Lti Maafushivaru Maldives review

Old Mar 18th, 2022, 03:28 PM
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Lti Maafushivaru Maldives review

Our first time in the Maldives and we’re hoping to return. Lots of research led us to LTI Maaafushivaru Maldives. One of the deciding factors on choosing this resort was its proximity to many of the main areas where whale sharks are present almost year-round. Swimming or snorkeling with these amazing creatures was on my DW’s bucket list (mine too) and as this trip was for her it just made sense to place ourselves somewhere that provided excursions to do just that. We traveled (with layover) 36 hours through Doha, Qatar to arrive at the resort. Once in Male, capital of the Maldives, a seaplane (or speedboat depending on the resort you choose), is required for the last leg. These seaplanes only fly in daylight and your flight may be stopping at multiple resorts. We were told our flight would leave Male at approx. 4pm. The resort has a comfortable lounge to wait for your flight out. Snacks, drinks, and wi-fi are available. The difficult news was that the flight out would not be until 5:30pm. At 5pm we were moved to a different waiting area-open air with a nice breeze-and after another 40 minutes or so we were led to board the plane. 15 or 18 seats in a reasonably comfortable but noisy plane. The flight soars over the astoundingly beautiful Indian Ocean and the views of the various island and atolls of the Maldives. To our surprise, the plane actually landed at a different resort and we were shuffled onto a speedboat for the final ten minute ride to Maafushvaru. No explanation given. A rep from the resort met us as we boarded the speedboat. The boat was spacious and reasonably comfortable. Fortunately, all our bags had been placed on the boat prior to departure rather than coming later. Our ride zipped past other boats and a couple of island resorts, looking spectacular. The water was beyond clear. Almost invisible. We arrived at the Maafushivaru dock just before 7pm and finally touched land in our Maldives paradise.

Our staff rep, Constanza, was very personable and understood our slight loopiness due to jet lag. She escorted us to reception and we filled out of all our paperwork with no fuss. Our bags we were told would be brought to the room. Nice to not have to foist them through the sand. We then walked with her through the well-maintained greenery, past the garden suites, out to the pier that was the base of our overwater bungalow. Our stay will be on the shorter of the two piers that support the overwater bungalows here. As we approached the room we noted the shallow, amazingly aqua, sand bottomed “bay” we would have directly outside our door. Constanza led us into the room and proceeded to give us a quick tour of all the important particulars. When booking your stay, you are able to send request preferences for things like specialty restaurants, spa bookings, and excursion dates. During our intake I was told they had been able to fulfill all my preferred dates and times for all these things. Sometimes it seems to work out when you plan ahead. The bungalow was really lovely with white, wood, and grey accents. Huge closet/storage areas in the foyer. Small “kitchen” area with coffee/tea station and good sized frig/mini bar. The bathroom was ahead through here and was spectacular. White marble everywhere, a bathtub and large shower stall both with windows looking out at the blue lagoon, the shower having a door to access the deck. Presumably to limit sand and such into the living space. Single sink counter with a nice selection of amenities such as razor, toothbrush, etc. And the view from your seat on the throne was as spectacular as any in the world. Strangely it appeared that the bathroom door was closed for an extensive period of time before we arrived as the whole room felt like a sauna. Even the liquid soap and shampoo in the shower were hot. Pretty uncomfortable in there.

The main living/sleeping area had a queen-sized bed with a chair and low counter behind the headboard. Also, a small alcove area complete with a sort of loveseat built in with lots of throw pillows. The room also included a large flat screen tv. Two night tables both with reading lights flanked the bed and a small side table included a Bluetooth music player. The heavy dose of early morning light can quite effectively be blocked out by the two sets of curtains, including black out curtains in a stylish grey tone. Outside, the deck wrapped around from the bath to the front to the sliding glass doors leading back to the living area. Laying in the bed allowed you a truly remarkable view out to the lagoon and house reef. On the deck were two loungers, a table with two comfortable upright chairs, and set back from the edge on the bath side a small settee and table that looks to be a retreat from the sun most of the time. Also, above the small landing at the top of the water access ladder, there is an outdoor shower for rinsing off and such. Now we’ve seen these before but usually it’s just cool/luke warm water but this actually had a full temp range. A testament to the resort’s infrastructure. I had requested before arrival a villa facing west towards the sunset and this was what we were booked into. Hoping for good things.

The AC in the villa works phenomenally well, keeping the main sleeping area at comfortable temps compared to outside and the difference from this area to the foyer and especially the bathroom is significant. Bath also gets extra warm throughout the day with sunlight pouring in the windows and reflecting off the water. Leaving the bath door open when able will reduce the temp in that area nicely. I find it truly amazing that in a location such as this I can get faster, more reliable hot water from the shower here than I can on a high floor in a US hotel. The behind the scenes workings here-plumbing, food services, sanitation, staff living experience, etc.-would be quite interesting to delve into IMO. Might ask around. Our bags arrived shortly after our guide left so we hurriedly unpacked and showered as it was beyond time for a meal. Our package was almost totally inclusive with all drinks and mini bar included plus daily breakfast and dinner buffets. The three specialty restaurants-Italian, Japanese, and Asian/Indian-were also included but required reservations so no show up and dine. Also, some entrees in these spots required an additional charge outside the all-inclusive package. Lunch is also included but no buffet available so you have table service around the pool area from three different menus representing dishes from two of the restaurants plus the Library Lounge which is their fast casual sandwich/salad/coffee/dessert shop open the majority of the day. Best spot to get a sweet treat IMO. Ice cream and pastries are universally delicious, especially the Hazelnut Brownie. The dinner buffet was astounding. Dishes from all over the world, and stations for carving meats, making soups, etc. Everything we ate exceeded expectations for any buffet. Especially impressive were the breads/pastries for being in such a remote, humid location. We came away impressed. A good sign. After returning to our room, we were treated to an astounding cloud free, pink and peach colored sunset.

Can’t really fully describe the view from our villa this morning. Orange sunrise in the east, lightly moving crystal blue water, and a sunny blue sky. Quite warm very early. Sleeping, for me, was uncomfortable. The mattress was too hard and the pillows quite mushy. But I am sure these can be worked through. The timing for breakfast, and dinner for that matter, is significantly different than our (and other Americans?) timing at home. Specialty restaurants reservations start at 7 pm for dinner and the buffet starts at 7:30 am/pm for breakfast/dinner. May not be an issue for some but if you’re used to different times, I suggest bringing some fruit/pastries back to your room for the next morning. Lunch leftovers-pizza, etc.-can also provide between meal sustenance. If you have a mini-bar-either included or not-chocolate and other sweets are available with your water, beer, and soft drinks. I will say here that pricing for all food and beverage outside of the all-inclusive rates are, not unexpectedly, are very, very high.

Once outside our suite we were able to see the beauty of our surroundings. Grounds are immaculate. Greenery, palm trees, sweet scented flowers, multiple bird species providing a tropical soundtrack. Little lizards and what the staff calls “sea chickens” always calling for their little ones. Young men constantly sweeping both the pathways and the soft sand of the beach. The water is almost beyond description. So clear. During our stay there was an almost constant breeze that was welcome with the heat. Also creates a difference between sides of the island with one being cooler than the other. Sea walls-various sizes and styles of cement/rock walls-meant to reduce erosion are a bit obtrusive but fairly easy to ignore. Buildings are well maintained and have a natural flow with the landscape. There is a cell tower on the island but you really never see it except coming and going. Would be a different experience were it not there as seeing people on their phones so much is a bit disappointing. But it may also explain the excellent wi-fi. The resort uses a group of 3-4 electric vehicles-mainly golf cart style-to ferry people and stuff around the island. They also have an extensive recycle program complete with a station set up to separate items. Very impressive IMO. Excursions and watersports run out of the dive center, next to the arrival dock. Multiple types of dive and snorkel excursions are available, along with kayaks, stand up paddle boards, snorkel equipment, and dive equipment for guest use. Everyone we worked with there was very personable and knowledgeable. Above average snorkeling within the lagoon and at the house reef’s edge with a wide variety of sea life-sharks, turtles, rays, etc. But the corals here have not recovered from a bleaching event a few years back. Still worth getting mask and fins and checking it out. Strong current at times can make things difficult for weaker swimmers.

For breakfast, the buffet is the only choice really. Nothing else opens before 11 am. The buffet set up is really well done. The space is basically a rectangle about 50 feet by 15 feet with stations spread every couple of feet. On the outside of one length are one length are more stations, mainly breads and desserts plus cereals and pastries at breakfast. The other side opens out to all the dining spaces both covered and open air. In the morning there is an egg station for freshly made omelets, scrambled, Benedict’s etc. Further down the line is a station for ordering waffles, pancakes, and such. Lots of fresh fruit, delicious fresh squeezed oj, and dishes from a wide range of cultures. Asian dim sum, Indian dishes, rice dishes, traditional breakfast meats, cereals & yogurt, porridge, soups, even a green salad station. One of the most interesting, at least to us, is that as a Muslim country, pork products are forbidden yet the resort offers numerous pork items on all menus. I assume that they are under special rules to allow serving these items. Everything always fresh, meats well cooked, strong flavor profiles, and great variety. During our stay the dinner buffet included numerous whole roasted fish (including delicious barracuda!) tomahawk ribeye, roast turkey, pork belly, veal rack, and a rotating station of made to order pasta, stir fry, tortilla soup, and nasi goreng-an Indonesian fried rice dish usually topped with a fried egg.

Two of the restaurants are in separate buildings-Umi the Japanese/teppanyaki spot and Moodhu Grill with an Indian/Asian cuisine menu. The third, Ciello, with an Italian menu is placed above the pool/bar area. The pool itself is approximately 30 by 15 infinity edge design and a great place to escape the heat. The pool deck area has about 12 loungers with umbrellas. In the evening, this is a lovely spot to enjoy a drink before dinner. The bar has an extensive list of options, including some of their own creations and a drink of the week (a great option if your drinks are not included in your rate). The Fantasy Coladas feature some unique flavor combos and are served in a golden pineapple vessel. Very tasty. We enjoyed meals at all three reservation restaurants and were very pleased with almost everything we ate. The weak point, for us, was Moodhu Grill. May have been what we ordered or just an off night but it was not up to the high bar set by Ciello and Umi, both of which definitely exceeded our expectations. The food service department is really a strong aspect at this resort.

The resort also has fitness center that was utilized by many guests during our time there and a lovely, peaceful spa building, built out over the water, with many services offered. Our massages and my DW’s post sunburn skin treatment were very, very enjoyable. An excellent way to wrap up our stay. Fortunately, the resorts medical clinic can provide a Covid test (for a fee) to any travelers who need one before returning home. Hopefully soon this won’t be an issue. Quick turn around on the results. Our time here went by much too fast and soon it was back onto a boat to ferry us out to the floating platform where you board the seaplane for your journey home. This resort was a tropical fantasy come true for us, something we will remember for a long, long time. The staff, facilities, and location are just outstanding. Created and managed to give you nothing but pleasure and relaxation. I can’t give enough stars to the LTI Maafushivaru Maldives. I’m sure there are many other outstanding resorts in the Maldives but they would have to go a long way to exceed the standards set by this one.

melproffit is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2022, 06:34 AM
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Interesting report.

Did you do any diving?

My spouse has been diving at Bandos on a near yearly basis for 25 years.

Your mention of whale sharks caught my attention. We used to live in Australia and made a special trip up to Exmouth so he could swim with the whale sharks there one year as they migrated south. I assume you were able to swim with them?
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Old Mar 19th, 2022, 01:07 PM
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Wow - that sounds like a wonderful property. How long were you there -- a week?
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Old Mar 20th, 2022, 08:16 AM
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We aren’t divers but we snorkeled every day either at the resort house reef or from an excursion boat. We did find one whale shark on our search day. The same trip also had two manta rays appear while we swam with the whale shark. On another excursion we snorkeled-along with about 50 other people-with a total of 6 manta rays. Very cool. Many divers choose this resort because of their extensive dive shop operation.
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Old Mar 20th, 2022, 08:17 AM
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We stayed a total of nine nights. It’s a good number in my opinion. Especially if you prefer a more active, night life oriented vacation.
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Old Apr 17th, 2022, 08:23 AM
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to anyone interested in this resort, i recently found out they have now become part of the Outrigger resort group. could be big changes upcoming.
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Old Apr 18th, 2022, 06:26 AM
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Great TR. Thank you. it took me away from the dusting of snow we had this morning in the Chicago area.

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