Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Maldives Resort Near Male & All-Inclusive

Maldives Resort Near Male & All-Inclusive

Old Mar 11th, 2011, 08:30 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 396
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maldives Resort Near Male & All-Inclusive

Confused by all the resort sites, locations, etc. Since our trip will be short, we would like to be only a boat transfer away from Male. And if possible, have an all-inclusive plan but this is not required. Main concerns are great snorkeling/reef, a few restaurants/bars, and varied activities available (kayaks, windsurfers). Although we are open to a higher-end property, we might also like a 3 or 4 star versus 5 based on personal experiences and reviews. We have traveled to many beautiful beach destinations....Bali, Fiji, Tahiti, etc. so want to ensure a worthwhile experience.
kacollier is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2011, 08:35 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like the Soneva Gili which is only a 1/2 hour speedboat transfer from the airport. Expensive but IMO very romantic and luxurious with abundant sea life for snorkeling, diving etc.
Hanuman is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2011, 08:55 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Every resort will offer water activities. The quality of the house reef for snorkeling varies from place to place, but you usually also have the option of taking a day boat out to better reefs if the house reef is not as good. Virtually all resorts offer breakfast as part of their rates, and most also offer a meal plan, either full or half board, but some plans don’t include wine and liquor, those are usually only offered at the truly “all-inclusive” resorts, which do tend to be more in the 3-4 star range. As you may have guessed, food and wine/liquor is quite expensive in the Maldives, so a meal plan can be a good value.

For an all-inclusive near to Male, you might look at Sun Island, see http://www.sun-island.com/. I have never seen this resort. One comment from looking at their website is that rooms seem to be on the small side, other than the water bungalows, and even they are under 35 square meters. Coco Island (http://www.cocoaisland.como.bz/) would also probably work, I don’t think it is an all-inclusive but they have meal plans. There is also the Kurumba, which is a quite pretty place, but is only about 15 minutes by boat from Male Airport and may not really give you the “remote island” feel you are looking for. However, see http://www.kurumba.com/ to compare prices, etc. The Kurumba has many good restaurant options. I don’t know anything about the house reefs at these resorts, as I have only been for meals.

You might look at the Sheraton and the Holiday Inn Kandooma. (I don’t include the W as this requires a seaplane flight.) The Sheraton is considerably closer to Male. It only recently become a part of the Sheraton chain; the resort itself has been around for many years. (It used be known as just the Full Moon Resort.) I don’t think it is as nice generally as other Sheratons, and from what I have seen, has not been upgraded very much as part of joining the chain. My only real issue with it is that it is rather too close to Male, you can see the city lights in many cases. (Locals will also tell you the water quality is significantly better as you go further away from Male, but I can’t notice an appreciable difference.) Of those two, I would probably go with the Holiday Inn.

The Dhonveli Resort, http://www.dhonvelibeachresort.net/ is a shortish boat ride and is OK, not luxurious but offers a nice beach and a pretty good house reef. They also offer surfing at Pasta Point, one of the about 3-4 places in the Maldives where you can surf.

More in the luxury category, I really like the Four Seasons Kudda Hurra, they have a good house reef and access by boat to other good reefs. You can also surf nearby if you want to try that. (The resort is close toe Dhonveli, and offers access to some surf areas, but I think you have to stay at the Dhonveli to surf Pasta Point.)

I agree that the Soenva Gilli is a nice property. I think it is a bit too close to Male (its only 20 minutes by boat), you get boat traffic, the views aren’t as good, and it just does not feel remote enough. My main issue with the Soneva hotels is that they are more rustic in décor than sleek modern, and I have a bit of a personal issue with the whole you-must-take-off-your-shoes mentality. I don’t like to be told what to do, esp with regard to how I should choose to relax on my holidays.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:37 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,544
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
Take a look at Bandos - spouse has been going there yearly for group scuba dive trips - loves it - house reef, great diving and snorkeling, short boat ride from Male. It's reasonably priced for the Maldives with an assortment of accommodation - you can get full board or half board.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 11:06 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 396
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
After talking further with my spouse, I think the all-inclusive is not necessary...we would probably prefer more dining options. But my husband would really like a great "house" reef even if it is farther away from Male.....possibly a seaplane ride as well.
kacollier is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 07:04 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The thing to remember is that it would be usual for any resort to have a superb house reef. That is because the reefs are disturbed and in some cases virtually destroyed, during the construction of the resort. After opening, the reef can recover, but with boat traffic, sea plane traffic and just people (and their waste) around, it probably would never go back to its original state. On some resorts, they constantly have to pump sand from the bottom to replenish beaches, which again will disturb a house reef. You can have good house reefs that will be enjoyable, but IMO you have to go to uninhabited islands and offshore reefs to really get a huge variety of fish life and coral. So just bear that in mind. These trips are easy to do, the resorts arrange them, and make a pleasant way to spend the day.

Not all resorts which require a seaplane flight will be better than those which do not. The Soneva Fushi, for example, is an entirely man made beach, and the reef which is part of this is not, IMO, as good as house reefs at resorts closer to Male.

You originally said you did not have a lot of time for the trip, and I therefore thought it made sense that you were thinking of staying someplace which does not require a seaplane ride makes sense. This is mostly because seaplanes cannot fly at night. Most int’l flights into Male arrive and depart at night, which means if you stay someplace which requires a seaplane flight you usually have to overnight at a Male hotel on either the inbound or the outbound and sometimes both. That is 1-2 nights out of an itin, and if you only have less than a week for the trip, could be a big waste of time. So first look at your int’l flights arrival and departure times and then how many days you have.

If you stay in Gan, the atoll furthest south, that airport is serviced by hard landing aircraft which can flight at night. So Gan may work to coordinate with int’l flights, it is something you would have to look into. (I have to say that this daytime flight is spectacular as you fly over the country which is littered with islands looking like jewels. Seaplane flights offer a similar perspective although lower in elevation.)

Also bear in mind that at any resorts, having more than 3 restaurants would be unsual. The resorts are too small. Usually only 1 is open for breakfast and perhaps 2 for lunch. At an all-inclusive you are likely to have the same number of restaurants, and the meal plan would let you eat in any of them. (Karumba has the most restaurants I have seen, but it is 15 minutes from Male and I don’t think the house reef is as good as others.) The Conrad has a pretty good number of restaurants, including their underwater restaurant, and a nice house reef.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 07:20 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've stayed at the Soneva Fushi and the beach there looks very natural(non mand-made), and I've seen a lot of beaches around the world during my game fishing days. Also there are no over the water houses, building etc at the Soneva Fushi so I think the poster above has mistaken it to the Soneva Gili.

Another thing you should consider is staying in 2 properties under the same ownership in one trip. I've done this and found it quite fun especially when they contrast each other in designs. Example - Soneva Gili has all over the reef/water bungalows while the Soneva Fushi has all ON the beach bungalows with access to your own little private beach. Both have more than 3 restaurants as well if you include things like the wine cellars as a dining venue.

Other properties with multiple locations are the Four Seasons, Taj etc and you can check them out on the very useful link provided by MaldivesComplete above.
Hanuman is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2011, 08:23 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was wrong on both counts. It is actually the Reethi Rah which has the artificial beach. (I am not sure anyone can really tell a manmade beach from a natural one; these occur at many resort, even in the Carribean.) The presence or absence of over water bungalows is not the deciding factor in the house reef, it is the heavy equipment brought in to construct the entire resort, and how waste water and trash are handled as well as boat traffic within the lagoon, which have a greater influence.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 06:54 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 451
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bkmk!
usernameistaken is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
benji08
Asia
7
Dec 10th, 2009 04:21 AM
ajy733
Asia
4
Apr 16th, 2008 04:06 AM
simonv
Asia
4
Jan 31st, 2006 10:57 AM
DKG5
Caribbean Islands
4
May 2nd, 2005 07:34 PM
dankat
Australia & the Pacific
6
Mar 23rd, 2003 10:12 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:58 AM.