13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A truly wonderful holiday
"We have just returned from a week at Kanuhura and could not find a single thing to criticise. We had the most wonderful time. The staff were excellent and never seemed to stop smiling, the beach villa accommodation was lovely and the food was wonderful. You were made to feel so welcome from the minute that you arrived until the minute that you left and we will definitely return. It was one of those places that you could choose to do as much or as little as you wished. A little bit of heaven on earth. "
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of May 2011
Me & my husband spent our honeymoon here...
"Me & my husband spent our honeymoon here & we had the most wonderful time! It was paradise, you cannot quite believe the pictures in the brochures, but once you are there it is absolute heaven, you will never want to leave!
The huts on stilts above the water are a must, you have your own butler that cannot do enough for you & you receive cocktails on your decked veranda via a little boat served every evening.
The food here is fabulous with, with a huge variety to choose from with 3 restaurants.
Even when you are sunbathing fresh fruit & water is brought to you & cold lemon towels to cool & refresh you in the gorgeous weather! It did rain twice in 10 days but it didn't spoil the holiday one bit!
You can snorkel & scuba dive or go fishing to catch your dinner which they will cook for you! If you have children they are equipped with a kids club but do not be put off if you want a quiet break with no kids, trust me, you hardly ever see a soul on the beach.
Make sure you experience the private restaurant on an opposite Island, it was superb. You can even stay there the night to experience your own island. Perfect, Idyllic, paradise!"
- Travel date: Wed 24th of May 2006
Lovely, Lovely, Lovely
"We just returned from a ten day honeymoon at Kanuhura - and it was all we were hoping for and more. Five star service, food and facilities.
Our room was great - we stayed on the north-east side of the island which I think is the best side because it is away from where the seaplane lands (can be a bit noisy) and the sun wakes you up in the morning. Comfortable bed, tv with lots of channels if you need it, outdoor shower, huge bath... and kept well serviced.
You get a personal butler who is as involved or not-involved in your stay as you want. We chose not to use him much except for the odd restaurant booking.
Restaurants: Thin Rah is a buffet restaurant with different menus every night. We loved it here as the staff were lovely and (contrary to other reviews) certainly fast. They remembered you after your first visit, chatted a little - but never too much. Perfect.
You don't sit at the same table every time here - and you don't share with other couples btw. The Olive Tree is a nice alternative although the Pizza toppings are a bit odd. The rest of the menu is fantastic and the setting next to the pool is great (with the resident heron to keep you company). You can also snack at the bar that has a selection of loungers, hammocks, couches and love nests to choose from - you can always find a private little nook. We enjoyed many cocktails and sheeshas there in the evenings...
Our favourite restaurant was Veli Cafe on the other side of the island with the best location right on the beach and top class food. They also arrange lunch on the little island nearby called Coves and take you accross in a little boat. Its amazing to see the variety of food available considering it all came accross in such a small boat...
We were on full board but eventually found that with the heat our appetites waned so next time we'll go b&b and play the rest by ear...
Drinks were reasonable I thought - I paid $8 per single malt tot and the bar would make any cocktail you can imagine.
There is plenty to do on Kanuhura - we love catamaran sailing and they have 3 of them so never a problem to hire one. Other water activities like canoeing are free...
I have to strongly disagree with one of the other reviews regarding the snorkeling: We simply walked out of our bungalow, into the sea and floated over the most astounding array of reef creatures I have ever seen (including the Red Sea and S.Africa). We saw two sea-turtles at an arms length away, and everything from fish the size of matchsticks to huge bass-type fish in every imagineable colour and neon - all I can say is WOW! - all just a couple of meters from the beach - all you need is a mask & snorkel - no fins!
On sailing trips we saw mantas as well.
The spa was great - with a steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and a wide selection of massages - all reasonably priced. I saw a well-equipped gym too.
Its not a question of whether we'll go back to Kanuhura - but when. Its a slice of heaven. Get there - its worth the extra."
- Travel date: Mon 15th of May 2006
Relaxing time even with 6 month old baby!
"My husband and I have traveled to countless beautiful resorts all over the world but this one really stands out for us. We thought that after the birth of our little girl that our luxury holidays would be over as we have been told so many horror stories from our friends about traveling with little ones, but we decided to take a break in the Maldives anyway.
We were blown away by how easy it was at One & Only Kanuhura with a small baby. Firstly upon arrival, the staff saw we were struggling with exhaustion after a long flight (business class in Emirates is not great*) so they drove us straight to our beach villa without having to check in first. Our room had a cot already prepared with a little bag of baby goodies and some handmade toys (which was a really nice touch) and our room boy asked what else we required for our baby. I told him I would need some large bowls for washing the baby bottles and I wanted to know which restaurant I could go to each morning to use the microwave to sterilise the bottles. Within minutes he returned with the bowls and a microwave so we could do everything in our own room which was such a relief.
I could write paragraph after paragraph of how amazing the rooms, pool, facilities, food, spa, service etc are at the resort but I am sure you will find this in detail in other reviews, I just want to focus on the baby side of things. I think the main reason this resort is so good when traveling with a baby is that you can get a babysitter 24/7. We decided to book one for two hours a day when our baby girl sleeps at lunchtime and then again for dinner. This is where the service at this resort really goes to the next level. Our babysitter was Limna - a truly wonderful Indian girl who could not have been anymore helpful, caring and sweet. Limna works in reception as her main job but would babysit in the evenings and on her time off during the day. If you decide to go to this resort be sure to book Limna in advance as she really is special. Our little girl loved her straight away and this made my husband and I so relaxed and we felt we could enjoy ourselves for the time we were there.
At breakfast time too the staff in the restaurant would all race over and take turns in holding and playing with our little girl so my husband and I could actually eat something. They made us feel like we were doing them a favour by letting them hold our baby girl. It is the little things like this that make a holiday special.
I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this resort. I was feeling so nervous about the trip before we left and wondered why on earth we were putting this pressure on ourselves of trying to holiday with our little baby, but we ended up having the most wonderful time - full of happy memories of our new little family and I just wish more places were this baby friendly.
I hope you have found this helpful and puts your mind at rest if you are worried about holidaying with your new baby. Happy holidays!
* We flew with Emirates which means you have to stop in Dubai first. This was a mistake of ours as it caused unnecessary hassle and if we were to go again we would fly with another airline that flies direct to the Maldives. Also the business class section has not moved with the times - no flat beds and the seats we very small for business class. We were given a sky cot but as we were put in the bulk head seats, we could not watch any movies as the TV screen was directly above our baby's head and we didn't want to wake her!"
- Travel date: Fri 12th of May 2006
One & Only kanuhura is a place of luxury...
"One & Only kanuhura is a place of luxury, comfort and perfection. It is the best holiday i have ever been on. Peace and tranquality or fun and excitement, whatever you want.
The accomedation is brilliant with a personal butler at your beck and call 24/7. The pool and beach facilities are very good with the beach being almost empty all the time.
There are no kids running around either as there is a brilliant kids club. Overall, this is paradise island and I would definitely go there again! "
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of April 2006
A thorough, hopefully, review of Kanuhura
"Having been planning for this trip for some time, I was a little disappointed about the lack of detailed reviews for O&O Kanuhura, so my intention here is to put that straight if I can.
I stayed there for two weeks in March with my family which consists of me, my wife, sixteen year old, three year old and 18 month old. We travelled by Emirates in business class which was nice, but the plane from Dubai to Male is a little dated and the service is not great, so I would probably consider someone else next time. In addition to this Emirates Tours put the cost of my holiday up by StgÂ£2k at the last minute and I have yet to get any sort of an explanation despite several attempts, so care is advised here.
First of all, I have to say this is the the best resort I have ever stayed at and it is almost perfect in every way, but there are some small problems which I will go into later.
As I have said, we travelled with 3 children and I would like to make the point now that for those who believe that the Maldives is not for children, here is a resort which begs to differ. The Kids club is amazing, Adam and his team do a great job and are really good with the kids. The attention to detail is absolutely top notch, from napkins at the dinner table which are actually little aprons, to a special low counter in the main restaurant so that they can serve their own buffet. One day the kids made pizzas and they had these tiny little chefs outfits, which were exact replicas of a real chefs outfir, right down to the little neckerchief. So cute.
We had a duplex villa on the beach, which has two bedrooms, one for us, one for the kids. The kids room had tiny little bathrobes and wicker sandals, even small enough for our 18 month old.
The duplex villa we had was great as we two of everything. The decor was very good with lots of cushions, a sitting area, dressing room, large bathroom and tub and a shower which was completely outside and gave tons of water for a really refreshing shower. We also had two verandas which were great to sit out on and let time go by. At the front of every villa, there is a small sheltered area leading to your own sunbeds and then down to the sea which is about a total distance of 40 metres. We had a great roomboy called Ali who kept the entire place spotless for us and our villa host dealt with any other issues we had.
There is absolutely tons to do here and we were actually kept quite busy for the 2 weeks we were there. The great thing being of course that you can do as little or as much as you would like. The water sports centre is well equipped and the staff are good, with Philip being a nice guy if somewhat aloof. We also rented a speedboat on two occassions and went on personal snorkelling and dolphin safaris. On the dolphin safari we had about 200-300 dolphins swimming around the boat at one stage which was just absolutely amazing and was greatly enjoyed by my wife in particular.
The spa is really great with some very nice treatments available to ease the aches and pains etc.. and I would recommend a visit, try the balinese massage which i found really good. In addition to this, there is tennis, squash, snorkelling trips and diving, covered seperately later, and deep sea fishing. The deep sea fishing is expensive and anybody thinking of doing it should try to make sure they go out close to high tide, we did one morning at low tide and caught very little of any note, but it was still a nice experience.
The dive school is a 5 star padi, but I really don't know that this makes a huge amount of difference to other dive schools other than you have slightly less preparation to do before each dive. The staff here were really good and helpful, especially James who was a really nice guy. They have lots of really nice dive sites close by and there are good opportunities to see Lionfish, Moray, Turtles, Tuna and lots and lots of other cool stuff.
There are 4 restuarants in total, Thin rah, for breakfast and dinner, which is buffet style and has a wide and varied internation choice. Olive Tree for lunch and dinner, which is mediterranean styled and a la carte. Veli cafe for dinner, which is asian fusion and a la carte. Finally on another seperate little island there is Coves, which is open for lunch and is also used for the private romantic dinners and is reached by a little boat. In addition to this, there is bar food available by the pool all day and you can order food at your villa. We ate in all these restaurants, including the private dinner and in villa dining and the food is absolutely fantastic in every single one of them. There is a great choice of wines and beers available too although a good wine is upwards of $160 per bottle. In fact champagne was the best vale to be had, at only $100 per bottle.
In addition to this everwhere is absolutely spotless, well maintained and beautifully presented. To have spent two weeks here with children eating all sorts of different foods and to have not one upset tummy the entire time is testament to how well kept these eateries really are.
Having read all the above, you are probably wondering why i have only given the resort 4 stars and here we come to the only fly in the ointment. The service throughout the resort is superb, they have really friendly and helpful staff everywhere. The exception to this is the service in the main restaurant, Thin Rah, which was at best average. The staff were slow, not always in good humour and the service level varied depending on who you dealt with. It was also in thin rah, that we had a moment which bordered on the unacceptable and essentially put me off eating there for the rest of the holiday.
One evening the children having fallen asleep early, my wife and I headed off for dinner alone, with my eldest left to babysit and order food into the villa. Given we were on full board, the in villa dining is an additional cost as you have to pay in full for your food. At dinner we ordered a $160 bottle of wine and given service was very slow we had to wait a number of times for our glasses to be topped up, we had finished dinner before the bottle of wine. We decided to go back to the villa with a few little cakes and the remainder of our wine to have desert with the aforementioned eldest child. As we headed out of the restaurant, we were accosted by a member of the waiting staff who in front of everybody made us feel like common criminals in front of the whole restaurant, for taking items we had already paid for and inspite of us being on full board and having paid for an in villa dinner. The ludicrous thing was that the menber of staff, then had the items delivered to our room, so we have no idea of why there was any need to cause a scene in the first place or why they couldn't have had a quite word with us at some other time.
My advice would be that unless you are travelling with children, then steer clear of Thin Rah. The dine around option you get on full board is excellent as you get full as opposed to partial credit in all the restaurants except Coves, where you get a $25 per head partial credit.
For snorkelling fans, the news is disappointing in that it is not great around the island and the areas with reasonable fish and sea life are subject to quite strong currents. Having said that, regular excursions are organised and these are quite good.
The beaches here are very good, even by maldivian standards, but they do seem to be subject to some erosion. Given this they pump sand out from the lagoon onto the beaches which can be a little unsightly.
If you really want to avail of the facilities here please note that is an expensive restort, although in my opinion you get what you pay for. We spent in excess of $ 5 figures whilst there in addition to the full board package we paid upon booking, so please make sure your credit card is stacked high.
I hope everybody finds this review helpful and if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them. Pleae post your query on TA forums adressed to Evil Homer and I will do my best as always.
Ciao for now."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of April 2006
"This is a spectacular resort. We stayed for a week in a water villa, which was definitely worth it. We had an incredible amount of privacy, such that it was rarely necessary to wear bathing suits on our private deck over the water.
Our favorite thing, apart from the amazing food, staff and ambience, was that the fish in the lagoon were practically domesticated. We would pop in the water and the fish would approach and swim along next to us. They even ate bananas out of our hands under water. I'm not talking about a couple little fish, I'm talking about hundreds and hundreds in every variety! We especially liked the pair of unicorn fish that swam by our water villa, the giant clams in pink and blue, and the gentle reef shark that swam about.
We didn't even bother to scuba dive because the snorkeling and regular swimming were already such a great adventure.
We did a private island trip - where a traditional dhoni dropped us off with a gorgeous picnic of roast beef and shrimps and fruit and cakes - and hung out on our own for a day. It was almost unnecessary since we had so much privacy already. But still wonderful.
The sand is like talcum powder and it was the most beautiful beach resort I will ever see!"
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of March 2006
Quite simply paradise
"We've been lucky enough to travel a lot over the years but without exaggeration this is simply the best hotel we've ever stayed in. From the moment you arrive at Male Airport until the moment you pass through customs on your departure you are taken care of. First the private lounge at the airport, then the amazing seaplane journey out the the island. We were then shown to our stunning beach bungalow by our on-call butler. Massive bed, gorgeous open-air bathroom, a nice verandah to have a drink of an evening and watch the sunset. We had our own strip of beach leading down to our own loungers. The sea was perfect, never found the need to use the pool which isn't like me.
We had the half-board dine-around option which meant we could eat in any of the three restaurants and they were all excellent. The main buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner was faultless. If you couldn't find something to eat here then there's something wrong with you.
Anyway, could bang on for hours but quite simply if you get the chance to stay here go for it!"
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of March 2006
"We stayed at the Kanuhura for 9 nights end of Nov/early Dec 2005. We had previously stayed twice at the Hilton which is lovely but would say that Kanuhura is a notch or 2 above although our visits to the Hilton were prior to its major refurb.
We stayed in a beach villa and the best bit is having your own private piece of beach in front of the villa which is edged with small trees and bushes which give the privacy without feeling hemmed in. At the bottom of your bit of "beach garden" are your own 2 sun loungers and every morning these would be laid out with the cushions and fresh towels for the day.
Food was excellent and as we had paid for half board up front, this gave us a credit to eat in the other 2 restaurants, the Olive tree and the Veli cafe, which more or less covered a 3 course meal. The setting of the restaruants are supurb with tables either on the beach or around the pool.
The bar also has lovely comfy chairs on the beach and in particular there were huge round wicker sofa/chairs which were ideal for 2 people to curl up in We thought they were like giant cat baskets!
The snorkelling off the beach was not a good as that on the Hilton reef but we did see plenty of fish life and was an ideal way to pass an hour or 2 in the afternoons.
We did also book a snorkelling trip but a word of warning, make sure that you double check the total price for any trips. We were told that it was $100 for the trip and even after clarifying whether this was each or for the 2 of us we were told that this was the price for the 2 of us. You can imagine our surprise when on check out we were given a bill of $275 and it appears that the trip charge was $100 per hour which we were certainly not told and neither is per hour quoted in the hotel activity brochure in reception. Whilst eventually after some discussion with reception, the duty manager did agree eventually to reduce the charge despite them still insisting we had been told the correct price when we booked, it did leave a sour taste on the last night of our holiday. However the snorkelling trip itself was excellent.
All in all a fabulous holiday and a real place to get away from it all."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of December 2005
Exceptional honeymoon resort
"Anyone wanting to impress their new partner should give this place serious consideration. Everything they say is true, from courteous friendly staff to location straight from heaven. The food is expensive, but to be expected, and you can enjoy every meal on the beach next to your own villa and your own waiter for little extra if you so wish. I recommend this option!
We stayed in a beach villa which is the most inexpensive of the accomodations, the staff were more than willing to show me the other types of villas. To be honest, if there are only the two of you I can't see much point in upgrading. The water villas are only slightly larger (albeit with very nice bathroom fittings) and you need to walk (or swim!) to get to the beach, whereas you could step out of our villa directly onto magnificent sands and because we were on the west side of the island were treated to first rate sunsets every night.
Every room is generously equipped with big tv and multiregion DVD player, plus a top quality espresso machine. Bathrooms are large with a huge tub for relaxing in!
The spa is also excellent, the gym well equipped. Everything is within 15mins walk, but if you are really lazy the staff will whisk you around in a golf buggy.
Note that the seaplane ride from Male is around 45mins, which is a bit of a hassle if you've already been on a plane for 10hrs, but before you embark the seaplane you'll be taken to a lovely airconditioned cabin for free refreshments so you can fill out the registration card in comfort.
For peace, romance and relaxation, this resort is up there with the best!"
- Travel date: Tue 6th of December 2005
Ten out of ten!
"We stayed here on our honeymoon having been to the Maldives before but we wanted to go back and stay in luxury for our honeymoon (stayed at the Full Moon first time round) - we were not disappointed. This truly is a special place - from arriving by sea plane you know you're going to enjoy it! We had almost changed our minds when booking as we went only 4 months after the tsunami but I'm so glad we did, you just don't see places like this in for e.g the caribbean which is so chintzy and overpriced! This is an excellent example of how the Indian Ocean resorts do it so much better, really nice decor and service and a well run, very professional dive outfit - on our last dive we saw 10 mantas dancing and stayed with us for ages - what a way to end the holiday! Highlights of the resort also include sunset cocktails on the bed/chairs big enough for two, lovely spa and the outside bathrooms - great idea, very Adam and Eve!! Go and book it!"
- Travel date: Fri 11th of November 2005
Honeymoon Made In Heaven!
"Going straight to the point - happiest seven nights in my life with my new wife!! This is the best resort/hotel I have stayed at - the waters surrounding the island resort are as clear as mineral water and the staff are just incredible. Throw in sea planes, amazing snorkeling/diving, good food (the only thing I thought that was not quite 100%) and amazing rooms with your own beach - what else can you ask for? Go - Enjoy!! This is what dreams are made of!"
- Travel date: Tue 20th of September 2005