From the people who run Fihalhohi comes this new all-inclusive resort, taking over the beautiful structures that were left behind by the departing Club Med.
A 10-minute boat ride from the airport brings you not to the end of a long jetty but to the landing platform, which is a part of the main public area. Surrounding the broad deck of a fine swimming pool stand separate pavilions, with red earth tiled roofs and ornately worked wood supports, like something out of Old China.
The reception building connected to the restaurant sets the backdrop. To one side of the pool is the light and airy main bar, on the other side is the games room pavilion, with television, pool table, table football and table tennis. With excursions heading out from the arrival platform, this is where most of the action happens during the day. Having said that, Club Faru (despite its name) is a quiet place for people looking to relax and do their own thing in their own time.
Then again, there are some guests here that want a bit of fun and activity and they are also catered for. On the southern end of the island, where the sun shines all day on a large bulge of beach, there are daytime activities such as volleyball, badminton and water sports. Canoes and kayaks are free to use and the sail and powered sports are reasonably priced.
An animator organises events during the day and is involved in the evening entertainments that happen at this end too, in the large, ornate coffee shop and à la carte restaurant. Live bands come twice a week and on other nights there are karaoke sessions and discos as well as short cabaret sessions.
The 152 rooms are in nicely designed two-storey blocks and are all the same except for the fact that the upper storey rooms don't have the third bed that is built into the downstairs rooms. An archway takes you into the large, tiled veranda with built-in cushioned seating. Inside, the rooms have a double arched roof, rounded walls and circular windows. It is always a pleasure to see the rectangle altered and these are lovely clean and cosy rooms. The bathrooms are small and functional compared with how they are in so many resorts nowadays, but they're okay.
The first 5 blocks of rooms have good shade and a fine broad beach in front of them and face west to the sunset. These are clearly the best rooms to go for. The blocks further down the west side have distinctly less beach and some seagrass in the shady, shallow lagoon until the beach opens out again at the southern bulge. Just under half the rooms are on the other side, the quiet eastern side, where the beach goes from excellent to narrow. It should be said, however, that some of those rooms and the whole of the southern beach look out to Hulhumale, which is the man-made extension of the airport island that is destined to become a new town.
The lagoon is good for water sports, being large, shallow and sandy, but no good for snorkelling as the reef is inaccessible and there is little coral inside the lagoon. The resort, however, puts on two snorkelling trips a day to a nearby reef and these are free for all guests (guests also get a free tour of Male). Diving in the region is long established and rather well worn but still there are good things to be seen in the channels and outside reefs of North Male Atoll. I saw my only whale shark to date on the outside reef of this island.
For a quiet, all-inclusive resort that has a bit of action when you want it Club Faru might just work for you. If you get one of the best located rooms and spend your days on the beach and around the lovely public area, it should definitely work for you. Being so close to Male has its advantages too, as well as some disadvantages.
Reviewed by Adrian Neville