Rihiveli Maldives Resort
Best Experience for: Couples, Beach, Activities, Diving, Value
Rihiveli is a very special place that gets even more special with a new management of the dream Maldives. The island is one of the most iconic resort of the country that remains true to the original spirit of the Maldives. Rihiveli The Dream is a true legend ! One of the few resort that managed to keep a traditional architecture perfectly mingled in the tropical landscape as well as a concept based on simplicity and friendliness. You can only fall in love with its magnificence and become immediately addicted to the peace mixed to happiness it offers you.
A popular choice amongst European repeat guests, Rihiveli The Dream is set on the stunning island of Mahaanaelhi Huraa in South Male Atoll and accessible by boat from Velana International airport. In Rihiveli, guests live at the rhythm of nature with a choice of 48 bungalows, all sunset or sunrise facing. Unique to its surroundings are two virgin islands of Sunrise and the Birds within the lagoon, both easily accessible on foot or by canoe. The overwater restaurant offers an international cuisine with fresh local products, grilled fish, salad bar and fresh fruits. A range of activities and excursions is available. The watersports centre offers a huge range of activities, including fun diving and snorkeling trips, windsurfing, sailing and much more. There is Nala spa on the island.
Built in the 1980s, Rihiveli is a low-cost resort with all the necessary leisure components for the Maldives — white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons, a large selection of free water sports, exciting excursions, clean rooms and tasty food, but nothing more. Rooms with a minimum set of facilities and amenities for survival, there is only one restaurant (half-board and full-board prices are available at an extra cost), and the hotel may not have enough on land facilities such as a swimming pool and a fitness center.
In 2018 Rihiveli Beach Resort re-opened under a new management that says it will operate under these key principles: Respect for the environment, its fauna and flora. No new construction will come to denature these places. Respect for employees and their cultures. Conviviality, activities, entertainment, well-being, tranquility and harmony. Honesty at all levels. Even if it has always been a magical place, Jean-Marc and Kty, as the new management recently settled, really empowered the concept. The new managment and Concept Director took over the ideal of the paradise and make it real. If you already came before, you will be amazed by the incredible work they make to reveal this site its beauty and to give each guest their full expectations.
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at the edge of the oceanic barrier reef surrounded by a perfect turquoise lagoon regularly visited by a pod of dolphins. The resort is something of a sophisticated club where most of the facilities and activities are included and where people make acquaintances around affable, mixed dinner tables and enjoy evenings of light entertainment together, organised by the big, cheerful, informal Baba.
You take your shoes off on the jetty when you arrive and walk down the narrow sandy path that flows through the middle of the island. The resort is much more than you expect - the island, the activities, the food, the service and the whole atmosphere contribute to the amazing experience. Here there are no concrete paths, no central hub of restaurants, reception, bars and swimming pool. On this island they don’t even have air conditioning. It is a place where well-heeled French (70%) come to switch off from the life of hectic Europe and live simply for a while. Italians, Germans and British who have discovered it are happy to take the other rooms.
The island itself is a beauty with its authentic Maldivian flora and fauna. Tall and majestic coconut palms watch over lavishly green rubber-tree shrubs, which are the home of many funny-walking small birds and geckos (those tiny, super-cute lizards that keep the surroundings bug-free). Then there are the 2 additional uninhabited islands which you can get to wade (through knee- or waist-high water, depending on the tide) or by free canoe. These islands are even more tranquil, picturesque and green. It is a pleasure to spend half a day sunbathing on the golden and white sand, to take a stroll on the natural walkway which emerges from the water at low tide or snorkel along the islands' coasts. It's also a picture-perfect place, flooded with natural light and exhibiting striking colors. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
Ethos of the South Pacific are evident in the beautifully designed bar and games building, with its high thatched roof that slopes sharply down and reaches low to the ground around its open sides. Right in the middle of the island (and next to the similarly designed boutique) this place becomes the focus around sunset when guests gather to watch the daily spectacle and partake in a pre-prandial game of boules. After dinner the place fills up again for a drink and camaraderie and maybe a table tennis tournament or bodu beru on the beach. Wi-Fi (at the bar and reception area) works seamlessly.
You really will love the "no news, no shoes" policy on the island, as it entices people to socialize, disconnect from the fast-track, stressful lives back at home and to feel the essence of calm and relaxing vibes of the Maldives so often portrayed in travel articles. Moreover, you especially will appreciate the drinking water policy of the resort - each bungalow is provided with a thermos filled twice a day with approx. 2 l of de-salinized, filtered water - which one could replenish himself/herself from the main bar at any hour of the day (or night). Why so much appreciation for this? Because it's plastic-free - no PET water bottles that could otherwise end up in the ocean, endangering marine life. And because it's unlimited and not program-restrained.
Of course, the mainstay of this wonderful experience is the Rihiveli staff. They create an inclusive, familyfamily atmosphere where nothing is pushed but everything is possible. The key to it all is the fact that many staff members have been here since the resort began 26 years ago. And many guests have come back 10, 15 and 20 times.
Rihiveli is managed by a team of professional Europeans, all nature and outdoor enthusiasts. But in Rihiveli the true talent belongs to the Maldivian team, with a strong loyalty to Rihiveli for many years. In addition to the English language spoken by all, some of them even understand and speak French.
Authenticity, simplicity, friendliness, island environmental protection, full equipment for the confort... all is now at its maximum, and what you may have already discovered here is now completely reborn and on top. The link with the Maldivian team is stronger than before. Hard to describe in words how their daily smile and devotion contribute to make your stay so special. Rihiveli is like a family and making the experience of it is a privilege. Services, efficiency, and goodminded team.
Most of the visitors to the island are European and mostly French. As it often happens not many of them speak or want to speak English. But fortunately, all the staff do!
Located on its own private island in the South Male Atoll ( South Kaafu atoll), Rihiveli is 43 km away or a 50-minutes speed boat transfer from Malé Airport. Located at the atoll's southernmost tip, Rihiveli The Dream is more distant than most resorts in this part of the Maldives, with the nearest island more than three kilometers away. The time on the island is one hour ahead of Malé City - an artificial difference that many resorts use to create the appearance of a longer daylight hours. All year round, approximately 125 islanders live in the island's western end.
Rooms and Bungalows
The bungalows are no doubt compact but their simplicity and rustic elegance is all you want. Charming bungalows with sea view (sun rise or sunset side), perfectly shaded under the palm trees creating a cool temperature in the rooms. The standard of the rooms is the lowest but at the same time this island is probably the most authentic. Put the fan on, let the breeze come in through the door and open slats, look out past your hammock to the lagoon and know that this is the way it should be done. That´s why you can even find some charm in the fact that their living standard lacks the luxury you normally find in the Maldives. The bungalows are cleaned twice a day. That will help you to get rid of the eventual sand you have taken inside the room during the day. And you feel your room is always clean. You will also get a thermos with cold water refilled during cleaning. There is no generator or air conditioner hum, just the lapping of the waves.
On the Island : 46 standard bungalows (22 m2, 2 persons). 2 Deluxe bungalows (32 m2, 3 persons, extra outdoor shower). Extras beds on request / 1 family bungalow on demand (up to 5 persons); All bungalows have a terrace, sun beds and hammock. All Rooms are equipped with ceiling fan and drinking water thermos (water is produced on the island). Laundry service is included. There are still some AC-rooms available but as we understand they are on the way to disappear to continue with the more natural feeling of the island
The accommodation is simple, neat, with spacious rooms and bathrooms and fitted with all necessary furniture and amenities. There is plenty of storage space (you'll love the large wardrobe!); the king-sized bed is very comfortable and the ceiling fan is the ideal substitute for A/C on an eco-friendly island as Rihiveli. Each beach bungalow has its own name (so no dull room numbers), a relaxing shaded terrace with direct view of the sea, and inviting sunbeds on the beach right in front.
Restaurant and Bar
The food is absolutely fabulous! The Lagoon restaurant and the bar are wisely located and have beautiful Maldivian-inspired architecture. At a thatched over-water restaurant, guests enjoy simple food, frequently from the sea, made into classic European and Asian dishes. It is a change to see a kitchen not afraid of local spices. The buffets also have particularly impressive salads and fruits. With views to die еhe overwater restaurant is facing sunrise and you will be able to observe turtles, juvenile sharks and colourful fishes. The bar showcase some of the best sunsets.
All 3 meals are buffet style and buffet themes are regular during the week. Three times a week they offer themed dinners right on the beach, under the stars. For lunch or romantic beach dinner there is always the option of a barbecue on the neighbouring Sunrise island, to which you wade out, canoe or sail. About the food we can say that both lunch and dinner are of a very good standard. So, we recommend going full board, if you don´t choose all inclusive.
For those who love big lagoons, this is a dream. Though it is rather too shallow at low tide for swimming, small pools have been created off both sides of the island. It also means that the reefis inaccessible from the beach but there are 2 free snorkel trips a day. In general, it must be said, the snorkeling, in terms of corals in particular, is not the best around.
The beach that looks into the lagoon, the sunset side, is finer than the other side, which is augmented by pumped sand and has a low lagoon wall. But the view to the open sea here takes in the 2 beautiful islets. On such a narrow island, there is little to choose in terms of location, especially since every room has its own private setting of a beach and view to water.
Guests can sunbathe on the beach, on soft wooden lounge chairs directly in front of their rooms, or choose other beaches on this picturesque island. Not all beach chairs have umbrellas, so use a sunscreen. Beautiful white sand in some places can be mined with fragments of coral, so for people with sensitive skin we recommend coral shoes.
Things to Do
All in all, the proposed program, along with the activities at hand make Rihiveli the Dream entertaining without being too agitated. It's the perfect blend of fun and relaxation!
The resort's diving centre, operated by BlueTribe, is a certified PADI 5 Stars. All PADI courses are available. The dive sites around Rihiveli are world renowned thanks to the pelagic encounters in the nearby channels. Diving boat trip morning and afternoon as well as early morning 2 tanks dive and night dives. Traditional fishing excursions schedules several time during the week. ON THE ISLAND For non-wet activities: petanque, ping-pong, pool & snooker, volley-ball, beach-volley and football. Board games and library corner near the bar. WELL BEING Relaxing or invigorating massages at the SPA Regular activities such as Yoga, fitness, Pilates. EVENINGS Theme nights (white party, games, etc..).
There are in fact 2 desert islands in the lagoon for the guests’ pleasure. The second is an even more secluded ‘bird island’. They can be reached at any time with any of the free watersports equipment. Lessons too are freely given by a notably friendly staff. Of all the free excursions, the most popular is the ‘bivouac', where 2 to 4 people spend a full day cruising around the atoll to the south, visiting inhabited and uninhabited islands and then sleeping on deck under the stars. The other excursions are of the usual variety though they do also offer serious big game fishing (for which you pay serious big money).
The snorkelling equipment (fins, mask and snorkel) is available Free of charge during your entire stay. Guided snorkeling boat trips are scheduled every morning and afternoon. The snorkeling trips are astounding - the coral reefs are amazing (the ones which are still alive or have just started growing); there are many colorful fish species; and the island's "lagoon" is full of dolphins (tens and even hundreds of them!) which, from time to time, jump out of the water and spin wonderfully in the air, as if they were jumping through a circus ring! (No, no one makes them do this.)
Water sports available are: Windsurf, kitesurf, catamaran, Stand Up Paddle, kayak, wakeboard and water-ski. The best part of it is that, except diving, all other water sports are provided free of charge by the resort, as long as you know how to practice them. Nonetheless, if you never tried windsurfing or water-skiing, for example, you might just take lessons at Rihiveli, because they're not expensive, the instructor is absolutely great and, most probably, you will only need one lesson before being able to practice it (at a beginner's level), free of charge. Need I mention that the resort provides the necessary equipment for all water sports? Yes, including snorkeling gear (fins too) for both the organized trips and individual use in the "house" reef.
We also appreciated the non-water-related activities, such as "movie night", the Sunrise Island barbeque, the beach dinners, game nights and yoga/pilates classes! Further afield, guests can head off on excursions to Male to experience life in the Maldivian capital.
For the travelers: bed and pillows are perfect, food is incredible, snorkeling and diving experience is unforgettable (to swim naturally and by surprise with Dolphins, turtles, and discovery of the most beautiful undersea sites. I can bet, if you come you will return ! We really recommend this island as it´s natural beauty is hard to match even in the Maldives.
Why stay here? What Guests Love
- A great location close to Malé airport
- A natural and unspoilt island
- The authentic Maldives vibe
- The staff are friendly and helpful
- the three islands - one great price
- Beautiful beaches
- Delicious and varied food
- Fantastic Diving
- Value for money
- Drinking water is free
- Free rental of non-water sports (including kayaks and snorkeling equipment)
- Great fishing
- Free snorkeling twice a day
- Barbecue picnics on a nearby desert island
- "White Party" on Wednesdays with dancing and cocktails on the beach
- Long sand spit - you can make beautiful selfies!
What You Need to Know
- In 2021 Rihiveli, the most naturally-beautiful resort in Maldives, has reopened under a new management.
- Rihiveli Maldives Resort is located in South Male Atoll and it is 5o minutes by speedboat from Velana International Airport, Malé;
- Check-in from 14:00, Check-out until 12:00
- All children are welcome.
- Expensive food and drinks
- There is no house reef on the island
- No pool, fitness center, tennis court
- No air conditioning anywhere on the island
- Simple rooms do not have refrigerators, televisions, telephones, safes, wifi
- Dimly lit at night; can be difficult to navigate in the dark
- Expensive boat transfer from and to the airport
- Public Wi-Fi (only at the reception and at the bar) can be slow
- there is no internet in the room
- No playground or kids club
- Beach bungalows only
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