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Makunudu Island
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Reviews (629)
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Reviewed 23 May 2014

I requested beach villa no.17 but was given no.21, my experience was totally different to others -after a sheer ride of terror on the boat from Male I was told there was no Wi Fi so had to pay $6 for 30 mins use of computer which I felt was unnecessary in this day and age to be charged for Wi Fi. Villa 21 or the 'hut' as I shall now call it had leeches on the walls and on the bed, bed bugs, an infestation of ants, leeches and other insects in the dirty bathroom-I have photos to prove what I am saying- and a constant fall of sand from the lizards and other creatures in the roof meant that I permanently had sand in the bed and on the bedside cabinet and dressing table. These villas are not Deluxe as described on the website, but very basic accommodation which needs totally re-furbishing, the bath towels are thin and scratchy and need replacing, the wooden step outside the door leading to the beach was broken in several places and I had to be careful not to tread on these areas for fear of splinters. The moorhens nesting in the thatch roof constantly coo-ed all night so hardly any sleep, no black-out curtains to be able to have a siesta during the day to make up for lost sleep. The food was edible but repetitive, reef fish was served 3 times during the weeks' stay for the fish choice and if you didn't like curry on the Maldivian night there was only salads to choose from, the steak on bbq night I could have strapped to my feet to walk along the coral path back to the hut without any problems. Canvas shoes needed as the coral pathway makes it a wincing walk in flip flops to the Restaurant, (no need to exfoliate your feet before arrival) which is open to the elements no air conditioning which makes for a very uncomfortable evening meal in the high humidity. There is definite communication problems with certain members of staff as their English is limited- I asked for a glass and was totally ignored. A complimentary bottle of water in the 'hut' would have been nice on arrival to be able to make a drink with the kettle provided, but I was charged $4.75 for a large bottle of water. I was in Singapore and Borneo in January and my water was complimentary for the duration of my stay, as it has been for several years now throughout my travels. The thatch on the roof is in a very poor state, a coat hanger had been left hanging by a previous guest on the outside of the thatch roof which remained there for the duration of my stay - the ledge in the bathroom had leaves and debris on it when I arrived which was also there when I left, the coral in the garden of the bathroom was covered in green algae and it was with great trepidation when I opened the bathroom door during the night as to what I would be greeted with, either ants as large as a finger nail were crawling inside the toilet, leeches on the walls and a collection of insects in the water left over from the shower I had had earlier which did not run away as the floor of the shower was uneven and the house boy did not clean it when he turned the bed down and it was left until the following morning. The tiles were filthy and missing large chunks of grout. I used 3 large cans of insect spray whilst there for the week to fumigate the room and the bed, I have bites all down my left side which is the side I lie on in bed and fear there were also bed bugs in the mattress. There were lizards constantly running around the wall above my bed, which I felt very uncomfortable with. No beach umbrella for the sun beds which had been placed on the sand, had I lain there I would have boiled like a lobster- dragging a heavy wooden beach bed near to the 'hut' in the small amount of shade available I was constantly attacked by ants and other insects which made for a very uncomfortable lie down, even though I constantly sprayed myself with insect repellent. The house reef was nice and shallow but only accessible from about 11.30 a.m-12.30p.m. as the wind increased in the afternoon the waves shifted the sand and made for very poor visibility. I paid £1,471 for one weeks' stay half board and found that after talking to other guests that they had paid £1,300 to £1,400 for two weeks per person half board, so I am very angry that I have been over-charged to stay in what I rate no more than a 2-star establishment with 3 star food albeit it repetitive and a set meal each evening, I'm thankful not to be a vegetarian otherwise I would have had to eat pasta every night with a different sauce on it. I have travelled the world over the last 45 years, staying in game lodges, been to the jungle in Borneo, sailed down the Yangste, Rhine, Moselle and Danube rivers, and stayed in a variety of accommodation in Asia, America, Europe, Africa, Arab Emirates, Mauritius and other exotic destinations, and paid the going rate, but I feel I have been 'sold down the river' staying at Makunudu and my experience has spoiled my opinion of the Maldives- This property needs total re-furbishment and local Maldivian staff with a good general knowledge of the English language. My waiter was the only saving grace - Raafe, he went out of his way to ensure my meal was satisfactory and his English was excellent as was his friendly manner. Only go to Makunudu if you don't care about cleanliness, being bitten or the quality of your accommodation and set meals.

Room Tip: I read that villa 17, 18 or 19 was the best to choose, however I was given 21 even after requesting 17, 18 or 19. My holiday ended up to be the Holiday from Hell because of the dreadful condition of Villa or Hut 21 I christened it. However, I did not see inside any other accommodation but several guests I spoke to also complained that these villas are very basic and not clean. There is no swimming pool or fitness centre, so disregard the remarks.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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9  Thank Dorset2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shion B, Manager at Makunudu Island, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

The management would like to thank Ms.Dipple for takiing valuable time and offering her valuable comments. Team Makunudu will always look forward in improving and offering our best of services to all our valuable guests and at all times.
Thank You
Blackett.
Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014

As an older couple, we have just returned from two weeks on Makunudu Island, our 10th visit to the Maldives and booked through Angelfish who provided an excellent service and well-informed specialist knowledge of this island. We always choose an island with a good house reef as our passion is for snorkelling, not diving.

The house reef does not have the reef drop-off that we were used to but, nevertheless, it is an interesting and intricate one with varied fish life, good coral and an abundance of turtles. What it does lack is the bigger fish that we have seen on other islands, including reef sharks, Napoleon Wrasse and other larger fish species. Having said that it was interesting to see the Nurse Sharks that come to the jetty at around 8pm most nights and to encounter one during the daytime on the reef.

We asked both Reception and the Dive Centre if there was a diagram of the reef as it was not a straightforward reef to negotiate but were told that they did not have one. When we mentioned to the Manager on our last day that this would be useful for snorkellers he informed us that there was one available and we should have received it on arrival.

Good Points: The food is excellent
The rooms (only 37) are private and have immediate access to beach.
The service in the Restaurant and Bar is excellent
The house reef coral is in good condition

Negative Points: Rooms are sympathetic and rustic but are due to be 'refreshed'
Bath towels in rooms are worn and thin and have seen better days.
Termite problem in rooms.

This island is ideal for anyone wanting to experience a small traditional Maldivian Island without the sophistication of islands with water bungalows, flat screen TVs etc. It is small and has a rustic, private feel which the management hope to maintain even after they have refreshed the accommodation. This no news, no shoes feel will, hopefully be retained and is probably why Makunudu attracts many repeat clients.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank TodmordenLynneR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2014

I have a mixed feeling about my experience at Kumanadu resort. Overall we had a very pleasant stay, but I guess more due to the good friends we were with and the fantastic weather than the resort itself.I think the best would be to do a plus and minuses review.
Pros:
- Very nice island, quite secluded in the Male atoll, relaxed atmosphere.- Excellent food, dinner served mostly a la carte.
- Staff can be great at times - for instance by buying a breast pump for my wife in Male who forgot hers in Singapore.
- Superb house reef and fauna in general ( birds...)

Cons:
- Bungalows: spacious but a bit dated and lots of termites wood shavings everywhere on the bed, on the floor, on us, every day.
- Strange way of cleaning: the room boy found nothing more intelligent than empty our ashtray just below our chairs outside the bungalow, and never cleaned the cigarette but in 3 days, even though we mentioned it to him.
- Terrible diving center, unfortunately no review possible as they are not referred on trip advisor but the worst experience I had in over 40 dives in a dozen of diving centers.
- Ugly spa, even though masseuse was nice.
- Concrete jetty and lots of concrete of no use which are a bit spoiling the beautiful beach.
As a general conclusion I think this resort has a potential of becoming a very good one if some improvements are made, but for now it is slightly more than average.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank edpetave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

The resort itself is very pleasant and relatively peaceful. The staff are very friendly. Everywhere clean. Meals good but dinner 20.00hrs too late. Dive centre - extremely UNFRIENDLY. Snorkelling good.

A & B

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Barry186363
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Having seen Angelfish Travel mentioned on several reviews for The Maldives, we made our booking through them. The small team at Angelfish know all there is to know about Makundu and couldn't have been more helpful. I asked for some prices of food and drink (as we weren't all-inclusive) and they quickly sourced that information from Makunudu.They even sent us a welcome home card. What a personal touch!
On arrival at Male airport, we found the correct desk and were informed that our speedboat would be ready in 10 minutes. Apart from the crew, we were the only ones on it, dashing over the sea, like James Bond! The boat has a covering, so you don't need to be worried about getting sun burnt on the 45 minute journey. A member of the service team met us at the jetty, and took us to reception, where we were given a cool face towel, a fruit cocktail and a small bit of paperwork to complete. Here we also met Adrian the manager and I was able to pass on a 'hello' from the ladies at Angelfish Travel.
The island was just the type we were looking for -Robinson Crusoe style, barefoot walking, palm trees and nature.
We were in Room 29. The room was simply furnished, whilst the bed was huge! We had fun wondering where the woodworm would deposit his latest dust. i wasn't a fan of the very large ants that roam the outdoor bathroom at night, but the geckos were more nervous of me than i was of them. The reason I didn't sleep well, was because we couldn't make up our minds between the ceiling fan and the AC. One minute we were too hot, then chilly.
Saeed was our room boy and each day the towel displays on the bed became more elaborate. We didn't see him often, but when we did, he was very polite and he has a wonderful warm smile.
We loved being able to sit in the shade just outside the room on the deckchairs or in the sun on the sunbeds. Fresh beach towels are put in your room every day. The sunbeds have a padded mattress to cover them. Then you step out onto the beach itself. This bit of the island has the soft sand. Really easy to swim out to the reef. Plenty of fish to look at even before you get to the main reef. I hadn't realised how tidal The Maldives is, so got a bit of a shock one morning on a normal swim ( not a snorkel) when faced with the coral right below my belly! After that, I made sure I checked the water depth markers that sat along the reef.
Rooms 28-33 have soft sand and good sun (we were there at end of April) hardly anyone walks passed this way.
Rooms 26-27 had hardly any beach and the occupants would drag their sunbeds to be in the water.
Rooms 21- 24 had no beach and had wooden platforms to put their sunbeds on.
Rooms 18-19 had a large raised beach area, but the sand was coarser.
I wouldn't choose the rooms in the area 11-15 either. More decks and rocks in the water.
Room 1-6 also had a large beach. Sand a bit coarse.
Between Room 1 and the restaurant was soft sand and clear water for swimming.
The snorkelling was out of this world! So many types of fish.Plus we saw a reef shark a few times and stingray and 'eagle of the sea' ray. The highlight was undoubtedly swimming with the turtles. Every day, bar one, we saw at least one. They are large and so graceful. They don't mind you swimming along with them. One came up between us, took a few breaths above the surface, then looked at us as if to say, "Coming for a swim then?" Which we did! One day we snorkelled around the whole of the island. The best display of fish was off the back of the Sunset Beach side. There is a waste pipe. Yep, we think 'that' kind of waste,and shoals and shoals of fish gathered to 'feed'.
One morning we went on the free 'discovery snorkel'. You go out on one of the dhoni boats, about 15mins away and are kept as a group, with a guide. It was very worthwhile.
We were half board and did end up spending more than we intended on soft drinks, beer and wine. Plus you have to pay for water. Next time I would go all-inclusive.
The food on Makunudu is excellent. The evening evening meal was soup (no choice), In between (usually fish. No choice) , then there was a choice of main... meat or fish and sometimes pasta and 2 choices for dessert. Unfortunately our sever wasn't chatty at all and once one course was finished, the next was immediately served. The 4 course meal could be over in half an hour. This was the only part of the holiday that wasn't as excellent as the rest of it. My favourite meals were the BBQ nite and the Maldavian night. These were buffet, so you could have whatever you liked, how ever much you wanted and eat at your own pace. The quality of the food on these nights was exceptional. Remember, this is a 3.5 star resort, but the food is far beyond that.
Habib and Shah were the main waiters for the bar. Excellent service from them and from the barman from Kerela. One night an acoustic guitar duo played, but there isn't any other entertainment, Oooh, except for the large nurse sharks that come to feed by the jetty around 8.30pm!
A week unfortunately flies by. I think you need at least 10 days to really savour the relaxation that Makundu offers. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Room 28 to 33 best
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank shortwelshwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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