It’s much cheaper to transfer to resorts in the Maldives, which are a short speedboat ride from Male International Airport, than to take lengthy and expensive seaplane transfers. We outline some of the best hotels in the Maldives near the airport and with the cheapest and even free speedboat or seaplane transfers.
Wherever you decide to stay, in the Maldives, or elsewhere, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, and free perks at hotels, including the Four Seasons, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental, and more.
Typically, our free benefits at luxury hotels include:
- Room upgrade to next category
- Complimentary breakfast for two per bedroom
- Complimentary Welcome Gift
- $100 USD equivalent Hotel experiential credit per room per stay
- Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Here is our pick of the best hotels in the Maldives with free or cheap speedboat transfers. Please note that transfer prices are based on 2020 prices.
1. Four Seasons Resort Maldives, Kuda Huraa
Our top pick for the best Maldives resort with cheap transfers is Four Seasons Resort Maldives, Kuda Huraa which gently rises from a sheet of turquoise. Here, it’s hard to tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins. As captivating beneath the waves as above them, this resort embraces stunning surroundings to bring you closer to the sea and its secrets. Discover the welcoming embrace of a lagoon, flower gardens, a private spa island, and spacious new Beach Pavilion hideaways in a charming village setting, awarded a Five-Star rating by Forbes in 2020.
You can reach the resort by speedboat transfers from Male International Airport, and these cost around $308 USD per adult, round trip, inclusive of all taxes. For children 6 to 12 years, the transfer cost is USD 154 per child, round trip, inclusive of all taxes.
Of course, there is no Four Seasons rewards program, but if you are a regular guest of the Four Seasons or even want to try this iconic brand for the first time, you can take advantage of loyalty style benefits at Four Seasons hotels for no extra cost by booking your next stay via our luxury travel concierge.
2. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
If you are looking for a free speedboat transfer, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is one of your best deals. It is also much cheaper in cash or if you book via Marriott Bonvoy points than most other Marriott hotels in the Maldives.
The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is a 5-star star family resort in the stunning North Malé Atoll and is surrounded by a shimmering turquoise lagoon, pristine white sandy beaches, and swaying palms.
This hotel’s big advantage is that it is located just 20 minutes away from Velana International Airport, which means no expensive seaplane transfers are required. Instead, you can grab a free 15-minute speedboat transfer from Velana International Airport.
The resort offers water recreations, including diving, snorkeling, and jet skiing. Book into one of the 176 beautifully designed hotel rooms, overwater bungalows, and ocean view villas, many equipped with private plunge pools.
Indulge in excellent food at seven restaurants and bars, featuring international cuisine, signature cocktails, and stunning views of the North Malé Atoll. Indulge in a signature treatment in your own spa pavilion at the full-service spa on a private island.
This resort is one of the cheapest Marriott hotels in the Maldives on Bonvoy points as this is currently a rewards category 6 hotel. It is worth remembering that the base rooms here are not overwater, so your base point redemption won’t get one of those in-demand overwater villas.
3. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives is located on the exotic Emboodhu Finolhu Island, in the middle of one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives. This tropical isle, once known as the ‘Three Coconut Island,’ is surrounded by crystal blue waters and covered with lush tropical flora. The resort is just 8 kilometers from Malé International Airport and 15 minutes by a private luxury speedboat, Available 24 hours.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives Airport speedboat transfer costs are excellent value for the Maldives and a resort of this level of luxury. The cost is $99 USD per adult and $49.5 USD per child between 2 to 12 years for a round trip inclusive of all taxes. For infants between 0 to 2 years, the journey is complimentary.
Set in one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives, the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives is a paradise on an exclusive island. Romantics love the Jiva Grande Spa for its authentic Indian wellness experience with yoga and meditation, the eclectic gourmet dining options (in every atmosphere, from casual to formal), and the myriad water sports, including scuba diving, sea kayaking, and catamaran sailing. Each of the 58 villas and 6 suites are blessed with warm wood accents, floral scents, soft lamplight, and expansive ocean views – as well as modern touches.
4. SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton
Not quite as luxurious but still worth considering is SAii Lagoon Maldives which sits on a private island 15 minutes by boat from Male International Airport. Across the footbridge lies The Marina Crossroads Maldives, where you will find dining, upscale shopping, and spa treatments. This hotel is only accessible by boat transfer. The compulsory round trip fees are $148 USD for an adult and $74 USD for a Child (6 to 17 years).
While this is not the most luxurious Maldives resort featured, it offers excellent value, and reviews rave about the staff and the fantastic and fresh breakfasts. The Elephant and Butterfly at Hard Rock is also a highlight as you dine on the beach.
There is a wide range of activities and a dive center available. Enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving among the colorful marine life of the Maldives. There’s a resident turtle, Emma, who lives nearby, and in the early evening, you can sometimes spot dolphins from the Saii infinity pool.
A stay here costs from 119,000 Hilton Honors points per night, and this is one of the cheapest Hiltons in the Maldives for loyalty point redemptions.
5. Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is a short 20-minute speedboat ride from Male International Airport. This makes it superbly convenient as well as superbly luxurious. It is a tiny coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villas. Marine life and gleaming waters beckon from the resort’s own fully-equipped PADI diving school.
There are forty-four stilted crafted in a traditional style from natural materials that offer roof-top and over-water sundecks, featuring open-air bathrooms, sumptuous daybeds, and a personal entertainment center. Each has its own private water garden and sun decks, as well as a separate shower linked to your bathroom by an open-air walkway that allows you to live right by the water’s edge.
For ultimate privacy, there are seven Crusoe Residences that are only accessible by personal boat. Come ashore for some great dining and equally great wines or perhaps a romantic moonlit dinner delivered right to the villa.
Best of all, this luxury resort is just a 20-minutes speedboat ride from Malé international airport at the cost of around $228 USD per person.
6. The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is beautifully situated on the Unesco Biosphere Reserve in Baa Atoll, surrounded by the Indian Ocean. This stunning overwater hotel (with overwater rooms) offers an incomparable setting for your Maldives visit.
Retreat to your secluded suite or villa, where you will be greeted by unbroken ocean views, a private deck, and, in select accommodations, a private pool. When you are ready to leave your paradise, sample delicious dining in the restaurants, relax poolside or on the beach, indulge at the wellness spa, play tennis, or explore the resort grounds.
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is just 35 minutes by seaplane from the capital Malé at a cost (for 2020) of $250 USD, and 20 minutes by speedboat from the new domestic Dharavandhoo airport in Baa Atoll, depending on the weather conditions. Often seaplane transfers are more than $500, so this transfer cost is relatively reasonable by comparison.
This resort is reasonably cheap if you are burning your Marriott Bonvoy points. You will need to spend between 50,000 and 70,000 Bonvoy points per night as this is currently a rewards category 7 hotel.
7. One&Only Reethi Rah
One&Only Reethi Rah is an exquisite Maldivian haven that celebrates life to create magically unscripted stories for the world’s most discerning guests. Spacious villas with ocean views and private verandas are placed along the shore. Restaurants consist of Reethi Restaurant, for international dishes; Tapasake, for Japanese cuisine; Botanica, for natural fare; Rabarbaro, for Italian fare; and Fanditha, for Middle Eastern dishes. The spa’s tailored treatments take place in a private pavilion. Enjoy water sports, tennis, football, an art studio, snorkeling, pools, a KidsOnly Club, and teen activities.
Taking a yacht transfer is the cheapest way to arrive at One&Only Reethi Rah, which takes 45 minutes and costs (in 2020) $360 USD per adult and $180 USD per child. Children agenda 3 and under get a free transfer. If you prefer to arrive by plane, this is faster, and costs are $400 USD per adult and $200 USD per child with those aged 0 or 1 flying for free.
Long noted for its beauty among the locals, the small private island of Naladhu invites you to unwind in blissful seclusion. Take up residence in one of 20 timelessly elegant houses, each a spacious sanctuary with a private swimming pool.
Spa in-house. Enjoy breakfast at your leisure, a picnic on deserted islands, or dinner by candlelight in a coconut grove.
Naladhu Private Island Maldives was named the Best resort in the Indian Ocean three years in a row and in the top 10 Best Resorts in the World by Condé Nast Traveler 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.
You can reach the resort with speedboat transfers which take approximately 35 minutes from Male International Airport and cost around $320 USD for an Adult (12 years and over), $160 USD for a child. Infants 0-1 years old get a free transfer.
9. Jumeirah Vittaveli
Located a short 20-minute ride on board a luxurious motorized catamaran from Malé, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers unmatched diversity, subtle luxury, and personalized exploration, whether you are seeking a romantic getaway or an exotic destination for your family.
Boat transfer costs to get to this resort are $308 USD per adult (roundtrip) and $154 per child from 4 to 11 years old (roundtrip).
The resort itself comprises 89 villas and suites, each with its own swimming pool and direct access to the beach or lagoon. The private and spacious villas are available with one or two bedrooms making them the ideal accommodation for both families and couples.
Highlights are the free-standing Ocean Suites, located only a heartbeat away from the main island and accessible by complimentary boat service. The stunning new 5-bedroom Royal Residence occupies its own stretch of beach, comprising 3,500 square meters of an ultra-private oceanfront estate. The perfect playground for the extraordinary traveler, this opulent hideaway welcomes up to 14 guests. It includes 2 private pools, a spa, a gym, a full-scale restaurant, and a private overwater bar.
10. Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru opened its doors in 1995 and was the first international chain resort in the Maldives. Situated on the North Malé Atoll, it’s a mere 20 minutes speedboat ride from the Velanaa International Airport.
Uniquely designed to reflect a seashell spiral, the understated elegance of conical thatched roof villas imparts a sense of traditional Maldivian magic. Encircled by a white powdery beach, 48 elegantly rustic all-pool villas are nestled within lush tropical gardens offering ultimate privacy. Living spaces flow breezily into outdoor areas, and natural light streams in through floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors. A tropical garden, outdoor terrace, private pool, and jet pool, as well as a timber deck, are classic features in every villa type. Plush interiors are presented in neutral palettes and decorated in natural fabrics and local artwork.
With beachfront restaurants, Ilaafathi, and Sangu featuring lavish spreads of International or Maldivian cuisines, even the most discerning palette will be pleased. The waterfront Naiboli Bar serves as the perfect evening venue to sit back and savor the tasty tropical flavors of craft cocktails. The perfectly shaped island of Vabbinfaru is blessed with lush tropical palms, immaculate coral beaches, sparkling cerulean waters, and a house reef bustling with turtles, white tip sharks, manta rays, lobsters, and many other aquatic residents.
Overnight cruises onboard the Kahan’bu catamaran delivers guests to unforgettable snorkeling & dive spots of the North and South Malé Atolls. A Marine Biology Lab on the island is the first to be funded and built by a private resort. Guests can join resident marine biologists and assist in monitoring programs such as reef and species inventory checks. Research projects include coral planting and green sea turtle and reef shark conservation.
The cost of shared return speedboat transfers from the airport to Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and back is around $170 per person. The trip is around 30 minutes long.
Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor.
Disclosure: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.