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LUX* South Ari Atoll
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Reviews (3,450)
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Reviewed 25 April 2014

The dive shop is superbly run by the charming and extremely efficient Dirk, we were treated to several whale shark encounters. But the mantas had started migration so will need to see them next time thru. (Wo ist der manta?) Two tank morning excursions proved to be the best option for us, which we coupled with occasional afternoon or night dives. Several boats available, so special requests possible. Rental equipment in top/new condition, we brought own mask, fins, booties, wet suits: shorties were too warm, as was .5mm skin, rashguard was more than sufficient (April). Nitrox and rebreathers both available. An unexpected treat was presence of world freedive champion and record holder Christian Redl who taught an advanced free dive course as part of the Lux Underwater Festival. Descents to 20m in training and then freediving with whalesharks. It cant get better than that.

The water villa (number 134) was lovely: very clean and well appointed, nicely laid out. For divers these water villas were most convenient, easy to breakfast and then to the boat for the early morning dives. Good air conditioning throughout (including bathroom so not a hot wet humid sauna filled with the stink of drying bathing suits.) Very large closets so room wasnt strewn with clothes and laptops and flipflops. Wifi in each room, ours was acceptably fast. We never touched the TV or DVD player. Bathroom and shower opened out onto large outdoor deck (with outdoor shower) and lounge area and each villa had stairs for access to the house reef.

Beaches are pure white and kept spotless/immaculate, the grounds crew raked up seaweed constantly and we saw beautiful baby black tip reef sharks in the shallows each day. Plenty of spots to get away from crowds or kids if and when you want to, even when hotel is near capacity.

The island is long and thin, there are several distinct lunch and dinner restaurants, and menus were varied enough that one week was neither overly boring or repetitive. All inclusive packages seemed a good choice, a la carte pricing was 'resort ridiculous', especially so if you are to partake at one of the several bars at night. The resort is sufficiently spread out so there was a bit of an excursion to go from one end to the other, we dove each day and didnt make it to the spa or the yoga studio or the other facilities. Although on return I would definitely book a package of massage time at the spa. Golf buggies and bikes around for those who didnt want to make the walk. We met several lovely couples and families from Europe and South Africa, and we became friends with several sport and cinema celebrities (not to be named) who were lounging with us in the Senses pool.

The resort and dive staff was extremely friendly and their sense of pride was evident. Definitely spend time with the lovely Francesca, resident marine biologist, to learn about the indigenous wildlife in the surrounding waters. A dive with her is worth more than several semesters of study as she points out creatures and corals large and small, but come prepared for a work out if you are going to keep up with her under water!

Room Tip: east water villas were very convenient for breakfast and proximity to boat in the mornings for diving.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank dadhk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

I am very glad to read your review that you shared the freediving experience with Christian Redl during our 3rd Underwater Festival at LUX* Maldives. It was truly an amazing experience as I had, personally, joined one of the freediving sessions with Christian. We were very pleased to see many freedivers gathering together and sharing diving experience and exchanging information. I am also happy to hear that you have made some friends here.

Currently, we are starting to prepare for the event next year, it would be great if you could also share your comments and feedback with us so we could improve ourselves and get ready to welcome you and all the freediving lovers again. And of course, if you would like to join a trip with Francesca, our amazing marine biologist will explore and assist in learning more about what nature has to offer in marine life.

Once again, thank you for participating in the programme, we hope to see you again next year !

Best regards,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed 25 April 2014

A 25th Wedding anniversary requires a special trip. After spending a week diving the Southern Athols on MV Orion liveaboard we booked into Lux. We reserved a water villa for the week and arrived by speedboat from nearby Maamigili airport. Arriving at the resort we were greeted by the staff at the jetty who immediately set out to make us feel very welcome. Escorted into the spacious and air-conditioned reception area were the layout of the island and the facilities were explained.
The villa was very spacious and luxurious, better than expected, linked to the island by a wooden walkway. During the week we relaxed on the beaches, enjoyed the cocktails (quickly upgraded to all-inclusive) and sampled all the restaurants and bars (seven). The favourite lunch destination was the buffet at Island Kitchen followed by Senses restaurant (spicy Asian cuisine). Other options included the Italian influenced Allegria and the Japanese Umami, best to prebook each of these. The early bookings (7pm) are populated by families with young children so book later if you want a peaceful dining experience. The nearest bar and restaurant to our villa was East, where we relaxed most evenings. Thanks to Jayson Norris for the musical entertainment.
We borrowed a kayak to paddle out to the sand banks and surprised a juvenile black-tip reef shark sleeping in the shallows (only about 30 cm long). The water in the lagoon is full of shoaling fish and rays, ideal for safe snorkelling.
A couple of extra days diving with the resort dive centre run by Euro-divers was about as energetic as we got. Diving is from a Dhoni and takes in the whaleshark routes to the west and the Thila's to the North, lots of choice, lots of sharks, turtles and on one occasion a 6m whaleshark.
In summary, I can highly recommend Lux for its super friendly laid back atmosphere, fabulous water villas and excellent food. Time to start saving for the next trip.

Room Tip: Water Villa is worth every penny. It felt very private.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

Dear Chris,

It was our pleasure to have you here and to be your chosen destination for the celebration of your 25th Wedding Anniversary in the Maldives! Knowing you had enjoyed the food and drinks, the beach, the activities and the service is the greatest comfort value to all of us. Thank you! I am also very excited to know that you have had the chance to meet Jayson during your stay as he is amazing and big highlight during the Easter holidays. This was the second time that we invited him to be our host musician on the island, and we hope that you will have the opportunity to hear him play with us in the future as we look forward to invite him back.

Thank you once again for the review and recommendation to other travelers. I hope, soon, we will be able to see you. Please let us know when you will be back as we would like to make sure everything is in place prior to your arrival in the Paradise.

Warmest regards from the Maldives,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed 24 April 2014

We stayed here for my wife's 30th birthday. Took us a while to get here from Melbourne with a stopover at KLIA and a short domestic flight from Male. Arrived about 3 a.m. in the morning but the staff were on hand to check us in, show us to our room and explain some features to us.
Spa: Amazing and relaxing, nice over water massage rooms and you can relax with a drink before and after your session as well as reasonable prices (pls don't compare the price to Bali or Phuket etc) when compared to Australia or other developed countries.
Food: Dined in all the restaurants, including room service. We actually found the room service to be excellent both in taste and quality. The Italian and Japanese were above average but we have had better. The Middle Eastern was nice to relax but a bit far from where we were staying. The breakfast was nice, any place with a good selection especially tropical fruits gets a big thumbs up from me!
Room: Stayed in the beach villa, thoroughly enjoyed the view, felt like our very own private beach
Excursions: Did the local village as well as whale shark snorkelling trips. No whale shark seen though so that was a big disappointment. Maybe next time? The local village was more about souvenir shopping really(we got scammed, paying USD8 for a fridge magnet)
Misc: The following staff deserve special mention: Ajmal, Zain, Yami, Indri, Sulthan, Mamum, Jaufar, Daven.
Will I be back? Yes, in fact I highly recommend this resort to anyone planning to visit the Maldives. The staff are very professional, the resort is big enough and the staff:guest ratio is pretty amazing so you feel very pampered.

Room Tip: Beach villa: great for privacy etc esp compared to beach pavilions that share a common wall. Great sunrise and sunset viewing from both sides of the island. We had sunset views and it was spectacular.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank GastronomicGems
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Dear Rodney,

I would like to thank you for the wonderful review shared on TripAdvisor. We are always delighted that a great vacation was had and that our service had successfully achieved expectations. Your feedback is certainly very helpful to us as many of our future guests will read your review before their arrival to Maldives.

On behalf of Mamoun, Jaufar, Daven, Ajmal, Zain, Indri, Sulthan, Yami and all the team members on the island, we would like to thank you again for choosing LUX* Maldives to be the destination for celebrating the 30th birthday of your wife. These are truly happy moments.

Thank you again for recommending us to all. Please let myself or Mamoun know when planning the next holiday to return as we look forward to hear from you and will personally ensure that we are here to welcome you both at the Jetty.

Warm regards,


Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed 21 April 2014

My husband, daughter and I booked a last minute trip to the Maldives, to a resort that I had looked at many time longingly, but that we hadn't managed to get to.

Well it completely lived up to our expectations. All of the staff are superb, friendly and professional. To be fair there are too many to mention but I will anyway. Daven who was there to greet us, Mustapha who looked after us in our room, Amir and Suresh in the East restaurant, Pauline in front of house, Marine in the East bar and to all the others who also gave a great service thank you.

The highlight of the stay? Seeing a stingray whilst standing on the verandah of our water villa? Watching a turtle glide by? Seeing the baby sharks or the StingRays being fed? In all honesty there are too many to mention.

For a non diving, non water sport person, I managed to stay busy and time flew by. We rented bikes and cycled around the island. There are plenty of trips and activities, but in all honesty for me they weren't needed as there was so much else to do.

It feels very safe and comfortable.

The Dive Centre is excellent and my husband who is a proficient diver found plenty to do. They also facilitated my 12 year old through her Open Water certification, (thanks Thibault).

We luckily had a water villa which I would highly recommend. It was lovely to be able to get up, sit on the verandah and watch the fish. One morning we were visited by a sting ray. Also the location of the water villas is central to the resort, but far enough away to be quiet. It was very clean and the beds were very comfortable and our room had very efficient air conditioning.

Food is great with themed evenings. We ate Mexican, Chinese, Thai to name but a few. The Italian restaurant, which you need to book, was great, but I wouldn't bother with the Japanese restaurant which costs extra to the All Inclusive package.

We also managed to find a message in a bottle (you'll have to go to a LUX resort to find out what this is).

We went all inclusive which for us took away the worry of what our bill was going to be at the end of the stay. This also encouraged us to eat far too much of the delicious ice cream that is made on the island.

This is also the only place that I have stayed where the staff were genuinely interested in feedback on how they could get better. The resort has a relatively new general manager, who is very visible and spends a lot of time talking to guests, interested in their feedback.

So I am writing this sitting in the East Bar on our last night here, listening to live music (a feature of this bar). A thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing break with great wifi available over nearly all the island. We are now planning how we can back as soon as possible. This is one of the few places where I actually can see us going back and as soon as possible please.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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9  Thank BigRiver03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

I would like to say thank you for the wonderful family holiday experience shared on TripAdvisor. I am very pleased to learn you would like to return for another stay with us as you had enjoyed your vacation with us for the past week.

I also appreciate your highlights on the team members with whom you had met during your stay. I will personally thank Daven, Pauline, Amir, Suresh, Marine and Thibault on behalf of the LUX* Family as their good work is the key of how and why our guests would like to return over and over again.

It was a pleasure to have you and your family staying at LUX* Maldives. Our team and I are looking forward to seeing you again !

Best regards,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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Reviewed 21 April 2014

We spent a long time researching the Maldives and we are extremely grateful to Angelfish Travel for all their advice and guidance in our booking. They spent a huge amount of time with us discussing the options and gave us first hand advice of the different islands through their own visits and relationships they have. When we arrived at Lux for our first week of our honeymoon, the sea plane to the island was a great experience. We had booked a water villa number 108. The room was lovely with fab views out over the lagoon. Our room boy Sobir was brilliant, we had a different towel animal every day and he always checked everything was ok and nothing was too much trouble. We hired bikes which was great fun and made use of the free phone home. We also found the secret bar but sadly not a message in a bottle, perhaps next time! The staff were so friendly and kind, they got to know us as individuals and even gave us a small gift when we left. The coffee on Lux is amazing, we enjoyed visiting the coffee bar most days. Ziyada and Shujaau looked after us very well in East Restaurant. They were a pleasure to talk to each day and made us feel very welcome. One evening a child accidentally dropped his favourite toy into the lagoon, without any hesitation Ziyada jumped in to retrieve it! I couldn't believe my eyes! Sums up the service you will get at Lux. We also thoroughly enjoyed out cocktail making afternoon with Daniel, he is great fun and made the experience all that more special. We loved our time at Lux and would love to go back but are even considering visiting one of their other properties as our experience here was so memorable.
We stayed all inclusive which we would definitely recommend, it takes away the worry of how much you will spend additionally as everything is very expensive although it does depend on how much you drink and whether you have lunch as to whether this would be the most cost effective for others.
There were families staying at lux but you didn't really notice the children unless you were at the main pool in the afternoon but even then it wasn't busy anywhere. There is so much to do at lux and we definitely don't feel as though we got to do everything. You can hire snorkel gear which was free (at least it was on AI) and they do complimentary snorkel trips on a daily basis. Feeding the sharks and sting ray are definitely a must see too!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Sophie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LUX_GM, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

Dear Sophie,

Thank you for the wonderful review on TripAdvisor ! I am glad that you chose LUX* Maldives to be the right place for your honeymoon!

It was great that you had spent a good time on the island as well as our team, Shujaau, Ziyada and Daniel, and looked after by Sobir in the villa. I would like to share with you that Ziyada was awarded the Employee of the Moment in March because we appreciate each team member for what they do to helping our guests celebrate life.

I am delighted to know that you had enjoyed LUX* and Maldives. We hope you will be back soon, maybe for the celebration of your first anniversary?

Sincerely,

Shaun Dünhofen
General Manager

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