Second time in the Maldives, first time at this resort. Travelled as a couple, stayed 2 weeks in a water villa. We went for my girlfriend's 30th birthday and although we didn't tell the hotel they did realise and did a couple of things that went above and beyond as noted later.
We chose Thudufushi because it was all inclusive, was a small island (72 rooms) and it had rooms over the water.
Very spacious, excellent facilities in the room, films on the in room Mac but no TV (not that you go to the Maldives to watch TV). Minibar is well stocked and replenished daily with water, soft drinks and alcohol which is all included.
The rooms themselves are significantly bigger than the beach rooms and benefit from a large covered deck with sofas and dining table, in addition there is a sun deck with loungers for sun bathing or star gazing depending on your interests!
The steps from the deck go straight into the water, dependant on the tides the water is 2 to 3 metres deep and you won't see that much until you in the water, with the exception of the sharks and rays that pass the rooms periodically.
You will get a room attendant who will look after the room for the duration of your stay. They do an excellent job of keeping the place clean with a morning tidy up and an evening turn down service.
Our room boy was called Ahmed and he did an exceptional job especially on my girlfriend's birthday when he did some very elaborate sheet and towel folding and wrote a message on petals and palm leaved on the bed.
The a la carte restaurant is all included for the water villa guests but anyone can eat there at a cost. The food excellent, breakfast is fairly repetitive, lunch and dinner are four course (if you want them all) with a different menu for each meal on each day. We stayed for 2 weeks and there was no repetition of the dishes other than the base ingredients (lots of tuna, snapper, chicken and beef). There is always a fish option, a meat option and veggie option. After a few days we couldn't cope with 3 meals a day so we generally skipped lunch... afternoon snacks are brought to the rooms which is a nice if you've spent the afternoon snorkelling or diving.
The main restaurant serves buffet food with a range of themes, we only ate there a few times but it always seemed very nice.
The bar is great, extensive cocktail lists and the staff strike the right balance of keeping your drink refreshed but not hovering.
Maldivian night is not to be missed, good fun, lots of different food but most importantly a whole fish (tuna, kingfish, sailfish etc) on the BBQ.
If you are in the water villas for no cost they will bring breakfast to you to be enjoyed on your deck at a time that suits you. Just have to fill in a selection form the night before. We only did this once but they will do it every day if you like.
In the a la carte restaurant Shareef looked us exceptionally well and remembered when he'd seen us last and what we liked to drink. On my girlfriend's birthday the chef made a generously sized cake which was brought out with candles (not 30 of them!). We had to offer it round the restaurant because it was far to big for us!
Things to do
There wasn't as many trips as the resort we stayed in a few years ago but there is still plenty to do, there are loads of water sports you can do, most are free unless they involve a boat with an engine (ie water skiing).
There Dhoni's (traditional boats) come and all day on snorkelling trips, island trips and fishing trips. FYI if you catch edible fish the restaurants will cook if for you for lunch or dinner the following day, between us we caught several snappers and a grouper (and some other stuff that got away!) each fish would easily serve 2 people so they are a good size...
They do have a boat to go see whale sharks but its fairly expensive and apparently sightings are fairly rare at this time of year.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
Snorkelling equipment (mask, snorkel and fins) is provided free of charge for the duration.
Snorkelling trips round the island each morning and afternoon guided by staff. The boats also go out every day to different reefs for a small charge.
We found snorkelling around the island was less interesting than snorkelling in the water around the water villas.
Around the water villas you can swim out to the drop off where the reef drops away to 40 or 50m deep but the currents are strong and we found more life the large oval area between the villas anyway.
Around the villas we saw a huge variety of fish including bait fish, game fish and reef fish. We swam with a turtle next to the villa and saw rays, moray eels, reek sharks and a leopard shark within a few metres of the steps
If you like diving the resort is well equipped with all the gear you will need and well qualified staff. The boat goes out in the morning and the afternoon and if you are qualified you just sign up the day before.
If you are not qualified they will give you a free try dive where you dive to 4 - 5 metres straight off the jetty with an instructor to see if you like it. If you do, you can do any of the PADI courses you have time for.
The staff are European and approach diving with the professional but fun attitude you would hope for. Between them they seem to speak most languages and are well aware of the surroundings and what life can be seen. in two weeks I didn't go the same dive site twice. There was once where it was on the cards but as soon as they checked the computer and saw I had dived it already they changed the site to see something else.
Budget around $100 a dive which includes all the kit you will need (including nitrox) the unit price goes down the more dives you do and if you take your own gear they will knock some money off.
Don't forget your log book and they will insist you have dive insurance, either get some before you go or buy it from them at $48 for 2 weeks.
You can rent underwater cameras for about $45 a day, the staff will set it up differently for you if you are snorkelling or diving but will happily change the settings for you if you are doing both. again the day rate will go down the longer you have the camera. You'll come away with a DVD of excellent quality photos from both diving or snorkelling - don't bother with the disposable waterproof ones, they will work but the flash isn't right so the quality of image isn't particularly good.
Evening entertainment was a little weird, Wii competitions and karaoke didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the hotel - that said it didn't bother us. Live music was ok but you get a little bored of the same guy for 2 weeks.
We knowingly went in the windy season having been in the dry season previously. It will rain every few days and when it does it is very, very heavy but it doesn't last long and even at night the water dries away quickly.
The wind is a slightly bigger issue as can be very strong and can keep you awake - if you think this will be an issue avoid the windy season. We wanted to see what it was like and in honesty it is very impressive and not that big a deal, you will experience nothing like it in Europe or the US.
The temperature was consistently 30degrees (even when it's raining) with the breeze taking the edge off. In the restaurants the weather shutters were generally down to stop stuff blowing away - the hotel should consider fans or leaving the shutters partially open to allow some of the breeze through.
On island doctor is useful and helpful, particularly if you get sunburnt or bitten by something, there doesn't seem to be many bugs on the island the islands single resident mosquito got my girlfriend a couple of times and it needed a little attention. They are only on duty a few hours a day but are on the island full time so are available if you need them. I was actually very impressed they had a resident doctor for such a small number of guests and staff.
There were 2 resident marine biologists who do talks and run the off site snorkelling and fishing etc nice to talk to someone who knows about the marine life.
Some reviews will tell you the sea planes are loud, you can hear them but they are not that bad, they certainly won't wake you up.
There is a little golf cart thing that will ferry you from the island to your water villa and back again. We didn't use it as the walk is a great opportunity to look for life in the water (baby reef sharks are a constant feature in the shallows around the shore). Be aware the board walk gets extremely hot in the sun and will burn you feet in the heat of the day. There are little foot baths periodically but we were not alone running from one of these to the next when we forgot our flip flops - (should have used the golf cart in this instance but I was too proud to admit I had misjudged it!)
There is a tailor who will repair your cloths for free or make cloths for you for a charge.
There is a souvenir shop and a boutique for clothes etc, I wouldn't plan to get anything there, if you think you need it take it with you - water shoes, sun cream etc were available to buy but the choice was limited.
The island laundry will wash you cloths for you for free, just need a few days to do it.
Check out is 12noon, our agent asked the hotel if we could keep the room until our 4.30pm sea plane and they agreed at no cost, well played to the agent (Kuoni) and our gratitude to the hotel.
Tipping ($US) the local staff is well appreciated but not necessary. Do your research on how much is appropriate before you go.
Don't let some of the negative reviews put you off, the negatives are irrelevant in the face of the islands amazing natural beauty and the staff's open and welcoming attitude.
Great country, lovely people, awesome holiday.
I would have no problem recommending Thudufushi to anyone and if someone would like to pay for us to go again you wouldn't have to ask twice!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kick off your shoes and unwind at Diamonds Thudufushi, a little piece of paradise on its own private island in the Maldives. Set on a white sand island within the turquoise waters of a shallow lagoon, Diamonds Thudufushi offers luxurious accommodation and outstanding levels of service. Located on the south-western rim of Ari Atoll, just a 35-minute seaplane flight south of Male' International Airport, the resort is secluded and tranquil, providing optimum privacy in unspoilt surroundings. The natural beauty of the island has been retained and enhanced. Beach Bungalows have individual verandas and private beachfronts along the coral-sand shore. Experience the diversity of the Maldives by pairing your visit with a stay at Diamonds Thudufushi, offering intimate village charm. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Diamonds Thudufushi Beach And Water Villas
- Diamonds Thudufushi Beach & Water Villas Hotel Thudufushi Island
- Thudufushi Hotel South Ari Atoll
- Diamonds Thudufushi Thudufushi Island, Maldives