Best Budget Resorts Near Capital Male’ Maldives
Maldives has bloomed as an enthralling tourism destination with a flourishing tourism industry and gaining international fame. Almost every international luxury brand and hotel group giant has taken a shot at carving their very own opulent enclaves in tropical paradise. The only catch with them is that the average tourist might have to carve a huge chunk off of their life savings to go afford those ultra-luxury island resorts. However, that might’ve been the case 10 or 20 years ago, but not so anymore! There are lots of resorts, hotels and guesthouses all over the Maldives, just for the budget travelers who’d rather not spend away a large amount of money. Sure, it might not be as dreamy and grand as those million-dollar properties but the magic of Maldives is not limited to those private island resorts.
It is possible to live the realest Maldivian experience with a reasonable budget, along with value for money. The Maldivian tourism industry is one that caters to everyone, so don’t believe the myth that Maldives is not accessible to the wealthy! In fact, there are so many options for those on a budget, this article will address a very specific accommodation type in a very small area. So, read on to check out the two most affordable budget resorts in the North Male’ Area.
The North Male’ Area
A blue, thriving heaven beneath the waves and a paradise above. Tourism is very well developed in this section of the Maldivian archipelago as it was the first atoll in Maldives to be opened to tourism. Known as the northern Kaafu atoll, it is the main atoll in the Maldives. Velana International Airport, as well as the capital of Maldives, Male’ is also in this atoll, so most resorts are only a 15-20-minute speedboat drive away and the further ones can be accessed by a short seaplane ride. There’s no such thing as a waiting when it comes to the Sunny Side of Life! It is good to keep in mind that seaplanes don’t take off after 3 30 PM so you can plan your international flights accordingly. This atoll is located in the heart of the Maldivian archipelago and consists of 50 islands, of which only 8 are inhabited and around 29 are resorts. So, if you haven’t already started buying your tickets, now’s a good time.
Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort
Enjoy luxury that’s affordable in a mesmerizing tropical setting at this charming little resort island tucked away in the North Male Atoll, just 10 minutes away from the airport by a speedboat. Rocking the classic barefoot vibe with every comfort and convenience of the modern world, if you want to budget and still enjoy luxury, then Malahini is the resort made just for you! Sure, the rooms may not be gigantic and mind-blowing but the beach, the sun, the breeze and the Indian Ocean are the very same. In fact, your room will be the last thing on your mind, since you’ll be going on excursions and absorbing every single bit of paradise that this island resort has to offer. The resort is more modern and chicer when compared to its sister property and a brighter atmosphere too. Note that for a very smooth transfer you should inform your arrival and departure details 72 hours beforehand and book the transfers in advance as well.
The beach is bound to mesmerize, after all you are in the Maldives. There are no walls to ruin the scenery and just a few temporary sandbags. Although sand has been pumped into eroding side of the beach so the sand there is less fine when compared to the natural ones. However, don’t let the word erosion get to you, in Maldives there is free flow of sand from one beach to another so on part of the beach is always eroding and the other is always growing! The lagoon of the island as quite large so if you’re a swimmer you might be a bit disappointed and thought most of the coral life is dead, you will still see many species of fish and sharks at the house reef. Don’t worry though, the snorkelers and divers can go on excursions tailored just for them!
There are 82 cozy little rooms spread across the island, ranging from the entry-level Classic Rooms to the more spacious Beach Villas and Garden Rooms. The Classic Rooms are situated in the island in blocks and have a simple design, with bright and creamy colors and cover just sqm and ensure you have all the basic conveniences such as Wi-Fi, minibar and tea/coffee facilities. The Superior Rooms cover 18 sqm along with a lovely ocean view.
The Deluxe Rooms are much more spacious, at 27 sqm. One of the better accommodation options are Garden Rooms, which are little smaller than the Deluxe Rooms but the seclusion in the greenery of the island is much more appealing. Finally, there’s the best accommodation option, the Beach Villas which are the largest rooms at 40 sqm with an amazing beach view, with the classic Maldivian palm trees only enhancing your view. Though many recommend the Garden Rooms, I’d say the Beach Villas are a no-brainer, with the extra space, beach view and of course, the open-air bathroom just topping every other option. Though if the Beach Villa is out of your budget, the Garden Rooms for sure will be.
Along with the excellent dining options at the resort, guests also have the options to head to the sister resort of Bandos Maldives to experience four dining outlets there. With the affordability came compromises when it comes to choice of restaurants, as Malahini only has one main restaurant and two bars while most resorts, especially in the North Male’ Atoll would have at least a total of four to five outlets. However, the beach views from the gigantic international restaurant perched right on the edge of the southern shoreline of the island would probably make you forget all that.
The food has been described as excellent, though not stellar along with the variety of choice. It’s open to all meals of the day, so it’s a good idea to go for the all-inclusive choice. On the eastern tip of this round island is the Bar 75, a chic beachside where you can take in lovely ocean views with tailored drinks and refreshments and enjoy the. On the opposite end of the island is Bluu, with great views and light meals and is open into the late hours of the night, so it’s perfect for late dwellers.
Paradise Island Resort & Spa
Like most of the reviews say, it’s all in the name at this lovely resort situated in the North Male’ Atoll, making the most of the mesmerizing Laccadives Sea and silky white shores. Paradise Island is one of the most affordable luxury island resorts just a few kilometers away and a 20-minute speedboat journey from the Velana International Airport. It is the perfect tropical island experience for a reasonable price, though the resort certainly doesn’t seem so affordable at first glance. Like so many other resorts in the North Male’ Atoll, the resort is close enough and grants access to an overwhelming number of diving spots and surf turfs along with the classic pristine lagoons and chic accommodation. With scenery, along with service and design comes together an unforgettable stay in a resort that is a first of its kind. It is perhaps the only or one of the few resorts that combined the affordability of four-star properties along with an exclusive five-star section. After all, paradise should cater to everyone, and they certainly do here, so you can truly have it all at Paradise Island!
The island itself is almost a kilometer long and 200 meters wide, so it’s one of the larger island resorts in the North Male’ Atoll region. Erosion is prevalent though not so bad that it would ruin your stay, though some reviews have claimed that vegetation around certain rooms to stop the soil erosion was a bit too dense to their liking. The protections against erosion seem to be working as not many have complained about erosion. The house reef is also quite wonderful at the resort so it’s a no-brainer for snorkeling enthusiasts.
Paradise Island has almost 300 bungalows, villas and suites scattered across the island, easily making it one of the largest in terms of capacity when it comes to resorts not only in the North Male Atoll region but in the whole Maldives. There are a whopping 220 Super Beach Bungalows perched on the beach giving charming ocean views. These are the best options for those on a budget and it’s quite cozy too, at 26 sqm and the designs are simple though many have described the decoration as very dated and in need of an upgrade. Overall great though, it’s clean and if affordability is what you’re after, it’s a wonderful option.
There are 40 Water Villas perched on stilts for those looking that romantic island getaway which are much larger covering 77 sqm and thus a higher price compared to the earlier accommodation option. An upgrade from the Water Villas are the 16 Haven Villas, which are also over water and cover 80 sqm though these villas have much more stylish decoration and furnishing. Finally, for those looking for the suite life, there are 4 Haven Suites and 2 Ocean Suites, the ultimate accommodation options at the five-star exclusive section of the resort. They’re huge, the Haven Suite covering 237 sqm and the Ocean Suite covering 286 sqm along with the best views of the resort, these villas are quite the feat.
Though most affordable resorts usually make compromises when it comes to dining, it is not so at Paradise Island. In fact, for such a property it’s quite a feat to have 6 restaurants and 2 bars. Most resorts within the Kaafu Atoll region usually only have 5 restaurants and bars. For the guests accommodated in the Beach Bungalows is the huge main restaurant, Bageecha. It’s where all the meals are served in an international buffet style. There’s The Lagoon, for everyone staying in the water villa section of the resort which is also another buffet style restaurant. There’s a Japanese restaurant called Fukuya Teppanyaki as well as Farumathi, a seafood restaurant. Another a la caret restaurant is the Italian Restaurant & Bar, Ristorante al Tramanto. To get drinks and refreshments, head west to reach Hulhangu Bar that’s open all hours of the day, or Athiri Bar in the evening.