We spent a week at the Hilton Irufushi in Maldives as part of our honeymoon in 2011.
Worth bearing in mind when choosing your accommodation in Maldives is whether it is situated on the main island Mahe or on a distant atoll – which usually requires a hefty priced seaplane ride (500USD return back then).
First, the review of our week in Maldives.
We chose to split our stay in 2 different accommodations.
The first half was at a spacious Garden Villa where we had our own personal beach.
I remember waking up very early one morning and seeing the staff picking up every single leaf that had fallen on the white sandy beach.
I loved the Garden Villa for the following reasons:
1- The private courtyard with the outdoor shower, day bed, jacuzzi and more was such a sight to behold.
2- Our room was very close to the main lobby, restaurants and the largest spa in the Maldives.
The second half was at an over-water bungalow poised on stilts, half-submerged in the lagoon.
I loved the over-water villa for the following reasons:
1- Saw a manta ray flapping its huge wings as we were walking back to our room one day
2- We could swim/snorkel at any time right from the steps of our room.
3- While using the toilet you can see fish swimming under you.
4- The view of the sea as you soak in the bathtub.
5- I could wave at my husband who was swimming under the bungalow while I was relaxing in our living room.
The resort itself?
It featured its own dive center and we got a free snorkeling trip when showing our newly wed certificates.
The large infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean was the place we enjoyed relaxing at watching the beautiful sunset.
We played tennis, table tennis and more.
Was the beach perfect? Yes.
Was the sea the most beautiful inviting blue? Yes.
Was the spa amazing? Yes. (the best massage and facial I have ever had till today)
So why not return?
The issue for me is that you are essentially stuck on one island and despite having a range of activities you can do, you’re somewhat trapped.
The snorkeling trip we did was unfortunately quite disappointing. It is true that many have voted Maldives to be one of the best diving spots in the world, however please be aware that the spots you dive at will likely be the ones within 1 to 2 hours boat ride from your hotel. If going for diving, make sure you check reviews of the hotels with the best diving spots close by.
In comparison, I liked that during our week in Mauritius, we were able to explore a whole lot more on the island apart from taking advantage of the many things on offer at the hotel.
Bear in mind as well that with no ground surface higher than 3 meters making Maldives the flattest country in the world, you don’t see views like the one below during our dolphin watching trip in Mauritius. Having said that, the white sandy beach in Maldives beats the mostly not that great dark brown full of dead corals beaches of Mauritius.
How does Maldives compare to the Seychelles?
Seychelles is in this case similar to Mauritius whereby it is a lot more scenic and beautiful with its mountainous landscape but also has the amazing white sandy beaches of Maldives. It is however extremely expensive to go on a holiday to Seychelles.
I am glad though that we were in Seychelles for my 30th birthday and I finally saw the giant tortoises in their own home!
Have you been to the Maldives, or Mauritius or Seychelles? Which was your favourite island?