Cheapest room rates: $177/night; price of speedboat transfer: $94/person/round trip.
Room type: 5; number of rooms: 190; distance to Male: 8km
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Kurumba is one of the few mid-range resorts that are highly rated on Booking.com (9.2 points) because the distance is very close to Male capital (3km) and it takes only 10 minutes to travel by speedboat as well as full conditions for a great resort from great landscape to delicious food. Service style is highly appreciated and visitors often complain that they gained a lot of weight after leaving this island because the food here is so delicious!
This resort is like a large garden with many colorful flowers, long fences decorated under the soaring green coconut canopy. Like Bandos, Kurumba is endowed with rich and diversity natural coral reefs under the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean, you will be surprised by the cute and harmless little sharks swimming very close when you approach the coral reefs around. This will be a great relaxing place for those who love diving and exploring the majestic scenery under the ocean.
The downside of Kurumba is that it does not still own a Water Villa area, but it is very suitable for you, especially if it is a company that wants to host a customer conference here because it is very close to Male and fully equipped with a lot of facilities including 8 restaurants and 3 bars, a large boat team ready to serve, a luxurious and polite environment. French, Italian, Chinese, and Indian restaurants are ready to serve all your needs, in addition to other high-end services such as two outdoor swimming pools and three tennis courts, a spa and a large gym. Activities on the island have to say a lot, and when it rains, the staff at the resort also bring more activities for visitors.
Cheapest room rates: $315/night; price of speedboat transfer: $130/person/round trip.
Room type: 10; number of rooms: 180; distance to Male: 3 km
True to its name, Paradise Resort is a true paradise with the beautiful Water Villas floating on the water. The room rates here is similar to Kurumba but sometimes even cheaper, but in my opinion it is as beautiful as Kurumba. The bright white of the sea combined with the color of the vegetation, smooth sandy beaches and especially the color of Water Villas creates a harmonious and beautiful scenery. The coral area surrounding the resort is available, so you won’t have to buy a tour to scuba diving or snorkeling in other remote places, fish swim around a lot and swim in flocks so you can admire them freely.
The downside of Paradise is that the resort is built by Chinese people so it is quite crowded, especially Chinese visitors. The beaches and landscapes are artificially made quite a lot so it seems to lack the inherent wild features.
Cheapest room rates: $250/night; price of speedboat transfer: $104/person/round trip.
Room type: 4; number of rooms: 282; Distance to Male: 9.6 km
Best affordable Maldives resorts: Resorts are far from Male city
The beautiful paradise resorts are usually far from Male, but their transfer service prices are extremely high, ranging from $300-1.000/person/roundtrip (included taxes and fees). Many resorts are hundreds of kilometers away and must travel by seaplane at a exorbitant price of $1.000/person or have to travel by domestic airplanes. It took nearly half a month to search on Booking.com, Agoda.com and Youtube.com to find and rating all kinds of resorts, how to ensure good criteria but still suitable to the financial ability and transport methods are feasible.
In this section, I will introduce some quality resorts, located far from Male but close to some of the islands where the backpackers usually visit such as Maafushi, Guraidhoo because you can ask the guesthouse owners to take you to these resorts with much cheaper price than speedboat transfer service of the resort.
Rihiveli does not stand out with the beautiful Water Villas shimmering on the sea like other high-end resorts but in return tourists highly appreciated for snorkeling, diving, fishing activities and other water sports. The area of the entire island is quite small with only 48 rooms, but the area of vegetation and clear shallow waters around it is really big enough for you to dive without being bored.
The laundry service here is free but a minus point at Rihiveli is that wifi is only available in the bar and reception area but not in the room. The beaches are very beautiful but there are many broken coral pieces so you need to pay attention to protect your feet while walking here.
Cheapest room rates: $202/night; price of speedboat transfer: $280/person/round trip.
Room type: 5; number of rooms: 48; distance to Male: 7 km
A very nice resort in the area near Maafushi Island and surprisingly cheap speedboat transfer is worth considering, only $78 per person. With this resort you can go directly from the airport (they pick you up at the airport) and stay here about 2-3 days, then make the trip to explore the nearby islands like Maafushi or Guraidhoo, very convenient. The only downside of this resort is a relatively small area of 200m in length and 100m in width.
Overall assessment of this resort is small and peaceful, the Water Villas area is quite simple but very beautiful, clean and offers the advantage of maximum privacy compared to other resorts with Water Villas located close together. The vegetation here is as diverse as the other seas with rather shallow reefs (only 2 meters from the surface water), located right next to the coast with harmless small sharks, which can help you admire right near the resort without having to go far. One thing to note is that the resort will not pick you up if you stay on another island but not at Ibrahim Nasir airport when you want to reach the resort.
Cheapest room rates: $432/night; price of speedboat transfer: $78/person/round trip.
Room type: 2; number of rooms: 128; distance to Male: 34 km
Nestled amidst tropical vegetation, Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives is surrounded by a vast sandy beach and clear waters, this is where you will find paradise to escape the pressures of daily life and forget the outside world. Located 34km from south of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, tourists can travel here from the airport in about 45 minutes by speedboat.
The comfort and tranquility is the big plus points of the resorts in Maldives, you will find everything for a vacation, relaxing at Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives. It’s a beautiful island with snowy white beaches and underwater sea creatures like corals and fishes. Olhuveli has its own shallow water areas, sea water is always visible to the bottom, it seems to be a giant sandbank.
Olhuveli has 2 luxurious Water Villa areas, an area located at the east (middle of the island), and a more beautiful area in the Elip shape (about 500m long) located at the southern end of the island. The Water Villa area is very luxurious, with turquoise sea and clear water. Olhuveli has a total of 164 rooms with all kinds of rooms including standard Duluxe rooms (for about $178/night not includes taxes and meals, the price can be up to $370 in the peak season from November onwards, not includes taxes but includes a meal), Water Villa room, Honeymoon room and President room. These water villa rooms often have a private hot tub on the spacious sun terrace, honeymoon villa with luxury water views with a separate living room, comfortable sunbeds.
Due to its design on an elongated elliptical island (only about 500m long) along the north-south direction, Olhuveli has two separate areas that can watch the sunset and sunrise are Sunrise Bar and Sunset Bar. There is also a large infinity swimming pool located right next to the beach, while swimming and watching the sunset are great. In addition, it also has two large restaurants in the West, you can have dinner and watch the sunset, and in the morning you can choose Four Spices Restaurant located in the east to relax waiting for the dawn.
Indispensable in Olhuveli are the services of snorkeling, diving and rest areas with beautiful white beaches. The price of tours here is of course much more expensive than in neighboring islands like Maafushi or Guraidhoo. Spa services are also very famous. I can list the price of basic services as follows (price includes tax):
Visit neighboring islands where people live: $117/person
Snorkeling and visiting nearby islands: $130/person
Watching dolphins and dinner on cruise: $85/person
Ocean fishing: $65.3/person.
Minus points are some beach areas despite clear water but still have something under the water, black like sawdust reduces its beauty. In addition, the flora around the resort island I think is not much and lack of diversity, a disadvantage compared to other resorts like Kurumba or Bandos although these places do not have a spectacular Water Villa area as in Olhuveli. Only in the jetty area there are a few small reefs but not many, this is not convenient and you will have to buy the tours from the resort to go to more remote areas to see corals, other animals. If you love snorkeling or scuba diving, you can try around the island, but will not satisfy, so you should buy a tour to go to the more beautiful waters because the Maldives is snorkeling’s paradise, or go back to Maafushi Island to buy cheaper tours.
Overall, this is a resort worth staying at a very good price and high quality service, easy to reach the resort and nearby islands, diversity tours, many wonderful activities… An excellent rated 4-star resort, you can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Maldives you can refer to
- Maldives Day Tour from Hulhumale
- Discover Scuba Dive in Maldives
- Male Island Hopping Tour
- 4G SIM Card for Maldives (MY Delivery) by Mewfi
Are you looking for more Maldives travel guide and top things to do in Maldives: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Maldives travel blog — The fullest Maldives travel guide for a great trip on a budget for the first-timers.