What an amazing place we spent our honeymoon hear like most other couples i think. You will be greated with your first view fron the plane, look out for the big leaf shaped complex.
We stayed in a deluxe lagoon villa in July 2004, the weather was really good clear every day even though we were suppossed to be in monsoon season. The water was very clam and allowed you to snorkel every day. You can dive off your balcony and believe me it is amazing. Maldivian tuna will swin in formation with you and if you are quiet you can watch a parrotfish munch on coral. The slits are actally a perfect nursery for baby fish so you can dive straight off your accomadation and see baby fish.
Food is the best I have ever tasted. However we couldnt eat three meals a day. In hindsight breakfast and dinner would be the best value for money
The excursions are quite expensive, however we benifited from the weak dollar. App the rsort sustained some damage from the tsunami and will open early 2005 however I am sure they will sort it out to be amazing aagin.
The hotel is very generous with free excusions. I would recommend going to Male and book ahead a trip to the whale submarine. Its expensive but worth it. Male is much maligned, personally I thought it was a lovely capital with a real provincial feel about it. Dont buy in the resort shop wait till the airport or go on a day trip to male!!
People go on about the beach villa personally it would annoy me people walking in front of your house and staring in. The lagoon villas are by far more private. In fact you can only see other villas sundecks when you snorkel into the lagoon.
Spa, med cuisine restaurant, Sea View restaurant, Water villas, beach villas, plune pool, lovely coral sand, Best place ever I realyy want to go back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I lived in Paradise Island (15 minutes boat trip from Male airport), actually it
belongs to the hotel "Villa Hotel". The hotel chain has several island there
(Fun Island, Sun Island...). Not sure about the others, but the Paradise is
awesome! The beach, the water, the environment and the food... hmhmm... :)) ppl there were very friendly just as the ppl everywhere in Maldives. I really had a good time with my family there.
You could join the activities (like diving, fishing, cocktail cruise, submarine, water sport and visit fishing village...) same as the other hotels in Maldives. But I think you can get the best service here.
Before i came to the Maldives I tried to research all the islands in my budget! I picked Fun Island because of the house reef at the end of the jetty and because it was reasonably small (100 rooms) compared to Paradise island!
The room boy was great and made amazing patterns with the sheets each evening. The waiters generally are nice although we were stuck with 'Mr happy', 'mousa' our table waiter, who was just interested in collecting his tip... for which I left a measly 5 dollars!!
The hotel is very clean and well run and I think is definately one of the cheaper places to stay in the Maldives. When I say cheap i mean it in a good way! The food is great at first, but all tastes the same after 2 days.. normal 4 a buffet style dinner!
The rooms are pretty basic, but have all you need for your stay.
I have to say the beaches are great! The house reef is amazing and full of life, even a shark! (see my must see activities). It is 45 minutes by speed boat from Male, which means the ocean is less disturbed by water traffic and cleaner.
Overall HIGHLY recommended!
One of the reason I chose this island is because I like the Maldivian style of the rooms with the roofs, looks different. The resort have 3 dfferent kinds of rooms classic, comfort and overwater. Classic, is the basic, you have to pay extra if you want to use the aircond and it is 2 rooms side by side. Comfort is a little bit bigger, you dont have to pay extra for the use of aircond and it has a fridge. It is build either singly or double storey. I was told that the double comfort is a bit bigger than the single comfort.
The rooms are very basic, no tv, no coffee & tea making facilities. The toilets are basic too with bathtub, an outdoor shower would have been nice. I suggest you bring your own toiletries as the soap are the dispenser kind and there is no shampoo. When I was there, we were given only shower caps and disposal bags.Towels are changed as often as you want, just put them on the floor and a new one will be given.
You will be given beach towels and beach chairs with your room number on it.Rooms are clean 2x a day, in the day and at night before you go to sleep.
if you are going to kuredu you have the oportunity to stay in one of their FANTASTIC water villas, the villas are large airy , tastefully decorated with tea/coffee facilities and cd player, they have a very large balcony-and then steps down to your own sundeck, with two large sunloungers on it, which in turn then has steps down into the lagoon -heaven. As a guest at the sangu water villas you also have an exclusive restaurant and bar area only for use by water villa and jacuzzi villa guests
As a whole kuredu had lots of good facilities , a lovely pool area and attractive bar and restaurant area, but without doubt the best part of my stay in kuredu was the accomodation -the water villa was outstanding.( just a shame the service did not live up to it )
It was quite a ok stay.
It is stated as 5-star among resorts but i have been to much better 3-star resorts which r better than this.
The staff r friendly and some are not so it depends. Beach chairs r rather limited on the beaches. The rooms r by chalet standard.
Take the full board package. We took half board package and ended paying US50-60 for our lunches.
none what so ever.
As I said, Robinson Curusoe meets I Dream of Jeannie,,,,
You will be greeted warmly and any request, no matter how small, will not be overlooked.
The Over Water Villas are over 2000 SQ feet and are well appointed.
Seeing is believing.
I reccomend that you do island hop especially if you plan on staying 2 weeks.
my reservations were last minute so I took what I could get which wasn't to bad.
9 night at the Banyan Tree and 5 nights at Soneva Gili.
The Banyan tree had a lot going for it with Marine Biology lessons nightly and a great Turtle and Coral Coservation Program.
We had h a lovely recently refurbished villa with all the mo-cons.
Air con is a must for the Maldive as is is pretty humid.
Food was very good and the Spa was relaxing as it should be.
The island was a bit to small in my opinion as I felt it had to many villas for the amount of land. We were lucky to have a nice patch of beach to ourselves.
It looked as though they are trying to build more beach through dredging, a great idea and I hope it work for everyones sake as the islands are sinking.
A 15 minute boat ride to Sonevea Gili.
We checked into our water villa.
Over 2,000 sq ft of luxury. It extends over 3 levels with an open plan living area, small kitchen,( with an esspresso maker, Hello!) Air -con bedroom a HUGE bathroom with a small porthole in the floor for staring at fish, a prvate water garden and a roof terrace for BBQ's. Each villa has it's own swimming platform. Everthing is over water.
Schools of Rays would come to greet uus as the sun went down.There are plenty of white powdery beaches but to be honest, we really didn't leave the villa much.
Cool breezes, excellent room service, inovative architecture were a we needed to convince us to stay put.....except the ocasional trip tp the Spa where we enjoyed "fish T.V." portholes in the floor to watch fish as I was getting may back massaged....heaven!
All in all a great trip.
This amazing Villa exceeded our expectations.
The staff was really there for us and made us feel right at home.
For the discriminating traveler this place will rank high.
Having spent time in all of the top resorts in Fiji I can positively say this is value for money.
Baros is a tiny Island (8 minutes to walk around!) with 70 + villas and water bungalows . The majority of guests are from the UK plus some Germans and Japanese newlyweds!
Baros is just a 20 minute speed boat ride from Male airport but its a million miles from the rush of working life in the West.
The Island was everything you would expect, sunshine, good food, friendly staff and excellent snorkelling around the 'house' reef. Also like most resorts it was also fairly expensive. Budget a minimum $90 a day for food and drink.
We wanted a water bungalow and contacted the resort direct but at $150 a night supplement we decided that $1,000+ would buy us another short holiday(!) so we stuck with out original booking of a deluxe villa. We were delighted with our choice for the following reasons:
- The water bungalows are subject to whatever the weather throws at you, wind, searing sun etc
- All the island villas are just a few meters from the beach. We had our own private thatched sun shade and sun beds just a couple of steps from our door. If water bungalow guests wanted to go on the beach there was a walk and search for a spot as most of the sun beds are allocated to the villas.
- We had one of the recently upgraded villas with a fabulous outdoor shower (as well as two indoor ones!)
Consistent with what the Maldives is famous for, this little hotel/island offers friendly and personal service without being far too intrusive.
I stayed in both the beach and water villas and would certainly recommend the water villas-- it's worth so much more than what you have to pay for it, and the view is spectacular. Expect a few herons to drop by your balcony at night. At night you can turn on a spotlight that shines into the water. Watch schools of fish swarm to the spot through the glass panel of your coffee table that looks directly into the sea!
For those animal lovers, this island has its own flock of budgrigars too! Why not stop by and listen to their morning chorus on your way to breakfast?
The only caveat I can offer is that this is a very small island-- you can walk around it in 10 mins so if you're planning a long break to the Maldives, this *might* not be what you're looking for. But for those looking for a small island to chill, you'll love the intimate feel that Thulhaagiri offers. There is great joy to be had just being able to smile and nod at fellow vacationers at the small restaurant because... wasn't she the one who sat next to us when we were watching the sunset yesterday?
The island also offers multi-floor houses/lodges that can accommodate groups of 6.
Well known for its buffet and incredible spread from Si Chuan beef to local delights, Thulhaagiri is the food lover's heaven. With 3 buffets a day and a revolving repertoire of dishes, it's hard to believe I didn't gain *any* weight after 5 days there!
We booked Hakuraa through Thomas Cook's Tropical Shores brouchure from the UK
14 nights on an all inclusive basis and the reason we chose this island is that the water bungalows are the featured rooms, instead of having to pay upwards of £50 per person, per night as on most other islands.
The meals are all served buffet style together with freshly cooked items every meal from the specialist chefs, these included a beach B-B-Q, and roast meats on Sunday.
The food was constantly topped up by the staff and included dishes to suit every palate.
Drinks available included, soft drinks, beers,wines and spirits by the glass from the excellent Fernando and his staff in the overwater bar, from where we watched the baby sharks, turtles, stingrays and fish going about their normal lives just a few feet below us.
Night life is low-key and relaxed here but crab-racing, bingo, and local dancers kept us entertained and was about right, after all, that's why you go to the Maldives. They even set up a big-screen in the bar so we could watch the F A Cup Final, and I would assume also for the World Cup games.
Service all-round was excellent and the PADI Dive & Sail team, Adam, Tim, Ruth and Bruno were superb as they took Deb for her first ever taste of Scuba diving ( Intro dive $40 ) and she is now hooked and wants to complete her Open Water course next time. They will even lend you a snorkelling set including fins for the length of your stay at no cost, which I think is excellent service.
I managed 14 dives and the underwater life was the best I have ever seen, including various Sharks, Moray Eels, Turtles, Baraccuda, Stingrays and even Mantas!
There is a small shop which offers t-shirts $10-15, postcards and other souvenirs. Sun lotion and after-sun cream is $15 per bottle, so ensure you are fully stocked, because the sun was intense.
The natural beauty of Hakuraa is the thing that drew us there, you can walk around it in about 15 minutes, the sand is a brilliant white and sunglasses are a must!
There are 70 water bungalows which include a glass panel in the floor so you can see the fish swimming underneath, each has a decking area for sunbathing and steps leading down into the Ocean.
There are also 10 beach bungalows set amongst the beautiful palm trees for those that want to be land based.
The views are outstanding, there is also an island that you can walk to at low tide.
The island has just opened a Spa staffed by Balinese ladies but we never used this luxury, although we did hear excellent reports.
On all the paths leading around the island, there are moving shells which are the local hermit crabs and they are great fun to watch.
This was the island we stayed on 2 weeks.
We had an excellent last minute offer that we decided to take. We were not disappointed.
Helengeli is located at the north Malle Atoll on the outer reef.
To get there you can either take a boat or the water plane. If you go by speedboat it takes 90 minutes. With the water plane only about 20 minutes. Even though it is more pricey by plane, the views are worth it!
Helengeli itself is a very small island. It has only 50 Bungalows, that means 100 tourists maximum. No water Bungalows or Villas.
On the island you speak french or german, because most visitors are from France, Switzerland or Germany- the staff speaks english.
You can walk barefeet on the whole island, for eating in the restaurant it is just not allowed to go in the swimming gear, for the rest you can wear what you want.
There is a big reclination area in the middle of the island with swimming pool, bar, you can play billiard, table tennis (if it is not windy), beach volley ball.
In the evening they offer the cocktail of the day 2 for 1.
The restaurant has sand on the floor. You get a waiter on the first day that will serve you for your holidays. You can seat wherever you want, even change every day. The food was excellent, great choice, wonderful cooked, always fresh. (One of the reasons I gained about 7 kg in 2 weeks - no, it was not only the pregnancy).
The bungalows are somewhat basic, but clean. The toilet and shower are "outside", in a sort of garden with a big wall around it. Hard to imagine, maybe my pic here helps.
You can subscribe for the excursions at the reception, if they are enough people that want to go, they give you a date for it. That was a little problem, if too many are away diving, you won't be able to do all the excursions you wanted.
There is a small, but excellent Spa that offers all kinds of massages and body treatments.
There is a PADI dive center. Because Helengeli is so close to the outer reef, there are many very good dive sites quite close by. Helengeli is famous under divers - I was also not disappointed just snorkeling here, because they have a wonderful reef around the island, that you can access directly from the beach.
I stayed 3 days at the beautiful Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, on North Atoll. Instead of a sea bungallow I chose a Beach Bungallow with Pool.
The bungallow was right on the beach, just steps from the sea, on the susnset side of the island. We always enjoyed an amazing sunset!
It was huge, with an outside shower as well as an inside tower and a large tub enough for two. The pool was right in front of the bedroom and we had a large deck with sunlounges, table and a "bale".
Service, as always in the Four Seasons chain was second to none, just excellent. Many restaurants, good food, amazing breakfast and many facilities.
An amazing "spa island" you could reach in a short boat ride from the main island.
This resort was destroyed by the tsunami and was totally rebuilt , having reopened again in October 2006.
Land VIllas at Meeru are located on both sides of the Island. There are 2 types. This is the one we stayed in, a rectangular type. People have their differing views as to which side of the Island is best. East sees the sunrise, West the sunset. We were allocated 247 on the East side and were pleased with the location. In front of us was a break in the tree line, giving us a beach/ocean view.
Each Land VIlla is detached with a raised and covered deck area. They are furnished outside with chairs and loungers. The covered deck gives pleasant relief from the Sun.
Pentagonal Land Villa at Meeru. These were on the East side of the Island, numbered in the 400's. Entrance door in centre and outside deck seating area higher off the ground that LV's.
Similar/Same facilities as Land Villas and set further back from the beach.
This is genuinely the worst hotel I've ever stayed in. I've stayed in some pretty bad places, but what made this experience unique was that they had the cheek to charge $78 and I can assure you that that money is not spent on maintaining standards at the hotel or paying staff. Somebody is making a killing.
We booked in advance after having checked it out on the internet. All the hotels in Male looked a little old and not that nice, but I was still surprised by the room we were given.
The room was tiny with only room for the bed and our two suitcases. We had two narrow windows overlooking air-con units.
The sheets on the bed had holes in it and we had one frayed old towel. We asked to change room but were told it was full. At 4 am we woke up sweating as the air-con had broken. We were then told we could change rooms! At 4 am I was not very happy to have to move. The breakfast room was dirty and there wasn't much food. We complained when checking out but, the staff in reception didn't have the power to do anything and of course the manager was somewhere else, probably enjoying all his money!
Uniquely bad, avoid at all costs.
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