Maldives Vacation on a Budget: Guesthouses or Private Villas?

gueshouse room

As accommodation options grow,

The Maldives are becoming

more accessible than ever before!

Today we answer the million dollar question: “Do you need a million dollars to travel to the Maldives?

Luckily, our answer is straight: “Hell, No!“.

The Maldives nowadays are not the exclusive-resort-only destination they were a few decades ago: the local economy developed, several local businesses grew and so did the accommodation and vacation options!

While it’s true that you could still spend a million dollars to rent out private islands, it’s also true that planning a family escape to the Maldives on a budget is today easier than ever before!

In this article, we will see the different accommodation options in the Maldives, which rotate around 3 types:

  • Guest Houses,
  • Private Villas,
  • and Exclusive Resorts.

I will give you a few examples of what you might expect in each of them and what roughly the costs you might incur 🙂

Let’s dive right in! 😀

1. Maldives on a Budget:

GuestHouses

 

(COST: 40 – 90$ / NIGHT for 2 PEOPLE)

Guesthouse in the Maldives

1.1 FEW WORDS ABOUT GUESTHOUSES:

AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATIONS THAT BENEFIT THE COMMUNITY!

Tourism is the main economic activity of the Maldives Archipelago where more than 95% of everyday products are imported from other countries.

The local currency is called Rufiyaa, but all the transactions are generally value-attached directly to US Dollars as they are related to imported products.

The Maldives’ Government also needs to earn foreign currency to manage its expenditure in Rufiyaa and this is mainly done by taxing the hospitality industry: for decades indeed, the engine of Maldive’s wealth have been its exclusive resorts, which we could see as the backbone of the local economy.

Said that, about a decade ago, the government realized that the citizens did not benefit much from tourism, as large sums of income were flowing only to resort owners and the government itself.

So, they started allowing guesthouses on local islands, which in turn made the country accessible for many more budget travelers and families.

In 2023, there were more than 13000 beds in over 800 guesthouses.

This enabled the citizens to earn Dollars and Euros while creating job opportunities within the Maldives community.

1.2 GUESTHOUSES IN THE MALDIVES: WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?

The guesthouses in the Maldives are small-scale 3-star hotels offering between 3 – 10 rooms to different groups of tourists. 

They are called “guesthouses”, but work as hotels, providing the same services (room cleaning, ensuite bathrooms, excursion, entertainment, etc.) and are often located in paradise locations that nothing has to envy to the more expensive luxury resorts.

The main difference from resorts is that guesthouses offer the tourist the possibility to live among locals, discover local customs and traditions, socialize more with other guests, and overall live a more “familiar experience”.

As the Maldives’ standards are pretty high compared to most of the world, three-stars in the Maldives is like a great 4-stars in EU or US!

The prices for guest houses start as low as 40/night, which make it an interesting deals for families and budget travelers who can now enjoy a budget holidays in one of the world’s most romantic destination.

 

1.3 CONS OF THE GUESTHOUSES

Compared to private villas or resorts, the guesthouses in the Maldives have also some cons, which are:

  • Not all guesthouses have a beach nearby where you’re allowed to swim (that’s why excursions are organized almost daily!)
  • The Maldives is a muslim country, and you won’t be able to roam freely in your bathing suit as you would on a private island!).
  • On Fishermen islands, the sale and consumption of alcohol is banned, so you’ll hardly ever find beer or wine in guesthouses
  • Food is served at certain times, and you’ll likely be eating always with other guests

 

2. Private Villas on One-Island Exclusive Resorts:

The Backbone of the Maldives Accomodation Industry

(COST: 200 – 1000$ / NIGHT for 2 PEOPLE)

Private Island in the Maldives

2.1 FEW WORDS ABOUT THE LUXURY SECTOR:

EXCLUSIVE RESORTS, VILLAS AND ENTIRE ISLANDS!

Traditionally the Maldives only offered resort holidays: one island was one resort and the tallest building could not exceed the height of the tallest palm tree on the island.

As said before, things have drastically changed over the past 10 years, especially with the introduction of guesthouses which was a major step in tourism diversification.

Said that also the luxury sector diversified over the years, and now offers two main types of accommodation: private villas at a luxury resorts and renting out the entire private island.

Both these choices are available in the Maldives and the former is more common as more people can afford it.

2.2 PRIVATE VILLAS: WHAT TO EXPECT?

Private Villas are luxurious accommodations which offer all the comforts you might dream of: large spaces to relax, private beaches, food service, and incredible locations.

In the Maldives Villa, fantasy is the limit: there are villas directly on the beach, between palm forests, villas on tilts, or even floating villas!

As we talked already in previous articles, there are several benefits of renting out private villas in the Maldives: the privacy, the intimacy, the chance for a mindful and regenerative retreat, and the safety (as you won’t have anyone around you!) among the main ones.

Depending on the kind of villa you’ll be renting out, you can find completely different (yet all mostly epic!) experiences.

 

2.3 CONS OF RENTING A PRIVATE VILLA

As with everything, there are always some cons, although it’s very hard to find them and many people won’t even call them cons (villas in the Maldives are a dream come true after all 😉 ). Here are a few of them:

  • You won’t be meeting locals (in private villas you will be alone, and the chances for speaking with locals are slim)
  • It’s expensive (but if you’re considering it, you’re probably in for the splurge!)
  • There is not much social interaction at all nor entertainment (villas are for those tourists who just want to chill, relax, share intimacy with dear ones, and forget the rest!)

3. Renting out a Complete Island:

the maximum luxury splurge in the Maldives!

(COST:  5000 – 100.000$ / NIGHT for an Island – Up to 30+ people)

exclusive private island resort in the maldives

3.1 FEW WORDS ABOUT RENTING ENTIRE ISLANDS:

THE MOST CREATIVE EXPERIENCES!

Renting out an entire island is one of the most ultra-luxury experiences you could enjoy in the Maldives.

Of course, here prices are through the roof, so high that ordinary tourists can’t even a glimpse at (*sigh*).

Said that, if you have the economic possibility to afford such an experience (or you’re a big group of family/friends!), know that you could rent out damn crazy out-of-the-dreams places.

Such an example, can be the collection offered by Maldives Private Villa,  an exclusive island with a 3 bedroom private residence of which 1 located underwater! There are only a few destinations in the world that can offer an underwater bedroom and one it’s in the Maldives! 

 

underwater-bedroom-night-1024x599

3.2 RENTING A PRIVATE ISLAND: WHAT TO EXPECT?

The main benefits you might enjoy when renting an island, among others, could be: a private pool, gym, security, butler quarter, private restaurant service, private beach, extra privacy, and a private villa for each couple/person of your group!

To complement your experience, you can also normally contract watersport trainers and entertainment

 

3.3 CONS OF RENTING OUT AN ISLAND IN THE MALDIVES

There are very few cons of renting a private island in the Maldives, the main two being:

  • You won’t be meeting locals (like in private villas, you will be alone, and the chances for speaking with locals are slim)
  • It’s expensive (but well… you’ll get everything that life has to offer too! ahah)

 

Conclusion

accomodation options in the maldives - conclusion

And here we are at the end of the article!

In this article, we’ve seen the different typologies of accommodation you could be interested in checking out when planning a trip to the Maldives.

From budget guesthouses to exclusive private villas and even islands, the Maldives offer rooms and rates for travelers with all budgets.

If you would like to know more about why the Maldives are so awesome, I will leave you here two related articles we also wrote about Why Maldives Resorts are Good For Family Holidays, as well as 5 Not-so-Obvious Benefits of Retreating in a Water Villa.

Before going, I also would like to ask you:

  • What do you think about the article?
  • Have you already had the chance to experience the Maldives before?
  • Which accommodation did you choose?
  • What can you tell us about your experience? Was it worthy it? What did you like most? 🙂

If you’d like to share your experience, we would be happy to hear it! (we always love to have some chat 🙂 ).

So please, let us know in the comments below!

Thanks a lot for reading, and as always…

See you in the next article! 🙂

 

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