Hurawalhi Island Resort

Review of Hurawalhi Island Resort review by Varun Sharma

Hurawalhi Island Resort, Maldives is an ultra-chic, adults only five-star resort designed with a modern, minimalist take on traditional Maldivian architecture. The quintessential Maldivian retreat, this island property is surrounded by pristine, palm fringed white sandy beaches and a deep turquoise ocean, offering 90 villas in total split between the beach and the ocean. 

There are seven bars and restaurants ranging from the all-day Canneli for both buffet and à la carte dining, Kashibo for a taste of Asian street food, JFK (Junk Food Kitchen) for an alternative take on fast food classics to the spectacular 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant. For shoreline lazing, cocktail in hand there is Coco Bar, with the bar at Kashibo offering Shochu cocktails over water and the Champagne Pavilion for the ultimate sunset Champagne cocktail with canapés. 

Facilities wise, there is the Duniye Spa offering a natural, holistic and personalised approach to wellbeing; a fully equipped Fitness Centre; a Medical Clinic; a Games Room with table tennis, billiards and so forth; the Thari Boutique for branded merchandise, clothing and more plus Fine Jewels offering gemstones and jewellery at reasonable prices. Activities include sunset dolphin cruises, private sailing, deep sea fishing and a wide range of watersports. There is also The Manta Trust Marine Biology Centre run by the resort’s resident marine biologist; Prodivers offering regular scheduled guided diving and snorkelling trips; a freshwater infinity swimming pool, artificial courts for football, tennis and badminton and a deep-sea sport fishing boat.

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Hurawahli is tucked away in the pristine Lhaviyani Atoll, surrounded by a beautiful, protective lagoon, an excellent house reef and encircling white sandy beaches, edged with palm trees. The sole resort on the island, the entire land mass is around 6.5 hectares in total and around 400 metres in length by 165 metres width. 

When landing in Velana International Airport on Malé and clearing immigration, guests are met by the resort’s airport staff and escorted to the TMA Terminal for onward transportation to the island, relaxing in comfort in the Hurawalhi Lounge with cold face towels, complimentary beverages and Wi-Fi. From there, the island is just a scenic 45 minutes’ flight away. 

There are 1,192 islands encompassing The Maldives, strung across the Equator like a necklace in the Indian Ocean. The sea and the sky offer a wide palette of blue and aqua shades from a Tiffany blue to a deep dark midnight blue with the horizon sometimes blurred between them whilst the beaches are formed from soft coral.



With 90 spacious villas split between the beach and the ocean, the main choice really is beach and sand or overwater romance.  On the land side, there are Beach Sunset Pool Villas or Beach Pool Villas whilst over water, there are Ocean Pool Villas, Romantic Ocean Villas and Ocean Villas. 

Each enjoying a private setting either by the beach or on the water, these contemporary styled villas by renowned New York based Japanese architect, Yuji Yamazaki, are a modern take on traditional Maldivian architecture. With clean, clear lines on the interiors, an earth tone palette is used to good effect with the natural building materials of each villa complementing and enhancing the surrounding lush tropical greenery or azure ocean. 

Every villa enjoys ample seating areas cooled by both air conditioning and overhead fans, indoor bathrooms with rain showers, double vanities, hairdryers, robes and slippers with 100% natural bathroom toiletries from Healing Earth and wooden floors and workspaces with charging stations. Outside, there is a private sundeck with sun loungers, a dining table and chairs. Amenities include wine fridges; minibars; espresso machines; complimentary tea and coffee; Bluetooth sound bar and 122-centimetre flat screen televisions with movies. 

The entry level Ocean Villas offer 105 square metres of space with panoramic ocean views and direct access to the sea. The private terrace is perfect for watching the sun go down with a cocktail or two. The next level up is the Romantic Ocean Villas, offering the same amount of space but including an indulgent bathtub situated on the terrace. The ultimate over water accommodation are the Ocean Pool Villas at 132 square metres of space offering incredible ocean views from the terrace or their private infinity pool. 

On the beach side, there are two categories, the Beach Pool Villas at 132 square metres of space situated just a few short sandy footsteps to the beach, lagoon and the resort’s main facilities or the Beach Sunset Pool Villas. These similarly sized villas offer a large infinity pool, overlooking the beach and the ocean.

Service & Facilities


The crystal-clear waters surrounding the resort are teaming with both marine life and some of the best dive sites in the world. Prodivers offer regular guided diving and snorkelling trips to the house reef and nearby sites. All equipment is provided alongside PADI training with a hyperbaric chamber located nearby at Kuredu Resort Maldives. There is also The Manta Trust Marine Biology Centre run by the resort’s resident marine biologist. The Maldives has the world’s large population of reef manta rays and the aim of the UK-based trust is to advance conservation of the species and their habitat through science, research and education. 

This being the Maldives, water sports opportunities abound and include jet skis; parasailing; water skiing; wakeboarding; fun tubes; sofa rides; windsurfing; kayaks; catamaran sailing and instruction. There are also group and private speedboat trips for manta ray searches, turtle lovers and dolphin spotting together with private yacht charters and deep-sea fishing on the resort’s own boat. 

Resort facilities include a stunning freshwater infinity swimming pool; a fully equipped Fitness Centre with daily classes for yoga, circuit training, aqua fitness, meditation and more; a Medical Clinic; artificial courts for football, tennis and badminton and a Games Room with table tennis, billiards, pinball and board games. For shoppers, there are two options – the Thari Boutique for branded merchandise, clothing plus Fine Jewels offering gemstones and jewellery at reasonable prices. PixMaldives meanwhile will capture special holiday moments with their professional photography service. 

For pampering, head to the Duniye Spa which offers a natural, holistic and personalised approach to wellbeing. This sanctuary of relaxation offers a wide range of treatments for individuals and for couples. This being an eco-conscious spa, products used are authentically organic, certified non-toxic and cruelty free. Custom yoga classes can be organised if required.



Take life at a slower pace at this laid-back, tropical chic resort designed with sensitivity, flair and minimalist style by award-winning Japanese architect, Yuji Yamazaki. Don’t expect flummery here – any design element has been carefully considered and custom made to his specifications to ensure nothing detracts from its clear, streamlined look with the focus clearly highlighting the views and the environment. 

With eco-practices and sustainability at its heart, this resort offers its guests an extraordinary number of facilities which are all carefully considered and operated, ensuring that this beautiful location is safeguarded and protected for future generations. Even better, you must be 15 and over to stay here so the focus is truly adult orientated. Who could ask for more?

Restaurants & Bars


For a resort with only 90 guest rooms, this expansive resort offers a wide range of seven food and beverage opportunities for hungry guests. Much of the produce at the resort’s restaurants is homegrown – the Chef’s Garden grows a wide assortment of vegetables, fruit and herbs to ensure that the farm to plate journey’s carbon footprint is negligible. 

The world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant, 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the resort’s fine dining venue, has to be one of the most unique restaurants in the world. Sited 5.8 metres below Hurawalhi, eat comfortably and shoe free on the coral reef whilst watching some of the Maldives’ most interesting marine life swim by. Accommodating no more than ten couples at a time, this restaurant opens for both five course lunches and seven course dinners. There is also a seafood free and vegan dinner menu available. 

The main buffet and à la carte restaurant is Canneli for all-day dining looking out over the turquoise and deep indigo ocean. With indoor and outdoor seating, the restaurant is open to the rafters with a stunning water feature in its midst, mirroring the lighting. With comfortable wooden seating and banquettes, Chef Edouard Deplus creates a range of international cuisine with the freshest of ingredients with live cooking stations ensuring that the ingredients are prepared just to your liking. 

Indulge in Asian Street Food at Kashibo Restaurant and Bar with a range of Chinese, Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese dishes available alongside seafood and vegetarian options – either indoors or on the deck with panoramic views over the ocean. For Teppanyaki, sit at the Japanese table to watch your food being expertly prepared by a skilled chef and have a taste of their premium sake list. For refreshing cocktails with an Asian twist, Kashibo’s Bar is the place to go throughout the day or for a pre-or post-dinner cocktail. 

Overlooking the resort’s infinity pool and the ocean, Coco Bar is the perfect all-day beach and poolside hangout for a cool drink, a G&T or a refreshing cocktail. This chic, sunken lounging space changes ambiance in the evening with subdued lighting, shisha and a DJ on deck. For an alternative take on your favourite fast food, JFK (Junk Food Kitchen) inside Coco Bar, prepares burgers, nachos, tacos, pizzas and more, some of which are gluten and dairy free. There is also a range of vegan dishes too as this venue delights in serving innovative gourmet junk food including the very popular Vegan Mac. 

Enjoy one of the Maldives’ spectacular sunsets, perhaps with a performance by some passing dolphins, in the Champagne Pavilion, based at the resort’s most westerly location. This ocean-side hideaway is perfect for romantics with intimate pre-dinner coupes of Champagne, accompanied by petit fours and delicious canapés.


Hurawalhi has a comprehensive and ever-expanding programme of sustainability to ensure that the natural yet fragile environment surrounding the island is protected. When building the resort, extensive use was made of natural materials and smart architecture with solar panels providing 60% of the resort’s total consumption. The resort also uses LED lighting throughout and undertakes line drying for around 4,000 items per month. 

Waste produced by generators is converted into electrical energy via a heat recovery system, to produce hot water for guests’ showers whilst fresh drinking water comes from their state-of-the-art desalination plant. This water is complimentary to guests and is provided in reusable glass bottles to reduce plastic waste. The resort has also replaced plastic drinking straws with paper ones whilst rainwater is used for irrigation. 

The resort has its own hydroponic greenhouse and herb garden growing lemongrass, snake gourd, mint, sage, ginger, chilli, curry leaves, onions, spinach, basil and rosemary among other things. Island grown coconut is used in the resort’s kitchens as well as in the Maldivian Island Paradise spa treatment. Any fish used by the resort is caught using sustainable fishing methods too. The resort has a strict fishing policy to ensure that only certain species are targeted with Hurawalhi actively tagging and monitoring key at risk species. The resort strives for maximum food transparency and takes care with the sourcing of organic and biodynamic produce. 

In the villas, the resort employs a number of smart systems to monitor and regulate temperature combined with sensors to switch units on and off whilst an energy efficient lighting system is in place. The Healing Earth bathroom amenities is an exclusive bespoke collection of eco-friendly products supplied in refillable glass bottles or made from bamboo like the toothbrushes and razors whilst the resort promotes the use of bio-degradable sun block. 

A car-free resort with buggies and bicycles used for transportation, the Marine Biology Centre is a Manta Trust research facility with a resident marine biologist to engage and educate both guests and the local community on the importance of manta rays and care for the fragile environment around the resort. Hurawalhi also reports sightings of sea turtles to The Olive Ridley Project and supports the foundation’s ghost net removal efforts. The dive centre, Prodivers Maldives, also has ocean conservation at its heart and adheres to all PADI and Project Aware guidelines on the protection of the environment.

What We Love

  • 5.8 Undersea Restaurant: If Michelin gave out stars for location, 5.8 would hold three. It’s truly amazing. As the name suggests, the restaurant is exactly 5.8 metres under the Ocean … all glass. You will gasp throughout your meal as the views are out of this world. It actually doesn’t matter that the meal is fabulous – nothing will ever beat the views. Watching a Parrot Fish “poop” out coral time & time again is strangely mesmerising!
  • Design: From the wonderful mind of New York-based Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki came Hurawahli. The villas are minimal but do not lack the creature comforts you would expect from a luxury resort. While no thatch on the roofs, the style is still very Maldivian and in keeping with the expectations. While the beaches are terrific and the sea warm – book a villa with a pool as it gives you options
  • Dream Island: Hurawahli “shares” this tiny sandbank/island with its sister Kudadoo. Guests can book time to sit on this island – and enjoy a great “Robinson Crusoe” experience. Enjoy a scone and a flute of fine Champagne on your own small private island. It’s a “million dollar” experience – and accessible only by boat …. wonderful.

    Varun Sharma

What They Love

  • 5.8 Undersea Restaurant: Worthy of your bucket list the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, the largest all glass under water restaurant in the world, is set out in a deep channel surrounded by currents which attract an array of marine life from sharks to rays to hunting trevally and schools of tropical fish. The 5-course lunch and 7-course dinner menu created by Executive Chef Edouard Deplus and divine wine pairings are sure to catch your attention away from the undersea show, if only momentarily.
  • Adults Escape: Only for guests 14years and over, Hurawalhi provides a mature and sophisticated ambience with loads of adventures to be had from scooter diving with sharks, to lazing in the spa or drenching in the sun at your own private Dream Island. Watersports galore will keep the adrenalin pumping throughout the day and our padel & tennis courts are ever popular in the late sun of the evening.
  • We Are Family: Our team of dedicated professionals take a genuine interest in our guests to see how they can make a positive difference to their stay. It is not long before our team is familiar your beverage of choice and it’s waiting for you to arrive or your preference for your sunbed prepared in anticipation of your arrival. So many of our guests return to our shores time and time again stating they just cannot find this personalised service anywhere else. 

    Bradley Calder
    General Manager
    Hurawalhi Island Resort helps you find the best offers on any hotel by comparing the prices of all leading hotel suppliers in a single search.

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