If the Maldives isn’t already on your bucket list, I suggest adding it immediately! The tropical string of archipelagos is a true paradise on earth that has undoubtedly graced the pages of your Instagram feed.

Malé is the capital city of the Maldives, and sits in the North Malé Atoll. As the international airport is located in the city, loads of people pass through Malé on their way to other islands and atolls without even exploring!

Spending a night in budget accommodation or a hostel in Malé is a great way to save money and meet local Maldivians.

Here is a list some of Malé’s top hostels and budget accommodations that will help you stay on budget in paradise. 

Male Maldives

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Quick Answer: Best Hostels in Malé

What to Expect from Hostels in Malé

When you visit the Maldives from overseas, you’ll fly into Velana International Airport on ‘Airport Island’ (Hulhulé). Although Malé is geographically a single island just south of Airport Island, most consider the three islands of Malé, Hulhulé, and Hulhumalé to be the capital of the Maldives. The islands are close together, and joined by bridges. Staying in Malé will keep you easily connected.

There aren’t many places to stay that define themselves explicitly as hostels in Malé; most of the island’s budget accommodations are homestays, low-cost hotels, and locally run guesthouses. 

Unfortunately, as most spots are targeted at tourists, they aren’t as dirt cheap as they are in the rest of the world. Prepare to pay between $50 and $100 for a shared room, even more if you’re looking for a private room with an ensuite bathroom. As soon as you take a boat or ferry to another islands and atoll, affordable places like homestays and hostels are much easier to come by.

Male Maldives

Take note: the Maldives is a strict Islamic country that has banned alcohol sales to locals. As you cannot buy alcohol at bars and restaurants, party hostels in Malé are not common. One hotel on Hulhulé is permitted to sell alcohol, usually to those passing through on route to a resort or Maldives liveaboard boats.

There are also some regulations about what you can and can’t wear on these local islands, including Malé. Most often, you’ll have to be on in private resort or within the boundaries of a hotel to wear a bathing suit. If you are unsure, check with the staff at your accommodation.

The hostels and affordable accommodations in Malé are usually run by local families, and have private rooms. There are only a few spots where you can rent a bed in a shared dorm room.

If you don’t have the budget for a lavish villa in the Maldives, check out these epic budget spots that won’t waste away your traveling cash.

The Best Hostels in Malé

Let’s take a closer look at the accommodations in Malé that will keep you on budget and enjoying tropical paradise!

Dream Relax – Best Overall Hostel in Malé

Dream Relax

Technically speaking, Dream Relax isn’t a classic hostel, but more of a guesthouse. It is perfectly located in Hulhumalé, only a minute away from the beach and a twelve-minute drive to Velana International Airport. 

Its close proximity to the airport makes it perfect for guests who are stopping by on their way to other Maldivian atolls. Not to mention, the property has a 24-hour reception, and will also organize an airport shuttle for you. But, it isn’t just perfect for a quick stopover, it’s located just a short drive from two of the island’s top-rated beaches; Thulhagiri Beach and Angsana Beach.

Dream Relax has three types of rooms ranging from twin beds for two guests, to triple rooms with multiple beds. All of the rooms are air-conditioned, have loads of natural light, and overlook views of the city.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Free parking
  • Personal tea facilities
  • Complimentary toiletries

For added convenience, you’ll find an ATM, postal service, and laundry facilities available. The guesthouse has hotel-like additions, including wake-up calls, late check-out (depending on availability), and, of course, daily housekeeping.

If Hulhumalé is your final destination, there are tons of activities that you can enjoy nearby. The reception will be glad to organize snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, and diving day trips for you.

One of the best bits about Dream Relax is its in-house restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating. When you aren’t enjoying a cold drink and snack at the restaurant, you’ll have access to a stocked mini-bar in your private room.

Reef Guest House – Most Affordable Hostel in Malé

Reef Guest House

Reef Guest House has clean and comfortable accommodation for a super low price. It is located on Hulhumalé island, only a short five-minute walk to the Eastern Hulhumalé beach, and a couple of miles from the Velana International Airport Ferry terminal. 

There is a range of private rooms with double beds (and a family-sized room with a double bed and a twin bed), each with its own private bathroom.

The rooms are all equipped with their own flat-screen TV, efficient Wi-Fi, and great air conditioning – which is necessary for the tropical heat! One of the best things about this hostel in Malé is the private balconies and terraces, which overlook beautiful sunset and island views.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Complimentary toiletries
  • Single and family room options
  • Shared lounge

Although it’s not technically a hostel, with shared dorms and a buzzing atmosphere, Reef Guest House has similar amenities, all for the low price of a hostel. You can make use of the shared lobby and kitchen to cook your own food – one of our best money saving tips while traveling.

The guesthouse is in a prime location for exploring nearby attractions. Within walking distance there is local cafes, restaurants, shops, and the beach. As well as the National Football Stadium, Henveiru Park, Sultan Park, and Ferry Terminal.

Although it’s unlikely that you’ll need to rent a car on this tiny island, the property has free parking. But with airport transfers available, it’s not a necessity.

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Nap Corner: Cornerstone – Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Malé

Nap Corner: Cornerstone

For those visiting Malé solo, booking out a private room can be pricey. If you’re looking for a dorm bed in a shared room on the island, Nap Corner will be sure to exceed your expectations.

You’ve heard of ‘pod-style’ hostel accommodation, right? Nap Corner is the first Malé hostel to follow the trend, with single occupancy pod beds.

Nap Corner had gone above and beyond to create a totally unique pod experience. When you rent one of the pods, you will feel like you’ve stepped onto a high-tech spaceship. Although unconventional, we love the effort the owners have put into making this space so memorable.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Includes all linens and towels
  • Some private rooms
  • Daily room service

You basically get a private room – albeit squishy – for a minimal price. You’ll be able to shut the door to your pod and get a good night’s rest without being disturbed by other guests.

The pods are well equipped with everything you might need for a short stay! Fresh linens and towels are provided for each guest, there’s also a personal safe, bedside light, plug outlets, and complimentary toiletries. The hostel even has a fast internet connection!

As if that weren’t enough, it’s ideally located, only a few minutes’ walk from a local Maldivian restaurant where you can fill up on food. The Vilingili Ferry Terminal is a block away, as is the National Football Stadium, National Museum, and the island’s top parks and beaches.

RIJ Hulhumalé – Most Luxurious Hostel in Malé

RIJ Hulhumalé

Believe it or not, you don’t have to venture to the famous southern atolls and spend an arm and a leg to find luxury in the Maldives. This hostel in Malé has spacious rooms, lavish linens, and tons of natural light, offering guests a taste of the classic Maldivian vacation for a fraction of the price.

The property is located in Hulhumalé, just a few steps from Eastern Hulhumalé beach and a short drive from the ferry terminal for when you are ready to venture to the next island.

The entire hostel has extravagant marble and wooden finishes, indented lighting features, and touches of modern glass. All of the rooms are have beautiful furniture, cozy beds, built-in closets, and a personal dressing table space that doubles as a desk – its a great spot for digital nomads, too.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Daily continental breakfast included
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Minibars and tea/coffee facilities

There is a range of different types of rooms to choose from at RIJ Hulhumalé, including deluxe double and twin rooms, to rooms with balconies, and family rooms with adequate sleeping space for four. Conveniently, the hosts will be happy to arrange discounted rates for solo travelers, you don’t have to wait to be coupled up to visit!

RIJ Hulhumalé has a social vibe in the shared lounge and on-site restaurant. Breakfast is served daily, and guests can make use of the minibar, coffee and tea facilities in their rooms.

There are plenty of hotel-like amenities, including a 24-hour reception, run by friendly staff who would be more than happy to go above and beyond to make sure you are taken care of. Services like private check-in, concierge, tour guidance, currency exchange, and baggage storage can be arranged upon request.

Casa Retreat – Best Hostel with Private Rooms in Malé

Casa Retreat

Casa Retreat is one of our favorite hostels in Malé. While the property identifies as a new boutique hotel, it offers all the facilities, convenience in location, and low prices a top hostel would.

It’s located a quick drive from Velana International Airport between the tropical ocean and some of Malé’s most lush parks. The hotel has private guest rooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom.

When you book, you’ll be able to enjoy luxury hotel-like facilities, including spa treatments and massages. In fact, you’ll be treated to an hour-long complimentary treatment at the Sheri Salon and Spa, which is a two-minute away!

The service is second to none, and the lovely staff at reception will be glad to organize airport transfers, housekeeping, and wake-up calls throughout your stay. Of course, there is free Wi-Fi, as well as a bunch of shared spaces where digital nomads can set up their laptop and get some work done. 

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • TV sets
  • Modern bathrooms with rain showers

One of the reasons we love Casa Retreat is for its in-house restaurant and tasty breakfast that is included in the nightly rate. In fact, you are welcome to make use of the kitchen! 

Each bedroom is fitted with wooden furniture, giving the space a cozy feel, as well as fresh white linen and decorative pillows. They also have air conditioning, coffee and tea facilities, a large TV, and daily housekeeping.

The building has an elevator making it accessible for those with mobility issues.

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Other Budget Accommodations in Malé

Tourist Inn

Tourist Inn

Tourist Inn is a locally run guest house that has basic air-conditioned rooms for a reasonable price. A stay will have you conveniently located right by the Artificial Beach, Rasfannu Beach, and the National Football Stadium.

Whether you’re traveling alone or with a partner, there are superior single rooms and deluxe double rooms. All of the rooms in this Malé hostel have a private ensuite bathroom, high-speed Wi-Fi, and coffee and tea-making facilities (including Nespresso machines and complimentary pods).

We love this spot because of its shared lounge and helpful staff who always go above and beyond to make sure you are satisfied. Other than general housekeeping, Tourist Inn provides laundry and dry cleaning services, 24-hour security, and airport shuttle services. The building has its own elevator, which makes this spot ideal for accessibility.

What to Pack for your Malé Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

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Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

Malé Hostels FAQ

How much do hostels in Malé cost?

Depending on whether you’re browsing for a pod in a shared dorm or a private room with an ensuite bathroom, costs can vary drastically. A bed in a shared dorm will cost between $30 and $60 while a private room could set you back as much as $150.

What are the best hostels in Malé for couples?

RIJ Hulhumalé is the stellar Malé hostel for couples. It’s luxurious yet reasonable price per night, and centrally located but also social too!

What is the best hostel in Malé near the airport?

If you have an early flight out and are looking to stay close to the airport, Malé is pretty small, and any accommodation across the island will be closer to the airport than you think. However, Hulhulé (Airport Island) is the best island. There aren’t too many budget accommodations, we would recommend staying at Dream Relax in Hulhumalé.

Travel Safety Tips for Malé

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Hostels in Malé

It’s not very easy to find a classic hostel in Malé. With strict clothing laws and alcohol bans, the island is not super popular for tourists, and most visit on their way to other island.

There are a bunch of great budget accommodations on Malé, Hulhulé, and Hulhumalé. Our favorite hostel for solo travelers would have to be Nap Corner, which has clean and modern dorm-like accommodation with a unique touch.

If you’re visiting with a partner, the RIJ Hulhumalé will exceed your expectations, giving guests a taste of luxury for a very low price per night.

Looking for more info on travelling to Malé and Maldives?