Stay: Budget Guesthouses in Mexico, the Maldives & French Polynesia

Sometimes small is beautiful. | By Diane Selkirk  
Cocoperle French Polynesia
Beachside bungalows at Cocoperle Lodge, in French Polynesia, open the door to local culture. Photo: Chris Claverie/Cocoperle Lodge


TME Guesthouses
Famed for fabulous beaches and glamorous resorts that cater to the likes of English royalty, this Indian Ocean nation recently legalized village-based lodging, such as this 17-room inn with its simple rooms and open-air dining. Spend the day watching whale sharks or swimming with manta rays, then relax on a jolie (the ubiquitous Maldivian version of a park bench) to socialize with the locals at sunset.
•Dhigurah Island, South Ari Atoll;; from $50/₹3,400, including breakfast.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Hotel La Semilla
In the midst of the Riviera Maya’s busy tourist scene, this nine-room inn feels like a private hacienda. The sandy Caribbean beach is just two blocks away. Owners Alexis Schärer and Angie Rodriguez hope guests will feel at home—if only home came with warm Mexican sunshine, a garden hammock swinging under copal trees, an outdoor terrace with panoramic ocean and jungle views, and chocolates on your pillow.
•Playa del Carmen;; doubles from $160/₹10,885, including breakfast.

French Polynesia

Cocoperle Lodge
Honeymooners head to French Polynesia’s all-inclusive resorts, but a growing number of pensions or boarding houses provide traditional lodgings and a chance to learn about local life. Cocoperle and 19 other pensions have even partnered with Air Tahiti Nui to offer packages that include airfare. Go fishing, visit a pearl farm, and then retire to one of Cocoperle’s four bungalows, fragrant with flowers.
•Ahe Atoll, Tuamotu Islands;; from XPF14,000/₹8,700 per person per night, including meals.

Appeared in the June 2016 issue as “The Guesthouse Option”.

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