for the price of 5, for example, or maybe a combo deal with free meals, spa treatments or activities included. Flight Centre seeks out the best bargains for budget-savvy holidaymakers,  so you could enjoy a week in paradise (with flights) for as little as £1,199.

If you really want to push the boat out on a lavish, luxurious break, you’ll find big-name resorts such as the 5-star Vivanta by Taj and Centara Grand Island Resort and Spa. Here you can kick back in infinity pools, dine in gourmet restaurants and sleep in James Bond-style ocean villas – happy in the knowledge that you bagged a fantastic deal.

Romantic break or family flop and drop?

If you fancy a romantic break a deux, you’ve come to the right place. Is there anything more romantic than a secluded over-water suite, with a private pool and endless ocean views? You’ll find all of the above at the Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spa, which is set on its very own private island.

And there are plenty of other resorts to fall for, too – each with their own perks for couples. At Centara Ras Fushi, Flight Centre guests can enjoy a complimentary romantic dinner on the beach, plus a trip on a traditional wooden dhoni to a spectacular desert island.

For families, there are kids’ clubs and activities galore. At Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma, the little ones will love the watersports and youth club – perfect if you fancy a bit of quiet time for a massage or romantic sunset cruise. In Dusit Thani Maldives, there’s a complimentary club for children aged three to 11, with its very own treehouse and snorkelling trips for youngsters. Better yet, if you upgrade to a family beach villa, under-12s stay for free.

What’s your idea of relaxation?

Love lolling around in a luxury spa? Then the Maldives has some treats in store for you. We recommend Sun Island Resort and Spa for its divine treatments: take your pick from massages, body wraps and facials that'll leave you feeling blissed-out all holiday.

At the Dusit Thani Maldives spa there are treetop treatment pods, where you can enjoy views of the paradise beach while your body gets the pamper of a lifetime. Fancy stretching out with a bit of yoga? There's a studio for that too, as well as a gym and fitness classes.

If sipping cocktails in a swimming pool is your idea of heaven, you can't go wrong with Waves Bar at Centara Ras Fushi Resort. The bar is literally in the pool, so you can order your favourite tipple while wallowing in the shallows. Is there a better way to spend a week?

How active do you want to be?

Beach-lazing isn't everyone's cup of tea. So if you're keen to get out and about, ensure your resort has plenty of activities and excursions to keep you entertained. Reethi Beach Resort boasts a PADI scuba diving centre, so you can explore the Maldives' incredible dive sites. There's also a sports centre that offers everything from snorkelling to water skiing.

If golf is your game, head to Kuredu Island Resort – it's home to the Maldives' first golfing greens. After a game, pitch your towel on the resort's 1.8-mile-long impeccable beach or grab a snorkel and explore the nearby lagoons.

For more slow-paced pursuits, the zen folks at LUX Maldives provide yoga classes on the beach. We can't think of a more picturesque place to perfect your downward-facing dog. Or, how about a game of doubles on the tennis courts? Or a spot of complimentary reef snorkelling to spy sea turtles and manta rays?

Do you want to go off-grid?

Most of the Maldives resorts feel so far-flung that you won't mind switching off your phone or escaping Wi-Fi for a while. Technology isn't a priority here, though you'll usually find internet in the reception area or restaurants.

But if you really can't bear to be without a connection to the outside world, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma has Wi-Fi everywhere. Whether you're on the beach or paddling in the pool, you'll be able to access the internet on all your devices.

Lastly, one of the perks of the Maldives is the transfer from the airport in Male (the capital) to your island resort – this is usually by speedboat or seaplane, both of which bestow glorious views of the deserted islands and glam resorts in between. But if you're wary of spending most of the day travelling, pick an island that's close to the capital, like Centara Ras Fushi Resort and Spa which is just 15 minutes away by speedboat. Now that's a great start to a holiday.

Talk to our Experts today to start planning your tailor-made Maldives holiday

Written by Hazel Plush

Drawn to places that most people dismiss, I love digging out juicy stories in off-beat locations – whether that's poking around the furthermost corners of Europe, travelling overland in East Africa, or venturing beyond the malls and beaches of Dubai. I've travelled all over the world on assignment, but still haven't mastered the art of packing lightly. Tweet me @hazelplush

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