All Posts

Cheaper Alternatives to Maldives 2023 | Ratepunk

Here are the top astonishing cheaper alternatives to Maldives that offer you an identical experience! Don't miss out on knowing all your options before planning your trip!

User Avatar

By Aistė

Published: Jul 19, 2022 min read

Cheaper Alternatives to Maldives 2023 | Ratepunk

We asked people on social media to name the most expensive destination that crossed their minds first. What are you betting on? Of course, Maldives indeed makes the TOP 3 list. The dream destination of honeymooners and families is, sadly, not very wallet-friendly and leaves many wondering if a two-week experience is really worth taking that loan (don’t do it). 

Banks will hate us now, but we’re telling you: it’s not worth it and we have a way for you to get around it. Why are the Maldives so famous? Because of their spectacular beaches, clear blue waters and overwater bungalows - surely not for the overly priced hotels and 18-hour long flights.

Note: If regardless of these facts you still want to travel to Maldives then check out the Top 10 most affordable overwater villas in Maldives resorts 2022/2023.


view of Gili Nanggu island with white sand and traditional boats in Bali, Indonesia

It’s a group of 3 tiny islands in Indonesia, close to everybody’s beloved Bali. It offers terrific beaches - even though the waters are not as clear as in the Maldives, the complete picture is really close to it. The main drawback is that you’ll rarely find overwater bungalows here, which are the prominent uniqueness of the expensive islands. However, you’ll be able to experience most of the entertainment that the Maldives would offer you: snorkeling, sunbathing, and Gili Islands are actually even better for surfing since the waves on some beaches are way higher and more suitable than in the Maldives.

Fun fact: both destinations are inhabited mainly by Muslims, which is why the etiquette regarding alcohol & clothing is stricter here.

The most significant price difference is for accommodation here. You’ll find plenty of budget-friendly options in the Gili Islands that you can’t really see in the Maldives. If you can find a 5-star hotel for $600 in Gili Islands, the price for the same duration of vacation at a similar high-end hotel will cost something around $2000.

Villa Kayu


Villa Kayu

Indonesia, Gili Air

At Villa Kayu, every morning, you will enjoy a delicious meal as you wish from the menu of 3 breakfasts: French, English, and Vegan. The hotel also provides you with a list of the best restaurants on the island to order food at any time of the day. 

The hotel offers to book a driver, fast boat tickets, or a private speedboat from your pick-up place in Bali or Lombok until Gili Air’s harbor. 

Each Villa provides you with a truly enchanting space to relax with a private pool. Built regarding family’s needs, this pool suits young kids with one 60cm deep step. Adults and older kids can splash about in deeper water of 1m60. 

Located at Villa Kayu, there's a set up of a small playground at the back of the site for the guests only. It’s an easy way to keep kids busy without having to go somewhere else… There's also a space for parents who would like to enjoy drinks and snacks inside the playground.

The Gili islands make great efforts to preserve the environment. Thanks to this, you will snorkel in crystal clear water and see beautiful coral reefs. Away from the beach, you will enjoy amazing dive sites with a huge variety of sea life.

More info


Overwater bungalows in El Nido, the Philippines

The Philippines hit the most painful spot for the Maldives, and it’s the overwater bungalows. They have these. And most often for a better price. People often give their votes for the sand and water to the Maldives when comparing it with the Palawan island and El Nido there, but the rest of it goes to the Philippines. More things to see and do, breathtaking landscapes and prices that do not bite - what’s the reason not to put it first?

A few of the most attention-attracting things in El Nido - the Small & Big lagoons that are must to visit and can’t be found anywhere else. Not even in the Maldives!

Prices here start from up to 100 euros per night, but we’re attaching the fancy overwater bungalows that will fully immerse you into the alternative Maldives experience.

There are more options available in the Philippines, check out our Top 10 Overwater Bungalows Philippines 2023.

Cauayan Island Resort


Cauayan Island Resort

The Philippines, El Nido

Cauayan Island is a luxury resort that embodies the pristine beauty of its natural surroundings and first-class personalized services. Escape to a paradise of tranquility and a haven of comfort. Indulge yourself in a perfect serene lifestyle vacation.

Cauayan has five types of villas that offer different picturesque views of the island. Take in and experience the organic unity of Filipino craftsmanship and nature’s own design.

Go on a journey for the senses by taking a bite of the island’s freshest flavors. The menu is enriched with fusion dishes designed to take advantage of the seasonality of the raw ingredients and the chef’s culinary experience. Imagine the best locally-sourced ingredients prepared to create a first-class feast, heightened further by the restaurant’s ambiance. Truly, a culinary experience worth taking home.

Find the spot in the bar where the pool and the ocean seem one. Allow the hours to pass by as you indulge in our bespoke cocktails– because pleasure without the guilt is a vacation, indeed.

Rejuvenate yourself with signature island massages, facials, and soothing foot reflexes curated to fully appreciate the Cauayan experience. Allow your senses to be soothed by the organic products we use and the touch of the well-trained staff, an utter lightness of being.

More info


Koh Lipe in Thailand

It’s called the Maldives of Thailand, not without reason. Colorful reefs, turquoise waters, and sand that can be compared with baby powder. However, this one’s not the cheapest alternative, but it’s still included in this list as you’ll still splash less than in the Maldives. We recommend staying for a few days not to overspend but still catch the bohemian yet Maldives vibe. Sometimes called the best island in Thailand to snorkel, Koh Lipe will be a perfect spot for adventure lovers, too.

We mentioned that it’s a bit more expensive and chasing the Maldives on this one, too, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a hostel or a lower-rate accommodation here. It’s actually relatively easy.

Take a look at our Best Overwater Bungalows in Thailand 2023.

Bayview Sunset Resort


Bayview Sunset Resort

Thailand, Koh Lipe

Bayview Sunset & The Hill Resorts is located in Koh Lipe, a Paradise island in southwest Thailand, famous for its white sandy beaches and turquoise blue water. You will find breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea, an area well known for its beautiful coral. Come stay for an ultimate vacation experience.

Perfect location to get your day started with our healthy breakfast options, looking at our turquoise water in a chilled atmosphere with stunning views. Relax on the beach in one of our free hammocks with background music while doing some snorkeling in a really quiet location, grab one of our kayaks and discover hidden points around. 

Our experienced Thai and highly experienced Mediterranean chefs will make sure you have all the cuisines to choose from. Do not miss one of the best sunsets in Thailand with a couple of our mojitos.

Perfect location for a romantic dinner, celebrating honeymoons, or proposing to your beloved one. Get your day started with our yoga classes on one of our platforms looking at our turquoise water and peaceful environment. 

More info


Cenang beach, Langkawi, Malaysia

This one offers even more than the same as the Maldives. If you’re feeling a bit claustrophobic about staying on one little private island that takes a few minutes to go across all of it, Langkawi is the place for you. There’s more to explore while still having amazing beaches beside you, and it offers all-inclusive resorts that will make you feel like you are in the Maldives. But again, way cheaper. It’s still a tiny island, so around 3-4 days will be enough to see it all, but if you’re down for a more relaxed vacation and exploring the beach life more, a more extended period will do great. 

Also, take a look at the list of the cheapest overwater bungalows in the world.

Limasan Villa Langkawi


Limasan Villa Langkawi

Malaysia, Langkawi

When artful Javanese design meets modern luxury, it creates Limasan Villa Langkawi. As soon as you set foot in Limasan Villa Langkawi, you can expect a stay like no other, as intricate craftsmanship is evident through both the architectural structures and curated furnishings. Discover 10 premium villas, each has its own unique ambiance and decor with a private pool and veranda.

With Limasan Villa as your home base, the possibilities are endless. Start your day strong with a refreshing walk along a scenic stretch of open rice field. Or, take advantage of available bicycles for family-friendly cycling to explore even more of the breathtaking scenery.

At Limasan Villa Langkawi, you're invited to discover the best and most unique experience of sensations in Langkawi that will make you want to keep coming back for more.

More info


Bungalow on a canal. El Gouna, Egypt, Red Sea

This one’s the closest one to Europeans. What’s better than having the Maldives a few-hours-flight away? That’s right, nothing. It’s a resort town set on a group of islands known for, unexpectedly, crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and incredible lagoons. Wait, but that sounds like the Maldives! That’s exactly the deal.

It’s very close to Hurghada (around 30 kilometers away) and offers the best scuba-diving experience (it’s the Red Sea, after all) and even a chance to see a dolphin. 🐬

And the prices, oh, the prices… You should definitely visit this the next time you plan a trip to Egypt. Or to the Maldives, for that matter. 

Are you looking for any destinations with beaches?! Take a look at our best beach destinations for 2023.

Mövenpick El Gouna


Mövenpick El Gouna

Egypt, El Gouna

The Mövenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna is nestled on a peninsula with its own exclusive beachfront. It offers spectacular views of the Red Sea, the tranquil lagoons, and the lush gardens. The ideal surroundings combined with the resort’s extensive luxury facilities all make for a perfect stay. The charming center of El Gouna, with its picturesque architecture and numerous attractions, is only a few minutes away, and Hurghada International Airport can be reached in 30 minutes.

All of the 420 rooms and suites are spacious and bright. They feature modern amenities with private terraces or balconies so you can unwind and enjoy the great views and the relaxing atmosphere of the surrounding.

Enjoy dining and culinary creativity in our restaurants, where you can experience a delectable buffet at Palavrion or enjoy superb seafood at El Saladin, directly on the shores of the Red Sea. For casual moments throughout the day, Oasis and Lagoon are inviting to unwind by the pool.

There is plenty to do in the resort: you can relax by the beach, at one of 3 pools, or take advantage of the unparalleled sports activities available, including kitesurfing, diving, golf, and leisure and wellness at the Spa.

More info


Whitehaven Beach is stretch along Whitsunday Island, Australia

Located near Australia, 74 Whitsunday islands are mostly uninhabited and famous for their collar reefs and marine life. The town of Airlie Beach is its central hub, surrounded by turquoise waters, and the main difference from the Maldives (which we think is an enormous pro for these islands) is that it has a bunch of hiking trails and rainforests. Add these to what you love about the Maldives, and you’ll get a dream vacation destination that will not leave your wallet empty after it.

Don't forget to check out other Hotels, Spas, Resorts and Bungalows in Whitsunday.

Daydream Island Resort and Living Reef


Daydream Island Resort and Living Reef

Australia, Whitsundays

Daydream Island Resort & Living Reef is ideally located in the heart of Queensland’s Whitsundays Islands and the gateway to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Following an extensive $140 million redevelopment in 2018-2019, the stylish and tranquil island resort of the Queensland island getaways offers a range of refurbished spacious and modern rooms and suites with stunning views overlooking the pool and garden landscapes or with ocean views.

There is an expanded food and beverage offering across Daydream island with three restaurants and three bars, including an exciting new Asian Fusion restaurant that joins the buffet and modern Australian restaurants.

The Living Reef is the main centerpiece of the island resort Whitsunday which is a unique free-form coral lagoon wrapping 200m around the central building and holding over 1.5 million liters of water.  The Daydream island great barrier reef is home to over 100 species of marine fish, over 80 species of coral, and a variety of invertebrates such as starfish, sea cucumbers, and crabs.

The Resort Whitsunday Islands offers a revitalized pool landscape that sweeps through the tropical gardens across the resort, allowing guests to swim and enjoy unparalleled views across the Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef along with unlimited access to a variety of non-motorized water and great barrier reef activities.

More info

7 The Caribbean

view of the beach to the Caribbean ocean with two seats on and a tree on the left of the picture

Caribbean islands are for sure an amazing alternative to the Maldives, especially if you are located in the US. You can reach these islands way easier than the Maldives from the US and experience a similar and even better vacation.

These islands are famous for their white sand beaches and amazing accommodations, such as hotels, resorts, and Maldives-lookalike overwater bungalows. All the activities, such as snorkeling, diving, cruise shipping, and other water sports, are also available in the Caribbean.

Best Overwater Bungalows Caribbean and Beachfront Hotels in the Caribbean.

However, if you're still keen on going to the Maldives, at least make sure not to overpay when booking your accommodation. That's exactly what RatePunk will help you do - get the most luxurious villa in the Maldives for the lowest price on the internet here 👇

Jul 19, 2022

Leave a comment

View More Comments

Never miss out on a better rate!

Sign up to receive a desktop reminder.

Lightning Icon