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“Great spot in the Maldives...but the food, not great at all”
Review of Maafushivaru

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Prague, Czech Republic
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great spot in the Maldives...but the food, not great at all”
Reviewed April 24, 2014

We went to Maldives in April. It was our first time at Maldives. we arrived in Male at night and went at morning to Maafushivaru. The staff of the lounge was ok, but not that attentive. Our host, Kim, was very attentive. We stayed in the bungalow and it was great, but our cabana boy, Hassan, was the laziest of all, quite disappointing.
One day we went diving with the manta ray and the shark whale but besides the seasonality ( the fish didn't show up that day ) our guide was the worst.
We were in an all inclusive package and the lowest point was the food, how can I say, heavy, tasteless, the boy on the grill saved all the days with a less than regular pasta.
If u into food, run....
Maldives is so incredibly beautiful we decided to come back every year, as a first time the resort was ok, but we definitely won't come back there.

Room Tip: Bungalow at the sunset side.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank phibrz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Manila, Philippines
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2014 via mobile

Let me start off by saying that as soon as we were in the hands of Maafushivaru we were impressed. Our experience started in the lounge as we waited for our seaplane flight that would take us to our taste of paradise.. Lounge was comfortable, cool, nicely, simply and tastefully decorated. It is equipped with comfort - clean washrooms, refreshments and wifi.
As soon as we reached the resort, we were in awe. The facility is everything that we expected. We were warmly greeted by the staff and Ron, the resort manager.
Our water villa 216 was as we requested facing the sunset .. Beautiful .. Perfect!
An area for improvement where our room is concerned, they need to make sure that our mini bar us constantly replenished with supplies, fix the cups and saucers and maintain the coffee machine - which we loved by the way..
Our food .. Now let me talk about OUR food. We are vegetarians and on our first day we were disappointed with our options because we specifically gave the resort a heads up that we are food loving vegetarians and will not only survive with salad.. When we had a conversation with the F&B head - Didi, they wasted no time in adjusting and made sure they specifically prepared an Indian vegetarian food for us throughout our stay!! And they did awesome job! Our waiter Hassan made sure we got our smoothies just the way we wanted it at the beginning of all our meals. He was always pleasant and smiling and eagerly serving us.
Our snorkeling experience was also very pleasant and will recommend it to the guests. The boat crew and our snorkel guide tried to maximize all our excursions. The fruits and refreshments on board was also appropriate and timely served. Aslam - who accompanied us was extremely helpful.
Some few customer service tips that they can polish -- need to train staff to replenish towels in the towel station at all times! When asked they should respond that what we are asking for is there (and points somewhere else) instead of walking a few steps to give us what we need. Typically we don't expect that but that kind if service is standard with 5star properties ..
The manager, Ron is great. Always willing to extend assistance and offer options and sincerely tries to go the extra mile!
Overall, it was truly an amazing experience. Not a perfect one BUT they they listen and once feedback is given on the imperfection -- they go above and beyond to make it PERFECT!
Thank you Maafushivaru staff for making our experience special and unforgettable!

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
2 Thank PinayExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perpignan, France
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014 via mobile

Great place, great service level, great food.
For us, second Time in Maldives. Just amazing.

One downside: the house wine (and overall the winelist) is just something that is so far from the resort standard that you realize how much they would need a true sommelier

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank zanel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
87 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2014 via mobile

Seaplane at the airport is expensive but worth a once in a life time experience.
Upon arrival near the resort, there is a "LOTR" lookalike epic boat to pick you up.
Takes 5 min from the arrival float to the resort jetty.
At the reception, there will be a fresh cold towel to welcome you for the registration. Tried the beach villa, it's excellent at room 107.
Water villa facing the spa offered a sunrise view for 3 night.
A must - sunset cruise, manta ray snorkel, lonobu island for snorkeling.
Bring: toothbrush, lots of suntan lotion, sunglass.
Improvements wanted: sound system with cd to be at the water villa suntan area. Add toothbrush as standard, more entertainment e.g. quiz night, improve the male airport!
Special mention: kim from guest relations, adam from the restaurant, waterbar crew. Remember to put some $ at the waterbar tipbox.

One word - Beautiful.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Mokette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prestbury, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2014 via mobile

This was our first visit to the Maldives and we definitely feel we made the right choice in staying at Maafushivaru. Although the island is small, it somehow doesn't feel that way. The buffet meals were good with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish; but they sometimes seemed a bit "samey". However, they are catering for a wide range of tastes and nationalities, which could be the reason for this. They do need to improve the choice of wines on the all-inclusive package as there were only 3 to choose from and to be honest they weren't drinkable. Apart from this, the island is absolutely beautiful, the staff are really helpful and friendly, especially our room boy, Nasir. Our beach villa was lovely and just a few steps away from the ocean. The snorkelling was excellent and my husband went on the manta ray dive which was superb.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
1 Thank Rebecca H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Forest National Park Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2014

Our first visit, staying for 7 days. Our beach villa (128) was very comfortable and well positioned for the beach and snorkeling on the house reef. Maafushivaru is a small, beautifully presented island with very happy, smiling staff. The buffets were fine but the all inclusive wine (french boxed) was a big disappointment. Manager Ron was very hands on and did sort that problem for us. They could'nt do enough for you.

Room Tip: 128 is on the trade wind side so nice and cool on the beach, the other side gets very hot.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2 Thank Ken_and_Jane_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2014

We stayed at Maafushivaru for 5 nights in March 2014. My wife and I stayed in a water villa while our daughter and nanny stayed in a beach villa.

The villas were both very nice though the water villas are in our opinion the ones to go for. The Maldives are famous for water villas and it is delightful to just step down into the lagoon and swim with a variety of fish. While nice, the beach villa is more comparable to what you might get in other beach resorts around the world so not so special. Neither of the villas are especially large, and they are simply furnished, but they fit the island location perfectly. We did not feel like we needed more luxurious accommodation.

The staff at Maafushivaru are almost all very nice (the exception being a sour-faced waiter named Ilham whom we think should be encouraged to excel in a non-service profession). The staff go out of their way to make your stay pleasant and they are happy to talk. Most of the chefs are from Sri Lanka, most of the waiters from the Maldives, there are five Filipina working in the bar and reception and the spa is mostly staffed with ladies from Thailand and Bali. They all stay in the rather small staff compound, sometimes as many as 8 sharing a room.

We paid for everything apart from tip to the staff using credit cards. We tipped a dollar each per bag, 10 dollars each to the room boys, 10 dollars to the bar, 10-20 dollars each to three chefs and 5 dollars per excursion. Salaries are modest so we think you should bring some dollar bills for tipping.

The excursions are all very good. But be careful with the whale shark excursion if you are not a strong swimmer as this takes place on the open sea with quite strong currents.

The hygiene standards are excellent. We do not have the strongest stomachs and are occasionally taken ill while on holidays. None us had any unfortunate episode during our stay which is great given the challenges of shipping and storing food in the tropics.

The internet works well most of the time. We even managed to have a few Facetime video calls with grandparents without problems.

The house boys were a bit on the lazy side sometimes leaving only a single towel and forgetting to put new shampoo and soap in the room. But this was easily resolved by a call to the reception or we simply ignored it as there is no point being too picky while on holidays.

The transfer to the resort was a bit slow with a rather long waiting time in the lounge. They wait until they fill up all or most of the seats in the plane so it does not really feel like an air taxi service. We landed before noon but only checked in at 16:19 as per the receipt for paying for the seaplane transfer. So it took us as long time to get from Male airport to the resort as it took us flying from Singapore to Male. And this was despite the effective seaplane flying time being only 25 minutes.

The key challenge with the resort is that it in some aspects feels like it is 20 years behind its time. There is not much sustainability thinking – something which is quite surprising given that the Maldives is at great threat from future sea-level rise. The hotel is operated by 4 diesel generators burning fossil fuels around the clock. Surely, it would be appropriate to install some solar panels given that the island is baking in the sun during most of the daylight hours? Our first candidate would be to install solar water-heaters on top of each villa and then some additional photovoltaic panels on top of the staff area in the centre of the island.

The food also feels like it is 20-years behind its time. You will not go hungry but it could be made more exciting. The restaurant tried to have something for everything and as a result ends up as a “Jack of all trades, master of none”. They will at various times try to cook lapin aux herbes, coq au vin, shepherd’s pie, irish lamb stew, Sichuan beef and many more dishes from around the world. We think the restaurant would function better if they cut back on the number of dishes and introduced more live cooking stations. While some have commented that that food kept warm is great, we did not like the canteen style taste of the heated food. If you are a foodie, we suggest you focus on the salads, the grilled fish and the cook-to-order pasta station. Some improvements we recommend include:
• Grilling the fish on charcoal near the beach instead of on an electric grill.
• Teaching the restaurant staff how to prepare Eggs Benedict for breakfast.
• Making their breakfast “vienoisserie” crispy instead of soggy.
• Creating a “toss your own salad” station rather than just having ready-made salads.
• Allowing the Sri Lankan chefs to make some authentic spicy curries rather than the toned down versions they serve for tourists. We did get them to create some great curries for us that tasted like the real thing.
• Expanding the fish cooking station to include some prawns and squid. It felt strange not having any prawns during the week. We came back from holidays craving seafood. We suggest introducing this even if price needs to be increased.

The bar list also felt a bit dated. There is a very limited selection of bag-in-box house wines limited to one red, one white and one rose and they aren’t great. It would have been good to have had at least a couple of white and red house wines to select from. It would also have been good with some updates to the drinks lists including a wider martini selection (e.g. lychee martini, apple martini).

In summary we think the best way to enjoy Maafushivaru is to stay in a water villa, to take part in several excursions and to come prepared that it is not a food destination.

Room Tip: Sunset water villa far out on the jetty
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12 Thank Swedish_Expat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maafushivaru

Property: Maafushivaru
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll
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 On the Beach Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#9 Luxury Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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