Maldives questions

Sep 24th, 2004, 05:41 AM
  #1  
Peep
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Maldives questions

Hello! We're looking for someplace to go for a week in late November and have always wanted to go to the Maldives... I have a guidebook but I'm overwhelmed with the options. We live in Munich so it's not like we have to travel toooo far to get there. Here's what we're looking for:

- a hut over the water or right on the beach
- can't afford $1000 a night
- love to snorkel, maybe dive some
- want to relax, walk on the beach, have some good food
- want peace and quiet

I've heard that the little islands are really boring, but I think we would enjoy a week of snorkeling and relaxing in a beautiful and warm place. Any ideas?
 
Sep 25th, 2004, 12:31 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Hi

My wife and I went to a place called Sun Island in the South Ari atoll in April this year. Sun Island is one of the biggest islands and there are lots of activities. We enjoyed our stay there and it was close to paradise I have posted a trip report with lots of pictures on my personal homepage http://gardkarlsen.com. Maybe you can find some useful information there. Get in touch if you have questions or comments.

Regards
Gard
Stavanger, Norway
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Sep 30th, 2004, 06:23 AM
  #3  
Peep
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Thanks, Gard!

Any other recommendations?
 
Sep 30th, 2004, 07:24 AM
  #4  
dlh
 
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Hi Peep! We have stayed at both the Soneva Fushi and the Four Seasons in the Maldives. While I would not under any circumstances recommend the Suneva Fushi I would very highly recommend the Four Seasons. We feel that the island is the perfect size - large enough to offer several opportunities for a range of activies yet small enough to feel intimate and at times even alone on the beach! The service has been impeccable every time we have visited, the food fantastic, and they have a gorgeous new spa that I would also recommend. Cooking classes, terrific lectures by marine biologists, snokeling excursions, dive instruction and excursions - pretty much the full range of activities but with that Four Seasons touch of perfection. Another plus is the fact that it is only a boat ride (about 20-30 minutes) from the airport rather than a plane ride. This may be important when you are evaluating resorts as the planes only fly during daylight hours. If you arrive in the evening this means that you must stay in a hotel in Male and IMO the hotels there are VERY basic - in addition to the fact that it makes the journey even longer it also makes it more expensive! The best part is actually that the Four Seasons isn't as expensive as you might think either. $410- per night for a beach bungalow, $635- for a beach bungalow with pool, and $720- for an overwater bungalow all of the rates include breakfast -according to the FS website. The Maldives are fabulous - you will have a wonderful time! Hope this helps a little. Please let us know where you end up staying and what you think!
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Oct 3rd, 2004, 05:10 AM
  #5  
 
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Dlh -- i am interested in learning more about your experience at aoneva fushi. we are considering staying there. thanks!
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Oct 27th, 2004, 01:41 PM
  #6  
 
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dlh,
so glad to hear about the Four Seasons. We are actually staying there for part of our honeymoon (the other part in India and at Cocoa Island in the Maldives). Just wondering, do you think it is worth an extra $300 a night for water bungalow vs regular bungalow? when we go there is is high season in february so it is a bit more than the prices you quote and i keep going back and forth about what kind of room to get...any help would be great..
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Nov 1st, 2004, 12:43 AM
  #7  
dlh
 
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Hi Druckerm!

My apologies for the delay in reply - I didn't check this thread again until today! The overwater villas at the 4S are spectacular, have slightly nicer interior decoration, their own restaurant, and you can dive off your deck directly into the warm crystal clear sea. It IS your honeymoon and if you want to splurge IMO I would pay the extra for the overwater villa. However, while many people find the sound of the sea calming it can actually be very loud and noisy - we have friends that have shifted out of overwater bungalows for this reason so you may want to give the noise level some thought. The regular beach villas are beautiful and right on the beach so if you would prefer to save $300- a night you won't be missing anything other than the awesome view, a bit nicer room, and the experience of being over the water. IMO, as it is your honeymoon, if you would like to economize I would suggest staying two nights in the overwater villa and the remainder of your trip in the beach villa. This way you save some $$ and you can get both experiences. The 4S will shift all of your things for you while you are out for the day so it isn't really that much of an inconvenience to shift rooms. Alternatively, save the $$, stay in the beach villa, and take full advantage of the great excursions/activities - lunch or dinner alone on an isolated atoll with only your private chef and butler in attendance, stargazing w/dinner and champagne prepared for you alone on a private part of the 4S beach, massage treatments at the spa, or take the day and go snorkelling alone, just the two of you, on a private island. In the end it's about the two of you having a fabulous experience more than the most spectacular room! Have a wonderful honeymoon!



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Nov 1st, 2004, 06:46 AM
  #8  
 
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Were any of you pestered by geckos, roaches, and ant problems in your bungalows? I have thought about the Four Seasons in the Maldives, but do not want to have to sleep with a bunch of pests running around my room and in my bed as I've dealt with in many other tropical destinations. And to the person who stayed at the Four Seasons, did you spend any time overnighting on their catamaran? I travel alone so do you think I'd be bored stiff going there alone....is it basically a lounge around type of resort? I from Southern California, not far from the ocean, but am not a lounge on the beach type of person.Is the Four Seasons basically just on a private island with nothing but water activities to do...like no town for shopping and other things? Happy Travels!
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Nov 2nd, 2004, 06:26 PM
  #9  
 
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We have stayed in Soneva Gili, a sister resort of Soneva Fushi. We chose it because it is only 10 mins boat ride from Male, saving us the expensive seaplane trip, and mostly importantly, it has overwater bungalows - isolated ones called Crusoe. Actually we booked for ordinary overwater bungalows (which lined up along the shore) but was gladly upgraded to Crusoe. It was heaven! And perfect for honeymoon where you may probably want a bit more privacy. They sometimes offer packaged stay. Staying in Maldives is no way cheap in every aspect but given its unique beauty, we have given it a try which, for a four-nights stay and two-nights stay in Singapore's Mandarin Hotel afterwards, cost us something like a two-week trip from Hong Kong to Europe. Yes, it is pricey, but worth it at least for once in a lifetime.
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Nov 2nd, 2004, 07:28 PM
  #10  
dlh
 
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Hi Guenmai!
We have never had any gecko, lizard, ant, roach or other land critter problem at any of the resorts we have stayed at in the Maldives. Perfectly pest free!
Regarding your other question actually none of the resorts, outside of the capital Male - and I wouldn't recommend any of the resorts there - have cities or areas with shopping/culture on the Island. Of course, if you choose a resort close to Male, and the 4S is one of them, you may take a day trip to Male for shopping and a city experience. Each resort is located on it's own individual atoll and they offer varying ranges of activities. If you do choose to go to the Maldives the 4S would be a good choice for you as you are close to Male for a day trip and the 4S goes out of it's way to provide activities to fill your time there. However, having said that and reading your post if you don't dive, have a passion for snorkeling, or want a totally peaceful veg on the beach experience the Maldives may not be the destination for you.
The 4S spa is great, the resort is terrific, food is excellent, cooking classes are fun but the sort you watch not "hands on", eco and history tours around the island interesting and fun, a good solidly equipped gym, a very nice gift shop, and snorkeling and day trips that are truly fab - it's really your choice to make it more than a lounge around the beach experience but it is really focused on beach and sea oriented experiences as opposed to shopping and cultural.
I know you travel alone and most of the people we saw were at the resort as families, couples, or a group of friends. I think ClubMed might offer more for someone single if you are quite sporty and not as concerned about accomodation quality and service.
I hope this helps a little bit!
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Nov 3rd, 2004, 07:00 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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To...DLH...Thanks so much for the reply. I have considered the Four Seasons in the Maldives for some years now. I'm a big Four Seasons fan. And it's good to know that I won't have to deal with sleeping with the critters as one has to do regularly on Bali...including the Four Seasons Bali...someone I know who stayed there mentioned that a huge lizard or two ran across her bed a few times. I've absolutely had it with the critters! Maybe I'll give the Maldives a try if I can save up the bucks...as one person it's going to be a lot...As for Club Med...I'm not a Club Med type. I've been vacationing in Europe, almost annually, since the early 70s and many friends there have done Club Med, but I've never had any desire to do it from hearing their experiences. Thanks again for the reply. Happy Travels!
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Nov 7th, 2004, 11:28 AM
  #12  
 
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We stayed at the Four Seasons Kuda Hara 2 years ago on our honeymoon. They upgraded us to a water bungalow since it was our honeymoon. There are a few geckos around, and I am terrified of those, but they were usually outside...not inside the huts. Not sure if all the washrooms were outdoor, but I do recall a few cottages with outdoor (shaded and walled of course- no ceiling) washrooms..and you wont be able to control the geckos there!
All in all, it was a fantastic experience at the Four Seasons.
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Nov 7th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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Thanks for the above replies. I don't care about the geckos/lizards and other gritters outside, I'm just fed up with having to sleep with them running around in or across my bed and all over my room...as in Bali...among a few other places. Happy Travels!
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Nov 12th, 2004, 09:38 AM
  #14  
 
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Has anyone stated at the Taj Exotica in the Maldives? We are currently booked at the Four Seasons for 6 nights and were wondering if we should extend our stay by 3 more nights either at The Taj Exotica or at the Four Seasons? Afraid we may get bored at the 4 seasons after 7 days!
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Nov 12th, 2004, 09:46 AM
  #15  
 
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I would definitely go for the Taj Exotica. We found the food to be superb - quite a bit better than Four Seasons - and the resort is just nicer overall. The Four Seasons really feels a little too crowded and they have too many rooms for the size of the island.
PassportControl is offline  
Nov 12th, 2004, 09:54 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Thanks - since we are our honeymoon could not figure out if we should disrupt our stay by moving hotels. But 9 days in the Maldives in one resort maybe too much even on a honeymoon
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Nov 30th, 2004, 03:53 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I went to the Maldives in May this year and stayed on a fantastic Island in the Maldives called Kuramathi in the Rashdoo Atoll.
Check out their website
www.kuramathi.com.mv
salleynev1 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2004, 12:00 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I am back from the Maldives and will say - its one of the most gorgeous places I have been too. Regards Four Seasons versus the Taj Exotica - depends on what you are looking for.
Four Seasons is bigger so feels like there is more to do. Kid friendly but we did not find the few kids annoying. The service was impeccable and that made the stay perfect for us. The beach villas are a bit too dark but they are to be renovated next year or so. The spa is great!
The Taj Exotica is meant for couples only and is a small place. Very narrow island and you can see the water on both sides as you walk along the path. Quite a nice feeling. The lagoon is huge so not overworked like the Four Seasons - thus, you can see tons of fish everywhere. We saw a few black tipped white skinned baby sharks right by the beach. Food was excellent, rooms quite nice but service was lacking in general. The resort seems too small and too quite (for us). And one does hear the planes take off and land and we can see Male in the distance.
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