Style Maxi-minimal dream come true
Setting Ocean colour scene
If you're heading to the Maldives, your desert-island expectations are going to be pretty high. You'll be wanting white sand islets all to your self, and butlers bringing you punch while you paddle, thank you very much. Let us be clear: boutique hotel Huvafen Fushi will not let you down. Dip your toes in the warm, ridiculously clear lagoon, dine in incredible locations, snorkel one of the Maldives best house reefs and flop out on your own private stretch of powdery-sand perfection. And just when you think it can't possibly get any better, you'll stumble upon the world's first underwater spa.
Need to know
Rates For Smith's exclusive rates, ring our 24-hour Travel Team on 1300 896 627
- Rooms 43 private bungalows and pavilions.
- More details Rates include breakfast at Celcius. For stays from 1 January 2013, tax will increase to 18.8 per cent.
- Facilities Private beaches, infinity pool, boat fleet, water sports, diving centre, spa, gym, yoga pavilion, boutique, library, free WiFi. In rooms, plunge pool, LCD TV, DVD/CD player, bar, coffee maker, Frette linen, Bose sound system, preloaded iPod and dock.
- Poolside The large lagoon-like infinity-edged pool bleeds into the watery horizon of the Indian Ocean and is surrounded by four-poster day beds; by night, it's romantically lit with fibre-optic lights and reflects the inky sky.
- Check-out Noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Late check-outs or early arrivals must book an extra night in advance to guarantee availability.
- Children This surrounded-by-water holiday haven is not ideal for kids – but they are welcome. Extra beds ($55–$100) or cribs (free) can be added to all bungalows; Beach/Ocean Pavilions can accomodate up to four adults and two under-12s. More...
- Also Minimum 10-night stays between 10 December and 20 January. The underwater spa – designed by the ever-innovative Richard Hywel Evans – offers award-winning treatments and one-off visits by top beauty consultants, including Anastasia Achilleos.
Food and drink at Huvafen Fushi
So many options: fine fishy dining around the open kitchen at Salt, set in an overwater pavilion; spa cuisine at Raw; all-day low-key dining at sandy-floored lagoon-view Celcius; wine-matched meals at Vinum; pizza under the palm trees at Fogliani's…
- Dress code Heidi Klein, Melissa Odabash – pretty floaty kaftans and jewelled flip-flops. Panama chic and cool linens for him.
- Top table At Salt, you might spot sharks if you sit outdoors. Otherwise, try destination dining: Huvafen Fushi is renowned for its bespoke services and they'll set up dinner anywhere, from your private deck to the edge of a reef: ask to dine 'On The Rock'…
- Last orders Breakfast at Celsius, 7am–10.30am; Fogliani's and Raw open from noon until 4pm; Salt and Cardamom Lounge, 7pm–11pm. Reservations recommended. UMbar stays open as long as you can stay up…
- Room service A comprehensive in-room menu is available 24 hours a day. Definitely try the Maldivian breakfast (sambol, curry and chapatis); you can also have a private chef come and set up a seafood or mixed-grill barbecue on your sundeck.
Super-cool UMbar shakes up deliciously dirty martinis with its extensive vodka list, as well as champagne cocktails, mocktails et al. Try an Asian-flavour-packed Crouching Tiger, with lemongrass, lychee, gin sake, ginger liqueur and jasmine tea.
Huvafen Fushi North Male Atoll, Maldives, Republic of Maldives, 08390
Join us – it's free!
Sign up now for exclusive hotel offers, money back on every booking, and Smith extras (like the one below) whenever you book with us. more
Smith extra at Huvafen Fushi
Champagne and fruit on arrival
In the know
Our favourite rooms
Every room has a private plunge pool. Deluxe Beach Bungalows back right onto white sands, and are justly popular for their spacious private outdoor areas (they're also the closest to the spa, if you need to do as little as possible, post-pampering). Actually the closer to the spa end of the island you are, the quieter it is. But we loved the novelty of being over water: set on a long ovate pier off the island, the Ocean and Lagoon Bungalows furthest from the island offer maximum privacy. Ocean Bungalows have a glass floor in the living area, giving you 24-hour 'reef TV', and because you’re on the sunset side, drinks on the terrace next to your plunge pool are extra-romantic. Plus, if you love snorkelling, you're right next to the outstanding house reef. Needless to say, the three Pavilions are incredible; the Beach Pavilion is everybody's favourite. Push the boat out – literally – and add a private charter to your booking and you can sleep onboard or on land; Sensuelle is a top-class 68-foot motor cruiser with an onboard wine cellar and a fireman's pole from the top deck.
Every piece of swimwear you have; a dozen kaftans/beach cover-ups; flip-flops, thongs, sandals… but not stilettoes; diving and medical certificates and log book if you want some underwater action.
Check out those minibars: not just a few sad beers but premium alcobevs, underwater cameras, CDs, and groovy snacks from around the world. Huvafen Fushi is on 'island' time, an hour ahead of Malé (for optimum sunset enjyoment).