As there was a shortage of exotic destinations open at the end of 2022, after turning the map on all sides and simulating various flight options to other destinations, we also arrived in the Maldives. We were in Dubai at the time of planning, and the fact that we had a direct flight weighed heavily in the decision. We chose to stay at a 5-star resort, at a villa on the beach, even though the pre-pandemic image we had of a vacation in this exotic destination was completely different.
The Criteria by which we selected the Maldives resort
What did we look for in a resort?
- to have house-reef accessible from the beach. The main reason we chose the Maldives was so the little one could snorkel and see marine life
- to be small and as "airy" as possible: to have only villas in which one accommodation unit can be found, thus ensuring a lower density of visitors.
- a reasonable quality/price ratio, considering the peak period in which we were traveling. We considered the total cost, including transfers and other "mandatory" event costs that resorts shove around their necks during the holidays.
- good reviews on profile sites, the most important considering the recent ones. In many places, the crisis generated by the epidemic has altered the quality of services, which is why the impressions of travelers from previous years are less relevant.
Where and how is Furaveri Resort & SPA
Furaveri is a 5* resort located in Raa Atol, about a 45-minute flight south of Male. To get there you have two transfer options:
- by seaplane, a 45-minute flight that drops you directly at the resort. This option is only available to those arriving in Male during the day between 6:00 and 15:30 at a price of USD 400/adult and USD 200/child up to 12 years. It is certainly expensive, but the drive is a memorable experience in itself.
- domestic flight to Dharavandhoo and transfer by boat from there (for those arriving in Male between 15:30 and 21:30, after which the transfer cannot be made). The total duration of the trip is about an hour and a half, and the cost charged by the resort is 280 USD/ adult and 140 USD/ child up to 12 years old. We have not checked whether the transfer can also be organized individually, which could help in a possible optimization of the cost.
Types of villas at Furaveri Resort
Furaveri is a small resort with only 168 villas, in about 20 minutes you can go around the island, on the beach. It only includes villas, each of which is a single accommodation unit (in translation, you cannot have neighbors in the same house).
Information about all types of villas offered can be found here. Some additional details, from what I observed on-site:
- Beach Villas – are located in an area with a very good beach, with sand at the entrance and a relatively close reef
- Beach Pool Villas – although they are more expensive and you might think that by opting for them you have both the pool and the beach, this is not really the case. They are located in rocky areas, which does not really allow you to enjoy the fact that they are right on the beach. We received an "upgrade" from the Beach Villa and stayed in one like that (since it was evening when we checked in, we didn't notice the beach).
- Dhoni Pool Villa – would be the option to enjoy both the private pool and the beach without moving
Restaurants and Services at Furaveri Resort
Among the existing restaurants on the island, only Jaafaeiy – (buffet), Udhares Bar (a la carte) are fully open. Rayville was open on a limited schedule, and the Mexican restaurant closed. We haven't tested any of the private dining options so we can have an opinion on them.
Other available services, from which you can find more details on the website: water sports, Kids Cub - closed during this period, wellness area that also includes SPA (it looks very good and the massage was up to expectations).
Our experience at Furaveri Resort & SPA
As I fundamentally have a problem with the "stars" in the offers, I was irritated by the obligatory Christmas dinner, which had to be paid for separately. I knew from her from the beginning, I assumed the cost when I compared it with other options, and still, rationally Furaveri was the most suitable. I have but some fixations related to these practices which led me to not be in the most benevolent mood regarding them.
The onsite experience started well though, we were picked up from the airport and transferred to the seaplane and the hotel staff took care of all the formalities. Check-in was also fine. However, I was not happy that we had to ask four times over two days to receive a paper with full information about the all-inclusive package.
With all the observed minuses, the island charmed us. White sand, turquoise water, alleys surrounded by vegetation, silence, and a few people were the elements that made our stay a pleasant one.
We spent most days at the beach, which we found very free despite the high season.
Our Room at Furaveri Resort & SPA Maldives
The moment we arrived at our villa was when we decided the choice was a good one. The room was very spacious and tastefully decorated. The bathroom I think was the biggest I've ever been in, with a round tub in the middle and access to two outdoor showers (in addition to the indoor shower).
The yard offered privacy, with only a small opening in the vegetation for access to the beach. There I could see the sea directly from the bed. The private pool was the kid's favorite spot and the sunbeds and couches were mine.
DO WE RECOMMEND IT?
Yes, it is a place that we recommend, with the related mentions related to the meal.
Subscribe to our email newsletter and unlock access to members-only content and exclusive updates.