Maafushivaru is a 25-minute flight over the Atolls of the Maldives. On the first day of my visit the weather was clear giving me panoramic views of gorgeous azure waters, crystal clear as far as I could see. After landing in the middle of the ocean near a floating landing pad I was greeted personally by one of the managers of the resort I would call home for the next week.
A beautifully cared for wooden boat took us the short trip to the long planked walkway leading up to the reception area, adding to my anticipation for the experiencing that lay ahead.
As we walked toward reception the manager explained the layout of the resort, where I would have my meals, where the all-important spa was, and where to go for activities. The resort has a unique booking system where guest can “do it yourself” on convenient iPads which I thought was brilliant!
Along the walkway I saw reefs teaming with marine life and was told that some of the island’s best snorkeling could be found off the water bungalows. I was thrilled to see a baby black tip shark happily swimming in the shallows.
I stepped off the wooden walkway into soft white sand and an ever-smiling staff. I was immediately handed a cool towel and tropical drink to enjoy while the check in process was taken care of. I found myself immediately relaxed; I think the fact that the common areas, including reception, was in the sand…how could you not be peaceful?!
I was shown to my over water bungalow; this is what I’d been dreaming of all my life! This was my ‘get’, my travel dream and here I was, wandering around a luxurious water villa, comfortably and lavishly decorated and literally on a shallow sandy reef.
Maafushivaru has three types of villas – Beach, pool and water. Each one catering to various tastes and budgets. The lush tropical vegetation that surrounds the resort along with it’s thatched roofs, and it’s small size is perfect for couples, families, and yes, even solo travelers.
Mealtime is a gastronomical affair and the buffet style Cuisine Gallery offers endless options, even catering to those with dietary limitations. I’m a gluten watcher, avoiding it as much as possible. I let the head Chef know about this before hand and was delighted to find him walking me through the buffet at each meal, ensuring that I chose the correct dishes.
Breakfasts were one of my favorite times as I enjoyed fresh and perfectly made Cappuccinos from the Library Lounge, a wonderful coffee house and actual library (which is also in the sand!) adjacent to the restaurant. I made it a habit of borrowing one of the various genre books each morning and leisurely enjoying my coffee and breakfast.
Each night the restaurant offered a different cuisine from Mexican, to Italian, to Asian. The options were endless, plentiful, and fresh.
In addition to the buffet restaurant and it’s infinite choices the resort is home to 135° East a Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurant servicing some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had. Its house in a quaint over water open kitchen thatched roofed building a very short walk from the water villas.
If you follow me you know that I’m all about spa treatments. Nothing completes a resort stay without a relaxing and rejuvenating spa. Maafushivaru Spa offers a plethora of exhilarating, tranquil treatments by professional, friendly masseurs. I spent a couple of hours indulging in the Coral Voyage, one of the Voya signature packages where I was pampered from head to toe. Spending a couple of hours at the resort spa is a must for all guests.
The resort is located near one of the Maldives best snorkeling and diving sites. From excursions to local islands to swimming with manta rays and whale sharks there is something for anyone looking for a bit of adventure while staying at Maafushivaru.
The dive masters were professional and knew just where to go to see awesome marine life. They were also a blast to spend the day with and I made quick friends with all of them.
After a day of snorkeling I indulged in a cocktail making session with the staff. It was fun concocting my own mixture of tropical fruits and liquor and of course I got to drink my creations!
One of my favorite activities was the Movie Under The Stars. On certain nights the personnel sets up bean bags in the sand and a current movie is shown on a big screen. Cocktails and popcorn are served to make it the perfect experience.
Lonubo, an exquisite deserted island just across from the main resort, is Maafushivaru’s unique little secret. The gorgeous private island is solely for Maafushivaru guests to enjoy.
Complimentary boat trips in the morning and afternoon can be organised by the staff for those who want to sunbath, snorkle, or enjoy even more privacy.
Private dinners can be booked and overnight stays for honeymooners and special occasions are encouraged. A luxurious couples spa experience is included in the price making it a must for couples.
As is the case with everything in life, all good things come to an end and so did my stay at this one of a kind floating paradise. As the staff wished me a fond farewell and the boat carried me to my sea plane, I already felt a pang of regret that my stay wasn’t longer. I will however be back. My short experience was one of the highlights of my travel life so far and I won’t forget it any time soon.
I can’t recommend Maafushivaru enough. The gregarious and expert staff make the resort feel personal and guests will feel as if they are the center of attention. I travel often and have visited many wonderful islands and resorts but this particular one has fondly imprinted itself in my memory.
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