News & Reviews Indian Ocean Maldives Christmas in the Maldives

I don’t enjoy being ripped off.  Said everyone ever.  I am at the age where I’m not prepared to save money and go somewhere off-peak to then suffer the inclement weather, unless there’s a very good reason.  Like in January I’m going to Botswana, which is certainly not the best time to visit.  But I have good reason: I want to go better myself and it’s essential I do this 5,000 miles away.  Also, and completely unrelated, my in-laws are coming to stay.  So there are exceptions, but in most cases I would rather pay the premium and stay during peak.  There is one limit to this mantra, which until now I have avoided: Christmas in the Maldives.

When it comes to price hiking, nowhere does it better than the Maldives.  When the clock strikes midnight on the 22nd December, like Cinderella, you too might turn into a hobbo as you’re selling your clothes to pay for the price difference.  It’s not unusual to see prices triple over Christmas at some of the most popular resorts (note how I say “popular” not “best”).  Some resorts offer mandatory Christmas galas, which are epic ways of saying “a buffet with no opt out.  P.S.  It will cost your monthly food budget”.

I have spent Christmas abroad many times, but always avoided the Maldives due to the price gouging.  However, as I continue my life trend of doing things I once said I’d never do, we meet again, old friend.  I originally booked two weeks in December, most of which was at Velaa, for Lucie’s birthday.  I then planned to come back in mid-Feb for the new launch of Soneva Secret and finally get to try Joali Being, who only allow children on the island during school holidays.  I started to realise there was a simple solution to this, which made everything better: less flying, significantly less Soneva. I still resent paying a premium, but Joali and Joali Being are definitely at the more “this is gonna hurt, but I’ll wear a glove” price pain scale.

We’ve now cancelled February (but will travel elsewhere, probably Mexico) and extended the Maldives to include a return to Joali and first-time trip to Joali Being.  Lucie is already reminding me that I will say “I want to go home” about five days into our three week trip, but I just have to keep reminding myself that it will be infinitely more cheerful than being in miserable England, especially now Lord Cameron has returned like a bad case of a new covid variant, not satisfied that he didn’t destroy the entire country a few years back.  I digress.

This is our December

We will be celebrating Velaa’s 10th anniversary with their most-likely-completely-over-the-top party (I’m starting to spread the entirely fictional rumour that Taylor Swift is performing), whilst Joali is where we will spend Christmas.  It’s the first place I’ve specifically chosen because it is busy – normally I’m paying a premium to avoid other people.  The things I do for my daughters.

Speaking of things I said I hate

Drones.  I finally bought one, because I figured if I’m going to do video then I may as well do it properly.  I also want to see if my abs are visible from space.  My first stop is Thanda Private Island, an exclusive use, five bedroom private island off the coast of Tanzania, where the only guest I can annoy is myself, and I already do that with regular precision.  I’ll be using it later this week, so stay tuned for lousy content which I erroneously think is good. Dunning–Kruger effect in action, ladies and gents.

Last minute Christmas availability

In 2022 we had some last minute Christmas booking requests – they were as challenging as trying to teach your cat not to kill you.  This year I am inundated with suppliers informing us of availability.  I received another newsletter of the significant amount of availability in the Caribbean, whilst finishing this post.  I might even do a follow-up post showing some of the properties with availability, as it’s quite surprising.  For our trip, Joali Being offered the exact room category we wanted, whilst Joali required us to compromise on the room – but it’s six weeks to Christmas.  That we could book it at all is an astonishing change from the last two years, where the pent-up post covid demand has dramatically increased pricing and removed availability.  If you were thinking to go away over Christmas but didn’t even bother looking as you assumed it was all sold out, I would suggest giving it a look.  I do hope it’s the sign that we might start to see prices stabilise again.  We won’t ever see the top resorts revert to pre-covid pricing, but at least something that resembles covid + inflation would be a welcome start.

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 14th Nov '23

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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