You know that feeling when you come home from a holiday and the first couple days your mind is still at that amazing place? Amplify that by 10 and that is how I still feel exactly a month after I left Lux South Ari Atoll Maldives. I have been staying in a lot of fancy hotels & resorts all over the world and every experience seems even more amazing than the previous one, but almost a week on such a paradise island is hard to top.
Where to start writing about Lux Maldives!
I have literally no clue how to describe my time in this fabulous resort as I don’t want to use superlatives constantly and tell you how awesome that was, how delicious this was or how incredible happy I felt being on this island. Yes this was a sponsored stay and no I did not pay a single dollar for having the time of my life at Lux Maldives, but that does not mean I am forced to write how amazing this resort is. You might have read my article Trouble in Paradise, if not go have a read, then you will find out that I am always honest blogging about my experiences even if it is a sponsored stay and things don't go well.
The Lux South Ari Atoll resort just felt like a little family from the moment I arrived until I left!
On all my trips to Maldives I visited more than 15 Maldives resorts and it is hard to say what is the best island in Maldives. I think it is fair to compare resorts in the same price category: Kanuhura Maldives and Westin Maldives. Although I really liked Westin Maldives, I think Lux South Ari still is my favorite!
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Of course staying in these amazing places is not just a holiday for me and I am always running around doing things but at this resort it never felt like it was a task. Every morning at 5.45am my alarm would ring just in time to get dressed, brush my teeth, grab my tripod and my camera, jump on my bike and cycle around the island looking for sunrise photo spots.
The island was slowly waking up but of course hardly any of the possible 800 guests were out and about. It didn’t matter who I would cross paths with on my bike, from the cleaners to the general manager, I would give them a high five while passing by: GOOD MORNING! What a fabulous start of my day, me was a happy man! :)
Lux South Ari Atoll water villa
There are two water villas available on the 1.6km long island, there are the ones with a glass bottom, a huge bathroom with a separate bathtub and a hammock to swing above the ocean or the homey water villas with a private swimming pool. The first mentioned category have floor-to-ceiling doors that can be completely opened and give you the most amazing view straight from your bed. These water villas are a little bigger but the patio is a little smaller.
Luckily I was granted the highest category with the private swimming pool. This modern style over water villa gave me a French Riviera feeling with its white interior with shades of blue.
Oh wow could I just stay here forever? The view of that bright blue swimming pool and the turquoise ocean in the background on my own private balcony with this amazing hanging bird’s nest bed: this place is paradise!
I have only stayed in a couple resorts in Maldives now but this place is among the best luxury hotels in Maldives or at least it is my favorites!
Behind that white supporting beam there is a video wall that can come down to watch movies on a 3:2 meter wide screen! WINNER!
Even the housekeeper were 5 star and every day there would be a surprise waiting for me. The best towel art ever seen creating a complete zoo in my room with the crocodile being the most impressvie one. Where is that picture Tom? Sorry guys I took a video and it was on my Instagram Live stories only.
Maldives deals on Agoda
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Lux South Ari Atoll Maldives photos
As I have so many incredible pictures I will show you the amazing places around the island based on the photos that I took and explain you a little about what I have been doing those days I was on the island. At Lux South Ari Atoll Maldives there is no reason to get bored.
A good coffee makes a huge difference to me so when I discovered that Lux Resorts has its own coffee brand I was more than excited. Three times a day minimum I sat down in the stylish coffee café to see the very well skilled baristas make me a perfect coffee from freshly roasted coffee. Guests can come and participate in the roasting coffee process and learn from the baristas how to make the perfect cup of coffee. When I was working and living in Sydney on a working holiday visa I did a barista course myself, but damn these guys were dedicated professionals.
Staying at an amazing resort like Lux Maldives I could not resist creating the perfect breakfast setup something I mostly do staying in luxury resorts. I am already working on a blogpost about the best hotel breakfast shots, stay tuned…
There are two places to have breakfast: East Market and Mixe. The above pictures are taken at East Market obviously but if you want to sit with your feed in the sand than Mixe is the place to go. Mixe has a little more healthy things on offer like 5 different sorts of Kambucha, a complete array of nuts and many more healthy things. For healthy food lovers, vegetarians AND vegans Lux Maldives is the place to go.
Restaurants Lux Maldives
Oh damn I lost count there are so many good restaurants around the island, I think I ate in 5 different places and there were another 7, which make a total of 12 restaurants and bars across the island. I enjoyed all of them but loved the laid-back lunch spot on the beach at Sense, eating one of my favorites Indian food.
My first seaplane ride
I didn’t even mentioned how to get to Lux South Ari Atoll. There is a local airport nearby, but almost all guests arrive by seaplane and so did I. There are a lot of crazy things to do around the world and a compiled a list of 30 things I did while traveling but a sea plane ride is not on there. This was my first seaplane ride and damn that was an incredible experience. Not in the list of cool things to do is flying business class but damn that is an incredible experience as well. Though not everything that glitters is gold, read about it in my Qatar Airways Business Class review and how I got that seat on my way to the Maldives
Getting to Lux Maldives is extra fun because of this 20 minute flight from Male International Airport. The resort has its own Lux lounge in Male and waiting on your seaplane is not a punishment with all these yummy treats and drinks served by the super friendly staff.
I am biased now if I say Lux Resorts is among the best luxury hotels in Maldives.
Sunset fishing trip
Fishing in the Maldives is good fun. Did you know that it is prohibited to fish with nets in Maldives? I went out with the crew, we chopped up some tuna as bait and threw out our lines and then we had a visitor…. damn that shark was big! Marine life in the ocean here is big and you are not the only hunter out here. See the little video and you know what I mean! :)
Whale shark snorkeling in the Lux house reef
From all around the Maldives people come here to go diving and snorkeling to spot the biggest fish in the world: the whale shark. Maldives is a famous place to spot these creatures and let that be in the house reef of Lux South Ari Atoll. So if you are looking for some adventure it is right here. One morning I boarded the whale shark excursion boat and after the resident marine biologist did a briefing we were looking for these gentle giants. I have been diving with whale sharks before but getting up close and personal will never get old. As said before this is a popular spot to see these animals so the LUX Resort boat was not the only one and this was a super touristy thing to do plus these animals are wild and there is no guarantee snorkeling with whale sharks in Maldives.
Marine conservation center
On the island there is a marine conservation center where a marine biologist is fully employed and guiding these kind of tours. People are welcome to walk in and learn about the marine life around the island.
Sea turtle snorkeling
Just like snorkeling with whale sharks at Lux South Ari Atoll there is a tour going out a couple times a week that is ‘hunting’ down sea turtles. Guided by the same sympathetic marine biologist this tour was completely different then the chaotic whale shark Maldives tour. Basically we were just snorkeling with a guide in the calm reef just behind the resort looking for sea turtles and hell yeah we found a bunch!
Home made ice cream
You are in paradise on a tropical island. Who is up for ice cream? There is an ice cream shop with home made ice cream or hunt down the guy with the ice cream cart somewhere around the island.
There are numerous things to do in Maldives because mostly all resorts offer a wide range of watersports to its guests. I saw wakeboarding, fly boarding, water ski of course diving and many more. I tried out a jetski and found out I was actually hanging out on the landingstrip of the seaplanes. :)
Instagrammable photo spots
We all want to show off how amazing our holiday is right? And no wonder is you come to a resort like Lux Maldives you want to upload amazing photos to Instagram just like me. There are a bunch of really cool instagrammable spots around the island.
Although all of the photos in this article are either taken by me or my tripod the resort offers guests to use a professional photographer, their photo studio and attend workshops all to get you more Instagram likes. Isn’t this the hippest luxury beach resort in Maldives? :)
Private pool vs. public pool
Yes there are two public pools on the island, but since I had my own private pool on the balcony of my over water bungalow there was no need for me to go out for a swim. Plus this is a luxury beach resort in Maldives the ocean all around the island is a like an aquarium!
Or rather take a dip in the public aquarium?
Sunset Bar Rouge
Funky tunes, lounges, over water hammocks and an outdoor cocktail bar all set up to let guests enjoy the perfect sunset.
Message in a bottle
This is probably the coolest thing I have see around the top 10 luxury resorts in Maldives. There are about 25 glass bottles hidden around the resort and all of them contain a surprise. Find a bottle and win a price. From cocktails to dinners and from sunset cruises to complete wellness packages worth a couple hundred dollars. People are seriously roaming the bushes looking for these bottles it is a hilarious sight, but when they found something I was jealous! LOL
Phone booth to call anywhere in the world
Although I travel 365 days a year I am not really a person who calls home often. Lux South Ari gives all its guests the opportunity to call to any number in the world free of charge. There are two classic English red phone booths on the island that let you make a phone call 24 hours a day to wherever in the world. What a genius idea! Never loose touch with home… oh yeah I completely forgot to take a photo of the phone booths. LOL
Tree of Wishes
Don’t forget to plant a message in the tree of wishes and you might win a completely free holiday in one of the Lux Resorts of your choice.
Lux South Ari Atoll wellness
Last but not least I had to try out the Lux Wellness and oh wow this place is heaven. Of course the massage was good, I hardly ever had a bad massage but this place… I will let the photos do the talking.
Best Wi-Fi in Maldives so far
From all the resorts I have been to in Maldives Lux Resorts has by far the best Wi-Fi and how incredibly important is it nowadays to be online? Don't ask me, I am addicted of course! But I guess I am not the only one, right? People want to share their experiences and when possible we want to do that straight away. Being Live may be a new thing, but that is what we do and for resorts like this it is the best advertisment! Lux South Ari Atoll invested a lot and their Wi-Fi was even good enough to stream Netflix.
To make sure you are always connected I recommend you to buy a sim card at Male Airport. There is a 4G signal at Lux Maldives everywhere.
In my Facebook Live video I show you my water villa, I jump on my bike and show you around and end up at my breakfast table, take a look...
Lux South Ari Atoll review
Going through my article and photos you can probably sense already why I think this island deserves a place in the top 10 luxury resorts in Maldives. The way I have been treated seriously felt like I was part of the Lux family and every staff member did its utmost best to make every guest leave with a smile. What I found really unique about Lux Maldives was its luxury interaction. Yes there is amazing coffee but you can also learn how to make your own. In the conservation center you can get a copy of the photos taken by the Marine Biologist during the excursions, there are photography workshops, amazing daily prices if you find the right bottles, a sunset aperitivo with free cocktails, a towel art workshop and so on. This is the island you want to come to if you are looking for an uncomplicated stay in luxury. Lux Maldives felt like a little family and they made me feel like I was welcome at any time! Thank you for such an incredible stay!
Curious How much this dream place costs? I already found it for less than $400 per night! Click this link for Agoda
Read more reviews of luxury resorts in Maldives, check out these resorts near Male International Airport: Kurumba Maldives, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo Water Villas or a 4 star resort with a 5 star feel: Kuramathi Island Resort. Similar in luxury but with a complete different approach and style can be read in my Shangri La Villingili Maldives review.
This year was my second time in Maldives after I was invited for the World Travel Writers' Conference hosted by Maldives TV. I can wait to attend next years event in April 2018, so hope to see you again soon Maldives. Flying to Maldives was a treat, but not all that glitters is gold. Read about it my Qatar Airways Business Class review.