Bars and beaches are almost synonymous, are they not? However, this is not true for the island holiday destination of The Maldives. Maldives’ history and culture follows Islamic principles. Hence, the consumption of alcohol is prohibited on the inhabited islands.
You will find plenty of regular bars on the private island resorts. But to order a tipple on a public island, you will have to visit a floating bar. Floating bars in Maldives is a unique concept that lets party goers drink to their heart’s content by circumventing the strict local island laws.
What is a Floating Bar?
Several local islands in The Maldives have an alcohol-stocked boat docked away from the mainland. These boats or yachts have a fully functional bar on board and the barmen show their drink mixing skills on this ‘floating bar’.
While these off-shore bars are called floating bars, you will not always be cruising in the Indian Ocean. Many of these bars are stationery. That means, the boat will be anchored and you will remain where you are while still enjoying the waves lapping around you.
What Floating Bar Options are available in The Maldives?
Comparable to the bars at the private island resorts in The Maldives, floating bars offer alcohol and snack services. Take a look at some of the floating bars on this archipelago frequented by tourists.
Kaani Princess, Maafushi
Docked off the public island of Maafushi, Kaani Princess is one of the most popular floating bars and restaurants in the country. While Maafushi offers numerous water sport activities to do in Maldives, its waterfront floating bar serves up some amazing cocktails.
Transfers from the Kaani Beach Hotel to Kaani Princess is free of cost and takes only a couple of minutes by a small catamaran. You can enjoy your drink on the outdoor deck under the shade of a canopy as you slouch on the loungers.
You can also grab a seat by the glass walled enclosure of the bar counter. This floating bar also boasts of a full service restaurant and a private indoor bar for special occasions. A beer will come for around USD 6 on this floating bar.
Kaani Princess operates on all the days of the week from 12 noon until 1 AM. This means, you can drink in the afternoon sun, watch the sunset with a craft cocktail and even drink into the night when the sky is spangled with stars.
Sharifa Floating Bar, Maafushi
Not far from Kaani Princess, Sharifa Floating Bar is another option to drink in Maafushi. Open from 11 AM to 1:30 AM throughout the week, this floating bar is a hit with visitors for its ambience.
Dance to the on board music played by the DJ and hold your glass of whiskey, beer, rum or wine. They also serve salads, meats and rice in case you get hungry from all the enjoyment. Sharifa Floating Bar has two deck levels and an indoor dining area as well.
Atoll Lounge Floating Bar, Malé
The perfect alternative to an airport lounge, Atoll Lounge Floating Bar markets itself as a floating lounge for those who have just landed at the Malé International Airport and have a few hours until their onward seaplane, domestic flight or ferry to their private island water villa.
Located only 5 minutes away from the Velana International Airport, this floating bar has 26 rooms in case you are looking for a private space to catch up on your sleep. You can also dine at their restaurant which has a capacity of 70 people.
Charges to access the Atoll Lounge range from USD 20 to USD 85, depending on the duration and room booked. With 3 decks at different levels, this ship can be reached via shuttles that run periodically from the Maldives International Airport.
Apart from being a lounge and having a restaurant and a bar, Atoll Lounge also has a club. Look out into the Indian Ocean from the blue tinted glass windows of the lounge while reading the magazines on your table.
Relax with a bottle of wine as you pore over a book available at the restaurant. You can even soak in some sun as you sip on a cocktail as you sit on a deck chair. The resting rooms come with fresh towels and sheets and a view from the windows of the sea and the islands in the distance.
Scubaspa Maldives is not merely a floating bar. It is an entire floating resort in itself! Fashioned as a liveaboard, the cruises offered focus on dives and spa treatments. You can choose from 4-night and 7-night cruises that can be customized for private charters.
When you sail on Scubaspa, you will have no need for Maldives’ water villas with pool as you will be logging multiple dives in a day and taking in the views of the endless ocean from the decks and even your room.
Liveaboards do the work of Maldives day tours as well, with their local island visits, snorkeling sessions, water sports such as stand-up paddle boating and scuba diving. Speaking of the floating bar, this bar counter faces the stern of the boat and has direct access to the swimming pool.
Let your eyes feast on the tropical views as you drink up your exotic cocktails, craft liquors, branded beers, imported cordials and other assorted spirits. The bartenders will also be happy to serve you their finest wines or even champagne, if you are celebrating a special occasion.
Happy hours are held daily and you can even pair your meals with the drinks. Ask the sommelier to help you choose a wine with your sushi platter or seafood lunch. Sunset cocktails and proposal setups are also possible with their a-la-carte menu. Rates range from USD 1,710 to USD 4,650 for full-board packages.
The concept of floating bars in Maldives is only expanding. On your next visit to this Asian paradise, do not forget to visit a floating bar to stand out from other vacationers. Customize your holiday with Samudra Maldives and watch the magic unfold.