5.0
Excellent 3492 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • The myriad activities on offer: snorkeling, kayaking, tennis, beach volleyball and more
  • The diving: The Ari Atoll has some of the Maldives' best
  • A four-hand massage at the elegant spa
  • One of the few family-friendly resorts in the Maldives
  • Seven restaurants and six bars to choose from

What To Know

  • The 28-acre resort is large by Maldivian standards, with 193 rooms
  • Getting to this remote island involves a 25-minute seaplane ride from Malé that costs about $363 per person each way
  • Better for families and active couples — romantics looking for complete privacy might be disappointed
  • A Green tax of $6 per person, per night will be collected at the property for stays from November 1 2015.

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Kids Club
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Balcony Bedroom Elegant Luxury Modern Scenic views Suite sofa property Resort cottage home living room Villa flat

Overview

The Review

With a stay at LUX* South Ari Atoll in Dhidhoofinolhu Island (South Ari Atoll), you’ll be minutes from Dhidhoofinolhu Marina. This 5-star resort is within the vicinity of Manta Point and Vakarufalhi Beach.

Make yourself at home in one of the 193 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and DVD players. Rooms have private furnished balconies or patios. LCD televisions with satellite programming provide entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature deep soaking bathtubs and complimentary toiletries.

Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. After dipping into one of the 2 outdoor swimming pools, you can spend some time at the private beach. Additional amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge).

Enjoy a meal at one of the resort’s dining establishments, which include 7 restaurants and a coffee shop/café. From your room, you can also access 24-hour room service. Relax with a refreshing drink from a poolside bar or one of the 6 bars/lounges. Buffet breakfasts are available daily for a fee.

Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, express check-in, and express check-out. Event facilities at this resort consist of a conference center and a meeting room.

How to Get There

LUX* South Ari Atoll
South Ari Atoll
Dhidhoofinolhu Island, 00000 Maldives

Reviews

5.0 Excellent 3492 Reviews
Picture perfect
Reviewed 13 hours ago

Amazing resort with amazing waters surrounding you. The staff were 10/10 the food was delicious. The over water villa was sensational!! The best trip of our life. We will 100% return to LUX south ari atoll. We miss it every day! The most picture perfect place you can visit!

Best resort in the Maldives!
Reviewed 5 days ago

This is the most luxurious resort you will find in the Maldives. I stayed as a solo traveler for 3 nights, and it was worth every penny! The resort itself is amazing - I stayed in the romantic villa with pool, which offered a lot of privacy. The island is fairly big, about 1.8 km, which was very nice to walk around. There's also regular shuttles through the island, as the facilities were at various places. The amenities provided were excellent, lots of different choices of restaurants and bars. The staff were extremely friendly, and the service outstanding. Although I was there on my own, I never felt alone. The staff would leave you alone if you want it, but they were also very sociable. I tried all the restaurants, and they were all excellent. I had heard that the quality of the Maldives were not that great compared to the price you pay - but here at Lux, the food was extraordinary! I like to drink the occasional cocktails, so I ended up upgrading to the all-inclusive when I arrived. It was well worth it! The welcome at the airport was perfect, as well as the help the staff give you when you depart as well. The sea plane ride was a great experience for me as I had never done that. All in all, an amazing stay, and I would definitely come back again!

Paradise with a baby
Reviewed 6 days ago

The Lux is amazing. A perfect balance of 5* but laid back at the same time.

The food is incredible. I looked forward to every meal time.

The staff are incredible, friendly and helpful and really seem to genuinely enjoy working at the resort.

We wondered if we were doing the right thing taking our 14month old baby with us but he was so well looked after. All the staff paid him so much attention and the baby sitting service meant we had some adult time and an evening meal together every night.

Usually I’d never consider going back to a resort twice regardless of how good it was but I will with the Lux.

I can genuinely say it’s the best resort I’ve had the pleasure of staying in.

Amazing return visit
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is our tenth time to the Maldives and only second time we have returned to the same island. For Lux* it is a return to our honeymoon island after seven years (now with family), after having an amazing time when it was called Diva island so we were looking forward to seeing what the changes were over this time, especially knowing what the Lux concept was having stayed at a Lux hotel previously in Mauritius.

I found this to be even better than last time and of all the resorts we have been to in the Maldives then this is the best one in our experience (and most expensive but that’s because also we went for AI, stayed for 14 days and were in a beach pool villa). The welcome at the airport is friendly and efficient and the Lux departure lounge at the sea plane terminal is really lovely and gives a hint of what kind of quality of food and service is to come. Very pleased that unlike some previous seaplane trips all our bags went with us on the same flight, which is not always the case!

Our host on arrival was Elena – and Elena deserves a special mention for continuously throughout our stay touching base with us to see how we were doing and making any arrangements and resolving any issues. Definitely an excellent representative for Lux and we felt valued and appreciated.

Our beach pool villa was lovely and we think we had the perfect location. I had specifically requested in advance as to the where I would like us to be located and this was done exactly. We can see the changes made to the room and they are really well done. I would have thought that I would not have liked the lighter brighter look of a Maldives resort room instead of the more traditional dark wood this is more common, but actually it is perfect. I really like that there was room for a separate bed for our child and the sofa was left for us to use, which is really lovely. Our room ‘host’ was Ishan who was the kindest, most attentive, inobtrusive, punctual man that one could hope for. Decorating our bed amazingly on arrival and especially on our wedding anniversary and continually leaving towel animals on our child’s bed which were really exciting for him.

We had our minibar changed so we had more of the drinks we preferred in it and there was always plenty of water in the room to drink which is essential given the heat but it was tricky almost impossible to fit a bottle into the fridge to keep it cold. The snacks are all inclusive too in the room which is very nice and they are really well done. This is an example where they were previously chargeable but management changed this responding to feedback. This attentive response to feedback from management is excellent on Lux* South Ari Atoll and lead by the omnipresent Mr Mamoun, who we interacted with many times, it is remarkably impressive how well management want constructive feedback and act on it swiftly. This is superb.

It was great to have the pool in the back of the villa, which is another aspect to enjoy to counteract the busy pools (we were there during school Easter holidays) and the beach. We had to request twice for seating by the pool which is really needed to relax on, but two bean bag seats came and they were great so I would like to see these as standard for beach pool villas otherwise there is just a pool and a bath (latter being enormous and not really of much use) and a nice outside shower to complement the indoor one (we asked for toiletries for this too – which are nice so no real need to bring your own shower gel/shampoo/conditioner). We also asked for a third sunbed for outside on the beach and this was provided swiftly too. My view is look around quickly in your room what you think you might need and make the requests at the beginning of the stay. I think the air conditioning is perfect in the room, inaudible and almost never needed adjusting so its very comfortable temperature (I would point out that the ceiling above our bed had a damp patch where the AC was located but I guess you have to look to notice it).

In addition, I made restaurant reservations for throughout our stay, when we wanted to dine a la carte directly with the island and these were all ready on arrival through Elena confirmed. Of course we made some changes to some times and changed our minds a couple of times whilst on the resort and this is subject to availability (Allegria seemingly the most popular). I thoroughly recommend making the reservations in advance as all a la carte restaurants are popular and quite deservedly so. All the staff are exceptional in the restaurants, though our personal favourite is Beach Rouge, which is chic cool and delicious food and wonderful staff who remembered us. It was great for lunch and for dinner, with superb and extensive choices of tapas – but not ordinary tapas when you have oysters as one of the options. Totally recommend the AI as it takes away all concern for cost from your stay and really there is never a need to pay for extras as almost all food and drink options exceed your expectations and palate.

Of the other restaurants, Senses has a lovely vibe though hard to find anything that is not spicy in the evening, though more options (non Indian) at lunch and served in the nice tiffin style. You might be lucky to catch a sea breeze still on one of those nights there. Allegria is exceptional (need repellent I would suggest) with exquisite food, beautifully presented and delicious. If you don’t sit under the tree then you need a torch to see your food though. The buffet restaurants are great – good quality and great choice. Personally I liked the atmosphere being on a pier of East market and I like Asian food. Mixe is lovely too and they had a superbly themed Easter evening modelled on Charlie and the Chocolate factory! Veli pool is great for lunch – just need to not want a table at peak time when its full usually – so go slightly before or after 1pm I would say. Lagoon bar was our other favourite – with amazing staff there too – really attentive to our son and made palm leaf art toys for him which he loved. The food is great – its hip and chic there and a couple of times a week there is a Shaslik lunch which is yummy. East bar is lovely to relax in the evening. We did not try Umami as we did not think it was necessary to pay for the option given everything else was included on AI to highest level of cuisine.

I’m a diver so special mention should go to Mauro and his team at Euro Divers. I have been diving a long time and many times in the Maldives – so I can definitely say this is a well organised attentive professional and efficient team, good set up, lots of choice of diving and Mauro is very engaging and interested in the type of diving I really wanted. Nitrox is available, good boats with good boat crew. There were some beautiful dives, bearing in mind what the Maldives has to offer, post El Nino and sharks and rays which are always pleasing. The more advanced the dives the better for me. Unfortunately we were too late in the season to see manta rays and no whale shark was seen (big ask on a dive really), but with octopus breeding season and some superb Thila diving (follow what Mauro recommends) then you will enjoy yourself – also discount for repeat Euro Diver is nice too.

The landscaping is really lovely on the island – I ran a few times end to end (hard work in the humidity) and you can really appreciate the pathways and beautiful foliage and flowers and the landscape gardeners work hard all day long and it is really atmospheric and beautiful to walk the path – of course buggies are available often with their charming drivers (sometimes you have to wait a bit too long though especially at busy meal times or they fill up and people on board won’t make room and spread themselves too much). I do think though and I gave this feedback on the island that two aspects need more attention. Firstly the beach – this was not being really groomed that much – it was best part of week before outside the back of our villa was swept and was covered with dead flowers. The beach itself is frequently strewn with seaweed and in some parts rubbish washed up from other islands. It’s a big ask but its an essential ask and needs regular grooming. The beach where it is thinner is also covered with a lot of weed growing through so possibly not the prettiest beach, still lovely but I am comparing this to other islands where the grooming and detail is more vigorous and attentive. Definitely the sunset beach is wider and better quality than the sun rise side.

Secondly, the mosquito fumigating is not frequent enough. We regularly got bitten around our villa – not inside but around. There is plenty of welcoming foliage around the villa which gives you privacy, but it should not be necessary to mosquito screen during the day and resting on the sofa on the deck was a gamble as to whether you got bitten or not. Really the fumigating needs to take place around every villa, completely round each villa and every day and not a casual walk by. Definitely screen from dusk but this I to be expected on a tropical island.

The Lux concept also has plenty of ideas to add to the lovely customer experience – the Wishing Tree is beautiful and a great idea with donations going to local charities, the message in a bottle is a nice idea (though pretty impossible to find and when you do not much use if you are on AI), the lovely Wanderlust library, outside chess and swings in the sea, the Lux Café bar near reception, a good gym and two swimming pools (though I feel these are dated, often crowded with not enough seating or shade for children – these haven’t changed since my last visit), hence the beach pool villa is nice to have to hand.

I think it is telling that very few reviews mention the kids club here on Trip Advisor despite there being many many families visiting with their children. It looks good, central, big space and ship water play feature, extensive schedule but for us this was a let down. It doesn’t have much in the way of outdoor play equipment, the schedule is not stuck to, kids are allowed to leave the club without parents’ permission (that’s very very wrong and we heard this from several parents), understaffed, under attentive, terrible pirate trip that was dangerous with children allowed to run amok on a boat covered in water. For us it needs a thorough health and safety and staffing review. Sorry to say as everything else on the island is really amazing.

Overall a beautiful wonderful magical island, which is almost perfect and our feedback is given with the experience of frequent visitors to the Maldives and an island which we would want to return to very very soon.

Service Excellence
Reviewed 1 week ago

We had a great experience in Lux Maldives, the overall satisfaction exceeds our expectation. Lux Maldives boost up the reputation of Maldives as Island Paradise, they made The Maldives more exceptional. The rooms are very nice, clean and fresh and the staff are extremely friendly. Me and my family had a great experience in this Paradise Island. We build happy memories and experience in Lux Maldives.