The heart of any Maldives trip is the unworldly seascape and resorts do everything to bring with water wonderland front and centre – snorkelling, glass bottom boats, decks overlooking. One of the hot features at the glitziest water villas is the glass floor. A portal to this maritime magic even when you are sequestered inside. But you don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy this fancy foot-level fenestella. The value priced Embudu resort sports lovely versions in their Water Bunglows. And there is plenty to see. We watched a couple of puppy reef sharks and a baby stingray during our short stay. The most affordable glass floor water villa in the Maldives.
This is the resort many people are looking for. I was looking forward to this first stop on our annual odyssey. Embudu gets mentioned from time to time on the Trip Advisor Maldives Forum as a recommended option for budget travellers, but it is not easy to find much information on it. When you go into the value range, you are always wondering what compromises you are having to make for the lower star-rating.
Embudu has all the amenities and treasures of a classic Maldivian resort, but without the ultra-luxury trappings that have taken over so many properties of late. A tiny droplet of an island. An intimate house reef teeming with fish life. Sand walkways and sand floor reception (I wish there were more of these). Extensive restaurant buffet with added twists like garlic added to the spinach and calamari added to the stir fry beef or orange peel added to the basmati rice.
One of the things you go without at the resort is Internet access at it is only available at its reception (and you pay extra for it). But some people who long for the days where one is not tethered to always-on connectivity of the modern world find this more of an asset than a liability. Also, there is no pool. Even though you are surrounded by one of the most beautiful pools of water in the world, some people prefer a resort pool (especially small children welcome the sand-free and salt-free confines of a pool). The dining options are limited to the main restaurant, but again, fresh fish and tropical fruits are all any Maldivian banquet truly needs.
Even though Embudu harkens back to a simpler, more authentic island getaway experience, it nonetheless has kept up with a number of updates over time. The rooms have relatively recent décor with simple Scandinavian styling and touches like a four poster bed and a rain shower.
Old school Maldives with fresh touches…what’s not to like.
As promised, I have now completed my own list of post-tour challenges of getting all of the research material consolidated, profiles updated, notes organised, and as promised, expanded information on the resorts’ House Reefs. I’ve added a row to the Resort Profile devoted to House Reef details (see below).
Mostly, I have broken down the very crude “House Reef Rating” into several more granular ratings…
- House Reef Rating (focusing on the “drop off”)
- Drop-Off Coral Rating (focusing just on the coral variety and density as opposed to fish life or ease of access.
- Lagoon Coral Rating (focusing on the shallow water coral croppings)
As a part of my enhancing the House Reef information, I’ve also added a second video link to the resort profiles of footage taken on the house reef. Very often, the TripAdvisor Maldives Forum refers to such videos for first hand documentation of the reef quality. I’ve gone through the videos on YouTube and selected the best I could find in terms of showing the most of the reef (ie. not all close ups of fish and other sightings).
Through my house reef YouTube research, I came across a whole range of quality from grainy camera clips to Hollywood-style editted GoPro productions. The one that rose above as “Best Picture” (among some very worthy competition I must say), was “Maldive – The Movie” 39 minute feature film of the Maayafushi house reef.
Other special mentions include…
- Most Views – Filitheyo: 4934.
- Most Likes – Embudoo: 59.
- Best Soundtrack – Helengeli: (fun and apropos medley of tunes)