While so many resorts in the Maldives extoll the virtues of their ‘secluded location’ not all resorts are created equal when it comes to true seclusion and a peaceful atmosphere. Travel journalist Sarah Harvey set off to explore Medhufushi to see for herself what makes Medhufushi so popular amongst honeymooners and couples looking for the ultimate in ‘RnR’…
Medhufushi is one of only two resorts in the entire Meemu Atoll; and as such it’s fair to say that few can beat the location for complete tranquillity. The resort is tucked away in a stunning corner of the Maldives 40 minutes by seaplane from Male’ (the capital city) and a world away from commercial fishing boats, passenger ferries, international flight paths and other trappings of civilization.
But there’s so much more that makes Medhufushi such a peaceful destination; the atmosphere on the island is extremely chilled-out which makes it perfect for honeymooners and other couples in search of a truly relaxing environment. Such a peaceful atmosphere is something that can’t be faked and certainly isn’t found everywhere in the Maldives. It seems to be down to a combination of factors including the fact that the guests are drawn from a diverse range of countries and there were no large groups. Credit also has to be given to the staff who were trained to a high-standard and whose friendly and genuine behaviour no doubt plays a large part in keeping the guests content.
One of the highlights of the resort is the 2 Lagoon Suites. These are the top villa category at the resort and are a great option for honeymooners looking for something extra special. Each of the two villas are located out in the shimmering lagoon and they are only accessible by boat. A small wooden ‘dhoni’ and its captain are on standby around the clock to ferry the guests between the Lagoon Suites and the main island.
As opulent as this may sound, affordable luxury is one of the other notable features of Medhufushi. As a modern 4-star resort, Medhufushi is a good option for anyone wanting to experience a good-quality Maldivian resort at a reasonable price. It has all the staples that you dream of when envisaging a Maldives resort– a gorgeous lagoon, soft beach of white coral sand, well-appointed rooms with romantic four-poster beds and activities a-plenty.
Sandy pathways shaded by coconut trees and colourful hibiscus snake across the island leading between the various beach and water villas and the restaurants. The interiors of the villas combine modern comforts with tropical style. Natural tones and materials complement the coconut thatch roofs. The furniture is contemporary and simple yet elegant. All the necessary conveniences such as flat screen TVs, DVD players, kettles/coffee makers, hairdryers and minibars are included in all the villas. Outside, each villa has a beautiful ‘udoli’ (swinging chair) for guests to relax upon. The water villas (which are slightly smaller than the beach villas) have a private wooden sundeck which the udoli rests upon, while the beach villas have an outdoor sundeck and quiet sandy area shaded by the trees adjacent to the beach. The beach villas also have semi open air bathrooms, complete with a rain shower shaded by a small roof.
There’s a choice of restaurants to dine at. Malaafaiy (mermaid) Restaurant beside the pool has stunning views of the lagoon and offers tasty buffets and live cooking stations – the sushi and local curries were a personal favourite. Alfresco Restaurant and the adjacent Vilu Bar is the perfect spot to admire the sunset and unsurprisingly appears to be one of the most photographed areas of the resort. The palm-thatched building is set on stilts over the beautiful turquoise water. Guests can also choose from a selection of set dinners and enjoy them in private at a choice of locations; on the beach, on the sundeck of their villa or in the Sunset Pavilion. It’s the perfect one-off experience to make your honeymoon even more memorable.
Whilst the resort doesn’t have a house reef, it’s entirely encircled by a lagoon which accounts for the breath-taking luminosity of the turquoise water as well as the gentleness of the waves. As such, it not only looks spectacular but is also great for swimming. Anyone wanting to go snorkelling can take advantage of daily free snorkelling boat trips. There are also seemingly-limitless opportunities to try scuba diving, wind-surfing, knee-boarding, kayaking, surfing, canoeing and kite-surfing as well as fun-tubing and land sports such as volleyball and table tennis, to name but a few.
Another advantage of the secluded location is that your scuba diving excursion won’t be over-run by other divers from other dive centres; most dive sites are completely yours to discover. There are more than 30 dive sites in the vicinity, the majority of which are based around coral reefs. You can often spot grey reef sharks, white reef sharks, rays, turtles and mantas, according to the Werner Lau Diving Centre team. On the day I visited, they had been lucky enough to spot a blue shark.
Medhufushi is a great option for couples on a romantic break or families with older children in search of some ‘RnR’ in the tropical sunshine.