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“Eden, Heaven, Paradise... call it what you want; it's just amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Maafushivaru

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Maafushivaru
Ranked #10 of 18 Hotels in Southern Ari Atoll
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Eden, Heaven, Paradise... call it what you want; it's just amazing!”
Reviewed 13 January 2013

I suppose this review is a little belated as we visited Maafushivaru during the first week of June 2012. We traveled on an all-inclusive package (highly recommended) and stayed in one of the beach bungalows. This was the second time that we'd been to the Maldives. While, the first trip was good, there is simply no comparison to what we experienced at Maafushivaru. The island is just breath-taking! I could not have asked for a more relaxing holiday in a more beautiful destination.

Travelling there in June, we were a little concerned about the rainy season but our one week stay was hardly interrupted by rainfall. There were short bursts of heavy rainfall on a few occasions in the late afternoon or evening but it was clear skies for the most part. It's also worth mentioning that there is always a lovely breeze which makes the temperatures so much more bearable and pleasant. It's a dream.

The island is tiny but as other visitors have commented, you get a great sense of privacy. At times we felt like we were the only ones there, even though judging from the number of people present at meal times, the resort was quite full.

The beach bungalows are very spacious with plenty of storage space. The rooms are beautifully decorated; minimal and elegant with an airy, modern feel. Beds are huge and very comfortable. Our room was serviced twice a day and kept pristine by the wonderful room boy. There is a brilliant outdoor as well as an indoor shower. The bathrooms are kept well stocked with L'Occitane toiletries and equipped with a good hairdryer so no need to bring your own. Each room is also equipped with a flat screen TV (with a choice of English speaking channels), DVD player and iPod dock which is a nice touch even if the time spent in your room is likely to be minimal!

Maafushivaru is perfect for snorkeling! It has an amazing house reef with multitudes of fish! There are also plenty of different excursions organised by the resort (most at a small extra cost). In hindsight, having been on two snorkeling trips, there is no real need to pay to go on these excursions as the house reef is so rich and full of all kinds of brilliant marine life.

Overall, the food was okay for an all-inclusive package. Not amazing but plenty of choice, you won't go hungry! We tried the teppanyaki restaurant on the island for a change. While the food was good and the chef friendly it was rather overpriced (as one may expect being on an island in the Indian ocean).

All service staff from room boys to front desk deserve credit for doing a great job. We had a very early return flight and were a little worried about the transfer to the airport via seaplane but everything was seamless.

I can quite comfortably say that this was by far one of the best holidays we have been on. Even though we prefer to go somewhere different and see something new on our holidays we would make the exception and come back to Maafushivaru. In fact I long to return!

The one thing we never understood was the whole entire special event they held once a week dedicated to 'Meeting Tim' :p

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Phil-n-Aggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (148)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
153 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

I have recently returned after 2 weeks in this wonderful resort. The island is pure paradise small, private & perfect in many ways. We were fully inclusive which I recommend.

The restaurant was excellent, the variety each day & evening was fantastic something for everyone, and the presentation very good. The menu's did not get repeated as per other reviews have said, also the chefs were happy to make any other food request you had to accomaodate you personally, the curries were fantastic my favorite was the pumkin curry, but overall the food was excellent.

The accomodation was very comfortable and clean we had a water villa, that was serviced daily. The amount of marine life we seen daily was brilliant just standing on our balcony watching Eagle Rays, Bat Fish, Trumpet Fish, & many more, waking up and looking out onto the ocean was fab, the sunset was also spectacular.

The bar/cocktail lounge was really good was never busy always quiet & relaxed, we enjoyed sitting at the bar chatting to the staff who were so friendly and helpful. The cocktails were great many to choose from and made to perfection. I was very surprised that if you order any drink with a mixer that these were branded products ie: Gordons Gin, Smirnoff Vodka etc etc not the cheap alternative! the branded drinks were included in fully inclusive.
The evening functions that were provided were good, not to much and you can join in if you wish or sit in the libary/coffee lounge for a quiet read,internet catch up or a chat.

Snorkelling: Absolutely Fantastic the marine life was a sight to be seen, also on the edge of the lagoon in the drop off area I seen my first White Tip Shark about 2-3 meteres Wow!

The Spa was very nice inside and out the team were very friendly and accomodating. I had 2 back massages whilst I was there that were superb the quality and standard were very good. I also had a pedicure that was nice but very expensive. The prices in the Spa in my opinion were very high compared to other resort Spa's I have been to this was the most expensive.
Our Kuoni rep Neve was very nice, she advised us of all we needed to know and was around all the time if we needed her for anything. The manager Tim was also very friendly and welcoming he sat and had a coffee and chatted to my husband and I many times. We talked about the island and how peacful and quiet it is and that you dont see many people even though the resort was nearly full? but I understand from lots of reviewers this is the norm! Tim & his team clearly have set thier standards and ensure these are applied at all times, this resort was top quality and professionally run but on the same hand it was very relaxed whilst still having that professional feel to it, clearly they have the right mix here on the island.

We would recommend this island to anyone without a doubt, we would go back again at some point, we had a fantastic holiday made some lovely friends Thanks all for a great holiday x

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank MONDRON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
66 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

Very good hotel, good food, good service, good activities, fantastic option for a especial vacation. Take care with boat trips, the weather was very bad for a trip. I liked a lot all divings and I also certificated by 14 m deep. Definitively, a fantastic good option in terms of cost. It is the paradise

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank RicMiranda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2012

Just came back from a 2-week stay at Maafushivaru with my husband. We stayed at a water villa and would highly recommend this resort.

1. Resort: The island is really as beautiful as paradise. Enough said.
2. Staff: Very friendly and makes our stay extra special. Special mention to the Kuoni rep, Neve, who took care of all the requests we had.
3. House reef: It's so amazing. We didn't do any scuba diving and just snorkelled instead. Its so easy to borrow some fins from the reception (free if all inclusive) and just snorkel off from the villa, round the island. There's so much sealife right there at the door step! We saw some small manta rays, a lobster, sea cucumbers and LOADS of colourful tropical fish. Mesmerising!
3. Bar: again friendly staff and a very good choice of cocktails - alcoholic and non-alcoholic - free for all inclusive
4. Water villa: amazing view with your own private deck. If I can be critical then I'd say the interiors are not as well kept-up as a 5-star (which this resort isn't).
5: Activities: we came here for a relaxing holiday but were pleasantly surprised to know there's quite a bit to do if you're up for it. Aside from just sunbathing and reading (either on your private deck or on the beach with bar staff serving you cocktails non-stop), you can sign up to diving / snorkelling excursions (at extra cost), you can take the boat to the private sister island Lonubo (free), you can snorkel at the house reef (with/without the in house marine biologist), you can take the sunset cruise, you can go with the staff to see the "behind the scenes" in the resort, you can take the boat to the nearest local village. In fact you should do all of these.
6: Lonubo: as already mentioned, the private sister island. The boat goes back and forth twice a day. Maafushivaru is quiet and tranquil enough, but in Lonubo you really feel you own it!
7: Food: the buffet is not the strength of this resort. The starter and main are not always cooked to the best, although there's always loads to choose from at each meal. The dessert, on the other hand, is always an indulgence.
8: Other dining: As the buffet wasn't great, I'd recommend both the Teppanyaki restaurant (good value for what it is - try the catch of the day) and the private dining on the beach (a bit expensive although included if you're on your honeymoon).

When we were staying there, we didn't see any kids (apart from those of the managers) and I didn't hear there were any kids clubs so I'd assume this resort is more designed for couples. Having said that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants the Maldivian holiday that you've always dreamt of.

Room Tip: Even number water villas get more hours of sun
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank VAT175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2012

Like many i read the reviews prior to selecting the resort and i have to say over 95 % who say this is excellent are correct.
Maffushivaru does exactly what it says, that is quality, service, serenity, relaxing, quiet locaton and i believe you get value for money.
I wont repeat what others have said, but give my view on a few points that i feel are worthy of an note.
The food which has been commented on as being changed every 7 days is incorrect, the menu is changed every 12 days with a maldivian menu weekly. I have to say in my view their is more choice and so you should never go hungary even if you are a fussy eater, like myself. If you wish something different and ask the chef, he will try and accommodate you.

The beach villas are great and in my view better that the water villas, but the water villas do give you a different holiday experience, we stays a week in each in December. We stay in beach villa 113 which is on the dive centre side and you almost feel like you have your own section of beach and in water villas 207 which is on the sunrise side.

The staff are excellent and nothing is too much trouble if you need anything. Special mention at this point for Ibrahim who was our villa boy and Shifan who was our waiter for the 2 weeks.

Neve was the Kuoni rep and she was their if you needed anything and very helpful. Tim the islands Ops manager is a keen observer and more than open to discussing how they can improve or if anthing is not meeting your expectation, so take the time to speak with him.

The diving centre is worth using even though i feel that the prices when compared to England for diving and PADI courses are expensive. but malcom the instructer is great. The diving around the island is excellent, i saw sharks, turtles, rays and moray eels, along with the assortment of fish, well worth doing.

The Spa is again well worth using, excellent staff, rejuvinating massages, the Thai massage was excellent, these are generally of good valye , but in my wifes view the manicures and pedicures are expensice compared to home.

All in all this was well worth the cost and you get what you pay for and you will not want to leave.

Room Tip: Beach villas 106-118 are on the side with a small beach and you feel like you are alone.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank YorkshireDarren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2012

Rooms fabulous.

Reef excellent and much much better than expected. But I did not see a single shark or ray. Far fewer fish than I anticipated and not a great variety of them either. Masses of coral and some magnificent soft corals.

Island very beautiful.

Food, dire I'm afraid. You cannot put cheese slices on a plate and call it cheese salad and expect people not to notice that this is just slices of cheese. And you should not do it every day. Food was very repetitive and unimaginative. Grilled fish was cold and dry.

Sweets were quite often an industrial dessert whip sort of concoction if anyone else remembers dessert whip.

Japanese restaurant - so so food and fancy having a restaurant without toilets. The nearest ones are at the bar.

I would go again but the food really lets this place down.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank 0n0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2012

My Husband & I have recently returned from 2 weeks of bliss at Maafushivaru and reluctantly we have to highly recommend it. I say reluctantly only because I would love to keep it all to ourselves, but it is only fair to the staff who work so tirelessly to make the island so beautiful and relaxing that we should tell them and the rest of the world what a wonderful job they are doing. We are Maldives veterans but can honestly say that this island ticked every one of our boxes and we will definitely go back. It is exclusively available to Kuoni and that may be why the standards were consistently high - with an emphasis on comfort and tranquility rather than luxury. In our opinion that is really what the Maldives are about - celebrating nature in comfort without the distraction of butler service.
Without exception, every member of staff we came across was unfailingly friendly, helpful and cheerful. It would be unfair to name names because that would mean leaving some of them out and I could not do that. I believe there are 150 staff to a maximum of 96 guests, but I don't know where they all were. There was obviously a lot of behind the scenes activity just to keep the island immaculate and everything as it should be for the guests. When we left we had an early start at 5.00am and were surprised to find the gardeners and maintenance men already working! The sun was up and so were they!
At no time did we ever feel the island was anything other than tranquil and spacious. There were plenty of corners for guests to settle in apart from their own deck at their bungalow. There were also boat excursions to the sister island of Lonubo (no charge) where the snorkelling was wonderful, and further boat trips to search for manta rays and whale sharks - both of which we were very privileged to find and snorkel with. It isn't guaranteed that you will see them as they are wild creatures but the guides are very experienced and know how to read the currents etc to predict where they may be. If you are interested in nature and the creatures of the ocean this is an experience you just should not miss.
Before we went there we had read negative reviews about the food but we thought that the chefs did an exceptional job of producing such varied meals 3 times a day. We intended trying the Tepanyaki restaurant but in fact never got round to it because we were more than happy with the buffet. Lots and lots of salads and I still managed to put on weight!
Maybe some people are just very hard to please.
Details of accommodation, spa, dive school etc have been well covered by other reviews so I will not touch on them here. Our particular interest was in the beautiful water and fishlife so I spent most of my time either diving (while my husband read books and relaxed), or snorkelling together on the abundant reefs. All of which exceeded our expectations.
So Maafushivaru gets full marks from us and we cannot recommend it highly enough. We will return the first chance we get.
Thank you to every member of staff who helped to make our stay so special.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mantamaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maafushivaru

Property: 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:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#10 Luxury Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#10 Spa Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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