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“Heaven Fushi” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Huvafen Fushi, a Per AQUUM Retreat

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Huvafen Fushi, a Per AQUUM Retreat
5.0 of 5 Resort   |     |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Heaven Fushi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2011

My husband and I have been to three resorts (One and Only Reethi Rah, Alila Villas) in the Maldives and we definitely think that Huvafen Fushi trumps them all. It is by far the best in service, rooms, and most importantly the marine life surrounding the island. Just a few steps from your villa are the lagoon and coral reefs where you can experience beautiful waters and plentiful fish. The resort is detail oriented and is pristine and perfect. It also has an underwater spa where you can see colorful corals at night. We enjoyed our stay there and managed to meet some interesting people. What we remember most about the island is the marine sanctuary. We witnessed baby sharks and jack fish hunting smaller fish in the protected lagoon and the feeding of the stingrays at sunset. The staff was very helpful and accommodating. We loved the resorts understated luxury. Perfect for couples, and families.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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433 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2011

Just got back from 5 days there with my husband. We'd been to the Maldives twice already (including in the beautiful Soneva Gili resort) and wanted to be blown away. Well, we did! This is a place with a lot of taste, but not flashy at all. Attention to detail is incredible and everything is beautiful, from the setting to the cuttlery. Just absolutely perfect place: beautiful setting (small island, but not tiny: a few different area to hang out in, with loads of "private" beach places, which is great when you're in a Lagoon room as we were), superb infinity pool with great hamacks and chilled "buddha bar" style music playing, beautiful room (lagoon bungalow, with private plunge pool, understated and chic, great bathroom), amazing service (240 staff for 42 rooms!!), excellent food with various places to dine in, amazing spa (superb underwater room a-la-James Bond). Clientele of all ages and nationalities, quiet, but friendly too. Really relaxed and chilled out vibe. Don't go if you want bright colours, flashy entrances and halls (no reception there, you just call your butler!), women in stilettos... This place is all but show-off. Chic, chilled-out, extremely professional paradise! We'd definitely go back!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Woking, United Kingdom
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2011

My wife and I honeymooned in Huvafen last year. First, let me say how much we enjoyed the good aspects. The accommodation is excellent and genuinely five-star as befits the price position of the place. We loved the lighting and entertainment system, the coffee facilities and superb bathroom views, as well as just being able to step down into the clear water with fish all around.

The infinity pool is best in class at the moment and the communal areas including the Lair are first-rate. Having WiFi throughout the resort is a wonderful facility as well as a superb technical achievement! We partook of the Dolphin Cruise (magical) and hired a Dhoni for a morning (although this turned into a day) and the House Reef is a significant improvement on my experience at Rangali. They take marine biology very seriously and there is huge enthusiasm and knowledge on hand for first-time snorkelers and experienced divers alike.

The Spa is very nicely appointed and we had a really lovely morning in there. We were given a warm welcome and were approached for feedback on the second evening, which gave us a real sense of a place looking to keep improving. But having been honest about one or two minor points (we both work in service industries), the welcome ground sharply to a halt.

Given we parted with £10,000 all-in for our Honeymoon, the service at Huvafen leaves plenty to be desired. There are 200 staff around the place, which makes it seem far more congested than need be, but they spend most of the time chatting and on their phones. Guests are treated as a bit of a nuisance, rather as if they are doing us a favour by letting us stay there.

Following our honest feedback, it was all that the GM could do to muster a good morning to us and on our third morning he actually walked away from me while I was feeding back positively to him at breakfast. I am not convinced that the management team instills a proper service ethic in staff, hence appointments missed and some very "reluctant exits" from our bungalow by staff expecting tips on top of the 10% service charge. The staff have football matches laid on for them (listed as guest activities but no guests were encouraged to take part) but service by the pool and in the restaurants was slow and attitudes by some (not all) very direct ("you don't like the food? What's wrong with it?" when we simply couldn't manage the huge portions in the heat).

When we were served tepid mineral water and asked for a cold bottle, the reaction was one of thinly-veiled resentment. Asking for olive oil and balsamic vinegar with focaccia, for salt and pepper, butter and jam, extra plates; all these shouldn't have been necessary but were treated as an imposition when we requested them. Service with a smile was not only lacking but seemed totally out of the question. We felt by the end of our honeymoon that we had outstayed our welcome and that the staff were almost sick of the sight of us and us asking for things that should have been provided anyway. All we were doing is prompting them politely according to the five-star service we believed we had paid for and Huvafen promised.

We had a particularly awful experience on our final Sunday when a camera crew was on the island to film promotional material. Having settled in the communal area, my wife was asked to vacate her hammock in favour of the model being filmed as it had better lighting than the ones in the shade. Taken aback, we retreated to our sun bed but it quickly became clear that the crew wanted the entire area cleared as they surrounded us, throwing us - the paying client - some dirty looks. The camera was brought right back to the edge of where we were relaxing. We took off to the Lair and as soon as we left they sat on and occupied the loungers we had just got up off. We stay at hotels all over the world and my wife is in the travel industry - never once have I been cleared off my place of relaxation by those in the pay of who we are paying.

Many staff answering the telephone couldn't speak English very well and promised to pass on messages for return calls that never happened. It took us 45 minutes to locate a needle and thread to mend my wife's dress. Foam pillows listed as options were "run out" from the beginning, there were no ice creams available during our second week because the supplier's "boat had broken down for a month now" and certain foods - including the wines the resort prides itself on - were unavailable. Sure, things happen in hotels and if we had been in a three-star resort we could have understood this but for £10,000 we expect pillows on the list to be available, to find other ice cream suppliers and someone to keep on top of the purchasing. We also expect housekeeping to be helpful and quick, service by the pool to be attentive and above all, the occasional indication that people are going the extra mile; we certainly looked in vain for that. The only currency staff seemed bothered about was the green paper kind; on the few occasions we felt it appropriate to use this, we saw a very different and more committed approach. Disgraceful.

Our most serious complaint is about the food, which is frankly an outrage. One understands why in a remote location not everything will always be local or fresh in order to cater for all tastes. But the quality of the food vs price is verging on contempt for the customer. There are plenty of people walking around with chef's jackets on. But I wonder what they do. Breakfast is generally adequate, with the option of juices (unchilled) and eggs cooked to order. However it was very inconsistent; we had a fantastic eggs Benedict (cooked in the main kitchen) on our second day, followed by a version the very next day where the eggs were undercooked, bacon replaced ham (also unavailable) and the hollandaise was split. This lack of standard is simply not acceptable. It is okay to say that we should have sent things back if they weren't up to scratch but we simply didn't have the inclination to wait for the chef to get it right meal after meal. In any case, we surmised the problem isn't one rogue chef, it's a fundamental and systemic lack of rigour in the service standard.

We were led to believe that fresh wood-fired pizza would be available to eat for lunch on the beach at Fogliani's and this is clearly alluded to on the website. Throughout our stay, the wood oven was out of order and the pizzas were, we found out, instead done in the microwave. $25 for a microwaved pizza makes me very, very angry and represents an attempt in my view to take guests as fools. Clearly we were not worthy of an equally good substitute, merely what Huvafen felt it could get away with - at least inconvenience to itself. Interestingly "wood-fired reef fish" remained on the specials board; we later found out this was being cooked in a conventional oven.

Similarly in Celsius, there was a limited menu in the evening that became very repetitive after a week or so and some of the ingredients, for example potatoes, were very poor quality and clearly desiccated in a microwave rather than water-cooked. My wife had a soufflé that could be lifted out of its ramakin with a fork as one solid lump. I asked how this was done - in a microwave or from fresh and was told it was fresh. If this was the case, it was done extraordinarily poorly; if it wasn't, then it would only be another in a series of misrepresentations.

We did enjoy our Honeymoon Dinner in Salt, which at least appeared to have chefs preparing food in it. Wanting to give it another go, we booked in for a second sitting on 7 September looking forward to fresh fish (again, check the menu online as I did while researching) and I asked for an Indian Ocean lobster. On enquiring where the lobster was, I was told it was frozen. Frozen lobster, at $15 per 100g plus 10%. Surprised, I chose the lagoon crab at $55, only to be told that this was frozen too. I was astonished when we were then told that all the fish were frozen after being caught when the Salt menu clearly implies the contrary. Despite the waitress's assurance that it was "very nice", we didn't dine at Salt that evening or any other. We simply refuse to pay $200 for a meal of glorified freezer food. It's a total insult to anyone who stays there and I would expect a luxury resort to engineer a way that fresh seafood on its doorstep can be kept alive (shellfish) or chilled long enough to be served in its signature restaurant.

Even the lobster for the obscenely expensive $250-a-head Lobster and Champagne evening is pre-despatched and presented on ice. On our final Sunday, we noted six covers for this special, with a vast majority of guests packing out Celsius to avoid a $500 meal of frozen seafood. Notably among the takers was the marketing director, choosing to ignore his customers' obvious preference in favour of being seen to dine with those with money to spare. Instead of asking the guests themselves why more weren't taking up the special, he looked as though he had all the answers and was just interested in enjoying himself. It seemed to sum up the priorities and complacency of the management team all too well.

The issues that we raised on our second day were never satisfactorily addressed; our leaking taps (the taps in the bathroom are the only element that lets down the accommodation) were put down to problems with salt in the water and ignored. We had said we didn't appreciate being touted for business by the island shop (but nothing was done as he did it again a week later) and some poor planning that meant we were handed over to a different Thakaru temporarily the same day we arrived was diluted to a "communication issue" and left at that. Huvafen Fushi is a place that seems convinced of its own excellence and unwilling to accept it may have important areas in which to improve.

  • Stayed September 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2011

My husband and I spent our honeymoon here. Everything was utter perfection, we didn't want to leave...

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2011

This place is simply heaven on earth. I have always been cynical of photographs of the Maldives. The picture perfect seas, white sandy beaches, smiling faces all come across as too good to be true and yet what we saw and enjoyed exceeded everything we had thought. No pictures or my limited command of the English language can do justice to what an outstanding area of natural beauty the Maldives are.
My husband and I have one week a year when we are able to go away without our children (thank you to Granny) so this week is extra special. We absolutely can't get it wrong with the location and the hotel because the time alone is so precious. I spent ages deliberating and speaking to excellent travel agents who have visited the area and quite quickle the choice was narrowed down to either the Reethi Rai or Huvafen Fushi. I am sure that you will have a great holiday in either but what decided it for us was that Huvafen is quieter, smaller and not really geared up for children. It does not have an obvious children's club and we saw a baby or 2 when we were there, that was it.
We were met off the plane by a Huvafen Fushi representative and swept off in the speed boat to paradise. Huvafen is an hour ahead of Male time to allow you to have a slightly later sunset which works perfectly so we adjusted to 'island time' instantly. We booked an Ocean Bungalow and I am really glad that we did. Firstly the Maldives is about the only place where you can stay over the water and it is something very special to be lying on your deck with the water all around you and feeling very relaxed whereas when you stay at most other beach resorts you have no choice but to stay on the beach so we felt that you should make the most of the opportunity to stay over water. Secondly, the Ocean side is the sunset side of the Island and is totally magical to watch. Lastly the Lagoon side is where all the boats come and go so on the Ocean side you had hardly any interruption to your view or day. It is considerably more than staying in other rooms but we really felt it worth every penny (note this is not a cheap holiday and you can't pretend otherwise).
The food was delicious. Lots and lots of clean healthy food, particularly at the restaurant Raw which is open for lunch and we also loved having freshly made pizza with our feet in the sand under the tree. Only wish is that the main restaurant could incorporate some of the raw food for dinner as it was delicious and light. Breakfast is a total feast. Think fruit buffet, bread buffet, egg chef, curry buffet......... whatever you wished for you could have. We definitely woke up to have it!
The other revelation for us was scuba diving. We have never been before and learned whilst we were out there. We even went scuba diving with the mantra rays which were in the area and the experience will last a life time. Special thanks to the dive team.
This hotel exceeded in so many areas. The room was massive. A lounge area with viewing floor to the sea below, the world's most enormous bed set up to look straight out to the ocean, ipod docking station with ipod installed with thousands of songs, complimentary water, a bath that was so big it took around 20 minutes to fill and which I spent more than 20 minutes in with a view straight over the ocean, your own plunge pool and his and her sun loungers on the deck. We also enjoyed strolling up to the main pool and relaxing there. Here the sun loungers were 'double beds' which was
wonderful. The moment you arrived you were greeted with towel, water and water spritzer for the face. Before you can even think of anything they have!
This is a very relaxing, unpretentious sort of holiday. We didn't wear shoes the whole time, went to dinner in swimsuits and sarongs and there was no manic night club atmostphere. If dressing up for dinner is your thing and you like the glitz of gilded hotels then this is not the holiday for you. If you wish to recharge in absolute perfection, relax the moment you arrive to the moment you leave then don't hestiate to choose Huvafen Fushi. Yes it is expensive but worth every penny.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gloucester, United Kingdom
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2011

Perfect location for peace and tranquillity.
Staff could not do enough or as little as you wanted.
feeding the Stingrays was truly amazing

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2011

We had high expectations of Huvafen Fushi for the second leg of our honeymoon and we weren't disappointed.

From the moment we arrived at Male airport and were met by the speedboat outside the departure hall, to the time we were dropped back for our flight home, the whole experience was about as close to perfect as you can get.

The rooms are fabulous (even though my wife insisted that we downgrade as she preferred being on the lagoon side to the ocean), the staff are unbelievable, they genuinely make you feel that there is nothing they would rather do than serve your every need, the food was fantastic and the resort itself is just beautiful. We could have spent another few weeks just lying on our private deck or watching the sun go down over the beautiful infinity pool.

All in all, this is somewhere we would recommend without reservation and somewhere we'd love to go back - albeit a very long journey as we currently live in New York.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Huvafen Fushi, a Per AQUUM Retreat

Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Huvafen Fushi Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Huvafen Fushi Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Huvafen Fushi, a Per AQUUM Retreat 5*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
July 2012 the iconic Huvafen Fushi, the first Per AQUUM Retreat, reopened after a complete refurbishment. The renovation covered all bungalows and pavilions with new interior finishes and a fresh look; the addition of a new outdoor sunset cocktail lounge area over the reef at Raw; and a remodeled Celsius with a deliciously creative evolution of all restaurant menus. Already an award winning retreat renowned for its trailblazing concepts, these new touches reaffirm the retreat's status as a leader in premium luxury and creative hospitality. A waking dream.Set within its own lagoon,Huvafen Fushi Maldives, a Per Aquum Retreat is a pristine island offering 43 naturally-modern bungalows.Home to the world's first underwater spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Huvafen Fushi Hotel Huvafen Fushi Island
Huvafen Fushi Male
Huvafen Fushi Hotel Male
Huvafen Fushi, a Per AQUUM Retreat Huvafen Fushi Island, Maldives

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