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“Exactly what we wanted!”
Review of Maafushivaru

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Maafushivaru
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 3, 2013

With my wife and I having such a busy first 10 months of 2013 with work, we wanted to go on holiday where we could relax and spend some time together. After carefully reviewing a number of islands in the Maldives we decided on Maafushivaru based on a number of other reviews and the fact it was a small island.

Having now returned to London from our trip, I wanted to write a review to help others that are trying to decide between the large number of islands in the area.

We spent a week in Maafushivaru from 26th October - 2nd November 2013 and can honestly say we loved every minute of our stay! We arrived after a long flight and had a seamless transfer from Male by sea plane to Maafushivaru. Our room (beach villa 125) was lovely and spacious and only a few feet away from the main beach, and a minute away from the main bar and pool.

The Island itself was absolutely beautiful and exactly what we expected from the pictures and previous reviews. We wanted to relax during our week, so we took full advantage of the spa, having 5 treatments between us during the week. Being a couple who like to pamper ourselves, we have had many treatments in many countries and the staff and treatments on offer were up there with the best we have experienced. I also used the gym on few occasions, and although small, it is well equipped. We were on an all inclusive package, and thought the food on offer from the buffet was good and varied for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the highlight was the staff. From being greeted on arrival by the 'Lailane' to chatting with the duty manager 'Harshad' while waiting for our sea plane off the island the staff were an absolute pleasure and could not have been more helpful, and we certainly didn't have any issues with a shortage of banana's like one of the previous reviewers! We also wanted to give a special mention to Tim (operations manager) who was always on hand to help and gave us a great tour of the behind the scenes parts of the Island with a taste of the local snacks at the end.

We ate one night at the Teppanyaki restaurant and the Wagyu beef was the die for. Highly recommended.

As stated earlier, we went on this holiday to relax, so didn't use any of the water sports or go on any of the trips, but for a small island there certainly seemed plenty to keep you busy if that is what you are looking for.

Overall, we would rate Maafushivaru up there with any other beach holiday we have been on, and we fully intend to return soon.

Scott & Alexis

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ScottandAlexis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 26, 2013

We had planned our special holiday to include a week sightseeing around Sri Lanka followed by a week in paradise in the Maldives. After a busy first week we were both looking forward to a week of total relaxation but had a shock on the dhoni to be informed that our chosen island of Vakarufalhi had overbooked their water villas. What a stroke of luck! We were offered Maafushivaru as an alternative for 4 nights but as soon as we were shown around the island and to our water villa by Harshad we didn't want to leave. The island was perfect in every way. The staff were amazing, an absolute credit to the resort, from Harshad to Nhung to Aminul, everyone was so friendly and helpful. I can't remember all of their names otherwise I would feel the need to mention them all. I cannot enthuse enough about the island as it exceeded our very high expectations. A simply wonderful place on earth. (And we were lucky enough to get our own way and stay for the full week!)

Room Tip: Our preference was the sunset water villa. it was wonderful to be sat on the balcony overlooking the...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

We're only three days into our stay at this lovely island and have found it excellent in so many ways. One of those is the staff and one of them is the Food & Beverages Supervisor, Nhung. She is a delightful young woman who is efficient, knowledgable, chatty and "corporate". Her company should be very pleased to have her as their front of house.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank PaulNCKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2013

After a week travelling around Sri Lanka, the second week of our honeymoon was about relaxation (and diving). The 1 hr hop from Sri Lanka to Male was followed by a 30 minute sea-plane transfer to Maafushivaru - an exciting way to travel, though very loud and hot - the pilot, who doubled as the baggage handler, provided us with ear-plugs and recommended the safety card made a good fan! We landed by a floating platform a few hundred metres from the island, and were collected by dohni by our Kuoni rep and a member of staff from the island. we were shown the sights of the island as we were taken to our water-villa (well it was our honeymoon).
The water villas were beautiful, with a huge bedroom/lounge area with the biggest bed ever, a sofa suite, big flat screen TV (not really needed when you're on holiday, but it was there anyway) & an IPod dock for sounds. There is also a separate dressing room and a huge bathroom with a huge bath that has windows opening onto the private sundeck and a separate shower cubical with doors opening both to the sundeck and the bathroom. The sundeck itself has a daybed and a couple of sun-loungers. If you decide to swim out from the sundeck, it's worth hanging your towel out over the side so you remember which is yours to come back to (you don't want to wander onto your neighbour's sundeck). One point of warning... although Maafushivaru is a barefoot resort, the boardwalk to get to the water-villas gets incredibly hot in the sun, and many a guest was seen legging it towards their villa in the hope of reaching shade before their feet were burned. The water jets placed at regular intervals (to wash the sand off your feet) came in very handy to cool off your feet en route if you are at one of the further out villas.
The staff at the resort couldn't do enough for you, and both the bar staff and restaurant staff were always very attentive, and would come over to offer you drinks in the pool or at your sun-loungers if they weren't busy (you could also put up a flag by your sun-lounger and they would be over in an instant to take your order). The all inclusive actually did include all drinks, even the premium ones, so it was good value. The beach and bar never seemed especially busy, though the restaurant seemed to fill up in the evening so the resort must have been fairly full. The food was great and you could order drinks to your table too no problem. We didn't try the Japanese restaurant, which was a fair bit extra, although the staff did keep bringing very tasty samples to the main restaurant to try and tempt guests across. Maybe it would be a good plan to include one meal the Japanese restaurant in the 'all inclusive' to keep it busy?
We were offered a free massage as part of our package, and that was very relaxing and enjoyable and the Spa was wonderful, however we did decide it was a little too pricey to actually pay for another treatment, and it did appear to be very underused from what we could see.
We took advantage of the Dive school there to expand our diving abilities, and took our Advanced Open Water qualifications whilst we were there. We were very well looked after by our instructors and enjoyed our diving experiences, which included the opportunity to snorkel with a whale shark and with a school of manta rays - both really big ticks for us! We dived at the manta cleaning station after the snorkeling, but they never came down for a clean, unfortunately. Seeing the Frogfish 'walking' around on the wreck on his pectoral fins during the night dive and the huge giant moray, 'Emma', hunting by the light of our dive torches were both eerie and exciting experiences.
We also did the day-trip to Lonobu - the sister island, and had the island to ourselves for the afternoon (just because no-one else came out to the island that day) - the snorkelling there was also very good, and we followed a turtle along the reef for a while taking in the sights of beautiful fish and corals as we went!
Another highlight was the sunset cruise with champagne - this gave us the chance to see spinner dolphins frolicking around the boat and the sun set over the beautiful Indian ocean with a glass of bubbly in hand!
On the last night of our stay we had a candle-lit dinner on the beach, with a three-course meal served to us. This was stunning, and the staff went all out to make it really special for us with flowers on the table and full silver service. There was a comedy moment when one of the lanterns that had been set up in a circle around our table burst into flames, melted and went up in an inferno, but this was swiftly dealt with and we really enjoyed our meal.
It was so sad coming back to reality after our amazing honeymoon.

Room Tip: Our water villa faced West and allowed us to sit out for some beautiful sunsets!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Top_Starfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Where to start.....

10 trip to the Maldives, and the first time just for a week, but boy, we were not disappointed.

We have come to expect excellent service, but these guys take it to a slightly higher level.

There were three people to meet our sea plane, the Kuoni rep, the Duty Manager, Harshad, and from the resort Anna, and Anna showed us to our very comfortable, well appointed room.

Drinks in the bar introduced us to the beautiful personality of Aminul, who looked after us in the bar. What a top guy! All of the staff were excellent, and really put their heart and soul into everything they do. The bar is run beautifully by the food and beverage supervisor (sorry lost her name) and the smiley happy Elsie.

Whilst the food definitely needs to overall in my opinion, you could not fault the enthusiasm of the restaurant staff, especially our waiter Ilham, who on our first night had learnt our names before we even sat down. Attentive and friendly, he has a lovely nature and is eager to engage and please.

A slight medical mishap on my part required a trip to a neighbouring island, which the lovely Anna arranged and the Duty Manager accompanied us, which was a godsend. He took charge of everything and made the whole experience so easy for us. I cannot thank him enough. Throughout the week, Harshad was extremely visible, and made a point of engaging with everyone, if only for a few minutes, to ensure they were happy and comfortable. This was a first for us on all of the islands, it would normally be the tour operators rep that did this, but if anything, the local staff did it so much better.

The island has a very cosmopolitan feel, not only the guests, but the staff are various nationalities, which added to the feel of the experience, I'm sure.

Moosa on reception greeted us every time we past through with a lovely warm welcome, and you really got the feeling the majority of the staff were genuinely pleased to engage with you.

We took advantage of 135 degree East, Japanese teppanyaki restaurant, and the food was amazing. The lamb and the beef were so tender. It was without the food highlight.

Now, Tim (believe the GM), we would like to thank you for your wonderful team who certainly added to the beauty of Island. Knowing we had been to several different islands, we were happy to share our experiences, with other Universal Islands, and others. I am happy to confirm that without a doubt, given the choice of Maafushivaru or Athuruga, there is no competition. Yes, a little more choice at dinner would have been nice, but there was no need to go hungry. The deserts alone were enough to keep me going.

Premium brands on all inclusive was pretty special, but from the boat staff, the gardeners, and all the customer facing staff, this was a truly fantastic week, and I would come back in a heart beat, but next time, we will come for a fortnight. I am a huge fan of Trip Advisor, but on this occasion, I will be contacting Kuoni too.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Suzanne019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We have just returned from a week here.

Before I go any further, I should mention that we had previously stayed at Lily Beach in 2010, so this place had a lot to live up to!

The resort was about 75% full but seemed very quiet. No need to lay claim to your territory with a beach towel here!

Water villas were spacious and the showers have 2 doors - one from the deck for if you want to rinse off after being in the sea and the other opens into the main bathroom. Very clever idea. Emperor sized bed which was comfortable. You also have a small hallway and a dressing area. The room was decorated well and the electrical sockets are the same as in the uk so no need for adapters although they do provide you with one in the room, I presume for people from other countries.

I have marked them down on cleanliness because the the housekeeping was atrocious. A quick in and out twice a day to make bed and sweep sand from the floors. Apart from replacing loo roll they didn't clean the bathroom. Tissues weren't replaced and neither were wet bath mats. They do not tidy anything either or wipe surfaces!

Staff were attentive, however, when asked for a cocktail that wasn't on the extensive menu, I was told that they couldn't provide it because there was a shortage of bananas! Well go and get one from the restaurant then - but no, the bar waiter with the attitude said no!

Restaurant staff were great. They get to know you very quickly and the food was varied with a few themed nights thrown in. The seafood platter was brilliant and the Japanese was a great night out! People who have criticised in previous reviews need to understand the constraints that they have to work within due to the logistics of being a small island.

Although they advertise nightly entertainment, this is not the case. Apart from the Maldivian night, which was interesting, the other entertainment when provided was amateur-ish to the point where the guitarists lulled all the holiday makers into a sense of despair, because of their interpretation of modern classics. I am pleased to report that on doing a head count the next day, all holiday makers were present and correct and had not thrown themselves into the ocean and tried to head home (haha).

Front of house staff were friendly and obliging.

There is a small shop on site which stocks clothing and limited souvenirs.

One more word of warning...... The "paths" that meander round the island are deep soft sand and are not well marked or lit at night. Getting back to the water villas was occasionally challenging. I would recommend the use of a torch or an iPhone to light your path.

Overall this resort is value for money, but they need to pay attention to detail. Would we go back?
Yes I think we would but not next year.

Room Tip: Sunrises were better than sunsets so don't feel let down if you get a sunrise villa!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank westMidlandsMaximus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We never go back to the same place, but have been back here twice and it has got better and better. Great location, good food, amazing staff (which they treat well and it really shows by the service they provide) - I only hope it does not change to much as they seem to be opening the island to Russians and Chinese next year.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank AR802013
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 Spa Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#9 Luxury Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
Price Range: $852 - $1,763 (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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