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“Did not want to leave !!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maafushivaru

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Maafushivaru
Ranked #11 of 18 Hotels in Southern Ari Atoll
Certificate of Excellence
Chester
Level Contributor
177 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Did not want to leave !!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2013

This was our first visit to Maafushivaru (4th time in the Maldives) and we would definitely return to this island.
After lots of research, we picked this island for its' housereef and the opportunity to swim with whale sharks and we were not disappointed.

The housereef is easily accessable and is abundant with a variety of marine life including turtles, sharks and even "Nemo".
The dive centre should be your first point of call to ask the very friendly and knowledgable team regarding access points, current and daily tides etc

We went on several "excursions" run by the resident marine biologist Per and we cannot recommend these highly enough. We swam with whale sharks and manta rays and I cannot express in words how fantastic an experience this was.
My husband also did a night snorkel, which was a new experience for him, but I have to admit, I was a bit of a scaredy cat to try it !
If you are unsure as to whether or not to try these excursions, we found Per to be very approachable and friendly and he was only too happy to share his knowledge and recommendations with you.

The beach villas are a good size, well equipped and extremely comfortable. A visit to reception took care of the mini bar being stocked with our choice of soft drinks.
We were extremely well looked after by Ibrahim without any intrusion whatsoever, a star!

The food was excellent, a good variety. All meals buffet style, unless you request a la carte; we didn't find any need to.
A very good selection of drinks, particularly the cocktail list. I found the red wine to be a better choice than the white.
The library bar is a great place for an after dinner coffee/brandy.........

I have to say, this is without doubt, the most friendly island we've been to. All the staff we encountered were absolutely lovely, they could not have been more helpful, sooooo nice.
I could list every name, but when you stay here, you will see for yourselves.

I really didn't want to leave...........

Room Tip: The island is so small, I cannot see anyone being seriously disappointed with any choice; each has...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ChalmersChester
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)
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  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
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English first
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2013

wow amazing from the sea plane transfer to the resort, opted for a over water bungalow which was decorted in maldivaian style to welcome my honeymoon

loved the beach

loved the food

loved the staff

delayed review as ive only just signed up to trip advisor so things may have changed but honestly this place will always be the best place i would visit

the room is superb and the view in the mornings was something special, and the sunsets whilst either chilling on the remote beach or just relaxing with a drink on the balcony was unique

maldives is not everyones cup fo tea but if you want peace, and just want to soak up that sun with your partner this is the island

excusions was minnimum as expected but the staff really go out to make your stay pleasant eg water sports, snorkeling and even a private island to yourself

great place cant wait to visit again

Room Tip: over water bungalow
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank P88rm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2013

We have recently returned from Maafushivaru (31st November 2013 – 9th December 2013), where we spent our honeymoon. We had a wonderful time, very relaxed and full up with all of the yummy food!

To go through in more detail:
- Travel: We flew with BA directly to Male from London Gatwick (around 10 hours), and once through checkout we were met by a Kuoni rep who directed us to the Sea Plane departure area. After a scoot around the runway in a minibus, we were taken into the air conditioned Maafushivaru lounge, where there was complimentary drinks and snacks, comfy seats. Very short wait for us (5 minutes) although others had been there for almost 2 hours, but if you’re going to have to wait, they do make it nice and cosy. The Sea Plane journey was 30 mins, stopping off at another resort to drop a couple off. Plane was a tad hot and loud, but nothing unbearable, and the views were nice.

- Arrival: We were warmly met by Ron, the Hotel Manager, plus Lailana (front of house) and Maria (Kuoni rep) and checked in and taken to our room, all very smooth. Our bags arrived 5 minutes later. NOTE: Have a few dollar bills, as this is one of the very few times an ‘on the spot tip’ is appropriate.

- Our villa: We chose a Beach Villa, for a few reasons: My wife can’t swim, the villas are bigger, more sunbathing space, and it was cheaper. We did not regret the decision, as our villa was lovely. Huge bed, spacious, nice bathroom, novelty outdoor shower too (as well as an indoor one). We were in villa 126, which was north facing, about 4 villas east of the water villas. We requested one of these as we did not want the artificial reef barrier walls in our view line. If you do get a beach villa on the east or south side then your snorkelling and swimming directly out of your villa is limited, as the reef, and the barriers, are very close. We did get the odd few people walking past our villa, but only really those who stayed in the 2-3 villas next door, the water villa guests tending to walk along the beach to the bar/restaurant. I am sure there are plus points to the Water Villas, but as I did not stay in one, I wouldn’t know. BUT, a couple we met stayed in a water villa last year, and a beach villa this year, and they preferred the beach villa. We also noted that water villa couples would often be found trying to find beach space to sunbathe, indicating that the sunbathing at their villa was limited. A few other notes about the villa: Plugs are UK plugs, there is a hairdryer, a TV with a handful of channels, some local, some UK (such as News channels, and National Geographic), there is a stereo that plays cds and has an ipod dock, a safe, air conditioning, coffee machine, and a fridge with drinks replaced every day. The bathroom stuff was fine, showers were powerful and hot, double sink, and an endless supply of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel. I did discover on the first day that the flushing on the toilet is not as powerful as I am used to, all I will say is a courtesy flush is recommended, we had no problems once we adopted that tactic. Rooms are cleaned twice a day, and they have a canny nack of turning up whilst you are at breakfast and at dinner, bathroom towels are changed if used at these points.

- Weather: We intentionally chose December as we understood this to be the start of the dry season. We had a hazy cloud for the first few days, which I actually liked as it was a little cooler, but still enough to catch some rays. After that it was mostly very sunny, with cloudy patches. We did have two wet and windy nights towards the end of the stay, and a wet and windy day on a final full day. Throughout all of the various weather conditions, it was never cold. The sun is strong, we used a once a day waterproof stuff (P20 if you’re interested) which worked well, a few pink areas, but neither of us had soreness, and we are both fair skinned. With no cloud cover though the sun is VERY strong, and I did seek shade often at these times, and I have no doubt you could burn in no time.

- Food & Drink: WOW! I was constantly full, yet still filling my plate. It is a buffet style for all of the meals in the restaurant, with a huge variety of dishes, all of it well prepared and cooked, none of it ‘tacky’, all hot dishes were kept warm in pots that stop any drying out, so it always tastes fresh. I could write forever about this, but simply put, you will be pleased (and full up!). You will get a waiter assigned to you for your stay that will deal with your drink requests, we had Mohamed, who was great, very polite and attentive, yet subtle and not ‘in your face’, good guy. Your waiter will be one of the people that an end of the stay tip would be seen as appropriate. Pretty much every drink was included in the all-inclusive, with the exception of things like champagne, and health drinks (fruit smoothies).

- Clothing: You really really do not need footwear, I did not wear any from the moment we got onto the island until we left, not once. There is sand everywhere (including all of the undercover bar and reception areas). You are expected to ‘cover up’ at meal times, at the bar, or at reception, therefore I needed a t-shirt 3 times a day, I only took four so I did need to rotate somewhat, and next time I would take a few more for this purpose. Same for women, but I won’t begin to understand what this means for your wardrobe.

- Diving: You can snorkel until your heart is content (kit is provided for you to keep for your whole stay, for free), you will struggle to find much area of the reef that you cannot stand up in. A few warnings/tips: There is living coral not just on the outer ring, but dotted around inside the reef, clearly you need to be careful not to cut yourself on this, but the water inside the reef is very calm so you can get up close to this without fear of a wave or current pushing you into it. Getting outside of the reef is not simple, as the coral is shallow enough to make it hard to swim over it, but there are channels which are marked with buoys and flags. Beware though, once outside of the reef you will be in deep water, and there is a subtle current and sometimes some chop that can make swimming against it a little tiring, my tip here is to work out which way the current is going and swim against it as you exit the channel, so any trip back to the channel to get back into the reef is simple. Don’t let me put you off though, it is not ‘swept me away’ strong, but enough to unsettle the less able swimmers. The fish are amazing around the reef, I saw so many, and are more plentiful if you get outside of the reef, I even saw a couple of sharks (harmless apparently!). There is also organised trips to go and snorkel with Manta Rays, Whale Sharks, Turtles, and more. These are at an extra cost, and will involve a 30-40 minutes boat trip to the areas. I personally only did the Manta Ray one, which was a great success, and you are well looked after and watered on your trip. There is also some scuba, but I did not partake in any of that so cannot comment. One thing I was really taken by is the passion the staff have for the diving and the fish, particularly Abdullah, who clearly has a real love for the underwater.

- Other water sports: There is a small catamaran, two pedlos, a few canoes and some windsurfing kit, all supervised by some great guys. I have been windsurfing for many years, and am at an ‘intermediate level’, whilst I did not go to the Maldives for windsurfing, I have to say that the kit was a little disappointing, of the four/five sails, the largest was 5.3m, and therefore only cater for beginners or strong wind, and the boards, whilst good for me, did not cater for the beginner. All is needed is a bit of investment in a couple of big sales, and a big beginner board. I did have a good hour on our final day though where the wind and rain came in, but still struggled to plane on the largest sail.

- Other activities: At the bar area there is a table football table, some board games and such, and a local Indian game that I cannot remember the name of, plus the swimming pool. There is also a volleyball net on Lonobu.

- Spa: As we were on honeymoon we were treated to a couples massage, which was a 30 minute long back massage, very nice! I also had a full body Thai massage, and I even tried out a facial (don’t tell my mates), my wife had also had a foot massage and one other that escapes me. We also had the more luxurious couples massage followed by champagne bubble bath, which was wonderful! All in all, the spa is tranquil, relaxed, you are well looked after, and the girls are good at what they do. There is also a sauna, steam room, and lovely outdoor Jacuzzi overlooking the sea. It is a little pricey, and they add in tax and tip to the quoted price, but we did not regret it and would do them all over again. There is also a small gym, which I had a look at, but did not use. It is fairly basic, but adequate, with a treadmill, bike, cross trainer, some weights and a multi-exercise weights machine. They do request that you wear trainers in the gym.

- Lonobu – There is a very small island a few hundred meters away called Lonobu. Boats take guests there and back every few hours so that you can relax/snorkel etc. It is a beautiful island. There are two villas here, some sunbeds, a well hidden generator room, and a toilet block, not much else apart from palm trees and sand. It is a very small island (you can walk around it in a minute or two). We did not venture there much apart from to do the Lonobu overnight experience, where we were taken to the island in the evening when it was empty, we were given a five-course candle lit dinner on the beach with our own waiter and chef. The setting was lovely, food was delicious (although slightly hard to see under candle light), and the service wonderful. We were then left for the night and given the keys to one of the two villas where we spent the night. The villa is lovely, and a somewhat compact version of what we had on the main island, there is also a bed outside under the stars, which was explained as there for those who only opt for the meal, as they are left until midnight, and the bed is there for them to ‘relax’, need I say more. In the morning a breakfast that we had chosen was brought over by our waiter at a time of our choice. Other guests then arrived at around 9.30 on the standard day boats, at which point we called reception and asked to be picked up. All in all a VERY novel and wonderful experience to have your own island, and will be something we will never forget. It is expensive though (although management did tell me they are reviewing this to make is more accessible). Is it worth the money? I think this kind of experience will always be a fair wad of cash, and therefore not really easy to quantify ‘value for money’, it depends on how much that amount is to you as an individual, especially considering the amount of money you have already paid for your main villa and wonderful food. I would say though that I think they are right to review the price for this to try to make it something that more guests would be willing to do.

- Evening entertainment – Each night there is a theme, I won’t list them all, but the Maldivian night, whilst I thought it would be cringe, turned out to be both interesting and good fun. We also really enjoyed movie night. This is not party island (although apparently it used to be!?!), evenings are relaxed.

- Island tour – We took the island tour, where you are shown the inner workings of the island, really interesting, and it is free, I would say do this, it takes an hour, and answered all of the things I had pondered before…like “where does the poop go?”.

- The staff – Cannot fault them, all of them are friendly, attentive, visible, smart, and will do everything they can to make your stay as enjoyable and relaxing as possible.

- Cash - You sign for everything, even if it is included in the all-inclusive, and you pay at the end for the items that are extra, so apart from tip money for the guys who carry your bags, your waiter and your room boy, no more cash is needed if you have your credit card.

- Kids – Saw pretty much no children on the island, and there is no particular club or entertainment for them. We have two kids, and were we to take them with us, we would probably look to the ‘Lux’ island near Maafushivaru, which has a good reputation for their kids club, but prob more expensive per person.

That is about everything I can think of that is useful. Would we go again? Yes.

Room Tip: If you do get a beach villa on the east or south side then your snorkelling and swimming directly ou...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Leph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai
Level Contributor
75 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2013

Having recently been to Maafushivaru thought I would get round to writing a view.

Postives:

Snorkelling
beach
scenery
trips ( Whale shark, manta trips a must)

The rooms were nice. Nothing amazing but simple and everything you could want. People rave about the service but it was fine. Nothing great about the bar or food service. The best staff I encountered were on the boat trips who went out of their way to make sure my gf was safe and saw whale sharks and mantas. The other staff I liked was Anna who took time out to not be obtrusive but have a friendly chat and show us round the resort and explain how the staff lived.

Oh and the chef I liked and when he tells you to try his curry dont hesitate. His pumkin curry was amazing. He said it was no. 1 and two helpings late I had to agree and this is someone who normally turns his nose up at vegetarian curries.

The negatives. Not really got any. Loved the all inclusive. The singer they had on Saturday night was great and we stayed until midnight when he finished his set.

Probably try another island next time just to try a different reef more than anything but would defo reccommend to friends and family.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Evickage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrowford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
113 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2013

I appreciate writing this review will 'break the mould' a little but we have to be honest.

Was it amazing? is the water so clear you can see fish for miles? is the beach white? are the sunsets jaw dropping? yes, yes yes.

BUT, it just feels like something is missing.

We were on our honeymoon and had very high expectations for the Maldives and Maafushivaru. Check in was brilliant and they sent a boat just for me and the wife to pick us up from the jetty (after the seaplane transfer). The rep (Maria) was very good and we got settled in very quickly.

The water villa was lovely and the view incredible. The resorts amenities are very good and the spa, restaurant, gym, reception, shops etc were all good.

The staff on the resort are very friendly and really do make an effort to make you feel welcome and special.

Now, we cannot complain as we had a wonderful time. However for the money, we feel a little short changed. i.e you would expect a mini bar in the room, which there was. But no beer, and the wife drinks diet coke. So every night at sunset I had to a ten minute walk to the bar to get our drinks. No big deal I know, but when you pay nearly £600 per night, you would expect a beer in the fridge.

Also, the shop prices were very overpriced. I appreciate they have to ship stuff in, but surely they make enough money from the rooms?

The spa as expected was not included in the all inclusive, but again the prices were overinflated. I think the massage we were interested in was £160 for an hour.

The restaurant, as good as it was just didn't match what we expected, Food was brilliant, but the variety seemed a little same same. i.e each night has a different theme, but rather than changing the whole menu, a few 'themed' dishes appeared.

I don't think anyone can visit Maafushivaru and complain, and this is far from that, But we just felt is was amazing but not the 'trip of a lifetime' we were expecting.

Room Tip: go for sunset side if you get a water villa. If you opt fort a beach do your research and see what n...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LeeNSazzle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerville, Massachusetts, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2013

My husband and I spent the last 4 nights of our honeymoon at Maafushivaru. We could not and cannot stop raving about this resort. We had one of the over water bungalows on the sunrise side. Though we requested a sunset side, the sunrise side ended up being equally as wonderful (particularly since we never fully got over our jet lag from the States and were up early every day!). The bungalow itself was everything we hoped for - spacious, clean, and direct access to the water - the water was so clear we could see the fish from the bedroom!

Staff were very friendly and very helpful. We kept saying that we felt the resort felt like you were getting your money's worth without it feeling pretentious. We didn't put our shoes on once the entire 5 days we were there - even the reception desk is in sand! We had full board and couldn't have been happier with the food at the main restaurant. I would even venture to say this is some of the best food from a buffet that I've had. We did try the separate Teppanyaki restaurant (at extra cost), it was okay but nothing so exciting. We were impressed that by noting our honeymoon, we were given a totally free dinner on the beach along with a bottle of sparkling wine. Sometimes with these things there are catches, or you have to pay for drinks, etc - but this was truly a free meal. The only unfortunate part was we were also given tickets for a free sunset cruise as part of the honeymoon package, however it only takes place twice a week and there wasn't one during our stay there. Otherwise, we felt truly taken care of here, from the moment we landed in Male to the moment we were dropped back off at the airport!

The manta ray and whale shark excursions are not to be missed - they were the highlight of our stay there!! Another bonus was the complimentary snorkeling gear that we could use throughout our stay. Can't say enough wonderful things about this resort!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
117 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2013

I have been struggling a lot while doing research for accommodation at Maldives as there are lots of them with really good reviews until I realized that Maafushivaru is a little island with a neighborhood private sister island. As usual, one needs to fly to Male before being transferred to the island. The sea plane takes about 25 minutes to Maafushivaru with scenic view along the journey. I would suggest first timer to Maldives to actually choose resort that need to be transferred by seaplane as the view is absolutely stunning and amazing.
The very first impression when reached the lobby wasn’t too impressive until we were escorted to the sea villa. The view was to die for, the colour of sky and water couldn’t describe by word. Villa is adequate in size, modern design, clean and tidy with a small deck outside the villa. The main minor issue I would point out will be the distance between each villa which I think is too closed.
Service at restaurant is average but foods are amazing. Another good experience to travel to the Lonubu Island- the deserted sister island with free transfer three times a day. A fabulous experience overall and I would like visit the island hopefully very soon.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HY C
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:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#10 Spa Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Southern Ari Atoll
#11 Luxury 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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