Makunudu Island

Best Experience for: Couples, Quiet & Private, House Reef Snorkeling, Diving, Value

Book Your All Inclusive Vacation and save 25% in Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Maldives
Book Your All Inclusive Vacation and save 25% in Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Maldives

Updated May, 2020

Makunudu island is a true relaxing Maldivian resort with welcoming staff and idyllic seclusion. Perhaps Makunudu Island will close soon, and have a major upgrading at some point, so now is the time to come and experience an authentic Maldives, as it was 10-15 years ago. It may seem old-fashioned, but here still there are all great and simple things, and you do not pay for any bizarre attributes of modern resorts.

A small village-style resort, Makunudu attracts mostly European couples who settle - sometimes for three weeks at a time - in 36 bungalows located on six acres of sand. The locals opened this hotel in 1982, and it is one of the oldest resorts in the Maldives; Many guests come for many years (40 percent - regular visitors). Other special differences: Wi-Fi is nowhere (!) There is no (!), And there are no TVs - as a deliberate choice to keep guests in a relaxed atmosphere. The majority will spend their days exploring the turquoise sea (diving and snorkeling here are excellent!). Half board and full board are available, as well as all inclusive - just have breakfast, as dinner in Makunudu is not served until 8 pm. There is no swimming pool, no specialist restaurant. The spa is a small, but still popular, massage hut. There are few organised entertainments and excursions. And this is all just fine by the Germans (50%), French (20%) and British who mostly come as honeymooners and older couples to enjoy the uncomplicated lifestyle of the essential Maldives. Even the weekly barbecue and music is too noisy for some.

makunudu island maldives

The Island

Transfer by speedboat, and staff and managers come out to the jetty to ensure a warm welcome, as if it were their own family coming to visit. Guests are taken to the restaurant and treated with a welcome drink during check-in, and their luggage is transported to the bungalow. The whole island is sand (except for the bungalow and patio in the restaurant), and each bungalow has easy access to the beach. Natural sandy paths for walking are lined with wild vegetation; look closely for little plaques with the names of the newlyweds and couples celebrating here an anniversary for many years.

In the intimate property there is only one restaurant and a bar that facilitates socialization, and many of the staff and regular guests share their stories. The clientele can include a mixture of visitors from England, France, Holland, Germany and Italy. The diversity does not end there: the staff has about 100 employees from 10 different nations, and they work hard to study individual preferences. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP

Many staff members work here for many years. They are a close-knit group that live on the island (typical of the Maldives) and are specialists in individual service.

makunudu island maldives

"No news, no shoes" - this is a Maldivian slogan, aimed at those who want to escape from the world in the style of Robinson Crusoe. While other resorts (newer resorts with water villas and landscape swimming pools) apply this to their marketing scheme, Makunudu offers that real vacation: guests are cut off from the world, including a total lack of Wi-Fi anywhere in the island. In the lobby there is a computer (you can buy Internet tokens) and a TV in the library, otherwise - expect the environment free from modern technologies.

Breakfast and lunch are a buffet, and then guests, if not divers, prefer to spend an afternoon swim and snorkeling next to the beach. Evenings begin with a walk at sunset on a beautiful western beach, and then flow into a cocktail before dinner in the living room. The restaurant offers theme nights and live music twice a week, and the bar closes when the last guest leaves - usually around midnight. This is a discreet scene, and most people here to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, not a night life (also applies to the Maldives in general).

Guests are notified of departure in their room the day before leaving with details of their check-out, baggage delivery, transfer and payment time. For children there are some amenities, including cots, extra beds and high chairs. Badminton, volleyball and ping-pong are available free of charge. A boutique shop sells souvenirs, snacks and stamps. There is a mailbox at the front desk for sending mail.

Measuring just six acres and fringed by soda-white sands, this is likely to be the closest you’ll get to a desert island experience, so bring a well-selected soundtrack. The whole island is surrounded by fine white sand, with the exception of a few areas where erosion occurred (this is common for the Maldives). It's easy to walk the entire shore to get to other uncrowded sandy beaches and find a spot under a sun. A great place facing west with pictures of stunning sunsets, while the arrival jetty is used by sunrise fans. Turquoise ocean is ideal for swimming and for snorkeling (snorkelling gear is free for all guests). There’s no pool – but the excellent house reef can be reached straight from the beach, with colourful corals and fish and regular visits from reef sharks and turtles.

makunudu island maldives


The 6 acres of lush natural sandbank that covers 276 by 107 metres, Makunudu is located on a private island in North Male Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). This petite island paradise is an exclusive hideaway of sandy beaches and sparkling waters. After passing the customs at Male Airport, guests are met by a representative (usually in a numbered kiosk) and boarding to a speed boat to the island. Located 42 kilometres from Male International Airport speedboat transfer through the warm breeze of the Indian Ocean to a true beginning. Depending on weather, this trip can be changeable, and the journey takes a little less than an hour. On the island there is a dock and jetty for its fleet of boats and traditional dhoni boats, the latter are used for diving and excursions.


Rooms are dotted around the island set amid tropical vegetation and just steps from the ocean. 36 charming bungalows with thatched roofs adorn the shoreline of this intimate island. They are all the same, except for the bed size (most have king, some have double beds) and beach location. They are traditional in style, with dark wood floors and furniture, rattan details and basic white bedding. The beds are dressed in red hibiscus flowers on arrival and striped beach towels. White walls look a little harsh, especially on days when natural light penetrates inside, but the situation seems much more romantic after the evening room service. Each room has a large desk and a seating area for two. Each wardrobe has a safe, an umbrella and a minibar, with a full bottle of sparkling wine, a bottle of liquor, soda and banks of Carlsberg (for a fee). A pack of cigarettes is also offered. Near each entrance door there is a small holder for messages from the resort's staff. The bathrooms are a bit old with old tiles and showers next to the pebble zone with several green plants and tree species. There is a means for drying clothes and toiletries in environmentally friendly containers, but rooms without bathrobes and slippers.

Some bungalows have a better location relative to the beach than others, and more privacy from neighbors. Regular guests know their favorite rooms and ask for the same bungalows year after year. Upon arrival, they also receive a bonus, such as fruit and wine. Long-term guests can buy memorial boards for their favorite rooms, to which they often come (take a look at these touching and romantic impressions).

makunudu island maldives

There is a small menu for in-villa dining but these aren't rooms for luxuriating in. Now they seem small and dark, but once they were stylish rooms in one of the most prestigious resorts of the country, this was the degree of the latest developments. Each room has 2 sun loungers outside, although there is no veranda per se and 2 wooden sun loungers on the beach. The rooms are right behind the beach with a pleasant private shade and views, and easy access to the sand and the lagoon.

Rooms are serviced twice a day, including a "bed replacement" service, when guests are at dinner. In wooden roofs, termites can feast, so dust may appear on the beds (if there are problems, the staff quickly strangles them with a spray).

It is expected that in the near future, repairs will be carried out on thatched roofs (as already mentioned, there are problems with termites) and in obsolete bathrooms. The all rooms are kept clean.

makunudu island maldives

Wine & Dine

The thatched-roofed Ara Iru – meaning ‘Rising Sun’ – serves up diverse international buffets and hosts speciality nights twice a week, including a barbecue with entertainment. Weekly thematic options help to prevent permanent guests from experiencing boredom. For example, on Tuesdays, as a rule, there are offers for barbecue, while other nights see special events on land, at sea and in the garden. New flavours of Japanese and Spanish cuisine have been introduced as well as an enhanced wine menu. Breakfast and lunch are always in buffet style and dinner in the form of a buffet and a la carte. The à la carte dining each night needs to be pre-booked and is at extra cost. Beach tables for a romantic meal can be set right next to the water, if weather is good. For added romance, candlelit dinners can be arranged on the beach, in your bungalow or in another memorable setting.

The bar and restaurant occupy almost all one public building. The floors are made of the finest sand, and the roof is thatched. This is an original thatch hut, that from inside is held by coconut tree slats. Nothing annoys the calm of couples enjoying drinks and chatter inside, or outside on the deck overlooking the lagoon. Restaurant and bar equipped with Narumi crockery for fine dining, Luzerne crockery for buffet dining and Spiegelau glassware. Food has nothing to write about, but delicious food is offered in generous portions and there are options for a dinner for two.

makunudu island maldives

Guests can choose from half board, full board and all-inclusive packages. All of the "all inclusive" plan will have an excellent choice of alcoholic beverages, as well as white and red wines. When it comes to drinks, The Sand Bar is the perfect spot with a breezy deck for sunset cocktails – opt for an oceanside table out on the deck to soak up the views. Live entertainment takes place twice a week: Friday is a traditional drum dance, and on Tuesdays there is a group of two performers that plays live music. The bar are open until the last customer. The service is outstanding, friendly and formal. If the guests are lucky, their visit coincides with one of the half-yearly staff parties, where all guests are invited.

makunudu island maldives

What's Included

Half Board

• Buffet breakfast at Ara Iru restaurant
• Set menu dinner at Ara Iru restaurant with 2 speciality buffet nights per week

Full Board

• Buffet breakfast and lunch at Ara Iru restaurant 
• Set menu dinner at Ara Iru restaurant with 2 speciality buffet nights per week

All Inclusive 

• Buffet breakfast and lunch at Ara Iru restaurant 
• Set menu dinner at Ara Iru restaurant with 2 speciality buffet nights per week 
• Selected drinks by the glass including house wine, draught beer, house spirits, selected cocktails, bottled water, soft drinks and tea and coffee 
• Snacks 10-11.30am and 4-5pm 
• 2 bottles of in-room water per day 
• Wi-Fi in rooms and public areas 
• Snorkelling equipment 
• 1 snorkelling trip 
• 1 introductory dive 
• Catamaran sailing and windsurfing.

Things to Do

Riyaa Water Sports Centre provides a snorkelling gear is free, but there is a charge for water skiing, wakeboarding, tjubing, canoeing, catamarans and windsurfing. All Included package include several types of activities, such as windsurfing and catamarans. From visits to local islands to romantic sandbank dining, excursions are available for snorkeling outside the house reef and night fishing - some of them are included in the price. In the "lobby" there are books. If there are not enough people to join the tour, the staff will be informed in order to restructure the time under other guests.

Dive Ocean Makunudu is the perfect diving center for relaxed divers and people that want to learn how to dive : with multilingual instructors are taught in English, Dutch, Arabic and Spanish, a nice and easy house reef and many easy and medium-easy dive sites just around the island - including a Manta point, a shark point and the famous Blue Canyon. The school offers a number of introducing classes, open water, advanced and rescue diver courses. There are tariffs and packages, including gear for 15 dives. Night diving is also on the menu.

For a little extra indulgence, the Aavun Spa combines Maldivian, Asian and European wellness techniques and traditions. The tiny spa is equipped with two therapeutic huts, and there are two masseuses from Indonesia. In the menu for face and body treatments, including Swedish and Balinese massage, reflexology, scrubs and awakening face masks. Other amenities include a library of public books and a flat-screen TV, but the sofa here is uncomfortable on purpose - the idea is to watch TV as rarely as possible. Due to the lack of Wi-Fi in the lobby there is one desktop computer for those who really need to connect to the Internet. The price for using a computer is $ 6 for half an hour (buy sim cards with mobile Internet in Male airport).


For an indescribably beautiful, gimmick-free getaway in the Maldives, look no further than this under-the-radar island and the multi-award-winning sanctuary sitting harmoniously upon it. Surrounded by the clear waters of the Indian Ocean, Makunudu offers the kind of low-key luxury that can be hard to find in the world's most glamorous archipelago. Add to that a coveted place on Condé Nast Traveller's Gold List 2016, and being named both the region's Luxury Honeymoon Hotel and Romantic Luxury Hotel of the Year at the 2016 World Luxury Hotel Awards, and you get the picture.

Quiet, authentic (and long-term!) Resort for those who want to get away from the world; Beautiful secluded beaches with stunning sunrises and sunsets; Light, mainly European clientele; Personal service and friendly staff; Bungalow with a charming interior made of wood and easy access to the beach; Minibars, desks and bathrooms; Excellent PADI dive program and water sports (for an additional fee); Live entertainment several nights a week; Good Indonesian massages with various procedures ... A beautiful little island with no frills. an ideal place for honeymooners and people who want to relax from people on a desert island with all the amenities

Pros: Why Stay Here

  • Close to Male
  • Very beautiful an greenery island
  • Friendly, smily and helpful staff
  • Good value for money
  • The atmosphere of privacy and tranquility
  • Rooms with very convenient access to the beach
  • Excellent cuisine. Delisious food.
  • Amazing house reef snorkeling
  • Good massages in the spa
makunudu island maldives

What You Need to Know

  • The hotel is located on a private island in North Male Atoll and is 50-minutes by speedboat from Male airport
  • Check-in from 14:00, Check-out to 12:00
  • All children are welcome.
  • No Wi-Fi
  • No pool
  • No bathrobes or slippers in the room
  • Some beach erosion is visible
  • Limited snacks between meals
  • Extra bed upon request
  • Feyli Boutique : clothing and gifts
makunudu island maldives

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