The award-winning Maalifushi by COMO is set in a spectacular location in the remote southern Thaa Atoll. It's one of just two developed islands in the atoll and offers a first-class luxurious stay. Plentiful mature jungle and palm trees create a tropical feel to the island, complemented by stunning panoramic vistas across white sands and turquoise seas.
With a mix of spacious and stylish land and over-water suites and villas, this is a laid-back, boutique resort designed to reflect Maldivian culture, offering a barefoot-chic style. The large panoramic pool provides an impressive centerpiece overlooking the beach and ocean, while the pool bar and restaurant is ideal for families and couples alike. There's also a fine dining Japanese restaurant built over the ocean, offering the best sunset views and fabulous cocktails.
The house reef provides accessible snorkeling, with a dive center and plenty of water sports on offer for those wanting to make the most of the island location. Meanwhile, the relaxing signature COMO Shambhala spa allows you to indulge in a soothing treatment. Whether your focus is on pure relaxation or enjoying the variety of activities on offer, you won’t be disappointed with this piece of Maldivian paradise.
This beautiful spot is a really special, lesser-known hideaway. It’s perfect for those who are looking for luxury, but also has a laid-back style, offering everything you need but without any fuss.
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Accommodation consists of 65 comfortable but simply decorated suites and villas built across the island and over the house reef lagoon. Each option has a king size bed or twin beds, free Wi-Fi, a satellite TV, DVD player, minibar, Nespresso machine and an en suite bathroom with bathtub, shower and COMO Shambhala toiletries. You'll also be provided with complimentary fruit and bottled water.
Maalifushi is located in the remote southern Thaa Atoll, an hour's seaplane flight from Malé Airport, fringed by a soft, white sand beach providing plenty of spots for peaceful relaxation.
Food and drink
The food is of an excellent standard and beautifully served, with an emphasis on local produce. There are two restaurants and one bar on the island. ‘Thila’, meaning 'underwater island covered with abundant marine life', is the aptly named pool and lounge bar and the heart of island life. It has a pool table and board games, a great drinks menu and specializes in salads, wood-fired pizzas and fresh seafood.
Madi, the restaurant next door, serves all-day international, Maldivian and healthy COMO Shambhala cuisine (a selection of raw, steamed and grilled dishes). It also holds themed nights each week, including a local Maldivian seafood barbecue — bodu beru — and a thali evening focusing on South Indian specialties.
Tai is the island’s Japanese fine-dining restaurant, serving fresh seafood with a range of sashimi and sushi on offer. It’s set over water and makes a scenic spot in which to enjoy a cocktail at sunset and you can often see rays and sharks from the viewing deck in the evening. Please note that Tai usually closes a couple of times a week in low season and once a week in high season.
There are also options to dine-in in your own suite, or you can choose from a wide-range of stunning ‘destination dining’ choices around the island for a more intimate dining experience.
The island is very family friendly, running a complimentary kids' club for those who are between the ages of 4 and 12. Younger children need to be accompanied by an adult. It’s open daily from 9am to 6pm and schedules activities such as nature walks, palm leaf folding, crafts, storytelling, crab races, sand castle building and talent shows. The restaurants are flexible regarding children’s food and babysitting can also be arranged with 24 hours’ notice.
Facilities and activities
There's plenty to do on Maalifushi to keep everyone as busy or relaxed as they choose. On land there's the 44-meter free-form pool, which sits between the bar and restaurant and has been designed to weave around ‘islands’ of palm trees. There’s also a library, a games room, a gym, a shop, free bicycles and daily complimentary yoga sessions.
The snorkeling over the house reef is fabulous and a highlight of the island. Snorkeling equipment, catamarans, windsurfs, kayaks and paddle boards are all provided on a complimentary basis. Those who like more adrenaline-fueled activities can try waterskiing, wakeboarding or scuba-diving. Sunset cruises and private boat hire are also popular among guests and there is a surfing school operating from the hotel with a premier break suitable for all levels about 25 minutes' boat ride from the hotel (those interested in surfing lessons should be aware lessons cost approximately $300-400 per lesson).
Traveling slightly further afield from the island, you can go on a turtle expedition or a snorkeling trip with the island’s marine biologist, or even a dolphin watching cruise. For those who love fishing there's big game or sports fishing and opportunities to catch your own dinner. Beach picnics can easily be arranged if visiting neighboring islands, and one of the most memorable tours is the two-hour cultural excursion to the local island of Guraidhoo to see Maldivian local life.
Maalifushi has its own PADI dive center. You can take a 'Discover' scuba lesson if you're new to the sport, and there are various open-water and advanced diving courses available, as well as nitrox dives. There are 20 local dive sites and three scheduled boat dives each day, which are between 10 and 45 minutes away from the resort. Shore diving is also possible on the house reef, as well as night diving.
The beautiful and extensive COMO Shambhala Spa specialises in holistic wellness and Asian-inspired therapies, including signature massages, facials and reflexology. There are eight over-water, ocean-facing treatment rooms, as well as a steam room, sauna, pool, open air yoga pavilion and fitness center.