5 days into clear blue waters, dolphins, diving, gourmet food and sunshine, I really thought I had seen the best of what the Maldives had to offer. Huvafen Fushi though, our final stay in the whirlwind week, had something different to say and I will not be forgetting this dream journey. We were met on arrival with our first experience of the Maldivian rain but absolutely nothing – and I mean nothing – could put a dampner on this enchanting Island and the people (or better put – family) who work and live there.
Huvafen Fushi is 11 years old but it doesn’t look a day over 1. They have used years of experience to turn this island into an iconic masterpiece. One that excels in every area from hospitality, to food, to unique design and experiences. It’s really no wonder that they have previously been awarded with the best beach resort in the world.
Just a 30-minute speed boat ride from Male airport, we arrived to a very warm greeting!
Our Thakuru escorted us to the Ocean Bungalow where there was a lovely welcome waiting on ice! The jetty is the same length as the Island, with all the water bungalows together but certainly private. On the left you have sunset views and on the right, sunrise views.
The rain started but nothing could have detracted from the pure elegance of these rooms…and besides, I miss a little rain when I live in Dubai! Going to the Maldives for me was about switching off, experiencing new things and getting a real energy boost and getting focus on everything I want to do in the coming year. Huvafen provides the opportunity to do just that.
We didn’t waste time switching off from the world and just enjoying each other’s company with a few work brainstorms here and there!
The first evening we had dinner at their renowned Salt Restaurant over the water, and some rather large friends swimming below!
The food is just exceptional (here and throughout the resort) and upon recommendation by Huvafen’s lovely manager, Nasro, we went for the Lobster bisque and coconut filled oysters to start, followed by the biggest seafood ‘platter-for-two’ for mains. I’m told that two people do indeed get through this whole thing. How, I have no idea! However, to say it was the most magnificent platter of fresh seafood I’ve had would be an understatement. Highly recommended!
Lobster, King Crab, Scallops, Mussels, Tuna, Octopus, Reef fish and squid – just to name a few!
Oh, and some shark if you fancy!
There’s a family of sharks that live right under the restaurant, which against all odds I went snorkling to check out the next day.
The sun came out to say hello for the rest of our stay which made having a glass of rose at lunch seem more fitting!
The food at Huvafen is certainly of a high standard. There isn’t a hundred different restaurants to choose from, but in my opinion when the menus and food are good enough – you don’t need every cuisine under the sun on offer.
Lunch time with some sushi and fresh reef fish cakes (AH-mazing!) to start and a super-indulgent burger for Jack for mains. I had one of my favourite naughty meals of truffle pizza with jamon iberico.
After lunch we went and tried out Huvafen’s Coral adoption experience. The in-house marine biologists collect dying/damaged corals from the reefs and then take them into a onshore tank, remove all the white, bleached parts and give people the opportunity to ‘re-plant’ the corals and populate the reef, all the while calling it your own!
It was here we were told that if we wanted, we could snorkel over to the Salt Restaurant and see the sharks that live underneath. It has honestly been something I have never had an interest in doing because in my opinion, even if they don’t ‘like’ the taste of humans – they could just be especially hungry that day! After all, our animal instincts can make us do extraordinary things.
But won over by the begging face of Jack, we laid down our corals and swam over with the marine biologist to have a look.
With my heart beating rather faster than usual, we quietly watched these two sisters sleeping. Surprisingly, whilst they were still and eyes closed – I felt very relaxed.
Jack wanted a picture, as you do, so edged forward which startled them. They kicked off one another and separated swimming directly either side of me. Needless to say I was good as finito with shark watching!!! Swimming (rather embarrassingly quickly) to the shore, it was here I was told that as sharks can detect a heart beat, which is how they find their food, if you allow yourself to get nervous around them then even though they will ‘almost definitely’ not eat you, they like to ‘play’ with you to find out what you might taste like.
So little did I know I was the weak ‘food’ target out the three of us. I will not be going again…! However, the coral adaption was a lovely little experience and it’s great to know we are helping the reef repopulate and grow.
Huvafen have plenty of other things to do if you don’t fancy shark snorkeling; you can go snorkelling with turtles, sting-ray feeding, sunset cruises and much more. If we had the time there, we would have tried them all!
We popped back to the room before dinner for yet another stunning sunset and bird watching!
Swimsuit from Praias swimwear.
Your Romantic Haven
One of the most exclusive experiences that can be arranged is their ‘destination-dining’. Whether it’s over looking the ocean on a private jetty or in a secluded cove, it’s definitely worth doing!
Our last evening was in the Cardamom Lounge, which is one of their dining options. The chefs must have been trained somewhere really special because the menu and dishes served up that night were the best of their kind.
I wouldn’t say I’m a huge Indian cuisine fan, but they had been marinading the meat for several hours and my god, did it make the world of difference! Starters of lamb, lobster tails, chicken and giant tiger prawns followed by the most exceptional chicken curry both Jack and I have had (and he’s a big lover of curry so that’s saying something)! If you visit Huvafen, please do not miss the opportunity to try this food. A private dinner is $225 per person.
Just a little touch from the lovely staff, because that’s what they do here!
Now this is what really set Huvafen Fushi apart from the rest of the islands for me.
Sitting eloquently opposite Salt restaurant is a very special spot called ‘Raw’. As the name suggests, they serve only raw food made with Organic ingredients with a focus on nutritious produce like sprouting seeds, nut milks, beans and pulses.
This was my highlight of my whole Maldivian trip. I have never experienced and tasted a raw menu like this one and can only hope more places pop around the world like this!
Let your taste buds tangle…..
Raw Restaurant on the left and Salt Restaurant on the right.
Zucchini, cucumber, green tomato and walnut ricotta lasagne, basil pistachio pesto.
Butter squash gyoza filled with cashew herb ricotta, carrot, fennel and balsamic fig salad, pumpkin
Carpaccio of avocado, local reef fish, wild mushroom, pomegranate and pink peppercorn.
Horseradish cured Angus beef, tofu guacamole, scallion ginger dressing.
Marinated crab meat in raw celeriac tortilla, lemony green pea hummus, pineapple salsa.
Pizza, RAW style. Tuna sashimi on crunchy seaweed, dehydrated dough, Jalapenos, baby sprouts, anchovy aioli.
Crusty apple stack, sweet mango purÃ©e, dates and almonds.
Local organic pineapple carpaccio, 25-year old balsamic, vanilla ice cream.
And a little friend to say hello!
We finished the day off with a massage at their over-water spa.
Unfortunately the well-known underwater spa at Huvafen is having a little re-model but it was still gorgeous. It should be open again very soon.
What an end to a phenomenal stay at Huvafen Fushi, thank you to everyone who made it so special!
Travel Breakdown: (5 star max)
Have any questions for me about my stay at Huvafen Fushi? Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts of the trip and any queries.
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!