What to expect
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Last 5 reviews
Paradise on earth
Definitely a paradise on earth! I stayed in the water bangalo, and it was a dream, everything so beautiful and perfect. Staff is very kind and very lovely at all times. There is a desert island close by, Lonubo Island, (boat needed) that is possible to reserve for dinner and spend the night all by yourself. Definitely a must when traveling to Maldives.
Honeymoon of Dreams
What can I say? This place is paradise! A stunning island with amazing staff who can’t do enough to help you - extremely polite and always there to help. A stunning island, great for those wanting a peaceful stay. We stayed in a beach villa which was stunning. The walk out onto the beach on a morning was fabulous. The snorkelling is superb, we saw a sea turtle one day and many sharks and other tropical fish. It’s a shame the coral is bleached but that’s rising sea temperatures - hopefully one day they can recover. Entertainment provided most nights; we particularly enjoyed the live music at the Water Bar. Drinks here are varied and amazing for all inclusive. There are many trips you can go on too; we did the Manta Ray trip which was great and the sunset cruise we were lucky enough to have lots of dolphins swim alongside the boat (we even saw dolphins swimming past Lonubo one day too.) I surprised my wife with an overnight stay on Lonubo and it was incredible! All of the staff kept it a secret. A breath taking little island, all to ourselves for the night with a lovely beach villa with jacuzzi. This was once in a lifetime; we even had our own chef and waiter for a special meal on the beach by candlelight. Truly spectacular! I can’t praise this place enough. Thank you to all the staff who made our honeymoon extra special and went the extra mile on many occasions. We hope to return one day.
This was our first ever visit to The Maldives and what an amazing introduction Maafushivaru gave us to this incredibly beautiful part of the world. The island has a real Robinson Crusoe feel to it and during our 7 day stay there were times that we felt like we were the only people on the island. What really makes this island so special though are the staff. They have a genuine desire to ensure that you have the best holiday possible. The other outstanding feature is the food especially the desserts, which are put together each day by a team of chefs who are quite simply outstanding. As has been mentioned on other reviews the stand out dessert is the Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding. When we told the pastry chef how much we enjoyed it he made it especially for us and the team very kindly typed out the recipe for us before we left. The waiting staff not only make time to talk you but are also very talented when it comes to using the leaves from the island palm trees to make all sorts of animals. On our last night they prepared a table for us that had a beautiful floral table decoration and the napkins were folded to look like a waistcoat. They also presented us with a bird, fish and cricket that were all made out of palm leaves, just amazing and an unbelievably kind thing to do. We stayed in beach villa 126, which like the other beach villas has a small path from the sun deck that leads through the trees and flowers out onto the beach where there were a number of sun beds set up for anyone to use. Although all of the staff were amazing we would like to especially thank Alamach, Munsif and Ismail who looked after us in the buffet and during our speciality wedding anniversary meal, as well as the free diving waiter who unfortunately we forgot to get his name. Samanth the incredible pastry chef, Yiranga the bbq chef and Dianask his colleague. As has been mentioned by others although the villas are large they and some of the other areas of the island could benefit from some updating in particular the beds, which although they were large are not that comfortable. Hopefully this will be looked at during the refurbishment work that is due to take place between now and December but not to the detriment of the wonderful Desert Island feel that Maafushivaru has. Thank you everyone for giving us an unbelievable introduction to The Maldives.
Don't go changin'
We’ve recently returned from a 14 night stay at Maafushivaru. This was our 6th visit to the Maldives, and our 6th island. We’d originally booked Sandies Bathala, but the opening was delayed and Kuoni moved us to Maafushivaru. This is quite a long review, so I’ve broken it down into sections so you can scroll directly to whatever topic you’re most interested in. ARRIVAL We had quite a long wait at immigration this time around, the queues seemed to take forever. Last year there was a scan of all luggage before exiting arrivals, but this year its changed and only hand luggage is scanned for ‘contraband’ before you collect your main luggage from the carousel. We were met by two helpful Kuoni chaps when we exited the arrivals area who whisked us off to the seaplane check in, and we were swiftly en route in the mini bus to the seaplane terminal. Having done this transfer a few times before I was quite prepared for a wait, but in under an hour we were called for our transfer flight. TRANSFER Maafushivaru has a lounge room at the seaplane terminal which it shares with its sister islands Kuramathi and Kandohlu, it is however in the older section of the building which now overlooks the building site, so there’s very little to look at while you wait. They have free soft drinks, tea, coffee and there was a selection of breakfast style pastries and cakes. Sadly we had no time to sample them, just enough time for a quick change out of our travelling clothes in the bathroom area. And its airconditioned of course. The seaplane transfer took around 30 mins, stopping on the way to drop some guests off at Diamonds Athugua. As the seaplane came into land (or should that be sea) we were treated to a spectacular view of both the main island and its little sister island Lonubo. The plane lands at a little floating pontoon and the island’s Dhoni arrives a moment or two after to collect you. CHECK-IN Maafushivaru is a splendidly laid back, non-pretentious, authentic Maldivian resort. There are no staff with hastily wrapped sarongs over their shorts banging drums in a somewhat false welcome, just an extremely polite and efficient guest relations representative to escort you through to the check in area. After a cold towel and drink Marc checked us in, explained how the resort worked, ran through the map for orientation and (and this is a first for me!) explained about how to snorkel safely, how not to touch the corals and fish as well as not feeding them. After a bite of lunch, we were shown to our room, number 110. ROOM I’d asked for a room around this area as it had been recommended to me by a previous guest, and we were delighted with the location. The beach villas are big, the beds are huge and there is plenty of storage for your clothes as well as an out of the way cubby for you to store your luggage. There’s the usual safe in the wardrobe, plenty of good quality hangers and along with it a full size iron and ironing board (needless to say they remained unused during our stay!). The room is also equipped with a TV, a DVD player (we didn’t use it) which also doubles up as an ipod docking speaker thingy. Sadly though it has the old style connectors so we were unable to use it. There’s a kettle, a Lavazza Blue pod espresso machine (pods provided in both regular and decaf) and a minibar stocked with soft drinks and a couple of beers; these are included on the all inclusive plan. Anything you use from the minibar or the tea and coffee supplies you make a note of and its replenished the next day. The bathroom is partly outside and partly ‘inside’. I say partly ‘inside’ because whilst it has walls and a door to the outer part there are little windows which don’t have glass in them. In the ‘indoor’ area there’s a shower cubicle, two sinks and a toilet. In the outside area there’s a second shower and a washing line. All in all the room was pretty well equipped, I have only one real gripe and that was the bed. Whilst it was huge even by Maldivian resort standards, it was incredibly hard and we both found it very uncomfortable. There was a softer mattress topper on it, but to be honest it didn’t make much difference. Opposite the bed there are patio doors leading the rear decking area which has a covered double day bed and two sunbeds; there’s a tap to wash sand off your feet too (also one by the front door). You also have another two sunbeds on the beach along with a parasol for shade. Marc explained that none of the beach beds are numbered and strictly speaking they don’t ‘belong’ to the villa they’re opposite. Although we never found any random guests on ours! Each morning someone puts your cushions on your beach beds, puts up your parasol and leaves a beach towel on each bed. They also collect the towels at the end of the day and bring your cushions under cover in case of rain. BEACH The beach was lovely, super soft sand gently shelving into the ocean. There are quite a few seawalls at this resort which I thought might look a bit ugly. I’ll be honest, they’re not the most attractive things, but in my opinion they’re better than sandbags as they tend not to deteriorate and given enough time will be colonised by the ocean critters and fish. They’ve cleverly disguised some of the seawalls by mounting walkways and jettys on them. In our location we had full afternoon sun and a great view of the sunset. SNORKELLING The reef encircles the island like many and it is possible to snorkel the whole way around, if you have the time and the energy for it! On one side is fairly close to the island whilst on the other side its some distance away. If you’re not confident being this far away from the island then stick to the area around the main jetty which is much closer, the snorkelling is good all the way around. There are several exit/entry channels to the outer reef some are further apart than others, and I would highly recommend their use; as does the resort. There can be little clearance on the corals especially at low tide. One day my husband had to turn back as even in the entry channel there wasn’t enough depth for him to get back in. This meant a longer swim around to the next channel. We rated the snorkelling here as pretty good. There lots of fish to see, all the usual colourful reef varieties along with large numbers of needle fish, bat fish, Napoleon wrasse, sweetlips etc. We also encountered a porcupine stingray in the lagoon, a couple of eagle rays (on several occasions) at the drop off, regularly met the turtle at the drop off opposite the water sports centre, and there are quite a few sharks around both juvenile and fully grown – one I swear was pregnant, she had a very large belly! Whilst the corals have suffered the same tragic bleaching as almost everywhere in the Maldives, there are many smaller patches of corals (acropora I think) which are alive. They’re dotted around here and there, some pink, some blue. There are also more patches of soft corals and some of these are actually quite big. Plenty of the type that the ‘nemo’ fish love to live with along with some of the almost fluorescent ones (I’m sure they must glow in the dark!). FOOD On the All Inclusive plan as we were, all food is served in the buffet restaurant for all meals. The selection is very good. There is a live cooking station which offers several eggs options for breakfast along with at least three different offerings for lunch and dinner, along with a wide selection of both hot and cold dishes. There’s a different theme each night which seemed to be repeated on a 7 day cycle. There was always a pasta offering for lunch and dinner, at dinner there was always a sushi offering, and always a curry of some description. Stand our dishes for me were the sushi, the cold noodles (salad), the gorgonzola pasta and the veggie curry. There is often a warm chocolate pudding at lunchtimes which occasionally makes an appearance at dinner time – this, folks, is NOT to be missed!! It was the most fabulous chocolate sponge. Everything I ate was delicious. The chefs are always on hand keeping the foods topped up and fresh, they’ll explain the offerings and even help serve you. There is a coffee bar situated between reception and the restaurant where you can grab a pastry and a cuppa from 10am until lunchtime, and between 3-5pm they serve afternoon tea, so if you have a lie in and miss breakfast there’s no need to go hungry. The seating area is in two areas, the main section is in the same tiled area as the food, and just across the path is a smaller more rustic area on the deck looking out to the ocean. We chose to sit in the decked area, but you’re free to choose any available table, there’s no allocated tables or table sharing here. The guys do a splendid job of looking after you, clearing away plates and serving drinks. Special mention to both Babul and Munsif, although all the guys were great I’m just lousy at making a note of their names! Beware the lunctime Heron who comes by to check out whatever you may have and see if he can steal it away! Keep your bread rolls safe guys, and don’t leave your hats or sunglasses unguarded if you’re on the front row tables – eek, that beak! BAR Without exception all the guys in the bar gave exemplary service – I just wish I could remember their names to give them a mention…. They remembered our usual drinks, and were always at hand to top us up with fresh ones. I highly recommend the Negronis. LONUBO One of Maafushivaru’s USPs is its little sister island Lonubo. From our bit of beach we could look across to it. You can take the boat across three times a day at no charge; 09:30, 11:00 & 15:00. There are beach towels (on the arrival jetty), sunbeds and parasols along with a couple of toilets and a beach shower, but you need to take everything else you may need with you along with some drinks. Most people tend to take either the 09:30 or 15:00 boat so they are around for lunch. However we decided to forgoe lunch and have a larger breakfast and take the 11am crossing in the hope that we might get the island to ourselves until 3pm. We did! We had the whole place to ourselves, it was completely wonderful. The sand on Lonubo is even softer than on Maaf., the snorkelling is different, but equally good, there is however a bit more a current around this island and again the reef is a long way out in places. The boat collected us a 3pm, and after a quick shower and change were wandered around to the coffee shop for afternoon tea and a cuppa and snack to take us through to dinner. Utterly perfect! It is possible to take a picnic across, at additional cost, as well as have your evening meal there or even stay the night. There is a very well equipped villa on the island. AMBIENCE We loved Maafushivaru, it’s a total gem! It’s a proper old school, no shoes no news Maldivian island with lush planting, good villas and great staff and food. There really is nothing to dislike. The island is tiny, you can walk all the way around the circumference in about 5 mins. Its one of the few islands I’d happily repeat. If I were to be super critical, you can see that it’s a bit tired in places. The tiles in the bathroom are showing their age, the linens and curtains are a little frayed here and there. All the tech in the room is a bit old, although it all still works well. The glasses are a bit of a mixed range. But for us that’s all not only forgivable but actually adds the feel of the place, it gives it soul and a sense of permanence. There are so many new resorts these days all trying to out-do one another and offer something new or different. They lose sight of what most of us go to the Maldives for, relaxation, peace, to let all the stresses of the daily grind melt away. Maafushivaru will do all of that for you and more. The island will close within a month or two for a refurbishment, I genuinely hope they don’t change too much. Maybe some new curtains and towels, patch up a few thatched roofs, definitely change the mattresses PLEASE! Oh and if you could change the cutlery too, we really didn’t like it ;-) We’d love to come back one day, Maafushivaru you made my repeat list, it’s a very exclusive list! Thank you for such a wonderful time, thank you for all the delicious food and thank you to all the great staff that made our stay so magical – don’t go changin’ (too much).
The best hotel I have ever stayed at, paradise!
It was already my second stay at Maafushivaru and it was as amazing as the first one! I have never experienced such a warm welcome and great customer service. The hotel staff is unbelievably kind and friendly. The food is delicious. The facilities are great as well. The pool is clean as well as the beach all around the island. I stayed in water villa which is a real paradise just a step away from juping to the sea! I love the fact that there was always something to do, they organize movie night, coctail night, sunset crusies etc. Hopefully I will come back for the third time! :)
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