Following up from our last post of Maafushi, we now bring you tips and advice for the best places to stay in Maafushi Island Maldives.
Maafushi island in the South Male Atoll of Maldives is a local island which also houses one of Maldives’ largest prisons – not quite like the high security Alcatraz. This island is home to around 200 locals whose lives have changed due to the booming tourism here. Although the island is easily discoverable by foot, you will be surprised to see a few cars circling around throughout the night!
HOW TO GET TO MAAFUSHI
Maafushi is easily reachable from Male. If you’re coming directly from the airport, there may be speedboat services which go direct from there. However, there is also another option where you take the airport ferry transfer to the main island of Male and take the speedboat from there to Maafushi.
Male to Maafushi is just a 30-minute speedboat ride.
We suggest taking the speedboat from iCom Tours or Maafushi Tours to get there. The boats are new, clean and the staff are professional.
You can either book directly through these tour operators or through any of the hotels in Male or Maafushi. The pick up point is usually in front of the Bank of Ceylon in Male and these speedboats run frequently between both islands.
Cost: USD$20.00 per person per way
WHERE TO STAY
As the island is developing more for tourism, you’re pretty much spoilt for choices on where to stay. From local guest houses to modern hotel accommodations, there is something for every budget in Maafushi.
Of course, if you’d like to experience affordable luxury in true Maldivian style without compromising on comfort, we suggest you stay at these hotels:
VELANA BEACH MALDIVES
A premiere boutique hotel situated on the quieter side of the island, Velana Beach offers 10 spacious rooms, a restaurant, 24 hour security and a lovely outdoor garden.
All of its rooms are decorated with a minimal touch yet inviting and warm with a beachhouse feel to them. The rooms all come with a minibar, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, a secure safe plus an ensuite bathroom with shower and basic amenities.
Beach towels are provided at the reception and you can also sign up there for one of their affordable excursions from snorkelling to dolphin watching.
Free wifi is available in-room and around the hotel premises and a breakfast buffet is offered with each stay.
Kaalamaa is the hotel’s restaurant and undoubtedly serves the best food on the island. You’d think that you’re in a fine dining restaurant as each dish comes out to perfection and is presented beautifully. Not often do we see our plates come out looking exactly like the pictures on the menu. Priced from USD$7 onwards, the menu caters western and local cuisines with exciting creations from the chef. A Must-try is the seared sesame tuna. Beach dining is also available during the evenings.
The hotel is undergoing an expansion with a new block beside the main building. A new 18-room hotel will feature a swimming pool. Keep a lookout for it in 2017.
More information and prices at www.velanahotels.com
KAANI VILLAGE & SPA
Featuring 20 tropically decorated rooms encircling its outdoor courtyard swimming pool, KAANI Village & Spa offers guests a serene, relaxing stay with all the comforts of a resort.
All of the rooms are equipped with wifi, air conditioning, a minibar, ensuite bathroom, hairdryer and toiletries to ensure a comfortable stay.
Kaani Village & Spa is situated in the heart of Maafushi island with easy access to the jetty and just a stroll away to the pristine beaches of the island. The hotel offers complimentary scooter rentals for those who would rather explore the island on wheels. For those interested in scuba diving, the hotel can also make the necessary arrangements.
An in-house restaurant serving delicious Maldivian and western cuisines is also available with room service together with a breakfast in bed option.
As its name suggests, this hotel has an in-house spa with two treatment rooms. Sampa Spa offers relaxing Thai and traditional Maldivian healing massages for a truly enjoyable stay. Go on an pamper yourselves here while on holiday.
KAANI BEACH HOTEL
Rated the best value hotel in Maafushi, Kaani Beach Hotel is a beach facing , contemporary 18-room property that has been designed with Maldivian influences.
Affordable luxury is used to describe this property, however, the services and extras provided are on par with some other luxury hotels. Kaani Beach offers its guests 24-hour room service, free wifi, express check-in/out, luggage storage, round-the-clock reception services and not to forget, sea-view rooms with private balconies.
A rooftop sun deck to watch the sunset, a full service restaurant offering traditional Maldivian cruising and western snacks, bicycle rentals and day trip excursions are just part of the many things on offer at this hotel.
More information and prices at Kaani Village & Spa www.kaanivillage.com
More information and prices at Kaani Beach www.kaanibeach.com
ADVICE FOR TRAVELLERS
Maafushi island, like the rest of Maldives, practises the Muslim faith. Unlike the private islands and resorts, Maafushi is a local island inhabited by the islanders. As such, tourists should refrain from walking around freely in their bathing suits at most places. Please respect their faith and dress moderately when required.
There is only one area of the island where bikinis and swimwear are permitted. Bikini Beach is located on the northern end of the island where most of the hotels are at.
Additionally, no alcohol is permitted on the island. However, alcohol is served on a yacht docked not too far out from the island. Kaani Princess is a private luxury yacht owned by Kaani Group and is accessible day and night by a complimentary boat ride out. Sunset cocktails and intimate dinners can be reserved through Kaani Beach Hotel’s reception desk.