Best Value Hotels in North Male Atoll, Kaafu Atoll
Take a look at the best value hotels in North Male Atoll.
Meeru Island Resort & Spa
The upscale Meeru is not only the third oldest resort in the Maldives, it is also the third largest, with 286 rooms and a loyal following of repeat guests (many Germans). It's attractive for all ages: Families have their own area of the island, and couples have theirs, hence two separate pools, two buffet restaurants, and two spas. Most guests are on an all-inclusive packages, so bars are lively -- especially the 24-hour one. During the day, there are plenty of activities on hand, including a diving center with courses in French, German or English, a number of water sports, excursions, a driving range, and even a golf course. Snorkeling in the house reef requires a boat ride, though many are happy to stay put on the pretty beaches. Rustic-luxe rooms have vaulted wood roofs, wood paneling, and king-size beds (many are romantic four-posters with mosquito netting); some are overwater, some on the beach, and some offer jetted tubs in open-air bathrooms.
Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives
Open since 2013, this well-managed resort close to the airport has 140 rooms, either along the shore or overwater on stilts (reached via a lengthy jetty). Thailand-based Centara has two properties in the Maldives, both known for offering luxury accommodations at competitive prices, and this particular one is aimed at young couples (no guests under the age of 12 are allowed). It’s not the prettiest island or best house reef for snorkeling, but its service is exceptional, a rarity at this price point. The buffet serves a wide mix of European and Asian cuisines, while three a la carte restaurants (Thai, Italian, and Middle Eastern) and three bars keep the mainland fun and lively; both half-board and all-inclusive rates are on offer. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, DVD players, bathrobes, and 24-hour room service, but no umbrellas on the private villa decks -- and it will get hot in the afternoon sun.
Thulhagiri Island Resort
This mid-range, 55-room resort is a quick boat ride from the airport. On one side of the island is a huge beach, though to get there, guests (mostly younger couples) might have to walk through unflattering pathways. Despite areas of shabbiness, this resort offers competitive prices (much of the time), consistent buffet food, a spa, fitness center, water sports, and an impressive dive center that's great for newbies. Beach Bungalows are rustic but cheaper; some are closer to the beach than others. Meanwhile, more expensive Water Bungalows on the jetty have canopy beds and direct access to the lagoon. No one will find free drinking water in rooms -- practically a standard everywhere else -- and it will cost a pretty penny to purchase. Grounds include a small swimming pool, though it is rarely used, and the bar, open until midnight, will hardly see a crowd. Service is inconsistent overall, though it can get better by showing appreciation (tipping helps).
This slim and tall 14-room hotel in the city of Malé is best suited for those in transit or business travelers on a budget. It was opened in 2012, and its basic but modern rooms have white bedding, flat-screen TVs, and (small) desk areas with free bottled water and minibars; suites have separate living rooms and kitchens for longer stays. Courteous staff can arrange day-trip excursions and airport transfers -- they will even pick-up and drop-off guests at the international terminal, a ferry ride away. Room service is available throughout the day and free coffee, toast, and eggs are served in the cafe each morning. Overall, this is a clean and safe place those who need to be in the capital. Upper floors are quieter, but guests can try opening windows to hear the sounds of local culture, such as mopeds and the call to prayer. Wi-Fi is free.
Hotel UI Inn
This simple guesthouse 10 minutes from Malé's airport started with just six rooms in 2011 and has since expanded to a second building across the street. Expect construction sights and sounds all around the 'hood -- this newer manmade island is a hub of activity in the midst of a major growth spurt. What the two-pearl property does offer is affordable and clean accommodations for budget travelers (especially backpackers) -- a rare find in the Maldives -- with surprisingly modern rooms outfitted with mini-fridges; some have kitchenettes. There's a pretty beach nearby for swimming but no pool on-site. The 24-hour cafe serves guests and locals (no alcohol), and barbecues can be arranged on the rooftop deck. Free Wi-Fi is unreliable.
This 10-year-old hotel in the capital of Malé is suited for budget travelers and those who need a place to crash between flights. The 12-story building has 30-plus rooms with city views and is accessed from a hidden alley entrance, just a five-minute walk from the airport ferry. There is a hostel feel to the place — especially in the lobby where locals like to hang. Basic, worn rooms have private bathrooms (with no shower curtains), AC units, desk space, and free Wi-Fi; many guests complain of cleanliness issues, and one room we stayed in had a bed bug infestation. A 24-hour kitchen dishes out simple fare in the lobby, and the rooftop will serve Asian food and non-alcoholic drinks (slated to open later in 2015). Day-trip excursions such as diving and surfing can be arranged, or an artificial beach is walkable for those on a dime.