Unpaid Advertisement | Disclaimer: Dhigali invited me for a complimentary 3-night all-inclusive stay and also covered my Maldives trip cost by seaplane – thank you!
I never thought I would become a fan of Maldives all-inclusive holidays. That is not because I doubted the Maldives (I had a feeling we would get on maybe even a little too well) but rather because all-inclusive holidays have always scared me a little. The concept to me reeked of club holidays, karaoke nights and cheap cocktails you regret falling for the next morning.
So I was a little hesitant when a friend advised me that all Maldives resort packages should come with some sort of all-inclusive offer. The reason for that is simple – vacationing at a Maldives resort is not cheap and neither are the food prices. Whether that is the price tag you pay for a certain amount of luxury or the remoteness of most hotels in the Maldives that increases food transport prices, is neither here nor there – fact is you will fly cheaper with Maldives all-inclusive packages in all hotels. Unless you are planning not to eat of course which to me completely defies the purpose of a fancy holiday.
While I was always keen on eating the all-inclusive concept also seemed to include overflowing buffets with a separate corner for overly sweet desserts, something I haven’t been a fan of since I was a child and my sweats intake was limited by my mother except for holiday time. Luckily I was quickly proven wrong because not only can all-inclusive holidays in the Maldives be incredibly yummy (put your diet plans on hold!) but also incredibly cool especially when choosing a resort like Dhigali, the last of the four hotels I visited on my recent trip.
Cool Maldives all-inclusive holidays at Dhigali
With such a huge and ever-growing selection of Maldives resorts sometimes the options seem quite overwhelming. For most people budget is, of course, the first consideration and while cheap Maldives holidays is a bit of an oxymoron, this is something where Dhigali scores big time. If you are looking cheap holidays to a Maldives all-inclusive resort this is your place. I use the term cheap loosely because compared to your average hotel budget it might still be quite steep but it isn’t for the Maldives.
At Dhigali you have a variety of bungalow categories, depending on how much space you want or need and whether you prefer an overwater villa or a room with beach access. While those overwater rooms are quite spectacular I thoroughly enjoyed my beach villa that allowed me to see the waves from bed and a bit of greenery all around. In addition, you can book
their Dine Around All-Inclusive package with alcohol. I know a lot of travelers go for half board and stock up during breakfast time, however, I am honestly not a fan of breakfast in general and breakfast buffets in particular so I was happy to take full advantage of my full-board package.
They offer a variety of restaurants, some of which are included in your all-inclusive while others need to be paid extra. I can’t recommend Faru enough, their beachside restaurant where you can order 3 courses for each meal – no buffet in sight but if you get lucky a bat or two.
I found their drinks prices to be incredibly reasonable for the Maldives so unless you plan on spending your holiday completely smashed I don’t think the all-inclusive alcohol package is worth it as you still need to pay extra for premium spirits and wines.
Activities at Dhigali
Maldives all-inclusive holidays aren’t just about the food though but also about the activities and even spa treatments in some resorts. Dhigali offers a variety of things for you to do that are included in the room prices. For kids and families that includes a huge play center and playground as well as ping-pong. Sports fanatics get the adrenalin going at the gym or the jogging path that leads all around the island (and it is no small island!!) or you can join one of the various complimentary yoga classes which are offered daily.
And of course, this being the Maldives, Dhigali is an absolute paradise for mermaids. You can borrow various kayaks and snorkel equipment for free and the resort map will advise you on where to see the best Nemos. In lieu of snorkeling, I rather went diving. Their very own dive center, the Euro Divers, is a PADI center and offers amazing service as well as various beginners and specialty courses.
We went out in the morning for a two-dive trip and to my utter delight it was just me and my buddy with an instructor as our dive guide – that’s what 5-star diving in the Maldives is all about. And if the huge schools of Bannerfish and Goldtooth Triggerfish which I both adore weren’t enough, we came across a huge pod of dolphins during our surface interval. In case you don’t get that lucky, Dhigali also offers sunset cruises to see dolphins.
Alternatively, they have a very cool, ultra-futuristic glass bottom boat. While I was initially less than enthralled when they set up a cruise for me, I quickly realized that not many people are as lucky to get as close with Nemo & Co as I. And the little Italian girl who was sitting next to me kept on jumping up and down in excitement while seeing “la piccola Dory”. So if you are traveling with kids, this is a great opportunity to see some sea life up close and without getting wet.
Technology & Design at Dhigali
My worries about Maldives all-inclusive holidays was that the whole concept to me seems somehow dated. Don’t even ask me why but especially Dhigali couldn’t be further from the truth because this resort is simply cool. While sometimes you want traditional buildings and interior, other times you want innovation and sleek design. Dhigali will definitely appeal to those who dig the latter.
It starts with your arrival at the lobby which is not only covered in sand but also super chic as are the villas. White cubes on the outside, modern design on the inside which of course includes an outdoor shower. And except for the Haali bar which looks like an oversized bird’s nest the rest of the resort mirrors that style even in the pool and lagoon area.
Needless to say, that good wifi is a must for most travelers (I am so not the only one who asks for the password first!) regardless of the fact that you are on a remote island and came with the plan to disconnect. Dhigali not only has pretty decent wifi throughout the whole resort but even goes a step further with their very own app. Long gone are the times of dusty ‘about the hotel’ booklets here and instead, you have everything you may need to know at a tap on your phone screen. This includes the various activities that are on each day, a map and weather report, and my personal favorite – menus for all the restaurants.
To get around the resort there is a buggy shuttle service since the whole island is quite large. You can catch it from various ‘bus stops’ which are each outfitted with an interactive screen, showing you how far the next buggy is. Alternatively, you can use the Dhigali app to follow the shuttle on an up to date screen.
And of course, for those who want to forgo all technology and activities, you can always do some barefoot walking on the sand and spend your hours drifting in the warm and shallow lagoon. Chances are while Dhigali is a resort for families and couples, you might just be completely alone with la piccola Dory.
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