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“Outstanding as ever... and this was our 4th trip there!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kanuhura

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Kanuhura
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Lhaviyani Atoll   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kanuhura
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Outstanding as ever... and this was our 4th trip there!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

We've been spending two weeks every Easter in the Maldives for the last four years, and our first trip was to Kanuhura, back when it was a One&Only hotel. That trip was simply magnificent, one of those amazing holidays where you sit back and really appreciate how lucky you are... The next year, we came back... and the one after (the hotel changed from One&Only to Sun Resorts, as did its sister hotel in Mauritius, the Touessrok)... and this year.

The thing about Kanuhura is, it's the perfect resort, period. I've done my research, I know all about the other resorts out there, and there are many of them. But Kanuhura ticks all the boxes for us. For one thing, it's laid-back elegance. I don't want to be surrounded by people wearing ridiculously expensive watches and showing up for dinner in high heels and Sex & The City outfits. I want the place to be elegant, but relaxed. And that's the scene at Kanuhura. No showing off. No glitz. But an interesting, elegant crowd that's there to kick back and enjoy a relaxed time. From the moment the seaplane landed to the moment we got back on it, I did not wear anything on my feet. No shoes, no flip flops, nothing. For two whole weeks. Nothing but swimming trunks, polo shirts and T-shirts, and bermuda shorts for dinner. That's it.

The island itself is NATURAL. Many of the resorts out there are artificial, including some of the most well known (and expensive) ones. Sand and trees brought in, the whole thing artificially landscaped and created. Kanuhura is authentic--and its beach is unbeatable. You can walk all around it in about half an hour, it's sand all around, pristine white dream-like sand... no rocky side (like a lot of islands), not reefs up close. Basically, the biggest sea-water swimming pool you can imagine. Divine. And the sea life is ABUNDANT. No need to take a boat. Just grab a snorkel from the sports shop and swim out to be surrounded by huge shoals of amazing fish. It's seriously unreal.

The island doesn't have planes flying overhead (it's far North), big ships sailing by, doesn't suffer at low tide as some others do (I was shocked when we approached Male on our way back in the seaplane, flying low over one of the top resorts I knew about, and seeing it at low tide where it looked positively apocalyptic). As far as a natural paradise is concerned, you can't beat it. We've been to several luxury resorts in Phuket, Mauritius and in the Seychelles, and this beats them all by a mile. Oh, and not a mosquito to be seen. Ever. They fumigate it every day at dusk, which isn't intrusive and keeps it insect-free.

The hotel's other main asset, though, is its staff. Many of the managers have been there since we first got there. They know my daughters' names, we feel like guests in their home. Nothing is too much trouble. Small examples: we loved the new Linguine and raw tuna the chef at the Olive Tree came up with this year. I asked the restaurant's manager for the recipe. The next day, at breakfast, we were presented with a typed recipe. My daughter misplaced her tennis shoes one afternoon when there was a brief downpour of rain (if it happens, and it rarely does in April, it lasts 10-15 minutes and the sun blasts everything dry within half an hour) and everyone rushed for cover. We were leaving the next day, and couldn't find them. Ten days later, a DHL package arrived in London. The shoes (old Nikes!). With a small note from the manager apologizing that the staff hadn't been able to find them before we left. Amazing.

But that's the attention to detail you get there. Spectacularly helpful, friendly staff, from our room's cleaner to the manager, Mr Scanu (who greeted us off the plane and waved us off from the pier again when we left). The food is great, fruit galore, anything is possible. The barbecues on the beach are spectacular. Yes, the spa can be expensive, but are any five-star spas cheap these days? Yes, the internet can sometimes slow down, but I have fibre optic here in London and it's erratic too. Those are minor quibbles. All in all, you couldn't ask for a lovelier place to stay and relax and dream...

So it depends on what you're looking for... if you're looking to party, to pose, to pop bottles of Crystal loudly and see and be seen and parade your new diamond-encrusted Franck Mueller watch, it might not be the place for you. But if you enjoy the St Geran or, say, the kind of atmosphere you find at Four Seasons resorts, then look no further. The best rooms are the Grand Water Villas, there are 2 of them. Beach villas are great, especially on the sunrise side. And there you have it... enjoy!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

We've just returned from the Kanuhura and can wholeheartedly say it was totally fantastic.

*****Why?*****
The Island is beautiful, idyllic, untouched (unlike many of the other islands) and small enough to be personal.

The facilities are wide ranging (tennis, squash, snorkelling, diving, boat trips, yoga)

The food is amazing and varied - we eat in many top restaurants in West London and it compares very favourably with the best of them.

The guests are unpretentious, well mannered and friendly

The staff are exceptionally friendly and informed - special mention to Jana and Dominic!

The location is off the main flight path and far away enough from Mali to be "desert island" rather than resort. Accessing by Seaplane is brilliant too.

Drink prices are reasonable for 5* (No more than London prices- $10 for a large spirit and mixer/ beer/ $60 for a bottle of wine)

*****Tips:*****
Stay on North East side of Island between April and July (stay on North side not on South side as generator too loud and beach not as pleasant)
Stay on North West of Island between August and March (stay on North side as above)

Try both a Beach Hut and a Water Villa. Being on the beach is great for convenience. Water villa is more novel, better appointed and bigger but worth 2x?? Not sure.

If you can get Half Board (you can use all restaurants & no set menu)- at least food bill would mount up. Full board great but will mean you put on weight!

The private island dining experience is well worth it: sunset, champagne, seafood and shisha- it could not be more perfect.



*****Bad bits:*****
Huts we felt were slightly too close together. Both Beach Huts and Water Villas are same for this. The far hut on both North West and North East side (closest to the water sports/ Veli café end) are the most private.

Bar always seems empty (may be because we went in May) so lacks atmosphere.
Island hopping expedition was not worth doing. The islands were not attractive- just do a snorkelling trip instead.

Wind is quite aggressive on West side of the island (Watersport centre side) and makes water/beach unappealing in Low Season.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2011

I first stepped onto Kanuhura Island in April 2011 and found this unpretentious resort destination to be one of the most impressive destination I have been (not that many around these days).

This is my second visit (June 2011) with some friends and my partner again.

I have stayed in hundreds of hotels and resorts in the region and beyond, I have audited/ inspected over 350 hotels globally out of the the many I visited on my job and leisure personal retreats over the past 20 years.
Kanuhura unquestionably far exceeded most of my expectations and compared to those I have visited, as I remain hopeful most of you out there would agree with me, it is the people(staff) on site that makes all the minor difference in our stay. Kanuhura exubrates charm and passion right from top down and through the entire members of staff from the boat men, front office, service staff, spa therapists and receptionists, team ever helpful butler team and the able management team all round.
In addition to service, food comes equally high on my expectation, the Olive Tree Restaurant serves some of the most authentic and exciting Mediterranean dishes that would satisfy finest epicurean from all walks of life!!

The spa is my second home on the island... no one should miss this feature... if you like strong message, try Manawah treatment, that's my favorite and recommendation.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Level Contributor
60 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2011

Everything was excellent!

We had the full board option and it was the perfect choice. We had breakfast and dinner ad Thin Rah and lunch at Olive Tree. The food was very good!
We had dinner one time at Veli Café and it was wonderful! We definitely recommend it, but its not included on the board.

We did the picnic Jehunuhura Island, its a beautiful place and we were lucky to see a baby shark on the beach... but we were not thrilled by the meals we ordered.

The snorkeling excursion was great! Its a must do.
The Maldivian excursion was good for the snorkeling (we saw a turtle!) and dolphins. Everyone was very nice, but theres a lack of cultural information, we simple receive information like "here is the bank, here is the hospital, ...".

On our last day we went to the spa and it was fantastic!

You should take your one snorkeling equipment (or you will have to rent it), there's a coral rife on the island and we saw stingrays, turtles and so many other fishes.
You can see stingrays on the little harbor in front of Thin Ra at 5pm.

The see plane trip was amazing... the view of all those islands and the color of the ocean... unforgettable!

We loved our kanuhura experience.
It was the perfect Honeymoon!

Room Tip: June and Jully the sunrise side.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2011

This was my third time to Kanuhura in two years. I could not imagine paradise getting better, but this trip was just fantastic!!
The island is so beautiful and the attention to detail is superb! The atmosphere is so relaxing. I cannot think of anywhere I would rather be.

On arrival we had such a warm welcome, its like meeting up with old friends. Our Butler Faray was just amazing! unpacking for us while we sipped our bottle of complimentary champagne, and took a dip in the ocean just a couple of meters from our room.
The snorkelling off the beach is very good, Rays and Turtles seen on day 2, very impressed! Water sports and excursions were also great.

The mix of restaurants and food is terrific. Under the new manager Vladimir, a michelin chef himself, I can only imagine the food getting even more exquisite!!
The manager has added a few nice touches in the short time he has been there, a refurbished Spa that is excellent! The new sunset bar with day beds to enjoy a cocktail- a really nice touch. The main bar also becoming an even more chilled oasis to relax day or night.

The staff have the amazing ability to make every aspect of our stay so special. On the day we had our 25th wedding anniversary they made every moment, from breakfast through to dinner and beyond the most unforgettable day since our wedding! I cannot thank them enough.

I can't wait to return! Thank You so much!!

  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

Oh My Goodness! I have just read the latest reviews on Kanuhura, and can only presume that these travellers stayed on a completely different island to the one that my husband and I know and love.

We first discovered Kanuhura in May 2010, and were absolutely blown away by the whole experience. I loved it so much that I cried on leaving, and my husband promised to return us to paradise the following year.

True to his word, we returned in May this year - our return to our Perfect Paradise! The first time we arrived in Kanuhura we knew we had found something really special. We have travelled extensively and have stayed in first class resorts and accommodation all over the world, but there is something magical about Kanuhura that makes it head and shoulders above the rest.

From the minute we landed, we felt as though we were scooped up on some big, comfortable pillow, completely looked after and transported to paradise. The porters at the airport were brilliant - polite welcoming and efficient, and the Kanuhura lounge was a joy - just what we needed after a long flight.

The seaplane journey is amazing, and as you approach Kanuhura and gaze at the crystal clear sea, the powder white sand and the luscious vegetation, you feel truly blessed to witness such a sight. To walk through the middle of the resort is so tranquil its like being in another world. The trees and landscaping are beautiful, and the gardeners work hard to keep it in pristine condition and yet retain its natural look. As for the beach, it is so beautifully clean, the soft sand and the amazing turquoise water gently lapping the shore, it is a real enjoyment to walk around the island.

Back to our journey - The seaplane landed, and we arrived at Kanuhura - and what a welcome! Our return trip and it was like returning home to our lovely family. Everyone was amazing and it was wonderful to see the same smiling, friendly faces we had become so fond of on our previous visit. There were, of course, some new faces amongst the staff, and it was great to to get to know them during our stay. It was a pleasure to meet the new General Manager, Mr. Vladimir Scanu, and his lovely family. We saw Mr. Scanu at least once a day around the resort and enjoyed a long chat with him at the cocktail party. He is a perfect host and obviously takes great pride in his resort. The staff in all areas are professional, welcoming, friendly and each have an obvious, genuine delight for their role in Kanuhura. It would be difficult to praise one above the other, for everyone went out of their way to make our holiday an enjoyable experience, each and every one of them being polite, knowledgeable and courteous.

We stayed in a beach villa on the sunset side of the resort. The accommodation was first class - clean, comfortable and a real home from home. Everything you could possibly neeed was in there. The beach villas have lots of space between them, and its an absolute joy to open the shutters and look out over your own beach garden, leading down to the amazing ocean. It seems that anything you require will be provided - all done, as usual, with the Kanuhura willilngness to please.

Kanuhura leaves you wanting for nothing. The facilities are excellent, and the restaurants offer the finest cuisine you could find anywhere in the world. Each mealtime was a delight - from the huge selection at breakfast to the wonderful world-wide selection at dinner.

When we tell friends that we hope to return to Kanuhura next year, they point out that the world is a big place and that there is so much more to see. We just smile, and know that if they listen to us and try Kanuhura for themselves, they will see what we are talking about. Choosing an island from the many in this extraordinary archipelago is not easy, but take our advice and try Kanuhura for yourselves. As dream holiday desitnations go, Kanuhura is Number One on our list!

Room Tip: Beach villa - Sunset side
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  • Stayed May 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011

The resort is an amazing location,we went there based on the reviews. However, the rooms look old, drinks, spa, boutique prices exorbitant. Internet in the room was slow though we informed our Butler few times.
Staff sometimes seemed disinterested and seem lacking motivation. We went in the main bar for a drink, we waited nearly 30 mins before it was served as the staffs wearing white uniforms were served before us! Not many staff speak German, that was a pity. We were invited to a management cocktail on the beach, but we never met the Manager who invited us!!
It just felt we were constantly being ripped off, the ambience is cold and this is a reflection on the way the place is managed. They really need to rethink how to treat the guest who pay a lot to stay there.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kanuhura

Address: Lhaviyani Atoll
Location: Maldives > Lhaviyani Atoll > Kanuhura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kanuhura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kanuhura 5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 26 natural atolls which make up the Maldives, contain some 1200 coral islands, infinite sandbanks and reefs spread over90,000 square kilometres of Indian Ocean. Only 200 of these islands are inhabited, while an additional 90 have been transformed into resorts. Kanuhura is located on the eastern rim of Lhaviyani Atoll, on its own private island. Famed for its laid-back luxury and authentic, natural Maldivian charm, the award-winning resort offers the highest standards of accommodation, service and culinary experience. Every effort has been made to retain the natural beauty of the island and wherever possible, employ the use of only natural materials. The island measures approximately 1000 meters in length and 200 meters in width, with a north-south orientation. It offers the best in watersports and diving. Travel is by seaplane and is around 40 minutes from the international airport at the Maldives capital, Male. The seaplanes, privately run by Maldivian Air Taxi Services, operate a schedule to accommodate international arrivals and departures. A private waiting lounge is available for guests of Kanuhura. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kanuhura Hotel Kanuhura
Kanuhura Hotel Kanuhara
Kanuhura Resort Kanuhara
Kanuhura Maldives

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