We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Outstanding snorkelling but maybe for the last time”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Vakarufalhi Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
northants
Level Contributor
105 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Outstanding snorkelling but maybe for the last time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

Our sixteenth visit to Vakaru and been to many other islands aswell. We pay the premium to come to the Maldives because I am a keen snorkeller, As I am usually alone, the reef needs to be safe, easy to access and interesting. Vakaru ticks all the boxes. Zebra, snowflake, and yellow-mouthed morays, snake eel, TWO stone fish (only ever seen one in 20 years of snorkelling), dozens of scorpionfish, juvenile queen and reindeer wrass, hogfish, maldivian sea snail, loads of octopus were the outstanding mentions plus green and hawksbill turtle and of course all the usual suspects at every outing. It was quite outstanding this year.
This is not a boutique hotel, it is much more relaxed and informal, like the Maldives used to be everywhere, The food is very good, rooms are good but not smart. Housekeeping was very stretched when we were there in February. The island is perfect, you can walk round it on the beach and the water bungalows have been sympathetically sited.
Sadly, Thomson/First Choice are no longer going to the Maldives and the price we have been quoted is 50% more than we paid last time. This is not good value so we will be looking for another island.
I also worry that without the UK visitors, there will be more Easterners including the Chinese and the balance of guests will change and spoil the feel of the place.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank reef-bore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

865 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    692
    131
    24
    8
    10
See reviews for
132
597
3
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Paris
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

This is a great resort. The diving is excellent. Whale sharks and manta rays excursions enable you to see these amazing animals up close..
The Italian food is very good.
The hotel is comfortable and the staff are very welcoming. The Wi-Fi is slow at times.
Great stay with a desert island feel..

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Denis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sevenoaks, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

We have just had a dream holiday in Vakaru. Cannot think of any other time when I was so sad to leave a holiday place. We needed a relaxing time where we could get away from everything and this hotel made it so easy for us! The island is small and beautiful. The water crystal clear, the sand ice-white and feels like baby-powder to the touch. The hotel is clean, comfortable and nicely decorated. The food delicious and varied. The staff helpful and smiley. Kai the hotel manager is always around making sure all the guests are happy at all times. Thank you very very much for sorting out us in such a quick, friendly and efficient way.

We stayed at a beach bungalow (no. 146) for a few days. There were literally 44 steps from the room door to the water. It was very roomy and comfortable. We upgraded later on to a water villa(no. 219) which was like a dream. Enormous and luxurious, with amazing views. A real treat.

Unlike what it was mentioned in some of the other reviews, I cannot say that I was bothered by either the Chinese or the Italians. We were all there to have a good time.

I would recommend this holiday to anyone looking for a relaxed, easy time, where everything is at hand. I cannot wait to go back.

Thank you very much again to all the staff and in particular to Kai who made our holiday so special.

Room Tip: 146 great for a beach bungalow. It is located on the west side of the island with fantastic views an...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Belen219
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hertfordshire
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014 via mobile

This was my fifth trip to the Maldives. I wouldn't return to any island twice as there are so many to see I prefer to try a different one each time, so I can't say I would return to Vakarufahli, but that is no reflection of the island itself. Thomson/First Choice were the only UK company I found that offered this particular island and the images of the water villas were what tempted me to book.

The outbound flight was with the new Dreamliner. I must admit I wouldn't know the difference other than the fact it flies at a higher altitude. Bad turbulence on the way out which apparently would have been worse on a different aircraft, but was still bad enough to make other passengers shriek in fear. Having not flown on a chartered airline for some time I thought the inflight service was poor. Insufficient refreshment opportunities for such a long flight, whereas the scheduled airlines seem to regularly come round with drinks and snacks.

On arrival at Male the transfer to the seaplane terminal was smooth and easy. Unfortunately we were then told we had a three and a half hour wait for the seaplane. There are worse places to wait, but after a long flight you just want to reach your destination. We were given a sandwich and soft drink whilst we waited. We were then informed that our luggage would be on a later flight still. Effectively this lost us over half a day of our holiday.

On eventual arrival at the resort following a seaplane and short boat trip we were provided with sandwiches and fresh fruit as by this time lunch was finished, and given a short introduction to the island. We were eventually shown to our room following yet another wait for a member of staff to escort us. Luckily the Water Villa (220) made up for the by now epic journey.

I had emailed the resort prior to our arrival requesting room 224 or 225 as they were recommended by previous travellers as the villas at the far end. I think I preferred 220 as it didn't look directly out onto the wall surrounding the island. I would say that villas on the lagoon side had a nicer outlook overall, with views of the turquoise water and island.

The villas have been adequately described in previous reviews so all I will say is they are wonderful. Huge. Great terrace with loads of room and a fabulous large lounging seat as well as 2 individual sun-loungers. The coffee machine doubles up as a 'kettle' but fitting a mug under the water spout is something of a challenge! We took some nice coffee with us but there were Nescafé pouches provided too. We didn't use the coffee pods as they were quite expensive. The sun is, as always, extremely strong here so I would recommend very high factor sun lotion whilst sunbathing!

Now to the island itself. Small, and beautiful. You can walk around the outer edge in around 10-15minutes. Lots of great snorkelling around the island - we were lucky enough to see a turtle swim past our water villa and snorkelled out to watch him lunch on coral within the lagoon. Amazing. Deeper water snorkelling is possible from the end of the arrivals pier, but the day that I thought I might brave it the pier was overrun with Chinese people hawking up phlegm and spitting everywhere. Suffice to say this put me off. They don't seem to have any regard for other people, and wouldn't move out of the way to allow anyone else access from the steps into the water.

This takes me to the downsides of the island. I had read the numerous reviews of the island including the comments regarding the Chinese clientele. I chose to ignore these and on initial impressions I thought people had been overreacting. However, the more that arrived the more the reviews were proved true. They are loud, marauding around the island in large groups and shouting at each other across distances. The main reason they visit the island seems to be to take photos all day, which they also do at full volume. I didn't pay them much attention at mealtimes, and can't say I was bothered by them or their table manners. However, we were in the smaller restaurant seating area allocated to the water villas, and there weren't many Chinese in there. I would say that the Italian clientele were at times equally loud, and could often be heard from our water villa even though they were on the beach. I'm not sure why they have to talk so loudly, it's not like they are far away from each other! Another case of differing cultures, I suppose. Sadly these points really let the island down for me. The Maldives in my opinion should be a tranquil place to relax. The Chinese seem to be turning this island into Butlins, flinging huge inflatable killer whales in the water at every opportunity and screeching at each other to take yet another photo. Such a shame.

Another point to note was that we saw some female individuals swimming and sunbathing from the water villas topless. This is illegal in the Maldives. I can only assume these individuals were not aware of this, or were simply ignoring the law. The fact that Maldivian room boys work in the water villas and therefore may encounter this could cause considerable embarrassment. Please be aware of the laws of countries you visit, and try to abide by them.

The other slight let down was the amount of young children here. If it was a case of being seen and not heard, I wouldn't mind at all. But again they were quite noisy and seemed to be allowed to run around without restriction or supervision.

High points are the staff and the food.

The entire staff always have a smile on their face. We were greeted by everyone from groundsmen to chefs, room boys, waiters, spa staff - everyone is happy, friendly and very helpful. Our waiter Ahmed in particular is a true asset to the island. He was keen to help with any questions we had about the island, sealife or the Maldives in general and is a such a lovely guy.

The chefs were wonderful, producing some really delicious food. Every taste is catered for, with a wide range of pastas, curries, grilled fish and meats, salads and desserts. The pizzas were divine, as were the ice creams and sorbets.

I understand the island will be undergoing further expansion in the form of additional water villas and facilities next year. I don't think an island this small can reasonably sustain a higher volume of clients than it does now, and personally I think that adding further rooms and facilities will ruin it but I suppose financial gain is the key, sadly.

Overall we had a wonderful time, it's just a shame the clientele aren't slightly better suited to such a small island.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank niknak1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

At first,our family were very happy in this hotel,this island is small,but everybody are friendly and nice!We lived water room and beach room ,I like water room very much, it‘s very quite and beautiful。

Room Tip: I like water room very much
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wang j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2014

My husband and I stayed here for one week at the end of January, this is our 5th visit to the Maldives and as we had found the other islands perfect Vakaru had a lot to live up to - and it did.

Our holiday got off to a fantastic start courtesy of Thomson airlines and the brilliant Dreamliner. The Dreamliner claims to minimize jet lag and for us it certainly made a huge difference, we suffered from no jet lag at all on the outward journey, where on previous trip we had done in varying degrees.

Our seaplane transfer happened smoothly, with just enough time to change into warm weather clothes and grab a cold drink and an ice-cream, and before we knew it we had arrived at Vakaru.

When the seaplane landed on the pontoon at sea we had about a 10 minute wait for the dhoni from the resort to collect us - not a problem we happily chatted to the friendly pilot and crew who waited with us, and then loaded our bags onto the boat.

Check in at reception was fast and efficient and the staff friendly and helpful, the cold towel and coconut ice-cream were just what we needed to refresh us. As it was just coming up to the end of lunch time we were shown to the restaurant for lunch before ambling off to our room.

The pictures of the water bungalows looked amazing and they turned out to be every bit as lovely as the pictures and absolutely huge. I have never seen such an enormous bathroom with such a beautiful view. Both the bedroom and bathroom had huge doors that opened out onto the deck which had two single sun loungers and a huge double sun lounger too. The deck had a shower to rinse off after swimming and steps down to the lagoon. We were facing out towards the ocean rather than towards the island so had almost complete privacy on the deck, all you would see were the tops of the heads of the snorkelers. Completely perfect.

The bedroom had everything we needed and all was clean and in working order. The only thing it was lacking was a kettle which we asked for at reception and was in our room when we returned. There is a coffee machine in the room, but beware you are charged $5 per capsule that you use, although you could use it just to boil water.

Our main reason for choosing Vakaru had been the size of the island, we wanted small, and the quality and accessibility of the reef - again we were not disappointed. The snorkelling was amazing, we went everyday, at least twice a day and saw a huge variety of fish and marine life. The waters were clear but on occasion the current was quite strong especially coming back into the island from the reef where the boats are moored. We actually snorkelled all the way around the island in two sessions, one day we swam from the boat jetty around to the jetty on the other side of the island and the next day we swam the remaining half - quite energetic we thought! Although we didn't dive we did speak to the dive staff a couple of times about snorkelling and they were very friendly and helpful. The island itself is smaller than others that we have been to but the beach is pristine and you can walk all the way around the island in 10 minutes if you are in a hurry, and although small you never see more than a couple of people on the beach at any one time and there is certainly no sense of the island being crowded even when fully occupied.

There is only one restaurant on the island but they truly do not need more, I challenge anybody to not be able to find something that is to their liking. The variety was huge and the quality faultless, my only criticism would be that there was not very much "local" food. The restaurant staff were as faultless as the food and unlike other island we have been to seemed to be mostly Maldivian which made for some interesting conversations and getting a good feel for the culture.

One point that could be viewed as either a positive or a negative is the fact that English people are very much in the minority, whilst we were there there were only two other couple from the UK and by far the most obvious nationality were the Chinese who as mentioned in other reviews are fairly loud and uphold different etiquette whilst dining. This could just be viewed as a good opportunity to people watch! Also beware if you are expecting a child free island, this is not the case. Previous islands that we have visited have not specifically been adults only but are generally more or less child free. There were quite a few Chinese families and they see no need for their children to be quiet.

The level of customer service shown by all staff throughout the island was very high - all were helpful and polite, and at no time did we ever feel it could be improved.

We had a perfect trip to a perfect island and were sad to leave, a big thank you to all the staff who work so hard to keep the island so beautiful and to provide such excellent customer service.

Take fly repellent if you plan to visit the local island, in resort is fine. You should respect the locals and cover yourself up when visiting the local island, take lots of sun cream too it is very strong even when snorkelling. Please make sure you get a mask and fins from the dive shop as the island's reef is better than most and if you have a keen eye you can see a turtle, octopus, wrays and fish of every colour imaginable.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gebertingen
Level Contributor
49 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2014

Our holiday stay in Vakarufalhi after 14 days is almost over – unfortunately in every way. As „world-traveller“ my wife and myself can just highly recommend this „Heavens Place on Earth“!
After arriving by water-aircraft from Malé (30 min) we got a warm welcome with lots of information about this small island – perfectly situated and made for persons who want to have their quiet, calmness and leave behind and forget the every days duty. You won’t find here disco-music, animation everywhere, pool-life...but tranquility „in blue and turquoise“.
There are about 150 guests, mostly from Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Japan as well from China – as well about a friendly and very helpful staff mostly from Sri Lanka or the Maldives. Only the General Manager Kai and the Chief-Cook Riccardo are from Germany, respectively from Italy. Kai rules his team with about 150 personnels with great care, is always around, has an open ear for any kind of request and his only aim is to satisfy each of his guests. About the kitchen and the food you just can’t find words: Riccardo on the very top of his big crew can’t let unsatisfied one person. The huge buffet is every day and every meal composed of a big variety of salads, a corner filled with every day freshly home-made pasta and pizza. On the grill you find delicated prepared meat as well as fish, the sidedishes are a variety of vegetables, rice, meat mostly very well balanced with fresh spices. About the dessert and sweets...better not to talk about...the weighing scale at home will tell you!!!
For lodging we recommend highly the luxury of a water-bungalow: a spaceful holiday-home (about 80 m2) consisting of a big living-/bedroom (kingsize bed) with flat-screen, fridge, coffee-machine and an outstanding view on the turquoise water filled with coral-reefs. Separated through a slide door you enter into a spaceful bathroom with a bath, 2 washbasins and a very new shower-cabin. The toilet is separated and beside there is a long dressing-corridor with cupboards and drawers. In front of the living-/bathroom as a highlight there is a big terrace with 2 deck chairs as well as a large sofa: perfect for chilling or just watching the fishes, turtels passing by. Not to forget the direct, private sea-access and the outdoor-shower.
We recommend to ask for a higher water-bungalow number (about 220-225) with a better view but a little bit a longer walk to the bar and restaurant. If you are in a water-bungalow you’ll have the privilege of a smaller, more comfortable dining-room with candle-light dinner – or if it’s not to windy, you’ll have a table outside on the deck or even on the beach.
Not possible to mention all the other advantages: a small shop, a very good maintained diving-center, a small boat rental station and every day they offer (for a good price) some excursions: we highly recommend to book the 4-hour-excursion to see and snorkel with the biggest fishes in the sea: the whale-sharks!
„Last and least“ we have to mention that the weather in the Maledives are obviously not always what the glossy prospectus promise: we had beginning March during our 16 days stay almost every day a little rain, half of the day cloudy and a very strong wind – but it’s not up to the resort to change Petrus mind...!
A big thanks to everybody who made our stay in spite of the weather an unforgettable time spending in „Heavens Place on Earth“!!!

Room Tip: Very worth to book a Waterbungalow - the higher the bungalow number the better
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank world-traveller8725
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Vakarufalhi Island
5.4 mi away
Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa
24.3 mi away
Constance Moofushi
Constance Moofushi
#1 of 1 in Moofushi Island
5.0 of 5 bubbles 1,971 reviews
5.6 mi away
LUX* South Ari Atoll
LUX* South Ari Atoll
#1 of 1 in Dhidhoofinolhu Island
5.0 of 5 bubbles 2,786 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
8.9 mi away
Mirihi Island Resort
Mirihi Island Resort
#1 of 1 in Mirihi
5.0 of 5 bubbles 875 reviews
1.6 mi away
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Centara Grand Island Resort & Sp...
#1 of 1 in Centara Grand Island
4.5 of 5 bubbles 1,107 reviews
6.3 mi away
Lily Beach Resort & Spa
Lily Beach Resort & Spa
#1 of 1 in Huvahandhoo Island
5.0 of 5 bubbles 1,870 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Vakarufalhi Island Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Vakarufalhi Island Resort

Property: Vakarufalhi Island Resort
Address: Champa Building, 3rd Floor, 20187
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Vakarufalhi Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vakarufalhi Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Vakarufalhi Island Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vakarufalhi Island Resort, tucked away in the remote corner of South Ari atoll, 90km away from the airport, Vakarufalhi is among the pearls that make up the amazing Maldives Islands. Vakarufalhi, better known as Vakaru, is a tropical island enhanced by swaying coconut palms and white sandy beaches. Surrounding the island is a pristine lagoon enriched by a stunningly beautiful living house reef. These features combined with traditional Maldivian building concepts, makes Vakarufalhi a haven of nature and tranquility. Almost a quarter of a square kilometer of land area with 50 sea front Beach Villas spread evenly around the island and 25 Water Villas creates an atmosphere which rejuvenates your body and mind. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Holiday Gems, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Travelbag, Odigeo, Ebookers, Traveltool, S.L.U., Agoda, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Vakarufalhi Island Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Vakarufalhi Island Hotel South Ari Atoll
Hotel Vakarufalhi Island

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing