Hurawalhi Island Resort was the fourth resort we visited during our 20 days trip to the Maldives. It’s a relatively new hotel, which had its opening at the end of the last year 2016. It’s one of the 5-star resorts in the Maldives, and it’s home to the World’s largest undersea restaurant.
Here you can read more about my experience and what you can expect as a guest at Hurawalhi Island Resort.
Room Standard (Beach Villa)
Hurawalhi Island is home to 60 overwater villas and 30 beach villas. We stayed in one of the beach villas without a pool, but we also got to see an overwater villa with pool.
The villas are practically identical inside. Simple in style with a big living room and bathroom as well as a terrace with or without a pool. In the villa, you will also have a couch, flatscreen TV, comfy bed, mini-bar and a desk.
The bathroom is spacious with a huge shower and mirror/bathroom sink. I was a bit surprised that there was no bathtub though since this is a common feature at luxury hotels.
Guests can enter/leave the bathroom and living room from the terrace, which is quite convenient if you’ve just taken a dip in the ocean.
This is what you get when booking a Beach Villa
Comfy bed with soft sheets
Bathroom with huge shower area and Complimentary toiletries
Couch & flatscreen TV
flip flops & beach bags
Robes & slippers
Terrace with sunbeds and outdoor furniture
The Water Villas
Maldives is known for the overwater villas, so of course, these are a popular choice at Hurawalhi as well. You can choose an overwater villa with or without a pool. The price is similar to the beach villas, about 767 Euros in November per night including breakfast, but no transfer (price from booking.com)
What to choose? Beach villa or Overwater villa?
If I were to choose between a beach villa or ocean villa at Hurawalhi Island Resort, I would go for the ocean villas as I feel that would be a better value since you have your own staircase down to the ocean. The beach villas felt a little more private though as they are separated by vegetation.
If it’s your first time in the Maldives and you’re not sure what you like the most, go for the overwater villas since that’s the most unique experience.
Food is an important part of a trip to the Maldives since you will be at the same resort without other options than what the hotel provides. The Breakfast buffet at Hurawalhi is served between 8 and 10:30 at Canelli Restaurant. The selection of foods is varied and the breakfast buffet is great.
We also had the same waiter each morning, which gave a more exclusive experience.
Outside the room
Outside your villa, you can go snorkeling, take a walk around the island, go for a spa, or try out some of the watersports available such as kayak or windsurfing. The Coco bar also features an infinity pool and next to it you can find a game room with an air hockey table, table tennis, and some retro-styled gaming machines.
And just a few minutes away by boat, you can visit Hurawalhi Island Resort’s own sandbank, called Dream Island.
One of the highlights about Hurawalhi in the Maldives is the fact that you can rent your own private sandbank for a couple of hours. They call it the Dream Island, and here awaits a small hut and a gorgeous stretch of white sand. In the package, you will also get a cooling box with some sodas and water, as well as fruits and snacks.
You’ll also get a cell phone for emergencies since you will be solely on your own at Dream Island. The island is just a few minutes away from the Hurawalhi resort. So, don’t expect a deserted tropical island (they do offer those excursions too), but rather expect something like your own private beach in the middle of the ocean.
Snorkeling can be done along the shore, and there are also sunbeds available. Being on the Dream Island is very romantic and does give you the feeling of being in paradise, so I can totally recommend going here when you visit Hurawalhi Island Resort.
We also had a 60-minute couples massage at Duniye Spa. As standard procedure, we got to fill out a health condition form before entering the massage room. We also got to pick a random stone with a message. The treatment started with a foot bath, and then we lied down at the massage table.
The floor beneath your pillow is open-glass so that you can look at the water and fishes while getting massaged. The random stone you pick will lie in the middle of the glass floor.
The masseuses were professional and made us feel comfortable. The massage was nice, and music had a great relaxing vibe too. The only thing I think was missing was a proper relaxation area, that would’ve made the experience excellent. However, I will still recommend having a massage or two since the treatment was really good.
After the treatment, you will be served tea and cookies, which is standard practice at all highend spa-facilities.
Lunch & Dinner
The main place to have your dinner and lunch is at Canelli, the buffet restaurant. This is where full-board and all-inclusive guests have dinner included in their package. The food here is varied, and there are plenty of healthy food options, but also a nice selection of desserts.
A favorite of mine was the homemade Orea Ice cream that they serve here, delicious! However, what makes this restaurant something special is actually not the food, but rather the elegant and cozy interior, designed by the famous Yuji Yamasaki. The appearance of Canelli is way more elegant than your average buffet restaurant in the Maldives.
In addition to Canelli, guests can also choose to have dinner or lunch at the World’s largest Underwater restaurant (reservation required), or the restaurant above called Aquarium. The Coco Bar is open 24/7 and serves lighter dishes. On our day of arrival, we had our lunch at Coco Bar, where I had a yummy Greek salad.
This is where you will find the infinity pool and 24/7 hours of serving. Choose between lighter dishes and snacks or go for a cocktail, mocktail or some wine from the resort’s quite extensive wine selection. The bar has an exclusive ambiance with the gorgeous view over the infinity pool and overwater villas in the far background.
The music played was good too.
5.8 Undersea Restaurant
This is how we heard of Hurawalhi Island resort in the first place. Having dinner under the sea with fishes and other marine animals swimming by outside your window is an incredible experience. It’s like an aquarium, but you’re the one inside looking out on the world under the surface.
The interior is simple and stylish, and there is more than enough space between guests, so you still get that private dining experience. The whole experience is about 3 hours, so you have plenty of time to watch the marine life.
You can choose to have lunch or dinner, and the menu consists of a tasting menu where you can purchase additional wine paired with the food as well as other beverages. It’s a 7-course dinner with various kinds of flavors and food mixed and presented in interesting ways.
Two common questions about the dinner at Hurawalhi’s underwater restaurant
I have had a lot of people asking me about the food ever since I posted some photos from the undersea restaurant on Instagram. The food is good, but I would rather look at the 5.8 Undersea restaurants as a whole dining experience rather than go here just for the food.
Another question was, which I also had myself before coming here. Doesn’t it get dark at night? The dinner starts at 18:15, so normally in the Maldives this would mean sunset time, but at Hurawalhi Island Resort and many other Maldives resorts, they have made up their own time-zone which is set one hour ahead of standard Male time.
So, when the time is 18:15 at Hurawalhi Island Resort, the time in Male will be 17:15, which means you still have about 1 hour or so before the sun goes down. After the sun goes down, you will still be able to see fishes and the marine life. There are some lights from the restaurant, and the mood will be more romantic when the sun goes down.
Personally, I liked it more while the sun was still up and you could see everything lit up, but it was nice to experience both during the dinner. As mentioned already, the 5.8 Undersea restaurant is also open for lunch.
I think the Underwater restaurant at Hurawalhi makes this resort pretty unique, and it is definitely a reason alone to book a stay at Hurwalhi Island Resort.
We had our own waiter for breakfast, which was a nice touch. Other than that I would say that the staff at Hurawalhi is friendly and helpful in general. You can also call the reception to get picked up by a buggy.
The Wi-Fi worked well in our villa, and also at the restaurants (except the undersea restaurant, which was quite understandable).
The island of Hurawalhi is a part of the Lhaviyani Atoll, about 40 minutes by seaplane from Male Airport. There are some other islands nearby, such as Kuredu Island and their upcoming Kudadoo island, which will open in 2018.
The location is pretty cool as well since you have a deep channel crossing a few hundred meters outside the resort. Along the shore, you also have a reef where you can do some snorkeling. Christine found a Lionfish, which was pretty cool.
The island itself is lush and boasts several swaying palm trees and of course a classic Maldives beach surrounding the island with white sand and 50 shades of blue in the water.
Summary of our stay at Hurawalhi Island Resort & Spa
Christine and I had a nice stay at Hurawalhi island. The highlights of our visit were without a doubt the Dream Island and 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, which were both memorable experiences.
Other than that I would like to summarize the review and my thoughts on the resorts as follows:
- Stunning undersea restaurant (food was nicely displayed, but could’ve been more flavorful)
- Great excursion to Dream island
- Basic Villas. As a 5-star resort, I expected more details in the villas
- Elegant and unique interior at Canelli restaurant
- Great spa treatment, but a proper relaxation area was missing
- Photo spots are plenty and the sunrise here is beautiful
- There is a nice swing out in the water where the sun sets in the background
- Snorkeling is good and the resort is working to redevelop corals
- Hurawalhi Island Resort also tries to increase the use of renewable energy (solar panels)
- The infinity pool is beautiful, but not designed for swimming
- Coco Bar is a nice place to enjoy cocktails and relax
- Adults only resort (guests cannot be younger than 15 years)
- The romantic dinner setup looked nice (we didn’t try it, just walked by)
Would I recommend you to book a stay at Hurawalhi Island Resort?
Yes, Hurawalhi is a nice resort, and you can enjoy some amazing experiences from here, such as the Undersea restaurant and Dream Island plus various other excursions. It’s also a good choice for romantic couples since it’s an adults-only resort.
Useful information about Hurawalhi
Flights and Hotel
What other guests say about Hurawalhi on Tripadvisor:
Other guests who have stayed at Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives have written on Tripadvisor that they really like the island and the great reef and snorkeling. When guests complain they write about lacking service and some feel that it gets expensive if you’re not on the all-inclusive package. But I would say that’s pretty common in the Maldives, it’s a pricey destination, so it’s nothing typical for Hurawalhi as a resort.
What’s included in the all-inclusive package?
All-inclusive is a good option if you don’t want to think about your wallet that much during your vacation. See below what’s included in the all-inclusive package.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet at Canelli Restaurant.
- 24-hour Afternoon Tea served at Coco Bar.
- 10% discount on a la carte food menus ( the undersea restaurant isn’t included).
- Unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as specified at restaurants and minibar.
- One Demi bottle of Champagne per villa per stay.
- One sunset cruise (regularly scheduled)
- Free use of fitness center, daytime use of tennis, beach volleyball, badminton courts, table tennis, billiards, snooker, darts, and soccer.
- Free use of canoes and windsurfs
- One 1/2 hour group snorkeling lesson (regularly scheduled)
- Free group yoga sessions by Duniye Spa
Map of Hurawalhi
Down below you can see a map of where Hurawalhi is located in the Maldives. It’s a part of the Lhaviyani Atoll, and is close to Kuredu Island, which is also part of the Crown and Champa resorts.
Hope you enjoyed my review of Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives! If you have more questions about the resort, leave a comment or send an email with your questions!