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I’ve a Fin You’ve a Fin Huvafen

Never judge a property by its website alone—if you don’t learn this lesson early on it will be taught to you the hard way. Or the blissful way, as was the case with Huvafen Fushi.

Huvafen’s marketing materials put forth an image of South Beach hedonism meets Dubai bling, which fooled me into expecting a pretty yet shallow experience. What I found instead was a sophisticated and soulful place, saucy at times but in harmony with its surroundings. Huvafen Fushi is like the goldilocks of the Maldives—not too barefoot, not too chic, but just right.

The Maldives have a lot going for them: year-round sunshine, pristine islands, rich underwater life. But all this can be found in the Seychelles, Mauritius, or the Caribbean for that matter. What really sets the Maldives apart are the Maldivians themselves. Huvafen Fushi is owned and operated by a Maldivian company called Universal Enterprises, who’ve assembled an amazing team of warm, intuitive and extremely professional local staff working under the watchful eye of Noel Cameron, whose management pedigree includes Singita’s Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania. These kinds of intangibles won’t feature on the web or in a brochure, but they lift a place to the top the heap.

Huvafen’s 43 bungalows and pavillions vary in style and size, yet all are generously spaced around the island. It’s hard to say which I prefer—the unrivaled privacy of the beach villas, with their vast outdoor bathrooms featuring fountains and pools, or the sexy and far removed ocean villas, reached by magically-lit boardwalks and perched on stilts over the emerald lagoon. Three unique restaurants serve extraordinarily fresh ingredients in different settings, and there’s an amazing collection of toys, including two luxury dhows perfect for day cruising or longer overnight adventures. Then there’s the giant fibre-optic lit infinity pool that shimmers at night, and quite possibly the best swimming beach in all of the Maldives. Oh, and lest I forget the underwater spa, the only one in the world, a kind of reverse aquarium six meters under the sea where the beautiful fish are on the outside looking in.

Huvafen is downright flirtatious you might say, and I for one have been seduced.

Greg Sacks is your ideal trip planner: not too snobby, not too hippie (well, maybe a little…), but just right. Email him if you’re interested in finding the perfect bed in the Maldives.

Huvafen Fushi is like the goldilocks of the Maldives—not too barefoot, not too chic, but just right.

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