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Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

New York City
Level Contributor
9 posts
2 reviews
Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

I'm planning a celebration trip to the Maldives for my husband and I during the first week of September.

We're looking for a high-end resort that doesn't require a seaplane transfer (speed boat only), has a nice beach and good/easy snorkeling, and excellent food and service. We'd prefer a resort that is not a magnet for families.

If we were traveling at another time of the year, we'd probably book the Four Seasons Explorer cruise, but I don't think September would be the best month for smooth seas.

I got some great advice at the FlyerTalk.com forum and am now considering the following resorts:

Taj Exotica

Huvafen Fushi

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

I also looked at Angsana Ihuru (the website didn't give me a good feel for the resort), Soneva Gili (I didn't like the interior design of the accommodations), and O&O Reethi Rah (seems too large and glitzy for this trip).

We've never been to the Maldives before so it's tough to select a resort from website info alone. We'd be happy in either a beach villa or an overwater bungalow, but we would like a private plunge pool.

Any advice about these specific resorts? Which would you select? Have I missed any potential contenders? Thanks for any suggestions!

Level Contributor
414 posts
54 reviews
1. Re: Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

Take a look at Naladhu which ticks almost all your boxes. This is a small private island linked to the Anantara resorts (Anantara Velli & Dighu). As Naladhu guests you can use any of the Anantara facilities but there's a gate to limit access to Naladhu which keeps the island very quiet. There are just 19 houses (13 Ocean Houses and 6 Beach houses) each of which has a big private pool (not just a plunge pool, it's big enough to swim in) and the houses are really large and beautifully fitted out. We had a fantastic holiday there to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, it was just perfect and I can't recommend it highly enough. If there's a weak point to the resort it's the snorkeling. You have to kayak out (not far) to a little island to access the reef on your own. There are also snorkeling trips if you prefer.

Naladhu is about 35 mins by speedboat from the airport

Hope this is helpful

Edited: 21 March 2010, 22:22
Divide, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
15,436 posts
23 reviews
2. Re: Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

ihuru is a great little place with a wonderful reef but definitely not in the luxury class . i'd call it a medium 4 star.

reethi rah has no reef , being that its a man made island .

soneva gili .. great concept - no snorkeling

taj - pretty much non existant snorkeling.

from your list, really only huvafenfushi sports a decent reef .. so that would be my very reluctant choice, if i was forced to choose from yoir list.

in my opinion, there are much better resorts to be had in that class (or even for less money, but all your requirements met or exceeded) but they are all accessed via seaplane. (mirihi, conrad rangali, w resort, island hideaway , dhoni island, etc, etc)

i personally stay clear of the big chains (like FS), no matter how luxurious they are and even though i don't shy them in any other location. the tendency here is to follow the corporate scheme in most everything and not make allowances for the special island setting and maldivian ambiance. their rooms are beautiful - but look just like the identical class in NYC .. while i prefer to know where i am before stepping outside the villa. also , any issues/special wishes often can't be handled satisfactorily by local management who has to follow corporate rules. having said all that .. i do like conrad rangali, which i have experienced as a notable exception to my little theory :)

another thought .. if you are talking about september of THIS year ? have you actually checked availibility on your choices? a lot of the most popular resorts book solidly full much more than a year in advance.

New York City
Level Contributor
9 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

Thanks for the info on Naladhu, HollyHop_9. I'll have to check that resort out. I hadn't come across it during my initial research.

Spammie, I appreciate your input as well. Can you recommend any Maldives resort that does not require a seaplane transfer? Or, are you saying that the resorts near Male aren't worth visiting? I'm planning this trip as a surprise for my husband's birthday and our anniversary and I'd hate to travel all that way (we're in NYC) and spend this kind of money only to come home disappointed.

I really don't want to go the seaplane route since my husband is not a good flyer and the transfers on such small aircraft would be incredibly stressful for him.

I contacted the W and Conrad Rangali about speedboat transfers and they can be done; it's just very expensive. A roundtrip speedboat transfer from Male to W would cost US$2200 (1.5 hour ride) and roundtrip to/from Conrad Rangali would be US$3250 (2.5 hour ride).

Is there anything specific that you don't like about Huvafen Fushi?

Do you have an opinion about Coco Palm Bodu Hithi?

Thanks again for your advice!

New York City
Level Contributor
9 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

PS - I've checked availability for our dates at all the resorts I'm considering and, as of now, I'm able to book my preferred accommodations at each one.

Level Contributor
856 posts
17 reviews
5. Re: Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

Out of the list you gave, Huvafenfushi. Beautiful, great rooms, house reef. Would definitely be my choice over FS. FS the beach is not that nice. Taj is beautiful, stunning lagoon, excellent service, but as Spammie said no house reef.

You can't go wrong with Huvafenfushi if you prefer speedboat journey.

Level Contributor
9 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives.

Taj Exotica is a boutique resort perfect for couples and honeymooners. The island is long and has a very good beach. As you do not want to travel by sea plane, you would be at the resort with your feet in the soft sand within 20 minutes of touching down in Maldives. The resort is only 8 kilometers from the airport. We have a big variety of flavours and cuisine in our restaurants. Taj Exotica is known for its food. Since the resort has only 62 villas, the atmosphere is very intimate and romantic. We also have various dining options on the island for a couple to just be with each other.

Please do write to me at kunal.arya@tajhotels.com for more information.

Warm regards

Kunal Arya

Resort Coordinator

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

7. Re: Taj Exotica, Huvafen Fushi, or FS Kuda Huraa?

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