Sun Siyam, Iru Fushi
A 45-minute seaplane flight up to the remote northern Noonu Atoll, Iru Fushi is a fairly large island, at 52 acres, with wide, powder-soft beaches, excellent service and top-notch facilities for adults and children, most of them free. You will feel utterly pampered here!
This five-star resort has a variety of large, luxurious villas tucked away amongst the palm trees or over the ocean, some with private pools. There are numerous restaurants to choose from and we were very impressed with the food in all of them, including the buffet which offers a huge choice and high quality.
Couples will find plenty of privacy and seclusion, with the infinity pool and bar reserved for adults only, while it also caters very well for families with a 'jungle' pool our children loved, excellent kids' club with different activities each day and a great-value 'kids stay, play and eat free' deal all year round. Even the lowest category Beach Villa has room for 2 adults and 2 children.
Iru Fushi is large enough to enjoy leisurely walks through the interior or free bicycles are around for you to use. If you're feeling particularly lazy, golf buggies are available to transport you to wherever you want to go.
The one thing Iru Fushi lacks is an easily accessible house reef for keen snorkellers, although it is possible to reach via the Dive Jetty and there are regular snorkelling trips. Beginners and nervous swimmers can explore the coral outcrops in the shallow lagoon, which attract fish. There are lots of sandy areas for swimming, too.
Beach Villa: Circular thatched villas, very spacious, with king-size bed and room for two extra beds for two children if needed. Arranged in arcs so some are on the beach while others are set back in the foliage down sand paths. Flat-screen TV, Bose sound system, free Wi-Fi, mini-bar and wine cooler, tea and coffee-making facilities, Nespresso machines. Private covered terrace with day bed, table and chairs. Beyond the walk-in wardrobe at the back of the villa is a large outdoor bathroom/garden with double sinks, indoor and outdoor rain shower, Jacuzzi overlooking the sundeck, canopied double daybed
Deluxe Beach Villa: Same but have a shady, thatched sala on the beach with table and comfortable daybed
Sunrise Deluxe Beach Villa: dotted along the beach facing the sunrise
Deluxe Beach Villa with Pool: have a small plunge pool in front of villa
Maximum occupancy for all above villas is 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children
Pool Beach Villa: Same facilities but larger with sliding doors that can close to create separate bedroom and living areas, so ideal for families, with a private pool to the rear, accessible only through the bedroom. Covered terrace with daybed, private sala on the beach
Maximum occupancy is 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 children
Water Villa: Ocean views from the king-size bed, lounge area and private sundeck. Spacious bathrooms with double sinks, open-air overwater shower and Jacuzzi. Glass panel in floor to view lagoon below
Horizon Water Villa: Have an overwater Jacuzzi on the deck
Sunset Horizon Water Villa: for best sunset views
Maximum occupancy for Water Villas, Horizon and Sunset Horizon Villas is 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children
Infinity Water Villa: Even more spacious with separate living and bedroom areas,
open-air Jacuzzi, overwater shower and indoor rain shower. Multi-tiered sundeck and private infinity pool reaching out over the lagoon, shaded sala and dining area
Maximum occupancy is 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 children
Hidden Retreat: Huge, peaceful hideaway in the heart of the island surrounded by a landscaped courtyard, with two spacious bedrooms, each with en-suite bathroom with rain shower and spa bath. Own private pool
Aqua Retreat: Another ultra-luxurious villa built over the lagoon, with two master bedrooms, each with its own entertainment system and minibar, ensuite bathroom above the water and private outdoor lounging area. Central living area leads out to a covered dining area on the deck comfortably accommodating a party of six. Cantilevered infinity pool with Jacuzzi enclaves
Maximum occupancy for Hidden and Aqua Retreats is 6 adults or 4 adults and 2 children
Celebrity Retreat: The ultimate! The two-storey Celebrity Retreat houses three bedrooms catering to parties of up to 10. Both downstairs bedrooms have outdoor bathroom set in its own courtyard, the master bedroom with private swimming pool and sala. The third upstairs bedroom has its own terrace with sunloungers. Ample living space is spread over two levels, with a lounge area leading out onto the main deck and large swimming pool with overwater sala, while upstairs another living area with wrap-around balcony opens onto a billiards room. Own spa pavilion set in the manicured gardens
Maximum occupancy is 10 adults or 6 adults and 4 children
NB Water villas are not recommended for any children under 12 for safety reasons, a disclaimer will be required if granted
All villas are stocked with 2L of free water each day
Seaplane: 45 minutes. Iru Fushi has a private lounge at the seaplane terminal at Male for guests to use, with complimentary snacks and drinks. Private seaplane transfer is also available, at a cost.
Bed and Breakfast, Half Board or Full Board, in buffet restaurant. A credit is given to HB and FB guests if they want to eat at the a la carte restaurants
Adults only infinity pool with loungers and bar service
Family jungle-themed pool with islands, a waterfall, hidden Jacuzzi section and kids' shallow pool
Fitness centre with gym equipment and various classes, personal trainer available
Tennis and badminton courts, table tennis, pool tables, golf simulator
Spa in splendid setting, with resident Ayurvedic Doctor and expert yogi as well as the usual massages and treatments
Watersports centre: free snorkelling equipment hire, kayaks and windsurfers. Kite-boarding, water-skiing, jet skis. Speedboats, catamarans and private dhoni
Dive centre: PADI-certified, offers variety of day and night dive trips
Koamas Kids Paradise: with outdoor playground, interior spaces with toys, climbing frame and TV/DVD room and own dedicated pool. Staff organise different activities each day from gecko hunts to mask-making. Our children don't usually like kids' clubs but they loved this one and asked to go every day. The staff really make an effort to keep children entertained, to the extent of playing football in the heat with our soccer-mad son! Free for kids aged 3 to 12, babysitting is chargeable
Entertainment: Varies each night with live music, discos and an excellent bodu beru troupe (traditional Maldivian dancing) who encourage guest participation! Don't worry, there's no pressure to join in but it's fun, if exhausting!
Food and drink
Iru: the main buffet restaurant, with different themes each night but always featuring a huge variety of options including pasta, fresh fish, meat, veggie and curries. The breakfast buffet is very impressive, with two egg stations for freshly cooked omelettes etc with minimal queues, a variety of breads, pastries and home-made yoghurts and a Chinese section. Dinner features several live cooking stations
Flavours: built over the ocean, offering Asian fusion cuisine
The Trio: over-the-water restaurant with Mediterranean-style food
Islander's Grill: dine with the sand between your toes in this casual beachfront setting; specialises in grilled meats and freshly caught seafood
Bamboo: open-air restaurant offering light, Asian food
Fluid: family poolside snack bar deep in the heart of the island, surrounded by lush foliage. Oven-baked pizzas, gourmet sandwiches, light salads and snacks
Waters Edge: relaxing sea-front bar offering drinks and cocktails accompanied by soothing jazz or live music
Reflections: intimate adults-only retreat around the infinity pool, serving drinks, snacks and light meals
Wine cellar: built over the sea, a space for intimate dinners surrounded by hundreds of bottles of rare vintages and champagnes, each course accompanied by the wine sommelier’s recommendation
Bubble Lounge: try a selection of champagne and sparkling wines, by the glass or bottle, paired with canapes in this over-water bar
Destination Dining: for the ultimate romantic occasion you can also request a multi-course gourmet meal on the beach, served under a canopy next to a blazing fire and surrounded by rose petals
It's quite a swim to the house reef but you can access it via steps down from the Dive Jetty. Take advice on currents etc from the Dive Centre. Iru Fushi is not renowned for its snorkelling but we found the reef better than we expected, with unusual coral formations and some fish life. We also saw a turtle!
Dhoni sunset and dolphin cruises, fishing, local island trips, guided island walks with resident naturalist
Extremely, although there is plenty of room to escape children if desired!
The family pool, huge rooms and excellent kids' club make this one of our children's favourite islands. Children under 12 eat free at the Iru buffet restaurant or kids' menus at other restaurants, if accompanied by paying adult. They receive 75% discount off a la carte menus. Drinks are chargeable