Although current times are insecure and travel will come to a stop for months, evaluating our last trip to the Maldives, Vakarufalhi Island, is worth telling.
IN these difficult corona days, it probably will take time, as a visitor to find the guts to travel again, and as resort to recover from the enourmous decrease in traffic to the island. I sincerely hope both sides will recover and find eachother again, as this island is to good to go lost as a result of the global crisis we are experiencing.
Having said that, I like to share our exeperience at Vakarufalhi. It was our second stay on the island, the first already 4 years ago. Arriving in Male, smooth transfer to the island by TMA waterplane and welcomed on the boat taking us from the arrival point in midsea to the island. Setting foot on the island felt like coming home. Really all was still as good as 4 years ago.
Room: we had a watervilla, enabling us to step right into the sea and swim with the smaller fish surrounding our bungalow. The bungalow is large, good bed, perfect bathroom, enough space to relax inside when you need it, and a deck offering you the warmth and sun on the outside.
Reception : easy acces to the reception staff, nothing was to much, always a warm welcome and a friendly word. We did a lot of excursions, and found ourselves lucky to see manta's , whalesharks and wonderfull speedboat snorkling trips to Reef Garden (new in the program, the speed itself is worth the trip )
Food : the restaurant and bar area are perfect. All staff is friendly, always there to help and the food is like having gone to heaven, only to find out food in heaven is best you ever tasted. In 14 days I have not have ONE dish I disliked or couldnt eat. Sure, it's to each own taste, but I am not an easy guest and I really didnt find any to complain about.
Cleaning : having your room done twice a day, including setting up your sundeck and closing it down in the evening, it made us feel royal and appreciated. The roomboy was polite and would do any to make our stay as pleasant as he could. Top job!
Overall we had another great stay, and although we promissed ourselves, this would be our last trip to the Maldives, we are happy to break that promiss if we can, and we'll return if possible somewhere in the next years.
We are experienced travellers (luckily that worked out good, as corona forced us to take a detour on our way back) but I would easily say this has been, if not the best, for sure a holiday in our top3 travels in 20 years of traveling as a couple.
Thanks to Luca and the team, I don't mention names to prevent I forget people. You made our stay so good, we hope this corona crisis passes soon and get you back in full business as soon as possible.
First time to the Maldives & we were not disappointed. The Vakarufalhi was an amazing place to spend our 20th anniversary. We stayed in one of the water villas, they were awesome. Huge room with big bed & bath. Lovely waking up to the sound of the ocean.
The staff were great, nothing was too much trouble. The food was amazing, so much choice & the quality was outstanding.
The snorkelling was good as there were lots of reefs around the resort.
The sea is crystal clear & the sand is white.
It is like paradise.
The room was kept immaculate, everyday
they cleaned it twice.
Good entertainment/ music in the evening.
I cannot fault this resort & would have no hesitation in staying here again.
Thank you to the Vakaru “ family “ you made our holiday one memorable, special occasion. See you in a couple of years !
Two weeks of wonderful weather, blue sea, snorkelling and great food.
We stayed in a huge water villa facing the lagoon The outdoor deck had steps down into the water where we could snorkel. Our room was looked after by Jalal and what a lovely guy and great job he did.
The quality of the food was outstanding with the head chef and his team doing a fine job.The head chef and Kingston (food and beverage manager) are both very visible and keen to ask how the service and food was. Upon talking to Kingston one night he found out that we liked spicy curries.The following evening to our surprise the chef had made a beef curry just for my wife and myself and i must say it was both spicy and delicious. Kingston and his team really look after their guests and as stated the quality of the food would take some beating (fresh fish,curries,pastas,tenderloin steaks,salads,deserts). There are 2 sides to the restaurant, one for the water villas and the other for the beach villas. The waiters swap restaurants at the start of every month so we had Abdulla for the part of the first week and Sujon for the second week. Thanks boys you really looked after us. Shareef, the head waiter, joined our area for the second week and was a delight. In the reception area we spoke to Ali a couple of times re internet and trips and he was very helpful. The snorkelling is great even though most of the coral is dead.
A fantastic and relaxing holiday in a magical place with lovely people. We cant wait to go back !!!
Vakarufalhi was our third island visit and it definitely exceeded our expectations. The island is very small with all of the beach villas situated around the outside of the island. The thatched villas are well furnished with good air conditioning and a great shower.
Each villa has its own sun beds on the beach just a few metres from the villa, where there is also a day bed if you want to sit in the shade.
We started our holiday in villa 130 which was right by the service jetty. Although this wasn't a huge problem, we asked to move to villa 123 which is on a lovely stretch of beach with a wide lagoon to swim in calm water. It is hotter on this side of the island, but the other side can be rather windy and the beach suffers from erosion. The staff work hard to protect the beach, but sand bags are necessary and it only takes a big tide to expose them, making it not quite so attractive.
The food was excellent in the restaurant, as was the service from the staff who were always happy to chat and do their job with a smile. A particular mention for Subin and Ian who served us plenty of cocktails and beers during our stay. It's worth mentioning that on all inclusive you do have to go to the bar to get drinks and are not able to have them served on the beach or villa without paying.This wasn't problem for us as we were happy to have a break from the sun bed!
Snorkelling on the house reef was very good, especially as most of the coral in the Maldives is now dead, there was a surprising number of fish. We enjoyed seeing small reef sharks, rays, squid, a turtle, lots of parrot fish and many other colourful fish. The best place to snorkel is off the main jetty to the left as you face the sea. The currents change on a regular basis and can be reasonably strong, but nothing to worry about. We had a few windy days when the sea was too choppy to be comfortable.
There are two things to mention to the management as constructive criticism. Firstly because it's a small island the villas are close to the service area in the middle. On a couple of occasions when the leaves were being burned you could smell the smoke. I wonder if it would be possible to do this in the evening when guests are not on the beach. The other point is regarding plastic bottles in the room. It's great to be provided with plenty of free water but the resort must use a huge amount of plastic. I'm not sure if there's a simple way round this, but something to work towards, with the aim to reduce the use of plastic.
Finally there are a lot of repeat visitors and I can see why, we spent a wonderful week soaking up the gorgeous blue of the ocean and completely relaxing. Guests are made to feel special and nothing is too much trouble. Another mention for the very smiley young lady on reception who dealt with our room move.
Thank you Vakarufalhi!
We stayed of seven nights on this island paradise. You can walk around it in just over ten minutes and the sea is the sort of blue that you dream about!
We took the seaplane from Male to a platform off Centara and were then collected by a boat from Vakarfahli . On the way we saw dolphins....very lucky! The seaplane took almost an hour as we had to stop off at a few resorts on the way but this was quite fun.
We were all inclusive which took the worry out of paying the bill at the end. There was always plenty of bottled water available in the rooms which was replaced daily. You cannot have espresso or cappuccino coffee on this meal plan but the ordinary coffee is ok. The choice of cocktails is good as is the choice of spirits. Happy to see they use Schweppes tonic water with the gin! Thank you to Ian and Subin for their cheerful service.
Wine is provided by the glass but we never had to ask for a refill as the restaurant staff were very efficient. The rose wine was rather too sweet but the white and red varieties were quite drinkable.
The restaurant is buffet style and the choice is incredible. I have never seen such an array of different foods ...different every day ....to suit all diets. Thank you to the chefs and to Abdulla who looked after us.
When we arrived we were given a beach villa room 108....however this is on the windy side of the island and it was blowing a gale . We asked if we could move rooms and we were able to move to 123 where there was hardly any wind. We like the heat but some might have found it too warm. There is plenty of shade either on the decking outside the villas or under a palm tree or your own umbrella. The beach boy provides soft towels daily. He also offers to fetch you a drink but this is NOT covered by the all inclusive so it is better to go and fetch your own!
Our beach villa was spacious with large, quite comfy bed and good air conditioning. The bathroom is “ outside” and has two showers, twin basins and loo. The weakest point of the room is the hair drier which is pathetic....I did ask at reception if they had a spare but they didn’t. It is incredibly slow and it is so humid in the bathroom, it takes an age to dry the shortest of hair! I managed to pull the flex into the bedroom but it only just reaches. The room is cleaned twice a day with fresh ( soft) towels. Thank you to Manem for doing such a good job.
The snorkelling was excellent especially off the main pier. Sadly there is not much in the way of live coral and only a few clumps of mauve to be seen . You would probably see more diving.Unfortunately it was too windy to leave the lagoon areas for two days as the current and waves were too strong. Swimming inside the coral barriers was safe and shallow in places. The sand is pure white though advisable to wear flip flops while walking around the beach as the washed up coral is sharp. The staff were constantly sweeping up the dead coral and keeping the beaches pristine.
We did not do any of the excursions on offer and we did not sample the Spa treatments either though another couple said the massages were good.
We would love to come back sometime. We are a fan of small resorts and this fits the bill perfectly.
Thank you to all the staff for giving us such a lovely week.