Published On: Sat, Mar 30th, 2024
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Atmosphere Kanifushi review: A luxury five-star resort in the Maldives | Asia | Travel

Aerial view Atmosphere Kanifushi

Atmosphere Kanifushi is one of the largest resort islands in the Maldives (Image: Atmosphere Kanifushi )

Atmosphere Kanifushi is a luxury five-star resort where the experience starts before you even arrive on the island


  • Incredible food options
  • Beautiful spa overlooking the ocean
  • Excellent range of entertainment

Atmosphere Kanifushi Review

Atmosphere Kanifushi is a luxury five-star resort where the experience starts before you even arrive on the island. How many times have you arrived at a private island resort by seaplane?

The answer likely isn’t that many, if at all, but with Atmosphere Kanifushi, the unique stay begins at Malé Velana Airport’s Noovilu Seaplane Terminal, where you will climb aboard a tiny 15-person plane and prepare for an incredible 30-minute journey over breathtaking aerial views of the Maldives.

It’s hard to imagine the experience can get any better, yet somehow it does. Prepare for a grand entrance to the resort as you dramatically land in a glittering spray of water, before docking up to the jetty. The sound of traditional Boduberu drums rings out as guests are greeted with a necklace woven from palm leaves and a glass of bubbly. There’s no need to worry about your luggage either with porters on hand to ferry your suitcases straight to your villa or residence.

Atmosphere Kanifushi is a fully-inclusive five-star resort, far more than just your usual food and drinks affair, which sets the resort apart from others around the world. Accommodation, complimentary seaplane transfers to and from Malé’s Velena International Airport, breakfast, lunch, dinner, unlimited beverages, and a complimentary re-stock of your mini-fridge daily, are included in the premium all-inclusive plan.

The Kanifushi plan also covers an array of activities, excursions, and adventures. Guests can enjoy one complimentary sunset fishing trip per stay, as well as one complimentary excursion to either Kurendhoo island or an opportunity to experience local culture on a trip to Naifaaru island, which also features a visit to a Turtle rehab centre.

You also have the option to add further excursions to your stay for an extra fee.

With nothing but seemingly endless views of aquamarine waters surrounding the island, it’s no surprise that the ocean is a key theme of any stay in the Maldives. Though Kanifushi does not have its own house reef, it’s a haven for divers and snorkelling enthusiasts with an entire world of sea life just below its surrounding surface. The jetty, in particular, is a great spot to clamber down the ladder and come face-to-face with local sea life.

Guests have complimentary use of a selection of non-motorised water sports throughout the stay, as well as snorkelling equipment. The resort also offers two boat snorkelling excursions each day, and you can enjoy as many as you like throughout your time on the island included in the price of a stay.

But it’s not all exploration and adventure, there’s also plenty of relaxation on the menu. Sunrise yoga, aerobics and sound healing sessions, set to the backdrop of the rolling waves, come at no extra cost. Plus, a minimum of at least one complimentary 45-minute spa experience when they stay for a minimum of four days (the number of complimentary treatments increases with the length of your stay – bonus!)

Kanifushi is one of the largest resort islands in the Maldives, spanning 2km in length and 90 meters wide. Our favourite way to get around was on the turquoise bicycle left outside our villa – all guests can enjoy these with special bike stands to store your bike dotted across the island. If you prefer not to cycle, there are also shuttle buggies which travel back and forth around Kanifushi. Just keep an eye on the mobile app to spot when the next one is nearby.

The Rooms

Rating: 5/5

Kanifushi is home to 162 Villas spread across nine categories, providing a home-away-from-home to suit a wide range of needs. Whether you’re heading to the island for the perfect Maldivian honeymoon as a couple, or need something bigger to house the entire family, there’s a villa just for you.

These include villas gazing out to the sunset, complete with their own sandy garden area tucked away within the trees, the traditional Maldivian water villas with nothing but endless ocean views and villas big enough to house the entire family.

Perhaps some of the most jaw-dropping are The Residences. These homes offer a truly luxurious haven that sleeps up to five adults and two children.

Each tropical hideaway features its own giant swimming pool, with a sunken seating area that wouldn’t look out of place on Love Island, hidden away within the palms. Guests of The Residences also benefit from direct beach access. Though these villas are the height of opulence, we’re told they are one of the most popular on the island and are regularly sold out.

Grand Villa Kanifushi

The Grand Pool Villa opens out to your very own tropical oasis (Image: Atmosphere Kanifushi)

While Instagram may lead you to believe that the Water Villas are the way to go for the optimum Maldivian experience, we checked into one of the Kanifushi Grand Pool Villas and found it allowed us to fully immerse in the island lifestyle. Furnished in rich dark wood and set beneath a vaulted wooden ceiling, the villa is an incredibly spacious place to call home. At its heart is the vast bed, surrounded by mosquito-net curtains.

There is plenty of storage, a comfortable seating area and the all-important mini-fridge containing an array of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages including beers and bottles of wine, and a snack basket – all of which are replenished daily if you wish.

The villa features a unique garden bathroom with a tub and shower. Though half outdoors, the bathroom does not mean foregoing privacy, with walls and an array of lush greenery surrounding the space. It is one of the most special parts of the room and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the laid-back, outdoorsy island lifestyle.

That is except for your very own grand pool and decking area just steps from the powdery white shoreline. Double doors from the villa open out to the swimming pool, overhung by trees and foliage from which tiny orange flowers float down. If you tire of bobbing about in your private pool, you can climb out and paddle in the crystal blue Indian Ocean in a matter of steps.

Bathroom at Atmosphere Kanifushi

The outside-inside bathroom allows you to fully immerse yourself in nature (Image: Atmosphere Kanifushi)

The Spa

How does Atmosphere Kanifushi compare to other Maldives hotels?

Rating: 5/5

Enter Akiri Spa by Mandara and prepare to let all your worries slip away.

Housed in a series of traditional villa-style rooms, Akiri Spa provides a picturesque place to experience a holistically focused spa treatment.

Surrounded by towering palm trees and an explosion of greenery, the spa looks out to that dreamy ocean view, so that you don’t need to miss a single moment of it.

You’ll be greeted with a glass of iced tea and water, beautifully presented alongside a Plumeria flower – often used in a variety of beauty treatments.

Peer out of the seaplane window, where brightly hued atolls emerge between the breaks in the clouds, and realise you’re living a once-in-a-lifetime experience

The menu of treatments is wide-ranging, harnessing traditions from India, Bali, Hawaii, and Thailand. Scrubs used in many of the treatments are prepared fresh each day using natural ingredients sourced from the island’s bounty. Staff are warm and friendly, and are able to cater treatments to your specific needs.

Guests can choose from a selection of massages, caring for you from head to toe, as well as facials and beauty treatments. If you opt for a facial, as we did, you can expect to be glowing by the time you leave Akiri.

Dining and Drinking

Rating: 5/5

It’s hard to know where to begin, with eight bars and restaurants dotted throughout the island. Kanifushi’s main restaurant is The Spice, an expansive buffet offering dishes from around the world that’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

All food is marked with allergy and dietary notices, there are live cooking stations and there’s even a specially crafted buffet station for kids. The Spice has more than enough variety to keep you satiated for your entire stay, but in case you do fancy a change of scenery or want to celebrate with a fine dining experience, Kanifushi has a highly-curated offering.

Just Veg, one of our favourite spots to dine, is the first à la carte vegetarian restaurant in the Maldives that has also been voted the best vegetarian restaurant in the nation on TripAdvisor.

The menu was curated in partnership with Italian Michelin-star chef Fabrizio Marino, and serves up an incredible array of four-course options including plant-based takes on traditional Maldivian dishes and elevated small plates. At sunset, the adjoining Lantern Bar is the perfect spot to watch the colours of day fade into the night.

At the other end of the island is The Pier Six, a luxurious modern over-water dining complex with nothing but picture-perfect ocean views. Guests have two choices here, either to indulge in a delicious seafood dinner or to book a spot at the Teppanyaki Grill where you’ll be wowed by the food before it even reaches your plate.

Pier Six Teppanyaki Grill

Pier Six Teppanyaki Grill is an experience that’s about more than just the food (Image: Atmosphere Kanifushi)

For something a little more casual, Ceylon Bliss is a cosy rustic cabin and outdoor seating area protected by a large hanging tree, nestled on the shoreline. Here you can experience authentic Sri Lankan street food light bites and a selection of beverages – perfect for a snack before a late dinner.

During the day you can also enjoy a light lunch at The Sunset Pool Bar, a casual dining spot where white sand makes up the carpet. By night, the pool bar transforms into an à la carte Asian and Mediterranean dining spot that also hosts a white party complete with barbecue every Wednesday.

Set alongside the hotel’s 50-metre main pool is The Liquid, overlooking the ocean. Or head to Marrakech, a Moroccan shisha bar serving tea and coffee.

Guests staying a minimum of four nights can enjoy one complimentary à la carte fine-dining experience each at either The Sunset or Pier Six. Dining experiences at Teppanyaki Grill are chargeable.

Regardless of which restaurant you opt for, the warm and friendly staff are the thing that makes every mealtime feel genuinely special.


  • Complimentary seaplane airport transfers
  • Fully inclusive island plan holidays
  • Fitness Centre
  • Padel Tennis Cour
  • Kids Club
  • Babysitting service
  • Entertainment
  • Bars 
  • Restaurants
  • Adults swimming pool
  • Family swimming pool
  • Private beach
  • Water sports
  • Snorkelling
  • Spa
  • Free Wifi
  • Mini-bar stocked daily
  • Room service
  • In-resort shop
  • Laundry service
  • Family-friendly
  • Air conditioning
  • Private pools (select rooms)
  • Renewal of vows packages


Rating: 5/5

If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives then the chances are that you’re looking for that postcard-worthy view of aquamarine waters, powdery white sand and an explosion of greenery. Atmosphere Kanifushi is the whole package, but being larger than most resort islands in the region, it offers plenty of space to explore. We loved the complimentary use of bikes to get from A-to-B on the island.

Plus, the wealth of complimentary activities for guests means there is so much more to enjoy than just beautiful views.

Seaplane transfers, included in the Kanifushi package, allow guests to reach Malé’s Velana International Airport in just over 30 minutes – and the journey promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience all on its own.

Aerial view of resort

You’ll arrive at Atmosphere Kanifushi by seaplane to once-in-a-lifetime views (Image: Atmosphere Kanifushi)

Value For Money

Rating: 5/5

Guest can enjoy a week-long stay at Atmosphere Kanifushi from £4,571 per person including flights with Kenwood Travel, at the time of writing. This includes transfers and Sunset Beach Villa with all the benefits of the KANIFUSHI Plan.

Find rooms and book direct on the Atmosphere Kanifushi website. Or, compare deals and prices for a stay at Atmosphere Kanifushi with

You can also book package holidays to Atmosphere Kanifushi with British Airways, with prices starting from approximately £2,579 for seven nights at the time of writing (subject to dates of travel and availability).

Final Verdict

From the moment you peer out of the seaplane window, where brightly hued atolls emerge between the breaks in the clouds, you realise you’re living a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Atmosphere Kanifushi goes above and beyond to ensure your time on the island is just as unique.

The incredible natural surroundings provide an idyllic backdrop to the impeccable service, dining experiences and excursions on offer.

The resort sets itself apart from many other all-inclusive in the sense that absolutely everything is included.

That means everything from breakfast to the extensive mini-fridge offering in your room. We couldn’t believe it was replenished daily.

While this is by no means a budget resort, you certainly get value for money.

However, it’s the staff who elevate the stay to new levels, with a friendly face at every turn.

Looking down from the seaplane at your parting views of the resort, it’s hard not to start planning your return to the island. The good news is, if you do decide to come back, Kanifushi offers a selection of offers, especially for return guests.

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