Need to know
Sixty-five, including 31 suites.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm (both flexible, subject to availability).
Double rooms from $1021.50, excluding tax at 23.2 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of $6.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include breakfast, WiFi, use of snorkelling equipment, daily fresh fruit and access to different wellness activities.
Plump for a Maalifushi Beach Villa, Maalifushi Water Villa, Como Villa or Como Residence for 24-hour personal butler service.
At the hotel
Spa, swimming pool, beach, watersports centre, dive centre, resort boutique, multimedia library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, CD/DVD player, PlayStation 3, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, Como Shambhala toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
It's hard to look past the Water Villas, located on their own jetty to the west of the island. Each has its own pool, sundeck and full-length windows, meaning you can wake up to the sights and sounds of the Indian Ocean. Bathrooms feature a sunken marble tub big enough for two, marble floors and stone walls. There's also an outdoor shower, surrounded by wooden panelling for privacy. The Beach Villas are just as impressive; with a private plunge pool, sundeck, open-air bathroom and floor-to-ceiling French doors, leaving could be difficult.
The 44m free-form pool sits between the bar and restaurant and has been designed to weave around ‘islands’ of palm trees. It’s surrounded by sun loungers with two-foot-thick memory foam mattresses and parasols. Eagle-eyed staff will tend to your every need, making it easy to stay refreshed (and on top of hunger pangs) poolside.
Don’t leave without visiting the rightly popular Como Shambhala spa, where you can enjoy a traditional treatment in one of eight overwater rooms with ocean views.
It’s more what not to bring: leave the phone charger at home and forget about packing shoes – you won’t be needing either. Divers: don’t forget your diving log book and licence.
Children of all ages are more than welcome; there’s a great kids club, child-minding services, a family-friendly pool and lots of activities to keep everyone occupied. Overwater villas are a little too open for younger guests; opt for land-based suites.
Maalifushi by Como welcomes tots of all ages; there are facilities for everyone from babes in arms to teenagers.
Avoid overwater rooms; there is minimal fencing, so there’s nothing to stop little legs going for an unintentional swim. Beach Suites have their own plunge pool, direct beach access and a sofa big enough to turn into a bed.
Right in front of the pool is a strip of white beach and a lagoon of turquoise water, shallow enough for even the shortest of legs. Play, the kids club, offers a number of activities that tie in with local traditions, including coconut bowling, palm-leaf folding and Maldivian baseball. Other options include football, volleyball, sack races, three-legged races, pizza-making and t-shirt tie-dying. The massive outdoor space contains a lawn for running around and sandy area perfect for younger ones but no place for the all-essential afternoon nap, so the club closes between noon and 2pm daily. Older children are well looked-after, with the teens room containing several massive flat-screen TVs showing movies, video games and sports. There’s also a pool table and board games for hours of entertainment.
The pool caters for kids, with graded access (like a beach) and depth signage. However, there aren’t any lifeguards, so parents should keep a watchful eye over their charges.
Madi is perfect for guests of all ages: the relaxed atmosphere and diverse menus will satisfy every member of the family. Highchairs are on offer and a kids menu is available. Obliging staff are also happy to cater to special requests.
Babysitters can take junior Smiths out for the day or look after them in your room. 24 hours’ notice is required.
No need to pack
Leave the stroller, crib and potty at home; the hotel can provide these items for you.
Active families should explore the local reef with a group snorkelling trip. A member of staff will take your room number, provide towels and indicate if the seas are suitable for snorkelling – yellow is safe, red is not.
Maalifushi’s eco-credentials are pretty squeaky clean: the hotel’s fruit and vegetables are locally sourced or grown in the onsite gardens and the hotel’s bottled water is recycled; power is generated through high-efficiency generators and guests are encouraged to change their linen and towels every other day. Transport around the island is mainly by bicycles, tricycles and electric golf carts, keeping carbon emissions to a minimum.