Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Resort & Spa was acquired by Roxy Pacific Holdings in 2016 and was rebranded as Noku Maldives in late 2017. Noku Maldives has renovated some areas. We will update our review as soon as we can.
Located on its own verdant island, 45 minutes by seaplane from Male
Huge villas come with high ceilings and large outdoor decks; some have private pools
Luxe bathrooms have large soaking tubs, indoor and outdoor showers, and dual vanities
Wide stretch of sandy beach, even at the highest tide
Two contemporary restaurants, two chic but casual bars, and room service offer variety
Small tiled infinity pool is surrounded by a wooden deck overlooking the sea
Large spa and wellness center, gym with tennis courts, and water activities on-site
Watersports, courses, beach soccer, and excursions available
Private airport lounge includes free drinks and check-in
Free Wi-Fi in public spaces and rooms
Some areas show some wear and tear
Villas can get buggy, particularly on the walls and in the bathrooms
Beach area is empty and unequipped
Depending on seaplane departures, transfers may take (much) longer than 45 minutes
Wi-Fi signal can be spotty in some rooms
This 50-villa luxury resort has some of the largest standard rooms (which include massive standalone soaking tubs and outdoor decks) we've seen in Maldives -- but the Zitahli Kuda-Funafaru Resort & Spa still may not be the best bang for your buck, as many units show some wear and tear, and the property has a slightly abandoned feel. However, you can still expect to find contemporary chic decor, brand-name minibar items, a luxe spa, shops, a gym with a tennis court, and tons of activities -- and the airport lounge is a huge plus. Its garden grounds are ideal for couples seeking privacy, though some guests may be disappointed with the unequipped (but nonetheless large) beach.
This quiet, private spot is still luxe -- but some maintenance would make it great.
Zithali Kuda-Funafaru Resort & Spa has all the right groundwork to be an outstanding and leading luxury property, but unfortunately, a few spaces feel ever-so-slightly neglected and under-maintained for a luxury resort. The effects of the Maldives' harsh tropical climate are visible in the wear and tear of some building structures and outdoor furniture, and some public spaces, though fully functional and open for guest use, feel a bit abandoned. However, the pool area, including the poolside restaurant and bar, and the resort's spa are in excellent condition. Meanwhile, the leafy garden layout of the island (complete with sandy paths), and the resort's contemporary and stylish decor, full line of room amenities, and on-site features like chic bars, tasty contemporary restaurants, a spa, gym, and infinity pool, and -- most impressive for the Maldives -- a large, white sandy stretch of beach (though sadly unequipped), make for an ideal luxury island escape.
Overall, the vibe is relaxed and sleepy with a focus on privacy thanks to the natural leafy grounds. For the price, this place is best suited for guests who don't mind putting up with a little wear and tear for a quiet and private island break.
Located in the northern Noonu Atoll, 45 minutes via seaplane from Male
Zithali Kuda-Funfaru is located on its own small island in the Noonu Atoll. This atoll has largely unexplored and untouched reefs compared to other more popular and developed islands in the Maldives. Zithali Kuda-Funafaru is only reachable by seaplane from Male. Direct flights clock-in at around 45 minutes, though -- with several built-in stops being the norm -- it can actually take much longer to reach the island.
Huge rooms with enormous bathrooms, great amenities, and large decks; most with private pools
While the original groundwork for an uber-luxe stay shows in the upscale, chic style of the units' design, decor, and soft beige, black, and white color palette, there is noticeable wear, such as chipped manufactured wood furniture, stained cushioning, ill-fitting doors, and just an overall deserted vibe. However, if you're willing to put up with that for the incredible size of the rooms, you'll be just fine. They are some of the biggest we’ve seen, especially in the lowest level categories: picture humungous private outdoor decks (some with private plunge pools), and large tub-centered bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers. All rooms come with ocean view bathrooms, dual wardrobes and vanity sinks, comfy beds, large flat-screen TVs with a few satellite English channels, and bedroom lounge areas and desks, plus luxury amenities like pillow menus, personalized bars with top brands, espresso machines, Bose sound systems, iPod docks, and luxe toiletry kits that include loofahs, nail kits, vanity kits, and shampoo, conditioner, and soap.
Upgrading from the standard Deluxe Beach Villa to the Super Deluxe Beach Villa With Pool snags you -- you guessed it -- a private plunge pool, while bumping up another level to the Deluxe Aqua Villa gets you an overwater abode with direct access to the sea. Next up is the Super Deluxe Aqua Villa With Pool which adds a personal plunge pool to your overwater villa, and the categories top out with the resort's one and only Suite. This two-bedroom spot is secluded from the other rooms for total privacy and swaps out the private plunge pool for a full freshwater pool.
All rooms have room service, turndown service, and free Wi-Fi (if you can snag the signal).
Noku Maldives is privy to somewhat of a rarity in the Maldives -- a huge beach. Massive and wide, but sadly unequipped, the main beach area lies between two jetties, stretching out in front of a few guest rooms hidden behind a bright green beach cabbage barrier. Down by the service jetty, a well-used, netted soccer goal rests in the sand, but other than that, the beach is, well, just beach. Even when the tide comes to lap up the sand, the remaining beach here is larger than some of the others islands' sand space. No one seems to mind the lack of loungers or umbrellas since each villa has its own deck and entrance to a beach area.
A couple of restaurant options, with private dinners and room service available as well
Zithali Kuda-Funafaru's main restaurant Breeze is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has casual buffet or a la carte dining served with a hearty side of beachfront views. With perfect pool and ocean views, the resort's dinner-only spot, Mosaic, has a more upscale vibe with white table clothes, contemporary glass ball hanging light fixtures, polished concrete tile floors, and nice views over the infinity pool and out to sea. Flanking another side of the pool is Poolside, which is less of a brick-and-mortar spot and more of a fancy way to say they have food and drink service that extends to the poolside loungers and a few table and chairs on the deck. Room service is available 24/7 with an international menu heavy on Asian dishes, and private dinners can be arranged on request.
Both of Noku Maldives' bars are open from the mid-morning to the evening, though the chic poolside lounge bar Indigo closes around sundown while the beachfront 5 Degrees North stays open until after midnight. Indigo has upscale, dark varnished wood paneled and metal furniture with thick padded cushions, hardwood floors, A-frame ceilings, and a large, sunken U-shaped central bar. There are daily happy hour specials as well as hookahs for guests to puff on while sipping cocktails, playing board games, or just staring out across the pool or ocean. There are no stools here; instead, there are a few cushioned chairs positioned around the bar area. With a similar design -- several couch areas, hardwood floors, A-frame ceiling, and a central U-shaped bar -- 5 Degrees North has a bit of a lighter vibe, most likely thanks to the slightly lighter woods and off-white pillows and cushions. Both are open-air, relaxing spots to imbibe while listening to the waves roll.
Oceanside infinity pool, a spa and wellness center, sports area, water sports, and excursions
Noku Maldives is packed full of all the features you should expect from a luxury resort. There's a surprisingly large spa complex hidden along the paths and trees where guests are asked to remove their shoes before entering the open-air reception bungalow. Slippers are provided and treatments are given at any one of the many standalone units off of a long boardwalk. The treatment villas are large, contemporary, and clean with bowl sinks, hardwood floors, high ceilings, and sliding glass doors that open up to private decks with cabana beds, plunge pools, showers, tubs, and table and chairs sets. You can also take a dip in the oceanside infinity pool or just lounge on the deck soaking in some strong rays while the ocean breeze comes in. For those who want a more active holiday, there's a sports area with tennis courts, ping-pong tables, and a large air-conditioned gym full of machines, a TV, and water cooler. Though, if you'd rather not stay landlocked, you can partake in water sports or courses on windsurfing, diving, kitesurfing, snorkeling, and kayaking. There are also excursions which include sunset dolphin cruises, island visits, catamaran sailings, and fishing for anyone interested in exploring the island.
Additional features include free Wi-Fi in public areas, a cool welcome towel and drink, DVD and CD library, gift and jewelry shops, library lounge area, laundry service, and laptops available on request.