First Maldives experience and loving it.
Yes you have probably read all the horrible things below and the seaweed washed up the shore. Some of those comments must be from crazy jet setter expecting 5000usd per night lux standard when they paid only 300usd? Not sure what the rants are but if you read all the 1-2 stars review of exaggerated horrible things about this resort, like I read after making booking but before arrival, just chill. Ok. Serious.
Firstly we had a great experience of seaplane transfer from hulhumale and the departure time was given to us the day before informing us in detail of check out time, luggage pick up and seaplane departure. Very well informed. We actually arrived hulhumale at night and they were kind enough to arrange early departure 10:30am the next morning. They even inform our guesthouse at hulhumale which is the coconut hulhuvilla which is an excellent never regret choice. So upon arrival at hulhumale huesthouse the reception there told us that the flight information has been given by medhufushi resort. This ensure us arrival at the island just nice for they lunch buffet and a well day spent there. We were also allowed late checkout free and a late evening flight to Male airport since our male departure is 9:00 at night, ensuring that we had ample time for morning swim and even after lunch snorkel around their reefs.
We stayed on the water villa on the sunrise side which is beautiful. To be honest, I value more of the sunrise side than the sunset side because:
1. The natural breakwater in the horizon with waves crashing onto the far corals is so soothing and zen.
2. Maldives are hot enough already everywhere and sunrise side is very shady in the afternoon. Its the perfect place to rest at the balcony with the swing during hot afternoon. You really want to enjoy the island and photography during sunrise about 6am and during sunset
The villa is a bit aged but I feel its well kept and rustic feel. On our stay the staff actually do periodic maintenance on the swing so the place is well kept. I travelled with young children age 6 & 8 so while our stay is exceptional, I would have chosen the beach villa (sunrise side is good in my opinion) because the kids spend more time at the beach playing sand. It will also save you walking to the restaurant, but thats a minor consideration. When you are in such beautiful island, walking and taking your time is part of the enjoyment.
We brought 3 large bottles of mineral water from home and that proves to be a mistake as it almost cause overweight to our luggage and we had 1 unfinished bottle at the end of the trip. Yes water is expensive but we find 2 free bottles of resort water everyday sufficient for a family of 4 with outdoor activities to be honest. One of the day I even get 2 bottles refilled again by the evening because I had a chat with the housekeeper and made good conversation and that makes a big difference. I tip him a little everyday because he’s just so nice and I think they deserve it even though I have no habit of tipping and I initially have no intention to tip. On the last day when I ran out of usd small notes I just gave Malaysian currency and he accepts equally.
The bathroom and shower is surprisingly kept clean and well maintained given the age of the villa. Im very satisfied. I would not recommend snorkelling around the villa because the current is too high even for adult swimmer like me. You will be dragged towards the sunset villa direction if you enter the water from the sunrise side and it can drag you towards open ocean to the west and Hakura resort if you just let your body float freely. Having said that, we were at room 154 (sunrise side, 3rd villa from the beach) and the steps itself harbour a group of small fishes and soft corals growth under the column of the steps! There was a huge coral rock with marine life too in the villa side. Standing on the balcony we have seen 3 sting rays swam past. I highly recommend snorkelling around the villa during low tide (early morning and late evening) when the water is at shoulder height. Even if the current is strong you can always stand on the seabed. At that time, you can also snorkel at the centre between the sunset and sunrise villas as there are a lot of coral rocks with marine life. By any ranters standards they don’t qualify as “house reefs”, but its good hard corals with fishes for casual snorkelled like me. We even spotted a turtle here.
Om the sunrise side of the island, the seabed is filled with seagrass at the bottom, because its a very shallow and calm water area because of the natural breakwater stopping the waves coming from the ocean. Water depth is about knee height during low tide. This is the place I would recommend to snorkel during high tide when the water reaches waist height (this area generally is very shallow compared to water villa area and the sunset side of the island). The benefit of doing this during high tide is that you can snorkel and not have the seagrass and occasional hard corals brush your body underside which can be eerie. Also during high tide, the natural current will drag you from the sunrise beach side towards the water villa, so you can relax and just snorkel effortlessly starting from the sunrise side (the jetty on sunrise island) and finish at any public stairways at the water villa stilts or the stairways to your own villa. But if you like to snorkel starting and around your water villa, i only recommend during low tide. Its great they have so much patches of seagrass around the water villa and also along the entire sunrise side of the island. It attracts marine life. I saw 5 baby sharks swimming around me at the jetty on the sunrise side. The place with the most fish and corals (again ranters like to say they are not house reef standard which i have to agree but I don’t know why it’s so religiously matters to them so terribly) is between the 2 offshore water bungalows, and between the water bungalows and the spa. There are definitely a lot of corals formations at these places and clusters of “aquarium colourful” fishes hanging around these sporadic clusters. Ive seen blowfish, swordfish, scorpion fish and tons of others that I can not identify. There is nothing to snorkel on the sunset side of the island.
A lot of seagrass gets washed up on the sunset side of the island. And yes I’ve seen them with my own eyes. They are NOT seaweed. They come from other places, because it doesn’t affect the sunrise side. It must be dead seagrass shedding leaves, and accumulated by current and brought to the sunset side shore of Medhufushi which absolutely has nothing to do with the island as they come elsewhere. On our 5 days stay there, there were 2 days where there were 2 surges of seagrass swept onto the shore, covering the entire width of the beach. Initially of course we were disappointed because of the picture perfect postcard of Maldives that we always think about. However, the staff clean up every alternate days, and they are usually gone the next morning. Plus, with the beautiful clear water around the island, the friendly staff and being in a tropical island, you just step on those seaweed, enjoy the swim and enjoy the sun. Nobody really cares, except selfie queens, but then you can get picture perfect Maldives with cropping tool and filter so don’t get workup up with seagrass attacks please. My whole stay has been so enjoyable I see them like part of nature and they will be gone tomorrow morning so no need to ask for refund and the next flight out of Male!
Sand is perfect. They are generally soft to step on on the sunset side, near the pool area and north of it. South of the sunset side however is littered with some trash and plastic bottles and I wish the staff will just clean that up and the entire sunset stretch will be perfect. Further south, sunset side, at the tip of the island before entering the water villa has the most beautiful beach to relax, and a mini island/sand bank that emerges during low tide during early morning and late evening and disappear during high tide. To me is the highlight sand formation of the island, perfect for picture, sunset viewing, swim, stroll and just do nothing. The beach on the sunrise side has a lot of broken corals of mostly small size. They are not so pleasant to step on compared to the sunset side. I also like the beach on the south side of the island near the spa. Having said that, if I stay on beach villa I will personally choose the sunrise side because the villa walks straight into the beach. Similarly sunset side north of the pool area. The sunset side south of the pool area is a huge drop to the beach and plus they are littered with some plastics.
If you are a gym freak like I do who has to train every day, the gym next to the reception has enough free weights and machines to cover all major muscle groups. I took a deload rest week while in Maldives to recover my tired muscles but it was handy that I would work out on one of the day just to get some pump. Don’t bother bringing whey proteins or BCAA. The serve a lot of proteins in the full board there is never shortage of proteins!
The food is just AMAZING. I travel a lot for work, on business class and 5 star hotels worldwide and I do fine dining on the weekend and very conversant in French cuisine. I know what’s Michelin. And to be honest, the food presentation is humble and straight forward but omg it tastes so good. First timer expecting lux buffet spread with caviar and ice carvings with floral bouquet probably are the one ranting in the other posts. Yes they have dedicated table for the entire stay. Some even commented canteen which I find so ridiculous. They must be expecting someone popping champagne for them while being served ala carte food sitting down, and feasting in an aquarium restaurant. These rants are really a matter of expectation and sense of reality. I can say, I ALWAYS look forward for meal time.
If you love south Asian food like Indian and Sri Lankan. Omg perfect place. So much rice and naan and curries and Dhalls to savour. Vegetarians will be delighted. If not there is always a salad bar. Grilled tuna is so good. One night they even have rotating lamb souvlaki kebab. I remembered spinach pie so good. Pizza so good. There is always a station for sushi serving tuna and butterfish. A station for fresh cut fruits where you choose your fruit and they cut on the spot. Love it. One station for desert which is amazing. You can’t have chef cook such delicious food unless they are experienced and 5 star. The only comment about the fruit station is that they always have a bowl of mixed fruits which I suspect could be leftover because they texture is old so I usually make them cut fresh.
The most amazing one is their home made sorbet and ice cream. Every meal is different flavours! Thumbs up.
Drinks will not be served if you are not all inclusive. However for breakfast you can get coffee tea and orange juice on any plans. Plus they also have freshly squeezed juice on the station. Usually yogurt type of mix or smoothies.
All in all a great experience!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Medhufushi Island Resort is a haven of peace and relaxation. An air of tranquility pervades the idyllic island which is adorned with shady coconut trees and tropical flowers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Medhufushi Island Hotel Meemu Atoll
- Medhufushi Island Meemu Atoll