HotelTravel.com's Top 10 Reasons to Visit the Maldives

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Low-lying, laidback and surrounded by some of the planet's clearest and bluest waters, the Maldives remain a popular choice for honeymooners, and those seeking once-in-a-lifetime holiday experiences. HotelTravel.com is proud to present its Top 10 reasons to visit the Maldives.

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From key feeder markets like Singapore, Hong Kong and other Asian countries it is also a short-haul flight, greatly reducing the carbon footprint of air travel.

HotelTravel.com recently completed its customer survey of the most romantic holiday choices on the planet with the Maldives taking top honours.

HotelTravel.com Chief Information Officer, Olivier Dombey said the island nation was unique, both as one of the world's most beautiful destinations and in the government's progressive environmental awareness and tourism development policies.

"Besides being one of the most romantic places on the planet, the Maldives' government has been a global leader in eco-friendly tourism development for several decades. Travellers looking for green holiday options should give a holiday in the Maldives serious consideration."

"From key feeder markets like Singapore, Hong Kong and other Asian countries it is also a short-haul flight, greatly reducing the carbon footprint of air travel."

"And HotelTravel.com is pleased to now be able offer its customers instant confirmation for selected international chain hotels operating resorts in the Maldives," Mr Dombey added.

HotelTravel.com's Top 10 reasons to visit the Maldives include some of the world's most environmentally friendly travel tips:

Sink or Swim
Obviously there is plenty of time to plan a holiday before any of the 1,192 low-lying coral islands of the Maldives are potentially submerged by global warming. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes that sea levels are likely to rise about 80 centimetres by 2100. To draw attention to the threat of global warming, Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed and 13 other government officials took a dive in October 2009 (literally - holding a cabinet meeting 6 metres under the sea). He has also promised to make the Maldives, with a population of 350,000, the world's first carbon-neutral nation within a decade.

Surf's Up
The Maldives is known as one of the best kept secrets in surfing. Limited crowds, great varieties of reef breaks, and some of the most perfectly shaped waves make this place any surfer's fantasy. And your Mum won't worry about you getting hurt while surfing there, because Maldivian waves lack the power that makes other locations so dangerous. Not only will you safely enjoy the surf, but also appreciate the glass-clear water while catching that barrel. Surfing in the Maldives is like riding through an underwater aquarium.

'Bromance' Her
For those who fail to clearly understand this wordplay on romance, it is best to turn to the ancient Greeks for inspiration. Fortunately Aristotle actually described a concept similar to 'bromance' as early as 300 BC, writing: "It is those who desire the good of their friends for the friend's sake that are most truly friends, because each loves the other for what he is, and not for any incidental quality". Simply put, the Maldives is one of the most romantic destinations on the planet. So for those planning a honeymoon or looking to re-light passion's fire, the Maldives is tops for lovers.

Reefer Madness
Divers who come to the Maldives in search of sharks will not be disappointed. Thousands of dive tourists visit each year with just that single minded purpose: to catch a glimpse of one of the 26 species of sharks, including the popular reef shark, native to the waters of the Maldives. Sounds crazy? Just log on to YouTube and check out this unique form of underwater madness. Perhaps it is not everyone's cup of tea, but a thrill a minute for those who like to sink their teeth into it.

Resort Nirvana
The Maldives government allows only one resort per island by law, and all new hotels must be built to a very high environmental standard. The result is some of the most secluded, intimate, luxurious and exclusive resorts in the world. Hotels in Maldives can also be tough to book directly, so have HotelTravel.com do the work for you. North Male Atoll Hotels, South Ari Atoll Hotels, North Ari Atoll Hotels, Lhaviyani Atoll Hotels, South Male Atoll Hotels, Baa Atoll Hotels or Addu Atoll Hotels are all worth a look. And not every resort is priced over US$1,000 per night either; so consider Komandoo Resort (from US$ 179 per night), J Resort Raalhuveli (from US$ 275 per night), Kuramathi Cottage & Spa (from US$ 338 per night) or the Veligandu Island Resort (from US$ 340 per night).***

Stuff Yer Face
The food in the Maldives is some of the freshest, most exotic seafood found anywhere in the world. Here visitors can literally feast nightly on lobster, scallops, octopus, squid, tuna and anything else that swims with a tail cooked in every imaginable way. Burp. The Asian flavours of the islands often involve curry, coconut, and other exotic spices. In the Maldives they serve things cooked in ways most people have never heard of or much less eaten. So when on holiday, don't be shy, get it down yer neck.

Sunset Arm Curls
After dark, life in the Maldives slows down considerably and not a whole lot goes on. So, make the most of sunset. Find a good spot overlooking the ocean, reach for a frosty ice-cold beverage of choice and watch as the sun starts to burn a hole into the ocean. One of the most spectacular things (and one of the few things you won't be charged for) about the Maldives are the awesome sunsets.

Liveaboard Dive Safaris
The Maldives is one of the world's best dive destinations. One of the more extravagant ways to experience scuba diving in the Maldives is from a liveaboard safari. This way, you spend a week or two weeks cruising around all the islands on a hip, modern safari boat with all the creature comforts needed. Every day, roll out of bed, stumble topside and fall in the water and dive, dive and dive again. It eliminates the annoying commute from resorts to dive sites then back again and offers a floating hotel should global warming actually kick in (see 'Sink or Swim').

Island Hopping
With over 200 uninhabited islands, Maldives offers visitors a pure Robinson Crusoe experience for those seeking a personal piece of paradise. And inter-island travelling on local transport offers surprisingly good value-for-money. The local boats called 'dhonies' are the best bet. A ferry, costing less than a dollar per head, is another option to travel between Hulhulé Island, where the international airport is, and Malé. Always remember that the Maldives is an Islamic country and nudity is strictly prohibited. Tourists are requested to wear clothes that cover thighs and upper body while visiting inhabited islands. Beachwear and swimsuits are allowed in the resort islands.

Chillax
Why not do a whole lot of nothing, just chill and relax in this beautiful tropical paradise?

***All hotel rates are as of 29 October, 2009, priced in US$ and subject to change.

About HotelTravel.com
HotelTravel.com is a leader in worldwide hotel bookings and a pioneer in online customer service, providing the inside track to the best deals and discounts for hotels in more than 100 countries. Founded in 1999, the company's multi-lingual website offers eight languages - English, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Korean - supported by a 24-hour customer service centre staffed by native speakers in each language. The company employs over 300 staff with offices in Thailand, Malaysia and China.

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Tom Racette
HotelTravel.com
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