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“After many trips to Maldives - this is right up there with the best!”
Review of Maafushivaru

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Maafushivaru
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 2, 2013

OK, it's not Conrad Hilton standard but we were very impressed. A bit about getting there by Emirates from Gatwick. Slight delay leaving Gatwick but longer delay at Dubai trying to land at about 1.30am! Mad. Delay leaving Dubai en route to Mali as well but I liked the food and the films were so good that I didn't read any books/papers that I took and this made the flight go quicker. The flight was packed whereas others flying BA had spare seats to be able to lie out and sleep. Delay at Male where we kept being told the flight would be leaving in 10 mins. After being told this about 6 times, we phoned the rep at Maafu and coincidentally we were put in with others going to Conrad Hilton. Take all that with a pinch of salt because once you get to the island (which they can control) the welcome is simple and lovely. The rep works very hard and nothing is too much trouble even on her day off.
The Water Villas were good and everything was there without being dazzling. The verandha was OK with two beds and a fixed seated area and a large parasol. Room 206 on the sunset side was a good situation and I think even numbered Villas were preferable due to having sun all afternoon and also the sunset. The higher the number, the better position - even nos.
I found it got too hot on the verandha so preferred the beach so in reality I think a beach villa would have been fine as a place to sleep at night.
It was a special occassion for us and the Island came up trumps with a romantic meal, bottle of bubbly and twin back massage thrown in complimentary.
We had our meal on the deck and it was great. Heard that others who chose the beach had a small problem with ants and crabs. Massage was very good (and painful cos I'm not used to it) and the Spa experience is worth a visit. Look out for the special offers.
We had a meal at the Tapanaki which was very entertaining and again worth a visit.
Generally, great service. The staff are very attentive most of the time. Sometimes at breakfast you see the guys apparently having a 'staff' meeting which makes attracting attention for a coffee refil slightly delayed but I really wasn't bothered.
I found the food very very good. Being a smaller island the trays that they present the food in are not very big and so the food is replaced frequently which prevents it from either deteriorating in the heat or over-cooking. The salad area is particularly extensive and impressive. Add to that a soup and pasta, meat and fish varieties and there is something for everyone. Deserts leave a bit to be desired. They look great but because of the heat, they are fairly bland. That said, I hardly had desert as I was too full by then.
I liked the bar area. It was oval shaped with tall seats that were very comfortable. San Miguel was my choice for beer on AI with the occassional G & T. All good brands for the alcohol on AI so no complaints there. They have a problem with the red wine as their shipment went elsewhere and they are struggling to find an adequate replacement - so I was told. The red now varies box to box so you may want to stick to white or Rose which I am told were OK.
Entertainment wise, not great. Maldavian night sees the Manager out chatting freely to visitors. I found his assistant (Mr. Giggle or Yes-man) a bit of a pain - and I wasn't alone! Don't let that put you off.
Our trip to Lenobo started in sunshine and ended in a mini monsoon. Snorkelling there was very good. Keep away from the birds at the left of the jetty. Very protective. Don't get the idea that you are in for a romantic couple of hours on the island cos generally there seems to be another couple at least on the trip and there is also a maintenance man on the island. There are also two villas on the island that you can hire for the night! Not worth the money I think.
Diving was very good and the viz on all my dives were very good. White-tipped sharks on virtually every dive. Four Mantas at Manta Point, Whalesharks on the Whaleshark spotting, which I didn't do. There were no house-reef dives which was a disappointment. Snorkelling was good with a great variety of fish to be seen. At high tide you can get out to the overhang between a gap in the sea wall to the left of the spa. Snorkelling to the left to the end of the water-villa area took around half hour with good fins. There was no real current and so the snorkelling seemed safe. The channels through the reef seem so far away and yet you can walk out fairly quickly. From the water-villas towards the dive school is not too good I was told - so I didn't do it.
Dive staff were very good You don't do anything, staff get your gear together etc. All you need to do is check everything is there. No actual buddy checks either. They use integrated weights with their BCD's so as long as the air is on and you've got enough of it, that seems to be OK. I didn't find it a problem though and it made for a relaxed atmosphere. I did my own checks anyway.
Back to the island and there are sprays at various points to wash the sand off your feet. No mozzies although something had a go at my ankles.
In the villas, the hair drier was OK without being very powerful. There was plenty of water. I frequently took a can of beer back to the room as there was none in the mini-bar.
Even on AI you have to sign for every drink. The manager told me the reason which was very plausible so don't worry about it. You can always say you'll sign later.
Our overall opinion is that we were very impressed. Loved the island. Loved the food. Loved the staff. The Island will soon be open and not exclusive to Kuoni which may bring the price down a bit. The island often seemed deserted although it was about 60% full.
You don't need shoes at all. With the showers, you can make it across the decking which gets very hot in the sun. Shorts are OK in the evening so you can travel light.
Would I go back? Very likely. Need a bit of a break from the Maldives now after nine visits but this island is in my top three!! Go for it.

Room Tip: Even nos. 202 to about 220. The higher the number the better but probably harder to request.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank muppet3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

We went to the Maldives - Maafushivaru for the fist time on march 2013. Is not the first holiday in super lux Hotel so we can confirm that it was really a good hotel!! Starting from the airport lounge...fantastic! The staff very very kind, the water villa a dream, food delicious new menu every day for all tastes. Good quality! We advice to book all inclusive for a relaxing holiday...! A very quiet island, it's worth to spend time in the SPA (couple massage ... A dream!) we made the sunset cruise... WOW!! Spectacular sunset with champagne... I would like to congratulate the hotel manager and all the staff, because they are preventing pollution of the sea. They reuse everything's possible including plastic bottles for the construction. Food waste go to the fish. They are very proud in this! And me too. Romantic atmosphere, for honeymoon is perfect! I hope to go again with my husband to Maafushivaru ... Holiday to remember! Thanks a lot!!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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3  Thank Vacanzierafelice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

We were travelling to the Maldives for the first time (three weeks ago, second week of March) and picked Maaf after much consideration. We were not disappointed and would highly recommend this resort to anyone. This island is just pure paradise!

1. Resort - It is small, intimate, very relaxing, and absolutely gorgeous. You can walk around the entire island in like 2 minutes. The island is all sand, beautiful powder white sand, except for the jetty and the walkway to the water villas. We didn't wear shoes the entire time, which was so nice and different. All you need is a pair of sandals to wear on the walkway to the water villas because that can get very hot during the day time.
The island is tiny but it doesn't feel crowded. We were worried that being at a smaller island we wouldn't have any privacy, but that was not the case at all. At times we felt like we were the only ones there, even though the resort was quite full.
The ocean is beautiful with multiple hues of blue, calm, and absolutely clear.
Every side of the island has equal access to the beautiful beaches.
The sea defenses didn't bother us at all.

2. Water villa - The water villas have a modern feel to it. They are spacious, clean with an amazing view. Really beautiful. It was pretty private, you can't really see the neighboring villas. Unless you are in the water.
It was great being able to jump into the warm waters right from our room. We also enjoyed relaxing on the lovely terrace and watching the sea life right from the deck. We stayed in room 208, which is on the sunset side. We would recommend a higher number room for a more private feel.

3. Snorkeling/House Reef - We snorkeled for the first time on this trip, which was an awesome experience. The house reef was great with lots of sea life. We borrowed fins from the reception (which were free) and just snorkeled right from our water villa and also around the island. There's so much sea life right there.

4: Lonubo: The gorgeous and intimate private sister island. It's just like Maaf but much much smaller, you can walk around the island in like 45 seconds. It really was a deserted island. There were some facilities, like a bathroom and lounges. But that's it. We were the only people there. The snorkeling from the jetty area was breathtaking. Make sure to pack a bottle of water and maybe a light snack, as there really is nothing there.
There's a boat from Maaf that goes there twice a day (9:30 am and 3:30pm) and drops guests off for two hour visits. Or, if you feel adventurous, you can rent a paddle boat and just go there. We saw one couple do this.

5. Excursions and Activities: There are plenty of activities. Every night the staff has some event organized, such as DJ night or Maldives night, so that the guests have something to do at night.
There's also plenty of excursions. There are signup sheets for each day at the lobby. Keep in mind that not all excursions are offered everyday. Wish they would have put up a schedule online so we would have known. We really wanted to do the sunset cruise, however, it was not offered the days we there. We were only there for two nights and just happen to be when the sunset cruise was not offered.
The water center has paddle boats, kayaks, etc.

6. Food: Given the island is so small, there's not too many choices. There's the main restaurant, a Japanese steakhouse, the bar, and the coffee shop. The Japanese steakhouse is only open at night and is only open on select nights. The main restaurant serves meals three times a day, buffet style. You can just walk in and sit where every you like. The restaurant has a small area close to the sea that was reserved just for couples. The food was good, but not great given the price we paid. They had different themes every night, like Italian night or Maldives night. The chef at the grill was pretty friendly.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank TrippinMani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

A very simple resort with a heavy emphasis on quality. We felt welcome the minute we arrived and within minutes of getting to our room were on the sun beds in front of our beech hut enjoying the scorching sunshine. The water villas are also pretty amazing with stunning views, although we did see some of the roofs come away in a storm :-/ Service A1 Bar Staff A1 Food, not quite A1 but a good variety for all and nice relaxed atmosphere to enjoy your food. look out on the veranda at lunchtime for the Moray eels in the pool underneath, quite amazing.

As an excursion i would also highly recommend the snorkelling with whale sharks, a one of experience. However, just snorkelling off of the island is something else. As the shallow coral drops away the scenery underwater is quite amazing, we took out daily trips out to see the 4-5ft reef sharks.

A friendly, classy resort which I would recommend to anyone.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank JNBJNB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

We stayed in Maafushivaru at the beginning of March 2013, following a week travelling in Srilanka it was a wonderful relaxing break. Every side of the island has equal access to beutiful beach and is immaculate. Our beach villa was spotless and spacious, the house boys cam in twice a day to clean and turn our beds in the evening. As it was a special celebration for us we had a candlelit dinner and the staff and our waiter couldn't do enough for us. we also had dinner on the isalnd Lonubo which was a wonderful experience on the beach being waited on and cooked for, definitely worth it! The food was always wonderfully presented, bear in mind it is largely fish based as they rely on deliveries for all produce. The snorkelling with the Manta Rays and the Whale shark was fantastic. The Spa was fantastic, I had a Thai massage which was fab.All in all we could highly recommend the island if you want a tranquil holiday, only pack your flip flops and you're barefoot!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Jane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Spent 6 days here after two weeks travelling around Sri Lanka. Organised By Kuoni, transfer from Male by sea plane was quick and use of the VIP lounge was very welcome. The island was as good, if not better than the videos, brochures and first hand accounts given to us by the Kuoni staff. Our beach villa was lovely, spacious, spotless and kept immaculate by our room attendant, Naseer. Inside and outside showers and fresh towels every day. Walking everwhere in bare feet was so relaxing, difficult to explain the feeling of freedom without experiencing it. Walk from bed, through french doors, onto decking, through palm trees passing our beach beds and into the clear, blue, warm sea took approximatley 30 seconds, five if you ran! For such a small island you never felt overlooked and wondered at times where everybody else was. Staff were brilliant and friendly.Cocktail bar was great, overlooking the pool, sitting on sofas, sipping from a large range of cocktails while looking up at the stars before and after dinner was soooo relaxing. Restaurant was excellent, variety and quality of food very good (different theme every night). Sri Lankan chef on the grill cooked you eggs to order for breakfast and had a good range of fresh fish for lunch and dinner cooked to perfection. I had the one of the finest Dhal's I have every tasted there as well. We had our 25th wedding anniversary dinner on the beach with our own waiter, which was superb, even though you had to pre-order the food. The waiter presented my wife with a sculpture made out of palm leaves between each course handmade by him. Spa was of high quality and the staff were so friendly. Dive school is very good, staff are very experienced, equipment is good quality. I had two superb dives, over an hour each, with swim-throughs down to 24 metres. Reef sharks, white tipped sharks, turtles, moray eels, scorpion fish, tuna, "punching" prawns to name but a few. Snorkelling is excellent around the island and easy if you just go with the gentle current. Range of excursions was very good, just didn't have time for the whale shark or manta ray encounters, always the next time I suppose! We went all inclusive and I would recommend this for easy budgetting and peace of mind so you can totally wind down. I am an active type, mountaineering is my usual game, but I was never bored here, taking myself off snorkelling or swimming when it pleased me.The perfect antidote to a climb! We will be returning I am sure.

Room Tip: Our preference would be the beach villa's between the water sports centre and dive school where...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mbjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

A beautiful island of the purest white sand, surrounded by an ocean of every shade of blue. We stayed in a beach hut which was large and clean. The out door shower was fabulous. Snorkelling on the house reef was out of this world, so many fish and so many varieties. The beach on "our" side of island had six people on it at its busiest. The staff were polite and friendly if a little impersonal. The food is good, not 5 star but good enough. The shop was tacky, full of overpriced Italian tat.

  • Stayed: March 2013
    • Value
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2  Thank Jola2103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maafushivaru

Address:
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#9 Luxury Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#9 Spa Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
Price Range: $710 - $1,890 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Maafushivaru 5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reached by a picturesque flight over the mysterious atolls of the Maldives, Maafushivaru is a quiet island knitted with lush flora surrounded by pure white sandy beaches and incredible turquoise lagoon. Next to the resort is the tiny desert island of Lonubo, exclusive to Maafushivaru guests. A visit to this beautiful island is a must. You can choose from daily visits for basking in the sun and snorkeling the beautiful reef, or ultimately book to stay overnight, an island just for you and your beloved, even if only for a night. Slumber at your choice of three distinct villas. Beach Villas are sited on postcard perfect beaches whilst the Water Villas are built on stilts over the Indian Ocean providing sunset and sunrise vistas that will be forever etched in your memory. For a fun filled holiday, the Pool Villa is the right pick for families or friends travelling together, featuring two separate villas with a shared pool. Summon the bon vivant inside of you with the delectable fare. Cuisine Gallery showcases a potpourri of dishes from all over the world. While 135° East is your key for an authentic Japanese cuisine displaying the art of teppanyaki and the hibachi steakhouse. Sip favourite sunset cocktails at Water Bar with eclectic evening entertainment ranging from Maldivian evenings, to laser shows and disco nights under the starlit sky. Located on the water’s edge, instill a sense of calm and quietude at the Spa with signature product line Voya focusing on healing therapies and rituals. Explore rich underwater life on the house reefs of Maafushivaru and Lonubo, where fish teem and corals bloom colourfully. Dive with whale sharks and mantas in famed spots down south. Discover the epitome of Maldives – Maafushivaru. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maafushivaru Hotel South Ari Atoll
Maafushivaru Tclub Hotel
Maafushivaru Maldives/Southern Ari Atoll

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