Choosing between Resort vs Local Island when planning a trip to the Maldives? While resorts offer luxury experience in the Maldives, local islands give you access to blue waters with more budget flexibility. We compare them both in depth in this guide.
In addition to comparing the Maldives experience between luxury resorts vs local islands in the Maldives, we look at weather, budget, things to know before traveling to the Maldives and top things to do and pack.
Related Travel Guides:
- Recommended Travel Insurance for the Maldives
- Maldives food
- 5 Local islands in Maldives that you should visit
- Maldives tourist sim card
- what to wear in Maldives
- things to know before visiting Maldives
- Check here for Reviews of luxury resorts Kuramathi Island and Park Hyatt Hadahaa!
For travel guides in local islands in the Maldives, you can also check out these links below:
What’s the Cheapest Sim Card in Maldives?
You can buy the cheapest sim card in Maldives with Ooredoo and Dhiraagu Maldives prepaid sim card for $35 USD and 17 GB and for $50 USD with 100 GB data both of them valid for 30 days. Read here and best Maldives eSim best Maldives eSim
The cheapest Maldives eSim with Airalo Maldives eSim for $30 USD with 17 GB data valid for 30 days. And for $50 USD with 30 GB data with Airalo eSim Maldives valid for 30 days even cheaper if you use our discount CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%.
WHERE TO STAY IN MALDIVES
We stayed in a few places luxury resorts and local islands in Maldives. You can read here our thoughts: luxury resorts Vs local islands in Maldives.
There are cheap hotels in Maldives starting from $30-50 USD depending on the season to luxury resorts starting from $200-300 USD. Click here to book your accommodation with Booking
You also need to check how to get there since it can be extra cost for the speed boat or seaplane.Click here to find the best hotel deals in Maldives with Agoda.
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
You can read Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full Heymondo Travel Insurance Review
You can get Safetywing Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads valid for 28 days Safetywing for $50 USD per month with kids until 10 years old included
Best time to visit Maldives – Resort vs Local Island
Maldives might be hot and sunny all year round, but it still consists of two seasons; the dry season and the wet season. December to April is the high season, which encounters the drier northeast monsoon and when most resorts rates rises. The best time to visit the Maldives is May to November. Although you’ll experience some rain during the southwestern monsoon that occurs at this time. You’ll have the least company and the prices of the resorts are a little cheaper. Click here to know when is the best time to visit Maldives!
Prices Luxury Resorts Vs Local Islands on a budget in Maldives
First of all we will talk about prices in this topic luxury resorts Vs local islands in Maldives on a budget. If you want to stay in a luxury resort in Maldives expect to pay minimum $250 USD for a room for two people getting a great deal in Agoda or Booking. Check them properly because you really can find them taking your time.
From $250 USD minimum until more than $10K USD. There are luxury resorts that they will offer you full board meals and all inclusive and prices for a room can reach a thousand dollars for a room for two people.
Now let’s go with the price local islands on a budget in Maldives. You can find deals with Agoda and Booking starting from $40 USD a room for two people with a nice breakfast included. The guest houses are luxury and all of them will offer you a nice room with all comfort that you need. The price can be from $40-60 USD depending on the package that you choose or the quality of the guest house.
Activities Luxury Resorts Vs Local Islands in Maldives on a budget
In Luxury Resorts in Maldives the price of the activities is really high. You will find day trips for snorkeling, sand bank starting from $100 USD. If you go for dolphins or diving prices will be around $150 USD per person. With these prices don’t expect that they will include lunch is only the activity.
In local islands on a budget in Maldives the activities are so affordable. You can find day trips for $30-40 USD per person for snorkeling and sand bank both of them for the same price if they are joining a few people. Dolphin watching is around $75 USD which is half of the price than in a luxury resort and they usually include a snorkeling point.
Both of them will include masks for snorkeling. The place for snorkeling, for dolphin watching and sand bank is exactly the same. But prices are much higher in a luxury resort than in a local island. Plus in the local islands you can always have great deals with the owners. Sometimes they will give you away one day trip or they can bring you for fishing if you stay long or you plan a few activities with them.
Beach Area Resort vs Local Island in Maldives on a budget
Well depending the luxury resort and local islands the beach area can be pretty similar. Since in Maldives the water is so clear and transparent. We didn’t find so much difference with the water and the sand.
Obviously where we found more difference about beach area in the luxury resorts is cleaner than in local islands. Sometimes we found local areas little bit dirty especially a few beaches with not many people. But we have to say that in local islands in the bikini beach they clean daily and you will find beautiful and perfect for a swim.
In the luxury resorts you can walk around everywhere with your swimming suit while in local islands in Maldives you can only do in the bikini beach. You will have to cover yourself when walking around the island not walking around with your swimming suit and without t-shirt.
Food Luxury Resorts Vs Local Islands on a budget in Maldives
In Luxury Resorts you will find all the food that you can imagine and alcohol. It will not be the same in local island on a budget in Maldives where sometimes food is limited. And there are only local options. In local islands in Maldives there are small shops to buy essentials but always limited.
Of course expect to pay in luxury resorts $40-50 USD per person and meal in a buffet or a la carte. If you go to a local place and eat local food price per person can be $5 USD and $8-10 USD if you eat Western food one dish since most of the places don’t offer buffet as in luxury resorts.
Alcohol isn’t allowed in local islands in Maldives. You will have to go to a floating boat. It’s usually 5-10 minutes boat ride and they can charge you $10 USD for return ticket plus you will have to pay for the drinks. There are islands like Maafushi Island that they will arrange the transportation to the floating boat for free to the floating boat.
In the luxury resorts they sell alcohol in bars and restaurants. Plus you will find a few options at night if you want to stay up until late.
Internet Connection: Resort vs Local Island
Internet connection in Maldives improved a lot already last year. We found strong connection in luxury resorts and local islands. Plus if you get a Sim Card you will find 4G in both of them. We totally recommend you to buy a SIM card if you are planning to spend 2 weeks in Maldives and you have to catch up with work online. If you go on vacation no need and you will manage with the Wifi in the resorts and local islands in Maldives.
It can be challenging and weak the internet connection if there is strong rain. But it doesn’t matter luxury resort of local islands it will affect the same to both.
Transportation Luxury Resorts Vs Local Islands in Maldives
If you are heading to a luxury resort. The prices are quite expensive and you have to make sure that they include in your booking or how much extra cost will have. There are luxury resorts charging $140 USD for one way ticket speed boat, for one hour boat ride not kidding!
Seaplanes and flights in Maldives are also quite expensive! You can pay $600-800 for a round trip to your luxury resort. While local islands in Maldives on a budget will offer local boat and speed boat. The maximum you pay for the speed boat in local islands in Maldives is $25-30 USD and the travel time can be from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. And the public boat prices go from $2-4 USD but the travel time can be from 2 hours to 5 hours with the public boat.
Read here Speed boat Vs Slow boat!
Local Life Luxury Resorts Vs Local Islands in Maldives on a budget
In luxury resorts you will find all the comfort and privacy that you want to. But almost no local life inside the resort. While staying in local islands in Maldives. You will see how is the real local life. People are Muslim. They like to play soccer, basketball and volleyball. Local restaurants are cheap but not many options as we commented before.
Hope you find comparing the resort vs local island experience in Maldives valuable. While both give you an experience of Maldives beautiful islands, local islands allow you to experience great water activities without the cost of the luxury resorts. Luxury resorts do have advantages especially when you don’t want restrictions on your trips i.e. alcohol consumption, dressing in the resort, and more.
Wherever you go in Maldives luxury or local islands the beaches are so beautiful and you will fall in love. We have been twice in Maldives already, Yes we have nice islands and beaches in the Philippines. But Maldives is amazing and we would love to visit every year as vacation plan.
If you want to book places to stay in Maldives, click here to see what works better with your budget and comfort!
You can also use AirBnb; just click here to get $30 USD of your first booking with AirBnB.
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