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Oblu Xperience Ailafushi Maldives review: An affordable resort

Simon Calder’s Travel

In a nutshell: Just 15 minutes from Malé, the vibrant resort is affordable and caters to groups of friends and families alike, with a showstopping underwater restaurant and fantastic service.

The location

The Maldives needs little introduction. Synonymous with crystal clear water and white sand, the archipelago is a luxe – and often expensive – holiday destination. If you’re searching for a more affordable choice, Oblu Xperience Ailafushi positions itself as a pocket-friendly way to visit. Staying at the all-inclusive resort costs from £160 per person per night. This price point attracts an international mix of couples, families and groups of friends.

A complimentary 15-minute speedboat ride from Malé (British Airways offers direct flights from London) transports you from the capital to a fun, lively destination that caters for groups of friends, families and couples looking for a good time. The zippy transfer time is impressive considering other resorts in the Maldives can take up to an hour to reach. But the proximity to the capital does come with its disadvantages, with views of the high-rise buildings in the distance in certain parts of the hotel.

Ailaufushi is connected to one of the chain’s other resorts, Oblu Select Lobigili – a luxury, adults-only resort best suited for honeymooners. While there are spots for swimming and snorkelling, there is no house reef.

Maldivian sunsets can be enjoyed from the main bar

(Oblu Xperience Ailafushi )

The look

Having opened its doors in 2022, the resort has a modern look. Unlike the neutral colour palette adopted by many resorts in the area, Oblu Xperience Ailafushi takes a bold approach, injecting pops of colour in shades of orange, blue and red around the resort.

Wandering along the well-maintained sandy walkways makes home feel like a distant memory. But the major sell is the undeniable beauty of the surrounding landscape: white sand, turquoise lagoons, magnificent sunsets… this is the stuff dreams are made of.

The vibe

The group-friendly resort has a buzzy atmosphere, with lively noughties classics playing loudly in the main bar (X360), considered the hub of the hotel, and beach area from 10am. At sunset, a dance floor area is rolled out in the main bar with a live band or DJ playing until 12.45am. The party vibe did, at times, seem incongruous with the serenity of the…

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