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Reviewed 2 March 2017 via mobile

We took the private speedboat from Malé airport to Huraa: amazing experience!

The island is beautiful and we are with local people so we can talk with them, discover some stories...
The staff is friendly and our host provided us a lot of activities like snorkeling, fishing, visiting some island...
We saw some big turtles, mantas, sharks, dolphins...
Rooms are clean and you can ask to clean it everytime you want!
The meals are served buffet style and you can ask everytime for extra coffee, tea or water bottled.
There is a bikini beach near the guest house.
Thanks to Mustafa and his staff for all this good moments!!

Stayed: March 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Anthonyarquez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 October 2016

Great little place to spend a few quite days away from civilisation. The host is very friendly. I had the unpleasant surprise of finding out too late that the lodge does not include any soaps or shampoo in the room. The TV was also not working. However we were there obviously to enjoy the beach and the outdoors. Overall satisfactory stay in a simple but clean room.

  • Stayed: August 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Thank mehdi s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 22 February 2016

We are a 30-something couple backpacking around the world, and we stayed in a "Double Room with Private Bathroom" at Ayaana Lodge on Huraa Island in Maldives for 6 nights in February 2016.  We originally booked 3 nights, but we extended 3 more nights because we really enjoyed our stay, and we recommend Ayaana Lodge to anyone who's thinking of visiting local guesthouses in Maldives. We also stayed at local guesthouses in Rasdhoo and Ukulhas, and the service at Ayaana Lodge was the best.

About the room:

The guesthouse was built in late 2015.  The room was clean.  We had a new, comfortable, and large California king sized bed.  There was a very good A/C and a ceiling fan in the room. Our private bathroom was clean, too.  There was a lock box for valuables in the room, but we never used it.  The room was suffienctly sized and we felt comfortable during our 6 days there.  The internet and wifi were reliable enough for internet browsing and downloading podcasts.  The owner provided two electrical adaptors for our US electronics upon our request.  There was a TV in the room that we never used.

Food:

You can purchase all of your meals through the kitchen/restaurant at the Lodge, and I recommend going this route.  All of our food was cooked from scratch by the resident chef, Rubil, and it was uniformly delicious; we never had a bad meal while we were there, and the prices were reasonable, too.  I especially recommend the Maldivian breakfast, kothu roshi, chili chicken, any kind of curry (esp. white fish curry) , the tuna burger, and the barbecued fish. (The mangos which you can buy at a grocery store are super fresh because they’re local to the island and delicious. The best mango we've ever had. Coconuts are available, too.

Activities:

There are several day excursions you can take from Huraa, which the owner of Ayaana Lodge organized for us with local guides. We did 3 activities: snorkeling in a coral garden, Shark Safari, and Fish Feeding.   We went snorkeling, around 5-10 minutes by boat away from Huraa. We barbecued 2 nights while we were there, which was fun and delicious.

We had a lot of fun hanging out with the very friendly and welcoming owner, Shahid.  Before we arrived, Shahid was patient with the many questions we had about about everything.  And while we were on the island, he had really great hospitality and was proactive about making sure we had everything we needed.  The staff, Rubil and Furqan, were super-accommodating as well. We arrived at Huraa after about 36 hours of travelling from the U.S., and we were super tired and had a jet lag for a 3-4 days. So we had an irregular meal schedule, and these guys accommodated to us even serving breakfast early at 5:30am. Whatever you need, just talk to Shahid. He will do his best to accomodate you. He's one of the few hosts who really cares about you having a best experience possible instead of selling activities. We experienced real Maldivian culture thanks to him.

About Huraa:

Huraa Island is a small island just a little north of Male and Hulhumale, where you would probably fly into Maldives.  There are approximately 1000 locals living on Huraa and 3 or 4 resorts on Huraa or on islands directly adjacent (There's no resort on Huraa yet).  There are two restaurants on the island, but one was closed for renovations while we were there.  The other, Sunset, was only OK in my opinion.  I thought Rubil's cooking at the Ayaana Lodge kitchen was much better, and after trying the Sunset restaurant only once, we got the rest of our meals with Rubil at the Lodge. There are at least 3 grocery stores on Huraa where you can pick up drinks or food or coffee. You can buy fresh mangos from Huraa island in one of the grocery stores, and it tastes divine.  And there are a handful of souvenir-type shops catering to tourists in "downtown" Huraa.  There you will also find a SCUBA dive shop.  You can buy coconuts or local Maldivian snacks from small food carts next to the main dock.  There is a small bikini beach area on the eastern side of the island about a 10-minute walk from Ayaana Lodge where you can legally wear bikinis and swimtrunks.  Technically you can snorkel there, but there's nothing to see, and in my opinion it's not worth it.  The bikini beach itself is not all that great either; you won't miss anything if you skip it.  If hanging out on pristine, picturesque beaches is a must for you, you'll be better off doing one of the day excursions offerred.  Locals are very friendly and we felt welcomed there. They gave us local fruits from a tree and shared Maldivian snacks with us.  It's hard to summarize dozens of individual interactions, but every one of the locals we interacted with was extremely welcoming and friendly.

  • Stayed: February 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Christopher L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 February 2016

This is the perfect place to be for budget travellers who want to see a typical Maldivian island while enjoying resort like beach. Shahid and Arif played the perfect hosts.
Our host Shahid, patiently answered numerous questions that I asked even before I had booked his place. He met us at the airport. As television and internet was down, he honestly informed us and gave us information about prepaid Data card which we purchased at airport. This turned out better than the Wi-Fi option! For 16$ you get 3Giga data for 1 week and is activated immediately. I used phone as hotspot and connected other devices. The advantage was, I could send instant pictures, videos back home while on the beach, snorkelling etc. Shahid was always reachable ,ready to help. With him there is never a problem!! Only solutions!!! He made arrangements for a private island tour & we spent a large part of the afternoon snorkelling. He provided us with life jackets and snorkelling gear, as we were non-swimmers interested in snorkelling with no prior experience. We can never thank him enough!
Arif shahid’s brother met us at the Jetty, took us to the lodge and offered us refreshing tender-coconut-water. He gave insight about Maldivian cuisine. We enjoyed all meals. The lodge is a small upcoming establishment (started in December 2015) with personalised attention; There is an onsite chef who will to cook upon request, any dish on their menu even the fish you catch. The air-conditioned room was comfortable with en-suite shower/toilet.
On the negative side room walls are not soundproof, so conversations at the lobby are heard inside the room, and vice versa. The shower and WC are not far apart; so the WC seat ends up wet after shower. This is typical of Maldives, not just here! So just be ready for it! The bikini beach is small but nice. Huraa has a lake with brackish water (with it familiar stench) with lots of crabs and crab holes around it. Being small & safe island, take a walk around and discover nice spots, shady trees, and the spots to avoid. There is nothing much to do here. But it is close to the Four Season’s resort & with a fee, you can spend a day on the resort, and use their services. This is an economic alternative to check out the luxury without spending big!! We didn't do it as we were on a tight budget.
Now a few negative aspects of Huraa. The water from tap has an odour of sewer, which is all over the island, not just this lodge. It somewhat spoiled our shower experiences. Trash is a big issue in all the islands of Maldives (except private resorts). There is a corner of the island reserved for trash and everyone dumps their trash there and burn it occasionally. If it is windy, the trash may drop to the sea, and one comes across this while snorkelling in waters close by, which is a bother. Even in Malé (the capital) trash bins are rare/in-existent. There is no foot-path on the roads.
Altogether, Shahid and Arif’s warm and personalised approach made up for the drawbacks of the island!

Room Tip: Expect what can be expected from a 4 bedroom guest house at economic prices!
  • Stayed: January 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Mme R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 January 2018 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: January 2018, traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
diam0ndguesth0use, Gérant at Ayaana Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2018

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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