I had to pinch myself more than once…the baby powder sand was so white it hurt my eyes. The blue of the ocean was a color I couldn’t quite describe, somewhere between sapphire and turquoise, and the water was infinitely clear.
Maafushivaru – A Floating Dream
I did it; I achieved my travel dreams of staying at a luxury resort on the Atolls of the Maldives. It was exciting and surreal. I didn’t want to miss one minute and found myself daydreaming about what I’d do next. I had to force myself to breathe and enjoy each minute.
I would call Maafushivaru, a luxury resort on the Ari Atoll in the west of the archipelago, Maldives home for a few days and I couldn’t be happier. With just 48 villas, the resort is perfectly sized to give guests a sense of privacy with just the right amount of activities to ward off boredom, if you can imagine getting bored on a piece of heaven floating in the Indian ocean. Maafushivaru – a floating dream come true!
My trip began with a 25-minute flight over the Atolls of the Maldives. The weather was clear giving me a panoramic view of the beauty of this part of the world.
The pilots were personable and laid back…so much so that they flew the plane barefoot!! It immediately gave me a sense of carefree relaxation.
We landed near a floating landing dock and waiting for me was a welcome party including Marie, one half of the couple managing the resort.
We took a beautifully maintained wooden boat a short distance to the resort and there it was, Maafushivaru – a floating dream.
As we walked Marie explained the layout, 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.
She showed me the reefs and explained 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 was greeted with 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 floors in the common areas, including reception, was covered with sand…how could you not be carefree?!
Marie walked me to my over water bungalow and my excitement was physical; 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 just off 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. Each night the restaurant offered a different cuisine from Mexican, to Italian, to Asian. The options were endless, plentiful, and fresh.
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 adjacent to the restaurant.
I made it a habit of borrowing one of the various genre books each morning and reading it while leisurely enjoying my coffee and breakfast.
In addition to the buffet restaurant and it’s infinite choices, the resort is home to 135° East a Teppanyaki and Sushi restaurant serving some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had. It’s housed in a quaint, over water, open kitchen, thatched roofed building a very short walk from the water villas.
If you follow my blog you know that I’m all about spa treatments. Nothing completes a resort stay more than 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 offered by the resort spa where I was pampered from head to toe. Spending time at the resort spa is a must for all guests.
Located near one of the Maldives best snorkeling and diving sites, excursions from local island hopping to swimming with manta rays and whale sharks is a must for anyone looking for a bit of adventure while staying at Maafushivaru.
The dive masters and boat captains 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 other guests and staff. It was fun concocting my own mixture of tropical fruits and liquor and of course I got to drink my creations!
The resort offers guests Movie Under The Stars. On certain nights the personnel set 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.
Maafushivaru has a little secret that makes it stand out from all the other resorts – Lonubo, an exquisite deserted island just across from the main resort. The gorgeous private island is solely for Maafushivaru guests to enjoy.
Complimentary boat trips in the morning and afternoon can be organized by the staff for those who want to sunbath, snorkel, or enjoy even more privacy.
Private dinners can be booked and overnight stays in the luxury villas for honeymooners and special occasions are encouraged. A luxurious couples spa experience is included in the price making it a must for couples, Maafushivaru – A Floating Dream for lovers.
As the boat drew away from the dock and the staff waved goodbye, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness. My stay was too short and passed by too quickly but it was one that I will not soon forget.
I can’t recommend Maafushivaru enough. The gregarious and expert staff make the resort feel personal and guests 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. Maafushivaru – A Floating Dream indeed!
For more information or to book a stay:
Maafushivaru, South Ari Atoll,
PO Box 2015, Malé, Republic of Maldives
Phone: +960 668 0596 | Fax: +960 668 0524