Me and my other half stayed at the Hilton Iru Fushi in November 2011 for 10 nights. We were told by the travel company that it's a slightly older resort and a little tatty, but with my other half having already been to the Maldives twice before, he knew that this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, as the standards are high. I wasn't worried in the least as I'd never been anywhere remotely as luxurious and this was my first time visiting the Maldives.
Firstly I'll deal with the downsides we had. On arrival, the weather took a turn for the worse which meant the seaplane was unable to take us all the way to the island. We landed at Kuredu and had to wait for maybe 2 hours in a shelter from the rain whilst the boat arrived. Unfortunately this meant our luggage was sat in the rain and I found a few items wet when I opened my case. One of the managers from Kuredu then took us to the bar, where we (and the other parties on board) were given complimentary drinks....or so we all thought, until they called us in to reception to settle the bill! Obviously, none of this was the fault of the Hilton Iru Fushi, it was down to the weather and could not be helped. When our speedboat arrived, it was perhaps the most unpleasant journey I've ever been on. The water was very choppy and the boat was going at full speed, bouncing and slamming us down, much to the amusement of the local staff on board,no doubt!
When we finally arrived on Iru Fushi, we were greeted by a rep; one per party for that personal touch. Ours was a polite and helpful Japanese girl, Ai, who insisted on carrying my heavy hand luggage which I felt rather guilty about! As it was so late, she encouraged us to eat dinner, and suggested we either go to the buffet or order room service. We opted for the latter. We boarded a golf buggy and went to our beach villa and it did not disappoint by any means!
Our Beach villa was spotless. The only sign of wear was in the very corners of the indoor shower but that's nothing! The outdoor bathroom was of course stunning, and made going to the loo at night quite a novelty, with the geckos and fruit bats watching over you! The rest of the villa was beautiful and well maintained. Our beach cabana was a little tatty (the fan was a bit rickety, bird droppings on the cushions), but given it's location, it's to be expected with exposure to sea water and crows. Again, this is nothing compared to the rest of the holiday and perhaps I'm being overly critical, but I wanted to cover all aspects of the villa.
My other half wanted me to say that you will need to take lots of anti-mosquito spray, as they seemed to make a beeline for him, and he said that the resorts he'd visited previously had a more strict misting regime. Room spray and plug-ins are provided, so it's only when you're outdoors that you need to be careful of the mozzies! We did wake up with a few bites and on the last few nights discovered that this was probably due to the large ants inside our villa, one of which we found in the bed.
The house reef wasn't much to write home about for my other half, who has seen better ones, but for me who's never snorkelled before, it was an ideal way to get some practise in. We saw some large rays,one of which scared the life out of me, and we were also lucky enough to se a sea snake on one occasion! I was blown away! There were plenty of colourful reef fish to see around coral at the end of the jetty (the one with Flavours restaurant on) and to the right of flavours, close to the beach, we saw two eels, a puffer fish and a small black reef tipped shark.
Our first night was met with very heavy rain, but even this seemed beautiful in the Maldives! On the first day we were caught in an unexpected shower after snorkelling, much to our amusement! For the rest of the holiday it was beatiful and hot, sometimes overcast but it's nice not to have the sun beating down on you all the time. As with most of the islands, there are signs of beach erosion, and on our last few days the pump was moved to the sea by our villa, which meant we had to snorkel in a different spot than usual, but this wasn't an issue since we happened to see even more sealife. I would recommend buying underwater cameras at home or in the airport as they are very expensive in the gift shop.
The food was magnificent! Due to our problematic arrival we chose in-villa dining. We had plenty of high quality food and it turned out to be better value than eating at the buffet or in one of the restaurants. The children's meals were more than enough for me I found, which again kept the cost down. For breakfast we attended the buffet, which completely blew me away for quality and selection. Whatever your tastes, there was something to suit you, and with it being a buffet it gave you the option to try foods that you wouldn't normally choose. The same goes for the evening buffet. The 'International Buffet' is the night to go for; something for everyone. For four out of our ten nights we ate at the restaurants; Bamboo, Flavours (twice) and the Islander's Grill. The food was beautiful each time.
One last thing, the wildlife might take a little getting used to as the geckos call throughout the night, and if you're unlucky enough to have one sneak into your room it might keep you awake! We did see a few spiders, one very large, about the same size as my hand, but they are not poisonous so the best thing to do is let them get on with their business. The crows are pesky and will steal any food you leave out, whether it's in a wrapper or not!
This was my first visit to the Maldives and I was not disappointed. My only concern is that my next visit to a different hotel will be a disappointment compared to Iru Fushi!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi we invite you to let go of your worldly concerns and simply enjoy the moment - on your own, with your partner, with your family. To soak up the stunning environment of our 52-acre island, revel in the luxuries of our traditional Maldivian villas, indulge in mouth-watering cuisine across our 11 restaurants, and experience our diverse array of leisure activities that will see you speeding across the ocean's surface and delving beneath its depths. We also invite you to discover, to learn, to connect. DISCOVER LIVING Inspired by nature, enveloping. Shaded havens open onto pristine stretches of powdery beach, the lagoon and its delights waiting patiently. Strolling at sunrise along the water's edge, the sky blushing deep rose. Laying in the shallows to bask in pure sunlight, waves gently caressing, schools of fish teasing. Feeling that life was always meant to be like this - savouring each moment. DISCOVER FLAVOUR Maldivian culinary arts and traditions come alive across 11 diverse restaurants. Fresh local flavours - served with tropical flair. Tantalising aromas carry on the breeze from live cooking stations. Seafood specialities and homemade hearty treats. Authentic Asian and gourmet light bites. Indulge in local and international fusions of sumptuous ingredients and delicious flavours. Casual settings paired with fine cuisine. Speciality wines individually selected by our expert Sommelier. Feast at the water's edge. The sound of a sizzling grill blended with the lapping of the waves. DISCOVER FREEDOM • Beach • Main swimming pool with children's area • Infinity-edged lap pool • PADI five-star dive centre • Water sports centre • Fully equipped gymnasium • Tennis courts • Badminton courts • Spa • Library • Kids' Club DISCOVER RELAXATION With the entire island a sanctuary of natural beauty, there is no need to hide away. Instead The Spa at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi is an open immersion - in organic earth and vibrant sea - the elements from which Ayurveda draws its centuries-old healing power. At The Spa we have perfected this ancient holistic tradition, blending its timeless wisdom with contemporary practices found both East and West. Our resident Ayurvedic Doctor guides our guests on their own personalised journeys to wellness both during their stay and beyond. Meanwhile, expert practitioners - in traditional massage, authentic Maldivian-inspired rituals and world-renowned wellness practices - combine finely honed knowledge with a naturally healing touch. DISCOVER COMMUNITY We engage in proactive yet culturally respective social responsibility efforts, helping to preserve the atoll's traditions while also bettering livelihoods. Along the way, we invite guests who seek a deeper understanding of the atoll's people and culture to take part - from spending a day with local fishermen who supply our restaurants, to practicing English with children at the village school, to trading stories and recipes with the women as they prepare the day's catch. Our guests leave with a unique insight into the Maldives, enriched by its culture and traditions. Meanwhile our communities benefit from the support offered by The Sun Siyam - and their meaningful engagement with you. We warmly welcome you to our home, and into our hearts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Hotel Noonu Atoll
- Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort And Spa
- Hilton Noonu Atoll
- Noonu Atoll Hilton