World Surfaris experienced surf travel specialist, Steve returns from pumping surf in the Maldives!
In a perfect world, as a surfer, you would find an exotic palm fringed destination, where azure, crystal clear, ruler edged waves real unridden down coral reef passes. In an ideal world, your non surfing partner could sit, cocktail in hand, feet up on a deck chair, happy as Larry after the post lunch spa treatment, already contemplating next year’s so called “surf trip”. In the real world, this place is called Hudhuranfushi Resort and in August I got to visit this little slice of paradise in the Maldives.
My wife and I added on 5 nights at Hudhuranfushi Resort after our trip to Sri Lanka (another story!). Briefly though, this itinerary is a really viable one as the regular flights with Singapore Airlines through Singapore make connecting on to Colombo and then Male an affordable and fantastic extended itinerary!
Back to Hudhuranfushi!!
It took some persuasion, when trying to convince my wife, who as a non-surfer, was justifiably wary of my attempts to convince her that Hudhuranfushi Resort was unlike any of the “surf camps” I had previously lured her to with promises of “comfort”, “plenty to do” and picturesque beaches with palm trees! “This place is different”, I promised! “You will love it” I pleaded!! It is luxurious, there is plenty to do, “there are picturesque beaches with palm trees” I cried! Eventually I had her convinced and I danced off, ecstatic at the thought of azure, crystal clear, ruler edged waves realing unridden down coral reef passes!!
As mentioned above daily flights from all major Australian cities make getting to the Maldives a breeze. You can even break up the journey with a night or two in Singapore if you like. Singapore Airlines are fantastic when travelling with board bags. You have a massive 30kgs bag limit meaning even the most obsessive, equipment crazed surf board geek is bound to have a few kgs spare! The boards all arrived in tact (most importantly)!
Hudhuranfushi Resort truly is another level of “surf trip”. When you arrive in Male, you proceed to the Hudhuranfushi welcome desk where you are whisked away to the resort speedboat. A short,30 minutes later, you are motoring into the Hudhuranfushi jetty, your bags are then ported off and you are escorted to the main reception where you proceed with an easy check in.
The main reception area is the location of the Hilaya Bar and the pool. A great place to cool down during the heat of the day and enjoy a cold beverage and the swim up bar. If you then follow the “road” (white sand path) north around the island you, you eventually come to the Northern trip where the private overwater Ocean Villas jet out to see over tranquil lagoon waters. Carrying on (now heading back south down the eastern flank of the island) you find calm crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches flanked by coconut palms and shade huts. This is truly paradise, and we spent much time on this side of the island, hanging out, swimming and snorkelling and grabbing the odd cocktail from the aptly named “Beach Bar” on the northern tip.
Back at the hub of the resort, you’ll find the Banyan Restaurant where you’ll find a delicious buffet spread. The all-inclusive package at Hudhuranfushi is fantastic, not having to take out your wallet whilst you’re there and just enjoy your holiday without thinking about the bill at the end is great!
The Southern tip of the island is the reason we as surfers are there in the first place! Here, Lohis Left peels mechanically day in day out whilst the “gallery” watch on from the Lohis Deck. Lohis Bar becomes a hub after dark and surfers and there partners can even take their meals up there. On Friday’s there is BBQ put on for those booked into the surf program (and partners/ family), this was a highlight for us and it’s all part of the amazing vibe on the island amongst those booked into the surf program. Limiting the number of surfers on island and having exclusivity over the wavers really contributes to uniqueness of the resort as a surf destination. The wave basically always feels uncrowded, there is a fantastic vibe in and out of the water and surf etiquette is a given. Richard and Amy Kotch, along with Smiley, Hoobz and Ali, do an amazing job over there running the surf program and ensuring all surfers are looked after and stoked. Lohis is such a fun wave, I had a couple of bigger days which definitely provided a challenge. It’s easy access via the surf ramp and once you’re out there, long left walls line up all the way down to “dump trucks” proving the rider with screamingly fast rides! Of course the are some amazing right handers in the area and we got to surf solid Sultans one day which is a session that I’ll never forget! All in all the surf over there is incredible and definitely up there with the best waves I have ever surfed.
After a long day of surfing, it’s great to get back to the air conditioned villa’s and just kick back. The rooms are beautiful, recently renovated and compliment the island feel perfectly.
One of the best things about the trip was that my wife, had such a fantastic time. The resort really caters to no surfers, making it a fantastic couple or family destination. She enjoyed a few hours at the Chavana Spa, and in-between surfs it was great to hang out on the lagoon side of the island, snorkelling and just taking it all.
On our last day I got out of the water at 18:30pm, just in time to race down to the Jetty and catch our 19:00pm speedboat back to Male. I just couldn’t get out of the water even though I was so surfed out from a solid 6 hours in the water, I literally I felt like I had to drag myself away from this little piece of paradise! On our way back to Male in the speedboat, my wife leaned over and said, “lets come back next year” … Job done!!!
Hudhuranfushi Resort, WE LOVE YOU!!!