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“Fantastic luxury stay”

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LUX* South Ari Atoll
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 20, 2014

We booked this resort as a couple with no kids. We weren't sure if we wanted to do activities or not so chose Lux as it looked like there were plenty of choices. We had the best time of our lives. Definitely advise going all inclusive - great value.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Sarah 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 Sarah,

Thank you for your review “Fantastic luxury stay” and we are delighted that you made the choice to stay with us.

LUX* Maldives is a large island and we are thankful that we have so many restaurant and bar options to offer all our guests from couples to families, so there is something for everyone (especially when you are on an all inclusive package).

It was a pleasure to have you both stay with us and we look forward to welcome you back soon.

See you soon.

Best regards,


Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed July 20, 2014

Just spent 10 days in this Island Paradise with our family of 5. Outstanding staff. Sobir entertained us with towel sculptures and floral decorations in our room every day and our rooms were always immaculate. The bubble bath ready after dinner on my birthday was a real treat - thank you Sobir. July is low season but in a 10 day stay we had only one half day of rain. Otherwise hot and sunny. Keen divers/snorkelers will find the usually crystal clear waters rather cloudy but other than that no issues with a July visit. We did not see Whale Sharks which was disappointing. Large island with lots of restaurant choices. Very good food and All Inclusive is an excellent value option for a family of 5. Plenty of things to do for the active. Glorious beach with lovely white sand. Sunset side of the island is windy and has a wide beach. Large "Golf" buggies run the length of the island to save too much walking. Bicycles also available. We enjoyed the daily feeding of sharks and sting rays from the pontoons.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Wendy M
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 Wendy and family,

Thank you for mentioning our team with your kind words, especially that of highlighting Sobir amazing towel sculptures and floral decorations in your room each day. Especially celebrating your birthday with us is always a special experience and we are delighted that you enjoyed it here amongst us.

A pity that you were unable to see the Whale shark, however there is always an opportunity for another visit as the are truly beautiful. Being active on the island is very easy to do as there are so many activities from water sports to exploring the island with the bicycles.

We do look forward to have the family back soon as we are adding new family choices together so that you can do cooking classes in the herb garden or discover the culture by visit the near by local island to learn more on Maldives.

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 July 17, 2014

My husband and I chose Lux for our sixth holiday to the Maldives. We have become seasoned travellers to this beautiful part of the world, but have been in constant search of the ‘perfect’ island. Previous islands visited have included Meedhupparu Water Villas, Hilton Iru Fushi (now renamed) which we visited twice, the Beach House at Manafaru (also now renamed) and the most recent island prior to Lux, was the Constance Halaveli.

Needless to say, regardless of the experiences of individual islands, the beauty of the Maldives itself is simply enough to draw us back year after year. I think anyone would be hard pushed to find anywhere else in the world more naturally stunning, safe, friendly or luxurious. This is why we have become regular visitors to the Maldives.

If I were to create a checklist of the things that make a holiday perfect for us, it would consist of:

- Amazing hot weather.

- Delicious food, preferably al a carte, with the freshest ingredients and a wide variety to cater for what takes our fancy each day.

- Excellent customer service and friendly staff.

- A nice amount of guests, to create a good atmosphere and ambience but without feeling too busy.

Of course there is a lot more, but these are the things that really matter to us. We have been to some very luxurious, exclusive islands (Constance Halaveli for example) which have not met these expectations. We decided that we would be persistent in our search for an island that met all of our criteria, as there must be one out there.

So, how did Lux rank? It exceeded our expectations, delivered more than our wish list, and was by far the best island we have been to. There are two main reasons for this, the food and the people. I have never named anyone in any trip advisor review I have written as we have never got to know anyone on a name basis at any resort we’ve visited but as we were completely drawn in by the people here, I cannot provide a review of this island without doing so.

The food
Words cannot describe the quality of the food and the dining experiences on this island. We were booked on B&B but upgraded as soon as we arrived at the island to the all inclusive package. This was our first experience of AI in the Maldives as we have been very sceptical about the quality of food on such plans (particularly as we are not fans of buffet dining) and about the type of clientele such plans can sometimes attract.

I have to say that the AI at Lux is superb and they have pitched the AI plan perfectly. The plan includes absolutely everything (except the Japanese Umami restaurant), from the mini bar in the room, to bottles of lovely wine with dinner, amazing cocktails, unlimited delicious ice cream (made on the island) and divine coffees. I think the cost of the plan is just right ($140 pp pn) to keep it from becoming a free for all and attracting the wrong types of guest and we even found ourselves enjoying the buffet restaurants, which delivered the same standard and quality as the al a carte restaurants.

We were lucky enough to get to know the Head Chef on the island, Jonathan, who does an absolutely amazing job of running the five restaurants and has the most fantastic team of chefs to support him. We enjoyed dining at every single restaurant, but our favourite was without a doubt, Senses (Asian cuisine) which served the most outstanding Indian dishes we’ve ever tasted (worldwide). Our thanks goes to Alu and his team for our very memorable dining experiences here. Jonathan and his team are clearly very passionate about the food they provide, particularly where the ingredients are sourced from and are consistently working on innovate menus and dishes. The island offer special events which I would highly recommend, such as the Wine and Dine with the Chef night which was one of our most memorable experiences in the Maldives. This involved sharing a table with Jonathan and four other couples at Allegria (Italian restaurant) whilst having top chefs prepare a five course meal, with complimentary wines provided by a sommelier for each course. As a couple that like to keep themselves to themselves, and seldomly socialise on holiday, we met such lovely people and enjoyed every minute. I’d also recommend the wine and dine evening at the East restaurant where chefs prepare worldwide fresh dishes for you on the outside deck of the restaurant, absolutely divine! Amir at the East restaurant looked after our every need that evening and is such a delightful person to talk to.

I could write (and almost have) an entire review about the food at Lux, and I don’t think this has been highlighted enough in other reviews. I hope that Jonathan and his team keep up the exceedingly good standard.

People
We had read the reviews before going to Lux, which were quite clear about how amazingly friendly and helpful the staff were on the island. As we have yet to come across an unfriendly or unhelpful person in the Maldives, we expected this island to be no different to any other island we have visited. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The staff at Lux are world class and it is the people that make this place so very special. The staff are so genuinely happy and helpful and make you feel as though you are the only guests on the island. They simply cannot do enough for you. We got to know the General Manager, Mr Mamoun who really could not have done any more for us. Mr Mamoun clearly cares very much about the experience of every guest on his island, and goes out of his way to make everything just perfect. His team clearly love working with him and he is the most visible GM we have come across on our travels. Mr Mamoun can be seen touring the island from early morning to late at night, making sure that every guest is happy. We can’t thank him enough for our very pleasant interactions with him.

I said I would name a few people who we had lovely experiences of, so I also want to highlight Yami and Sati at the Lux spa for the most superb massages and facials. We were lucky enough to have three spa treatments each (the couples retreat is highly recommended) where these two lovely ladies relieved all our stresses and tension.

Last but not least, Hussein who looked after our room (no.336) was fantastic. The towel art (that others have mentioned) is just brilliant, so talented.

I have focused on the two things that made our holiday exceptionally special, so perhaps haven’t paid as much attention to things like the lovely room (we had a beach pool villa), the swimming pools, activities etc etc.

Unfortunately the Senses (adult) swimming pool was closed for cleaning whilst we were at Lux but it was reopening as we were leaving on Monday. I would have really liked to have experienced this pool but no doubt will when we return. We spent a couple of hours at the Veli pool which is the family pool, which understandably attracts a lot of children. As a couple with no children, it wasn’t ideal for us but as this is one of the leading family resorts in the Maldives, we can’t complain about that. The Veli pool was great for children, with a really safe environment and the children’s play area / club looked like great fun for kids. I can completely see why families would be attracted to Lux, with so much available for children, and we could see that the staff were absolutely brilliant with them. Despite this being a big family resort, as a young couple, we certainly felt well catered for and not at all overwhelmed by the families and children. Lux seem to have a remarkably good balance from families through to honeymooners, they cater for everyone.

We had fantastic weather with just one day of rain (at the same time last year we had three or four) and considering it was low season, the island was at 60% capacity so there was a good vibe and the perfect amount of people.

The size of this island is perfect. At 1.8km, there is plenty of walking (or cycling) to be done, there are plentiful activities for those who want them (such as diving, snorkelling) and we went out twice on a peddle boat to the nearby sand bank which was lovely. Just the two of us on a bank in the middle of the Indian Ocean surrounded by the beautiful lagoon. Lux also like to keep people on their toes looking for the hidden bottles which contain nice prices, such as spa treatments, boat trips, food and drink. There are a number of them dotted around the island and you can see so many guests hunting high and low for the bottles every morning. Despite thinking that we wouldn’t be sucked into this, we completely were and were delighted to find two bottles!! It’s great fun and just another example of excellent innovation from Lux. My husband has described this island as the Disneyland of the Maldives, with lots of fun and great people.

All in all, I simply cannot find anything to criticise about Lux. This island has ticked all the boxes for us and I can honestly say that six visits in, we have finally found our ‘perfect’ island. I have spent many, many hours researching the Maldives over the years, and now look forward to a very simple booking process when we come to return, as I will look no further than Lux. I think that some of the other five star resorts in the Maldives need to beware, Lux is on its way up to being the number one resort.

Room Tip: There isn't a bad room on the island. The East side is good for the calm lagoon but the West sid...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
14  Thank PHOTOFAB82
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 20, 2014

“Five star resort with six star people” is a great way to describe LUX* Maldives.

On behalf of our Resort manager, Mamoun and Executive Chef, Jonathan we thank you for this amazing review and for the kind words shared. We are very proud and honoured to have our Team recognized in such a beautiful way.

We have shared your experience with all our team and we have personally read this to all management on the wonderful feedback received. Every moment matters and we are here to help people celebrate life especially as you have described them. Your photos taken are well noted and we appreciate that you have uploaded them.

We all look forward to welcome you back for another Wine & Dine with Chef. Please do let Mamoun or myself know should you require any assistance with your booking as we would be delighted to assist where possible.

Once again thank you for writing and sharing your Tripadvisor review. We are counting down the days until your next visit to LUX* Maldives .

Yours sincerely,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed July 17, 2014

We went to Lux for our honeymoon and where blown away as soon as the sea plane landed! A warm welcome from Mamoun and his team gave the indication that this will be a cherished trip! We stayed in the beach villa which was kept immaculate by Shareef from housekeeping. The food was top notch although pricey but you are in Maldives after all! Breakfast was plentiful with all the meat being halal and some dishes being made fresh in front of your eyes!

Those who venture there have to try the Fly Boarding and Jet skiing to really explore the Island. Those who are less brave can take a stroll around the beach which only takes 20 mins or so. Beautiful crystal clear sea and the feeling of warm sand through the toes...complete bliss!

There is an adult pool which is more private and couple friendly. When at the pool side, you have to try the Island burger and the infamous Dhidoo drink!

Lux spa was heavenly, relaxing on a bed whilst watching the coral below - the massage easily put me to sleep which was quite embarrassing.

Mamoun runs a very tight ship at Lux and the effort can be seen, all the staff have been nothing but friendly and helpful, I even managed to find a fellow Arsenal fan amongst them. The staff wee so welcoming that they even allowed me to use their private mosque for congregational prayers. I doubt anyone would be able to get from one end of the island to the other without getting a warm smile and greeting from a staff member.

I struggle to find any faults with Lux as the Lux team's efforts to thrive for excellence is evident. The tan has faded but the memories remain. I am sure to return soon!

Room Tip: Rooms next to The Bar face the beach and you can get to see the sunset daily
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank AmeraRani
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 22, 2014

Dear Aziz,

Thank you for your review and once again congratulations on your Honeymoon. There are so many wonderful activities to do on the island and we appreciate that you were able to explore the fly boarding and jet ski, as well as relaxing at our LUX* Me spa.

We have shared your review with Mamoun and the team as we appreciate the great warmth and heart displayed by all to make your honeymoon extra special. We are happy that you were able to find a few more football fans as we all have been cheering on much of the games played over the past.

Wishing you both a wonderful life together with many best wishes from all LUX* Maldives family.

Please let Mamoun or myself know when you plan to return so we may be there to welcome you back.

Yours sincerely,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed July 17, 2014

My visit to lux was in June from the moment we landed in maldives I knew the service would be great. The staff of lux were the most prepared in the airport and the room we waited in for the sea plane was one of the best. After arriving at lux nothing changed and for the whole stay we had the best time there. The rooms are beautiful with the only difference between sunset and surmise is the wind, sot it is more breathy on the sunset side but more private on the sunrise side.

Room Tip: Sunset breathy , sunrise less people walking but they are not many to begin with
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Hussein K
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 20, 2014

Dear Hussein,

Maldives is a special place and we are delighted that you chose to stay at LUX* Maldives. Your title personifies the island well and we are thankful to share this beautiful experience to all our online readers.

From the airport experience to landing on the island our team is always prepared to do their best to ensure that you feel at home and welcomed. We are so happy that you felt comfortable and relaxed during your stay and we look forward to welcome you back.

Best regards,
Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed July 14, 2014

Just returned from 7 days in Lux. What an amazing holiday. Stayed in a water villa which which just heaven. The service is second to none. Everyone is friendly and can't do enough for you. My son who is 10 just loved the sunset fishing and even went on his own as he was so well looked after. Caught loads of fish and they cooked one for him for supper! Junaldi and Susan his wife were so lovely and looked after us so well, they made the holiday! Ishmil the boy who looked after our room brought us fresh coconuts to drink in the morning and made beautiful animals with the towels each day, the room was kept immaculately ! The staff in the East bar were just lovely! Mr Mamoun the boss was always around, spoke to us every day and very approachable. You can tell the staff are genuinely happy to be at Lux.

The food was delicious. I usually don't like buffets but you could not fault the ones in the East restaurant. I have an allergy to garlic so they cooked me something special every day! Navin at breakfast was just lovely and we missed saying goodbye to him as he moved to Senses restaurant . ( We went to Senses restaurant on last night, what a treat!)

We went in monsoon season but only had one afternoon of rain....and did it rain! The temperature was perfect and the breeze very welcoming! The weather was perfect.I spent a lot of time in Lux Cafe as the coffee was so good as were the afternoon cakes. Thanks to the boys in the Cafe they were so lovely and great fun! My son loved hunting for the message in the bottle, thanks to the staff who gave us tips!

We loved going up and down the island on the carts and bicycles. Although we had to wait sometimes for a cart this was part of the holiday and too many carts would spoil the tranquility of the island.The island is large so you never feel crowded. We didn't put any shoes on for the whole holiday. We met some lovely guests who we will definitely keep in touch with!

My husband dived 3 times including a wreck dive. The instructors were friendly, competent and open to special dive sight requests. The staff on the reef snorkelling were great and what a treat to see a turtle.

In fact the whole holiday was brilliant we have already booked to return in 12 weeks time....can't wait. Lux is a very special island, you are made to feel valued and completely at home. Every quest we spoke to felt the same and felt very emotional when they left ( and I thought it was just me!)

Thank you Lux, see you again in October!!!

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Ballroad1
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 20, 2014

It is always a special moment when our guests take the time to write a review and share with the world how amazing their stay was. Especially when the title is “We are coming back!”

All the team including Jonathan, Navin, Mamoun, Junaidi and Susan have been informed of your lovely words and also take the opportunity to express their thanks. Ishmil has great imagination which you saw in the beautiful towel animals created each day as we keep you guessing what comes next.

It is very true that our team has a cheerful smile and always takes great care of our guests as we know how special a family holiday is. We have also noted your customer feedback online that you enjoyed the guitarist that played at the resort, very special entertainment and always great fun.

Happy to see that that there was something for everyone to enjoy from the diving and our own Cafe Lux. We are glad to let you know that we are looking into more fun filled activities for the family that I am sure you will all enjoy.

Please do contact myself or Mamoun as we would be delighted to assist you should you or the family require anything special arranged. We are excited to have you back home with us at LUX* Maldives in October and are counting down the days till you all return.

Yours sincerely,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed July 14, 2014

Very well oiled machine,from the Lux arrival lounge,the sea plane and the all singing and dancing welcoming staff.The place is set on a large island not too far away from the airport.The resort has thought of everything so all you need to do is arrive and unwind.They have many restaurants to choose from so you will not struggle to find something you like( my wife is vegetarian and normally very fussy,but enjoyed every place we went),and the chefs are more than willing to make something specific if you prefer.There are many activities to keep you busy from snorkelling to film screenings outdoors. We stayed in the water villa which was a bit dated but never the less immaculately kept daily.The water to the rear is not really suitable for snorkelling but is a nice touch none the less. The one thing to bear in mind is that there are Lion fish that swim around in the shallow waters and stingrays so be wary. Also avoid mid January as this is Chinese new year and it gets incredibly busy. All in all good value for money for a trip to the Maldives,you can rest assured you will be in good hands.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank boxingtraveller
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 20, 2014

Thank you for your review on LUX* Maldives.

Our talented Chefs are thrilled to know your wife enjoyed the vegetarian meals that was prepared as this is our pleasure to ensure you both enjoyed the delicious meal experience presented.

You had mentioned the 'Screen on the beach' and this is one of many Reasons that our guests enjoy on the island as it is a very special experience with popcorn and special drinks served under the stars.

Noted that you were with us in mid-January and we are thankful for the review. We can see that you and your wife were felt valued and well taken care of by the resort. We do hope to see you soon and please let myself or the reservation team know if we can assist with your future visits.

Best regards,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Additional Information about LUX* South Ari Atoll

Address: (Formerly Diva Maldives)
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Dhidhoofinolhu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dhidhoofinolhu Island
Price Range: $437 - $2,321 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — LUX* South Ari Atoll 5*
Number of rooms: 193
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dreamy atolls of tropical islands scattered across the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a kaleidoscope of colours and earthly pleasures. Get away from it all at LUX* South Ari Atoll (formerly LUX* Maldives), the only settlement on the postcard-perfect island of Dhidhoofinolhu. Fuss free and laid-back, the resort surprises with pop-up cinema screenings right on the beach, impromptu musical performances and strolls along secret pathways through the lush tropical gardens. Just steps from the thatch-roofed suites and ocean-perched villas, the island's unspoilt beaches are yours to claim. A prime spot for snorkelling and whale-shark spotting, the resort's unblemished lagoon is a diver's dreamworld. Back on land, island street food and fine dining await in the tempting restaurants and bars. In the shade of coconut palms, lounge by the two turquoise pools, luxuriate in the ocean-view spa and surrender to the charms of this castaway idyll. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lux* Maldives Hotel South Ari Atoll
Diva Maldives Hotel
Diva Maldives South Ari Atoll

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