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Makunudu Island
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Reviews (616)
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Reviewed 21 April 2014

We were looking for a quiet, unspoiled (without unnecessary luxury amenities) natural paradise and we found it on Makunudu!
A small island with around 30 nice bungalows (some of them might need a little makeover) in natural setting, surrounded by trees and bushes. We had a great housereef on our side of the island (bungalow no 28) and could just swim out about 50 meters to enjoy a large variety of colorful fishes.
The restaurant is under a palm-tree roof, nice and airy, with enough space between the tables. And then there is the food......!! It is incredibly what great choice of veeeeery delicious food the kitchen team is offering three times a day; at first we thought we would not go for lunch as we had plenty of breakfast, but when seing the buffet at lunch we could not resist. A choice of many different salads, curries, pasta, sandwiches made of your choice, hot dishes with fish, chicken etc, dessert buffet with home-made cakes, fruits...... The 4-course menu fir diner was each evening like visiting a gourmet restaurant. Dear kitchen-team, you are doing an incredible job!
And last, but not least there are the people taking care of you on Makunudu! What would a nice resort be without friendly staff...? Every member we met was smiling (and an honest smile!), helpful ( a problem with the safe due to our fault was solved promptly), our housekeeper Said had each day a chat with us (after leaving our room immaculate with some flowers and towel animal on the bed), the therapist Maria always beaming at us in front of her little spa house (where i enjoyed wonderful relaxing massages), all the waiters in the restaurant ( which even sang 'happy birthday' for my partner and offered a wonderful chocolate cake), the barkeepers, the receptionists...... You can see and feel that they do theirs jobs with full heart and passion. Dear Makunudu-crew, all of you made our stay perfect and we would like to thank you for taking care!
We will come back!

Room Tip: Some of the bungalows on the other side of the island (no 1-16) might have rocky entrance into the water at low tide.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank gabrielaz123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2014

We were very happy to spent 6 days on this small but charming island. There are only 36 twin villas, comfortable and spacefull, with open showers. All of them are quite near from the ocean, so the waves come to your door . There is a pleasant sandy bay with calm water in the south east part and also a wide strip of white sandy beach where you can enjoy the sunset. The central part of the island is green and shadow, there is a lot of trees. The reef around is rich, so we liked snorckling with different coral fishes and sharks. At night many nurse sharks come very near to the shore and we watched them in the light of the torches. Birds of the island -- grey egrets and beautiful small galleys are not afraid of the people and can even stay very near. A lot of crabs move on the stones and other species dig the holes in the sand.So such a diversity of life make a special atmosphere of this natural paradise. There is also a good dive center, with experienced instructors. Dive sites around are beautiful. Our special surprise was excellent food! The talent of the chef from Shri Lanka is fantastic! So our fourth visit to Maldives brought us a new and very pleasant experience of Macunudu. Certainly the hotel is old but charming , very calm and only 45 minutes by boat from Male, the prices are reasonable, especially in comparence with other resorts.The only problem is to book, better to do it long before!

Room Tip: We stayed in the rooms 11-12 -- the sun rise. We liked it, because of wind from the ocean and shadow during the day. The rooms 17-20 on the sunset side are nice but there is no fresh wind there. So the choice depends on ones preference.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Tatiana v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

We Spent 7 nights at Makunudu Island for our honeymoon at the end of February 2014, and it was simply spectacular!!

From the moment we arrived everything was just perfect, we were greeted at the airport by extremely friendly representatives from Makunudu and escorted us to our speedboat. The sea was not the calmest, and in some places the trip to the island was a bit choppy, but by no means unpleasant as you are mesmerized by the absolute stunning scenery of this magnificent part of the world.

After about a 50min trip on the boat, you can see Makunudu approaching in the distance, thinking it's still miles away, but it's not, this Island is VERY small, and within 5min we were greeted by the calm, glass-like turquoise infused waters on the South side of Makunudu Island where the jetty is located. Upon arriving at the jetty, we were welcomed by Adrian who guided us through to the Sandbar where he set the mood for what was to become the best holiday we have EVER had!

We were then taken to our bungalow, no.30, which is located on the South side of the island and upon opening the door we were welcomed by a beautiful heart-shaped towel figure on the bed, decorated with red flower petals, a bottle of white wine and a plate of fresh fruit. The bungalow is basic, some people may even call it ''old'', yet it has an overwhelming air of desert island romance about it with its high palm leaf sealing, wooden floors and support pillars. The outside bathroom was neat and clean, with everything that you would need. A friendly chap by the name of Saeed was in charge of cleaning our room on a daily basis, and the room was always kept squeaky clean with a daily supply of fresh towels and every night there was a different display of towel creativity by Saeed on our bed, from a stunning little elephant, to an elaborate double swan on the last day.

When we opened the door leading out to the front of our bungalow, we stepped out into a wonder world of soft sea sand, with two beach chairs under a natural roof of overgrown island vegetation that opened up to a view of pure, heavenly ocean scenery, with nothing but pure white sands, married to an almost unmoving sheet of blue and turquoise water as far as the eye could see. This was to be what felt like our own private desert island beach for the next seven nights, very secluded, we never saw or heard our neighbours, as our private forest of overgrown vegetation acted like a natural wall infested by the most adorable hermit crabs housed in an endless variety of different shells and sizes.

About 10 meters from our bungalow was the lagoon, which was a paradise of underwater life and color, we spent hours just snorkeling around the island, where literally everyday, we saw beautiful sea-turltes, angel rays, eels and what seemed like a billion different species of fish all around the great house reef. The south side of the island, where we stayed, had a great little reef, easy to reach, almost no current and crystal clear waters. The north side of the island had a truly magnificent reef, it seemed to go on forever, here the water can be a bit more choppy, but can still be conquered with ease, and once you reach the reef, it is well worth it. It is also possible to snorkel around the entire island, which was great, as you get to see different habitats that all house some sort of strange and amazing creatures.

We were also treated to two complimentary excursions, one, a snorkeling trip to a nearby reef, just a kilometer or two south-west of the island, where we saw nurse sharks, octopus, sea turtles and rays, the other a sundown, traditional hand line fishing trip. The fishing trip was a great experience, if not for the fantastic fishing, where we even caught two small black-tip reef sharks ( these were obviously thrown back ) then for the jaw dropping ''sea-world'' like dolphin display against the back drop of the setting sun!

Except for the bungalow and the restaurant, the entire island is cover in soft white sand, however, in places around the beach, the washed up coral can be a bit sharp and prickly, but not unmanageable with bare feet.

The Staff were always incredibly helpful, even though it's obvious that english isn't their first language and sometimes having to rephrase your question in a number of different ways was necessary, they were always friendly and up to the task! Our bartender Habib was one of the highlights of our stay with a constant smile and always willing to chat.

Now onto the food, every review we read about Makunudu always praised the great dining on the island, and trust me, they were spot on!! Breakfast was pretty much a standard buffet lay out, complete with the usual suspects of bacon, sausages, mushrooms, french toast and flap jacks. A chef would happily prepare you your eggs for you or make you tasty omelet.. and if this wasn't enough, there was a waffle station and an endless selection of fresh fruit and a couple of fruit juices.

Lunch was a bit more adventurous, buffet was also the order of the day here, but it was amazing, a wide variety of well..almost everything, there was always some sort of fresh reef fish on offer, and if you were not in the mood for a buffet, they chef will make you a tasty toasted sandwich on a selection of different breads with any filling of your choice, served with some hand made chips.

Dinner was by far the most indulgent, most nights were menu based, that included a starter, an in between, a choice of mains that consisted of either fresh fish, meat or a vegetarian dish, finished off with spectacular deserts. The week also included one night of beach barbecue buffet and a traditional Maldivian night served in a buffet style.

The food was truly incredible, and far outstrips the island's three star rating, the fish was always as fresh as you can get, prepared in the most delicious ways, the steaks were perfectly prepared to our liking and the deserts were heavenly, especially the Dark chocolate mouse, and the layered Ice cream cake! 5 Star..nothing less!

The Island is incredibly small, with 36 bungalows, it was fully booked when we were there and we were surprised to find out that so many guests were repeat visitors to Makunudu, yet we barely saw anybody during the day, it was relaxation at its best. There was no entertainment in the evenings and no loud music, just pure relaxation as we grabbed a cocktail after dinner and stared at a blanket of stars!

This Island is not for everyone, if you have children or if you need lots of things to keep you busy, it's not for you, it is a piece of utter unspoiled serenity, peace and quiet, an unassuming piece of paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean...

Already saving to go back! :)

Room Tip: Bungalow 30, otherwise anything on the south side of the island! Very little wind, calm lagoon, great sunsets!
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Jacques_and_Anzelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014 via mobile

No TV no radio, no noises just pure relax where you can actually enjoy a vacation by yourself. The staff is just amazing, you have your personal waiter for the whole stay. Food is perfect!!!!!! Actually I stayed on the island in 2011 just made my review a bit late! The reef is full of fishes and on the island there are a lot of animals. Hope the island is still like this.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Chris_Globe_Trottel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2014

All round excellence and at a sensible price. Idea if you want beauty, peace and quiet and like swimming with a fantastic variety of marine life over a magnificent coral reef. The island is small in that you can walk right around it at the waters edge in 30 minutes. Food and service are good and going out on the evening fishing trip (line fishing) is good fun, we caught red snappers and had them for lunch the following day. Note that if you want plenty of people, night life, gym and wi-fi this is not the place for you. Room serviced every day and clean towels (beach and bathroom) provided daily.

Room Tip: No rooms are more than 10 minutes walk from main building. We were in 20 which was on the side of the island sheltered from the prevailing winds, though in truth they were just a gentle breeze.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank veritas06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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