Resorts of Maldives (Guidebook Format) Paperback – 15 Aug 2007
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A Maldives holiday is about choosing the right resort for yourself and your partner. No other guidebook comes close to this comprehensive coverage or gives anything like the depth of personally researched information and opinion.
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The book covers most of the resorts in the Maldives, and offers information on the different types of room, features of the Island such as if it has a house reef, number of bars and restaurants, spa, pools, lagoon, activities and so on. It is also very honest about the atmosphere of each resort, what looks attractive in the brochure could actually be a very brash party resort or a slightly run down resort currently undergoing substantial renovations.
Each resort gets a double page spread, one page for photos and one for a description and critique of the resort. The price of dives, drinks, intensity of accommodation and quality of beach is also laid out clearly for easy comparison between resorts.
The book made me consider things I otherwise would not have considered, such as orientation of the sun in relation to the resort, whether the beach is natural or pumped sand. It also details who visits the resorts, which is great as I did not realise some resorts catered almost exclusively to a single nationality.
The book was published in 2007, and unfortunately that's quite a long time in the travel industry. The Maldives was badly hit by the tsunami in 2004, and many resorts were closed. Quite a few of these were still closed when the book was written, but have since reopened. I've found this to be the case with a couple of resorts we're considering visiting, and its disappointing that the book does not cover all the resorts. In addition some resorts were not revisited for the 2007 edition and their review from the old book used, which is disappointing as they could have changed substantially in the 4 years between books.
Logically I know there are a lot of review sites where I can find real people's experiences of the resorts, however I really did find this book invaluable. The author reviews destinations for a living, and he does raise points which I think a lot of holiday makers wouldn't be aware of or even consider.