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“Outstanding hotel”
Review of Maafushivaru

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Maafushivaru
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 11, 2014

We arrived here for our honeymoon in the end of May, by sea plane. And all I have to say is amazing.
One tip... don't take any shoes, you will not need them.You can walk barefoot everywhere. The fact that the island is very relaxed, is perfect for a honeymoon, or just for someone who wants to relax a little bit.
The entertainment was just right. Only at night so you can enjoy your day on the beach or snorkeling.
The snorkeling was amazing, you can see all kinds of fish, turtles, sharks, all on their reef.
The staff is 5 stars. Our waiter Shah, was amazing, always treating us by our name, which is a very nice personal touch.
The staff from the water bar, specially Jean, made us feel very welcome.
Lealih (sorry, I know I am not pronouncing it right), from the reception is exceptional, we had the candlelight dinner, but it was raining that day, and we were able to change it with her help. It end up being and amazing night for the day that we have changed it, so thank you.
We stayed on a water villa, overlooking the sunrise. The sunrise is amazing if you are awake at 5:30am. And you could always see the sunset while you are having a cocktail on the bar, which by the way is breathtaking. The villa was very spacious, and comfortable. The fact that we could swim whenever we wanted is perfect. The perfect touch was the shower connecting to the balcony, so when you return from the sea, you can shower without having to go past the bedroom. The products from L'Occitane that were available in the room where just perfect.
The food was good, there was always something that you could eat, without having to eat always the same food.
The cocktails are amazing, specially the "Island special", I wish I could make it myself.
We did the Whale shark trip, and have to say it is once in a lifetime experience.
I would definitely recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Don't travel with shoes, because you will not need them... Do the Whale shark snorkeling trip...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sandocas82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 26, 2014

My husband and I stayed here for our anniversary and we couldn't fault it. The beach villa was spacious and and outdoor shower lovely. Food was amazing and always a good variety. Loved the barefoot feel esp in the bar area, you really don't need to take any shoes or sandals! We travelled July 13 and went on the manta excursion when we found 2 whale sharks and got to jump in the water right next to them! We also went on the whale shark excursion and so no sharks but lots of mantas! So keep going if u doing catch them the first time, this made the trio so memorable. We did scuba but to be honest the snorkelling excursions to see the mantas and whale sharks were the main highlight. Really simple to sign up for excursions u just add ur name to the clipboard and turn up! We had an all inclusive option and we surprised by the wide range of cocktails and spirits. Definitely go on the guided tour of the island it's nice to see the staff quarters but avoid the local Maldivian themed night - was quite boring! The other main advantage of this island is you get 2 for the price of 1 with the beautiful isolated lonubo island a short boat ride away u can go there for free and when we went there was only ourselves and one other couple there! If only they had a small bar open there for refreshments though! Definitely recommend maafushivaru to anyone heading out to the maldives,

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Rosh7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2014

I stayed at Maafushivaru with my husband for 10 nights for our honeymoon on an all-inclusive basis. It was our first visit to the Maldives.

The setting is amazing, and the arrival by seaplane is very dramatic. We stayed in a water villa overlooking the sunrise. It was large and very comfortable. It felt very private. The absolutely amazing part of the villa is the sea life - just from the walkways and our balcony we saw so many fish, a sting ray and a reef shark or two. The sunrises were spectacular.

The best part of our trip was the snorkelling and diving. We were able to easily snorkel to the house reef from our villa and the variety of sea life and corals were amazing - the best we have ever experienced. The dive sites were also incredible and often very close by.

The food is good, though as others have said it is a buffet in the main restaurant. However, the teppenyaki restaurant served delicious sushi and was very entertaining. The cocktail list is huge, the house wine is indeed quite unpleasant but we defaulted to cocktails instead!

Overall we had an amazing trip and have no reservation in recommending Maafushivaru to others.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Liriodendrontulip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2014

My husband took my here for a surprise birthday trip, and I couldn't have picked a better place to stay myself!! Everything was perfect! The room was spacious and very clean and comfortable, the beach was spotless and probably the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, the food was pretty good, and the staff and service was impeccable!! There is really beautiful snorkeling on the house reef, which is a few steps from the sand, and they also offer great excursions. We went on the excursions to snorkel with whale sharks and the sea turtles one, and they were both really fun!! The in-house marine biologist, Amanda, is extremely knowledgeable, and we learned so much! This is a very small resort, and you definitely get fantastic service and attention to detail. There is definitely no worry of reserving sun loungers, as every room had two right off the back of them on the beach. We stayed in a beach villa, and it was so nice to be able to walk out of our room, step off the deck, and be on the softest white sand ever! I would most definitely return here, and plan on recommending it to anyone who wants to go to the Maldives!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Emrldgrl16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2014

The beach villa either smells very moldy. We were offered another room but it was even terrible coz it is just finished renovation. I am forced to stay in that moldy beach villa for one night and I and still coughing becoz of that. Stay in water villa guys..

  • Stayed: May 2014
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44  Thank Wirejbakd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2014

Absolutely incredible island, what a beautiful place!

The service was fantastic and the food was great too, a perfect place to spend our honeymoon.
If you can, definitely go far a water villa, they feel really private and it's amazing to open your blinds in the morning and see all he fish swimming past!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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4  Thank 441ThomasW82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2014

This place is perfect for someone who loves luxury and is also a diver. Then again, if you're the type who likes to wade aimlessly in the water, eat a wide variety of food, and do the spa, you're also in the right place. You can also do nothing while you watch sunsets with your honey. Some people did the gym and yoga on the deck near the spa, so it seems right for anyone.

My husband and I chose Maafushivaru for our 7 day honeymoon in the Maldives, based on extensive research about the diving and also the fact that it was the only resort with a water bungalow for our dates. We got lucky. Maafushivaru lived up to everything we had read and heard about -- and much more -- about the Maldives. It’s hard to compare, but we did find it especially luxurious and relaxing, whilst still sporting, compared to our recent fantastic trips (e.g. Costa Rica, Hawaii, Fiji, and Zanzibar). So Maafushivaru is well worth it.

This is an all-inclusive resort, which doesn’t sound like what you’d expect from a luxury resort, but many resorts in the Maldives own/occupy the whole island on which they sit. So with the accommodations, you’re also paying for access to amenities like their amazing dive shop, spa, restaurants, house reef, and in the case of Maafushivaru, a separate tiny deserted island exclusively for guests, called Lonubu

Honeymooner Tip: Book the private dinner as far in advance as you can for your dates. Here’s the PDF we wish we had found on their website.

http://www.maafushivaru.com/pdf/Lonubo_Private_Dinner.pdf

We also were thrilled with the Maafushivaru Moment package at the spa. We weren’t expecting anything but a massage and a bath, but it was pretty magical. The equipment, including the massage tables, are high-tech, covered in buttery soft white leather. It's like you're floating on air. Only the highest quality organic products. Then they leave you two alone to soak in a prepared bath of warm water, covered in rose petals, with a bottle of sparkling wine and fruit for an hour. You have the whole expansive room to yourselves as well as the deck outside, overlooking the ocean lapping with a soft breeze.

Hands down, we loved the diving the most. We did extensive research on where to dive for mantas, whale sharks and Maldives-only sea life, which led us to the South Ari Atoll, which led us to Maafushivaru and it’s elegant balance of unpretentious luxury and tranquility.

The resort is surrounded by powdery white sand that never gets hot. We stayed in a spacious well-designed and thoughtfully laid out water bungalow, and got the privacy and amazing sunset views we’d hoped for. From our bungalow, we snorkeled right out into the lagoon, to the amazing house reef. Everywhere on the resort, you see the sea life everywhere. Truly amazing.

There were healthful and extensive food selections (be careful -- that's on you if you make a mess of mixing flavors or overstuff yourself).

Genuinely thoughtful staff. Wonderful honeymoon package.

Special thanks goes out to Marco who leads Maafushivaru’s dive team, which is only accessible to resort guests, at reasonable dive prices. We learned he’s got 20 years dive experience in the Maldives. He's definitely the most knowledgeable, professional and best dive master we've encountered, so you’re in great hands there. His briefings are so clear. He's precise but laid-back so we always had fun, and he makes sure you get the most out of your dives. From the resort, we took the hotel’s boat to a whale shark spot and snorkeled for 30 minutes with a whale shark . We dove with two whale sharks that day, and stumbled upon a group of 25 mobula (like mantas but slightly smaller, still up to a ton in size. Another day, he took us on a challenging but exhilarating dive totally within our skill level near Five Rocks (too much current) and we hung out with a shark. Marco never made promises but he always delivered on them. Manta dive - check. We were with the manta for a full hour (not deep so our air was fine). What a cool guy. Aude is also very nice. Again, this is all part of the resort’s services and you have to be a guest to enjoy what we did.

Maafushivaru as a resort and the island it occupies exclusively are breathtaking. From the moment you ride up in the cool, modern, all-wood boat that seems so much nicer than everyone else's boat at the seaplane pick-up/drop-off point in the middle of the ocean, to the time you're already seeing amazing sea life teeming around the dock and seawall. The water is so calm and a beautiful turquoise blue. Visibility in the water at the resort is typically 30m (~100 feet. It’s incredible what you see from your water bungalow or just outside of the bungalows. We saw two large free-swimming octopuses, a black-tip reef shark, schools of 3-foot long gleaming iridescent needlefish, and tons of species you’d think you’d only see at deeper depths.

Again, the resort takes up the whole island, and it would take 10 minutes to walk around, even if you're in water up to your knees. You only end up wearing flip flops on the wooden decks. Everywhere else, most guests go elegantly barefoot in the fine powder white sand, which doesn't stick to you and acts as the flooring for most of the resort (except the spa, the gift shop, and the dive shop).

What else? L'Occitane spa products in the bungalows. Great design. Tons of windows to look out at the lagoon. We especially loved the shower that connected the deck to the bathroom suite.

The staff is lovely and welcoming. Immediately, upon arrival, you have a warm, welcoming greeting with cocktails. Every day, the staff was so gracious and greeted us with a sense of respect and care. They knew our names after just a day or so. The resort designates a particular waiter to you as well as your own attendant. We noticed Italians, German, South Korean, Chinese and French guests, all with a waiter speaking to them in their native tongue it seemed. Americans are as frequent as European guests, so they seemed to appreciate that my husband and I traveled a far distance..

** Great job -- special appreciation to Adam in the Library for handcrafting a parrot and fish out of palm leaves for us on our honeymoon dinner night by the water.

Our only two regrets at Maafushivaru was that we didn’t take advantage of their house reef for snorkeling and we didn’t know to book the Lonobu island for the private dinner (it was totally booked by the time we read about it in the hotel literature in our room).

This place is worth the long flights to get there, the early morning sea plane, and of course the cost. We’re definitely planning to return to Maafushivaru, and we’re recommending the resort to all of our friends.

Room Tip: Water bungalow is a must. We were in 216 which got the sunset.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rosally S
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: $849 - $1,816 (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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