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LUX* South Ari Atoll
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Reviewed June 25, 2014

We recently returned from two weeks at the Lux. We had found it really difficult deciding which of the many resorts to choose from for our first trip to the Maldives but we now know we absolutely made the right choice. Having used Tripadvisor for years, we can't recall ever seeing so many complimentary reviews about a resort and they are all completely justified. It really is a beautiful, serene place where you can completely switch off (and, of course, there are activities for those that want more than sunbathing). From the welcoming, dedicated air conditioned lounge after the long flight to Male, the novelty of the short seaplane trip to the resort (those views!), to the warm welcome at the resort from Mamoun (the manager) and his staff, it's the most stress-free start to a holiday we've ever had. We had a beach pavilion and that was perfect, so the more expensive rooms must be superb. The food (and range of choices) was fantastic in the two buffet restaurants - so good, in fact, we never bothered trying the a la carte restaurants. But what makes the Lux perfect is its staff - from Mamoun (who seems to be everywhere from early morning till late at night, making sure his guests are happy) to the guys who keep the beach clean and everyone in between, they are unfailingly friendly. The house boys and restaurant/bar staff can't do enough for you and always have time to chat. They make a holiday at the Lux a memorable experience.
In the interests of balance, if we wanted to identify any negatives, they would be that the resort was pretty quiet at the end of May/early June - which left the atmosphere a little subdued sometimes when the restaurants or bars were very quiet. On the other hand, that could be another positive for those who really do want total peace and quiet! Other than that, the resort could probably do with some cosmetic refurbishment before long but that seemed to already be happening (unobtrusively) during our stay.
But those things in no way detract from a fantastic holiday we will never forget in a truly beautiful part of the world. If you're struggling to decide whether to go for the Lux or not, we would not hesitate in recommending it.

Room Tip: Personal choice but the sunset side of the island seemed better to us - sun in front of you all day (if you're a sun worshipper) and, of course, watch the sun go down in the evening.
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank ClickerJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2014

Thank you for giving LUX* Maldives the opportunity to be the destination of spending your holidays. Knowing you had a great time with us is the most reassuring reward to all the team members on the island.

Compared with other resorts and hotels in the Maldives, we do pride ourselves on being one of that showcases the most variety food and beverage outlets in the country. With the variety of choices, our guests are able to enjoy the beauty of the island, at the same time, experience different cuisines on their holidays without getting tired of certain types of choices. And I am really glad you enjoy them all !

Moreover, thank you for highlighting the good work of our team members. Your comments and recommendations are the best reward to all of us ! Mamoun and I would like to say thank you again, and we all hope you will be back again soon for another relaxing retreat in the Indian Ocean.

Best regards,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

My daughter and I recently returned from a very memorable holiday in LUX Maldives!! It was the nicest place we have ever stayed in our lives. We were very amazed to receive a very warm welcome by Mr Momoun the resort manager, Claire and the team as we stepped off the sea plane. We really enjoyed the west part of the Island and in particular Senses bar and restaurant , and we would really like to thank Dharminder and his staff who were so friendly and did so many nice things for us to make our holidays so very special. We changed from a beach villa to a water villa for a couple of nights which is well worth the experience when staying at Lux. Ibery the housing keeping manager really looked after us and. Breakfast at Island Kitchen was very enjoyable as Mumaid would make us delicious indian tea. All the staff on the whole island are just really really friendly and well organised and always smiling. We would also especially like to thank Mr Mamoun the resort manager who made our 5 nights so special for us and he always makes the time to come and see all the guests at dinner or in the bars to make sure everyone is having a good time, He is very good manager all his staff are treated with great respect.It was such an amazing Island to stay. I would definitely recommend this resort to my friends and family. I can't wait to be back!!!! Anita & Sajni

Room Tip: Beach villa 214 Water villa
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Anita W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2014

Dear Anita and Sajni,

Mamoun and I are happy to hear from you on TripAdvisor ! It was our pleasure to have you staying with us. Claire, Daminda, Ibrey and the Housekeeping team and Mumaid are motivated to receive your compliments, thank you ! Kindly let us know when your next trip to the Maldives is confirmed, our team and I are very excited and looking forward to welcoming you, your family and friends at the jetty when you return.

Warmest regards from the LUX* Maldives team,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed June 23, 2014 via mobile

Crystal clear waters 30°c
Beautiful place !

5 star service from stuff,
The stuff were so helpful and friendly made us feel very welcome


We would come back, we enjoyed our stay only negative about Lux is they misplaced my wife's top during cleaning and was never found it before we left,






Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Darvid T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2014

Thank you for the review shared on TripAdvisor. I am glad to know you had an enjoyable honeymoon staying with us in June. We have been searching for the top you had highlighted in the review, unfortunately we were not be able to relocate the record nor the top you have mentioned. We are truly sorry for that. However, we will keep on looking, and if there is any news, we will certainly keep you updated.

Please do let us know if there is anything we could assist you with in the future, we will be very happy to receive any news from you !

Warm and sunny regards from the LUX* Maldives team,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2014

The context of this feedback is from two people who travel internationally a lot. We both work for international companies and are away from home regularly every week. That requires us to stay in hotels worldwide, which in one way shows that we needed this holiday! But in others puts in context how amazing Lux Maldives really is. We are used to service, good or otherwise, as well as hotels and it is with that experience that we wrote this feedback.

Arrival
The arrival was amazing, we were pretty stunned as we stepped off the plane to Mohamed Mamoun the general manager and seven members of staff. Nothing had prepared us for the welcome or the feeling of being on the island itself, despite the fact that Amy and I had both pored over photos and tripadvisor reports incessantly for months. Mr Mamoun walked us in to reception and was very respectful of our stunned silence, rather than expecting us to chat. He did the same throughout our stay, as we're private people who enjoy our own company, he met us on several occasions, as he eats in the same restaurants on the island and chats to all guests. It never felt intrusive at all. Chieri our personal greeter was equally charming and fielded our questions as well as providing all the information we needed before walking us to our water villa. We originally booked a prestige water Villa but subsequently we're informed they were being refurbished. Without going in to details, they looked after us very well as a consequence and our original disappointment turned in to delight at our Villa (no 150) and the treatment we received. It is very hard to be disappointed on this island. Despite being a relatively expensive holiday, it is very well worth the money.

On departure, Chieri came to chat with us to ensure all was ok with our stay and escorted us, along with two of the duty managers, to the plane. They wove us off, and the only reason it isn't too sad, is we are of course coming back!

Villa
Our Villa was on the end of the row of villas to the right walking out. As Chieri walked us there we had no idea which one we would be in, and in all honesty all of them are special. Ours was a little more separate, but the distance between all would allow a good deal of privacy, with total screening when on the sun deck. We had looked at all the pictures of the villas, but again nothing comes close to walking in. The room is spacious and redolent of any 5 star luxurious room, which is difficult to achieve with all amenities being provided by the island itself. The mini bar is well stocked with soft drinks and canned beer part of the all inclusive package. Wine is provided as well as spirits but all of those are extra to the AIP (all inclusive package). As you can't bring bottles of wine back with you from the restaurants, that's a little disappointing but on the scale of things not so important. The air conditioning works well, and in deference to both the environment and the Islands electricity supply, cuts off when the patio doors are opened. We found it a little noisy when sleeping and would have liked to switch it off, open the doors and listen to the sea, but that proved to be very muggy for us, even with the extra overhead fan on. That may be different in other months than June.

We were looked after by Ismail, a member of Ahmed's team. When I say looked after that really does not do him justice. He cleaned the villa spotlessly twice a day, sometimes when we sat on the deck. It could have felt odd being there at the same time, but he made us so welcome and comfortable that it wasn't a problem. As well as the beautiful towel animals and running two baths for us during our ten day stay, he constantly made sure we were comfortable, had all we needed and felt that we could ask for whatever would make our stay more pleasurable. It happened to be one of our birthdays, a major one, which was why we were here. As a surprise, my partner had ordered champagne on the day and the hotel provided a special birthday cake with my name and age which subsequently proved to be delicious too. They also provided a bottle of bubbly. On returning later, Ismail had made a bed decoration wishing me a happy birthday as well as a card, which was so special.

We cannot thank Ismail enough for his kind natured, generosity of spirit and hard work to make our stay so special. From info on tripadvisor all of the people looking after the villas do a great job, but we can't imagine anyone being better looked after or feeling more special than he made us feel.

They provided masses of towels for both the sundeck and the villa bathroom and that meant we never felt in need of a new towel. These were also replenished twice a day. I personally suffer from sensitive skin, and being well travelled have issues with the detergent used on hotel towels and bed linens... No problem here, whatever they use to wash the mountains of towels caused me no issues.
Food and drink
There are 9 eating experiences to be had on the island which was one of our main reasons for choosing Lux, on top of the tripadvisor reviews. This includes breakfasts and lunches as well as dinners. On arrival we were given an island life sheet for the week with all the specials including dinners with Maldivian entertainment, both traditional and an amazing guitar duet, lobster specials... So many to choose from. Lunch is from four places and in ten days we never got bored. The island kitchen provided variety, Veli bar cocktails with burgers or plates or tempura by the pool, panini’s in the lagoon bar.. with cocktails... The most authentic Schwarma outside of Israel in the Senses bar with cocktails... You can see a theme developing here...

Dinner again was full of variety. East had a number if special nights, Asian, Japanese / Chinese, Thai... The island kitchen also had themes, whereas Allegria (Italian) had a small but delicious menu and Giancarlo looked after us so well. Senses was a treat for spicy food and most were worth dressing up for. We prefer to dress up a little in the evening and although the resorts stated dress code isn't really adhered to, the range of attire didn't make anyone feel out of place.

The only small detraction is that a large family came to the island with small children during our stay. The parents showed no interest in controlling the children who ran around the restaurant (well away from the parents table) throwing sand and behaving thoroughly spoiled. We felt the staff could have done more to encourage the parents to keep them under control but didn't. This particular family haunted us for a few days, but thankfully left. As we don't have children that may come across a little mean spirited, but this is an island for them too with lots to do. We encountered many families with children of different ages, most of who were charming and well mannered and all who showed respect for where they were and the environment they were in.

We spent a lot of time in the East bar as it's local to the water villas and also pretty cool in the evenings. Shiyam, Romesh, Marine and Rup were so friendly and attentive whilst letting us enjoy our own company.

The range of wines is exceptional with almost all included in the AIP and we were happy with all of them. Having spent some time in California visiting vineyards, we liked the barefoot Chardonnay and Merlot in particular, although the Robert Mondavi wines were also good, as were some of the South African.. and French…and the Italian Chianti… . The Scru cap brands were also very good (not a great fan of Scru cap or pop cap as lux brand names, but the wines do more justice than the names)

We also had a number of cocktails in Veli, looked after by Khan, the man with a permanent smile and happy character. He greeted us like long lost friends whenever we went to the bar and looked after us so well.

Private dining
My amazing lady arranged a private dinner on West Point beach for my birthday. For a hotel that does everything to make you feel special this was another step. We took a buggy to West Point (would have been nice if one had been arranged for us and waiting as an added touch) and walked on to the beach. We arrived a little early for cocktails and Asfaah was waiting to serve us drinks. We sat and enjoyed the solitude in each other's company, sipping cocktails as the sun starts to go down and as it did, Asfaah started to light lamps and hang them on the carefully placed sticks all around us. LED candles plus a candle lamp on the table completed the set and made it even more romantic. Just us, the sunset and a barbecue behind us as the chef cooked an amazing feast. As the sun set, sand crabs started to emerge and that would normally freak out my partner, but she coped well, totally fascinated by them as hundreds appeared from nowhere. As soon as we stood up and moved towards them they all scattered completely, gradually coming back. As the night got darker, they stayed in the shadows.. Mostly....The food was so good, lobster being the main part of the seafood dish. The rest of the menu was at the standard the whole island maintains. The only small detraction was that it was too dim to see the food and it went cold quickly but apart from that it was such a great experience... Had to walk a little way to the toilet in senses a couple of times, but the scene before us as we got back to the beach was worth the interruption.

Island life
We were lucky enough to find the secret bar, and it's surprising that although the drinks were included in our AIP, we still found it a real thrill to be able to have a drink on our own, by the beach. Snorkelling, with the free loan of equipment from the water sports centre is superb around the water villas. The coral is full of fish without going out on the house reef (a free excursion we didn't take part in) and just casually stepping off your own deck in to the sea and swimming amongst them is stunning. Walking back one day, we were lucky enough to spot a sea turtle near our villa. I dropped in to the sea nearby and snorkelled around him, videoing on my go pro. I can't wait to see that footage when we get home! (Have now checked and the footage is amazing!)
There are manta rays in the water but we never saw one when we were snorkelling, just as we walked the planks to our villa and back.

The Spa
We had three spa treatments, two evening couples specials, which is a 75 minute massage and facial, plus another 60 minute Balinese massage. You can choose the strength of the massage, I had the deep tissue whilst Amy had a more relaxing massage. Gelai and Dessy were amazingly good and the feeling afterwards is amazing. The whole experience, from using the sauna and hot and cold plunge pools, through the massages is just amazing. I hadn't really understood when people said they were so relaxed afterwards it was hard to stand.. Now I do! The evening massage has you in a bed, face down looking in the sea at the fish below... But your eyes soon close as you lose yourself to the experience. We have experienced a number of massages, but Gelai and Dessy are true professionals that far exceed anything we have ever experienced before. For sceptical males, I would leave all the scepticism behind and try it, why not, you're on holiday after all! And the couples evening one has champagne included.....
If you're not sure, go have a chat with Kelly on the spa reception about the options, she's funny as well as very professional and can explain all the options available for you to choose from. There are some good deals to be had for people who want a taster as well as those who know what they want from the outset.

Negatives...
Of course with any holiday there will be some small things, but we don't feel that we should share them here. They are so small they would take away from this positive review and will be mentioned to the hotel management separately to this... And I just know they will be acted upon when we come back, because of course, we will be back!

Finally…
We’re looking at dates next year already… why would we go anywhere else on holiday but paradise

Amy and Peter

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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22  Thank Amete_Penns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2014

Dear Amy and Peter,

First of all, I would like to thank you for sharing this great experience you had at LUX* Maldives. Through your review, on behalf of LUX* Maldives team, we truly appreciate your support to every team member at the resort. Our management team has highlighted the names of the team members you have mentioned in the review and acknowledged their good work individually. Thank you for noticing their hard work and devotions to the services.

Beside the compliments, your feedback and suggestions towards the improvement for the LUX* experience would be very much welcomed as we believe by listening to the needs of our guests, we would be able to sustain our service and strive for the best.

Once again, on behalf of Chieri, Ismail, Ahmed, Giancarlo, Asfaah, Khan, Shiyam, Romesh, Rup, Marine, Kelly, Gelai, Dessy and Mamoun, with my heartfelt thanks to you for the wonderful review shared with the world. Everyone in the resort is very much looking forward to your return in 2015.

Should you need any assistance for arranging your trip back to the Maldives, please do not hesitate to contact our team as we will always be happy to be at your service.

Warm and sunny regards from the Indian Ocean,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed June 22, 2014

We have never left a review before on Tripadvisor but after our experience at Lux we wanted to share our experience.
My wife and I stayed for 9 nights for our Honeymoon and we have to say it was the nicest place we have ever stayed in our lives.
I won't go on too much about all the usual things , like rooms,food,drink, resort etc apart from what everyone else has said in reviews on how amazing everything is and for us you can multiply it by a million !! We really enjoyed the west part of the Island and in particular Senses bar and restaurant , and we would really like to thank Daminda and his staff who were so friendly and did so many nice things for us to make our honeymoon very special.
We changed from a beach villa to a water villa for a couple of nights which is well worth the experience when staying at Lux.
All the staff on the whole island are just really really friendly and well organised and all working together in harmony throughout our stay.
We would also especially like to thank Mamoun the resort manager who made our honeymoon so special for us and he always makes the time to come and see all the guests at dinner or in the bars to make sure everyone is having a good time, we saw all the staff saying hello to Mamoun regular which really shone through as to how good a manager he is to all his staff on the island as everyone was treated with great respect by Mamoun.
It was such lovely place to stay and we were so sad just like everyone else is to leave the island but we had an amazing honeymoon ,on the plus side we have started saving to go back next year !!
Patrick & Katie

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Patrickatie100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2014

Dear Patrick and Katie,

We are very excited to learn you are planning your next trip to our island again ! Thank you very much for choosing LUX* Maldives to be the destination of celebrating your honeymoon, and I am pleased and proud to know our team members had given you a great time, special thanks to Daminda and the Senses team.

Please keep in touch. Do not hesitate to contact Mamoun or myself prior to your arrival next year as LUX* team would like to help you to celebrate another special moment in life.

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon. Sunny and shining regards from the Maldives,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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