After so much hiking and trekking in Sri Lanka during our honeymoon, we finally get to relax, and just do the famous eat, beach, sleep, repeat quote. We can all agree that Maldives is considered a lover’s paradise. The exclusivity and privacy it can offer, it definitely attracts young couple and newlyweds for peace and quiet after the chaos of the wedding, ha ha.
However, Maldives comes as usual in a hefty price tag depending on your choice of resort regardless whether you wanted luxury, more on water activities, party island or family oriented resort. But here’s the thing, if you really want to tick Maldives off your bucket list then it’s possible without costing you an arm and leg!
Not until 2008, Maldives can only be accessed through the private resorts but some changes in policies and the government, they allowed budget hotels, B&B at the local islands.
Basically the local islands, are the inhabited islands. Therefore, not much of a privacy you can get unlike with the private resorts, but hey it’s the same sand and the sea. Speaking from experience, the next time we go back to Maldives, we’ll definitely stay in one of the local islands. I already did my research and we found beachfront rooms with your own slice of beach with beautiful nearby reefs, free daily show of dolphins (which we had to pay for excursion at the resort), manta rays and reef sharks.
After doing my research on all the local islands, my best choice is Thulusdhoo Island. This is where I found Met Surf House for less than $100 a night (depending on the season) inclusive of breakfast. They offer excursions for less than 50$. The owners of the hotel can take you to nearby inhabited island and they can arrange private lunch or dinner on the sandbank. How awesome is that?? They also have their own reefs nearby and you can watch dolphin shows almost everyday. Food are served fresh and very cheap!
Already booking your ticket yet? 🙂
If the $100 per night is still a lot than what you intend to spend, there are other hotels and B&B in the island.
Another advantage when booking the hotel in the local island, it’s the transfer fees! When we booked our hotel through the agent, after finalizing everything, he then told us we had to pay the transfer fees separately, and you know how much it cost us? $200 each passenger ONE way. So we had to pay additional $800!!! My mouth literally dropped when I heard it but there’s no backing out now. In my head, I was saying, “this is a once in a lifetime trip, this is once in a lifetime trip.” Anyway, the ferry trip from Male to the local islands is guest what? $1.50!! How ridiculous is the difference from the private transfers to the public ferry. But be sure to check the schedule first before booking your flight tickets. The ferry usually leave at 9AM, so if your plane arrives in the wee hours of the night, might as well book a hotel in Male.
From the reviews I read, it seems to me that owners of these hotels in the local islands go above and beyond on providing service to their customers. They will treat you like a family. Unlike in the resorts, sometimes the staff neglects you or don’t even care about you. It happened to us by the way when we were at the resort. And seriously, the ridiculous amount we spent for five days could’ve been saved or used somewhere else if we actually stay in the local islands. I can honestly say that the water bungalows were such a waste. We spend most of the day at the beach, on an excursion, by the pool or at the restaurant. The buffet though was a hit and I love that we can just walk in to the restaurant, have our seats taken and make a beeline to the buffet to eat (we got the all inclusive package). Nonetheless, it was all worth it albeit research is really a must before traveling (I’ve learned my lesson).
I was a bit disappointed with the weather when we reached there. It wasn’t what I expected. It was cloudy, gloomy and worst it was raining!! It already rained during my wedding, then again on my honeymoon! But nothing stopped us from enjoying the resort and Maldives.Even if most days there were no sunshine, I still got tanned and tomato red afterwards. We also wrote letters to each other and to our future kids and buried it somewhere in the resort. I enjoyed every bit of our stay and I must say it was the most relaxing 5 days I ever had.
Photos weren’t edited..I’m so tired and sleepy.