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Alila Kothaifaru

angelfish travel 5.5 halo rating
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Aerial View
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Water Villas
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Beach Villas
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Infinity Pool & Seasalt
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Arrival Jetty
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Arrival Pavilion
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Spa Alila
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Water Sports
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Dive Sites
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
The Shack Private Sandbank
Tailor Made Holidays & Bespoke Packages for Alila Kothaifaru
Infinity Pool at Sunset
Our Opinion

Alila, meaning ‘Surprise’ in Sanskrit, was acquired as a brand by the Hyatt group in 2018, and more often than not the big international hotel brands struggle to get it right in the Maldives. Alila Kothaifaru firmly bucks this trend. Although the Covid-delayed opening in 2022 was four years after the acquisition, it seems that the resort’s roots lay firmly in the independent Indonesian brand’s original ethos, with minimal influence from its behemothic parent.

After a warm welcome from a highly experienced team the most striking first impression is how lush the island foliage seems. This established feel is reinforced in the island’s interior where clever design and sympathetic use of hanging plants means the modern, geometric architecture is blended into the natural environment. Each island villa is like a miniature homage to Geoffrey Bawa’s masterpiece at Heritance Kandalama.

The muted colour interiors of the 80 villas are spacious enclaves for modern, comfortable luxury living. The beds are huge and dressed in immaculate white linens, there is ample wardrobe space for an extended Maldivian holiday, a well-lit dressing table, and plenty of surfaces for laying out all our travelling paraphernalia. The island villa outdoor bathrooms accessed behind the bed are furnished with large dark grey tiles and feel luxurious. The separate living area is really spacious and can accommodate 2 up to 12. Floor-to-ceiling windows open into the garden with pool and then a few steps take you to sun loungers and onto the beach. The Water Villas offer stunning views across the ocean, with pool and hammock on the decks. However, the smaller footprint has led to a couple of questionable design choices: beds facing the TV rather than the window and wardrobes in the bathroom, and some may struggle with the steep ladders into the lagoon at low tide.

There is a nice reef for snorkelling, with easiest access just in front of Yakitori bar and the drop off extends between there and the arrival harbour. For more experienced swimmers, the reef on the far side of the harbour is more varied but also subject to channel currents (check conditions with the dive team). There are plenty of accessible dive sites in Raa & Baa atoll, with excursions expertly serviced from a smart dive centre. Water sports are limited to non-motorised to protect the reef and lagoon environment.

Service, starting with your enthusiastic island host and extending to every outlet and staff interaction, is top drawer. A well-drilled team, overseen by visible management, is attentive and efficient and yet never pushy or overbearing, and puts some other higher-end properties to shame.

Dining is excellent. Seasalter (with its varied menus and chefs for whom nothing is too much trouble) and Umami (superb Asian cuisine with Teppanyaki counter) are both classy and relaxed at the same time. Delicious snacks are available at the Yakitori bar, perched over the water on the edge of the beach, where sun lounger service is also available. The Mirus (‘Chilli’) Bar is a perfect location both during the day and for evening cocktails. For those not keen on Asian dining, we wonder if the unused reception area might work as a feet-in-the-sand grill outlet for added variety.

The star of the show is The Shack, the Maldives’ (and presumably the world’s) first sand bank restaurant, featuring grill, bar, hammock and even a shower and loos. A sunset dinner here on the beach is a unique experience and what lasting memories are made of.

Alila was indeed a ‘Surprise’, one of the best new resorts we have visited in recent years, and earns a worthy spot on our highly recommended list.

To read more detailed assessments see our trip review blog post.

All Inclusive
Dining Options
Family Friendly
Family Rooms
Fine Dining
House Reef
Kids Club
Natural Beauty
Overwater Villas
Rooms With Pools
Seaplane Transfer
How Our Clients Rate Alila Kothaifaru
Feedback Criteria
Average Rating
Special Offers
    2024 50% Maldives Indulgence Offer
    2025 35% 60-Day EBO I Offer
    2025 25% 60-Day EBO I Offer + Meal Plan Upgrade
    2024 25% 60-Day EBO I Offer + Meal Plan Upgrade
    2024 20% Early Bird Offer III
    2024 20% Early Bird Offer IV
    Extended Stay Offer
    Honeymoon & Anniversary Benefits
    Remote and unspoilt with an air of tranquil seclusion, the 11.2 hectare private retreat of Alila Kothaifaru lies in the picturesque Raa Atoll, one of the deeper atolls in the Maldives, offering abundant snorkelling and diving options to explore its incredibly rich and diverse underwater world.

    Seamlessly integrated into the landscape, the resort’s terraced pavilions and villas immerse guests in the natural surroundings and balance privacy with openness to the outdoors in a unique expression of minimalist elegance.

    Designed for serene relaxation in harmony with nature, each of the resort’s 44 beachfront villas and 36 overwater villas comes with a private pool for your enjoyment. Featuring contemporary interiors in a palette of soothing colours with natural textures, these spacious hideaways are carefully positioned to provide privacy and comfort in understated, sophisticated style.

    From protecting our environment to advancing the local community, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives aims to drive positive impact through innovative and intuitive ways. In line with the resort's goal to achieve EarthCheck certification, the world’s leading environmental certification and benchmarking programme for the travel and tourism industry, green initiatives have been implemented from the ground up, including:
    • Thoughtful architecture built around the island’s natural landscape, conserving up to 70% of the existing vegetation and the maximum number of native trees

    • Use of eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics

    • Sustainable water consumption practices

    • Widening the energy mix to include recyclable energy

    • Waste management measures including converting paper products and vegetable waste into fertiliser and the use of an on-site bottle crusher and garbage compactor
    Sample Packages
    Alila Kothaifaru
    5-star Resort

    20% Early Bird Offer
    [60 Days prior]
    & Free Half Board!
    Room Type:
    Ocean Overwater Pool Villa
    Meal Plan:
    Half Board (free upgrade from BB)
    British Airways
    from: 16/04/2024
         to: 31/10/2024
    Book By:
    From per person
    Subject to availability
    Alila Kothaifaru
    Dining Options

    Eco Luxury

    Private Pools With All
    Quoted prices include stated offers and discounts, are indicative and can fluctuate. Please contact us for latest prices.