13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Out of it's league
"What a fantastic potential this resort has. How sadly it has failed to deliver. If this is the first time you go to the Malidves you will think you are in Paradise. If you have been to OnO, FourSeasons or Soneva, the dream crumbles. Very high prices and gorgeous beaches are the only common denominators between these resorts. Huvafen fails to deliver (not for lack of trying) a basic level of consistent service. The butler concept is a good one if the butlers ever answer their phones. The room service is good when it gets there. Yes, the place does have a hip feel to it, but tripping on sandbags and the constant drone of the island generator somewhat tarnishes this. I wish the entire staff would spend a year at the Four Seasons school of service in Bali, Kuda Hura or anywhere else in the world... It took me six weeks and 8 emails to get the $1200 I was overcharged back. Not ideal. Sadly."
- Travel date: 17th March 2006
Good tiny resort with good food and faci...
"Good tiny resort with good food and facilities. We were surprised by how much they have actually packed into this resort. Was glad that we didnât stay at a beach bungalow as one of the reviews talked about how uneasy it was as there were so many people walking in front of your room. However, it is true that the island is too small to house everything. But once we were in our ocean bungalow, it was pure heaven. Outside it was quite packed, even the ocean bungalows were right next to each other. Good resort still. "
- Travel date: 28th January 2006
Ten blissful days of relaxation in spect...
"Ten blissful days of relaxation in spectacular surroundings. In relation to the other review on here. If you don't want to run the risk that someone might walk past you on the shoreline then book yourself an Ocean or Lagoon Bungalow with private infinity pool. Or if you happen to be a very wealthy, famous Italian Designer you could book into one of two Ocean Pavilions like the one we had next door to us. Nothing to do? We snorkelled with the sharks in the morning, scuba-dived, windsurfed, water-ski and fed the friendly rays in the evening on the way back to our private pool to watch the blazing red sun go down with a bottle of champagne. We met truly great people and to sum this island up I will quote the words of one of them. As we were sat admiring the thought, detail and investment in this magical island he suggested... "You know, there were NO accountants involved in making this dream". Seriously, if you like attention to detail and can appreciate all the finer things in life then this is the place for you. "
- Travel date: 26th January 2006
Huvafenfushi won't be everything you eve...
"Huvafenfushi won't be everything you ever dreamed of simply because of the build up development on the small tiny island. Only 300 meters long and 150 meters wide but it has 43 individually built huge guestrooms, accommodation blocks for 200+ staff they have including separate blocks for the senior staff, restaurants, office blocks, etc! The beach is right in front of you door if you stay in the beach rooms. But talk about traffic! Nothing much to do on this tiny island so all the guests keep walking around the island and they cross over your body while you're sunbathing! This is the least you would expect from a country where they say "one island one resort" to ensure maximum privacy. If you want to stay in your room all day then this is a good place because the rooms ain't bad. Latest high tech gizmos (but a little cheap looking furniture). But if you want that private stretch of sand for you and your partner, then go somewhere else!"
- Travel date: 26th January 2006
Doesn't live up to the hype
"Huvafen fushi is definitely a good resort but it certainly doesnt live up to the hype it has created. Now that I have stayed in Huvafenfushi I think I have stayed in almost all the top premium resorts in Maldives which include Sonevafushi, O n O Kanuhura, O n O Reethi Rah, Hilton, Banyan Tree, Four Seasons at Kuda Huraa and Taj Exotica. If you love Maldives you will love any resort especially if its your first time there. The beaches and the ocean are the only ones of its kind in the world. However, after going to Maldives several times you may start comparing one resort to another which is not a bad thing. If you have been to only one resort then you will review it as the best place on earth(simply because you've decided to spend you holiday cash bonanza there for some reason without comparing what else is out there). Without any comparison to any other resort, I would say Huvafenfushi is almost a five star property. The food and beverage and spa facilities are very good. However, there are some problems with the service in the island. Staff are friendly but not as well trained. The rooms would be great if not for the cheap IKEA like furniture they have put in there. Perhaps all of this is due to the management trying to be too "hip and cool". They are very nice and pleasant people but also very young (some are just in their early 20s). Huvafenfushi tries to be a resort with a five star nightclub which is not possible in a country where nightlife is extinct. If you want nightlife, then go somewhere else, not Maldives! Maldives is all about beaches and the clear blue waters. Now when you compare Huvafenfushi with other resorts, you start to notice many other small "faults". First of all the size of the island issue I've read in some reviews here is not a problem. Huvafenfushi size is small but it didnt bother me. I like small size islands, it gives me a feeling that am on those sandbanks with one or two coconut trees in cartoons. But it did bother me that too many Ocean Bungalows were built right next to each other. This is the case in most resorts though and only if you have been to a resort where they have really spaced out rooms (the Soneva resorts and O n O Reethi Rah for example), it wont be a problem. The level of service compared to other five star properties definitely lacks in Huvafenfushi which is probably it's weakest point. The food and beverages are very good indeed. Huvafenfushi food can be said to be Hilton standard but not One and Only standard. The excursions are the same in all the resorts I guess, basically the same things a little polished by some than others. The Spa facilities rock here. Although I didn't find the spa being built under the water that appropriate, it was something different from other places. But then again Hilton has a much more fancy underwater restaurant! As for value, all five star properties command five star prices. However, huvafenfushi is barely hanging onto the five star position so some may not appreciate for paying too much for a "wannabe five star kid". I think Huvafenfushi is still a young kid trying to make a lot of noise. A little more experience in providing service and a little change of the wearing out cheap furniture would make it a kid to be seriously reckoned with. Hopefully they wont take too long because if they do, more and more people will complain about not getting their pennies worth!"
- Travel date: 25th January 2006
"Well sorry to read all the other revues that had bad experiences in Huvafen Fushi! I must say it was WOW I loved the island from the white soft sand, the beaches, the gym, the people, the food, the wine cellar, the funky bar, the absolutely breath taking pool, the cool library, the fun excursions must I go on?! I think the place was the best I have ever been to! And traveling 3 times a year to all the lost destinations I know what I am talking about, Huvafen Fushi is for the people who know what they want. If you want simple nature style then go ride a bike on one of the Soniva properties, if you want a big feeling of class and crisp air go to One and Only BUT if you want a place that has a natural, classy sort of funk , warm feeling to it you will love Huvafen Fushi. It is a mix of modern and class, sexy and natural. I loved it and will go back anytime as for prices well it is a five star so you canât expect it to have a one star price list, and as far as I am concerned I got my moneys worth and even more at times. People want to help you all the time, some may find it annoying but it is for them to understand that the cold European way is not found all over the world; and thank god! They donât work for the money in Huvafen Fushi they work to see there guest smile and be happy, and that is a keeper. Our butler was a sweet very, very kind young Maldivian he was always coming over to chat to see if all was well, what our plans for the day were if he could plan anything for us, giving us endless ideas. He was really seeking of finding our tastes and taking time to do it! I love the island, the rooms, and the concept. I would recommend the place to every one!"
- Travel date: 23rd January 2006
Overrated and Overpriced
"When i went to Huvafenfushi, I was given the impression that this was simply the best resort ever built in the Maldives. Unfortunately when I went there, it immediately struck to me that it was not. First of all the service should be top class for it to be great but it was not. The butlers were not so experienced and were annoying sometimes as they were slow and made many mistakes. I only went for a week and working for the rest of the year for this, I do not appreciate being held up on my holiday. I stayed in the Ocean bungalow and though the room was ok, it was annoying that all the ocean bungalows are built right next to each other as if they were some semi-detached houses. There has been a lot of attention given to having the latest hi-fi technology but unfortunately no one cares about such things when they come to a place so beautiful as the Maldives. However, the furniture did have a certain cheap look although it was supposed to look very sleek and modern. The island is also tiny and even 43 rooms is a bit too much in my opinion here. It feels a little bit congested. The beauty about Maldives is that each resort is made of one island which ensures privacy. For such a hyped resort, this was certainly ignored. I stayed in Soneva Gili last time I was in Maldives and they certainly know how to space their rooms and know how many rooms is optimal for the size of their island! The food was great though, best thing about the island I think. I do not mind the food being a little overpriced as long as it's good. But in general, I am not happy for what I paid for Huvafenfushi. It is overrated and overpriced. Its not like I cant afford it but I do want to get for what I have paid for. I paid far more when I went to Sonevagili and I wasnt disappointed at all but Huvafenfushi is just not "the best" they are saying it is. I think they have bribed Conde' Nast Traveller and all for giving great reviews about this place! It said One and Only Reethi Rah and Huvafenfushi were the best in Maldives. Well, I have been to Sonevagili and Huvafenfushi, and Sonevagili certainly beats Huvafenfushi in every department! Will try One and Only Reethi Rah next year, my friend said it will be better so I have to see it for myself. Hope its not like a disappointment like Huvafenfushi!"
- Travel date: 12th January 2006
Top Rate hotel & facilities but very poor service.
"We stayed at HF for 4 nights as the 2nd resort in our stay on the Maldives. The resort was certainly oustanding to be in. Stright out of the pages of Conde Naste Traveller. Very hip and trendy furnishes and plenty attention to detail. We stayed in a beach bungalow.. and even though we were in the "cheap seats", the rooms were filled with up to date modern gadgets, spotlessly clean and the outside bathroom and plunge pool were a dream. All of the above you expect for the price you pay to stay there, however there a few things that made our stay a little less enjoyable than it should have been. When we first arrived our room wasnt ready, so we were guided round the resort by our "Thakuru" (Butler). This took her over an hour, when all we wanted to do was have a shower and get changed in to our swim wear and explore the island ourselves. Anyway we asked the Thakuru to book us on the sunset cruise, which she happily said she would go off and look at when it was avilable. She came back the next day and told us it was not possible, as there was a film crew using the boat to stay on. Disapointed we went away to think about what esle we might like to do. We met the sommiler of the island one evening in the Resturant and asked him to do a wine tasting evening for us instead. When the evening came and we still didnt have any confirmation of what time and where, we rang the thakuru and asked her.. she rang back and told us that the Film crew wer having a private champagne tasting so he was unable to see us. A little annoyed that the film crew seemed to be spoiling all our fun. We asked thakuru to think again about the Sunset cruise.. after all the resort does have about 10 boats that they could use. She came back and said that her manager wasnt happy with using another boat. In the end we try to explain that we were the paying guests and if we were happy taking another boat so should they be. They came back again and arranged for us to take it on one of the dive boats.. now about this time I also mentioned that we were due some champagne and canapes as compliments for our honeymoon, it was our last evening so when were they orgising that.. (they had forgotten) so she arranged it for when we got back from the cruise. We got back and it wasnt there.. so we rang the Takuru again..... It seemed that our butler had completely forgotten what job she was there to do. The best part was when they took us back to male to ctach our flight home only to find our flight had left 2.5 hours earlier. The resort had got our flight times mixed up with someone else, and we arrived at the airport too late to catch our flight home. The resort did end up having to buy some additional flights home for us and put us up for another 12 hours. All in all really lovely looking hotel, but service and staff are let it down dreadfully."
- Travel date: 1st December 2005
"Firstly I would like to say the last review put on here was fairly accurate, the only differences between his and my own experiences are purely down to personal opinion. We had a fantastic honeymoon at HF. We were greeted at the airport by our Thakuru, Shaheed, then directed to a luxury speedboad for our 30 minute transfer to the island. The facilities on such a small island I thought were excellent. There was always something to do, but to be honest, the rooms were so lovely and large (private infinity pool also helped somewhat)...we spent a large amount of time holed up in our bungalow, sunbathing, listening to music and taking the odd dip in the sea. As did most others. That was the only downside I would say for HF, was that there was very little atmosphere created by the guests. The hotel provided few situations whereas you could meet other guests other than cocktail night on tuesdays. To be honest though, the staff more than made up for it, they were friendly, warm and very welcoming. The food was outstanding, and this was in Celsius. I thought Salt was a tad overrated and we never tried Raw. The rooms are just like you will find them in the brochures so I won't go on about them, they are simply superb. We were upgraded from a beach bungalow to a lagoon bungalow, which was out of this world. And if you can afford it I would highly recommend going for the Lagoon bungalows. The beach bungalows look lovely but quite shady we thought, but saying that we never saw the back of the bungalows properly. Top tips: - bring lots of reading material and your own cd's, there is a library but it's very varied (i.e. mostly foreign). - bring small dollar denominations for tipping, the bar and restaurant don't necessarily need tipping as 10% service charge is included in the meal/drinks, but your room service/cleaners would certainly appreciate it. - bring an underwater camera (disposable type) - the hired one is very expensive, and the sea life is not to be missed. - Tuesday nights is cocktail night, where everyone is invited to a gathering on the beach but most importantly free wine! - Between 6pm and 8pm every evening is happy hour - any drink at half the price. The Umbar Cow cocktail is to die for! Believe me the happy hour will make a difference to your end of stay bill! The drinks are expensive, full stop. - Do try the spa, the therapists have obviously been hunted down from other 5 star resorts as they are quite brilliant. The pedicure was completely lost on my husband though. Watch out for the 'extra' charge on using the underwater spa. They charge $50 per hour, per person. Abit steep in my opinion and we weren't warned of this beforehand. - Destination Dining was very nice, well worth trying. We had the Lobster Experience which came to just under $400 dollars (a 6 course dinner), but we chose not to have their selected wines, which would have cost another $300. - I would most certainly recommend going half board when booking. - Trip to Male needs to be done I think, abit of culture never does anyone any harm. Don't spend too long in the Museum no matter how enthusiastic the old lady gets, you only get 2 hours there! - Don't bother with shoes (maybe flip flops because the wooden boardwalks are absolutely roasting during the day). The service at HF is second to none, zubaa in Celsius and Aslam in the Umbar im particular really made a difference to our stay. I was suprised to see families at this resort (well, one family actually) but fortunately the children were very well behaved but I think this was down to the Internet readily available to them! Despite this, I would not recommend bringing children to this resort. To cap if off, I felt a soft spot for this resort, it's probably down to the people there making it what it is. Tt is really is paradise packaged very nicely indeed."
- Travel date: 28th November 2005
Ian Schrager meets the Maldives!
"Spent 3 days here on our way out of the Maldives after staying at their sister property Dhoni Mighili. The hotel and room designs are amazing. The ocean bungalows were massive and the plunge pool was a great addition that one doesn't normally find in overwater bungalows. The overall design is very chic and we saw all the rooms including the new villas which were fantastic and over the top! The top restaurant "Salt" wasn't that thrilling, but the others were satisfying and the breakfast buffet at Celcius was excellent. Overall the service was great, the ops manager Marc took excellent care of us, though the Thakuru concept wasn't as "high touch" as I might of expected. Vinum, the underground cellar and dining area is really impressive, though we didn't get the pleasure of eating there. The spa is simply brilliant though I don't agree with the surcharge one has to pay to use the underwater treatment rooms. You'll by lying down anyway so not much to see. The gym and yoga platform are great just because they're over water and I worked out there alone. Fun experience. You'll pay a lot to stay here, and the incidentals are huge, but you'll pay a lot in most places in the islands because of where you are. When we first arrived we were awe struck by the place and wished we'd booked more days, but we'd been in country for 7 days already and in the end we didn't need more time at Huvafen because..... Huvafen is definitely about spending quality time in your room. If that experience wears thin there's not much privacy anywhere else on the island if that's what you crave. Otherwise you can always dine and spa yourself to death! This is my second trip to the Maldives and one thing I'm always looking for is that classic uninterrupted and relatively private stretch of sand. This island doesn't have much of that anymore. Like most islands its small, but very built up, with retaining walls cutting up many parts of the beaches. So there's little private beach and if you stay in a beach bungalow you'll endure foot traffic often. If you want beaches, see my review for Dhoni Mighili. And if you can swing it time or $$wise, do both resorts for a little yin and yang."
- Travel date: 17th October 2005
Another day in Paradise
"We stayed for 14 nights at Huvafen Fushi for a 'holiday of a lifetime' experience. I cannot highly recommended enough the destination and setting of the resort, the overall ambience is second to none. The rooms are superb and we stayed in both an Ocean Bungalow and a Lagoon Bungalow. Both are great, in value terms the Lagoon bungalow offers 85% of what the Ocean Bungalow does, but if you can afford the extra for the Ocean, go for it. We also viewed the Ocean Pavillion, which is the stuff of dreams, celebrities and Hollywood movies. Very expensive but i have seen nothing else like it. We are big 'foodies' and were very impressed with the standard, and can recommend the destination dining-again exoensive but worth it. Kath, the executive chef has a great vision and has made great improvements and you can tell. The wine choice is also very good and Julian the Sommelier recommended some great wines. However be aware the prices are the highest i've ever seen-not helped by the high tax on wine in the Maldives- be prepared to pay Â£100-Â£150 for a decent bottle. There is an abundance of sealife around the island and we befriended the sharks, stingrays, heron and island cat. Truly magical. Any downsides? Yes...there were too many young children (under 15) on the island which for such a small island with no real facilities for children was a shame, and occasionally created the wrong atmosphere. The service is mixed, everyone REALLY wants to help but occasionally it doesnt quite work. I suspect that the only way to get the service 100% would be to employ more managers, and that may in turn make it less friendly. It is a trade off but dont expect the same efficiency you would at home. We had a wonderful holiday. It is too easy to be critical, and it is only when the plane landed in Manchester that i realised just what we had left behind- a place modelled on luxury, touched by simplicity having a magic all of it own. Paradise."
- Travel date: 2nd September 2005
a little slice of Paradise
"i have just left this amazing island and only have great things to say about it. The staff were excellent on hand at anytime. The rooms are just as they are on the web site - breath taking. rooms was cleaned twice a day. the beach and whole resort is clean and the weather was GREAT, it rained 3 times in the day in my 9 night stay which only lasted 30 mins and 2 times in the evening again lasting 30 mins the temperature was about 30-33 degrees high light was the desination dinning where you can eat on a private sand bank or on the yoga pavillion or on the rocks ( path way leading onto rocks covered in sand inthe sea) we did all and was so impressed well worth the money as you get so much to eat. Found that the food and drink were not that expensive what bought our final bill up was the destination dinning,spa and the trips - island hopping,sun set cruise and sun set fishing (you can eat what you catch) we were lucky and also got to see baby turtles being released into the wild after the staff had bought them up that was great each evening there is sting ray feeding - they are huge!!! Spa is worth a visit or TWO. I have never been to such a relaxed,beautiful and freindly island/hotel i was sad to be going but would definatley return and Recommend this little slice of paradise to anyone!!!"
- Travel date: 26th August 2005
Huvafen Fushi Maldives is also called
- Huvafen Fushi Resort and Spa
- huvafen fushi male
- huvafen fushi hotel male