Best Experience: Couples, Beaches, House Reef Snorkeling, Diving, Activities, Value
With its own luxury Safari Boats, Safari Island is located in the heart of North Ari Atoll, Maldives. Combines warm hospitality with a lovely ambiance, the resort's main highlights are white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters with incredible house reef snorkeling. Located only 20 minutes by seaplane from Malé airport, Safari Island is the perfect getaway for a relaxing and exciting break away.
Opened in 2013, relatively new Safari Island has the 39 overwater bungalows along with 15 more Semi-Overwater Bungalows and only 30 beach bungalows, all accommodation with ocean's views, delicious food options, wonderful marine life and good house reef that is ideal for snorkelling and diving. Each bungalow is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. Entertain the hotel's recreational facilities, including private beach, fitness center, main swimming pool, dive and water sports center and thai spa. If you are looking a peaceful and lovely escape, Safari Island is the right place you have to be, especially since a great value for money allows the guests to enjoy every second of their holiday in total relaxation.
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On arrival do not expect drums and fireworks, as the smiles, the refreshing towels and the drinks at the reception are more than enough. Anchored in the North Ari atoll and shaped like a curved Dhoni (Maldivian traditional boat), Safari Island is a magical place where water and sand lie in contrast to the exuberant green foliage. Even in the Maldives, an island so perfectly formed as Safari is rare. The resort is lush, with wide sandy beaches surrounding the emerald green and is home to one of the most colourful and lively house reef in the Maldives. The island is tiny and cozy, but beautiful, and you can easily walk around in a few minutes. You understand you are in Maldeves in every moment with beautiful sea and sand.
A thread of 15 Semi-Water Bungalows run on one tip of the island. The opposite end is a jetty leading to 39 Water Bungalows. The 30 Beach Bungalows are on the island part in exotic green vegetation including palm trees. All the 84 rooms come with sea view.
One side of the island is a clear lagoon and a corals on the other. Greenery has more of some bushes than palms and mangroves. Lagoon part faces the west and has more privacy but is full of dhonies and boats coming and going. Eastern part has more 'Maldivian look' with better beach but is crowded and bungalows have less privacy. There is a small swimming pool close to the restaurant. Also a small library at the reception. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
There are two sides of the island with beach villas - the one where the jetty is and the east side. Its more quiet with sun in the morning up to around 3.30 pm. The jetty side is quite loud as all the small sea planes lands there, but you get sun most of a day and even beautifull sun set. The east side is very quite and I personally think, much much nicer. Every day at 5.30 on the jetty side you can see sharks feeding if you are bored.
As for the clientele, when we were staying there were people from China, Europeans, Americans, Russians, Thais and other Asians. All kind of tourists, families, friends, young and elder couples.
Ari Atoll is 89km in length and 30km in width and has 105 islands and is administratively divided into two parts: North Atoll Ari and South Ari Atoll. South Ari Atoll, a Protected Marine Area, remains one of the best places in the world to see whale sharks, which are spotted year-round on the outer reef, while North Ari Atoll is famous for its hammerhead sharks, although these are far more elusive and require deep diving to see. Most of the islands are home for the luxury resortswhile others are uninhabited, the rest are inhabited by local residents. The main occupations of Ari Atoll are fishing, sailing, harvesting and processing of corals. READ MORE
The resort is situated on the beach of Mushimasgali Island in the Maldives. At Velana International Airport (Malé) you'll be met by hotel staff and helpe aboard seaplane. Air Taxi Maldivian will take you from Malé directly to the Safari Island in approximately 20 minutes.The scenic seaplane transfer offers an unforgettable bird’s eye view en route to this Island resort in Maldives.
Dream hideaway, intimate and magical setting; choose from one of the 30 Maldivian types of thatched, detached Beach Bungalows, 15 Semi-Water Bungalows and 39 Water Bungalows. All types of accommodation have direct sea view so that‘s super nice. Best rooms are the Semi-Water Bungalows as these have full privacy, are all South/Southwest (enjoy the sun all day) and are in front of the main entries/exits for the house reef snorkeling.
Beach Bungalows (45 sqm) Hot & cold fresh water, Bathtub with separate shower, Air condition, mini fridge, Satellite TV with flat Screen, Hair Dryer, Telephone, Tea/ Coffee making facilities, Wc, Luxury bamboo furniture, Sun Chair, Bathroom amenities ( Bathrobe, Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower gel) Wi-Fi available at cost.
Semi Water Bungalows and Water Bungalows (45sqm): In Addition to the Beach bungalow facilities, Glass bottom table, Backdoor to the private sundeck, direct access to lagoon and land.
Beach Bungalows on the Reef Side are our first recommendation: because you can easy get to house reef, on this side is also the restaurant and the bar, it is not so windy and the beach is also very-very nice. The other side, Lagoon Side, it is windy, good for sports for example, but there are also the Dhoni Boats to see and much more "action and sea waves". There are some Beach Bungalows on this lagoon side, with a thin strip of sand (rooms 110-112). SEE ROOM № MAP
On the reef side, starting from the restaurant, Beach Bungalows 129 and 130 are very close to the reception, the next ones (120-128) have more beach in front of the villas. There is also the chance bigger that chinese people will "camp" for some hours in front of you, because they mostly book Water Villas.The others 120-113 have more vegetation - that means more privacy.
The Rooms inside are nice, wood mostly, sure they have "some years" but when you find something "damaged" remember, we go wet inside and bring a lot of sand and that is sure not good. Twice per day will be cleaned, so they are really clean, most of the time. The guests like the large window, or rather the entire frontal wall of glass and the sea can be seen directly from the bed. TV, tea, safe, canopy bed. The bathroom has two sinks, separate shower and bath. A covered veranda with two massive deck chairs and your own sun beds on the beach. Bungalows have direct access to the beach, sand is fine as powder, the entrance to the water is very safe.
Semi-Water Bungalows get the best of both beach and over water. Bungalow has an entrance from the shore, and the sun terrace is located above the water with direct access to the blue lagoon. Right opposite the bungalows a few meters away is the house reef teeming with a fish life. Living spaces bathed in warm natural light, perched atop the turquoise lagoon. A full sea-facing wall opens out to the spacious over-water terrace and the expansive lagoon beyond. Some people recommend numbers from 140 to 147 but they are far away from restaurant. If you are too lazy when you are hungry the closest ones like 133 are just perfect. Two great different feelings.
The Overwater Bungalows are smaller than most in the Maldives, but still larger than typical hotel rooms elsewhere. Each stylish residence features a glass-bottom coffee table with direct views down into the lagoon below, plus steps down into the lagoon from the private sun deck. With custom-made rattan furniture, wood floors, these rooms have a real 'wow' factor. Here you’ll also be able to choose between sunset or sunrise views. The furniture, the bathroom is renewed and all is clean. Water Bungalows have the privacy and the view is exactly the same as the photos. Cleaning is good. No complaints.
The Island is surrounded by white powdery, sandy beaches and crystal clear water lagoon and house reef which is attractive for snorkeling and diving with attractive diving spots.
Although you will find beautiful beaches all over the island - yes you can spot also a sandbags on Safari like everywhere else. You must have in mind, the resort try the best to save their island and the beaches for their guests. It is nature, not man's fault. Mostly sandbags protect the island on the northern tip close to Beach Villa 113 and 110-112.
The house reef is just minutes from the shore. Safari Island Resort is one of the few islands having house reef so close to the island. Despite the closeness to the reef, the opposite side of the island have no reef and just clear blue waters if anyone is interested. The lagoon is ideal for watersports.
Dining and Wining
The resort has one restaurant and three bars. Shaded with a magnificent white marquee, the Lagoon restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves food with buffet style, including lively Theme Nights. The restaurant and bars are also set over-water so you‘ll always have spectacular ocean views.
Table and a waiter for each room is reserved. Always ready and clean. Most of the time good meat and chicken are serve by generous portions. Food quality is overall very good, in terms of variety, quantity and most importantly quality. There is almost every evening something new to eat and tasty. Buffets are very rich with 6-7 different stations (Curries, Meat, Vegetables, Very Nice Salads, Pasta Experience Cook, Special Meet Cook, Top Deserts). The prices for Beers (4.50$) and Drinks (8$+) are fair. The special food also can prepare on request. The staff is very gentleman and helpfull. Snacks in the afternoon are limited to couple of types of sandwiches, there should be more alternatives, like salad. At for wine, is dissapointment as only one red, one white and one rose by glass. You should not miss the scheduled meals as there is no other alternatives.No room service. Room refrigerator needs to be filled by your selves.
Sunday night dinner is Maldivian/Asian night with a themed menu and Soups, breads and desserts are homemade and the fresh, tropical fruits are delicious. The buffet lines also include live action, cooking station which the chefs prepare your food as your preference. A Selected A La Carte Menu is available in the Restaurant which is chargeable. Restaurant opening hours: Breakfast: 07.30 - 10:00; Lunch: 12:30 - 14:00 (every Friday lunch at 13:15 - 14:30) Dinner: 19:30 - 21:00
Twice daily the restaurant throws fish scraps into the ocean, which lured in fantastic sea life: massive rays, eels, larger sharks than the usual swimming around everywhere, and more.
Palm is overwater bar set next to the main restaurant. Floating in the turquoise lagoon is the island bar where guests may enjoy drinks and spend leisure time. Open from morning until the last guest leaves, the bar also has a happy hours. The coffee shop at the main bar also serves a range of coffee, light snacks or special meals which can be enjoyed in the spacious environment, serenaded by the sound of the waves and the ocean breeze. Palm Bar will have a large bar counter, area with seating inside and outside deck, over the lagoon, facing Seaview. The bar has live musik once every 2 weeks on Monday and saturday diving movie by diving center team.
The sundown bar set on a wooden deck with a view of the stunning lagoon turns into a splendid a fair at sundown when nature paints a different scene every dusk. The golden sun sinks beneath the horizon casting a multitude of orange, red and pink hues across the sky and there is no place better to enjoy the show that at sundown bar, accompanied with a drink or two
Pool Bar serves drinks and snacks. All Inclusive guests can enjoy their entitled drinks here. The bar also hosts crab race on every Tuesday night.
Guests can choose their own crab from the bucket of crabs and place them in the racing track where you win FREE Beers if your crab crosses the line first.
All Inclusive Meal Plan - What's Included
The Following are included in the All-Inclusive (AI) Package Meals
All Inclusive: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner at the main restaurant
Half Board Plus: Breakfast and Dinner at the main restaurant
Unlimited Beverages: ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, SOFT DRINKS, HOT BEVERAGES, SELECTED COCKTAILS, SANDWICHES AND CAKES, JUICES;
Sandwiches, Toast, and Cakes are served at Palm Bar: Mid-Morning from 10:00 am to 11:30am| Afternoon from 15:00 am to 17:00 pm
NB: A) All the above drinks (except Mineral water) will be served by glasses. Guests are requested to sign all the Bills with amount total in 0.00, this is for accounting purpose, and there will be no charges.
Activities and services: Free excursion by slow Boat (option: Snorkeling Trip or Half Day Local Island Trip / Guest have to join any of the above-mentioned excursions available during their stay)
Facilities and Service: Snorkeling equipment (available at the reception Lost or damaged equipment's will be charged at cost price, All equipment should be returned 08 hours prior to departure time)
Fitness Room (Gym), Table Tennis, Volley Ball, Hand Soccer, Dart and board games.
The following are not included :
Fresh Fruit Juices, Premium Brand Sprits Wine and Champagne, Cappuccino and espresso
Safari Boat Cruise
Luxury Boat makes this island special and unique. The Island has its own luxury Safari Boats for the use of in-house guest for Free of Charge.( Stay 7 nights and have 01 Day free boat cursing, Stay 14 Nights and have 02 Days free boat cursing). The recommendet highlight, Luxury Safari Boat trip includes lunch on a deserted sandbank and dolphin watching. If you stay 14 nights it‘s 2 days so you‘ll also stay overnight in the boat.
The boats are very unique and look artistically traditional but offers modern comfort and luxury furnishing. Luxury Boat is equipped with hot & cold fresh water, Air-condition, Refrigerator, DVD Player, TV fully Equipped kitchen, Tea/Coffee making Facilities, Wc, Luxury furniture, Sun Deck Table, bathroom amenities (Bathrobe, Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower gel) Deep Sea fishing and Snorkelling Equipment.
Dream to see a whale shark? Some of the popular whale shark spots are not too far from Safari Islandt. Just ask your butler to go there and you can enjoy the cruise till your butler come back to help you wear snorkeling gears. Just jump off the vessel and swim with the whale sharks. Fulfill your dream and take many selfies for Instagram.
House Reef Snorkeling
Snorkeling in the Maldives is a must and Safari's house reef offers one of the best snorkeling experience in this part of the country. The waters surrounding the island teem with brightly coloured fish and other marine life. The snorkeling is exciting and provide lots to explore and interact with. An easily accessible, the house reef is 7-8 meters distance from the beach and ideal for snorkeling and diving with live corals and many different kinds of sea creatures.
We have done snork every day for hours. No need to take additional tour, island is surrounded by corals. We have seen sea turtle, swam with sharks. If you stay at the resort at least 5 nights, you also receive a free(!), private(!) boat trip out to sea for even more amazing snorkeling.
Superb snorkelling can be done straight from the shore – from the jetty or via the cut-through by the overwater restaurant – and it’s worth booking one of the snorkelling trips to nearby thilas for the chance to spot manta rays or whale sharks. It takes a little longer to reach the best dive sites, but it’s recommended if you don’t mind the journey.
Scuba diving in Ari Atoll is relaxing, adventurous, sometimes challenging, and always stunning. After North Male, Ari (also known as Alifu) is considered the most visited atoll in Maldives, and this contributes to a high degree to the quality of diving. With white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, many divers rate Ari Atoll's sites to be the best in the country, and they also feature prominently on many Maldivian dive safari routes. Diving in Ari Atoll is not known for the brilliance of its corals. Rather, divers choose these waters for regular discovering pelagic species. Hammerhead sharks, mantas and other pelagics are more common around Ari Atoll, and even the mighty whale shark appears regularly, especially in marine reserves located in the southern part of the atoll. READ MORE
Joy Dive Maldives is the diving and water sports centre is under german
management. Certified as a 5-star PADI/SSI and with 20 years of experience in the Maldives, the dive school offers a simple regulated and professionally organized diving experience including dive cources. They are offering daily half-day trips, full-day trips (3 dives) and early-morning, as well as night dives. Great dive sites, such as Fish-head, Maaya Thila, Hafsa Thila, Manta Point, Fesdu Wreck are must dive! The house reef is nice if you dive first time but most of the corrals are bleached like in the whole area and compared to 15-20yrs ago maybe 20% of them left. There are 4 entry and exit points, marked by 4 buoys, with ropes to a depth of 20 m to help as an orientation for you.
Besides house reef snorkeling, diving and Safari Boat Cruises, other activities that are available include a romantic getaway, sunset cruise, all day deserted Island, dolphin search, visiit local villages, mantas and whale shark spotting, and much more.
Joy Water Sport Centre offers wake boarding (for beginner and experienced rider), waterski, stand up paddle (SUP), canoe, windsurfing and catamaran sailing. Sports facilities on the island include a fully equipped Fitness Centre & Gym, swimming pool, tennis, ping pong, darts, table games and volleyball courts.
Excursions Available Full day and Half Day Island hopping, snorkeling safari, Night fishing, Morning fishing.
Chargeable: Scuba diving Catamaran, Canoeing, Wind Surfing, Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, Fun Tube and Banana ride, Stand up paddling.
Free of Charge: Table Tennis, Volley Ball, Hand Soccer, darts and etc..
Occasional: Disco, Live Band, Traditional Maldivian Boduberu, Crab race and etc.
Set over the lagoon's sparkling waters, Duny is the Thai spa. Their treatments are designed to help you relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, but most importantly you will return home with more energy, greater focus and an enhanced sense of balance. On the menu are traditional Thai Massage, Royal Thai Aromatic Massage, Stone Massage, Back, Neck & Head Massage, reflexology, different kinds of facials and scrubs, as well a some package for a couples. Thai masseuses really know their stuff!
When it comes to a beautiful setting, very few other honeymoon resorts in Maldives can come close to Safari Island. The resort offers their guests a bespoke Island Vows services set on a secluded stretch of the beach of your choice. All you will have to do is decide on the date that you want your Maldives wedding, and the islanders will do the rest to ensure that your special day is tailored to your liking to make it the perfect day that you always dreamt about.
There are library and boutique & souvenir shop on the island. Free Wifi is available only at the reseptions and at the bars, so it's wiser to buy a sim-card with mobile internet at Male airport to stay in touch with the rest of the world.
This resort hosts a whole range of reviews, some good and some less than ideal. Positive reviews detail a great staff that are consistently friendly, views that impress and great food. Negative reviews touch on difficult Wi-Fi, semi clean rooms and lack of a manager on-site to help answer questions and take care of concerns. It is important to keep in mind though that this resort is relatively new and complaints may be from kinks that will work themselves out over time.
Pros: What We Like
- Great Location on a private island close to Male airport
- Beautiful island
- Helpful and Notable staff. Friendly service;
- Safari Boat cruise
- Clean and comfortable bungalows. All with sea views and outdoor decks
- Overwater Bungalows have a glass-bottom coffee table
- The beaches
- House reef snorkeling
- Delicious and varied buffet food with themed nights.
- Diving shcool
- A Good Thai Spa
- All Inclusive meal plan
What You Need to Know
- Safari Island is located on Mushimasgali Island in North Ari atoll
- You can reach Safari Island from Velana International airport via seaplane ride (20min flight/around 375 USD) only.
- Check-in from 14:00 -17:30, Check-out from 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
- All children are welcome. But the resort has no kids club
- The view is everywhere breathtaking, no matter what room number, so we recommend again to try both of them Beach and Semi-Water in the same holiday.
- Fumigation (mosquitoes) is regularly on the island
- Internet is very slow
- No room service
- Island shop is convenient than the airport. Bargain to make 10% discount.
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