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“Paradise. Only paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Diamonds Athuruga

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Diamonds Athuruga
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Athuruga Island
Certificate of Excellence
Lugano, Switzerland
Level Contributor
128 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Paradise. Only paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2014 via mobile

I've been 2 weeks in September and the island is awesome.
Staff is very nice and always available when needed.
They have Italian alcohol and it is not that common in Maldives.
I love this place and I will come back for sure.
The problem I saw is that the price in 3 years raise about 50%... But they are well spent money for sure.

Stayed September 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Alberto C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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922 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (151)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Manama, Bahrain
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2014

Phenomenal!!.. that’s the closest I can describe the experience. Having stayed in over 26 higher star class hotels in 11 countries over the last 5 years, I must say Athuruga stood out by a fair margin. The management have somehow managed to remove the rigid and strictly business -like approach from the staff and have culminated a very warm and an extremely personal culture in its place. They have tapped into the traditional warm nature of south Asians to create this unique atmosphere.
Its really 2 worlds out there. At one end there is unbelievable level of privacy. At the other end there is a world of mostly water related activities and they somehow manage to keep them well separated. As a family man with a 8 year old kid, I chose the latter. So my review is mostly on those lines.
Getting there is an experience by it self. Make sure you get a window seat in the sea plane.
We took a over the water chalet. It was spacious, clean and extremely comfortable space with a touch of subtle sophistication. The bar was decent enough. The bedding needs to be mentioned!. Fantastic. Only problem was the light switches. There are many and they on or off in different directions. It’s a bit of a trick to get all the lights off or on in one go.
The water villa restaurant is very kool. The menus are rich and the food tastes heavenly. As Asians we prefer a bit of spice and we had only one not too spicy meal the whole stay. That was the 1st one. Chef Sagara is a very un assuming but hugely talented boss. You need to ask for a waters edge table for dinner. The day we had one, there were 4 sharks and a large black spotted ray just over the edge. No wonder it’s a premium and needs to book in advance. Have to mention the servers. They go so much more to make the stay memorable. We let our server (harmless) Haam to decide the drinks and her never got one wrong!!. From Frappuccinos to cocktails he was spot on. The cocktail master Anil has to be mentioned. He mixed some remarkable cocktails for us. A genuine smooth operator. Needs no advance table reservation. A huge bonus.
Sunset is a great time to come to be on the walkway over the lagoon. We had 9 sightings of mostly smaller black tip sharks, 4 rays including a gigantic black spotted and probably million strong school of small fishes and a few hundred predators over a 4 day period and not ever leaving the land!!
If you are not on your honeymoon, a good number of activities will keep you busy enough. Snorkeling is great and its at your door step.
It is really a super bonus to have a some kind of diving certification before coming here. The house reef is amazing and is definitely a part of the whole experience. The in-house Dive Centre is very professional, well equipped and within budget. I did both sides of the house reef. Diving from the jetty, the right side reef is spectacular and is great for a day dive. The left hand side to me looks better suited for night diving. The reef is pristine and is filled to the brim with many many different species and other forms of aqua life. 9 eagle rays, a shark and a turtle were the super highlights of the dives but not by far. The whole dive was a ‘highlights package’.
HOWEVER THE INHOUSE BOUTIQUE IN MY VIEW HAS VERY LITTLE VALUE FOR MONEY! ( that’s putting it very generously..lol)
On the last day of our stay I was chatting with the team that took care of us. Suddenly One guy shows me an island in the horizon and tell s me “ Sir.. that’s the no. 1 ranked resort in our part of the atoll. We are 3rd.. but we will beat them. That was the answer I was looking for the difference I saw here.
Frankly it was not a top of the range property but it was a uniquely warm and a tremendously comfortable place that actually treated the guests in a very special way. My little girl had tears in her eyes when she took the sea plane off the resort. And I miss it as much as she did.
PS: We took the ‘all inclusive package’ which really included almost everything.

Room Tip: Over the water villas 3-5 for a great view of baby sharks, rays and scores of small fishes.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lakmin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

Lovely holiday at Athuruga. We were there in rainy season but were lucky to have only one night of rain. The hotel is really well managed and the team go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need. We stayed one night in the water villas and the rest in a beach family villa. Potentially 2 very different holidays in these locations. I thought the water villas were really stylish and the water restaurant has good table service but I am not sure the food is that different to (or better than) the main restaurant.

The entertainment is not intrusive.

The dive team are excellent.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Andyprest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014

My husband and I just came back from our honeymoon in Maldives. We spent 5 days in Athuruga Beach and 5 more days un Lux Maldives Resort.

If you are looking to go on a romantic getaway with your partner to a place were you can unwind, relax and chill out, Athuruga is definitely the place you want to be.

It is a small island, with paradise sandy beaches, designed according to the very best Italian style. Everyone is on the all inclusive basis so you do not have to worry about extra expenses. You will only have to pay for the excursions and diving since the rest is all included; from laundry to having breakfast on your water villa, it is a five star hotel regarding such services.

The diving center is also very good as they offer 2 different dive sites every day, giving their guest many options from which they can visit without repeating a dive place.

The house reef of Athuruga is pretty amazing. You can swim from your water villa or from the beach to the reef as it is only 10 meters away from the shore. The reef is one of the best that we have seen, quite colorful and full of different animals (all sort of fishes, turtles, morenas, baby sharks, etc). Although, for those that would like to have a better shot spotting the whale shark, Athuruga is quite far from the place where whale sharks are (it is about 50 minutes away by speedboat, which makes it a more expensive, specially if you consider that you may have to repeat a few times the excursion to be able to spot the whale shark as it is not as easy to see them as one may think).

One of the things that we have learned is that in South Ari Atoll, depending on where the island is, the types of reef and consequently, the fauna that you will see is quite different. If the resort is in the middle of the Atoll, such as Athuruga, probably the house reef will be a better one, full of small fishes, and colorful corals. However, if the resort is in an island at the very south of the Atoll, the house reef wont be as good for snorkeling, but you will see bigger fishes (mantas, whale sharks, red snappers, tunas, etc).

Athuruga is a place practically managed by Italians, so you will find a lot of Italian tourists. For us this was a plus, since we are Spanish and we feel more "at home" around them. Other resorts in Maldives are full of Chinese visitors which can be quite loud and sometimes impolite.

Regarding service, in Athuruga mostly all of the people in charge of the entertainment of the island were nice and friendly. On the other hand, the people in charge of service at both restaurants, was not as friendly as you would expect. Don't get me wrong, they were not bad, but when being on holiday such as this one, one may expect people to be a bit more friendly and to always salute you with a smile and this was not always the case.

We stayed in a water villa and we have to say that we could not be more happy with it. From the views, to the decor of the room, the cleaning standard, the maintenance of the whole place (everything is pristine white)...

For us, the weakest thing about Athuruga was the food. The buffet was OK, but the "a la carte restaurant" would definitely has to pick up if it wants to be as high standard as the rest of the hotel. As we stayed in a water villa, we were able to have lunch and dinner every day there, and we were expecting it to offer some sort of "gourmand experience", but unfortunately, it did not delivered.

Having said this, we would definitely recommend Athuruga for a special couples retreat.

Room Tip: If you go for the water villas, ask for the ones that face the ocean instead of the lagoon as those...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Marilina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed in a water villa the first week of July. Prior to arriving, our expectation was that this resort would only be 90% as good as the photo's and brouchures, however, if you can believe it, this island, the resort, the accommodation, the service, the management and staff make this a 110% location. We will definitely go back next year and if chilled paradise with a hint of elegance is what you are looking for, then this is it! I am envious of all you people reading this review who will visit this paradise location before we return next summer !

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Happy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level Contributor
65 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2014

This island is truly beautiful. White sand, turquoise water, and panoramic views of the stunning Indian Ocean.

We stayed for 10 nights in July 2014 in a sunset water villa which at this time of year are on the lagoon side (I believe at other times of the year they are on the reef side). We had sun all day, and a stunning sunset view, which was breath-taking most days.

Accommodation -
The Water Villa was amazing. The huge decked outside area was amazing for sunbathing, reading, eating breakfast and relaxing. The Villas are far enough apart that you can't really hear anything else apart from the sound of the ocean, and all have blinds and curtains if you wish to have added privacy from your neighbours. The steps from our villa led down to the lagoon, where we snorkelled with stingrays and some lovely colourful fish. Small reef sharks and nurse sharks also swam in the lagoon.
The interior of the villa was very stylish. A large comfy bed and clean white furniture created a tranquil atmosphere, and the air-con was welcome after returning from the heat of the day.

Reef -
One of the best reefs I have had the pleasure of snorkelling. Turtles, Sharks, Rays, and thousands of amazing fish. Every day guided snorkelling tours (free of charge) were done by the on-site biologists, and I would thoroughly recommend these to get the most out of the marine life. Wendy and Lele especially were amazing, and went out of their way to make us happy.

Food -
We ate breakfast most days on our decking (definitely recommended for a lazy morning), and had lunch and dinner most days in the water villa restaurant. We tried the buffet restaurant for lunch one day but weren't overly keen. The food in the water villa restaurant was mostly very good but not as good as it could have been. A couple of tweaks here and there, and with the quality of the seafood which they serve, it would be exceptional.
The service in the restaurant was perfect for us. Our waiter Haam managed to pitch his service at exactly the right level and it was a pleasure to chat with him whenever we went to eat - he is a huge credit to the team.

Service -
Without exception, every member of the team was friendly and chatty - very impressive!

Entertainment -
Athuruga could do with a little more life at night, and a bit more variety in the music. The last bar closes at midnight - which is a little early for us, so after last orders we tended to go back to the room wanting a little more.

Trips -
We did "Sunset snorkelling", "Manta Ray", "Whale shark" and "Big Game Fishing". All were well organised and enjoyable, even though we were unlucky and didn't get to see any Whale Sharks. Be aware that the water can be choppy (especially in Wet Monsoon) and may not be suitable for those who get sea-sick.

Weather -
6 hours of torrential rain in 10 days. Considering it was Wet Monsoon, we were incredibly lucky. It's hot!!!! The breeze from the West was welcome, and helped to keep the temperature moderated most days.

Overall, this place is absolutely amazing. The few negatives mentioned here are vastly outweighed by the huge amount of positives. It was going to be a 'once in a lifetime' trip for us, but I can't imagine never returning to this idilic paradise, so will have to start saving the pennies. It's not cheap, but I think represents good value for money.

Room Tip: Sunset Water Villas are different depending on the time of year. I preferred being towards the far e...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Time_to_diet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

We had booked the Diamonds Athuruga with Kuoni and were staying for our 25th Wedding Anniversary. The seaplane transfer was very smooth, and when we landed at the resort, a boat picked us up and we were welcomed by the resort manager Stephen. We had booked two nights in the beach villa and 5 nights in the water villa. Beach Villa accommodation was fine and the room had an outside shower which was lovely. (Beach Villas did not have internet access, but complimentary access was available in the lobby area) We were all inclusive and the mini bar was well stocked with wine and other drinks. The water villas were something else. Great outlooks to the sea and very private. The water villas were very well set out and they all had Apple Imacs and internet access. This was the perfect location for couples and people on honeymoon. The island was small and you could walk around the island in 7 minutes. If you want a relaxing holiday / break with no TV this is the place for you. If you like diving then the reef dives were great. They had two main restaurants. One was all inclusive buffet style (You had a good choice of food and they also had a pasta station were you could have fresh pasta cooked) Again a good selection for breakfast, lunch and evening meal. The sea restaurant was for people stopping in water villas and they had set-menus each day. I can not fault the resort / hotel on any grounds. It was the perfect location and staff were truly amazing. All very helpful. (Especially Tammy from South Africa) If you are looking to visit the Maldives and dont want a swimming pool then you could not find a better place to relax and chill out.

Room Tip: You have a choice of Sunrise or Sunset Villa's Sunset is the best choice as the Water Villas a...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Paul_Gilbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Diamonds Athuruga

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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 & Water Villas Hotel South Ari Atoll
Diamonds Athuruga Beach And Water Villas
Athuruga Hotel South Ari Atoll

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