It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a travel blog post, and it took me longer than normal because sis was a bit rusty! *flexes fingers* I recently traveled to The Maldives for my honeymoon, and I got so many question on social media about the popular tropical destination, and I couldn’t give a proper review on social media because I wanted to do it as detailed as possible, so here we are! Happy you’re still here…reading a blog! 🙂
One of the main questions that I was asked was, “What is the difference between The Bahamas and the Maldives”, “Was it worth traveling all the way over there,” and why did you choose to go to a destination that’s just like home….well, let’s get into it!
The Maldives and The Bahamas are two of the most popular tropical destinations for honeymooners that offer pristine white (and pink) sand beaches, crystal-clear blue waters, and a wide range of activities for travelers. However, there are major differences between the two destinations, from pricing to accommodations, travel time, food, and culture. I will give you my honest opinion on The Bahamas, as a local vs the Maldives as a honeymooner to hopefully help you to decide which destination is right for you. Remember, this is based off of my opinion, and what I look for in travel.
Let’s get some things straight, I didn’t choose the Maldives for my honeymoon, my husband did :’) We traveled to two destinations on honeymoon, Egypt & The Maldives. Egypt was my pick, and Maldives was hubby’s. Like many people that I know who are from The Bahamas, beach vacations don’t excite us. We have grown up around sun, sand and sea and going to a tropical destination sometimes does not feel like a vacation. Sounds weird, but it’s true….”we live where you vacation”, so we like to vacation differently. Give me some excitement, something different than the usual.
I will be the first one to admit my faults but let me say this RIGHT NOW! I WAS WRONG! I did not have any expectations for The Maldives, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved my vacation, I was big mad we went to Egypt….and I’m constantly asking my husband “when are we going back?”
So what changed? Honestly, it was the most relaxing, peaceful, beautiful, location. The vibes were immaculate. It was like we were in an episode of The White Lotus…but thankfully no one kicked the bucket.
So let’s compare the two destinations.
Accommodations & Pricing:
Both the Maldives and The Bahamas offer a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly accommodations.
One of the most significant differences between the destinations is pricing. The Maldives is generally considered to be a more expensive destination than The Bahamas, with luxury resorts charging upwards of $1,000 per night. In The Maldives, hotels are generally on their own separate smaller islands, with overwater bungalows being a popular choice for couples and honeymooners. There are 164 islands that have been developed for tourist resorts, so there are a lot of options for every budget. We stayed in an overwater bungalow and it was fantastic…but honestly NOT a necessity. There are beach front rooms that do the same job.
In contrast, The Bahamas has a wider range of accommodation options, including luxury resorts, mid-range hotels, budget-friendly guesthouses and of course AirBnB’s. The Bahamas tends to be a more affordable destination than the Maldives, and that’s saying a lot because it is still very expensive. Hotels are generally NOT on their own private islands but there is the capital Nassau, and the other 15 major islands that are promoted for tourism. A myriad of beachfront resorts and hotels, as well as more secluded options are available on the outer islands.
This is another major one! Another significant difference between the Maldives and The Bahamas is the travel time. The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, and getting there typically requires a long-haul flight, often with layovers in other countries. We traveled from The Bahamas to New York to Paris, To Egypt…took a pit stop to explore, then went through Dubai to Male, the main island in Maldives. I couldn’t possibly do a straight travel day with no resting….Getting there is a task!
The travel time can be anywhere from 12 to 20 hours, depending on where you are flying from. Also, these 12-20 hours do NOT account for your travel time from Male, the main island of The Maldives to your hotel. This price is also NOT included in your travel accommodations.
You typically will have to take a seaplane which is usually about $300 and can take anywhere from 40 mins and up depending on how far your hotel is. Thankfully our hotel was not ridiculously far from Male and we were able to take a boat transfer to the island. It was so refreshing and beautiful on the water.
In contrast, The Bahamas is located 20 mins away from South Florida and quite naturally more accessible. Flights from the US to The Bahamas typically take around 3-4 hours, making it a much more convenient option for travelers from North America. You can catch a flight to The Bahamas from just about anywhere in the United States or direct from Europe, Canada, the Caribbean. The Bahamas is simply the easiest place to travel to.
Based on the above travel time, we can deduce which plane ticket is going to be STEEP.
Food & Culture:
Both the Maldives and The Bahamas offer a range of dining options, from local cuisine to international dishes.
In the Maldives, seafood is a staple of the cuisine, and from my chats with the locals, one of their largest economic drivers. In The Maldives the food was so FRESH, and honestly, so good. There is a lot of Asian and Indian influence (naturally) and this was reflected on the menu. We had fresh fruits every single morning, as well as fresh smoothies and typical continental breakfast and buffet options. Apart from the seafood for lunch and dinners, my favorite was the Indian cuisine I had some of the best and most authentic Indian food I’ve ever tasted in my entire life, and even signed up for an Indian cooking class. I don’t know how else to describe it, but the food didn’t taste like it would clog my arteries…I felt light and not “luggy” after meals.
The cuisine in the Bahamas is influenced by both African and European traditions, and seafood is also a popular choice here. On most menus in The Bahamas you will find authentic local dishes, including conch fritters, conch salad, fry fish, Bahamian-style macaroni and cheese, peas n rice, and a lot of carb heavy options. If it’s your thing, you will love it. If you’re into healthier eating, it might be a little challenge but it’s not impossible as we’ve moved to be very food inclusive.
The Maldives and The Bahamas have very different cultures. The Maldives is an Islamic country, and as such, alcohol is prohibited in public places. You can NOT import alcohol into The Maldives, they scan and check your bags on arrival, so please don’t try it.
The local culture is also very conservative, with strict dress codes in some areas, but if you are going on a private resort, you will be fine. You can wear your swimsuits and resort wear without fear.
In contrast, The Bahamas is a Christian country, and has a more relaxed and liberal culture. Bahamians are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, and the country has a rich cultural heritage that is celebrated through Rake n Scrape and Junkanoo festivals, art, and food.
So Which One Is Better?
To be honest, it is a very hard decision for me. I don’t want to sit here and be a traitor to my country, and I do have different perspectives living in The Bahamas than a short term visitor would. So I want to be objective and not biased. The Bahamas is a beautiful place to visit, one of the best in the world, hands down. You will not find a place more welcoming, and you will probably have the most awesome time.
But, as a visitor to The Maldives, I was blown away. The Maldives, for me was a “real” island vacation, probably because I stayed on an actual private island, complete with only golf carts, I mean you could walk around the entire island. I loved the privacy and attention to detail. Everyone on the island, at the restaurants, and bars, and beaches know you by name. The service was immaculate. At home, because you are local, you sometimes may not get the level of service you might get if you’re not a visitor. We were catered to at every turn.
Your vacation destination should be contingent on why you are vacationing. If you are honeymooning, enjoying a milestone, or looking to rekindle something, the Maldives is the perfect place. If you are looking to party like a rockstar, enjoy a night on the town or on the club with your girls or guys, you won’t find that at the private resorts.
Our night outs looked a little something like cheering the crabs on while they raced, watching the shark feeding or grabbing a seat to watch an outdoor movie under the stars or taking a cooking class. All of which I loved.
I think I’ve covered everything and more but there’s one more important question someone asked me about….the water. How does The Bahamas water compare to The Maldives. Honestly, flying over The Bahamas is incomparable, you see every shade of blue imaginable. We hands down win that one. But, flying over the Maldives is also special, and beautiful. The beaches at our resort were very top notch but, let me tell you something honey, there is no beach more beautiful than a Bahamas beach, and that ends that!
If you have any additional questions on these two locations, if I left something out, I would be happy to answer!