FIHALHOHI ..... This island turned out to be the very right choice from the very first moment - for us.
Room rates differ depending on period of year. Most expensive time is Jan. to March. November/December (besides Christmas and New Year time!) is a lot cheaper. On Fihalhohi we payed 80€/pers. in Feb 03 and are going to pay approx. 45€ in December 04 for the same category , i.e. "comfort" bungalow (each time full board instead of half board as we booked very early, i.e. approx. 4 months before)!
We were picked up by a speed boat directly after we had left the airport area (and the transfer was just for us two!) and the transfer by this boat was a real lovely experience already! It took us about 45 Min. to reach Fihalhohi (Fiha). On arrival they gave us a very warm welcome (even in German Language :-) ) and this stayed like this the whole time. Friendly and helpful service, good food, relaxing atmosphere, very nice rooms and the super snorkeling/diving facilities at the house reef just a few steps ahead. GREAT! I would recommend this island to anyone!
Rooms are in bungalows of 2 or 4, each bungalow not more than 20m to approx. 40m away from the beach and with view towards the sea/beach. We had booked a Deluxe Room (now called "Comfort") and very much enjoyed this. Other types of rooms (standard, classic looked good, though, too. All are spacey and nicely furnished. I understand, the standard category has no A/C and only cold water. Classic cat. offers hot water, A/C on request and at an extra charge, Comfort cat. includes hot water, A/C, a nice bathroom. (for the fairly new water bungalows look next tip below)
Payments: credit card at end of your stay. For tips to service staff, remember to take a few one-dollar-notes with you!
For each room there are 2 sun beds available with the room numbers written on them - which guaranties that there are no "fights" for sun beds to be expected... ;-)
Prices for drinks and food are much higher than in Sri Lanka , Thailand, Malaysia or Bali, but compared to other Maldives 3star islands, they are very reasonable. i.g. 1liter-bottle of mineral water approx. 3€ , a beer approx. 3,50/4€. Of course, the more stars a hotel-island has, the more expensive drinks and food are! A couple we met in Sri Lanka and who was returning from Maldives stayed on a 5star island had payed approx. 10€ for one beer (well, that's what they told us)!
Fazit: Congratulations to anyone (and I envy him already) who decides for this island when going for a holiday on Maldives!!!
Here you can find all the comfort that you need, for a few day:
- comfortable double bed
- clean bed-linens
- a big wardrobe
Wonderful, elegant, and comfortable double rooms, direct on the beach.
It is not an ordinary accomodation, not at all, but it allows you to sail among the atolls and stop wherever you want to, without booking and crowdy beaches...
In Male there are many agencies that offer this service, just check once you are there or at your local travel agency for availability.
Food and water are provided, you'll have three meals on board.
The water bungalows at Kuramathi Blue Lagoon are a great place to stay - especially if you love to swim.
Blue Lagoon is located at the top end of Kuramathi Tourist Island in the Maldives. Transfer to the island is via speedboat launch (90 minutes) or seaplane (15 minutes - additional cost applies) but it is worth knowing that the speedboat launch departs from the jetty immediately outside the airport arrivals terminal whilst the seaplane departs from another area of Hulhule island (where the main airport is situated) and requires a taxi to that area, the seaplane transfer itself and then another transfer by boat to Kuramathi.
The island itself hosts three resorts : Village, Cottage and Blue Lagoon and yet keeps a feel of intimacy and is certainly not a 'busy' island.
At Kuramathi Blue Lagoon you will find inclusive meals served in the main restaurant but there is also the choice to take meals at Laguna Cafe or Laguna Grill (these are at additional cost but 20% food discount is given where it replaces an inclusive meal). Each resort hosts its own bar and television lounge (no TVs in rooms) and the island has its own spa, water sports centre, medical centre and dive school. Uniquely, the island also has its own Bio Station with Marine Biologist in attendance and available each evening to answer your questions and help you identify the fish that you have spotted during your day's snorkelling.
The water bungalows have great views over the lagoon interior of Rasdhoo atoll with views stretching across to Veligandu Resort Island, just visible on the horizon. The water bungalow comprises room with king size bed and sitting area opening onto over-water deck, shower room with direct access to the deck, deck area with steps giving direct access to the sea. So why not start your day with a refreshing swim before stepping directly back into your shower?
The Taj Exotica was everything we had hoped for & more.
We were on the boat, sipping ice cold water, & patting our faces with lemon scented flannels within 20 mins of arrival. 10 mins later we were at the hotel.
Khalis from Front Desk showed us round the hotel, an orientation tour. It didn't take long! The island is 770 yds long & 30 yds wide. He showed us to our room, Lagoon Villa no. 125. So after landing at 9am, we were in our room admiring the view by 10am.
The picture depicts the view from our spacious deck, which had 2 sunbeds, dining tables & 2 chairs, & of course an infinite view of the lagoon. Steps lead down to a smaller deck, & then a ladder into the water.
We had tried to book a deluxe beach villa w/plunge pool, & were very disappointed when told that ALL the beach villas were booked. We then considered the deluxe lagoon villas, which although a little but more expensive, were marginally smaller, so we decided against these, (although they are detatched) I imagined arriving and being envious of the other 2 rooms types, but I have to stay if I went again tomorrow, I would again ask for lagoon villa number 125. It's in the centre of the island; the very last lagoon villa and very private. So to the right of the villa was only greenery, & it's far from the 'traffic' going to Front Desk, bar & main restaurant.
The convenience of being a 10mins from the airport is great, but use your head, this means you are close to Male. At night you can see the twinkling lights of Male in the distance (unless you are in a deluxe lagoon villa on right hand side). We thought this was pretty cool to watch, but someone expecting isolation be warned. Also, being close to the airport, common sense tells you that you will hear planes. It wasn't obtrusive, & fun to watch, but others may be different. I mention these points because I read a review where someone took exception to these facts, but research is the key!
These things are a drop in the ocean compared to the overall quality of Taj Exotica.
This hotel is an asset to the Taj name, and truly deserves it's 5* deluxe rating. We researched intensely before this trip, as we do with all our holidays, so we could gauge a pretty good idea of what to expect.
The service. Second to none, in friendliness and efficiency. Enough said.
I would recommend the hotel in an instant, and will be begging you to take me with you.
There is a large Mandara Spa at the tip of the island.
You enter the reception villa, with calm surroundings, and incense burning. If you are having a massage, they approach you with 4 oils, for you to choose which one you want. You are then brought cold face towels and ginger tea.
You exit the back of the reception villa. It is a courtyard setting, with central water feature, and spa villas to your left, right and straight ahead.
The larger '2 person' spa villas are big and have a toilet, double shower, windows seats, 2 massage beds, and round jacuzzi, and door opening out onto a deck with sunloungers, which is on stilts over the ocean. Even the single spa villas are similar, just smaller.
Agung, the Spa Manager is a lovely, humble man, and will take good care of you.
We had a 'Harmony' Package together. If you are female you get some most attractive paper pants - they leave the villa while you change always. Men having a body scrub will also wear the paper pants, but are given cotton boxers for other treatments.
It started with a footsoak, then I had a Javanese lulur scrub, and my husband had a coffee scrub. We showered the 'gunk' off, and then had a lavender body wash. After, we were given privacy and enjoyed the jacuzzi for 20 mins or so, while we were served cookies with the juice revitalising drinks we had optionally ordered before. After this, we had a Balinese massage.
This package last 1.5 hours and cost $125 each I believe. Throughout the stay, we also had Indian Head Massages, which included an upper body massage, $60 each. My husband had their Signature Mandara massage, 2 therapists working in harmony for maximum results, I believe this was $90. As a treat I had pedicure, which included foot scrub and massage for $30.
The beach bungalows are a bit basic, just a bed and a wardrobe. But do you really need a TV in paradise???
The food is excellent and the staff is nice.
As all the cheap places were full when we arrived, we got an upgrade to a waterbungalow. Very nice of course, but wouldn't pay 70US$/night more for the luxury of having a small glass floor.
The finess centre at Taj Exotica, Maldives suffices your holiday gym needs. It is located at the far end of the island, between the spa and the Deep End restaurant. It could perhaps do with some more CV equipment, even just a bike would help.
It it set over the water, with floor to ceiling windows all round, There are fans, but I still had to open all the doors to let the sea breeze go through.
It was always empty, which I can understand as there are better things to do! But the guilt of eating and drinking so much got hold of me so I visited the gym a few times. But still, having a run with an infinite view of the ocean ahead helped!
There are 2 treadmills, free weights, stomach cruncher, and 4 type weight station. There was a stero and Cd's, always bottles of water , and apples.
I was suprised with this hotel. We booked this hotel in a package through Singapore airlines. We picked a 3star hotel and not sure what we were going to get. There aren't many pics of the hotel on their website. We had the debate-should we wait, save money and go to a better resort or just go. I am so glad we just went. This hotel has all you need. It has two story blocks-around 30 rooms and 16 water bungalows. We chose to upgrade to the water bunaglow. It wasn't a lot more to do this and worth every cent! This is probably one of the few resorts where you can get a water bunaglow and not blow the year's travel budget.
The room inside is quite standard. On one part of the floor-there is a piece of glass you can look down onto a pile of rocks and any fish that happen to be moving around it. At night you can turn a light on down there-this really attracts the fish. We loved swimming off our balcony to go snorkeling.
The hotel used to be owned by an Italian company and you will see a lot of Italians and Europeans here. Otherwise it was us and a few Singaporean couples -also on the package. The restaurant food was good for the price. Breakfast is included, but lunch and dinner are $10USD per person, per meal. Drinks excluded. Bottled water was a few usd. When you check in, you can sign up for a drink package (mostly sodas and beer)-i think it was $15 USD. On the buffet were different types of pasta, grilled fish and some Maldivian fare.
The house reef is great. This is easily the best snorkeling experience of my life-i thought it was even better than some of the dives. The colors are rich and fish are everywhere. The dive center was a little disappointing. We wanted to do a few dives a day and they were content with doing two or one. If you are serious into diving you should find another resort or do a liveaboard-otherwise this place is great.
There is no swimming pool, but who needs it when the water is this good! This place is highly recommended.
A stay in the Maldives is always going to be paradise - unless it all goes horrendously wrong for you, which it hasn't for me!
Reethi Beach is quite a small resort island with three different levels of accommodation. For my visit in May 2009 I stayed in a water bungalow on an all-inclusive package - affordable only because I was going in May, the start of the low season, and taking the risk of the monsoon starting early (which it didn't) which meant they were offering a no single supplement deal. I booked through Kuoni but this resort is available through other operators.
The water bungalows offer solitude at the end of the island - which also means they offer quite a walk to the main restaurant for meals - so you can work off some of those great meals. Each pair of water bungalows has a ladder to each side to access the sea for those early morning swims. The sunset bar is located at the access walkway to the water bungalows, giving great sunset views and a good place to have a last couple of drinks on your way back to your bungalow; as always, it offers bottles of water, fruit juices, cocktails and beers.
The island has a number of water sport facilities, including its own pool, guided snorkelling, windsurfing, water skiing, etc. There is also a small sports centre with a tennis court and gym.
A number of tours are offered from the island with all-inclusive guests getting a free half day tour included in their package.
Included meals are served in the main restaurant which has great views out to the dhoni dock.
The reef is highly accessible from a number of beaches - I took my own snorkelling gear and was out 2 - 3 times daily and saw plenty of marine life.
Reethi Beach is one of the further resorts in the Maldives archipelago, which means transfer is by seaplane. Seaplane transfer offers a great opportunity to fly over many of the resort islands of the Maldives, depending on your transfer, you may find yourself flying via other resorts either on your outbound or return journey - a great opportunity to see what else is on offer in the Maldives.
The first reason that I stayed at this hotel was because I sent an email to around 5 hotesl in Male' and this is the only one that replied me.
A single room costs around $52, $56 with breakfast. The price does not include 10% tax yet.
All staffs are very nice and helpful esp the driver :)
Here is a picture of the fantastic bath, overlooking the lagoon.
The glass is one way so nobody can see in *except at night!!!* One day I was sat on the lower deck with drink in hand, and looked up to the bathroom to see my naked husband in the bathroom, I left it for a few minutes teling him he was on full display ;-) There is a blind but this makes little/no difference.
However, we never saw anyone going past our room anyway, so the risk of being spotted was low, and by the end of our 11 nights there we'd forgotten and walked around the bathroom at night like Adam and Eve anyway ;-)
We had a lovely time at Sun Island, and would definately not say that it's a bad resort. However, we found that this resort seemed to be very busy and although you are in the Maldives, you do not get the 'Robinson Crusoe' feeling.
There is an all inclusive option on this island, which decided to have as we thought this would save us money in the long run. We ended up spending quite a lot more while we were there though. This was mainly on the mini-bar, the hired bikes, cocktails and 'themed restaurant nights'. Although you are not forced into the 'themed restaurant nights' we decided to go along with it as the main restaurant can get a bit tedious.
You are able to keep check on your room bill through your tv, which lists everything you have bought and the cost. This bill is settled on departure from the resort.
I know that you can go virtually anywhere in the Maldives and have fantastic views, but the view at Sun Island are definately outstanding.
I'm not sure whether this is very unique for the Maldives, but there were some HUGE bats. They tend to stay at the top of the trees so you never really get bothered by them.
As soon as we reach the airport, we had to go the carpark which had vans waiting for all Hulhule guests.. it was only a 2 min drive..
When we reach the lobby, we were asked to sit down, given welcomed drink. I dont have to stand up at the receptionist counter and show my hotel voucher. Each guest is personally attended to by a receptionist, they come to where you sit, get the passports from you and explained to you the details. No queueing up, no need to show any vouchers... this is service!!
You are then shown to your rooms...
I had to book the suite room as they pnly allow 2 adults and 2 kids in the suite. Simple suite, nothing glamorous, clean.
The rooms have all the basic necessities needed; tea & coffee making facilities,2 tvs, minibar,toiletries,toothbrush
Situated above the library and boutique, up a central flight of steps, is the games room.
It can get quite hot in here despite the fans, but it's a great place to relax.
There is a pool/billiards table, chess, board games, and a Sony Playstation PS2!
Again, it's all polished wooden floors, and set within the vaulted ceiling.
We used to have a game of pool after dinner while we finished our wine.
Theres matresses, plump cushions, and bean bags, scattered around, for a truly relaxing time.
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