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Best Budget-friendly Resorts in the Maldives

by Priscilla Soondrum on 28 June 2013, 18:06PM


The Maldives is generally thought of as being a luxurious, expensive destination. It's certainly luxurious, but your holiday to the Maldives doesn't have to break the bank. I'm one of the experts at Travelbag, and I went in search of the best affordable resorts in the Maldives. This is what I found...


1. Summer Island Resort

Around a 40-minutes speedboat transfer from Male, Summer Island Resort place is probably one of the most reasonably priced all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives and would suit one looking for a simple beach holiday. Standard rooms are basic but clean, comfortable and functional, though there are no tea and coffee making facilities in standard room. The Superior rooms are worth upgrading to, as they are bigger and much nicer. They have a TV, fridge and tea/coffee making facilities at a small supplement. Out of the 34 superior rooms, 28 are interconnecting.

The first thing that came to my mind as we got onto the island was that the resort was a very relaxed and unpretentious one. The Diving Centre is very active and the lagoon seems perfect for watersports. Though the resort does not have a house reef, it puts on four-hour long snorkelling trips every day. The first two trips are free and additional ones are at a small supplement.

The Serena Spa has a small but varied menu of treatments, from facials and bodyworks to Ayurvedic massages and specials such as a 'divers recovery' and a 'sun lovers package'. There's only one restaurant serving 3 buffets daily and a coffee shop serving sandwiches and hot drinks at tea time. The bar is a few steps away (open from 9 till midnight), again very informal with sand on the floor.

On the whole, Summer Island would suit anyone who wants to relax on a gorgeous beach and swim with the fish. It is clearly a 3* resort at the cheaper end of the spectrum, but it's great value for money.


2. Makunudu Island Resort

An ideal choice for couples or for holidaymakers who are looking for peace and privacy, Makunudu Island Resort is a sublime hideaway. On arrival, we were given a warm welcome and as soon as we started walking around, I realised this was a perfect escape! Indeed, the island is very true to its 'no news no shoes' policy with its small and intimate ambience. Makunudu Island Resort has only 36 rooms,with a particular aim at providing a personalised service to guests.

The bungalows are set amongst lush green vegetation and are styled in traditional Maldivian design with open-air bathrooms and they all have direct access to the beach. The hotel has a high percentage of repeat guests and long stays and is more orientated towards simplicity and natural beauty of its surroundings. With an additional touch including free snorkelling and fishing trip as well as catamaran, one can't go wrong!

Makunudu offers a true island experience. If you want a quiet, peaceful island where you can simply do nothing all day, then this one should be on your list.


3. Vivanta by Taj

Our next stop was Vivanta By Taj which is around 45 minutes boat transfer from Male. The view of the island from the jetty is beautiful and one will already realise that this hotel will exceed expectations. The island is a small one and it takes only a few minutes to explore. There are 65 rooms in all each feature comfortable furnishings such as a large king sized bed and a spacious balcony that overlooks the reefs and the ocean.

As the name suggests the Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef is home to an amazing selection of natural reefs and the resort organises several dive excursions (including a 20 year old shipwreck attraction for divers) as well as catamaran boat trips, deep sea fishing and other activities. Another main attraction at the Vivanta By Taj, is the opportunity to witness stingray feeding from the beach every morning at around 5am.

If you don't fancy water sports and don't want to go out you still have many options to enjoy in the resort itself. They have a well maintained fitness centre, a Jiva Spa and an infinity pool. The resort also offers great dining options, including a romantic moon deck private dinner at an extra charge. If you are on a late checkout, the hotel provides a lounge where you can relax until your transfer to the airport. The Vivanta by Taj would appeal to all-honeymooners, couples and family groups.

If you're dreaming of a place with a brilliant house reef teaming, amazing staff and great food – all for a great price– then Vivanta by Taj would be the perfect choice.

Beach hut

4. Kurumba Island Resort

This resort was the very first private island resort in the Maldives and has been very well maintained. The design of Kurumba allows for ample garden space with concrete pathways, providing easy mobility for families with younger children. Each roomy type is very spacious and includes Superior Rooms, Beach Bungalows, Deluxe Bungalows, Garden Villa, Private Villa, Pool Villa, Presidential Villa and The Royal Residence, each of which is well positioned for the beach, restaurants and the pools. All the rooms have free Wi-Fi which is also accessible on most part of the island.

Kurumba attracts honeymooners but is also very popular with families with older as well as younger children. There is plenty to do for adults and a great kids club for children aged 4-12 as well as baby sitting service on request. The lovely beach around Kurumba has a house reef and activities and excursions are well-organised and scheduled. They offer a free daily snorkelling trip round the island, and the snorkelling equipment complimentary too. One highly recommended activity is the dolphin and sunset cruise, which can be organised locally.

Kurumba also provides alternative interesting activities such as painting, yoga, cooking, tennis court and a games area. It boasts 5 restaurants offering various types of cuisines and three bars. The beach Bar is a popular area with nice seating arrangement and catching the sunset from there is an amazing sight. Kurumba offers affordable luxury – no high sea plane transfer costs – and it will appeal to any holiday maker. The resort is sure to impress, boasting a fantastic range of activities to fill your stay, from sports and fitness, to snorkelsling and water sports and a fun-packed kids' club.



5. Bandos Island Resort

Bandos Island Resort is only around 15 minutes' boat transfer from Male Airport. It's one of largest resorts in the Maldives with 225 rooms. This island has been in service for around 40 years as the second hotel to be built in the Maldives – though you couldn’t tell from the contemporary ambience.

There are a few room categories including Standard Rooms which have a small terrace, spacious Deluxe Rooms (all interconnecting - therefore very popular with families) with a separate sitting area, bath and terrace, Jacuzzi Beach Villas with bedroom and balcony on upper level and a terrace, while the Garden Villas are all by the pool.

Bandos is a family orientated Resort but would still welcome couples as well as single holiday makers as you can always find your own privacy on this large island. There are a trio restaurants, including a coffee shop. Upon request, dinner can also be served right on the beach! The Main Bar is always busy with entertainment going on. The Resort also offers a trip to a nearby island for a BBQ or for renewal of vows.

Bandos also features a lovely spa with nine treatment rooms, a kid’s club, sports centre, and diving centre. Bandos does offer excellent value for money. In comparison to other more expensive islands that we have visited, Bandos easily matches the others. It is kept very clean, has a lovely beach and the house reef is within easy reach.



To discover more about the Maldives, its wonderful resorts and the superb deals available, then ring me, Priscilla Soondrum, at the Solihull Travelbag branch, on 020 3139 7475.

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