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Maalifushi by COMO (Maldives): STUNNING resort! My trip report

Maalifushi by COMO (Maldives): STUNNING resort! My trip report

Old Aug 4, 17, 2:43 pm
  #31  
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or whether como emails follow a standard format for names

another ex aman, i'd forgotten, been there almost a year now

Originally Posted by 0bsidian View Post
Does anyone have the email for the GM of Maalifushi, Mr. Pietro Addis?
I have tried to get in touch by contacting the resort and they're taking ages to get back to me.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Aug 4, 17 at 3:51 pm
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Old Aug 4, 17, 9:44 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Nizar View Post
Hi guys,

I don't seem to understand why COMO Maalifushi despite its rave reviews is priced much lower than any (comparable?) resort in the maldives ?

Is there any good reason for this ?

Including transfers for the second half of March, for a 5-7 night stay in an overwater villa with pool Cheval Blanc is coming in at A$25k for 5 nights, O&O RR at about the same for 7 nights, Huvafen Fushi at more than A$30k for 7 nights, and COMO Maalifushi at about A$15k for 7 nights.

When I first researched resorts, I immediately dismissed COMO Maalifushi for this reason and I thought it was inferior but I am yet to come across a poor review for it ?

I understand CB is and perhaps should be the most expensive/best in the Maldives but why is COMO Maalifushi priced so much lower than say O&O RR or Huvafen Fushi ?

Any thoughts or comments ?

Thanks
Don't know - but I'm loving it! Their deals for 4/3 and 7/5 combined with an added 10% discount and half-board, and 50% off round-trip seaplane transfers for early booking are absolutely incredible.
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Old Aug 5, 17, 9:01 pm
  #33  
DSI
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If spending more correlates to better quality read my ani anguilla review. Fwiw: we loved every aspect of our four day stay at maalifushi. Highly recommended.
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Old Aug 7, 17, 8:54 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by DSI View Post
A great way to spend the days on a water villa is to have cocktails brought every hour, on the hour. I think I had all of their 20+ cocktails and most were great.
This made my day. We normally don't drink a lot during the day, but clearly you'd be fun to hang out with!
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Old Aug 8, 17, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
or whether como emails follow a standard format for names

another ex aman, i'd forgotten, been there almost a year now
Correct, it's Mr Pietro Addis, who used to oversee Aman Sri Lanka.
He has been great over email so far, I have high expectations for this stay.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 5:16 am
  #36  
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Trip Report: COMO Maalifushi, Thaa Atoll, Maldives

Maalifushi by COMO

Map| 2 Reviews | 100% Recommended

Maalifushi by COMO

Thaa Atoll Maalefushi, MV

Trip Report: COMO Maalifushi, Thaa Atoll, Maldives (51 Photos)

Maalifushi by COMO

Introduction

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We spent a week this summer at COMO Maalifushi, and had a great time. There were a few small things that could have been better, but nothing that lessened the overall experience in any major way. We traveled with my wife's family, so we had four villas, two over water and two secluded on the beach. This review will focus mainly on the villa we stayed in, which was water villa 403. The other villas we had were water villa 402 and beach villas 206 and 207.

Thanks to a 7 for 5 promotion, 10% off for booking early, free half board on paid nights, and 50% off the seaplane transfer we got a very good price. Cheval Blanc Randheli, which was the runner up, was about twice as much and would not have included any meals except breakfast. The biggest factor for choosing COMO over Cheval Blanc, however, was that we were looking for casual luxury for this trip, and COMO felt more like a fit in this regard.

TL;DR

Great hotel with fantastic food in an amazing location with warm, if a little uneven, service.

Pre Arrival

A few months before our trip I started communicating with the hotel via e-mail to make all the necessary arrangements. I usually got a response the same day, and the one time it took an extra day to get a response they were very apologetic and ensured me that future responses would be more prompt. This wasn't an issue for me, but they kept their promise.

All my communication was with the same person, which is something I like since it means they know about all of our plans and you can build a relationship with them. As pre arrival goes, this was one of my better experiences.

Transfer & Check In

After clearing customs and gathering our bags at MLE, which might be one of the worst arrival airports I've been at, we were greeted by King who helped us to the Maldivian seaplane counter and made sure to take care of all the formalities of checking in. He then informed us that our transfer was in 45 minutes before showing us to the bus which took us to the COMO lounge at the Maldivian seaplane terminal.

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The lounge had a nice view of the seaplanes, was air conditioned, and had a small selection of snacks, cookies, and drinks as well as a nice bathroom. The design of the lounge felt very close to the design of the hotel itself. This was also where the check in was taken care of.

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As anyone who has done a seaplane transfer in the Maldives would know, the view was amazing most of the way. Before taking off we had to wait a while for our slot, which meant it became quite warm inside the plane. After takeoff the temperature was quite nice, but I would suggest a seat in the front of the plane as there was a nice breeze there.

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Location

The location of COMO Maalifushi is just amazing, with no air traffic except for the seaplane taking guests to and from the resort. The boat traffic was also very low, with only one larger ship passing by for the duration of our stay. During the nights, we could see the local fishing boats far out, but that was about it.

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They are, however, building a new hotel just a few islands away which I'm sure will impact the hotel's feeling of isolation. Gran Meliá Huravee is scheduled to open this year, but looking at the state of construction from late July, I wouldn't bet on it.

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Room

Our water villa was very nice with 20 feet ceilings and great views of the lagoon and the beach. Both the livingroom and the bedroom was a nice size, and the bathroom was huge with a great big tub and a good sized shower. All three rooms had direct access to the deck, with glass doors that could be fully opened. All floors are hardwood, except for the bathroom which is all stone.

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The air conditioning was efficient, if maybe a bit louder than I would have liked. Atleast it wasn't loud enough to disturb our sleep. The bed was very comfortable, and firm. If you prefer a soft bed it might be an issue. As we had a room which faced the sunrise, I can confirm that the blackout drapes did a good job at keeping the sun out.

Since our room was facing the beach, it wasn't very private. This was not an issue for us, as we enjoyed being able to see the entrances to the beach villas were other people in our party were staying. There are water villas with more privacy than we had, such as water villa 350 and the Maalifushi water villa, which is villa 418. Consider, however, that people kayaking and paddle boarding could pass by at any time. If you are looking for privacy, I would recommend the beach villas as they were completely secluded. I did shower outside on multiple occasions, and as long as you watch the angles, you will be fine. I imagine privacy might be a bigger concern during high season as well.

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On arrival there were bottles of Taittinger Brut in all rooms except for ours. As we don't drink alcohol, there was instead a bottle of Bella Dream which was alcohol free and turned out to be excellent. The people who enjoyed the champagne all found it to be very good as well.

Service

If there was one part of our stay we didn't feel fully delivered, it was the service. Everyone we were in contact with felt genuine, happy and warm but at times it felt like they were just a tiny bit too relaxed. Since this was our first trip to the Maldives, I'm not sure if this is common here, or if it is due to training or just their service philosophy. We had a great stay and overall the service was very good, but I have to mention a few of the things that did go wrong.

First of all, there were a few cigarette butts and some old food next to the shower on our deck. It didn't bother us enough to even mention to housekeeping, but it obviously shouldn't have been there.

On the evening when we arrived, we noticed our pool lights didn't work so we called guest services which sent over a person from engineering. He tried a few things and noted that nothing could be done at the moment, and that they had to come back tomorrow to fix them. I called again in the morning and they promptly sent over a team of pool engineers. It took 4-5 people the better part of the day to fix our lights. They were in the pool with snorkels and on ladders in the ocean underneath our pool. It was quite the show, but it took much more time than we were expecting. As we were traveling with other people, we spent the day by their pool and in their room, but had we been traveling by ourselves it would have been a major inconvenience. We met the GM during a cocktail reception that same evening, and he didn't mention anything about it. In fact, no one did. We did end up getting free food and drinks on our dolphin cruise, but I never found out if it was related or not.

During dinner we kept up getting the wrong food and, in some instances, no food. This happened at both restaurants. I realize we were a big party with twelve people dining, but I still find it worth mentioning. Most of the time, they realized their error themselves and apologized. The wait for the correct or missing food was not too long.

The biggest issue was with our allergies. Three people in our party, two of which are children, have severe allergies, which was noted in the pre arrival phase of our trip. I was given the ensurance that they would fully accomodate our allergies, which ended up not happening. At several times it was apparent that they knew about them, but at other times they were fully ignored. For instance, two people are allergic to walnuts, and all three are allergic to carrots. Even with them knowing this, they kept including brownies full with walnuts and rice paper rolls with carrots in the bento boxes we had with us during two different excursions. Luckily, we made sure to inspect all the food before eating it. The first time this happened, I let them know that we were very disappointed, but the second time I didn't bother as there was at least alternatives available.

The food and beverage manager, Maria, was very regretful when she was made aware the first time I told them our allergies hadn't been catered to, but there was no real follow up. Considering we are talking about an allergy that could lead to the death of a child, I find that they could and should have done more to prevent it from happening. When it did happen, they should have done more to show us they were taking it serious.

Dining

The food at COMO Maalifushi is, in one word, great. The breakfast at Madi, which is the main restaurant, is pretty simple, but everything is tasty and the warm dishes, especially the local ones, are great. In room breakfast was served warm, and presented beautifully. There's a $5 tray charge any time you order room service.

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We had a pizza and the fried chicken at the bar, Thila, and the fried chicken deserves a special mention, it was flawless. Drinks are $16 no matter where you have them, and I am told that they are very good. The mocktails are $10 and are of varying quality. Some were excellent, and some were just OK. The best thing I had to drink the whole time we stayed at COMO was the fresh lime juice soda, which consisted of freshly squeezed lime juice in soda water with sugar syrup on the side. It cost $7 and I added all of the sugar syrup to it, but if you like less sweet drinks you can add as much as you like.

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We had two dinners at Madi. The night we arrived we had the Flavours of the East, which is an excellent set menu consisting of a number of dishes served family style over four courses. This menu is included in the half board, whereas the special buffets are not. We also had dinner á la carte one evening, which also was very good.

Apart from Thila and Madi there is also Tai, which is a Japanese restaurant. We had three dinners there, for which you have to reserve a table in advance. Dinners at Tai consisted of one sashimi or sallad, one order of sushi, one main course, and one dessert. The food at Tai was just amazing. The sashimi was super fresh and the sushi the best I've had, with my personal favorites being the Spider and Waygu beef rolls. The main courses were a little more uneven, but I can recommend the shrimp tempura, Angus sirloin, scallops in shell and ocean trout teriyaki wholeheartedly. For dessert they had a green tea cheesecake that was stunning, and a selection of mouthwatering ice creams that were served in freshly made sesame cones.

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For lunch, we ordered room service a few times, and it arrived on time and hot. They have a proper pizza oven, which means the pizza is very good. I can also recommend the fish part of the fish and chips. The chips, however, were a big let down as they were more potato wedges than chips. I would request string fries instead, as we had them with the club sandwich and they were very good.

Our most memorable meal, however, was the private BBQ we had on the last night of our stay. There's a small island between the arrival jetty and the house reef where they had set everything up beautifully. The food, which we had discussed with Maria beforehand, was excellent and we had everything from sushi and salads to scallops, shrimp and Angus beef. For dessert there was a selection of small cakes and pastries, as well as fresh fruit salad and fresh mango. This was a meal of a lifetime, where the setting played a major role and the food elevated the whole experience.

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Snorkling

I want to preface this by saying that I have done very little proper snorkling. As such, all I can say is that I was not disappointed. I snorkled at the house reef three mornings, and one time we snorkled off a boat further out in hopes of seeing turtles. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any turtle or octopus, but apart from that I managed to see pretty much everything I was hoping to see. I have included a number of photos from the house reef so that you can get an idea of the quality of the snorkling. Snorkling equipment is of course included with your stay, and they do offer prescription masks.

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Excursions

We had the pleasure of doing three different excursions during our stay. We toured a nearby local island with a guide who grew up there, we had a private family picnic on a deserted island which is managed by the hotel, and we did a private dolphin cruise.

The tour of the local island was interesting, but the guide did not say a lot unless asked or prompted. He walked us around the island and showed us the different government buildings and schools, as well as showed us one of the fish storage rooms and a local facotry which smoked tuna which was sold to Malé. Around 2000 people live on the island we toured, which was being expanded to be twice the size of today. The problem with garbage was evident as there was trash pretty much everywhere, especially along the water. The tour ended with at a café where we were served three different sandwiches. One was a hot tuna toast, one was a cold tuna sandwich and one was a sweet sandwich similar to a french toast. The tuna sandwiches were tasty and a little spicy. I found the tour interesting, but wished the guide would have been a bit more engaging.

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The private family picnic on the deserted island was something I would recommend anyone traveling with their family, especially if you are traveling as a larger group as we did. The water was clear and there were large stretches of sand going far out. The food we had ordered was good, and they had a wide array of things to drink including prosecco, wines, beers, sodas, water, and juices. We had a wonderful time with Adam who was our host. He made all kinds of amazing things out of anything he could find, and also took those of us who wanted out snorkling with the boat.

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On our second to last afternoon we had booked a private dolphin cruise. The hotel provided us with some bento boxes with some light food as well as the same selection of drinks mentioned above. We spent about 1 hour and 45 minutes out on the water, which was cut a bit short due to a few people not feeling well due to seasickness. At this point, it didn't matter all that much because we had seen more dolphins than we could have ever imagined. Seeing them like this, in their natural habitat, was a great experience, and it was different compared to seeing just a couple of dolphins as we have done on occasion in the US.

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Overall

I hope I have made it clear that we had an excellent stay at COMO Maalifushi. The weather was great, and apart from two midday storms which we honestly enjoyed quite a bit, we had plenty of sun. I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a remote resort with a casual luxury feel who's OK with service which is very good but somewhat relaxed.

As a last note, I would like to congratulate you on making it all the way to the end. Hope you enjoyed! If you didn't, then I'm sorry for making you read so much.

Trip Report: COMO Maalifushi, Thaa Atoll, Maldives

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Old Aug 9, 17, 5:53 am
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Thank you so much for your review. I have plans to go there next year and your words and pictures can help me a lot. ^
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Old Aug 9, 17, 6:15 am
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Thank you for your review.

Although I am pretty sure you've had a good stay I am not sure about your point to compare COMO with Cheval Blanc. Surely Cheval Blanc will be twice the price but both resorts are very different. IMHO they are playing in a different league.

Lots of people have been commenting on both COMO properties in Maldives so far and I seriously believe that all had very good stays. Just find it a bit strange that these properties should be compared to the very high end luxurious properties in Maldives. For instance the design of Como Cocoa (or whatever it's called) is just hideous for me, not to mention that these "boats" are placed very close to each other.

What am I missing?
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Old Aug 9, 17, 6:19 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
Thank you for your review.

Although I am pretty sure you've had a good stay I am not sure about your point to compare COMO with Cheval Blanc. Surely Cheval Blanc will be twice the price but both resorts are very different. IMHO they are playing in a different league.

Lots of people have been commenting on both COMO properties in Maldives so far and I seriously believe that all had very good stays. Just find it a bit strange that these properties should be compared to the very high end luxurious properties in Maldives. For instance the design of Como Cocoa (or whatever it's called) is just hideous for me, not to mention that these "boats" are placed very close to each other.

What am I missing?
I agree with you about the resorts being very different, and I didn't mean to compare them directly. My point was that they are very different, and I wanted to give a bit of background to why we chose as we did.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 6:47 am
  #40  
DSI
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Originally Posted by Epicura View Post
Thank you for your review.

Although I am pretty sure you've had a good stay I am not sure about your point to compare COMO with Cheval Blanc. Surely Cheval Blanc will be twice the price but both resorts are very different. IMHO they are playing in a different league.

Lots of people have been commenting on both COMO properties in Maldives so far and I seriously believe that all had very good stays. Just find it a bit strange that these properties should be compared to the very high end luxurious properties in Maldives. For instance the design of Como Cocoa (or whatever it's called) is just hideous for me, not to mention that these "boats" are placed very close to each other.

What am I missing?
Perhaps, but in our case, when we went three years ago Chevel Blanc was brand brand new and hence looked interesting, but alas we settled on como as I didn't want to pay 2x and wear a tux. Just my thought process, however misguided.

Should we return, it'll be soneva for us.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 7:39 am
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I certainly agree re the tux issue, please see my comments on a recent Soneva Jani trip .

Thanks for clarifying to both of you!
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Old Aug 9, 17, 8:32 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by DSI View Post
Perhaps, but in our case, when we went three years ago Chevel Blanc was brand brand new and hence looked interesting, but alas we settled on como as I didn't want to pay 2x and wear a tux. Just my thought process, however misguided.

Should we return, it'll be soneva for us.
Without having done either COMO or Soneva (just going off the photos - and having done Six Senses), Soneva/Six Senses just feel too rustic to me whereas COMO seems to strike a nice balance between rustic and elegant elements.

Agree re: tux - despise the idea of wearing formal wear at a beach property.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Without having done either COMO or Soneva (just going off the photos - and having done Six Senses), Soneva/Six Senses just feel too rustic to me whereas COMO seems to strike a nice balance between rustic and elegant elements.

Agree re: tux - despise the idea of wearing formal wear at a beach property.
Agree on all points.

If I go here, especially with family/kids the last thing I want to do is dress up. I leave that for gorgeous city/Rivera escapes. There are so many amazing choices in the Maldives that Cheval doesn't appeal to me enough for the premium...especially off season. IMO, O&O strikes a better balance with this and deals. With much being talked about Maalifushi, I'm really liking it. Hoping the service improves too.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by DSI View Post
If spending more correlates to better quality read my ani anguilla review. Fwiw: we loved every aspect of our four day stay at maalifushi. Highly recommended.
Great point!
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Old Aug 9, 17, 11:19 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
or whether como emails follow a standard format for names

another ex aman, i'd forgotten, been there almost a year now
Awesome report, Hannisen. How old were the kids with you? What did the resort do for them? Were they able to snorkel? Any kids club?
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