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“A Very Special Feeling to the Island”
Review of Maafushivaru

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Maafushivaru
Ranked #11 of 19 Hotels in Southern Ari Atoll
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 May 2011

We have just returned from Maafushivaru, and although it rained for the first 4 day's the weather then changed and we had 7 glorious day's. The Beach Villa was very nice, simple but adequate. The outside shower was a bit of a let down, but only because we have stayed in the Maldives before, and some of the outside Bathrooms I would have happily spent the week in. The house reef was lovely, with lots of wonderful Marine life to see. The sister Island was a highlight. We did 2 Discovery Dives, and I have to say, the expertise of the Dive school was second to none. The food, well although the Salads were lovely, the rest of the Menu was very repetitive, and the Fish selection was very poor. The meats and fish were so overcooked you could hardly eat them. Now for the Island and its staff, this is our 7th Visit to the Maldives, this Island is a very special place, and has an amazing atmosphere, one we have never experienced before in the Maldives. We really did feel like we had become part of a big family, all the others guests were lovely. So my summary is this, if you would like to just relax and either be on your own, or in the Bar with like minded people, good snorkeling, lovely swimming pool then this is the Island for you. If you want perfection, excellent food and luxury then this isn't the Island for you...

Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
5  Thank haynesmother
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 May 2011

The first island that you go to will always be 'special' but as we visited others we started to collect the 'best of' and say 'if only you could take all of these and put an them on the one island !!!' and then we went to Maaf. This time last week we had just got home from 18 nights on a home from home. This is not a criticism of those other islands as there are things that they still perhaps do that stand above Maaf - but this island is the totality of all the things that for us make it not only 'a holiday' but also 'a home from home'.
The island is small, triangular in shape and has other islands in view from all directions. The design is elegant and stylish from the clean lines of the white furniture to the coconut trees that fringe the edge of one side of the main beach almost down to the sea. The clean lines and mix of traditional Maldivian with uber cool contemporary chic continues in the beach villas, bar, coffee shop and restaurant. We didn't visit the spa or the gym but couldn't imagine a view better than the one had whilst in the gym - the ocean before you as you walked/rode/cross trained.
There was a sense of calm and utter relaxation throughout our stay. Yes we had the six days of rain (!) in the middle of our stay - that said we've experienced a week of rain even in March so come prepared whatever the month of your visit.
So down to detail: (apologies for any names mis-spelt)
Villa - spotlessly clean and maintained by Fazeel our room boy - only problem was the temperature of the shower - we mentioned to Mark and it was seen to that day but unfortunately dropped again in a couple of days - I do like my shower hot, so this was the only gripe! We were 121 a fantastic spot for sunsets and very shallow sea between the water villas on the right and dive centre on the right. Yes there were gabions out to sea directly in front but without those these villas wouldn't have a their own stretch of sand.
Food - all beautifully cooked. We don't do breakfast so can't comment but lunch and dinner never disappointed. For a small island there is much choice - the breads were sublime - and the hot chocolate pudding will be a memory for life - thank you so Darshaan. The Chefs genuinely wanted your feedback and made time to talk to you. We loved the 'sit anywhere' approach and though that meant that we never got to know a particular waiter all were quick to remember you and your preferences and even when they rotated, the waiter/s that we had had would always stop and say hello or 'fish on the corner'.
Snorkeling - the clearest water we have ever experienced and the most unafraid fish. The magic is that whatever your ability there is a snorkeling space for you. And then there is Lonobu the small island next door. That was my heaven - the shortest of journeys from the sand to the edge of the reef and the plethora of fish! On our last day we were the only two people on the island and that was incredible!
Facilities/Entertainment - the bar and coffee shop area are so comfortable to just sit and while away the time, good selection of books and games to borrow, a beautiful pool /outside bar area in which we always found a sunbed/seat . The live music night is quiet, sophisticated with excellent guitar work and the Maldivian night when the Room Boys and Waiters sing/dance is excellent - they are determined to get you to join in. The choice of cocktails included in the AI is amazing and water was plentiful.
Staff - what can we say? The bar staff are superb - Aminul we are privileged to have met you, Ellaine, Nissan, Ifraan and Zarheed thank you for all the conversations we had and the excellent service you gave. The Kuoni rep Mark is a great guy and excellent rep - Mark be prepared we will see you again!
This is an island to go to if you want to be together, relax, recover and remember who you are.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank wasso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2011

We stayed in a beach villa for a week a few days after our wedding. The villa was actually more spacious than it seemed in the brochure/on the internet (how often do you say that?!), and lovely and cool with the air conditioning. The outdoor shower was a nice touch.

This was our first time on an all-inclusive trip, and have to say that the food and drink exceeded our expectations. There was a huge amount of choice for every breakfast, lunch and dinner, and everything was fresh. It was also possible to eat healthily for every meal (not, I imagine, always the case with this type of thing). Each night is loosely themed, with the French, Greek and Italian nights particularly standing out. The house wine on the all inclusive deal is also pretty decent, and found all the drinks (beers, cocktails etc) included fine.

The real point of an island like this is the beach/snorkelling, and the house reef was excellent - teeming with marine life (aside from all the tropical fish we saw rays, dolphins, sand sharks and even a turtle).

We were relatively unlucky with the weather in that it rained most days (there was a typhoon apparently nearby), but when the sun was out it was fierce! We were prepared for it to be like this, given the time of the year we went, and although it was wet we still snorkelled every day and filled the rest of our days reading on the veranda, playing games in the library or relaxing by the bar.

Particular highlights: the trip over to the sister island one morning (take your mosquito spray!); the sunset cruise and (as we were on our honeymoon) the private meal on the beach.

Many thanks to a number of the staff who helped make our trip an enjoyable one: Nissan and Irfan in the bar, Khaaf and Samad our waiters and also the waiter who served us on our private honeymoon meal.

Mark the Kuoni rep was helpful and particularly keen to make sure that everyone was having a good time (there was no hard sell on any of the other trips out that the resort offers). There was a slight mix up with our booking in that the report had not been told that we were on honeymoon and therefore was not geared up to provide our 'extras' that we had booked the trip for. This was quickly rectified, and Mark did say that this has recently been the case when booking directly through the Kuoni website (there was another couple there at the time who had experienced the same problem) - so try and check before you arrive!

This was our first visit to the Maldives so we can't compare the resort to others, but overall this was the perfect, relaxing honeymoon trip, and we would certainly recommend the island to others wanting the same thing.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sctb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2011

We returned from Maafushivaru a week ago and had the complete opposite experience to the one below! We arrived in torrential rain but the staff were there to meet us with umbrellas, huge smiles, cold towels and a refreshing drink. From that moment on, we were on holiday and nothing else mattered. I can honestly say that from the moment we arrived, we felt like we were a million miles away from ‘real life’! It’s a small but beautiful island, the sand is amazing, the colours of the sea take your breath away and the snorkelling was fantastic.

At no point during our stay was the food cold and I would have to dispute that it wasn’t cooked properly, believe me, I tried a little bit of everything every time I visited the buffet and I have a ‘muffin top’ to prove it! We were impressed with the variety on offer at every mealtime – we’re not big dessert fans so I can’t comment on that. The Egg Station at Breakfast serving fried, boiled, poached or scrambled eggs or an omelette plus baked beans, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, cereal, fresh fruit and curry on the buffet was more than enough variety for us! The restaurant staff originally came across as a bit ‘surly’ – there was such a contrast between them and the bar staff who were super efficient and wonderfully friendly. However, as time went on, the restaurant staff became more affable – I don’t want to discredit them but I think maybe some of them lack confidence with the language which made them seem a little stand-offish at times. This was a small negative which can easily be remedied and it certainly didn’t affect our enjoyment of the holiday.

We were thrilled with our room, there was plenty of space and the bed was enormous. We’re used to creepy crawlies in the tropics but fortunately, apart from the odd gecko and iguana in the trees we didn’t see any nasties. The room boy did have to be reminded a couple of times to restock the mini bar and coffee machine but, as soon as he was asked, it was done. We are fortunate enough to be able to compare this with 5 star accommodation and it didn’t fall that short of the mark – straighten up the sun loungers, remember to empty the ashtrays on the decking, fold the towels rather than throw them across the chairs and you’re practically there Maafushivaru!

There was little entertainment on the Island – ‘Chill Out Nights’ were great, there may be nothing going on at all or one evening, they showed a film in the bar – slouched on a bean bag under the stars having cocktails brought to you while watching a romcom was heaven. Maldivian Night was as wild as it got and it was great to watch the locals playing their instruments and dancing (their dancing reminded me of the Maori Haka) – there were plenty of folk happy to join in although it was exhausting enough watching them. There was also live music one night from a two piece band, they looked every inch like rock stars but they actually provided a perfect blend of background music. The bar area is such a beautiful setting, I think they have got the balance just right.

My husband went diving twice during our holiday. It wasn’t cheap and the structure of the pricing was complicated – instead of the individual having to do the maths and add on the cost of the boat trip etc (virtually impossible when you’re so chilled out and your brain has turned to jelly)would it be possible to have 2 prices – with or without your own equipment? Having said that, my husband placed the night dive in ‘one of his top 3 best dives ever’ and said the service from the dive team was the best he had experienced.

Mark the rep was great, he was very friendly and helpful and we saw him constantly chatting to people – we didn’t really need anything from him but we knew he was there if we needed him. We did go fishing and looking for whalesharks, we caught fish which were prepared for dinner and saw a fleeting glimpse of a whaleshark – great trips and well worth doing. The ‘boat boys’ were so helpful and knowledgeable – we went across to Lonubo on one of the daily trips and forgot our towels, we didn’t make a fuss but they went back to Maafushivaru and fetched some for us – going that extra mile for us made such a difference. I firmly believe that if we had had any complaints, they would have been handled quickly and efficiently by the Management team, they were keen to receive any suggestions and feedback. I liked the fact that you could find the staff in the bar playing backgammon, we’ve been to the Maldives before and the staff are not allowed outside of their ‘enclosure’ – it was a breath of fresh air to see the staff interacting with the holidaymakers and practising their English – let’s face it, we Brits are world renowned for being in the bar, especially when it’s raining, where else would they find us?!

We flew with BA – the flights and transfers were excellent. It is a rule of ours that we don’t visit the same place twice as there are so many different places to see however, will we go back to Maafushivaru, you bet we will, we’re already saving!!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank TheTillcocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2011

We booked this for our honeymoon and were poorly disappointed. The island is gorgeous and everything you would expect from the maldives but its the small things that let this resort down.

The food was always cold by the time you got it back to your seat, it was dry and not cooked properly and the selection was poor, the desserts were repetitive and nearly the same thing every night. The breakfast was poor and hardly any selection.

The rooms were ok but beds were not changed regular and constantly full of sand and if you put your towels out for renewal don't expect returns instantly. We had a cockroach in the room one night that looked like it had been killed and left on the floor. The minibar took about 4 days before it was topped up and believe me your need every bit of juice or water when your there. The toilet broke twice and wouldn't flush and the door to the toilet would barely shut same with the doors to the decking.

The operations manager was not any help. He made them clean the restaurant floor one night during the film and made it nearly impossible to hear. Clearly on a power trip.

The kuoni reps were no help at all mark was only interested in the customers who were happy and avoided speaking to the others. As for the other rep she was always at the bar drinking or chain smoking not a good point to put across. The also avoided you when any excursions were cancelled, i know we cant help the weather but an apology would be nice.

We also had a romantic meal booked on the beach for the Saturday night but because of the weather we were told we would have to have it inside or change it to another night, so we changed it then received a letter to tell us we had to have it on Saturday or not have it at all. Truely not acceptable in my eyes

We had 6 days of rain and this was not helped by the management who done nothing to entertain the guests for the first three days, then eventually put a small telly in the corner of the bar and that was it, and it also only lasted one day before being removed.

The bar staff were excellent and really helped us through the rainy days. There were well worth there weight in gold.

The staff at this resort are young and seem to lack the mentality to run a quality resort which is not really good when kuoni advertise it as a premium resort. They spend most of there time at the bar or just lazing about.

Also be aware this is not a new resort simple a resort that has had a lick of paint and been reopened

The icing on the cake was when we left our flight left or resort at 14.45 and our flight was not leaving male untill 23.50 this is a long wait, when we approached mark he told us he would call his colleague and arrange for us to go into male. On arrival at male there was no rep to be found yet another let down from kuoni. Also on departure we were asked to fill in our questionnaire and return it direct to the rep rather than like normal and post it too kuoni the return slip was removed already.

Be aware when booking this, it really isn't worth the money. I can assure you i will think twice about travelling with kuoni again. And after having a wonderful wedding this was such a let down, especially when your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime thing ruined by this resort.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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62  Thank CMcvey_84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2011

I stayed in a Beach Villa at Maafushivaru in May 2011, and would go back tomorrow if I could! The island has a real relaxed feel to it. I loved the design of the island with the white furniture which made it all feel so clean and contemporary. Snorkelling is amazing here and straight off the island, plus the pool is lovely and quiet if you fancy a change! Our beach villa really was perfect - I especially loved the outdoor shower! The beach in front was so quiet too. The food was great, and we loved having drinks in the bar afterwards and there was often a live band on which was just lovely to listen to. The staff were all great, Mark the Kuoni rep was very helpful and really visible on the island and Tim the General Manager was always very friendly and happy to chat! The island really is beautiful and relaxing and I would it recommend to anyone!

Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Tracyl87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2011

We visited Maafushivaru for our honeymoon in March and had the most amazing time. We spent a lot of time researching on Trip Advisor to find the perfect island and it was so worth it, Maafushivaru is truly special.

Several reviews cover off the island in specific detail, so we will keep it simple. The island is stunning; it is very small and perfect for relaxing. The island only has 50 rooms, so never feels busy even when full. The rooms are lovely with lots of space (particularly the beach villa) and have everything you could want in a simple luxurious style. We had both a beach villa and a water villa during our stay and loved them both for different reasons. The house reef snorkelling and sea life around the island is stunning (we never tired of watching the baby sharks in the lagoon). The island also offers snorkelling excursions with the resident marine biologist that are so worthwhile, and great experiences (seeing the whale sharks was an absolute highlight!). The beautiful tiny sister island of Lonobu is a real treat to have on your doorstep and gives you a real essence of being castaway on a desert island. The resort operates a daily morning and afternoon free boat trips to Lonobu and we would highly recommend it.

There is only one restaurant on the island which is a buffet style breakfast and evening meal, the chefs use wonderful fresh ingredients and there was always a large selection and definitely worth it as part of the all inclusive package. Drinks were house wine, beer, spirits and cocktails all included as part of the package which were perfectly fine for us (Tequila Sunrise...happy memories!)

Finally, all the staff on the island goes the extra mile to make sure your stay is amazing. Mark, the Kuoni rep is always on hand if you have any questions. The restaurant and bar staff were so friendly and really made our honeymoon special. We have stayed in contact with several people and have to say a special thank you again to Indunil, Manu, Aminul, Nissan and Schifan.

We have been lucky enough to have some amazing holidays but have to admit that when it came to Maafushivaru this really was the holiday of a lifetime and would heartily recommend it. We can't wait to go back! David & Layla

Room Tip: Ask Kuoni for a map of the island
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Wintz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maafushivaru

Address:
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#11 Spa Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#11 Luxury Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
Price Range: £641 - £1,609 (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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