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“Bliss at a cost!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives

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The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   2036 (Formerly Iru Fushi Beach & Spa Resort)   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Iru-fushi
Certificate of Excellence 2014
bournemouth
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Bliss at a cost!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2009

I read with great interest many, if not all of the reviews on Irufushi before we left. I was a little concerned over some and relieved by others. Well here's my view. A fair shot I hope at describing the good the not so good and the extortionate.

Good! The welcome and the Island along with the rooms are quite stunning, the island is larger that that you might usually expect for the Maldives but nonetheless quite breathtaking in its natural beauty. We were welcomed by staff that genuinely seem to care about you. When we were shown to our room it was also stunning. We had a beach villa and found that unless you intended to stay in the villa for long periods then this was more than adequate. While the water villas are themselves wonderful you do tend to lose the being on the white sandy beach thing! You also save a fortune by not having one as well.... We took a few trips out, if you want some advice go on a snorkling safari but on the SPEED BOAT, if you can get 5 or 6 of you to go it not only works out cheaper but it's far more fun! Our villa was on the 'sunrise' side of the island and although we never saw a sunset from our beach it was far quieter than the other side where all the boats and seaplanes go from, and the sea planes start leaving at about 7.45 am... If you have children the the Kids Club is a must, Rose, a member of staff there was a genuine star and the children from all ages had great fun there.

My wife tried the Spa and said that this was one of the best she had ever experienced.

Ok the 'Not so Good'

The service in the main restaurant was 'slow' to say the least, not at the buffet (that's up to you of course) but the serving of drinks, we found some of the waiters to be disinterested which was a real shame and the Iru Restaurant itself was very very hot the ceiling fans did little to reduce the temperature. Some people have written that they found the food to be 'very good' well in my opinion it was 'OK' and alot more could be done to bring some added variety to the menus. The islands pride themselves on fish and I go to the Maldives expecting to eat almost nothing but fish, however found that the fish offered was very 'samey' and there needs to be some serious work done by the Head Chef and his team to bring this to 5* standard. The deserts however were fab!

Now the EXTORTIONATE!!!

We travelled as a group of 4 (3 adults and a 2 year old) on a half board basis. We never wanted to over indulge at lunch and are not heavy drinkers so opted for this as a sensible choice. I think we were right however the cost of even a small pizza was simply outrageous! $20 US for a simple pizza is not right. $5 US for a bottle of 1.5 ltrs of water is disgusting. However this pales into insignicance when you end up paying $5.50 for a grape juice (from a carton)! The measurements never were the same, in the Fluid bar you would get a glass containing 300ml and in the Iru restaurant the same drink had as little as 120ml (as a sad individual I actually measured it in a baby bottle) That equates to nearly $50 US for a litre of grape juice, this was the only drink my daugter really enjoyed but it mattered not as all the juices were the same price and given in the same volume! DISGUSTING . I will be writing to the Hilton group to complain about this as I felt this undermined my holiday in the end as I was becoming more bitter each day. I did try complaining a few times only to be told that they were chaning over to full Hilton Group 5 star from the 1st November and things would be going up further!!! God help them.

Overall the island is a lovely place, in the main the staff are nice too if not always in control and some lower managment levels can clearly not be given the freedom to make a decision alone. Coco Palm is far better value and I will sadly not be going back to Irufushi again unless the pricing is sorted out! I expect to pay for a 5 star hotel however I don't expect to be ripped off at every opportunity!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JSKling, General Manager at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, responded to this review, October 29, 2009
Thank you very much for your review and feedback, both the positive notes, and also the areas where you felt you did not receive the right value for the service and the quality provided.

I am obviously sad to hear that you felt our food and drinks too expensive. Although the prices are set on price points that are occurring in a large number of 5 star properties across the Maldivian destination, I am pleased to say that, as Hilton moves forward in making changes to the resort, our new Executive Chef and his team have already gradually started to bring a great array of new ideas, menus and ingredients to enhance our offering in the resort… fresh ingredients and greater value for our guests. A new “A La Carte” menu was already introduced in Islander’s Grill with great success. The Trio Restaurant new menu will be launched early November, shortly followed by the new Flavours Restaurant concept emphasizing Far Eastern cuisines.

Let me also reassure you and the viewers that we have no intention to increase our F&B prices as a rule, but rather the opposite, review individual prices and items on an ongoing basis, based on popularity and price resistance, if any.

Rest assured that all the team is committed to providing our guests with the best quality product possible. Your feedback helps us to maintain that quality, and we appreciate your thoughts.

With Best Regards,
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Portsmouth
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2009

Not a great start to our holiday after Thomson Airways tried to seat myself & my husband in separate rows even though paid to travel in their premium section & arriving nearly 5 hours before flight time! After much arguing & a helpful supervisor we were able to be seated together, seriously Thomson sort these problems out people do not want this sort of treatment at the start of a holiday.

When we were met at Male by the Iru Fushi representative she seemed very disorganised & even disappeared with our seaplane boarding passes because of this we missed out on a earlier flight & had a bit of a wait.

We arrived after a 45 minute flight by Seaplane which is a fantastic experiance & were met by Jeremy the Revenue Manager who apologised about the rep at Male & offered us a complementry excursion.

After a cold towel & a drink you are given a thorough overview of the resort & shown to your accomodation which i have to say we found absoloutly wonderful, we stayed in Jacuzzi Beach Villa no 228 & having walked around the many times we felt it was defiantly one of the best stretches of beach to be on as had brilliant swimming and also no disturbance from the arriving & departing Seaplanes & while it is a personal preference as to whether you choose land or water villas for us personally we much preffered the beach villas as depending on the time of day the water villa decks seemed to be in a shaded position most of the time, sure you get some wildlife in your bathing areas but it seemed to lend to the whole feel of the villa & seriously some of the earlier reviews critised the fact that you might have to walk 20-30 feet to get to the beach through a little walkway but honestly these beach villas are so well designed again it just adds to whole experiance, if you aren`t keen on swimming in the glorious Indian Ocean the 2 swimming pools on the resort are amazing.

We stayed half board & felt that the Iru restaurant catered really well to all tastes with fantastic quality & choice, both the chefs & waiting staff were always friendly & welcoming and yes the drinks can be a bit on the pricey side but given the logistics of everything being imported you kind of expect this.

We did the Sunset Dolphin Champagne cruise which was absolutely wonderful,the staff knew exactly where to go to get maximum viewing & their hospitality on board was excellent.

For us our week of R & R could not have been on a more beautiful island The Hilton Iru Fushi did not dissapoint us from the moment we set foot on the Island until the moment we left & all the wonderful, friendly staff are testament to us having such a wonderful time!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JSKling, General Manager at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, responded to this review, October 24, 2009
Hello from the Maldives!

We are delighted to hear that you had a pleasant stay with us. As you have mentioned the resort’s open areas and lush vegetation surrounding our beach villas are one of the most popular features of our island. The beach villas are nestled within the island’s natural vegetation, sufficiently secluded from the beach to ensure privacy, although close enough to capture glimpses of the lagoon.

Thank you for your great feedback. We look forward to your next visit!
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Dunfermline
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2009

This resort absolutely lives up to the Hilton name. Accommodation was excellent, food very good and varied, and the staff just could not do enough to ensure our holiday was the best it could be. The accommodation was spotless and furnished to a high standard - and cleaned twice daily. Would go back to the Hilton Maldives any time!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JSKling, General Manager at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, responded to this review, October 24, 2009
Greetings from the Maldives,

The Iru Fushi team would like to thank you for your nice comments. We are all very happy to hear that you had a wonderful time with us and do appreciate your feedback. We hope to see you again on our magical island and look forward to providing you with many more Hilton moments!
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madrid
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2009

The reason I decided to write this review is because the Irufushi had a rating of just 68% when I made my booking. I booked the Irufushi regardless of the percentage rating becuase after reading the reviews and not just looking at the numbers it seemed to me that the complaints conected to this resort were not very serious ones. It now seems to me that the people who criticise the Irufushi must be on another planet, it is beyond me why people would bother to criticise this resort. My advise is that you take the reviews here with a pinch of salt and that you read them properly and not just to look at the percentage rating. In this way you will get a good idea of what to expect from each resort and then you can decide what is important to you and what isn´t. However, if you want to find a great resort, stop agonising and not spoil all the nice suprises then stop reading these reviews and book a waterbungalow in the Irufushi, if not read on...........

If you have read several reviews already and seen some pictures then you will already know that the maldives is a string of islands (some are inhabited, some are resorts and some are semi virgin). The islands are made up of clusters of islands called atolls. A resort consists of an island privately owned by a hotel company that goes to genuinely astonishing lengths to turn their tiny little island surrounded by white sand and turquoise water in the middle of the indian ocean into a place where wealthy tourists from around the world can feel comfortable and pampered. Once there it is easy to forget just where you are and how far away you are from anything. Irufushi is a one hour seaplane ride from Male and Male is about 800km away from the southern tip of Indian. That our waterbungalow had fresh running water and electricity is something I personally find rather impressive. However, as a guest in the Irufushi you are invited to expect to the best and most modern luxuries. During our stay we were told that there were about 150 guests and around 450 team members. These team members looked after our every need, they were pleasant, helpful, always with a ready smile and weren´t obviously looking for tips. I have worked myself in several hotels and I can honestly say that every staff member I met would serve as a fine example to many european hotel workers who earn 10 times more working half the hours.

Perhaps you are reading these reviews so that someone will tell you the truth, so here is what we found. The room was spotless, cleaned three times a day, the towels were changed three times a day, the quality of the decoration and fixtures in the room was astonishing, the views were incredible and a swimming pool style metal ladder took us from our balconey to the warm ocean full of a wide aray of tropical fish. The food was buffet style but was truly exceptional in quality and variety, the restaurant had a new ice sculpture every night and every morning at sunrise before we walked to the restaurant an army of female team members would spend a couple of hours sweeping the jungle paths and beach so that no stray leaves would come between us and our perfect holiday. The snorkeling is fantastic and there were lots of trips out to other islands. The scuba dive centre is modern with excellent equipment. The Spa is simply amazing and I struggle to imagine how much it would cost for even the most simple treatment in a Spa of this quality in the centre of London, if one even exists. My general impression was that despite being an expensive holiday it actually represents very good value for money. If I really had to criticise I would say the resort was too "perfect", it took a couple of days for my feelings of guilt to fade.

Last but not least; we went in August and the weather was fantastic, it rained only a couple of hours on only one day.

Bon voyage.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2009

We'll start this review by saying this is our first visit to the Maldives, our expectations were high but we do not consider ourselves overly fussy!

We booked with First Choice, all inclusive in a Jacuzzi water villa, staying from 21st to 28th September 2009.

After the 11 hour flight direct from Gatwick to Male, we checked our luggage in with the Maldives Air Taxi before being taken by air conditioned bus to the sea plane terminal. Here we were shown to the Hilton Irufushi departure lounge and were given cold towels and complimentary drinks. After about an hour waiting we were told that our sea plane would be departing at 12.30 which was a further half hour wait. This wasn't too much of a problem as we were comfortable but it would have been nice to know straight away how long we would be waiting.

The sea plane left on time and both my wife and I admit this is an amazing experience, and would definately choose to do this again rather than a speed boat transfer which other resorts have. You get a fantastic view of the islands enroute and the 45 minute journey time flys by!

On arrival at the resort we were welcomed by several members of staff, again with cold towels. After identifying our luggage we walked down the jetty and into Water's Edge bar where we were given complimentary welcome drinks whilst we checked in. We did not have to worry about our luggage as this is taken directly from the sea plane and gets reunited with us in a couple of hours - so remember to take something light to change into in your hand luggage, something we'd previously read about doing!

During check in it became apparent that we had not been allocated the correct villa. When questioning this the staff member had to go back and check with reservations. A couple of minutes later he returned and agreed that we had indeed booked a jacuzzi water villa, but there was a problem with the jacuzzi. He asked if we would be prepared to stay in a water villa for 2 nights and then move to our correct jacuzzi water villa after. For the inconvenience we were given a complimentary excursion of our choice. Although disappointed, we knew there wasn't an alternative and therefore took the offer. This wasn't too bad because after we moved villas we realised that the only difference is the jacuzzi, other than that they are identical, and we got to enjoy both sides of the island as well as the complimentary champagne dolphin sunset cruise. A bonus in our eyes!

The water villas are spacious, clean, luxurious, air conditioned, and have breath taking views of the indian ocean. The LCD TV and Bose surround sound system are a nice touch, along with the i-spa bath tub. The glass floor section is a nice point of interest although we didn't actually see many fish! The wet room rain shower is nice, the "his" and "hers" sinks prevents getting in each others way! The i-spa bath has sliding doors that open fully, given you an amazing open air feel with fantastic views. Plenty of small and large towels were provided along with bath robes and complimentary toiletries. The bed was king size and we found it very comfortable, again with fantastic views given that it is right opposite the main sliding doors which open onto the decking. The decking itself was spacious, and has 2 sun loungers, table and 2 chairs aswell as an outdoor couch which is well undercover. The soft furnishing outside were a little grubby but I guess as they remain outdoors throught rain or shine this can't be helped. We had large towels which we put over the sun loungers as per normal anyway! The jacuzzi was great fun, although the setting were maybe not quite right on ours as we sometimes found it would turn itself on during the night to heat up. Be warned that the intense sun has the power to heat the water to above 40 degress during the day as my wife found out, maybe a cover for the jacuzzi would prevent this, but these are not provided. However it was great to use and we clocked up a good few hours in the tub! Another good point about having the water villa is that there are alot less insects around - a point we had also read before hand. After seeing the beach villas we would definately recommend that if you're going to the Maldives it's worth that bit extra to get a water villa. A point to note is that during high tide, the sea can get a little noisy if you're in one of the villas near the edge of the reef. We were in 620 (non-jacuzzi) and 425 (jacuzzi) and found that during high tide we could hear the sea sloshing around, but this all adds to the experience!

On the 3rd day when we were due to move to the jacuzzi water villa, we found that we had to chase reception to ensure they were on the case. It was during this that we also found out that it was a case of double booking rather than a problem with the jacuzzi that caused us to be given the wrong villa to start with. Therefore we had to wait until the afternoon before being able to move. From talking to other guests we don't think we were the only ones who had to move due to double bookings. Maybe this was something that happened because of the take over from Hilton, even still it should not have happened.

The island itself is stunning, still looking natural and untouched. It takes about 45 mins to walk round the whole island, which my wife and I did every morning. There are a couple of sections of beach that are clearly being affected by erosion, but the staff are doing all they can to battle this by replacing the sand and using sandbags. On the whole the beach is amazing, powdery white sand and crystal clear sea.

Coming inland from the beach there are sandy paths that lead through lush vegetation, although to start with it seems like you're in a maze, there are plenty of signposts and you quickly discover that it's easy to navigate round the whole island using these paths. A night they are gently lite at ground level, but each villa also has a touch so you can take this with you if you want. Don't be lazy and get a buggy, it's so much nicer to walk!!!

Due to being all inclusive, we ate mainly at the Iru Restaurant. There was a large variety of hot and cold foods, fruit, cereal and cakes for breakfast. We did not try out lunch, but the evening meals follow a different theme each night, although this mainly consisted of rice and different cooked meats and fish. There was also stations for pasta, breads, salads and deserts. Definately something for everybody, but if you are very fussy you might find you're eating similar meals most nights. The staff were very friendly, quick to remove plates and take drink orders and to generally help if required.

We did not venture into the other 2 restaurants however we heard from other guests that the food was good.

The 2 pools are both very good, we spent most of our time by the jungle pool and fluid bar. The pool water was warm, always plenty of free sun beds. As soon as we arrived at the pool each day the staff would bring over 2 towels each to use, and take drinks orders. We had lunch here twice and can highly recommend the beef/cheese burger. Staff were very friendly and happy, offering to take photos for us, keeping us topped up with drinks and keeping the area around the pool tidy. The reflections infinity pool is adults only, and has a great view of the sea. The bar here was expensive for drinks and was not included as part of the all inclusive package. Amazing views of the sunset can be seen from here, definately worth spending an evening here.

Overall we had an amazing time, but would say that one week is plenty. Visiting the Maldives should definately be on your list of things to do, and doing it at the Hilton Irufushi resort is certainly not a bad choice. Make sure your camera has a big memory card; we took over 800 pictures!

We would like to thank the staff, they were all fantastic, helpful and friendly and made us feel very welcome.

If anyone wants to ask a question about anything specific, please feel free to send us a message.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hong Kong
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2009

My wife and I have just returned from a 7 day stay at the Hilton Iru Fushi resort. Having relied on reports on TripAdvisor (which are extremely useful and accurate btw) for our past few holidays, I thought it was about time that I made a contribution as well. I'll try to be as objective and thorough as possible, and hopefully others will find this useful.

To preface this report, I just want to add that my wife and I are well travelled and have stayed in arguably some of the best hotels/resorts around the world, so our standards are high and we expect nothing but the best. Also, this is our second time in the Maldives, and last year we stayed at the Banyan Tree.

Transfer to the resort:
As our flight arrived at Male late in the evening, we had to stay overnight before catching a seaplane to the Hilton the next morning. Our transfer was scheduled to leave at approximately 6am, so we arrived at the terminal just after 5:30am. We were taken to Hilton's private lounge which was spacious and comfortable, and were offered juice and coffee upon arrival.

The plane left on time and the flight to Iru Fushi took approximately 1 hour, with a quick stopover at another resort on the way. The ride was fairly pleasant and the views were stunning, but both my wife and I agreed that a slightly shorter trip would have been nice.

Checking in:
Upon arriving at Iru Fushi, we were greeted by a gentleman who took us to the Water's Edge bar where we were given cold towels and a welcome drink. He also gave us a quick overview of the facilities on the island, and then walked us to our beach villa. The whole check-in process was quick and painless.

Rooms:
We stayed for 3 nights in a jacuzzi beach villa, and then a further 3 nights in a jacuzzi water villa; I'll begin with the beach villa.

First impressions of the room were that it was spacious and the ambience was pleasing. Generally, the room layout was good. There was a porch out front, and a private deck area in the back with the bathroom facilities, a jacuzzi and room for a couple of sun chairs. There were quite a few "lounge" areas both inside and outside where you could snuggle up to enjoy a book, but I couldn't seem to get comfortable in any of them for any period of time, perhaps as there was no view of the ocean. I ended up doing a lot of sun bathing on the sun chairs in the back porch.

The location of the room itself was not at all ideal. As noted by some earlier reviews, there are some "beach" villas which were not on the beach at all! Unfortunately ours was one of them. To access the beach, we had to walk about 20-30 meters through a narrow sandy lane, which might not seem like a big deal, but it really put a damper on our mood to just jump into the sea for a quick dip and then retreat back to the comfort of the air conditioned room. As a further side note, there was a private pagoda halfway between the beach and our room, but we had absolutely no desire to use it as it had no sun, no view, and to be honest it looked quite dirty and wasn’t well maintained.

A further problem with the beach villas was the amount of insects and creepy crawlies, something that was thankfully not present later on at the water villas. By the second morning, even though we had brought our own mosquito repellent and used it liberally, I had a dozen bites around my body. There were also lots of lizards and bees, which were not really a problem and were expected on a tropical island, but take note if you get squeamish about these things. I think a simple improvement that the hotel could make would be to put up a net over the bed, this would have made sleeping at night much more comfortable.

After the disappointment of the drawbacks of the beach villa, we were looking forward to moving to the water villa on our fourth day. But before we could make the move, I had to telephone the reception numerous times to remind them before finally in the afternoon they sent someone with a buggy to pick up our luggage and take us to the water villa.

To put it simply, the water villas are exactly what a Maldivian holiday should be! The water villas are definitely worth the extra money over the beach villas. There are large windows throughout the room where you could look out at the Indian Ocean, and although smaller, the room is brighter and much more comfortable. The outside deck was magnificent and we spent a lot of time lounging around there and didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. There was a ladder which gave direct access to the sea and as the villas are built on a sand bank, even at high tide the water was quite shallow and you could walk out quite a distance.

There were a few minor complaints however. Firstly, the cd player in our room would not work properly, the machine was running but we couldn’t get sound from the speakers, so we called a technician to come and fix it. After a long time fiddling with the system, he told us that the machine was faulty and he would send someone else to replace it, but when the second technician arrived, music magically started playing from the speakers. Also, the jacuzzi in the bathroom was not functioning, however as we didn’t plan on using it much, we didn’t bother to tell anyone to fix it. Finally and most importantly, if you are expecting extreme privacy, you will not find it here. The villas are built very close together, and although they are on a tangent with protruding wooden fences, meaning you can’t see people in any other villa from your own, if you go out for a swim, it doesn’t take much to see onto other people’s decks and inside their rooms if they have their blinds up.

Housekeeping at both rooms were adequate, but when we checked into the water villa, there was a bottle of half consumed water still on the bar, and toiletries were not fully restocked daily.

Food:
On a sun and beach holiday, and especially on an isolated island, food was high on our priorities list. As we had read that the island offered 4 different restaurants, we decided not to take the full/half board option because we wanted more variety to our meals. Upon arrival however, we found out that one of the restaurants – Flavours, was closed for renovation. This left us with The Trio, Islander’s Grill and Iru Restaurant as our only options. Iru Restaurant was where breakfast was served daily, and where people who took the full/half board option had their buffet lunch/dinner. We aren’t heavy eaters in the morning, but we still found the breakfast buffet to be lacking, not in terms of variety, but the overall quality. At the better resorts we’ve stayed at in the past, fruits were usually cut fresh in front of you, and hot dishes did not taste like we were eating in a canteen. So we ended up having the same few things everyday, and didn’t bother to have breakfast in the final two days of our stay. We usually had lunch beside one of the two pools on the island, and the food was excellent. Burger and fries were tasty, as was the pizza.

We split our dinners between The Trio and Islander’s Grill, and liked both equally. As its name suggests, Islander’s Grill focuses mainly on grilled meats and seafood. Fresh seafood is always going to be good, but their steaks and other meats were also of decent quality. The Trio on the other hand has more of a gourmet flair, with a little bit of an Italian twist. The indoor section has a more formal feel, rather than the relaxed atmosphere of Islander’s Grill. The different foods we tried were all good, with generous proportions, and found the wine selection to be also good, with wines starting from about US$30 for a bottle, all the way to vintage Grand Crus. There are great sunset views at both restaurants, but beware though as the outdoor sections can get quite windy. Both my wife and I agreed that had we stayed on the island for over a week, we would start to get bored with the food.

I’m not usually one to fuss about prices when I’m on holiday, and I must admit that most prices on food and drinks were acceptable, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that one night, there was a seafood BBQ buffet at Islander’s Grill, and the charge was US$150 per person, which is simply outrageous! Now I’ve had my fair share of expensive food over the years, costing much more than US$150 per head, but never have I seen a simple buffet for quite so much money, and that’s without a free flow of wine or champagne!

A final note to future visitors, don’t think that just because you’re in a resort that you will not need a reservation, you do! We were turned away from Islander’s Grill one night not because the restaurant was full, but we were told that they just can’t handle more guests. We were nearly turned away at The Trio on the same night, but we ended up having to take one of the windy outdoor tables. On an island with not much choice in restaurants, that’s not acceptable at all.

People:
In any hotel, especially a five star island resort, you would expect every staff member you meet to be friendly and polite, however that was not the case at Iru Fushi. Granted, none of them were outright rude, and we did encounter some genuinely nice staff during our stay, but on the whole, from receptionists to groundskeepers, some further interpersonal skills training wouldn’t hurt. At times we felt like some of the staff thought it was a chore to be dealing with guests, and very rarely did we get a genuine smile or greeting while being around the island. Training given by large hotel chains such as Hilton may be the culprit behind these impersonal encounters, and while I fully understand that English is not the first language of most of the staff, we were not looking for long and engaging conversations. On many occasions a staff member would ask us where we were from, and once we replied, they would give an uninterested look and turn away, as if it was a question they were forced to ask by the hotel management. In contrast, one evening we were engaged in the same conversation with a waiter, and he not only told us about where he was from, but also invited us to visit his country in the future. It’s encounters like this with day to day staff members which make a good resort into an exceptional resort. I just hope that Iru Fushi could become an exceptional resort in the future by having all staff members performing their duties whole-heartedly.

Activities:
There were plenty of activities to keep us occupied throughout our stay. My wife and I love to snorkel, but the house reef was a little bit of a disappointment. There are some nice corals and larger fish at the very edges of the reef, but that meant a long walk/swim which can get tiring before you even see anything interesting. We were also disappointed by the fact that snorkeling gear had to be rented, luckily we knew this beforehand and brought our own. We did not go on any dives, but did check out the dive centre which looked first class.

We went on a sunset fishing cruise one evening and although we didn’t catch anything, we had a blast. On the way out to the fishing point, a few dolphins swam with the boat which was an unexpected bonus. Everything was prepared for you onboard so all you had to do was drop the line and hope for the best. On the return journey we were served with some lights snacks and a drink. At the end of the trip, we had the choice to pick one of the fish caught by the staff to eat at Islander’s Grill the following day at a cost of US$25 per person. We picked out a large Grouper which was cooked to perfection.

If you plan to enjoy some DVDs at the resort, bring your own! The so-called DVD library was a joke. There were a handful of movies available, most of which I had never heard of. I was shocked to find that all the DVDs were pirated versions! Shame on you Hilton.

Conclusion:
Despite all the problems with this resort, did we have a good time? Yes. If this was our first trip to the Maldives, I would probably be raving about it, but it’s not, and the Banyan Tree was just so much better suited to our needs on many levels. Would we come back to the Hilton Iru Fushi? Probably not. There are just too many choices in the Maldives for me to revisit a resort we were not 100% happy with. As the title says, reasonably good, but not good enough…

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JSKling, General Manager at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, responded to this review, October 15, 2009
Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay at the Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa.

I am sincerely sorry to hear that some aspects of your stay with us did not uphold to the Hilton standards and excellence we strive to deliver consistently. Your elaborate feedback is extremely valuable as it provides us with an opportunity to assess and improve our service at every level.

As you are more than aware, Hilton has only been flying the flag at Iru Fushi since a couple of months and we acknowledge that we still have a journey ahead of us to reach all components that will attribute to an ideal Hilton Resort with exceptional service.

I remain at your disposal for any further assistance you may require.

Thank you and warm regards,

Jean-Sebastien Kling
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwick, UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2009

As most know - Hilton took over the management of Iru Fushi beg July 09. Whilst we were there it was obvious that they mean business, but have a lot to do. One of their main things to do is to open the 4th restaurant, which was closed on our visit, to a Japanese feature restaurant in November sometime.

Where do I start...... well let me point out....I am quite fussy have high standards and have stayed in many a 4-5* plus hotels / resorts, and have been to the Maldives now twice, the other resort being Anantara, which we would highly recommend to anybody. But in comparison, Iru fushi is very much in its shadow.

If you are fussy please read these points:
The only really sunset side is in the area of the main pool where only adults can go. The island is say sausage shape. Lets say the bottom of the sausage faces West, the Seaplane landing side faces South, the top of the island faces East and the other side is North. We stayed 3 night in over Watervilla and did not see the sunset and we stayed 8 nights in jacuzzi beach villa and did not see the sunset, even though we were told both villas were sunset side.....

Not all beach villas are exactly on the beach. Some are set some 20 meters or so back in the vegetation. We were showed our beach villa only to look out and see jungle, we did not take this villa.

Some of the cushions on the surrounding outdoor terrace and the detached terrace are mouldy, and need washing or changing.

The little roadways and paths to villas are scrupulously raked and swept by the lovely ladies in green; the corals and broken shells brought in by the tides are raked and taken away - but nobody bothered at all about the beach area where you would have your sunlounger, so after lots of rain showers and storms, broken palms and vegetation were all over this little area, but not one time did anyone take the time to clear this mess up.

Also around this same sun lounger beach area we found broken clay tiles left some kind of building works. A little wooden divider fence about 8" high broken with exposed nails.

Inside the beach villa - the wall that the bed was against - had rising damp (of some kind) this had been repaired but to no avail, and the paint was coming off the wall and white fur growing on it and it was flaky droping onto the floor.

In the water villa we got better room service, better housekeeping, more shower gels etc and more coffee.

The beach villa room boy was not really interested in his job. Many times i had to ask him to refill the pot of water on the back terrace to rinse our feet of sand. The mini-bar was not refilled everyday, even though we were reminded to sign the receipts, still not refilled, one day later. Only four nescafe coffee sachets, four creamer powders etc at only one time, again not always replaced. The bathroom floor was only swept not washed. One time our beach towels were not replaced....we were using them as he did not do our room till 12noon time.

One the mini-bar order form, there was some anti-mosquito body spray, this was not available, I had forgotten all our deet anti mosquito spray at home. Of course then for the first 3 evening I was a good meal for the local mozzies. After asking about 4 times at reception one person had the idea to get some from the doctors. This worked and I was also weariing sleeves and covered my legs. But then we were bitten in other places, on tops of legs, middle of backs, etc. These were a different bite and happened in the bedroom. We requested insect spray for the room and used this morning - noon and evening......but still got bitten. I think as a matter of course the management should have nets in each beach villa and ensure they are 'insect bombed' regularly. We leave a tip at the end of our visit.......

There is a hair dryer - if you have long hair, or need to use it more than a quick one-two, take your own! The hair dryer cord is a very heavy duty tightly corkscrewed and short in length. Hard work.

The beach villa curtains were dirty, shabby and hanging off the rail a little bit.

The bed is as hard as a rock (both in the water villa & beach villa) - my partner also agreed with this point. The pillows were not that good either, if i had known, I would have brought my own pillow. The linen was good quality and clean.

Do not rely on the fact that there are supposed to be DVD's to borrow/rent- there was only 2 there, all the rest about 5 were childrens !!!

Do not rely on the internet connection. 45 mins to log on and to send one email that was not received. Managed to make about 5 mobile phone calls

The sea seemed always to be rough. Around the water villas where we for 3 days,the sea was over 6' deep most of the times and there were currents and waves. I am not a confident swimmer so only went into the sea at the beach villa when the tide was going out. No using my lilo here!

The food was very good. I would suggest though that at breakfast the chef watching over the pancakes should lend a hand to the overworked chef at the egg station. Usually there was a queue of 4 or 5 guests waiting for eggs. The chefs were great and listened if you made suggestions, most impressed ! Do not miss the Monday Sushi evening in the Iru restaurant. Go early, as come 8.pm most of the good things were gone and no more came out.

This Iru restaurant was lowly lit, which we sort of got used to. But the maroon runner cloths on the brown wooden tables did not brighten the very big dining room or which there were three of them. ~Alcoholic drinks tooks 20-30 mins to appear and not always what you asked for. Bottles of wine are offered and you can get a decent one for $30 not the best and not a good choice, most were around $50-60. The home baked bread every meal time was exceptional as were the deserts. Beware - meal times are displayed on the board, but when it states 10pm closing, it means exactly that !!! to the point that we went to dinner at 9.30pm and at 9.50 when we were eatiing our main course, we were advised to go and get our desert now otherwise it will be taken away at 10pm. Not only that, at 10pm dead on the dot, the music was switched off and the usually slow waiters picked up their step rushing around setting up the tables for breakfast. The waiters were not happy and not very helpful.

We also dined in the Trio Restaurant which was simply devine, the service was great, the food exceptional, the wine good and the cocktails good. And they did not kick you out at 10pm.

The other restaurant, Island Grill was only about 30 meters away from the Trio but was not as good at all. Again here come 10pm the chef and waiters were all waiting by the bar for us to finish...... lights when down. We left the restaurant with all the staff !!

The main adult pool is very sheltered and not much sun comes through the vegetation and trees. There is not much beach here as it is being eroded with the tides. About 10 sunloungers all lined up next to each other.
Both pools are black stone, nice and unusual, but watch out if you have an expensive bikini or swimsuit as it is rough and snags the material.
The waiters here happy and very helpful.

Beach errosion is happening still. And for about 3 days near our villa, the boys were filling up lots and lots of white bags with sand to take to where the beach was disappearing. There are very big black sea walls that show most of the time. The smell of fuel fumes from I think the sea planes was unpleasant. Had I known about both of these I would have not stayed here.

The Dive Centre a 5 Star Gold Palm Paddi - exceptionally professional, well organised, multi lingual, good equipment. Very good dive masters.

On the whole, I would go back to Anantara in a heart beat, but alas I would not come to Iru Fushi again. It is not worth the long seaplane journey. Though that in itself was nice.

After trying to walk to our beach villa after dinner (we are over 55 years) we got lost, it was quite dark and not many people around. We took golf buggies then everywhere. The driver was happy, chatty and very refreshing compared to the waiters and staff at the Iru restaurant

The General Manager wrote to us regarding our comments but only said -
"I am sincerely sorry to hear that some aspects of your stay with us did not uphold to the Hilton standards and excellence we strive to deliver consistently. Your elaborate feedback is extremely valuable as it provides us with an opportunity to assess and improve our service at every level.

I sincerely hope that we will have another occasion to rectify this for you.
Despite this recent experience, I hope to be able to welcome you back with us again on a future trip to the Maldives.

Upon that visit, please let me know beforehand so I can make sure you will have a most pleasant stay.

I remain at your disposal for any further assistance you may require.

Kind regards,
Jean-Sebastien Kling | General Manager & Island Chief

So a tip...... let Jean-Sebastien know you are coming so that he can ensure you have a pleasant stay !!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JSKling, General Manager at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives, responded to this review, September 28, 2009
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time to air your concerns which I read with great care. I am truly sorry to learn further details of your unpleasant experience at the Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa. However, your remarks are very much appreciated as they help us to improve both our service and product.

As you are aware, Hilton has only been flying the flag at Iru Fushi for a couple of months and we acknowledge that we still have a journey ahead of us to reach all components that will attribute to an ideal Hilton Resort.
I certainly take your comments to heart. Please rest assured that this is not on par with the standards set by our resort and corrective action has already been initiated, some of which include the following:-
- The upholstery of our outdoor furniture is being replaced as we speak
- Insect spray is now available in all the villas. Although we faced some disruption in the delivery of our mosquito repellant, this is also now available to all guests who wish to purchase some. The resort's open areas and lush vegetation are one of the most popular features of our island but do, needless to say, leave us exposed to the natural surroundings of the island, including the insects found around the resort. Although very thorough pest control is undertaken to maintain the comfort of all of our guests, it sometimes remains difficult to exhaust every area of the resort over such an expanse of land.
- Regarding the Internet connectivity on the island, it is true to say that being so remote, we do sometimes experience some technical issues. We are working with our Maldivian Internet provider to find better technical solutions to increase the bandwidth between the island and Male. This will be resolved in the near future when the technical capability of our internet provider is enhanced.
- Beach erosion is a seasonal phenomenon throughout the Maldives and does affect differing sides of our island on a random basis depending on the current and the two monsoon cycles that we encounter every year. We try to prevent it as much as possible, but sometimes this quite simply has to be left to nature.

Please rest assured that we are committed to providing our guests with the best quality of products and service possible. Your feedback helps us to maintain that quality, and we appreciate you letting us know your thoughts for improvements.

We hope that despite the issues, you had a pleasant stay and I do look forward to being given the opportunity to personally welcome you back to the Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa.

I am, of course, always personally happy to assist in any matters; likewise, the entire team is here to ensure that all of our guests are more than well taken care of. Although some hiccups may be encountered we will always do our best to resolve any problems while you are on the island with us and we pay great attention to ensure that all guests are treated equally.

Kind regards,

Jean-Sebastien Kling
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives

Address: 2036 (Formerly Iru Fushi Beach & Spa Resort)
Location: Maldives > Noonu Atoll > Iru-fushi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Iru-fushi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 221
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi we invite you to let go of your worldly concerns and simply enjoy the moment - on you own, with your partner, with your family. To soak up the stunning environment of our 52-acre island, revel in the luxuries of our traditional Maldivian villas, indulge in mouth-watering cuisine across our 11 restaurants, and experience our diverse array of leisure activities that will see you speeding across the ocean's surface and delving beneath its depths. We also invite you to discover, to learn, to connect. DISCOVER LIVING Inspired by nature, enveloping. Shaded havens open onto pristine stretches of powdery beach, the lagoon and its delights waiting patiently. Strolling at sunrise along the water's edge, the sky blushing deep rose. Laying in the shallows to bask in pure sunlight, waves gently caressing, schools of fish teasing. Feeling that life was always meant to be like this - savouring each moment. DISCOVER FLAVOUR Maldivian culinary arts and traditions come alive across 11 diverse restaurants. Fresh local flavours - served with tropical flair. Tantalising aromas carry on the breeze from live cooking stations. Seafood specialities and homemade hearty treats. Authentic Asian and gourmet light bites. Indulge in local and international fusions of sumptuous ingredients and delicious flavours. Casual settings paired with fine cuisine. Speciality wines individually selected by our expert Sommelier. Feast at the water's edge. The sound of a sizzling grill blended with the lapping of the waves. DISCOVER FREEDOM • Beach • Main swimming pool with children's area • Infinity-edged lap pool • PADI five-star dive centre • Water sports centre • Fully equipped gymnasium • Tennis courts • Badminton courts • Spa • Library • Kids' Club DISCOVER RELAXATION With the entire island a sanctuary of natural beauty, there is no need to hide away. Instead The Spa at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi is an open immersion - in organic earth and vibrant sea - the elements from which Ayurveda draws its centuries-old healing power. At The Spa we have perfected this ancient holistic tradition, blending its timeless wisdom with contemporary practices found both East and West. Our resident Ayurvedic Doctor guides our guests on their own personalised journeys to wellness both during their stay and beyond. Meanwhile, expert practitioners - in traditional massage, authentic Maldivian-inspired rituals and world-renowned wellness practices - combine finely honed knowledge with a naturally healing touch. DISCOVER COMMUNITY We engage in proactive yet culturally respective social responsibility efforts, helping to preserve the atoll's traditions while also bettering livelihoods. Along the way, we invite guests who seek a deeper understanding of the atoll's people and culture to take part - from spending a day with local fishermen who supply our restaurants, to practicing English with children at the village school, to trading stories and recipes with the women as they prepare the day's catch. Our guests leave with a unique insight into the Maldives, enriched by its culture and traditions. Meanwhile our communities benefit from the support offered by The Sun Siyam - and their meaningful engagement with you. We warmly welcome you to our home, and into our hearts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Hotel Noonu Atoll
Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort And Spa
Hilton Noonu Atoll
Noonu Atoll Hilton

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