We stayed at Maaf for 1 week 7th - 14th July. This was our first visit to the Maldives (and definitely won't be our last!). Flew direct with BA. Not much good or bad to say about the flight - it got us from A to B but was not a particularly pleasurable experience. However on arrival at Male I have to commend the organisation on getting us from there to Maaf - it all went very smoothly through the airport with the Kuoni reps and before we knew it we were in the seaplane lounge and then onto the seaplane within 45 minutes. The seaplane ride was amazing! Such an experience and a fantastic introduction to the wonder that is the Maldives.
Arriving at the island we were met by the Dhoni and after a short ride we were at reception where a cold drink and towels were awaiting us. A short introduction from the Kuoni Rep Nicole and Iulia and then we were taken to our room. We had a beach villa (no 108) - it was lovely - very spacious and with everything we needed for a relaxing holiday - a fantastically comfortable and huge bed, tea/coffee making facilites, lovely toiletries, TV, Ipod docking station etc. Our patio opened out onto the beach and a short hop, skip and away we were in the Indian Ocean - bliss!
The purpose of our holiday was to have a truely relaxing 'get away from it all' break and that is what we got for the remainder of the week. I loved the 'no shoes' policy and the fact that you could walk around all day in just your cossie and a cover up with no need to worry what you looked like! The whole vibe of Maaf is relaxation so much so that you actually felt it was yoour 'home' for the week. The staff were very attentive but in a warm and relaxed way and they looked after you as though they actually really enjoyed doing so, not becasue it was their job, as is sometines the case in some resorts. Our house boy Nasser was great - very talkative and got us everything we needed whilst we were there.
The island itself is stunning and our daily constituionals around the island were always a delight - you will never get tired of just looking out to sea. We are not into snorkelling or diving so did not participate in any trips but we were able to see some amazing fish just be walking out to the end of the jetties.
We were on the All Inclusive package and had no complaints. The food we both thought was great, especially the curries. We are not big fans of buffets so weren't expecting much but the quality and flavour of the food we thought was fine. There was plenty of choice lunch and dinner, of particular note were the desserts, some of which were absoluely delicious. We esepcially liked the arrangement of having our own dedicated waiter (Sifan) throughout the week. As the resort was probably only half full we never had an issue of waiting for him, he was always in attendance and again was very friendly and helpful. Perhaps when the resort is busier this may be an issue.
We frequented the bar probably far too often but we just couldn't help ourselves! On the first night I opened up the bar menu to find pages and pages of coctails all included in the AI package so I obviously had to partake of as many of them as I could! The bar staff were great, often anticiapting what I would order before I did and making suggestions when I was stuck and always having our next drink ready before we had finished the first! The atmosphere was great - very friendly, relaxed and you felt you could stay all night and they wouldn't mind - not that we did, we need our beauty sleep! I would definately recommend the AI package - we are not big drinkers but it enable us to just chill out and enjoy some quality drinks - most branded drinks are included so we quite often ended our evenings with a glass of Baileys or Port.
We met some lovely people whilst there and so had some great conversations and laughter over several evenings in the bar. We even partook in some Maldivian dancing ( a bit like very bad 'Dad' dancing) which we were co-erced into by Nasser - rather reluctantly on my husband's part!
The only slight downside to our stay was the weather. We knew that booking in monsoon season was a risk but we were hoping not too big a one. We arrived to sunshine all that day and the next morning and I was thinking all was great until the rains came and they then stayed for 2 and a half days! Infact we had a mini tropical storm one night and when we woke the next morning the place was littered with branches and the thatched roofs of some of the water villas had been damaged. However midway through our week the weather changed and we had 3 solid days of sunshine, thank goodness! It is just pot luck really with the weather as I know some guests who were at the resort the week before us had had no sunshine all week.
Overall. looking back on our stay I cannot think of one negative thing to say about Maaf. Reading back some of the previous reviews I sometimes find it hard to understand people's issues (eg stale bread, nosiy boats, lazy staff) but each to their own. We have travelled to some lovely resorts in the Caribbean and Mauritius but for both of us this holiday outshines anywhere else we have been by a country mile.
If you are looking for a small, quiet, intimate, friendly resort then this is the one for you. We hope to return one day soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Reached by a picturesque flight over the mysterious atolls of the Maldives, Maafushivaru is a quiet island knitted with lush flora surrounded by pure white sandy beaches and incredible turquoise lagoon. Next to the resort is the tiny desert island of Lonubo, exclusive to Maafushivaru guests. A visit to this beautiful island is a must. You can choose from daily visits for basking in the sun and snorkeling the beautiful reef, or ultimately book to stay overnight, an island just for you and your beloved, even if only for a night. Slumber at your choice of three distinct villas. Beach Villas are sited on postcard perfect beaches whilst the Water Villas are built on stilts over the Indian Ocean providing sunset and sunrise vistas that will be forever etched in your memory. For a fun filled holiday, the Pool Villa is the right pick for families or friends travelling together, featuring two separate villas with a shared pool. Summon the bon vivant inside of you with the delectable fare. Cuisine Gallery showcases a potpourri of dishes from all over the world. While 135° East is your key for an authentic Japanese cuisine displaying the art of teppanyaki and the hibachi steakhouse. Sip favourite sunset cocktails at Water Bar with eclectic evening entertainment ranging from Maldivian evenings, to laser shows and disco nights under the starlit sky. Located on the water’s edge, instill a sense of calm and quietude at the Spa with signature product line Voya focusing on healing therapies and rituals. Explore rich underwater life on the house reefs of Maafushivaru and Lonubo, where fish teem and corals bloom colourfully. Dive with whale sharks and mantas in famed spots down south. Discover the epitome of Maldives – Maafushivaru. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Maafushivaru Hotel South Ari Atoll
- Maafushivaru Tclub Hotel
- Maafushivaru Maldives/Southern Ari Atoll