I'm just checking out now. It's been extremely emotional to leave today. To get to the point, this is very high five star luxury in the Maldives, which is hard to pull off in such a location. They do this by the little things. It's my third time to the Maldives and whilst it's true, unlike Bandos, the isn't a stunning reef right on the beach, it's a little swim out, that's the only shortfall. This is a big island with lots to do. It's really quite brilliantly done - bravo the French owners and Lux Mauritius is right at the top of the list to do now.
So many good touches, popcorn at the beach cinema. The secret bar. The incredible staff,...Francesca the marine biologist whose passion and commitment to the environment (so things such as educating against shark feeding as well as holding great presentations for whale sharks and other sealife), Esther from the Spa - I tried 6 in total, tried everything. But Esther's thai massage I did twice - better than any massage I had in Thailand. Rup from the bar, who is the nicest person, really made us feel special. Alauddin, cheeky and fun with his own signature cocktail. The list goes on and on.
My top tips would be get a beach villa (not pavillion). So you have detached villa ON BEACH. If you want to then split your time and then also get a water villa. I like them both equally for different reasons so it's good to do both.
Get to the movies on the beach 10mins early to snag bean bags, nothing beats lying down watching a film with popcorn and a cocktail.
The Spiderman mocktail is incredible. (I like putting a vodka in it).
Dinner with the chef on Thursday's at Allegria (Italian restaurant, one of the best starters I've ever had, a little pea salad dish) is essential... definitely do it. We were lucky to have this amazingly cool lady over to discuss the food. She works for Lux Nutrition and she was really nice, we had a great atmosphere and then everyone ended up in the little disco partying pretty much all night - yes - got a bit carried away with it all after meeting some cool people. Nice to do that just the once in the two weeks and then float in the sea with a bit of a hangover the next day.
Best beach villas - I think - are around 242. It's close to Veli bar.
Water villas around 135-137 are not sunset, but close to East Bar / kitchen which was good, less remote than the others near Senses (nice restaurant).
Best place to find bottles (little gifts lying around for you to find) is reception, the photobooth etc. Get low and look beneath the green line - the bottles stand out against the brown.
Also - if you get something you don't want, like coffee - they'll swap it for ice cream ! Yellow bikes - learn to find where they are stashed, they are great to get around on.
Walking around the island is just amazing, the missus liked all the weddings going on. And there's resort manager, Mo Mamoun - just walking around, always smiling, happy to help any problem you might have. So if there's something you want or aren't happy with, you'll see him every day or so and you can talk to him and he will get on it straight away.
So that's it - all the advice I have. Oh - other than - my poor missus has still not seen a whale shark - everyone else did but even after 5 trips she still didn't. But one kept hanging around the house reef ... so maybe consider doing more of the house reef trips is you really want to see a whale shark, they're free whereas the whale shark safari is USD80.
We managed to spend less than it would have cost us all inclusive - saved USD500 which we gave as tips.
Outside of 'The Bar', there's a little rock ledge where at night the light shines on it. If you get there for sunset then you can see the baby sharks and a white snapper feeding on the little fish surrounded by crabs. It's really cool ! Might seem like nothing, but there's a few seats outside by the water there and everyone kept coming over to see what was going on there.
Goodbye Lux, one of the few places I've ever left and thought, I really really want to come back to this place, rather than trying somewhere else for something new - I know it will not be as good as here. Just to see Francesca and Rup, and experience amazing service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dreamy atolls of tropical islands scattered across the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a kaleidoscope of colours and earthly pleasures. Get away from it all at LUX* South Ari Atoll (formerly LUX* Maldives), the only settlement on the postcard-perfect island of Dhidhoofinolhu. Fuss free and laid-back, the resort surprises with pop-up cinema screenings right on the beach, impromptu musical performances and strolls along secret pathways through the lush tropical gardens. Just steps from the thatch-roofed suites and ocean-perched villas, the island's unspoilt beaches are yours to claim. A prime spot for snorkelling and whale-shark spotting, the resort's unblemished lagoon is a diver's dreamworld. Back on land, island street food and fine dining await in the tempting restaurants and bars. In the shade of coconut palms, lounge by the two turquoise pools, luxuriate in the ocean-view spa and surrender to the charms of this castaway idyll. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lux* Maldives Hotel South Ari Atoll
- Diva Maldives Hotel
- Diva Maldives South Ari Atoll