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“Perfect honeymoon paradise”
Review of Diamonds Athuruga

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Diamonds Athuruga
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Athuruga Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 September 2011

My wife and I stayed in Athuruga for 2 weeks at the beginning of July 2011 for our honeymoon. We had a fantastic time. We stayed in a water villa (no. 14), which definitely lived up to our expectations. The bed was very large and comfortable. It has everything you need – a walk in wardrobe, complete with a his ‘n hers robes (as well as the bath robes), espresso machine, Mac with lots of music/ films on and internet access. The deck area is amazing – the same size outside as you have indoors, with 2 large sofas which were very comfortable and a dining table where breakfast was delivered each morning.

We liked the position of our water villa, as it was on the reef side of the island, so you didn’t have to swim far to get to it. We were the last water villa on our side (except the luxury water villa, which was never occupied the whole time we were there), so it was quite secluded. It took probably 5/10 mins to swim (or float!) down to the cut through to the drop-off, so if you want to be nearer this, you need a villa nearer to the island on the same side. We couldn’t see the sunset all the way on our side, but to be honest I don’t think the majority of the villas could, regardless of which side you were on. We found it was quite hazy at the end of the day so the sunsets weren’t that amazing anyway.

We ate in the over water restaurant most nights, and had our regular table by the edge of the restaurant. Our waiter looked after us for the whole 2 weeks, and was attentive but not overly so. We thought the food was great – enough selection so that there was always something new to try, if you wanted to you could have had a 4 course meal for lunch and 5 courses for dinner, every day. Although we do agree with some other comments on here about the service being very quick (almost too quick), if you wanted gaps between courses, that was no problem – we either just asked our waiter or got down from the table and had a breather on the sofas around the edge of the restaurant and the food would be brought out when we returned. The only thing we would say, is that you didn’t feel very welcome staying for drinks too late – the music would be turned off and sometimes the cushions taken off the sofas, and there would only be the 1 barman still in the restaurant. I sort of felt a bit out of place and were often the only ones there. There was definitely more atmosphere on the island bar, but then again it was nice sometimes to just look at the stars and have a drink in silence at the over water bar. It was also much breezier and cooler in the overwater restaurant – the couple of times we did eat in the island restaurant, I did find it quite hot and stuffy.

We thought the all inclusive was great – almost all drinks included (inc. prosecco, a large variety of cocktails, lager, variety of wines). The only thing for us was Jack Daniels not being included, and on a couple of occasions they had run out of mint for mojitos! We didn’t really mind about this, as I guess mint isn’t really native to the Maldives!

Entertainment was fine – not too intrusive. The singer was ok, not really needed in our opinion, but nothing to moan about. We enjoyed the couple of talks by the marine biologist as well in the evenings.

The snorkelling was amazing. The best we have ever done (been to Great Barrier Reef & Red Sea before). We didn’t bother with scuba diving, as we are not PADI qualified, and you could see so much snorkelling anyway we didn’t think it would be worth it. We saw so many different types of fish, manta rays, sting rays, reef sharks, turtle. All snorkelling gear is provided for free. We did a couple of guided snorkels, which are good especially the first time swimming to the drop off.

Also, although we went in the ‘wet’ season, it only rained about 3 times in 2 weeks, which were short downpours. We had one day where it was quite overcast for most of the day, and quite windy, but to be honest it was quite a nice change from constant sunshine!

The only minor niggles we had were no free wine in the room (just 1 bottle on arrival) – seemed a bit silly as wine was included everywhere else on the island. Also, they needed to put a lock on the internal shower door, as when it was windy this did move about a bit at night and was quite noisy.

Overall, we had an amazing time, we would definitely recommend Athuruga to honeymooners!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank mariogriffiths
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 September 2011

We spent 7 days at Diamonds Athuruga for our honeymoon, and stayed in a water villa. We couldn't have chosen a better place.

The real highlight of the trip was the villa itself. The white colour of the walls gives it a much lighter feeling than other similar resorts. The room is large, very well equipped, and in good condition. Our room boy, Hassam, refreshed it twice a day to a superb standard, and his turndown of the bed each evening was always something to look forward to (he did fish shapes, flowers in the shape of hearts, etc). The view was incredible too and we were able to see the sunset, not directly in front of us, but from the side of the veranda area.

The stairs in front of the villa led directly down to the sea, and the reef was a very short distance away. Once there, we saw a huge array of sealife, including reef sharks, scabbards, turtles, rays, clown fish, etc. We had been planning on going diving but it just didn't seem necessary considering what we were able to see in front of our room. The hotel provided snorkelling equipment which wasn't of a particularly good quality but allowed us to see what we wanted.

The food was great, we had a huge variety and didn't feel the need to use the buffet in the main restaurant, because the water villa restaurant was so good. Our waiter, Sola, was very attentive and got to know what we liked quite quickly, especially the wine. The view from the restaurant was wonderful too. We were able to eat locally sourced fish and fruits (the passion fruit was really good). There was an Italian twist to everything (the chef was Italian) and the carpaccio was a real favourite. The all inclusive experience is almost a necessity in the Maldives, if only for the unlimited water. There was a very generous quantity of everything and a high quality of food. Drinks were a little more limited in choice but we were able to enjoy what we drank. Snacks were often provided but those given out at the bar were mostly just bread. Also, I'd highly recommend having breakfast in the room at the water villa some of the days, that's included and is so peaceful.

We joined a visit to Fisherman's Island, included in the cost of the hotel. It was interesting to see a different location and the boat ride on the sea was very pleasant. The island itself was interesting as we were able to see some more typical Maldivian life, but we weren't especially impressed with the range of souvenirs on sale, which took up a large proportion of our stay.

A few other points. Some of the water villas are quite far from the facilities, and it's very hot walking along the decking. The hotel takes very good care of this by providing refreshing water in bowls along the way (to cool feet down) and there is a buggy, whose driver is very attentive to guests in need of a ride. Other facilities were good too- a book exchange, a boutique (some items were rather expensive but the essentials were not), a diving centre (it's worth renting out a camera for taking pictures of the reef- but very difficult to use the camera), watersports centre and laundry, which is included.

Overall, I would highly recommend the hotel to anyone looking for a relaxing break on a special occasion. It's a lovely hotel, with excellent service, and worthwhile for the room (and its view) alone).

Room Tip: Stay on the reef side for the most interesting sealife.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank BritInOsaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2011

We went to Athuruga for a week in the middle of July. It was incredible. And I want to reassure anyone who has booked to go to not be put off by any negative comments. To us, it was heaven on earth. It was like we'd be super-imposed onto the front of a holiday brochure, except the white beaches, clear sea and incredible views were real. We had the tiniest bit of rain, but when it's that hot, you can pop on the emergency disposable ponchos provided, and it can be an adventure. Plus who doesn't look hot in a green or pink see through mac (his and hers style too)?!

The food was delicious - varied every night with the freshest fish and fruit. If it's possible our only complaint could be that there was too much. With our own waiter in the water villa restaurant we felt a moral obligation not to be too wasteful but even we had to declare defeat by the end of the week. massive breakfasts - which for no extra cost they will deliver to you deck - three course lunches and five course dinners. My husband and I are both foodies. We go to lots of restaurants in London and enjoy cooking ourselves. Some of the meals we had were amongst our favourite we've ever eaten. The fish was just divine, and the menus were varied. Sometimes how the described the food wasn't exactly what arrived, but things are bound to get lost in translation, and it added to the fun - it was delicious either way. I think I'm having seabass carpaccio with passion fruit withdrawal symptoms right now. And having BBQ seared fresh tuna (sorry tuna!) cooked in front of you at the beach restaurant and going straight to your plate was delicious.

We found all the staff to be incredibly helpful, and despite being a small island, had no trouble in spending time as just a couple - from snorkelling the house reef to going on a boat trip. The bar had a great selection of cocktails - the different servers mixed their cocktails differently too, so you never knew when you were going to get a cocktail about 18x over the alcohol limit. Oh well, it's not as if there were any cars to drive or dangerous machinery to operate.

We really had the loveliest time. We are normally very independent travelers but accepted that to visit an island in the Maldives we'd have to go to an all inclusive hotel. However, it utterly recharged us, and was most of the most relaxing and romantic weeks of our lives. The room was impeccably clean, minimalistic yet very comfortably, furnished. And on the night it poured down we watched one of the films already on the iMac. Anytime I can have a rain shower whilst looking at the Indian Ocean is pretty good with me, but when you can also spot reef sharks, rays and a massive sea turtle in that ocean, well, what is there to complain about.

From landing on the sea plane and being collected on a Dhoni, to our final night looking at the stats in the crystal sky, we couldn't recommend it enough. We thought we would get bored having two weeks there so only booked one, but it turns out we probably could have happily lasted about 2.5 years. Although the sea plane probably wouldn't have been able to take off with the resulting BMI crisis. There isn't a massive amount to do, but if you're happy playing ping pong or pool, snorkelling, swimming and going on as many or as little trips as you want, you'll enjoy yourself. If you are more active, you can customise your own time to do more activites. We just found we massively adjusted our lifestyle down to complete relaxation and had a great time.
Hope that was helpful.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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33  Thank mrsbeth11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2011

This was our 9th visit to the Maldives and our 2nd to Athuruga. We had a fantastic time on Athuruga in July 2010, staying in a beach villa for the first part of the holiday then moving to a WV for the second part. We decided to return for 2 weeks in July this year as we had been so impressed. The island itself and the snorkelling remain as outstanding as ever, but we were disappointed with some aspects of our stay this year, compared to last year.

The holiday got off to a great start as we had requested a reef side, high number WV in an email to the resort a couple of weeks beforehand. We were given WV21, closest to a reef entry point - excellent! The WV was kept clean and tidy throughout our stay, but things such as shampoo, toilet rolls and soft drinks in the minibar were not always replenished during the first week. The room attendant changed after about a week (Hassan had been on holiday) and there was noticeable difference in the attention to detail.

Last year you were able to ring and have wine in your fridge as part of the AI, this year you have to pay extra for this, despite the fact that the in-room information states clearly that there is no charge for this. I raised this with the most senior manager on the island (the resort manager was on holiday while we were there) and was told that it was a corporate decision and that there were problems with staff handling alcohol. I could accept and understand that as a reason except that they do stock the fridge with beer.

Food : Some of the food was excellent, some poor. We, like a number of others, opted to eat lunch in the main restaurant having tried both lunch and dinner in the WV. The BBQ fish and live pasta station in the main restaurant are excellent, but the range of curries this year was very limited (the same dhal curry every day and the same beef curry almost every day, which on one occasion was so cold that the fat it had been cooked in was solid on the top). Curry was not on the WV dinner menu during our stay (we love the Srilankan/Maldivian curries you get thoughout the Maldives). There was a good range of dishes in the buffet warmers and the bread was very good. The salad was less extensive in variety this year; mostly different types of lettuce, shredded carrot and white and red cabbage – very little else. There was plenty of the raw/marinated fish available. Desserts were not as varied this year. Dinner in the WV restaurant : an ‘amuse-bouche’, a starter, a soup/pasta course, a main course and dessert. There was choice for each course (though the soup was Gazpacho, rather than a hot soup, almost every day), with the choice of main course being between two fish dishes and one meat (usually beef, but chicken and chips once). The beef fillet was very good. Desserts in the WV restaurant were poor. The menu is virtually the same each week and feels quite repetitive over a 2 week stay. The service does feel rushed in the WV restaurant, but we put this down to staff trying to be efficient rather than trying to get the meal over with quickly. If you stay in a beach villa but wish to eat in the WV restaurant you are charged $50 pp +tax – I would strongly recommend that you ask to see a menu first.

We used the laundry service twice. The first time everything was fine, but the second time a favourite polo shirt was missing and we had gained a pair of Italian underpants. I rang to notify reception of this and was told that someone would find the missing shirt and come to collect the underpants. 5 hours later no-one had been so we took them across ourselves. It was clear that nothing had been done following my initial notification (which is what I find disappointing, rather than the mix up in the first place). It was dealt with this time and we eventually got the shirt back, following an intervention from a newly arrived guest relations person, Victor, who came along while I was explaining the mix up to the receptionist.

The resort manager was on holiday whilst we were there and this may be the reason why there was not the same high level of service/attention to detail as we experienced previously. The arrival of Victor, however, did improve things as he quickly developed a good presence on the island. He also went out of his way to get us the anti-biotics we needed to deal with the diarrhoea (cause unknown) that we had been suffering from for well over a week (it had not responded to the salt/glucose and ‘over the counter’ remedies which we always carry ‘just in case’) and which were also given by the resort doctor. We had returned to see her to get something stronger, but were told she had left the island and no-one knew when a doctor would return.

The excellent coffee maker in the WV rooms was an improvement this year as was the plastic netting that they have put on the WV steps to make them less slippery. The service in the beach bar was excellent as ever, but there is no longer an indoor bar area in the WV restaurant, plus opening times have been changed (and do not match those given in the in-room information booklet which provides out-of-date information about several services). The weather was very good in the main – just one day of heavy rain and a couple of overcast days in the fortnight that we were there.

Overall, if you are visiting the Maldives or Athuruga for the first time, you will love it, I’m sure. For us, second time round, we were disappointed and will not go back a third time. Perhaps we were just unlucky and were there at a time of staff shortage/holidays. Also, becoming ill prevented us from snorkelling for much of our time there and limited what we were able to eat having a significant impact upon our holiday. None of the things that I have reported upon above on their own would have been a major issue for us, it was more the combination of several factors (I have not listed them all as this report is far too long already!). I have raised some issues in a letter left for the resort manager, so maybe things will be better for those going in the future. I have not received a reply, though, and will choose another island next time.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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22  Thank GaynorS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2011

We stayed in Athuruga for a week in July following a week’s tour of Sri Lanka. First time to the Maldives so nothing to compare with but had a fantastic time. We spend 5 nights in a beach bungalow (No. 47) followed by 2 nights in Water Villa no.3 so we used both restaurants and the food was great in both – the a la carte water villa menu was limited but the food was lovely. The friends we met there were in the water villas for 2 weeks and chose to eat in the beach restaurant after the first few days as they preferred the choice – they had been to several islands in the Maldives before and said Athuruga was definitely the best. As for the service they got in the main restaurant – it was a good as we got and they were given a table right next to the beach so certainly weren’t treated any different. So it depends on what you like, quantity and plenty of choice or quality. We also couldn’t fault the service in both and we have travelled extensively so can compare to other countries if not the Maldives. As for the doctor – we certainly had one there the whole time during our stay as she came on one of the boat trips with us. There were 3 surgeries through the day although when I got stung by a jelly fish (brought in by storm on one of the days) she was out on a trip but they offered to ring her to get advise so can’t fault that and any drugs prescribed were all included. The only complaint we had was that we had read that wine and beer were included in the mini bar but when we asked for our beach bungalow to be stocked they told us we’d have to pay for the wine but we’ve since heard that this is their new policy and I have now asked Kuoni to state this in their info on the island. As for service it was excellent, certainly had no problem with the bar – no problems with stocks of anything and no queues. The Italian animation team were brilliant they sorted out any problems or queries that we had – better than any English reps that we’ve had on other holidays. I have to say that all the people we met on the island (English and Italians) said they would go back so can’t have been that bad and none of them had suffered with D&V while there and that was the end of June beginning of July. Would recommend it 100% even though I don’t snorkelling. If you go remember that there isn’t much else to do – it’s a chill out holiday only. If you want adventure go to somewhere like Sri Lanka for the first week and use the second week in Athuruga to relax. By the way the whole 2 week holiday only cost us less than £4500 for the two of us. By the way if we went back I think we would go for the water villa for the whole week but glad we tried both.

Room Tip: Preferred the water villa to the beach villa but both were excellent
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank georgiegirl7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2011

It was a wonderful time to stay in Athuruga.

My partner and I stay in the Water Villa, front of the sunset side, gave us a romance moment everyday(we stayed 5 nights in Athuruga). We enjoyed every moment in our sweet white water villa.

Our room attendant is outstanding. He was so kind to take care of everything. The best thing is he's always behind the scene that we feel our privacy was being respected.

We're looking forward to visit Athuruga again soon:)

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Olibaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2011

Having holidayed before (hree times) on Thudufushi, we were looking forward to our trip here.

Firstly, the water bungalows are superb.... beautifully constructed and furnished and compared to other islands they are not all on top of each other. Choose to stay on the ocean view side if you can otherwise you will get not only the sound of the island but also shade all day.

Staff were attentive, but scrape the surface and there is little understanding under the smiles......

The catering was a big let down..... let me explain....

If you are in the water bungalows you get to use the over water bar (not that we could get to sit down as it was full of beach guests!) and the water dining area. This would be fine if they bothered to have a varied menu, which they dont. It is marketed as food "created by" a named chef. Well he must have run out of creativity since the menu was not changed in four day blocks at lunchtime and dinner wasn't much better. Poor, considering this holiday cost us £15k !

After a few days we decided to eat at the beach resteraunt..... easy we were told... except each day we got the impression we were being a pain... probably since all the water bungalow habitees, like us, were abandining the water resteraunt due to boredom with the food! Despite being told "there's no room in the other place" there always was plenty when we pushed it. This left a poor impression.

Now let me ask you, dear reader, a simple question.......

If you are running an all inclusive holiday resort that claims to be 5* then it is to be assumed that you are capable of running a bar compitently. Is that not a fair point?

They ran out of vodka........ and didnt replace it for a week!

How can a bar run out of one of the most staple needs for a bar????

Since our previous visits the bar staff has been reduced in number when the guests have increased. This has led to a drop off in speed of service in the bar areas, which are busy places in the evening and late afternoon.

The dive school , whilst run by great people,was overrun by guests for the fortnight we were there; only one boat so places were rationed;( yes, rationed.... "you can come today but not in the morning") beware if you're coming for a dive holiday ! We made a small fuss and got on each day since that was why we were there, but others were unlucky and the boats were always very buy; 12 to 20 on average which is far too much for a dhoni.

Now, what else...?

Ah yes; finally a fundimental (and as a dive instructor something very important) When they refurbished both this island and Thudufushi they had an excelent opportunity to deal with the ineffectual effluent treatment works the islands used to have. Unfortunately the budget obviously didn't go that far; beware if you go into the water near the island and the tide is wrong as it will resemble the worst parts of the med. The number of ear infections on the island is evidence of this problem. If you plan to swim or snorkel then dose your ears with vinegar straight afterwards to avoid a nsaty outer ear infection.

The owners should be ashamed of themselves for this oversight .

So in summary; beautiful water bungalows, staff who try a lot to please but some fundemental issues.

After four visits to Athuruga/Thudu we won't be returning again, which for any business is a real shame to lose returning customers.

Room Tip: ocean side water bungalow is a must
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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16  Thank paul71a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Diamonds Athuruga

Address:
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Athuruga Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Athuruga Island
Price Range: £495 - £1,589 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Diamonds Athuruga 5*
Number of rooms: 73
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Athuruga Island Resort is the twin island of its sister Thundufushi. The island comprises of a thick vegetation of coconut palms and surrounded by powdery beach which extends to one side of the island. The lagoon on this side is small and the superb house reef is within the swimming distance while on the other side the lagoon is very large, sandy and is ideal for paddling around. Athuruga Island resort is best described as an elegant and intimate holiday resort with a high standard of service which offers offer All Inclusive only. There are only 51 rooms, named as 46 Beach Bungalows and 05 garden Villas. Catamaran, laser boat, canoe, windsurfs offered free to guests who must be experienced & licensed for these activities. Snorkeling equipment are offered free against a deposit towards loss of damage. Free guided snorkeling on house reef daily. Free laundry service. Aerobic, stretching, water gym and dance lessons free of charge.1 sunset fishing and 1 fisherman island excursion per stay included free. Beach towels provided free. Free doctor's service and infirmary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diamonds Athuruga Beach And Water Villas
Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas Hotel South Ari Atoll
Athuruga Hotel South Ari Atoll

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