What it’s really like to stay at an all-inclusive resort in the Maldives

I’m not a dancer, but I find myself doing a salsa dance I call salivating.

There are more than fifty dishes in front of me. On the one hand, we have salad stations that are big enough to feed a whole bunch of rabbits. To the right of me is a pile of carbs that will keep the kunekuyou puffing non-stop for days. I don’t know what to eat. I was torn between my health and instant happiness.

Should I go for a salad? Or slip on to steak fries? As I walked around the buffet, indecisive, I began to shake my hips. I turned over and moved on to the next dish. This is my dance version, and my dance partner is Gluttony. If you have any questions, she will lead the way.

I just got back from a vacation at an all-inclusive resort where I committed the mortal crimes (gluttony, greed, etc.) that I deserved. You see, I spent 14 days on an endless island – I ate 42 buffets in that time. That’s three buffets per day for 14 consecutive days.

You want to know how seriously I take this? Well, I even scheduled my flight so I could be at the resort by 8am on the first day of vacation. Why do I do such a thing? So I didn’t miss the breakfast buffet.

Here are the answers to all your burning questions about all-inclusive resorts, not the least of which is: How much weight did I gain after eating the 42 buffet?

Where did you go and how much did you spend?

I went to the spiritual home of all-inclusive resorts: the Maldives.

Many people think this is the domain of the rich and famous, but I stayed at a resort for 370 NZD ($A343 USD) per night including all meals for two per day.

You won’t find many (if any) hotels offering three buffets and accommodation on a beautiful island for less than NZ$400 a night – so I think it’s a pretty good deal. (The resort is called stay away from us – for those wondering). We stayed in the most basic accommodation, a garden bungalow, but it was a short walk from the beach.

On top of the accommodation, you’ll also need to pay for seaplane transfers ($390/AUD574 per person, round trip) and international airfare to get there – so the costs add up. However, this is a once-in-a-lifetime destination. So you end up splurging.

Kuredu Resort is one of the largest resorts in the Maldives.

Kuredu Resort is one of the largest resorts in the Maldives. Photo: Brook Sabin/Stuff

how is the food

Outstanding. Over 50 different dishes are on rotation every night, from fresh French cheeses to New Zealand lamb. There is an assortment of traditional dishes such as curries, lasagne and baked potatoes, as well as a large table of desserts – everything from chocolate fountains to artisan ice cream and toffee pudding.

One of the dessert stops at Kuredu Resort.

One of the dessert stops at Kuredu Resort. Photo: Brook Sabin/Stuff

How comprehensive are all-inclusive resorts?

It varies a lot. We had the ‘full board’ package which included all meals in the main cafeteria, water, tea and coffee only.

However, you can choose from two complete all-inclusive packages, which include drinks and activities – and they cost much more. Always check what “all inclusive” you get, as some resorts are more generous than others.

How much weight have you gained?

This is the question most people have. I ate what I wanted for 42 meals – yes, that means desserts for lunch and dinner (28 desserts to be exact). I eat everything from pastries to papayas, crepes to sweets, curry to nachos.

I got home and anxiously approached the scale. It’s like appearing before a judge to hear your sentence for bad behavior.

This statement is light: literally. It weighs only one kilogram.

I stood on it again because I thought something must be wrong. Two weeks of binge eating a kilo: I’ll take it.

It helps me snorkel several times a day, run semi-regularly, and get about 13,000 steps most days. That’s because it’s a 30-minute walk back to the cafeteria—if you multiply that by three, you get a 1.5-hour walk.

The moral of the story is that if you just keep going, you can have a relatively guilt-free vacation. If I indulged in a 42 buffet and adopted a lazy mindset, I think I’d be knocking four kilos or more of unwanted personal real estate. At least I will take home a slice of the Maldives.

The authors pay their own travel expenses.

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See also: Adults only: The rise of child-free resorts

See also: Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

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