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Experience luxury in the Maldives for free

The Maldives is an idyllic location in the Indian Ocean, but one that many travellers dismiss as beyond their budget. It is true that many of the resorts in the Maldives are tailored to luxury travellers, but with some careful planning, a stay in the Maldives can be booked using credit card and hotel loyalty points, possibly making a dream vacation there completely free.

Experience luxury in the Maldives for free

If there is any place in the world that meets the picture-postcard definition of “paradise” the Maldives would have to be that place. A series of small islands in the Indian Ocean, if white sand and turquoise waters are what you’re looking for, there’s no better place than the Maldives.

For luxury travellers, in particular, the Maldives is an ideal destination. Resorts in the Maldives are remote and are tailored to those who want to get away from it all. But opulence and seclusion often come at a cost, which means that a high-end experience on the Maldives can be difficult to manage.

In addition to the cost of accommodation (as well as resort fees) and the flight, getting to your resort usually involves a private air or speedboat transfer to your resort, which can cost $400 per person or more.

Fortunately, even a luxury Maldives experience can be had at a reasonable cost, or even for free. Numerous Maldives properties belong to comprehensive hotel loyalty programs, making it possible to book that dream vacation with credit card rewards. There are several ways to do this:

  • The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is a luxurious resort situated on its own private island and boasts 50 beach and oceanfront villas. The property is a Category 6 hotel, which means guests can book a stay there for 25,000 Hyatt points per night. Free night certificates can also be redeemed for a stay at the property.
  • Holiday Inn Resort: Kandooma Maldives. Maybe Holiday Inn doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think “luxury” but this one is different. The Holiday Inn Kandooma Maldives sits on a beautiful island with incredible beach and waterfront villas. It can be booked for just 40,000 IHG Rewards points per night.
  • Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. This breathtaking resort comes complete with overwater bungalows and a private beach. It’s an SPG property, which means it can be booked if you have the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express and rooms start at 20,000 points per night.
  • The W Maldives is another SPG property, this one featuring a private reef and six gourmet restaurants. Rooms can be booked for 90,000 starpoints per night.
  • One of the area’s most luxurious resorts is the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli, which offers overwater accommodations and outdoor dining. A stay here can be had for 90,000 starpoints per night.
  • The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers an incredible escape, complete with deluxe beach and overwater villas and breathtaking scenery. Guests can book a stay at the Conrad Maldives for 95,000 Hilton Honors Points per night, possibly more during peak-season.

While the Maldives will likely never be considered a budget destination, it is possible to turn a dream vacation there into a reality simply by redeeming credit card and hotel loyalty points. 

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