We have just arrived back after 10 wonderful nights at the Athuruga Island Resort. We booked through Kuoni and flew with Emirates (and Maldivian Air Taxi's). After a fairly pleasant flight from Manchester / Dubai we arrived on schedule at Male - unfortunately it was raining! Passport control / baggage was relatively quick, word of warning Maldives is a Muslim country so you cannot import alcohol - unlike the poor German tourist that tried to! We soon were waiting for the Sea Plane to take us to Athuruga, warning - they do weigh all of your luggage and excess is charged $2 per kilo - anyway $18 worse off by 10.45am we were in the air on our way to Athuruga.
After a flight of approximately 25 minutes we arrived at Athuruga, to be greeted by Bryen and colleagues, after concluding the administration we were shown to our water villa. The island has adopted its own time zone and is 1hr ahead of Male. I had previously emailed the island to see if we could have a specific water villa, as other posters on the forum have indicated they do not respond to emails - although we got the villa that we wanted. The resort knew that we had visited Thudufushi (10 years ago) and had left a complimentary bottle of wine in the room. The rooms are large, with a huge bed, walk in wardrobe, seperate shower room, WC and basins etc, outside there is a large decked area with (in our case) a double sun lounger, table and sofa, steps ran down from the decked area into the clear sea - we regularly had Reef Sharks playing / feeding on the steps.
The food was marvellous - evening meals / breakfast were taken in the Water Villa Restaurant with lunch in the main island restaurant. If you have any dietary preferances you should make them known to reception as there is a lot of fish on the menu! Service is excellent - we were served by Waseem for the duration of the stay. Afternoon tea is delivered to the room by your "Room Boy", in our case Shiyaam, at around 5.00pm.
The weather was a little odd in that it was cloudy and overcast on the 1st and 3rd day, on the 2nd day we had heavy rain which lasted most of the day off and on, it was very windy and on the 1st night it did feel like the room was moving - hence the life jackets made by the bizarrely named "Dongtai Xinghua Labor Insurance Thing Factory" (see photo). The remaining 7 days were wall to wall sunshine - although it was constantly windy, apparently the lagoon side villa's were less windy than the "ocean" side and the island was less windy still. The villas are on the western side of the island and have a north / south aspect - ours caught the sun in the morning and late afternoon.
Sadly it was so exhausting doing nothing that i haven't a clue what entertainment there was at night - there was an Italian singer in the main restaurant who sang at lunch in English and Italian
On our ten minute walk around the island we noticed quite a bit of erosion in front of the bungalows facing the villa's - these were mostly the detached bungalows.
Someone has commented elsewhere that the steps into the sea were slippy - when we arrived ours were but unprompted someone spent an hour cleaning them - i expect that this is a constant battle. If you are not a confident swimmer, it would be worth requesting a villa numbered 1 - 5 as the sea is not as deep probably 4 - 5 foot deep at high tide as opposed to the 7 foot deep where we were
I can't comment on the entertainment / activities as we were never pressured to take part nor can i comment about the spa as we didn't use it.
I would have no hesitation in recommending this resort to my friends as we had a marvellous time and were well looked after - the AI concept works very well. Would i go back - yes!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Athuruga Island Resort is the twin island of its sister Thundufushi. The island comprises of a thick vegetation of coconut palms and surrounded by powdery beach which extends to one side of the island. The lagoon on this side is small and the superb house reef is within the swimming distance while on the other side the lagoon is very large, sandy and is ideal for paddling around. Athuruga Island resort is best described as an elegant and intimate holiday resort with a high standard of service which offers offer All Inclusive only. There are only 51 rooms, named as 46 Beach Bungalows and 05 garden Villas. Catamaran, laser boat, canoe, windsurfs offered free to guests who must be experienced & licensed for these activities. Snorkeling equipment are offered free against a deposit towards loss of damage. Free guided snorkeling on house reef daily. Free laundry service. Aerobic, stretching, water gym and dance lessons free of charge.1 sunset fishing and 1 fisherman island excursion per stay included free. Beach towels provided free. Free doctor's service and infirmary. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Diamonds Athuruga Beach And Water Villas
- Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas Hotel South Ari Atoll
- Athuruga Hotel South Ari Atoll