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A hot Hilton in the Maldives

Thursday, June 17, 2010
Deep in the Indian Ocean, south-west of Sri Lanka, Kelly Landry found herself in the magical Maldives. About 1200 islands make up the Maldives with just 200 of them inhabited. There's one resort for each island and Kelly stayed at the Hilton Iru Fushi Resort & Spa, one of the more affordable places to stay.

Iru Fushi is on the private island Noonu Atoll, a 45-minute seaplane flight north of the Maldives' capital, Male. It's on 21 hectares with white sandy beach and lush tropical vegetation.

Despite being a devout Muslim country where brief clothing and alcohol are generally not permitted, resorts have different rules so you can feel at ease in your bikini and enjoy a cocktail or two without repercussions.

It's a hot spot for celebrities — Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears have both been guests and they have the dollars to be very picky. They have stayed in the two-storey 600 square metre Celebrity Suite which has several pools, an entertainment room, three bedrooms and wine cellar.

Other choices include the Iru Aqua Residence, the crème de la crème of the resort. It's a house on stilts with two ensuite bedrooms, pool on the sundeck, jacuzzi, dining pavilion and large lounge. You can soak in a long, deep bath and enjoy ocean views from huge windows as you listen to music from the entertainment console.

There are Water Villas perched on stilts above the lagoon. They have sundecks, glass floor panels and a spa bath and rain shower. Dive straight from your deck into the water and join the colourful fish. Infinity Water Villas have all of the above, plus a lava stone pool, private dining area, cabana on a split-level deck and shower room with glass-to-floor viewing panels.

Beach Villas are just off the beach and have oversized day beds on a front terrace. High-ceilinged bedrooms with ensuites open to a courtyard with spa bath, sundeck, gazebo and two rain showers.

There are three pools — one in a tropical jungle, a family pool with jacuzzi and infinity pool overlooking the lagoon. There's a fully-equipped fitness centre and tennis court and for parents wanting some time alone, there's a babysitting service and childcare centre. There are day camps, DVD rental, cribs, highchairs and playpens.

The Maldives' largest spa has 21 individual pavilions surrounded by trees. That's where you indulge in holistic treatments using traditional Ayurvedic practices.

Of course, retail therapy is also taken into consideration. There's a gift store, baggage store, beauty salon and barber shop.

Resort chefs are kept busy with seven gourmet restaurants creating dishes from international cuisines. They make the most of local seafood and with such great weather, alfresco dining is the way to go. Romantic six-course dinners are served under the stars.

Maldivian Barefoot BBQ has a special dinner every Monday. Traditional local cuisine is set up on a sandbar and music is supplied by the Bodu Beru entertainers. Flavours restaurant has an over-water setting and specialises in Asian and tapas-style meals.

The Trio is over the lagoon and has dishes from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Islander's Grill has alfresco dining island-style for lunch and dinner. It's presented in individual beach pavilions on the beach and highlights wonderful grilled seafood.

Fluid is around the resort's free-form pool and has a selection of fresh juices smoothies, mocktails and cold beers. Reflections Bar is next to the infinity pool and fantastic drinks can be enjoyed with fresh seafood, Asian dishes, sates presented on a mini charcoal grill and gourmet salads.

Water's Edge is on the beach and that's where to go to enjoy cocktails, coffee, Maldivian high tea and delicious ice-cream. Iru Restaurant is in the middle of the island and serves all-day buffet dining — great for breakfast — and often hosts themed regional and international evenings.

Weddings aren't legally recognised for foreigners in the Maldives, but honeymoons are and it's a popular destination with newlyweds from around the world. It's an ideal place to escape after the stress of wedding plans and concentrate on one another.


The Maldives, south-west of Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean.


Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa rooms start at $300 a night. The Celebrity Suite starts at $4135 a night. Breakfast is included.

For further information

Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort and Spa
Noonu Atoll
Republic of Maldives
Ph: +960 656 0591
Fax: +960 656 0592

Visas: Valid passport and return ticket are required for entry. Thirty-day tourist visas will be issued on arrival.

Electricity: 230V at 50Hz.

Time zone: +960.

Currency: Maldivian rufiya.

Telephone code: +960.


Travellers should be "in date" for the standard Australia and New Zealand immunisation schedules and should consider routine traveller vaccines against food- and water-borne illnesses. Other health precautions may be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor about six weeks before travel. For further information, visit

User comments
just watched the episode which included Nines story "A hot Hilton in the Maldives"! Very inspiring. Loved the story - it finished too quickly!! But please help me Getaway team... I am dead keen to find information on the backing tracks to the article - who can I contact for this??? Keep up the great island stories!
Hi, just read your article on the Hilton in the Maldives. My hubbie and I have "run out of places in the South Pacific", so we decided this time around to go to the Maldives. Having just returned from there, I can offer you some pretty useful advice if you ever feel like doing another article. I wouldn't necessarily agree that the Hilton is the best option price wise, as I have visited another resort within the Maldives that offers (in my humble opinion), a much better deal. Please contact me if you wish to have a further chat. Only too happy to helpl

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