Makunudu will close and have a major upgrading at some point, so right now is the time to come and experience the Maldives as it used to be 10-15 years ago. It may look old-fashioned but all the great, simple things are here and you’re not paying for any of the fancy trappings of modern resorts.
There is no television or internet or iPod dock in the room, no swimming pool, no specialist restaurant. The spa is a small, but still popular, massage hut. There are few organised entertainments and excursions. And this is all just fine by the Germans (50%), French (20%) and British who mostly come as honeymooners and older couples to enjoy the uncomplicated lifestyle of the essential Maldives. Even the weekly barbecue and music is too noisy for some.
The bar and restaurant take up almost all of the single public area building. The floor is of finest sand and the roof is thatch. This is the original thatch that you can see from the inside too, held in place by slats of coconut wood. Nothing ruffles the calm of couples enjoying a drink and chat either inside or out on the deck overlooking the lagoon. The food is nothing to write home about but dinners are decent and there are options for a specially arranged dinner for 2.
There is a small menu for in-villa dining but these aren’t rooms for luxuriating in. They now seem to be small and dark when once these were stylish rooms in one of the country’s premium resorts, such has been the extent of recent developments. Each room has 2 deck chairs outside, though no verandah as such, and 2 wooden loungers on the beach. The rooms are just behind the beach with some pleasant, private shade and views and easy access through to the beach and lagoon.
The one significant change to Makunudu is not man-made. It appears that the island is moving. One side of the island, the south side with the arrival jetty, is getting more and more beach whereas the north side is suffering considerable erosion. This has meant the building of some wooden walkways over the exposed coral sheets out to platforms on the water’s edge.
Although this is an unfortunate development, Makunudu is one of those resorts with a loyal following built up over many years. Quite a few of the rooms now have plaques by the door with the name of a couple who frequently return to this particular room. The high season of December to March sees many returning couples revisiting their favourite resort.
Diving and snorkeling remain excellent here. The dive centre holds a PADI 5 star gold palm certificate. There are several fine channels to explore very nearby and few resorts in the neighbourhood and, indeed, few fellow guests into diving.
Healthy corals pack the lagoon approaching the reef edge, where schools of fish compete for the snorkeler’s attention. There’s an unusually big variation in the geography of the reef, so there are different types of corals and fish to enjoy, from lobsters in crevices to soft corals in overhangs.
Other creatures also enjoy the unchanging natural environment of Makunudu. I spotted the common Grey Heron but also the Central Maldivian Heron, sandpiper, tern and moor hen.
Only a few years ago this resort was receiving international awards from big travel companies for its quality to price ratio. It does need that upgrade now but it still offers a lovely quiet Maldives holiday at a very reasonable price.
Review updated 2013Join the discussion Star this resort Check availability and price