Inside The Best Budget-Friendly Hotel In The Maldives

By Sherrell Primo


With just a mention of The Maldives, imaginations fill with dreamy visions of pristine coastlines, attractive overwater bungalows and thoughts of incredible marine life that exist under the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. It’s the type of place I (@vivalashory) daydreamed about escaping to when contemplating quitting my job. (Fun fact: I really did quit my job and traveled to The Maldives). So it’s no wonder why travelers from all walks of life find this archipelago an obvious destination for the vacation of a lifetime. Despite popular belief that The Maldives is only accessible for big spenders, you don’t have to break the bank experiencing 5-star service in this South Asian treasure. My week-long stay at The Sunrise Huraa, proved just that!


(Owner, Sameer, posing in front of The Sunrise Huraa)


Located just 20 kilometers from Male City, my husband and I enjoyed affordable luxury service on the small island of Huraa. For $60 a night, we basked in rich local flavor, immaculate service, and ate delicious Maldivian cuisine at The Sunrise Huraa, which is my new favorite oasis. Oh, and did I mention that complimentary breakfast is included? Because it was! Upon arrival, we were greeted with fresh coconut water still in its shell, a cooling towel and an orientation from the wonderful and polite owner, Abdulla Sameer. Upon entering the room, we saw plush bedding and were treated to fresh fruit that was supplied daily. We immediately felt comfortable and happy with our decision to stay there.


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This less ostentatious and budget-friendly hotel runs circles around it’s competitors. Truth be told, most popular resorts lack local authenticity when servicing guests who care about local culture. They’re cultivated by foreigners for foreigners and often times, are isolated from real genuine experiences. However, at the Sunrise Huraa, it’s clear that authenticity and impeccable service are founding principles embedded in the very fiber of its walls. Here, we were family. Warm smiles and friendly banter from Sameer, and his staff started our day, followed by a delicious Maldivian breakfast of tuna mas huni, chapati, eggs and Maldivian pancakes.

He then helped us plan our day by recommending excursions, all while juggling his duties as the owner and general manager. His attentiveness to us was refreshing and made us feel like VIPs. Insider’s note: Sameer offers a Dinner Under The Stars dining experience, so if you’re keen for an extra VIP experience, you won’t be disappointed!



Sameer even found time to give us a private walking tour of Huraa! He knows everyone and every quirky fact about the island. We spent our days blending in with the locals and learning about the wooden art scene from an expert craftsman and watching native women prepare garudiya (fish stew). Sameer totally made our trip euphoric for us, which is no surprise since he received top-notch training from the best. Prior to opening The Sunrise Huraa, he climbed the ranks of the world-renowned Four Seasons Hotel. Destined for greatness, Sameer seized every opportunity for professional growth. He trained with top talent and serviced elite clientele. In his final years working at the Four Season as the restaurant manager, he won the ‘Top 100 Restaurants in the World’ award 3-years in a row. After 25 years, he resigned to open his own establishment, taking what he learned from the best and making it better on his own terms.



Here are just a few amenities that are included in your stay:


  • Endless complimentary water (none of that $5 a bottle crap like most other hotels)

  • Free Wi-fi

  • Daily breakfast Included (with freshly brewed coffee)

  • 24/7 concierge

  • Excursions including snorkeling, fishing, diving, and etc.

  • On-site restaurant

  • A/C in each room

  • Flatscreen T.V in each room

  • Airport Shuttle Service *SUPER IMPORTANT*


Today, The Sunrise Huraa is a strong contender in the myriad of hotels and guest houses populating The Maldives. Since officially opening its doors for business in January 2017, the Sunrise Huraa has already received a ‘10/10 Guest Review Award’ from Booking.com and numerous praise from All-Star reviews on TripAdvisor. Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

Photo credit: Cory Primo

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Sherrell Primo

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