We’re just back in cold and rainy Switzerland after 8 wonderful days in Athuruga. After a pretty long wait at Male airport (1hr45), our seaplane took us to this little paradise. We were greeted by Nicoletta and brought to the water villa reception on the jetty where fresh fruit and sorbet was served while we filled out the forms. Soon we were escorted to water villa number 8 which was going to be our home for the coming 7 nights. Prior to arrival I had emailed the resort and requested a villa on the reef side - not the lagoon side - as I had read these were more private with unspoiled view of the sea. Our request was obviously not taken into account. However, I didn’t want to be difficult from the start so thought we’d better check out villa 8 before requesting a transfer. In the end we never did - but I believe it would have been easy to change on site had we wanted to. As is turned out, we quickly realised that the reef side villas (14-21) were on the windy side and the lagoon side villas (1-13) less exposed. After the first night in our villa, we found that our side suited us better and we decided to stay where we were. Although during this season (Nov) the reef side villas did get a better sun exposure, we thought the sheltering from the wind was more important to us - it was pretty windy during our whole stay and in a WV this can be pretty noisy at night. We also love the beach and found that we used the loungers at disposal there before heading back to our villa later in the day. Before arriving I had read that there is boat traffic and also pretty disturbing that seaplanes land in from of the lagoon side villas. Basically, the boats are anchored here because the sea is less rough but there’s no traffic to speak of. Our villa was on the further side of the jetty from the WV reception so we didn’t get any boats disturbing us at all. If you are in WV 1-5 you are closer to the beach and the boats so you may feel a little less private. As for the seaplanes, we quite enjoyed watching them land and take off. NB: there are only like 3-4 a day so certainly doesn’t feel like living next to an airport!
The villas as really nice. Very spacious and light with stylish decoration all in white. We made the reflection that the architecture is a little Bahamas style all in white rather than the usual Maldivian natural wood look. Nice for a change. There’s a lots of space, the deck is just as big as the room/dressing/bathroom altogether and really provides an extra living area – we really liked to lazy on the outside couch (there are 2 with a low table) reading a book sipping some wine. On the deck you also have 2 sun loungers and a dining table with 4 chairs. Roll down plastic protection provides shelter from rain (and wind) if needed.
Overall the service is exceptional. The food is very good. Although the service was great, we only took advantage of having breakfast on our deck twice. Mainly because we like to sleep and wake up without a planned breakfast at a certain time. We also found breakfast in the overwater restaurant was very good and fast (since literally empty) and our assigned waiter (Luthfy) was adorable. Starting 1pm lunch is served in the main restaurant on the beach and the buffet is of a very good quality (although we thought having both lunch and dinner there, as is the case for beach villa guests, probably would have been a little bit boring since not much variation in choice of food). We generally had the excellent fresh grilled fish (the turbot was exceptional, but also red snapper, grouper, etc), some vegetables and sometimes a plate of the fresh very good pasta. For dessert we loved the Italian style ice creams although the choice was a bit limited. More fruit flavoured ice cream would have been nice. In the evening we enjoyed the à la carte menu in the WV restaurant (choice of 3 starters, mains and desserts). Wine choice was better and larger in OW restaurant with several good Italian as well as South African and Australian). In between meals, you can get everything you need in terms of drinks and fruit at the bar. The afternoon snacks (around 5pm) are good too. Special mention for the italian espresso, macchiato, cappucino etc. Never had any as good in this part of the world. My husband's italian so this is pretty serious - you don't mess with coffee... :-)
The watersport staff are smiling and helpful, they provide snorkling tours, stretching, watergym, canoeing, and more for free. Snorkeling on the house reef is really good.
As for the diving centre staff they were very professional and so nice. We took this opportunity to get our diving certification (YES, woooh hoooo). Thank you Mara for your patience with me!!! I never though I would make it – but I did!
In addition to the complimentary 10 minute head/shoulder massage provided to WV guests, we went for a 50 minute massage at the Spa. It was fine although not the best I've had. The staff is very nice and sweet.
The only negative I can think of is that our stay was too short! Next time (because we'll be back!) we'll do 2 weeks. Oh yes, on second thought, the live Italian singer really was terrible. He really made us laugh though - it was hilarious at times. Luckily he only ‘performed’ at certain hours (lunch, dinner and evening). Advice: when you can't stand it anymore, plus your IPod into your ears or head back to your villas.
In all, I would recommend paying that little extra money and be able to enjoy the separate restaurant and the immaculate bungalows over water.
Athuruga: We'll be back.
C & Y
- 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