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Maafushivaru
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Reviews (826)
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Reviewed 3 April 2014

Our first visit, staying for 7 days. Our beach villa (128) was very comfortable and well positioned for the beach and snorkeling on the house reef. Maafushivaru is a small, beautifully presented island with very happy, smiling staff. The buffets were fine but the all inclusive wine (french boxed) was a big disappointment. Manager Ron was very hands on and did sort that problem for us. They could'nt do enough for you.

Room Tip: 128 is on the trade wind side so nice and cool on the beach, the other side gets very hot.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ken_and_Jane_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2014

We stayed at Maafushivaru for 5 nights in March 2014. My wife and I stayed in a water villa while our daughter and nanny stayed in a beach villa.

The villas were both very nice though the water villas are in our opinion the ones to go for. The Maldives are famous for water villas and it is delightful to just step down into the lagoon and swim with a variety of fish. While nice, the beach villa is more comparable to what you might get in other beach resorts around the world so not so special. Neither of the villas are especially large, and they are simply furnished, but they fit the island location perfectly. We did not feel like we needed more luxurious accommodation.

The staff at Maafushivaru are almost all very nice (the exception being a sour-faced waiter named Ilham whom we think should be encouraged to excel in a non-service profession). The staff go out of their way to make your stay pleasant and they are happy to talk. Most of the chefs are from Sri Lanka, most of the waiters from the Maldives, there are five Filipina working in the bar and reception and the spa is mostly staffed with ladies from Thailand and Bali. They all stay in the rather small staff compound, sometimes as many as 8 sharing a room.

We paid for everything apart from tip to the staff using credit cards. We tipped a dollar each per bag, 10 dollars each to the room boys, 10 dollars to the bar, 10-20 dollars each to three chefs and 5 dollars per excursion. Salaries are modest so we think you should bring some dollar bills for tipping.

The excursions are all very good. But be careful with the whale shark excursion if you are not a strong swimmer as this takes place on the open sea with quite strong currents.

The hygiene standards are excellent. We do not have the strongest stomachs and are occasionally taken ill while on holidays. None us had any unfortunate episode during our stay which is great given the challenges of shipping and storing food in the tropics.

The internet works well most of the time. We even managed to have a few Facetime video calls with grandparents without problems.

The house boys were a bit on the lazy side sometimes leaving only a single towel and forgetting to put new shampoo and soap in the room. But this was easily resolved by a call to the reception or we simply ignored it as there is no point being too picky while on holidays.

The transfer to the resort was a bit slow with a rather long waiting time in the lounge. They wait until they fill up all or most of the seats in the plane so it does not really feel like an air taxi service. We landed before noon but only checked in at 16:19 as per the receipt for paying for the seaplane transfer. So it took us as long time to get from Male airport to the resort as it took us flying from Singapore to Male. And this was despite the effective seaplane flying time being only 25 minutes.

The key challenge with the resort is that it in some aspects feels like it is 20 years behind its time. There is not much sustainability thinking – something which is quite surprising given that the Maldives is at great threat from future sea-level rise. The hotel is operated by 4 diesel generators burning fossil fuels around the clock. Surely, it would be appropriate to install some solar panels given that the island is baking in the sun during most of the daylight hours? Our first candidate would be to install solar water-heaters on top of each villa and then some additional photovoltaic panels on top of the staff area in the centre of the island.

The food also feels like it is 20-years behind its time. You will not go hungry but it could be made more exciting. The restaurant tried to have something for everything and as a result ends up as a “Jack of all trades, master of none”. They will at various times try to cook lapin aux herbes, coq au vin, shepherd’s pie, irish lamb stew, Sichuan beef and many more dishes from around the world. We think the restaurant would function better if they cut back on the number of dishes and introduced more live cooking stations. While some have commented that that food kept warm is great, we did not like the canteen style taste of the heated food. If you are a foodie, we suggest you focus on the salads, the grilled fish and the cook-to-order pasta station. Some improvements we recommend include:
• Grilling the fish on charcoal near the beach instead of on an electric grill.
• Teaching the restaurant staff how to prepare Eggs Benedict for breakfast.
• Making their breakfast “vienoisserie” crispy instead of soggy.
• Creating a “toss your own salad” station rather than just having ready-made salads.
• Allowing the Sri Lankan chefs to make some authentic spicy curries rather than the toned down versions they serve for tourists. We did get them to create some great curries for us that tasted like the real thing.
• Expanding the fish cooking station to include some prawns and squid. It felt strange not having any prawns during the week. We came back from holidays craving seafood. We suggest introducing this even if price needs to be increased.

The bar list also felt a bit dated. There is a very limited selection of bag-in-box house wines limited to one red, one white and one rose and they aren’t great. It would have been good to have had at least a couple of white and red house wines to select from. It would also have been good with some updates to the drinks lists including a wider martini selection (e.g. lychee martini, apple martini).

In summary we think the best way to enjoy Maafushivaru is to stay in a water villa, to take part in several excursions and to come prepared that it is not a food destination.

Room Tip: Sunset water villa far out on the jetty
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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12  Thank Swedish_Expat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014 via mobile

Most wonderful vacation for my husband & I. Had an over the water bungalow, most beautiful, the the farthest one out, outside shower with the view of the ocean. We had great dives in Maldives, but our most favorite is diving out of our own back porch & snorkeling! So much to see, so calm waters, we snorkeled for hours.

Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
3  Thank lanie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014

This is a beautiful and superbly managed hotel filled with attentive, responsive and cheerful staff. The food is great, with loads of variety. It is extremely comfortable, well-appointed and well laid-out. We did a number of trips, all of which were incredible - the marine life around the island is absolutely astonishing. The jewel in the crown is the private island lonubo which is truly the Maldivian dream of the desert island - absolutely picture perfect. Ron and the team will fall over themselves to ensure that your holiday is perfect, and our Kuoni rep Barbara was also superb.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank RichardBroadbent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014 via mobile

We chose this island after having trawled through multiple holiday brochures and read many reviews on Trip Advisor and I can say the homework paid off!
The island is small and I agree with other reviewers you often feel as if you are the only one's there, as no one else can be seen and it is so quiet. You can walk around the island in under 10 minutes, with it's immaculate white sand and beautifully kept grounds. We stayed in a Water villa for 12 nights giving us direct access to the sea via steps, making easy access for swimming and snorkelling out to the reef. This was our first attempt at snorkelling and although a little apprehensive, what you see at the edge of the reef made it well worth the effort! The villa itself is large and had everything we needed, tea / coffee machine, mini bar with regular supplies of water & non alcoholic drinks, hair dryer, plentiful toiletries and of course the most amazing view to wake up to! The room is attended to twice daily by friendly, yet discrete staff.
We stayed 'all inclusive' which for us proved the best value. There is always a good selection of food choices at all meal times, good flavours and although buffet style, it feels very relaxed with the staff running the restaurant in a friendly, efficient way. You always get the same waiter which is a nice touch.
My husband only tends to like white or sparkling wine when having an alcoholic drink. Sparkling wine is not in the all inclusive package but when this was mentioned to the management team they immediately allowed us to add sparkling wine to our package! Thank you Ron & Marie for that as it was such a lovely gesture.
We spent a great deal of time lounging around the pool / swimming in the pool as it offered more shade. The pool bar staff again are very friendly and attentive, filling up empty glasses!!!
Entertainment is laid on every night, is relaxed and generally easy listening or watching a film etc with no pressure to join in anything or stay and watch if you don't want to.
In summary, after 10 days away I am usually ready to go home, however I can honestly say this is the one place I really didn't want to leave as it felt so perfect, from the moment we arrived via the sea plane to the time we left!
Would I recommend it, you bet I would! Could I find fault in any way, no I couldn't!
Thank you team for making it a wonderful, relaxing 12 days for us.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Roose1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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