Embudu Village is an island resort located about 60 minutes away from Male by speedboat. You get picked up at the city and are greeted by the staff at the pier. The island has a secluded feel, and can get very quiet. It’s perfect for a lazy holiday and the amazing house reef affords some pretty mind blowing water wildlife observation opportunities.
From the outside the rooms, as you approach them through the trees, it look rather imposing. On the inside they’re rather cozy. The little varendah out front is exactly what this space needs.
From here you can enjoy your surroundings within arms reach of the minibar.
I love the little hanging chairs, consisting of rope weaves inside a wooden frame, that seems to be a Maldivian traditional staple. They are scattered throughout the island, mostly hanging from trees, in some choice locations.
I found my favorite spot only half an hour before I was due to leave. The chair was hanging from a palm tree and directly above the water, just about a meter away from the shore. There I chilled for as long as I could, under the mottled sunlight, turning in circles looking up at the trees and the sky.
The beach at Embudu changes seasonally, depending on the current. When we were there, it had a large sandbank to one side of it. We lay down on the sandbank and watched the stars. There was very little light pollution and we saw lots of shooting stars.
The buffet serves some excellent fare. The kitchen appears to be run by Sri Lankans, and 40% of the hotel’s 140 staff are from Sri Lanka. They've got theme nights - so the first night we were there, we got to experience the the Asian night, which included hoppers, and even a kottu stand outside.
There were Sri Lankan sweets, and what interested us even more was the waraka (jackfruit). I’ve never had jackfruit at a hotel buffet before, and I loved it.
The salads were pretty top notch I thought, a really crateive range incorporating western and Asian elements seamlessly. The gotukola and bitter gourd in particular were well applied. When all the guests flock to the restaurant for dinner you begin to wonder where they all were the rest of the day I guess this is how a well designed island behaves.
Embudu village is a haven for diving enthusiasts. It has got one of the best house reefs in the Maldives - which means that you don’t need to take a boat out to a distant reef to have a good time under water. You can simply put your flippers on, grab your mask and cast off from the beach.
The resort has a diving center with all the equipment you need, and experienced staff who’ve got your back.
And what a house reef they had! Snorkeling felt like floating in the sky, with a mountainside beneath you falling away into the blue depths. The marine life I saw was nothing like I’d imagined.
Multiple schools of fish criss-crossing each other at impossible angles, stately manta rays patrolling further down, turtles, all sorts of other fish I didn’t have names for. On lucky days you can even see dolphins and even killer whales, that’s how good this reef is.
Sadly the corals aren’t as glorious as they should be. There was a major bleaching last year and many corals died from that. So instead of the range of colors we would have seen, we mostly only saw a drab grey landscape.
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