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At Home With Pearls In Nilandhoo, Maldives

Nilandhoo Maldives

To say a place feels like home is normally a cliche’, particularly when you’ve traveled deep into the Indian Ocean. But to really experience an island in the Maldives, you have to feel like you belong. 

Guesthouses are rapidly spreading across the nation, with new buildings moving into every other inhabited island. In Gaafu Alif Nilandhoo, however, Pearl Beach View has taken up residence in a local home, and invites you to do the same. 

One of the first guesthouses in this southern atoll, the four-roomed abode offers the chance to enjoy island life as it was intended. Buried in bougainvillea, the guesthouse lounges on the far side of the island, way back from the main harbor…a two minute walk should get you there – if you find more ocean, you’ve overshot by 50 feet.

Through the garden gate, you’ll find traditional stringed joali, hammocks swinging over freshly raked white sand, a couple of guys playing chess over a coffee, and a small cat named Terminator (okay, that part’s unusual). Inside the house, through doors propped open with coconuts, a reception/lounge area leads onto the simple but satisfying rooms – all A/C & en suite.

Lying on the table – just above a sticker showing the guesthouse’s high rating on – are details of the tropical excursions on offer. Almost covering the wall opposite is a large painted map of the atoll – one of the world’s largest – to help you decide. 

Your hosts are happy to recommend an itinerary based on the length of stay. The desert islands of Odagalla, Mathidhoo, and Hinamaagala come highly recommended, and are planned with meticulous island calm. Staff can drop you off with a cooler, a tent, and a mobile phone, and a request to call them when you’re done, leaving you in charge of your own island republic for as long as you please. 

Additionally, the atoll is regarded as one of the best in the Maldives for diving (and that’s really saying something), with local shark and turtle populations particularly prevalent. The guesthouse has fully trained staff members who can show you the underwater wonders of Huvadhu, arranging snorkelling or diving trips. Also, you haven’t really ‘done’ island life if you haven’t let them take you fishing (just saying). 

For those looking to spend a little more time colonising Nilandhoo, the island can be surveyed easily in the less hot hours between 4 and 6pm. One of the smaller islands in the atoll, one car has been spotted on occasion, but is wholly unnecessary on an island measuring less than half a km across and 1.5km from north to south. The nearest ATM is half a dozen islands up the reef in the atoll capital, so it’s advisable to pick up some Maldivian rufiyaa on your way through Male’. Food is available in the guesthouse (and breakfast is free), but a little coffee money is a good investment to watch local life from one of the island’s four cafes.

The population of around 600 people resides on the southern half of the island, with fields of tropical fruit spreading north before a sandy path terminates at the island’s best beach, reserved for guests. Just across the channel lies the Residence resort, which can also be visited by Pearl Beach View guests who wish to visit the bar (alcohol is unavailable on local inhabited islands).

After a few days on Nilandhoo, you’ll forget home was ever anywhere else. 

How to get there?: Flights from Male’s Velana International Airport leave for Gaafu Alif Koodoo multiple times each day. From there, Nilandhoo lies a 12 minute speedboat ride south. Alternatively, the cheaper local ferry service stops at every island, but currently runs only on Monday and Thursday (depending on weather).

How to book?: Booking can be arranged through major hotel websites, including Air BnB, and Agoda. Alternatively, the guesthouse can be contacted directly via 

2k Isles’ Tip: Spend (another) lazy afternoon taking the guesthouse’s complimentary glass-bottomed canoe over the shallow reef area on the outside of the island to the secluded northern beach. Stock up on picnic supplies from one of the local shops before you go, keep an eye out for tiny black-tipped reef sharks, and wait for the sun to drop into the lagoon.

Naj and Dan's Two Thousand Isles project is taking them on a journey of cultural (re)discovery around the Maldives. MVHOTELS.Travel is excited to be part of the trip, sharing their guesthouse reviews from atolls. 
Visit their website at
Photo courtesy of Naj
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Marukab Plaza: Your go to City Hotel for Layovers!

Flight delays, cancellations and insanely long lay-overs are all too familiar hurdles for avid travellers.

Have you ever spent a night crouched up at the airport due to long layovers or delays? Although a lengthy layover is predicted, flight cancellations and delays can lead to an uncomfortable night at the airport. Thankfully there is one perfect solution to ensure you never end up sleeping on an uncomfortable chair, bench or even the airport floor. If you ever find yourself in this situation in the Maldives, your best bet is to book with Marukab Plaza.

If you’re travelling in the near future, check your travel itinerary beforehand. For long layovers, or if you’re looking for a nice city hotel, Marukab Plaza is your best bet. At Marukab Plaza, you will get the best of the vibrant capital city of the Maldives. This luxury hotel is located on the north-eastern tip of Male’ city.

Rooms & Accomodation

There is no lack of choice when it comes to Marukab Plaza. With seven different room types to choose from, Marukab Plaza is perfect for groups, families or even solo travellers.

  • Marukab Suite – The Marukab Suite comes with a fully furnished living room, fully equipped kitchen, wardrobes and any other amenities you can think of. The Marukab Suite is perfect if you’re planning to stay in the City for a few days or even months! With all the amenities of a good Airbnb, the Marukab Suite allows you to live comfortably.
  • Premium Room – With 29 sqm of space, the Premium Room is perfect for those travelling for work. In addition to a writing desk, the Premium room also includes a mini-bar as well as ironing facilities. The hotel provides all of the basic amenities for this room category as well as luggage storage and a sofa with a coffee table.
  • Deluxe Balcony Room – If you’re all about the views, get the deluxe balcony room. In addition to the city views through a private balcony, the deluxe balcony room also comes with all of the hotel amenities. Some of these amenities include high-speed Wi-Fi, a safe deposit box, a writing desk and ironing facilities.
  • Deluxe Ocean View – There’s nothing quite like having an ocean view in the Maldives. What makes the Deluxe Ocean View different from the Deluxe Balcony room is the view. Although the room does not provide a private balcony, for some travellers it’s all about getting the pretty views.
  • Deluxe Room – The Deluxe Room is perfect for short layovers for couples. In addition to basic hotel amenities, the deluxe room has the beautiful Marukab Plaza design. With big windows and neutral colours filling up the room, your layover worries are taken away.
  • Twin Room – The twin room also has the basic hotel amenities. The twin room is perfect for families or friends who are travelling together, especially if you don’t want to share the bed.
  • Standard Room – The standard room at Marukab is perfect for killing a few hours or a day-long layover in the city. At Marukab Plaza, even the Standard Room comes with hotel amenities, adding a personal touch to your stay!

Dining Options at Marukab Plaza

Your stay at Marukab Plaza is more than just your stay! At this city hotel, you can explore a variety of culinary pleasures as well. Marukab Plaza brings you everything from wild-caught tuna of the Maldives to the warm, fresh flavours of the Mediterranean at the Fig & Olive restaurant.

Additionally, guests are also served amazing coffees and baked goods at the lounge café. The lounge café is beautifully decorated with comfortable seating and notable service.

The Conference Room

Marukab Plaza also offers a beautiful Conference Room. This is the perfect addition for business travellers, or any businessmen looking for a good meeting space. In addition to the Wi-Fi, the Conference Room has a laptop/ computer system, projector, telephone, stationery as well as water.

Marukab Plaza brings you the feel of home away from home while also giving you all the amenities and services of a hotel. From the moment you arrive in the Maldives till your departure, everything is taken care of by the amazing team at the hotel. Here, you can leave all your worries behind as Marukab Plaza also has airport transfers. Gone are the days of worrying about layovers and flight cancellations. Book your stay at Marukab Plaza for a great City hotel experience!

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