snorkelling at gaathafushi islands house-reef.
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Gaathafushi Island: Your Exclusive Slice of Paradise in the Maldives

In Maldives lies a holiday destination that has created an experience for tourists unlike any other. The W Maldives Retreat & Spa resort by Marriott Bonvoy is one of the 5 star hotels in Maldives that has pushed the envelope beyond its boundaries and their private island experience is proof of that.

W Maldives Retreat & Spa hosts this exquisite experience on an island called Gaathafushi Island, which is a completely separate island in Maldives from W Maldives Retreat & Spa itself. Offering a one night Robinson Crusoe & uniquely private adventure, Gaathafushi Island creates an environment of pure bliss that creates memories for a lifetime. 

Unveiling Gaathafushi Island

Gaathafushi Island from above. Photo Credit: My Maldives
Gaathafushi Island from above. Photo Credit: My Maldives

Upon reserving the experience at W Maldives Retreat & Spa, you are whisked away by speedboat to get to your destination which you reach within 5 minutes. The island, the surrounding sea and coral have been virtually untouched by man, with the resort wanting to preserve its natural beauty. 

Both W Maldives Retreat & Spa and Gaathafushi Island lie at North Ari Atoll, a haven for snorkelers and divers alike for sharks watching in Maldives, while being a short 25 minute seaplane ride away from Velana International Airport.

Experiences on Gaathafushi Island

Snorkelling at Gaathafushi Islands house reef. Photo Credit: Next Destinium
Snorkelling at Gaathafushi Islands house reef. Photo Credit: Next Destinium

The Gaathafushi Island experience is one where you get to pick whatever it is you want to do, whenever you want to do it. When you get to live on a private island for a day or half, the staff at W Maldives Retreat & Spa will treat you like kings and queens, granting your every request.

You may select from a number of packages at Gaathafushi Island, including the Half-Day Desert Island Trip, the Full-Day Desert Island Trip, the Private Dinner Under the Stars, the Dive and Relax Sunset Cocktails, the Overnight Stay Sleeping Under the Stars on Gaathafushi, and the Dream Weddings on Gaathafushi options. It can be experienced with friends, family or as a couple, with the following options at your fingertips.

The Robinson Crusoe Experience

For one day and one night, spend your time on this island just like an adventurer who sailed to the island would but with all the benefits of a resort backing you up. Indulge in the Overnight Stay Sleeping Under The Stars Package for a fantasy come true.

A champagne breakfast cuisine will be waiting for you as you wake up under the serenity of a thatched roof, while at the mercy of a signature W bed.

Seeking Paradise? Unveil the Secrets of Gaathafushi Island!
Discover the epitome of exclusivity on Gaathafushi Island, Maldives. Your passport to serenity awaits—pristine beaches, azure waters, and unparalleled luxury. Ready to escape to your private slice of paradise?

It’s Snorkelling Season

The island itself is well-equipped with an amazing house reef and translucent waters, making it not only a viable snorkelling option but an absolutely amazing one, along with a cocktail to refresh you afterwards. This is where the Dive and Relax Sunset Cocktails Package comes in.

With 0.56 hectares to explore, your half day or full day booking just got a lot more adventurous.

A Food & Instagram Lover’s Fantasy

Within the Gaathafushi Island experience exists a ‘Private Dinner Under The Stars’ option where the entire island is yours for 4 hours as the in-house chef prepares mouth watering delicacies for you to feast upon. 

A four course meal with the island and a setting sun as your backdrop is the dream of a food lover and Instagram foodie.

If you want even more escapades and food, the Full-Day Desert Island Trip Package might be right up your alley. Take comfort in knowing that you’ll be spending an entire day on the island accompanied with snorkelling equipment, a barbeque-themed lunch and non-alcoholic beverages.

Saying ‘I Do’

Your special day just got way better. With the Dream Weddings on Gaathafushi Package, say ‘I do’ with the clear blue sea and sky as your background.

A dedicated wedding planner ensures everything is taken care of, down to the last and minute detail. The only thing you’d have to worry about is showing up.

Party On

In addition to weddings, the island also hosts any sort of party that you may want to throw: birthday, retirement, house party, you name it. The only limitation is your imagination.

Take To The Seas

The private yacht from W Maldives Retreat & Spa. Photo Credit: The Luxe Review
The private yacht from W Maldives Retreat & Spa. Photo Credit: The Luxe Review

Added in July 2023, you now get the option to book yourself an 80-foot luxury yacht by the name of ESCAPE, so that you can sail the seas in style.

The yacht comes with two opulent cabins with king-size beds, a large sundeck, two outside lounging spots, and exquisitely restored masts. Whether it’s for a full day or half a day, live out your sea captain fantasies with W Maldives Retreat & Spa.

The Ultimate Private Island Stay

With Gaathafushi Island, you get to enjoy an island in all its splendour by booking it all for yourself for either half a day (which would run you about $500) or for an overnight stay (which is about $3,500) for a one day & one night excursion.

If you’re on your honeymoon with your significant other, this just turned into the most romantic getaway anyone could possibly imagine. An island to yourself for a day in one of the most beautiful locations in the world? 10/10.

This doesn’t only apply to couples. Imagine you and your closest friends book the island for a day of fun under the sun. You could have all the fun in the world with your mates without any worry you might bother other people, completely free to be yourselves.

The island itself is equipped with an open-air hut, which comes with a signature W bed (as mentioned before) and a bathroom complete with a toilet and shower. You can also request whatever it is the W Maldives Retreat & Spa itself offers such as:

  • Dining
    • Kitchen (International cuisine)
    • Fish (Seafood cuisine)
    • Fire (Grill & charcoal dining)
    • Sip (Outdoor bar)
    • Wet (International cuisine / Poolside bar)
    • Kada (Asian-Fusion pop up cafe’)
  • On-site Dive Centre & In-house Water Sports Centre
  • AWAY Spa
  • Island Hopping Experiences
  • Castaway Fishing
    • Full Day Big Game Fishing
    • Half day Big Game Fishing
    • Traditional Maldivian Sunset Hand-line Fishing
    • Private Night Fishing
    • Local Island Trip
    • Dolphin Encounters on Silver Rider

Gaathafushi Island: Marine Life and Snorkelling Paradise

Gaathafushi Island shares the same level of underwater beauty as W Maldives Retreat & Spa; they are located at North Ari Atoll after all.

Gaathafushi has an incredible house reef that teems with life, making it possible to snorkel at almost every spot around the island. If you’re a shark lover, keep your eyes peeled for Whitetip Reef Sharks!

As Gaathafushi is an untouched island, you can expect snorkelling there to feel like a dream.

Dream Weddings and Celebrations in Gaathafushi Island

Your big day is meant to be nothing short of fantastic and W Maldives Retreat & Spa ensures that everything goes right when you decide to have your wedding there. Which is why they have a Wedding Planner that over looks and takes care of everything for you, such as:

  • Pre-Wedding
    • Enjoy time at the spa as the Wedding Planner thinks up a plan
    • Earn Starpoints before the wedding
    • Indulge in bachelor / bachelorette parties
    • Run a rehearsal dinner for the big day
    • A custom made W Weddings webpage allows you to check on the progress and allows guests of the wedding to book their room as well
  • Wedding
    • Wedding arch
    • Flower petals
    • Stage & chairs for guests
    • Master of Ceremonies
    • Photography throughout wedding
  • Post Wedding
    • Your honeymoon gets put on a registry so that guests can gift you with room upgrades and other extras
    • Sunset cruises
    • Diving excursion
    • Parasailing
  • Honeymoon Packages
    • If you book your trip for 3 consecutive nights, you get:
      • Welcome amenities
      • One-time sunset cocktail & canapés with live DJ at SIP
      • Special bed decoration
    • If you book your trip for 7 consecutive nights, you get:
      • Welcome amenities
      • One-time sunset cocktail* & canapés with live DJ at SIP
      • Special bed decoration
      • One 3 course in-villa private dinner (beverages excluded)
      • One-time AWAY Spa Bonus – Extra 30 minutes per person when taking a 60-minute massage
  • Wedding Packages
    • Choose from a variety of packages to suit your wants and needs:
      • Get Wed Like A Star
      • Wow Vows With A View
      • Deep Love
      • Ocean Escape
      • Cast Away
      • Trash The Dress

Sustainable Luxury and Privacy in Gaathafushi Island

Just like a lot of Maldivian resorts, W Maldives Retreat & Spa wants to ensure the environment surrounding these beautiful islands are taken care of so that they may be preserved for as long as possible.

The main island and Gaathafushi itself also has its foliage preserved quite well, so much so that it looks like there’s more green on the island than buildings and such. Even some of the villas are surrounded by trees for that proper island-like ambience. 

W Maldives Retreat & Spa teamed up with renowned swimwear brand Mazu Resortwear from Hong Kong that recycles plastic used at the resort and creates swimwear shorts from the recycled materials! Each piece is made with 12 plastic bottles that have been recycled, ensuring a decent plastic bottle-to-shorts ratio.

The resort also has a resident Marine Biologist by the name of Agatha Charbogne that brings maritime knowledge to its guests about the house reef, global warming and how it affects the reefs and surrounding environment. And thanks to Ms. Charbogne the resort is also phasing out single use plastics at the resort for an even more sustainable resort life and experience.

So if you’re looking for a private island experience with an amazing house reef, tons of stuff to do and a green thumb that aids the environment like no other, look no further than Gaathafushi Island at W Maldives Retreat & Spa.

To make sure you get the best deals and booking experience, head on over to the MadlyMaldives and you’ll be sorted in no time.

Here are some reviews of the resort from their website via some recent satisfied customers, along with an FAQ section:

From the moment we were greeted by Ismail Saeedat at Male the trip already felt special. He set tone of what to expect and this continued thought the whole team at the W. Claire and the F&B team couldn’t do enough for you, always an extra touch. Amazing service from the whole team at the W Maldives! – Gio

The resort was extremely clean and the staff were very attentive. They anticipated our every move, provided special moments everyday, and made us feel welcomed. The level of service was beyond what we expected and we appreciated everyone’s effort in making our honeymoon perfect. Their house reef is incredible. We swam with 3 turtles, eagle rays, fish, and sharks in the morning. I recommend the sunset trip to their private island and the wow snorkelling trip. We were lucky enough to swim with the Whale Shark! – Brittney G

We enjoyed our time at W Maldives as the service staff are extremely helpful and go the extra mile to ensure our stay is a pleasant one. – Joelle

Frequently Asked Questions about Gaathafushi Island:

Q. Where is Gaathafushi Island?
A. It is located at North Ari Atoll.

Q. How far is the island from W Maldives Retreat & Spa?
A. A short 5 minute speedboat away.

Q. What can I do there?
A. Just about everything the main resort has on offer. All you need is ask.

Q. How long can I book the island for?
A. You can book it for a few hours, half a day, a full day, even overnight.

Q. How much would I need to spend to book the island?
A. Half a day would be about $500. An overnight stay would be about $3,500.