Our Budget Experience at Kirulhiya Maldives Guest House
I have already explained you the reasons why you should visit the Maldives on a budget by skipping the famous resorts and choosing a guest house as accommodation in previous blog post, so now I will tell you more about our stay at Kirulhiya Maldives Guest House.
It is important to know all the details before taking this decision so you will know exactly what are you going to receive when you arrive there.
Before getting to specifics, I just want to say we had a truly amazing time at Kirulhiya Maldives and I strongly believe that we would have not enjoyed the Maldives as much as we did if we haven’t made this choice.
1. THE GUEST HOUSE
Kirulhiya Maldives is a guest house situated on Omadhoo Island, around 1 hour 30 minutes away from the capital city, Male, by public speed boat and 4 hours 30 minutes by ferry.
Omadhoo Island is one of the inhabited islands of Alif Dhaal Atoll (South Ari Atoll) in the Maldives. Around 800 people are supposed to live on this local island, but the truth is that there are less than half so you don’t have to worry about crowded beach days.
Kirulhiya Maldives is a small guest house that offers five rooms for budget travelers that wish to explore the beautiful white sand beaches and the amazing crystal clear waters in the Maldives. They promote the idea that the room is just the place where you sleep at night and by day you get to enjoy the island and all the fun activities such as diving, snorkeling, picnic on a sandbank, visiting other local islands etc.
As I said in my previous post, we spend so little time in the room because we couldn’t get enough of that amazing beach so we literarily just used the room for sleeping and taking a shower!
The good news is that the guest house is located right on the beach so every morning you get to have breakfast with an amazing view. Bikini Beach is situated just 5 minutes away and the road itself is magical because you get to walk between palm trees! (If you have read my previous two posts about the Maldives, you already should know a little about Bikini Beaches – if not, just click HERE and HERE)
We were taken care of Ahmed, one of the representatives from Kirulhiya Maldives, and he will be there most of the time to help you with everything. If he is not present, his brothers will happily assist you since Kirulhiya Maldives has around-the-clock assistance available at the reception.
When we arrived after the bumpy speed boat, they received us with coconut welcome drinks! It was holiday time for sure!
2. OUR ROOM
We were a little tired after the speed boat ride, so we were happy to have our room ready when we arrived.
When we entered the double room prepared for us, we had the first lovely surprise from Kirulhiya Maldives: a sweet welcome message written on the bed with letters made from actual leaves and lots of tiny flowers around. Even the towel had the form of a ray which is iconic for the Maldives.
I can only imagine how much work it is required for writing welcome messages like ours and Ahmed told me they do this for every guest because they want to make the best impression. While we stayed there, I even participated when they prepared the message for another guest. If you have read my previous post, you know that I talked about the special attention that you get when you stay in a guest house, the total opposite from when you are just another guest at a big private resort.
To give you more details about our stay, I have to say the room was not very big, around 12 m2 having a double bed with nightstand, a desk and a small wardrobe. It was equipped with AC, which is vital on the island because of the heat, and also a fan, which comes in handy at night when I cannot sleep with the AC on.
All rooms have small private bathrooms with toilet, sink and a shower and even free toiletries, so all the essentials.
I have to underline how clean the room and the bathroom were, a very important part for us, I would say essential when choosing a place to stay.
Note: It was not our first time staying at a budget accommodation, in fact, we often combine budget & luxury options depending on the destination we choose and what activities we have in mind (meaning the amount of time we are going to actually spend in the room).
3. BREAKFAST ON THE BEACH
All stays at Kirulhiya Maldives come with a simple breakfast included in the price and the good news is that it will be served on the beach, right in front of the guest house. This is the best way to start you day on the island.
We had no fixed hours for breakfast; we just talked with Ahmed and schedule it together the night before.
We took two epic breakfasts in our Maldivian adventure with Kirulhiya and I am sure we will remember them for years:
– The first one was breakfast on a sandbank in the middle of the Indian Ocean and I will tell you more in my next post regarding the best things you can do in the Maldives (There will also be prices included)
– The second one was a fruit breakfast on the beach, just 5 minutes away from the guest house. This was one of my dreams and I asked Ahmed to help me fulfill it! He agreed and look how stunning it was!
PS: The fruit breakfast was accompanied by a traditional Maldivian breakfast which I recommend trying at least once!
4. LUNCH & DINNER
As I said above, all stays at Kirulhiya Maldives come with breakfast included. Regarding the other meals of the day, they will be happy to prepare some traditional meals at good prices so your budget won’t be affected. As I said in my previous blog, you cannot imagine the difference between prices on local islands and in a private resort.
I will now give you some example of the prices so you know what to expect. Please keep in mind that tax (12%) and service charge (10%) are not included in the menu price and will be added to the bill.
You have many choices between 6$ to 10$ such as grilled beef or chicken with rice, fried noodles or rice with tuna, pineapple, vegetables, egg, Maldivian fish or chicken curry, Nasigoreng, Bamigoreng, spaghetti, fish & chips etc.
The most expensive dish in the menu is the lobster at 15$ and I am sure you know how much you need to pay for this one in a big resort and not to mention Europe or USA.
You also have salads, sandwiches and soups to choose from that cost between 4-8$. The desserts are mostly based on fruits and cost between 5-8$. Regarding drinks, you have a large variety of fresh juices at 2,5$, milk shakes, soft drinks and of, course, hot and ice drinks with prices between 1-3$.
My favorite choices were the fried tuna noodles, fresh fish on the grill with rice and grilled lobster.
5. LOCATION AND HOW TO ARRIVE
As I told you at the beginning of this article, Kirulhiya Maldives is located on Omadhoo Island. This local island can be reached from the capital city, Male, by speed boat, everyday at 4pm and the ride will last around 1,5 hours. The price for the speed boat is 25 $/way. There is a cheaper option by ferry, but it will take around 4,5 hours and I think it is not worth the difference.
Kirulhiya Maldives also offers airport pick-up meaning that Ahmed or one of the representatives will come and meet you after your flight and will take care of everything. The price is 25$/person (for a 2 persons pick up) and you need to add the cost for the actual speed boat which is 25$/person and will be paid directly by you on the boat. This price has to cover the expensive for the person who picks you up (from Omadhoo and back).
The good news is that the airport pickup includes a free Male Tour where you will get to see how the Maldivians live in the capital city, the main mosque of the country, the local fish and fruit market and many other tourist attractions. You can also stop for some souvenirs shopping and exchanging some local money.
Note: The Male Tour itself costs 20 $/person, but it is offered free if you get the airport pickup.
6. ACTIVITIES ON AND AROUND THE ISLAND
I have so many things to say here that I decided to make a new travel blog dedicated to this subject. I know you all want to know more about the locations of my Instagram pictures and I have to say 90% of them are made in our stay at Kirulhiya Maldives. I will only say that: you have amazing sunrise and sunset spots on Omadhoo, you have sandbanks, deserted islands , snorkeling and diving points nearby so you won’t be bored for a second.
Before visiting the Maldives I thought it will be a bit boring to stay on one island and do the same things over and over again, but guess what? I was incredibly wrong. If only we had more days at our disposal to try all the amazing activities.
I know this subject is very important to all of you and probably this is the reason why you are here reading my article on how to travel to the Maldives on a budget.
I have to say that it is important not to forget that you are in the Maldives after all so you need to adjust the budget to the country that you are visiting and not compare it with other Asian countries where you can get accommodation for 10 $/night.
Prices at Kirulhiya Maldives start at 60$/night/room, but if you look carefully and have a little patience you may find great discounts, especially for longer periods of time.
The best way to get an idea for the prices is to search on booking.com the period you are interested in Kirulhiya Maldives is currently working on their website and there you will also be able to find great deals along the way.
Regarding the prices for the activities, I will share them all with you in my next post and I will also compare them with the prices we received for the same activities in the luxurious resort we chose for the last 2 days of our Maldivian adventure so you can have a proper idea.
In the end, I just want to say that I am so thankful to Kirulhiya Maldives for offering us the chance to stay in a guest house and truly experience the Maldives.
*Note: I won’t lie to you and say staying in the private resort wasn’t a great experience, especially because we fulfilled one of our dreams of staying in an overwater villa (I will soon write a travel blog about this too, so stay tuned).
But I really think that if we haven’t chosen to also stay in a guest house as well we wouldn’t enjoyed as much as we did. All those magical activities offered by Kirulhiya Maldives (the majority not even offered by the private resort) gave us memories to last forever!
See you next week!
Blonde around the World