LUX* South Ari Atoll
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.
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
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
We chose this hotel for my 25th wedding anniversary on a friends recommendation rather than a trip advisor review...why?........
because all of the luxury hotels in the Maldives have thousands of 5 star reviews and this makes it really tricky to work out which one is best
We went in late March, school time, so there were no kids, so I can only speak as a couple in our fifties who have been lucky enough to have extensively travelled the world
First up it’s the Maldives, so if you don’t like crystal clear blue water, things to do in the water and laying around and eating, it’s probably not the best place the come.
The hotel is the island and the island is the hotel... only reached by seaplane, which was a fabulous experience (sort of Indiana Jones for the middle aged)
The Lux lounge in Male is pretty cool with lots of freebies and a smashing view of the plane parking lot on the sea.
Once at the Island itself (unpronounceable name, but it’s sort of turn left at Male for 30 miles)we chose a Romantic Villa on a Bed and Breakfast basis.
The hotel offers all inclusive, but the a la carte restaurants are all at a premium to all inclusive, as are the decent wines etc. IMHO, if you are NOT or big drinker or want to eat at the premium a la carte restaurants, you are probably quids in on B and B.....it worked for us.
Our romantic room was funky and well appointed and cleaned twice a day with new towels etc. We were treated to a different towel origami each day by our fantastic room valet and the room was kept spotless.
The room could have done with more lighting and I had to shave during the day for fear of cutting my own throat at night, but we loved our own plunge pool and steps down to the reef which varied from knee to hip height depending on the tide.
As far as the hotel facilities we concerned:-
We tried the spa and a treatment which was lovely (I’m no spa expert so I can’t make any judgments here). The girls were skilled and charming and we did some yoga which was well taught
The gym I peered in, but it was in the 30s and humid, so peering was as far as I got. It seemed fairly gym like complete with the ubiquitous super fit looking American couple on the treadmills who obviously prefer staring at a wall in a room with steamed up windows, than the breathtaking views around the island!
The resort is a good 2 miles from tip to tip, you can hire bikes, walk or get golf cart thingies depending on your enthusiasm, all very pretty with a million photo ops from end to end.
The hotel is 6 years old and it’s a real eclectic mix of bars,pools and restaurants.
Without sounding a bit strange, it’s got 2 of the most amazing loos I’ve ever been to, at Beach Rouge and the East Kitchen.... I can only describe the loo at the East Kitchen as a Unisex Disco Toilet with a Photo Booth. You really need to see it to believe it. Obviously the hotel architects were having a day on the gear when coming up with the ideas for these, but the suits obviously liked them, then paid to create them!)
Now for the food.......( something I know a little more about)
The breakfasts are buffet style, but astonishing..... I’ve never seen such a huge selection anywhere, we ate at the East Kitchen which was more Asian in its selection, but the quality of the food was outstanding, so much so, we ate late breakfast and rarely bothered with lunch.
We did eat a lunch at “Beech Rouge” , which had a rather strange eclectic menu, but we weren’t bowled over and did not return.
Allegria, the Italian presented well cooked dishes with good service, but somehow it failed to create any semblance of Italy in our minds and despite the food being good, we did not go back here either.
The Maldivian night at “Mixie” was our most expensive night by far.
A buffet mainly cooked by charming locals bussed (or shipped) in from another island and some local dancers who danced for most of the evening then completely vanished to be replaced with a man playing a video, on a very small screen giving the diners left a Maldivian history lesson ( very odd indeed!)
The Maldivian food here was different but delicious, lots of curries and look cal dishes, but really varied and we really enjoyed it. Shame it was buffet style,as is the all inclusive East Kitchen restaurant most nights
I have a pet hate for buffets, an abomination created in the eighties to mass serve guests quickly and painlessly (and I assume cost effectively ) and with this class of hotel, should be dispensed with.
Part of the pleasure of a luxury hotel or any hotel for that matter, is having your food served to you at your table, rather than cafeteria style . Buffets inevitability involve plates stacking up on the table, constantly queuing for food and everyone playing musical chairs for the evening.It’s not relaxing or particularly enjoyable and only seems to benefit people in a hurry or overeaters who can consume their own body weight in food without anyone else noticing..... no matter how good the food. Its a really poor substitute for being served at your table with everyone eating the same course at the same time!
Buffet breakfast is tolerable ( I can’t think of anywhere left in the world that serves you at your table no matter what you pay), but buffet evening meals ( especially costing $300 with 2 glasses of wine for 2, but including a video presentation) should definitely be dispensed with- rant over!
“Senses” served top drawer Indian food, beautifully presented in a fab setting, we went twice in the week and both meals were memorable. Could do with Kim and Ken to create a bit more ambiance, but that’s a small point.
We used to have a sundowner every night at the East bar and watch the sunset and fish in the lagoon. Opposite was “Umami”, the Japanese restaurant. It was never particularly busy, which was a shame, because it was one of our best nights
We went and had the Teppanyaki grill menu under the care of the one man chef/entertainer Allan. It was an absolute blast. Two hours of solid entertainment, great food, brilliant fun.....can’t recommend it (or him) enough
The last night we went for the “Smoke Shack BBQ” on the Lagoon Beach...... also a fab evening
Very causal and romantic (mood lighting and feet in the sand stuff) great food ( mainly steak based) and a wonderful singing duo, Kim and Ken, who made the night really memorable.
The hotel staff were all charming from Jonas the general manager to our room valet and they really did their best to ensure your stay was as memorable as possible.
Many individual staff went above and beyond and were always cheerful and charming, but not overbearing as in some other luxury hotels.
How can I summarise....
The Lux South seems a fabulous choice in the Maldives. I have never been to any other resorts here, so I can’t compare, only give my humble opinion as a stand alone review
It’s certainly not cheap, but 2miles of paradise for a maximum of 400 guests with 600 staff can’t come without a premium price. There are more expensive resorts for sure and cheaper ones that may give better value, but you should come to the Lux for the whole luxury Maldive experience and just accept it will come with a significant price tag.
The Sea Plane adds a whack to the bill, but unless you plan swimming from Male, you haven’t got a choice and to be honest flying in these old tanks with spectacular views of the islands as you fly , is an adventure in its self ( in a good way!)
The rooms, staff and facilities are first class, but not over the top and for us, the a la Carte restaurants all had something different and memorable
It’s a casual resort (didn’t spot a single Chanel handbag or tantrummy guest) and it’s on a huge footprint, so nothing is ever crowded. We had 80% occupancy and yet the beaches were deserted, it’s the closest to a luxury Robinson Crusoe experience (with decent food) I can imagine and a true paradise
I’d go back at the drop of a hat!
My family of 5 just returned from a week at the LUX resort in South Ari Atoll. It is safe to say that we are now all spoiled for other beach vacations for the rest of our lives. This place really does have it all. To list a few: BEAUTIFUL location, super friendly staff, incredible beach villas, phenomenal restaurants, great excursions and did I mention the location??? The beach on this island is powder white sand mixed with the most clear, warm turquoise water you will ever see. From the moment you arrive you are stunned by the beauty of the mix of colors and every day we appreciated it just as much. The staff made our time here beyond enjoyable. You will never regret spending time here...do it!!! :)
We have spend over a week at that resort and it is indeed fabulous. From the big welcome with all the people waving to the farewell with the little remembrance bracelet.
A true place of paradise and hard to forget. If the travel would not be that fare we would come every year and cant wait for the next time we have enough to afford.
The daily walk around the entire island where everyone greets you even the guest, the delicious food, well appointed rooms and not to posh, amazing wale shark excursion with Mark and certainly the SPA where Mulee was a real Gem. Thank you all so much we will never forget.
This resort is absolutely fabulous. The large white beach, the turquoise clear water, the Food and Drinks, all top of the top. Everyone is very friendly and helpful specially Mamoun and the GM Jonas. We will be back and only recommend this place.
My family spent 4 nights in LUX to celebrate birthday for my daughter last year. Thanks for such great arrangement to leave us a unforgettable memory. Especially thanks to Aank, we went sunset cruise, whale shark snorkeling and morning fishing with him. He's so kind and professional. We definitely will come back again to go more trip with Aank.