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“This is about food on the island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of LUX* Maldives

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LUX* Maldives
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Dhidhoofinolhu, South Ari Atoll, Maldives, Maldives (Formerly Diva Maldives)   |  
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Brussels, Belgium
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“This is about food on the island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013 via mobile

I will tell immediately, food in resorts of Maldives, considering that they need to import and bring by sea everything, should never be expected to be like, for example, in the Carribean. I can compare LUX*, for example, with Bandos resort. It was a pleasant surprise our first dinner here, at the Kitchen restaurant. We did not expect such a variety and quality. I already mentioned the excellent service in the resort - it is the same standard in the restaurants of course. However, I'm a bit disappointed about breakfasts. I have my own grading system for resorts, very simple: I need perfect omelet, salmon and fresh tropical fruit mixes made at the place. Mimosa drink (50/50 champaign and orange juice) is an extra to qualify for 5*. Regret to say that LUX* qualifies for 4* only - no salmon, no papaya other juices and omelets could be better. But if you don't need salmon like me, than it's really good - you've got selection of Japanese (Asian) food, pancakes, other staff and good coffee. Your morning will start in a good healthy way. Enjoy your day!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMLUX, General Manager at LUX* Maldives, responded to this review, August 20, 2013
We very much welcome your views, experiences and recommendations as this feedback allows us to create lasting memories for all our guests. I am glad that your first dinner at Island Kitchen was a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, your first breakfast did not manage to reach your expectations, but from your comments upon departure I learned that you were impressed by all meals after that, which certainly was a much welcomed comment! As you correctly mentioned we have to import just about everything but always aim for having the perfect selection available.

Thank you again for your comments and kind regards,
Dominik
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Brussels, Belgium
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

We arrived just yesterday, so I might write adds-up to my review. So far strictly to the facts: upon arrival to Male we had to wait for around 2 hours for our flight to the island. But the waiting time was enjoyable: excellent LUX* lounge with good complimentary food and drinks. The hostess filed all the necessary info for the hotel so that at the reception on the island we had no formalities any more. And free WiFi and plug adapters to charge your e-staff. After a short flight On the aquaplane, we were welcome by the manager and hostesses and accompanied to our rooms. I've never lived really on the beach - the terrace is 5m from the lagoon with all the privacy you may need (you even can swim naked at night if you wish;)). Your bathroom with 2 showers and a tube is in your small private garden! A bottle of champaign to welcome you. Super kind people! Will write separate reviews about dive centre and food, just for you to know that both are very good too. Watersports center for those who want to stay a bit active. As a problem - we had difficulties so far to find free bicycles. Will be looking harder. Well, going to play tennis now. Ciao ;)).

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMLUX, General Manager at LUX* Maldives, responded to this review, August 20, 2013
Thank you for taking your time to post your experience. I am glad that our team from LUX* Maldives lounge ensured you had a personalized and warm welcome. I would also like to thank you for noticing the various features of our villas. Our aim is to give comfort to our guests and I’m glad to see that you felt that.


I hope you enjoyed your tennis game and the remainder of your holiday!

With kind regards,
Dominik
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

If you've never been to the Maldives then you'll be blown away by the whole experience, but if like me you've been 10+ times then you'll be disappointed by LUX.
The resort used to be called Diva and was originally an Italian resort which got into financial difficulty. It then became part of the LUX group but with the exception of the brand name, little else has been upgraded.
The rooms are tired and worn, we stayed in a beach villa and it was average vs other resorts. The beach outside our room was practically gone which could have been readily fixed by dredging sand round the island.
Now to anyone who has not been to the Maldives this must sound preposterous but its not. These islands are heavily man made and that includes the sand which is bought in by the boat load to cover the islands, so moving sand to where there are just rocks and exposed sand bags isn't a big job.
The yoga area is very disappointing, you get the impression that its Yoga on the beach but it's in fact yoga on a decking area where the varnish is peeling and covered in ants. Perhaps move the area literally to the beach and people would enjoy it more....most guests said they found the area disappointing although the teacher was excellent. This is a simple fix.
The gym had all the basics but looked like an after thought and was housed in this impossibly small room which wasn't very inviting.
The food was good, in particular Senses and Allegria but you need to book well in advance. We stayed for 2 weeks and found you needed to book days in advance as they got full very quickly. Once we realised the schedule of the buffet restaurant menus then we just booked up days in advance which rather spoils the laid back attitude you expect in the Maldives.
It's much more of a "quirky" island with a few gimics like the hidden bar...you can spend the day wandering the island looking for this bar on wheels only to find that if you want a drink from it you have to pay....rather loses the point !
What else is different is that due to the size of the island, bikes are available to hire and golf buggies travel up and down the resort offering rides to guest.
There are 2 pools and the one by the Kitchen restaurant is more than adequate but again tired looking and tiles missing off the floor. The pool by Senses restaurant tends to be children free and much quieter with gentle background music, so much nicer.
All in all, LUX like all Maldivian islands will be astounding to new comers but to those that have been travelling to the maldives since the 90's then they will be expecting a very high standard for the prices charged.
Lets not be fooled, these islands are 5 star resorts in a third world country.
If you want to see how the locals live then take a trip to a local island or Male, the capital where over 100K people live on top of one another.
So if you're going to charge 5 star prices then you need to look like a 5 star resort and LUX just doesn't quite cut it.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
GMLUX, General Manager at LUX* Maldives, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion of your stay with us some two months ago. Your review has been shared with the team, as it is our policy to share all guests’ comments, good or bad. Our first priority is our guest satisfaction, and we want everyone to leave us with great memories. Unfortunately, we did not manage to fully reach your expectations, and for that, please accept my sincere apologies.
Our resort was indeed rebranded from Diva to LUX* about 18 months ago, however this did not involve a management change nor a sale of property from an Italian company. I have been the General Manager of both Diva and LUX* and all properties of the group changed to the new name LUX* as part of an entire concept change, which many of our guests welcomed with much praise. You mentioned the word’ quirky’ in your review and many things we do are indeed to be intended to be ‘quirky’, a secret bar hidden in the islands, messages in the bottle with little surprises, a cinema on the beach or the famous ice cream man on his bicycle giving home made ice cream to the kids are just some of these quirky examples, that -while small things- make a big impact on the overall holiday experience of may guests.
We have taken note of your constructive feedback. We very much welcome your views, experiences and recommendations as this feedback allows us to continue our efforts for constant improvement.

Having just been awarded as the ‘best beach resort in the Indian Ocean’ by the World Luxury Hotel Awards was a recognition for our resort as a whole, but also for the almost 4 km of sandy beach around our island, which is in fact one of the biggest beaches in Maldives.

We did indeed have our yoga area directly at the waters edge as I share your opinion that this would be the ideal setting, however due to the strong sun even in the early mornings, we relocated this into a shady area due to our guests requests who can now enjoy a shady spot some 5 meters from the waters edge with a magnificent view over the turquoise lagoon. Thank you for your kind words about our Yoga instructor Manish!

I am truly glad to hear that you have enjoyed our food particularly in Senses and Allegria. We do suggest booking the restaurants in advance so as to ensure one can try the many options available. With 7 restaurants to choose from we do provide variety and while pre-bookings are helpful it allows our guests to have a much wider choice than in most other resorts. Thank you for sharing your helpful tips with other travelers.
As you have also correctly noticed the two pools allow for a natural diversification providing a suitable pool experience for both families and couples alike.
As you have been to Maldives many times I hope that you will return to the country again soon. Should you be willing to try LUX* Maldives again so as to see that indeed we are constantly working to improve our guests experience, I would certainly like to hear from you.

With kind regards,

Dominik
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Singapore, Singapore
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

If you are a couple travelling without kids, can find a good deal on an All Inclusive Package, want a week on a picture postcard island, then look no further as I have no doubt you will have a wonderful time at the Lux. If not our experience may help guide your
Our family of four (kids 14 and 11) booked a beach villa on a bed and breakfast basis through Expedia (no other options were available). The room was sold as suitable for 4, however the room was far too small for a comfortable week. The kids were sleeping on temporary camp beds that were very small on account they needed to be squeezed into the room – no problem for toddlers, but not well fed teenagers. As a result, and on the basis that we thought that a proper bed for all 4 of us was not too much to ask for a 5* resort, we asked to move rooms. There were 2 options available – the first a downgrade into 2 adjoining smaller rooms (for extra cost), the second an upgrade into a family water villa (again for extra cost) – only one real choice here. While the water villa room was fabulous, the fact that we had to be up-sold with a significant extra charge per night was not what we had planned for our first day’s activities – lesson here is that if you do bring kids, or more than 2 adults think carefully before choosing the type of room, no matter what Expedia tell you.
Second lesson for us is the incompatibility between All Inclusive Packages and non-All Inclusive Packages at the same resort – particularly around the food and beverage pricing policy. If you have paid for your All Inclusive Package when you go to a restaurant there is some satisfaction (by design) to be gleaned from spending $200 each on dinner and ending up with a sizable bill – that way you feel like you are getting your ‘monies worth’ and leave satisfied. The only way this is made possible is by charging prices ranging from extortionate - $25 for a single Portobello Mushroom - to relatively (remember you are on an Atol in the middle of the ocean…) normal - $30 for a 10” pizza. Food quality and choice overall is very good, if not truly memorable.
Drinks are a similar story. An imported small beer is fairly priced at around $6, however cocktails are closer to $20. Wine list is surprisingly good, with some very drinkable bottles for around $50, going all the way up to cater for the occasional visit from the shareholders of the Shtokman gas fields. If you can survive on cheap plonk and beers for the week then no problem. Bring your cheque book if you want an umbrella in your early evening livener. A full evening of Mojitos on an All Inclusive Package and you could stagger home with the feeling the Lux were paying you to be there….
Again, we would recommend which ever package you choose to ask the hotel to send you a copy of the restaurant menus and prices (as very inconveniently for prospective guests, they are not accessible through the hotel website….) then do your homework.
The island itself is big and the resort very well designed with great attention to details. Snorkeling off the island is limited; however with a little exploring you can find reef sharks and black spotted Stingray – they even come in for a feed once-per-day if you have no luck tracking them down during the day. There is also a once-per-day hour long snorkel trip out to one of the adjacent reefs that is well worth the trip. One trip in the morning and one in the afternoon would be a very welcome additional feature for those wanting some flexibility to do other activities. For all other available Watersports the selection has been managed by the sommelier, pricing has been set by the cocktails and mushrooms manager. We took the Whale Shark safari and unfortunately did not set eyes on the prize, however did have the opportunity to explore a very good coral site on the way back.
The staff at the resort, after the gift that Mother Nature has bestowed on the island, are the biggest asset. With very few exceptions everyone is ready to share a smile and always ready to make your Maldavian memories as rich as possible – from the pancake chef happily taking requests for ‘flying-fox’ shaped breakfast treats to the barman who remembers a preference for ‘warm nuts’ with your cold beer by the pool. The smiles are as genuine as the people.
A last brief note on the guest demographics for those interested. I expect this change with the seasons and maybe worth asking the hotel about if you are particularly culturally sensitive. Of a relatively low occupancy this week the resort had a smattering of white faces, a few Korean honeymooners, with the balance mostly Chinese groups. Great fun at the breakfast buffet if you don’t mind queue jumping, shouting at one another across the table, and omelet eating on a scale never seen (or photographed with a telescopic lens) before in the Atols. If that type of thing gets up your nose you may want to wait a couple of generations before heading here in the summer, if like us you enjoy the diversity and people watching it is no great problem.
All-in-all we had a very memorable and enjoyable week at the Lux, however would just warn others with a similar family size to be cautious and do your homework more thoroughly than we did before deciding where to invest your contribution to the Maldivian economy.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMLUX, General Manager at LUX* Maldives, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
First of all, allow me to thank you for taking your time to post your experience at LUX* Maldives and for your constructive criticism.
Our guest comfort is very important to us. I am sorry to hear that our beach villa and the information provided did not meet your expectations. While we have limited control on some of the information provided from third parties we try to give the best possible information on our website, including a virtual tour showing all villa categories. Our beach villas do have one full size (90cm by 200cm) daybed, which can be converted into an extra bed, however when adding yet another bed the space will indeed be limited. Therefore we recommend our interconnecting beach pavilions or our family water villas for families wishing to have some extra space. We would like, once more, to apologize for the inconvenience encountered. Your feedback will definitely be addressed.
As for the prices in our restaurants and bars, I have also taken note. On a remote island like Maldives, it indeed requires a lot of effort to transfer items, but we always try to be reasonable and ensure that our prices are in most cases below those of our competitors.
I would like to thank you for sharing your suggestions and tips with other families as this will help to find the best suited resort and accommodations.
On the other hand, I am glad to see that our team exceeded your expectations. We put a strong emphasis on our team members’ attitude since it plays a big part on our guests’ experience. The team at LUX* focuses on creating lasting memories for our guests and I am happy to see that we achieved that with you during your stay. I have shared your kind comments with all the islanders. Comments like yours help us keep our team motivated and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for that.

I wish to thank you in particular for your creative writing. We do value our guest comments and if they come in a writing style like yours it makes them helpful and entertaining at the same time!

Please feel free to contact me directly should you decide to return one day and our entire team will make sure you are well taken care of.

With best wishes from us all,

Dominik
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

LUX Maldives Resort is a spectacular breathtaking property which infuses some sustainable elements. The property respects the island's natural vegetation and the surrounding marine environment judicially - e.g. for seating arrangements scattered throughout the resort, a marine biology centre. Our beach villa was absolutely gorgeous, sparkling clean and spacious with a huge adjoining outdoor bathroom featuring 2 showers, a soaking tub, aromatic organic bath products and a powerful ceiling fan. We were seconds walk from the spacious patio with colourful art deco wicker furniture to the powdery soft white sandy beach with its tranquil clear aquamarine warm ocean water! What a bonus - 2 chaise loungers with an umbrella were situated in front of our villa for our exclusive use. The food and beverages were phenomenal!
Our daily breakfast at the Island Kitchen buffet was always delicious with a wide variety of hot/cold options, attractive presentation and very friendly cooks at various stations. We really savoured our decadent culinary experiences at Senses and Umami - both topnotch ambiance and service. East and Allegria were pleasant casual alternatives; the natural homemade ice cream bar was super! As tennis players however we were disappointed because the courts were in need of maintenance and repair. The gym was neatly equipped and there was table tennis, daily snorkeling and scuba excursions, a nightclub. However, major compliments are directed to the following employees who catered and courted us in grand style...Kudos to:

* Mahmoun, Resort Manager
Exceptionally hospitable, regularly engaged in conversation with guests to ensure a memorable experience, highly regarded by his team, proactively resolved issues, passionate, highly visible, open, smiling and calm demeanour, guests are his focal point, great sense of humour, team builder, open to receiving feedback with follow up, highly accountable and hard working.

* Jonathan, Executive Chef
Affable, receptive to feedback, down to earth, forward thinking, smart, sharp sense of humour, engaged in thoughtful, intelligent conversation with guests, well informed about environmental issues as they relate to food sustainability, hard-working, commitment to continue to develop his leadership qualities, a visionary

* Alfie, Executive Chef
Exceptionally passionate, affable, professional, genuinely engaged in conversation with guests, voluntarily offered to prepare a specialty meal for us, passionate about his craft which he has mastered, demonstrated flair, talent and culinary expertise

* Luisa, Guest Services Manager
Affable, exceptionally receptive to feedback with follow through (I.e. recommendation for Spa relaxation following treatment and her follow up with the Spa Manager to relay our feedback), efficient, keen sense of humour, caring, knowledgeable.

* Oksana, Guest Services
Cordial, quiet, serene professional manner, presented a thorough orientation upon our arrival at the resort and our villa accommodations, responded well to our inquiries
Thank you all - our trip was made extra special and we look forward to our next visit.

Janice and Arlene

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMLUX, General Manager at LUX* Maldives, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
Dear Janice and Arlene,

Thank you very much for your pleasant and detailed review, having travelled all the way from Canada must have given you many hours to reflect on your stay with us and it is great to know that you remembered many of the people from the island. I am always very happy to read reviews like yours as they make what we do worth it. You have detailed many of our special features in your review and it is good to see that these are appreciated. Recommendations from one guest to potential other ones are the best reward we can receive. The entire team and I are glad that you had a wonderful stay with us and are planning to visit us again.

Knowing that you wish t return is indeed a great recognition of the teams’ effort and commitment and we are very proud having succeeded in making your holidays so special.

Once again, thank you for your review, and we are looking forward to welcoming you back!

With kind regards,

Dominik
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Kudos and special thanks to Rachel (Manager) at Lux* for making our trip a memorable one. Right from the walk-around the place in the buggy to the sepcial arrangements in our suite, it was simply perfect! We really appreciate the effort put in this and will never forget this experience! Thanks once again :)

  • Stayed November 2012, 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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GMLUX, General Manager at LUX* Maldives, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to write your feedback about your experience. I am glad that you had a wonderful stay with us. I would also like to thank you for highlighting Rachel who is indeed a star and a key person in the team. We look forward to welcoming you back on the island for another memorable experience.

With kind regards,
Dominik
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loughborough
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We were originally booked at another resort but once we landed in Male,we boarded the seaplane to our original resort and were dropped off near it..we were then approached by a person who had just arrived on a long boat..He informed us there had been a mix up with our booking..which we find hard to find as we had booked it months before! He also said we were being moved to a better island..which we were dubious about...

We had to endure an hour slow boat ride to this new resort. Once we were at reception, i explained and moaned about the situation to the very attentive lady that greeted us..she was very helpful and upgraded us to a water villa for our stay (after a lengthy negotiation).

We both have to say that the stay here was absolutely fantastic and nothing was too much for the staff..we did a snorkel jet ski trip to a local coral reef and that was amazing, food and drinks were of a very high standard..And the spa visit was out of this world..the place and treatments were superb!! Overall a fantastic stay...cant compare it with other place as we dint get to go there but am sure it wasnt as good!

We went here in march 2012...

  • Stayed August 2012, 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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GMLUX, General Manager at LUX* Maldives, responded to this review, August 7, 2013
We are also lucky to have had you as our guests. Thank you for sharing your experience on TripAdvisor.

I am glad that your stay at LUX* Maldives exceeded your expectations and you enjoyed the wide array of activities and facilities that LUX* Maldives has to offer. We constantly aim at keeping high standards, and I am happy to see you appreciated the quality of our restaurants, spa diving centre and water sports activities.

Our team is definitely focused on ensuring our guests’ comfort and it is good to see we achieved it with you.

On behalf of all the islanders, I would like to say that we look forward to welcoming you back at LUX* Maldives for another memorable experience! But keep in mind, next time you might not be so lucky, so you may have to book this resort from the start :-)


With best wishes from us all,
Dominik
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Additional Information about LUX* Maldives

Address: Dhidhoofinolhu, South Ari Atoll, Maldives, Maldives (Formerly Diva Maldives)
Phone Number:
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Dhidhoofinolhu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dhidhoofinolhu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — LUX* Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 193
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
'Indian Ocean's Leading Beach Resort', 2014 World Travel Awards and 'Leading Family Resort', 2014 Maldives Travel Awards A luxury resort in Maldives, with 4 km of beaches, charming water villas and a world-class diving centre Above or below the waterline, the Maldives presents a kaleidoscope of colours, flavours, nature and activities that never fails to delight. And LUX* Maldives is no exception. As the only settlement on the island of Dhidhoofinolhu in South Ari Atoll, this luxury resort in Maldives offers real insight into unspoiled island living. A spontaneous atmosphere provides delights at every turn, with anything from impromptu cinema screenings on the beach to pop-up musical performances. The lagoon is ideal for snorkelling and whale shark spotting, while two pools and a spa at this idyllic Maldives resort offer a welcome break from the beach. Follow secret pathways through tropical gardens and taste authentic island cuisine at our numerous restaurants. Wherever you venture at this luxury resort in Maldives, expect to be pleasantly surprised. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lux* Maldives Hotel South Ari Atoll
Diva Maldives Hotel
Diva Maldives South Ari Atoll

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