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Reviewed October 17, 2009

I stayed at Embudu from October 03, until October 13. We didn't have any rain, not even during the night. Every day was sunny, at least 30° C but it felt warmer.

We booked a superior room as we noticed that the standard rooms neither have AC not warm water. I didn't really need warm water but to be honest it is more comfortable. AC is really needed otherwise your room will become as hot as outside. Every room (also the standard rooms) has a fan/ventilator in the ceiling. I recommend turning off the Ac during the night and using the fan instead. It worked quite well for us.

The standard rooms aren't really well located as they are behind the water bungalows in a 2 floor building. At this place, there was always some kind of nasty smell. It was not that strong but noticeable. Maybe you could get used to it. Another problem is the generator which is working from time to time and is next to this area. But also some superior rooms are close to that. There is as well some small converter or generator (don't exactly know what it was) which makes electrical noises and hums all day and night long. This is located behind the water bungalows as well.

The water bungalows do not have direct access to the water, you have to leave over a jetty to come to the beach. Also one water bungalow is for four parties, meaning that one water bungalow is divided into 4 parts. The same counts for the superior bungalows which are seperated for two parties. Just look at the pictures and you know what I mean.

Some superior bungalows have sea view, some don't. But I guess you wouldn't sit all day in front of your bungalow. The beach is in short walking distance from anywhere as the island is pretty small. There are larger beach areas where there is shade as well but there are also small beaches where you can sit with two persons only. The beaches were very clean, the staff is 'sweeping' them during the day to get rid of falling leaves.

The rooms are the reason why I really struggled to give this island a 4 star rating. Everything deserves 4 or 5 stars but not the rooms. I don't think they were even 3 stars as they were pretty 'used'. Nonetheless this didn't bother us and we only have been in the room at night. If you need luxury, do not go on this island, you will be disappointed. Just look at the hotels here at tripadvisor which are reated as the first 3 in Male. There is a big difference! I think Embudu is highly rated because people exactly know what they get here and everythinbg else makes up for the missing comfort of the rooms.

I would recommend to book a superior room but no standard or water bungalow. Just my point of view.

Guests are mostly German. There were 4-6 English, some French and Austrians. I would estimate that 75% of the guests are German. Some waiters even speak little German now. But Germany are friendly, trust me, I am German as well. ;)

We really had problems with mosquitos, we had approx. 15 bites each after our holidays. Although we had two different repellents, it was of no use. Get yourself something that really works, I do not know what that could be though. Those nasty insects make no sound so there is no way of hearing them in your sleep. And you can only see them at the beach when you are lucky. I think they do something against mosquitos once every two weeks. I didn't have the impression that it helps though.

The island has a big restaurant. The problem is that you are seated with other guests which is not to everybodies taste. We were seated with a German couple (around 40) but they seated themselves at another table the following day. Waiters are friendly even if you do not give them a tip on the first evening. The restaurant hat different theme nights, for example: barbeque, Indian Night, Steak Night...
The food is good but most of it is spicey. I do not know if that is good for kids as they have no fries for example. There were some families with kids but only few. We booked all inclusive so I do not know about prices for drinks but it shouldn't be expensive.

Once a week you can order a special diner where you can eat lobster for example. Lobster costs 46$ each, one bottle of champagne around 90$. If you order this special diner, you will be seated outside of the restaurant surrounded by an extra buffet and special decoration. It looked quite good and I regretted not having ordered it. Try it for a special evening!

At the bar not far from the restaurant and the beach (with its own terrace) they had every day changing cocktails, for example tequila sunrise. The coktails were ok, some tasted only of alcohol.

There is a Spa on the island, we did not try it. There is also a jewellery where you can spend large sums but we didn't buy anything there. Also there is a tourist souvenir shop where you can also things like shampoo, cigarettes or snorkeling equipment. Prices are high but what would you expect? An aloe lotion for cooling (we used it for the mosquito bites) cost 18$.

Snorkeling is really great in the house reef! I never saw so many fish in my life. It was unbelievable! At some places you just leave the beach, one step leater you can just stick your head into the water and see the most beautiful fish in the reef near the beach. Just great! You can see sharks and stingrays, morays and turtles. If you are a diver, this is the right island to go to.

We made a snorkeling excursion to the rainbow reef which was great. We saw different fish but also murays, turtles and stingrays. I would recommend going to another reef once during your trip. They are offered by the divind school. For half a day it costs 22$.

I can't think of anything else right now, just look at the pictures. If you have questions, you can contact me.

I recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for some relaxation and isn't to keen about luxury. The reef makes up for everything.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank ruandrettert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 10, 2009

Embudu is lovely.
The beaches are amazing and the house reef is to die for. It's the most relaxed I've ever been on a holiday and we've booked again for Jan 10 - I can't wait. The island is fairly basic and not for posh la la's, but it's clean and beautiful.
We were in room 76, which has a great position near to the reef entrance. Any of the 70's would be fine.
Only negative for me was sharing a table at diner, but we asked for a table on our own and were moved a day or so later.
The spa was lovely. My husband and I had a massage together (room with 2 massage beds), which was great. Treatments not too expensive and I usually managed to book when I wanted, although they were quite busy.
Drinks in the bar were reasonably priced. We didn't go all inclusive as we don't drink huge amounts and didn't find the bill at the end of the holiday too scary!
Staff friendly, food lovely, island perfect.
I can't understand the people who gave this island a negative review, it was so lovely. I guess that some people are never happy - even in paradise!

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank teriEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 10, 2009

The main thing I liked about the island was the snorkelling on the reef and the peace and quiet - no noisy people. Not good if you like a party atmosphere and loads of organised activities.

It wasn't plush by any means but the rooms were comfy and within feet of the sea. We were exhausted by all the swimming we didn't need much rocking at night. The fish were wonderful. We saw an octopus, fruit bats and a heron. The place was crawling with little iguanas and the beach was alive with crabs at night also on the sea wall in the day. No good if you don't like crawly things but they didn't bother us at all.

The food was good quality and plenty of choice we didn't drink much but you could upgrade to all inclusive for £15 a day each if you like a drinkipoos..This island is very popular with Germans who tend to keep to themselves anyway. Had some nice company for mealtimes a couple from Lancashire who were very easy going, had some nice conversations with them.

All in all I would recommend it if you like to swim and chill. Take lots of books ,a snorkle and a portable DVD player came in handy to watch in the evenings. I could have done with a little light weight blanket to put over the sheet at night (made do with spare beach towels) cos it was cold with the air con on but we were lathered if we turned it off LOL (never happy are we!)

No major gripes, well worth the money and I would go again in a few years if I am lucky enough.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Nankipoos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 17, 2009

First time visit to the Maldives, excellent late deal via Thomson - two weeks full board.
Overall an amazing Maldivian island full of relaxation, beauty and nature, which easily outclasses its budget star-rating. Where the hotel lacks in 'luxury' it makes up in great hospitality, clean airy rooms and an absolutely spectacular house reef (like swimming in an aquarium) and wonderful beaches, especially around the lagoon.

The best bits!
Seeing the reef sharks as we arrived on the island
Quick and friendly check-in, with bell boys taking our bags straight to our room, after complimentary drink.
Room spotless, cleaned twice daily, lovely view close to room (Number 84).
Complete relaxation with only the sound of the sea.
Amazing weather, with only two partly rainy days in two weeks - it rained mostly at night!
Recommend going to the Jetty at night, as you can see so much - we saw a ray among the countless tropical fish and the view of the stars at night were to die for.
We enjoyed the 'Cocktail of the day' very nice touch if you upgrade to all inclusive (which we did, as it was far easier and cheaper than staying full-board, especially if you enjoy a drink).
Saw the best sunsets ever from the Jetty closest to the bar, sky went all sorts of pink to an amazing blood red colour - wow.
Badminton court available, which was good fun despite the heat!
Amazing snorkelling (we brought our own snorkels, but you can hire them if you like at a fee charged daily).
Getting up early in the morning and seeing the low tide - we walked out for miles in shallow waters, it was stunning and so serene. Amazing photos.
Highly recommend the Mango juice from the bar and Tapas (the barman) was very friendly and helpful.
Hammock and swings around island were really cool, along with the fact that you can walk around Embudu in pretty much 20 mins it really does feel like your very own little paradise. Some days it felt like there was hardly anyone else on the island, apart from meal times!
Best nights for food were Italian and Chinese and the Tandoori Chicken was really good.
Our waiter Mohammed was sweet, very attentive and he made such an effort on our last night, with a manta ray and flower design on our table - it was so nice. We were allocated a table (just the two of us and did not have to share), we also requested to move tables as we wanted to sit away from the bar area. This was done for us no problem.
We went on the 'Island Hopping' trip, which enables the chance to do a wee bit of shopping and see other islands. Was more of a cultural day out as opposed to a beachy day. (Especially on Maafushi). We went to Biaydoo (another island resort) as well, which was good, but definately not as good as Embudu! Beware of the 6.5 dollar coconut milkshakes, tasted amazing but too big for one person to drink!
Enjoyed watching the crabs and the heron and the large schools of fish, which you could see from above the water.
The sea was the swimming pool!

The not as good bits!
The food was not amazing, it was fair but quite repetitive and unusually Pork biased!, we also did not fancy the Fish curry at breakfast!. There were Asian nights, Barbecue night, Carvery night (all meat and not much choice for vegetarians) and chinese nights amongst various others. The food was not terrible, but we would have enjoyed more meats such as Chicken and a lot more choice of veg. (The choices of Salads were however very good and the bread was lovely and fresh).
Bring an ant repeller or cream as the bites were not good and so itchy (Hardly any mossies though, which was great).
Bring a few pairs of extra shoes and flip-flops! - The island is pretty much 'no shoes', but some bits are a bit rougher.

Entertainment -would have been nice to see more. There was a lack of music on the Island, but with the Island being such a relaxing place, it certainly wasn't the end of the world.

Other things to mention
We upgraded to AI for a fee of 26 dollars per day, which was worth it for us.
If you go on full-board basis you do have to pay for drinks, including bottled water.
Night-fishing trip was a bit dull, but reasonable for only 16 dollars each - great Embudu sunset views from the boat.

Overall we had an amazing holiday, very romantic and relaxing. Best scenery ever. If you want to go budget Maldives - Embudu will not let you down!
It was just such a nice place, that you cannot fault it!! It might not be the Hilton, but that does not mean to say that you won't feel the 'Maldivian experience' - we have never been so relaxed in all our lives! Would love to go back.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank querolasolespa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 29, 2009

18 May 09

Arrived Male Airport from Singapore without much fanfare except for the pouring rain at 2200hrs. Although visiting Maldives is visa on arrival, , its quite fuss-free clearing the customs in less than 15 minutes. The single big piece luggage that Judith and myself brought was x-ray and opened (they thought they saw some kind of WMD but was in fact an overhead fishing reel).

The ferry agent for Embudu Village was already waiting for us and we were quickly ushered to the waiting boat. Surprise, surprise – the boat ride via speedboat was 15 minutes (yes, we thought we will be taking the Dhoni which is about 45 minutes ride).

Checked in at 2300hrs and were given Superior room No. 32. Little did we know that this is possibly one of the best superior rooms. It is directly at the corner of the west bank of Embudu island. Right in front of our room, is a 10 steps to the beach where we will see the beautiful sunset every evening. Snorkeling takes place around there too and Im sure many dwellers have some kind of envy that we are in staying at this sweet spot. So happy are we that we decided to change the types of rooms from 02 Nights Superior & 04 Nights Water Bungalow to 04 Nights Superior & 02 Nights Water Bungalow. The Water Bungalows are the ‘luxurious’ types. You pay about 50% more, all in exchange for a timber flooring, better bed, a balcony, a Jacuzzi, a TV, air-con, mini-fridge, tea/coffee making and yes – a see through glass bottom smacked in the center of the room. The staff is accommodating enough to give us a Bungalow (room 203) away from the generators when we request for it. How sweet!

Water is a cool 25 to 30 degrees and got to watch out for the sweeping current and waves sweeping in from the south-west side (it is the south-west monsoon anyway). Baby black-tip sharks and the occasional white tip shark can be seen anywhere around the island and you can see them frolic around playing with the currents. Not forgetting the numerous reef fishes and yes oh yes, the juvenile trevallies (big eye jacks or sakais) numbering in schools of hundreds. Being an avid fisherman, I know how my fishing kakis will drop their jaws and say, “how I wish I’m here”. Alas, Maldives has very strict rules about fishing at the right place and the islands are definitely marine protected. Nevertheless, the clockwork movement of the trevallies gave me an insight of how they travel in schools and protect / look out for each other. If an angler misses a hook, that bugger will surely warn the rest (through motion sensors) and they shift location. I can also spot the slick but brutish Giant Trevallies slicing through the waters either solo or in pairs with a lovely streak of shimmering blue along their fins. Small sea turtles, mantas and spotted eagle rays will also get close to the reefs and no words can describe my feelings of swimming along with these lovely creatures. Being a house reef, you will expect that a lot of corals (nearer to the beach) are dead, but if you’re an experienced enough snorkeler, dive deep down and you will even see anemones with playful Maldivian clown fishes. Overall, Embudu Village, true to reviews, has one of the best house reef, period.

Food nothing to shout about (Yes, they have theme nights such as Italian, Asian, Steak, Eastern-Western, BBQ and additional charges for Grilled prawns / lobsters). On contrary to many rave reviews about the sumptuous food in Emdudu. Being an Asian and quite a foodie, the food is far off from my standard, and more importantly, the Maldivian / Indian Muslim standard. But then again, you are here to enjoy the sand, sea and sun, and not eat like a King or Pig. Nevertheless, if you must know what I enjoyed most, the following are the top dishes throughout several days; so look out for them!

Top Picks:

1) Grilled lamp chops.
2) Curry potato with coconut sambal
3) Caramel eggs (salad)
4) Chicken Briyani Rice
5) Chicken coriander soup
6) Grilled chicken in peanut sauce
7) Fish Devilled
8) All deserts, but especially Chocolate Biscuit Gateaux, Mango Pudding, Coffee Mousse, Cherry / Strawberry Parfait

Speaking about Sun. We know this is the off-peak season, and we will be expecting rain and thunderstorm. Yes, there are periodic rains but because of the fast moving south-west wind, the dark clouds are fast moving and rain stops in no more than 15 mins. The rain comes down hard and fast; imagines you standing in front of a firing squad with thousand of bullets shooting at you at speed of 1 mach. We have to give and take when it comes to off-peak season with huge discounts on room rates.

3 days of diving with boat trips to Mystery Caves and The Wall. Our guide is Risea - a friendly and patience guy. I nearly ran out of air at The Wall and he was kind enough to lend me his Octopus. Mystery Caves has a nice overhang and at least 3 through caves. Lion fish and moray eels are in abundance there, not forgetting the colourful nudibranches. The Wall is better than Mystery Caves, huge wall from 10 meters down to more than 30 meters full of soft and hard corals. You can see moray eels nearly every 10 meters. I had the nerve to stroke a 5 feet honeycomb moray over his head. Gaze off the wall out to the ocean on the outer side, you see GTs and sea turtles. Alas, no manta or eagle rays on both trips.

In nutshell, this 7 days 6 nights vacation is one of the best we ever had, and considering overall costs compared to other more expensive resorts in Maldives, this is money well spent and Embudu certainly lives up to its standard of value for money. This is as good as it gets. . If I have regrets, that is we failed to go on any night-fishing or island hopping as the staff claimed bad weather, choppy waters, strong winds etc etc. But at the end of it all; I’m still searching for my Shangri-La.

Tips:
1) Bring US currencies instead of charging by credit cards. You know well that the exchange rates will be very high if they convert Maldivian dollars to US dollars and then to your country’s currency. And always bring one third more than we you budgeted you will spend on (there are activities such as island hopping, scuba diving, sea-plane picnic, water sports, Male Shopping, Fishing which you may want to enroll and spend money on). Also keep a bundle of 1 dollar notes handy when it comes to tipping the room service, waiters and porters.
2) Bring the necessary medicine, such as fever / cold, diarrhea, nasal sprays).
3) Be prepared to say ‘hi’ to everyone if you are the not so social types. Meal times are co-sharing with other rooms (to make up 1 table of 4 pax). We are ‘lucky’ enough to dine with this 60 plus solo German retiree and every meal times, he will repeat whatever he says about his life, his 42 year old girlfriend, his Harley motorbikes, his long blond chest length hair in the 20s, dark hair in the 30s and now proudly blond remaining hair in his 60s in his barely audible English language. My poor wife, he only likes talking to her, maybe because he is afraid of my ‘Mr Mean’ T-shirt. By the time we are about to leave the resort, I actually began to like him!
4) Bring along your snorkeling gear, such as flippers, wetsuit, mask and snorkel, rental rates can be high , reaching US50 per day if you rent all the above.
5) Don’t need to opt for all-inclusive. You come here to swim like a fish, and not drink like one. Full board with 3 meals will suffice.
6) No need to bring extra clothes, just use and rinse in water, hang outside your room – everybody does that and you see a huge array of bikinis of different sizes every time you walk past the rooms.
7) Bring your camera and extra batteries or charger. You soon find out you run out of battery juice after snapping away the marine life underwater.
8) Lastly, have fun and let yourself loose. No phones, no internet. Your only communication is talking through the snorkels!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Niclair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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