One positive thing that came out of the pandemic lockdown was this Travelzoo deal. The doom and gloom hit the travel industry hard. There was an incredible promotion for a 7 night stay in the Maldives at Reethi Faru Resort in the Indian Ocean. It really helped reduce our Maldives trip cost from Canada. Here’s my Reethi Faru Resort review. This post will go over what the water villa is like,
genymoney.ca is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Table of Contents
Reethi Faru Resort Review
Reethi Faru resort in Maldives is a 5 star luxury resort and was built in 2017. It is located in the Raa atoll of the Maldives (it is one of the northern atolls in the Republic of Maldives).
The island is called Filaidhoo in Raa Atoll and it only measures 600 metres by 350 metres.
Reethi Faru has 150 villas (accommodation varies from a garden villa, to a beach villa, to water villas). It is owned by the company Mahogany Pvt Ltd which is the same company that owns Reethi Beech resort (a 4 star resort).
Here’s a map of the resort. They also have a Reethi Faru app that you can download that has the map on it (the map was slow to load though) along with activities that are available and including the schedule.
Specifically these are the accommodation options:
- Garden villas
- Deluxe beach villas
- Water villas
- Two-bedroom garden suites
- Deluxe beach pool villas
- Deluxe two-bedroom beach suites
- Two-bedroom water villa suites with jacuzzi
Reethi Faru Water Villa
We stayed in a garden villa. The garden villa was private and quiet. The downside was there were lots of mosquitoes, ants in the bathroom (the bathroom is outside) and there were some fruit bats “flying foxes” in the trees that seemed to be quite active during the day. I don’t think they are dangerous but they do seem to make a bit of noise.
The area in front of the garden villa was nice and spacious to store our water gear, beach towels, reef shoes etc.
The bathrooms are all outdoors. It was an interesting experience showering under a rain shower in the rain.
Some people we met upgraded to a water villa (over water bungalow) from the garden villa for a few nights. Another guest we met was kind enough to let us check out her water villa to compare to our garden villa.
If you go to the Maldives you should probably stay in a water villa at least a few nights. We were going to upgrade for a few nights as well but there was no availability, also, we weren’t too keen since our young children open doors often and very curious. There’s an area of the over water villa that is unfenced and drops down into shallow sea water with coral beside the stairs.
Reethi Faru All Inclusive Package
The options for meals are:
- Breakfast only
- Half Board (breakfast and dinner at Vakaru, no drinks including water)
- Full Board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Vakaru, no drinks including water)
- All Inclusive
- All Inclusive Dine Around
- All Inclusive Drinks package
There are juices and coffee included for breakfast, but if you wanted water or wine or drinks it is an additional charge with the half board and full board.
If you want to venture outside of the Vakaru restaurant, it is 25% discount on food for lunch and dinner excluding signature dishes for half board and full board.
Vakaru hours are as follows:
- Breakfast 7:30-10:00
- Lunch 12:30-14:30
- Dinner 19:30- 21:30
We did the half board option which was included in the promotion, and it worked out fine.
Going to full board would mean an extra $25 USD per day per person (with taxes included), children are included free. So if you, as a family of four, can eat for less than $50 USD per day for lunch, then the half board option would be more economical.
The all inclusive package means there is a credit for dining at the restaurants other than Vakaru buffet, but children age 2-11 can dine free of charge from the kids menus at the Reethi Faru restaurants.
Also, there are drinks included such as water, soft drinks, juices, teas and coffee, and drinks on the menu.
If you upgrade to a different meal plan, you have to select a date during your stay and continue with that option until the end of the stay (you can’t just switch back and forth).
There’s also an all inclusive drinks package, where you can have “all you can drink” for around $45 USD per person. This would be fun if you didn’t go to the Maldives with kids, haha.
Reethi Faru House Reef (Snorkelling Paradise)
The Reethi Faru House Reef was rich with sea life. We found that the best area for snorkelling was actually close to the Dhiyavaru restaurant and also right outside the Nala bar.
The coral is close to shore outside the Nala bar so you don’t have to go very far to see fish. It is said the area near the over water villas are also great for snorkelling.
Here are some of the sea life that we saw:
- Hawksbill sea turtle
- Reef shark
- Moray eel
- Bi-colour parrot fish among lots of other fish
- Rays (not manta rays)
- Giant clams
I must admit when I saw a reef shark in the water and when I saw an eel, I freaked out a little and tried to swim away as fast as I could. I’m sure they felt the same about my siting.
It can get a little choppy during rainy or windy weather.
The resort does not provide snorkelling gear but you can rent it for fee. We brought our own snorkelling gear. We brought the face mask style snorkelling mask from Amazon I enjoyed using it rather than the two piece system because it is so much clearer to see the underwater wild life.
There is a free snorkelling tour every morning around the island, it is 45 minutes long.
My husband took a scuba diving excursion at the Reethi Faru house reef and saw another reef shark, a 4 foot long giant clam, and a large Napolean Wrasse fish (they can grow up to 6 feet long).
Reethi Faru Excursions
We opted for the Dolphin Safari with Sandbank visit (a 3 hour excursion) and initially we were skeptical. However, it is very much worth the price. We saw probably between 50-100 dolphins all swimming alongside the boat. It was quite the experience.
We also visited a sandbank, which is a large deposit of sand in the middle of the ocean, the surrounding area of the sandbank is this unreal turquoise aqua blue. The stuff of dreams of the Maldives! It was fun taking pictures and jumping off the boat to reach the sandbank.
There’s also a sunset sail (about a 1 hour excursion) that takes you around Raa atoll. You can marvel at all the other Maldives resorts. I also hear you can see dolphins on this boat ride too if you’re lucky. This was nice however the kids got a little squirmy.
There are free things to do too, every day there is a 11:00 snorkelling tour around the island. There’s also a daily introduction to diving. There are free yoga classes at the health centre a few days a week.
You can see the prices of the resort water activities here.
Here are some of the pros and cons of Reethi Faru resort.
Positive Aspects About Reethi Faru
The sustainability. I didn’t really know what they meant by “bio luxury” resort, but the sustainability practices were very impressive. There was no bottled water, all water is in glass bottles. The shampoo, conditioner, and body wash were in refillable containers.
The service is amazing. I think the staff to guest ratio was probably 1:1 or maybe even 2:1! I don’t think we’ve had this level of hospitality before and it seems like a genuine hospitality. Some of the servers at the Vakaru buffet made an extra effort to say hi to our kids, to learn their names, and to talk to us, even though we weren’t seated in their area. I have not traveled to another Maldives resort so I can’t comment in comparison, but we were very impressed nonetheless.
Vakaru buffet was delicious. I didn’t expect much for a buffet and was dreading having to eat there twice a day, however, I ended up looking forward to it! The food was that good. There was so much variety, so much fruit, and interesting dishes that I’ve never heard of before. Beef, lamb, chicken, vegetarian options, there was everything except pork (Maldives is a Muslim country in case you were not aware). So for breakfast, there was turkey bacon and beef bacon, but no bacon bacon 🙂
Snorkelling is fantastic. As mentioned above, the Reethi Faru house reef is beautiful. It feels like you’re in an aquarium looking at all the tropical fish. You could probably spend every day snorkelling and not get bored.
A lot of dining options. There are lots of dining options around the island. They even have a 24 hour restaurant, an over the water restaurant called Dhiyavaru. The kid menu fish and chips was delicious (of course I had to eat my toddler’s leftovers) and the pizza is pretty decent tasting as well.
There are also some happy hour specials at the Haruge Bar, where you can get 20% off drinks. The drinks are not expensive, too, $6.50 USD gives you a generous pour of their house wine.
Great exercise options. If you want to keep up your health routine, there’s a well equipped gym open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. It has a great view overlooking the infinity pool. There’s also yoga at the health centre. Adjacent to the gym, there’s a badminton court, tennis court, squash, as well.
Negative Aspects about Reethi Faru
Reethi Faru Resort transfer cost. It’s not unreasonable compared to the transfer costs at other resorts, but it does add significantly to the trip cost. The transfer cost for a 20 minute domestic flight from Male to Dharavandhoo airport (they manage to give you a croissant and a juice within this 20 minute flight whereas Air Canada won’t give you any meals on a 6 hour flight) along with a 40 minute speed boat ride is $350 USD per adult and $175 USD per child aged 2-11. The seaplane costs $500 USD return for adults and $250 USD return for children.
The domestic transfer takes up a lot of time. We had a flight departing MALE at 1pm, and I thought we would leave the resort at around 6am, however, we had to be up at 3:30am to get ready for the 4:30am pick up from the speed boat. A seaplane would be more expensive, but more scenic and save you more time.
The Coconut Spa is decent but it could be better. The Coconut Spa is nice but the treatment felt a bit rushed. I like the layout of the spa though, it is very pretty.
The wifi is slow. I guess I shouldn’t complain when you are in the middle of the Indian Ocean, but the Internet was quite slow, especially in the evenings. Basically you could just send and receive emails but can’t stream any videos or anything.
The service charge is a bit high high. The service charge and GST for activities and dining and drinks not included in the half board package is high, it is 23.2%, however that’s not too far from the norm of the cost of tipping in North America and I’m sure it’s the same across other resorts in the Maldives.
Hopefully this post helps you prepare for your trip to Reethi Faru in the Maldives.
What is your Reethi Faru resort review?
You may also be interested in:
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.