Need to know
A total of 125 villas.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability (and a charge). Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $540.00, 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 usually include a generous buffet breakfast, use of Kanifushi’s lounge at Malé International Airport, access to the kids club, evening entertainment, non-motorised watersports and island-wide free WiFi.
Kanifushi boasts the longest sandbank of any of the Maldivian resort islands – expect to spend a lot of time sprawled out on it.
At the hotel
Beach; beach club with retro cinema and old-school arcade; spa with fitness centre and beach gym; tennis courts; watersports; four restaurants; old-school tuck shop. In rooms: TV, iPod dock, DVD player, desk, air-conditioning, minibar, black-out curtain, Neal’s Yard Remedies bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The Two-Bedroom Ocean Lagoon Pool Villas are knee-weakening lovely; number 808 is our hands-down favourite, thanks to its secluded spot. This villa boasts incredible sunset views and can’t be spied on by other guests. Number 888, its neighbour, is another top pick: it’s the same size and also overlooks the glittering lagoon. (Though it’s a tad less private, it’s still a stunner.)
Nothing about Finolhu is ordinary, not least its pool: a spectacular aquatic playground with a little palm island at its heart, where fire-dancers, DJs, acrobats and other entertainers prance around by night. The pool basically turns into an open-air nightclub when the sun sets.
Finolhu has taken a typically playful approach to the Cove Club, its Sixties-and-Seventies-inspired spa: a series of 10 chandelier-lit, pastel-hued beach ‘divans’ (picture pretty beach huts), where you can drop/flop by for a massage, facial or beauty treatment. The spa also spans a fitness centre, steam room and sauna, yoga pavilion and outdoor Palm Beach gym. Sporty types can tick off capoeira, paddleboarding, ballet and kickboxing; there’s also a relaxation area with wonderful sunset views.
Bring Instagrammable outfits; generate jealousy-inducing pics.
Like what you see? Have a peek at Amilla Fushi, Finolhu’s equally lovely sister. Lucky guests get to use the facilities at both hotels.
Very welcome – the lucky things. Family-friendly facilities include: an outdoor play area, family-friendly pool, garden, lawns, indoor play area, kids club and crèche (US$19 an hour). Babysitting can be arranged for the same price, with one day’s notice.
Little Smiths of all ages. Warning: getting them to leave will be harder than pulling limpets from rocks.
Opt for a Two-Bedroom Villa for maximum space (they also have their own private pool).
Oceaneers crèche, open 9am–10pm, accepts little ones aged between one month and four years (US$19 an hour). The hotel’s free kids club is open 9am–10pm everyday, and accepts unaccompanied little Smiths aged three and above.
Water-babies will love splashing around the family-friendly pool and gambolling on the peaceful beach. Finolhu has a sandpit, climbing frame, slide, shaded pool, kitchen used for cooking classes and a ‘dream-ville’ for daytime naps. The hotel has a host of watersports on offer, and can arrange boat trips to nearby reefs for eye-widening snorkelling. Older Smiths can borrow books, DVDs, arts and crafts kit, puzzles and other games.
Finolhu’s unheated outdoor infinity pool is gated and supervised. Guests can borrow floats and inflatables; swimming lessons can be arranged on request.
Highchairs can be provided; obliging staff are happy to heat up baby milk. Little Smiths will love the old-school tuck shop and the child-friendly food dished up at Baa Baa Main Dining and the Fish & Crab Shack: fish and chips served in a cutesy mini bucket, for example.
Outside of the kids club’s opening hours, babysitting can be arranged (US$19 an hour).
No need to pack
Finolhu’s staff can sort you out with nappies, swim nappies, baby wipes, formula milk, baby food and child-friendly snacks.
If you want to borrow a baby monitor, just ask. The hotel can also provide full-size baby cots or wooden crib beds, baby bedlinen, changing mats, potties, baby steps, blackout blinds, bottle-sterilising equipment, stair gates, socket covers, highchairs, beakers, weaning spoons, buggies and more.
Finolhu uses earth-kind bath products and light bulbs; produce for the restaurant is sourced locally. The hotel diligently recycles, water is provided in reusable glass bottles and grey water is used to irrigate the island’s plants.