Como Maalifushi

Thaa Atoll, Maldives Book from Book from £492 per night

Seductive, stylish and stunningly located in Thaa Atoll, this super-luxury island-resort is the last word in low-key sophistication
Back in the 1980s, when the Maldives was a hidden paradise, you could explore its string of tropical islands and barely see another tourist. Today, it welcomes 1.5m visitors and boasts 130 resorts. But paradise isn't entirely lost. If you want to experience the real Maldives, head to Como Maalifushi.

Tucked away in the southern reaches, this remote island-retreat is the only hotel in the stunning Thaa Atoll. Sleek, stylish and seriously seductive, Como Maalifushi is blessed with cream-white beaches and a sapphire-blue lagoon – on which you'll land after a spectacular 60-minute seaplane from Male. A marvel of chic minimalism, the 65 suites and villas are dreams of pared-back design: sparingly appointed with soothing tones, sharp lines, and spacious living areas bathed in light that blur the line between indoors and outdoors. And what outdoors: clean-edged terraces with turquoise plunge pools and floor-to-ceiling cinematic views of the dazzling Indian Ocean.

The glamour continues across the resort with a superlative spa, exquisite service and sumptuous cuisine, plus a Japanese restaurant to die for. All this and a fabulous [i!#kids!kids' club], too (ages 4-12). Few resorts in the Maldives can match this level of low-key sophistication, and none match its beautiful location.

Highs

  • The incredible location. As the only resort in the stunning Thaa Atoll, you get superb beaches, pristine waters and a thriving house reef
  • Impeccably designed suites and villas with gorgeous interiors and large terraces with private pools
  • Exquisite service. Luxury resorts are legion in the Maldives, but staffing can be patchy. Maalifushi gets it spot on
  • A wealth of one-of-a-kind experiences on your doorstep, from romantic castaway picnics to night snorkelling with whale sharks
  • Superlative cuisine, plus one of the finest Japanese restaurants found anywhere in the Indian Ocean

Lows

  • After 5 years of exclusivity, new resorts are being constructed on the horizon, which means this pristine paradise won't be all yours for very much longer
  • Expensive. A unique experience like this doesn't come cheap
  • Leaving! Once you fall under its magic spell, there's a sense of parting with such sweet sorrow

Best time to go

September to April is the best for sunshine, with February-April the hottest and driest periods, though this does also mean more visitors and higher prices. June-October brings the monsoons, but it's still warm and you can often go weeks without a downpour. The best prices are from May onward. Avoid the Christmas period, when occupancy and prices are at their highest. Chinese New Year (5 February in 2019; 25 January in 2020) should also be avoided. COMO Maalifushi is open all year.

Our top tips

The best place to catch the sunset is from the terrace at Tai restaurant. Come early, grab a sofa, order a margarita, then watch the greatest light show on earth.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique Resort
  • 65
  • Restaurants and bars open daily
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The resort’s refined accommodation is divided into suites, villas or houses – and then further divided by garden, beach or water locations. All exude the chic contemporary style one expects from the Como brand.

The beach suites and villas are immaculately appointed and minimally presented, with a touch of Japan's satoyama design principles in the layout. We loved the 1-bedroom Beach Villas with private pool and fabulous bathtub; the 2-bedroom Beach Suites, which have chic, soothing interiors and a plunge pool terrace; and the spectacular Maalifushi Beach Villa with its 2 double bedrooms, private lawn (a rarity), large swimming pool, and sunrise views.

In the over-water category, we loved the spacious bedrooms (and extra-spacious living areas) of the sunrise-facing Water Suites, and the beautiful Water Villas with their floor-to-ceiling windows, sunken baths and secluded outdoor showers.

Located in the island’s interior, the Garden Rooms are shaded by lush vegetation and just a short hop from the spa and restaurants.Their open-plan layout and elegant furnishings (in muted cream tones) blend naturally with their outdoor deck. Interconnecting Garden Rooms are available on request.

Last, but most definitely not least, are the magnificent Como Residence, a 2-storey, 4-bedroom luxury home with private butler service, and a pair of glamorous 2-bedroom over-water Como Villas with ample sundecks, plunge pool, private butler, and possibly the most romantic bathtub you’ll ever see.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Phone
  • Plunge pool
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

We were awed by the cuisine during our visit. For seafood excellence, Madi ('manta ray' in the local Dhivehi language) restaurant located by the pool serves a range of international dishes (many Mediterranean-inspired) throughout the day. We loved the themed evenings, especially Wednesday's Indian Ocean feast - complete with Maldivian dancing and drumming from local musicians.

Madi also hosts breakfast - an a la carte stunner wonderfully presented by friendly, convivial staff.

Japanese restaurant Tai is the star of the show, in both design and cuisine. One of the finest Japanese outlets in the Maldives, it boasts incredible sushi, sashimi, and sustainable-caught seafood straight from the Indian Ocean. An over-water restaurant with an oval bar and a breezy, open-air setting, its terrace is the place to catch a Maldivian sunset.

Laid-back tunes and a mesmerising ocean view make Thila an informal hang-out for evening drinks and easygoing food. It’s the perfect place to mix with other guests in a relaxed, stylish setting. The cocktails are superb, and there's a pizza cabana (noon-6pm). Nutritional menu options are available at all restaurants.

Couples should capitalise on the magnificent in-villa dining, too, with chef-prepared gourmet meals served by private butlers. Push the boat out with a champagne breakfast! You can also arrange your very own romantic castaway picnic.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Sign up for a whale shark night snorkel: You'll be given a phone (keep it with you); wait for the call confirming a sighting, then jump in a boat and venture out to swim with these gentle giants under moonlight. Utterly magical
  • Pamper yourself at the Shambhala Retreat, which houses spacious treatment rooms and a gallery of Asian-based massages, body care regimes, facials, beauty packages, plus daily complimentary yoga classes
  • Get involved in the coral propagation project to counteract the bleaching from 2016’s devastating El Nino. You can sponsor a coral frame, track its progress, and get free dives the next time you visit
  • Go diving! Thaa Atoll is generally regarded as having some of the best marine life – and visibility – in all the Maldives
  • Enjoy a wealth of water-based activities, from dolphin cruises, turtle expeditions, surfing, windsurfing, sailing lessons, splash-net cruises, fly fishing, and catamaran sailing. Or charter the resort’s 68ft luxury yacht, Cameron
  • Have a Robinson Crusoe day with a family castaway picnic on a nearby deserted island. Swim, sunbathe, snooze, feast, explore and make memories

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Whale watching
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga

Kids

COMO Maalifushi welcomes children of all ages, and with good reason. The family suites and villas are stunningly appointed, there's a vibrant kids' club (promoting parental inclusion), masses of family-based activities on both land and water, a great kids' menu (with special mealtimes), an on-site medical clinic for peace of mind, plus all the services, facilities and equipment you'll ever need for toddlers, older kiddies and teenagers. Children aged 11 and under stay free on a B&B basis.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms, suites and villas can accommodate a baby cot, so check upon booking (Beach and Water Villas can fit 2 baby cots).

Garden Rooms can fit a baby cot and can interconnect with each other on request, which is useful for families with older children but are also the only rooms that don't have access to a private pool.

Beach Suites benefit from space and privacy, so are ideal for parents with small children. All Water Villas are located right on the lagoon without any barriers to the water, so are unsuitable for toddlers or young children who cannot be left unsupervised.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots and bedding
  • High chairs
  • Stair gates
  • Pushchair to borrow
  • Potty
  • Nightlight
  • Baby bath
  • Mobile signal/baby monitors
  • Bottle warming

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Creche/Kid's Club:

Play by COMO is open daily, centrally positioned within the resort, and accepts children of all ages under 12, those under 4 years of age should be accompanied by a parent or carer. All imaginative activities and services are complimentary, and are tailored to the day's theme - for example Naturalist for a Day or The High Seas or Island Adventure

Children's meals:

  • Kids menus
  • Food available all day
  • Special mealtimes

Kids Activities on site:

  • Kids Club
  • Swimming pools
  • Spa
  • Yoga
  • Beaches
  • Watersports
  • Bicycles for all ages

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Surfing
  • Scuba diving
  • Beach picnics and BBQs

Families Should Know:

All villa and suite pools are unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 60 mins by seaplane (Male)
  • Shop: on-site
  • Hospital: 20 mins by boat. There is a medical clinic on-site
Kid Friendly:

Location

Como Maalifushi is the only island-resort in Thaa Atoll, also known as Kolhumadulu Atoll, in the Maldives’ southern atolls, north of the equator.

By Air
Fly into Velana International (Male). A Como representative will meet you from your flight and help you transfer to the seaplane for your 60-minute flight to the resort.

Detailed information will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Velana International (Male) 199.0 km MLE

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 0.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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