Food and drink in resorts is excellent and menus cater largely for international tastes. There is normally an excellent variety of fresh fish, meat, vegetables and tropical fruit.
Most resorts offer half board, full board or all inclusive packages. As there is only one hotel per island, it's usually advisable to opt for a meal package, as there is nowhere else to eat. Most resorts offer buffet meals in the main restaurant, but many have a snack bar, grill and a la carte restaurant as well. Meals at the a la carte restaurant are not usually included in the all inclusive package. Any food or drinks bought in resort can be charged to your room and will be subject to a 10% service charge.
Vegetarians and anyone on a restricted diet should contact us to let us know your requirements when you book, so we can confirm whether your preferred hotel is able to meet your dietary requirements. Generally, however, at most resorts there is an excellent selection of fresh salads, vegetables and fish.
Apart from coconuts, there are very few fruits and vegetables grown on the islands, so most of the food served at tourist resorts is imported and is prepared to cater for a wide range of European and Asian palates, the range and quality depending on the objectives of the hotel. Nowhere have we experienced inedible meals, although in some budget resorts the range can be limited, whereas in the more upscale resorts the range and quality are superb.
In Male and islands that are not open to tourists, but occupied by locals, fish and rice are the staple foods of Maldivians with meat and chicken eaten only on special occasions. National dishes include fried fish, fish curry and fish soup. Arecanut (an oval nut chewed with betel leaf, cloves and lime) is the equivalent of an after-dinner mint.
Maldivians are Muslims and alcohol is forbidden, except in tourist resorts. Visitors are not allowed to import alcohol. You will be scanned upon arrival and alcohol will be impounded until your return flight. But don't worry! The bars in all hotels are very well stocked, with an excellent range of all well known international brands, except in some of the budget all inclusive resorts.
Alcohol is not available in Male. If you can find it, the local brew is raa, a sweet and delicious toddy tapped from the crown of the palm trunk.