I've only been to Thailand and Bora Bora. They are very very different... You don't tell us what you like to do, but Thailand can be a very eclectic mix of activities. The city life of Bangkok, the mountains and the old charm of Chiang Mai, the emerald sea and limestone formations in the southern beach destinations. It's beautiful and the people are so friendly. I guess the cons would be the freaking hot and humid weather! Bora Bora is all about the lagoon and the water activities. Lots of lounging around, enjoying the beautiful weather (September is great).
Re: Maldives, there are some really good threads on here written by people who have been to both the Maldives and FP, so try a search.
This is a great start, thanks!
I think one of the questions is where are you coming from? I've been to the Maldives, Bali and Thailand while living in Dubai and this year we plan to go to Bora Bora from the US. We considered going back to the Maldives because it's AMAZING but Bora Bora is just a shorter flight and since we haven't been yet, we've put Maldives on hold till later. Also, you need to ask yourself if you want to be really active or if you want to just relax.
Thailand is awesome if you're looking for something a little less expensive and if you're looking for something that has a lot of things to do. I did Bangkok and Phi Phi island and both were fantastic. In Bangkok, I stayed at the Peninsula and it was very nice.
In Bali, we stayed in Sanur for a week and Ubud for a week. While there, we did some diving up in the north, white water rafting, and general exploring/beach/etc. I probably won't go back to Bali. It was beautiful and Ubud was amazing with all of the artists, but we felt like it was pretty overcrowded with tourists.
And my favorite so far is definitely the Maldives! I've been to Adaraan Prestige Vadoo and the Taj Vivanta and both were fantastic. In the Maldives, each island has one resort on it (and that's it) so it's very relaxing and chilled out.
Let me know if you have any questions!
The Maldives is the clear winner. Its beaches are endless and have fluffy white powdery sand. Most of the beaches in French Polynesia consist of crushed coral, which is not powdery and is hard on the feet.
Above Water Scenery
French Polynesia is the clear winner here, with the dramatic peaks of Moorea, Bora Bora, etc. There is really nothing to see above water in the Maldives
Both destinations have world class diving and snorkeling, but I think the Maldives is in a class of its own. The snorkeling is unlike anything I have ever seen, and the sealife is so abundant. The diving really provides the wow factor with the manta cleaning stations, etc. Plus, certain locations have whale sharks, which for me was the sighting of a lifetime. That being said, the diving and snorkeling in French Polynesia is VERY good and will not disappoint.
Both destinations have gorgeous turquoise lagoons and extremely clear water. I think the water in the Maldives has slightly better visibility, but not by much.
Most Maldivian resorts sit on their own private islands, so you are basically confined to one island unless you do boat trips. This is great, as long as you enjoy the island/resort. This is not the case on most French Polynesian resorts (with some definite exceptions). Both destinations are known for their luxury resorts and over water bungalows.
French Polynesia is a much easier destination for Americans with less travel time. Europeans have easy access to the Maldives with many non-stop flights. Americans traveling to The Maldives need to connect in Dubai or Doha, and the travel time from the east coast US is 13 hrs to Dubai and then another 4 to the Maldives. After arrival in the Maldives, a seaplane flight is required for many resorts.
You may have slightly better luck in French Polynesia during September. However, both are basically year round destinations.
You really can't go wrong either way!!
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Great reviews however most of the hotels are over $500 per night! For a average student getting married and looking for a honeymoon destination, they are expensive! I am struggling with finding a Bora Bora, Maldiv or Bali style destination (white sand, beach and all the goodies) for a reasonable price. (less than $250 per night). I know if you wants to go crazy maybe its not as difficult.
Well any suggestion on picking a nice honeymoon destination with a budget limitted to $250 per night? any ideas? I am thinking maybe I am doing something wrong in my quest for searching the right resort. I would really appreciate it if you guys can help me out here.
Thanks in advance :-)Edited: 22 December 2011, 02:31
There are some nice accommodations in Tulum that might fit the bill. Look at Suenos and the Zona Corazon section at Nuevo Vida de Ramiro. These are both romantic spots, white sand, bungalow type accommodations. They would fit your budget nicely.
St. Lucia is a good idea, but most of the nicer hotels will be more expensive than $250/night. It doesn't hurt to look though.
Another option is Roatan. While I'm not sure the exact cost, take a look at Barefoot Cay.