Planning holiday to Maldives next September with dh ...have previously been to Seychelles, Thailand, Antigua, Cuba, don't want a big busy resort
Have a healthy budget ( will also be flying business class) and want a 5* resort with potential for AI and over water villa and spa
Want to go snorkelling, so a house reef would be good, or at least within easy reach of some good sites ( not planning on scuba diving)
Think S Ari Atoll May be where we need to head ( for whale sharks, turtles, dolphins) , but would welcome any ideas
So sorry for your loss. I know you've booked now, but in case others are interested, we're going to Maafushivaru next month. I think it ticks all your boxes. Sooooo excited!
Have booked Kandolhu in N Ari Atoll...roll on September.....only 30 rooms and the house reef looks amazing
Conrad Rangali every time, one of the top 100 destination worldwide in 2018, been to several others but keep going back to the Rangali. Make sure you book the underwater restaurant too...
up-sell the wine, not upset it!
Lily is AI and we were worried about getting Buffet Fatigue the same as you. We opted for it in the end because we'd read that the prices in non-AI resorts could get ridiculously out of hand and you can be paying $10 for a small bottle of water. We knew if we went AI then the budget was set in stone for us with no nasty surprises and no temptation to get carried away ordering wine etc.
We were not expecting to eat especially well as all Maldives customers are a captive audience on each tiny island and every place relies heavily on imported food.
We worried for nothing - we ate fantastically well from the AI buffet and could not have been more impressed with it. They did try to upset the wine a couple of times at one of the a la carte restaurants (that was still on the AI plan) but we weren't tempted as the AI wine selection was more than good enough.
We are thinking of going back, actually.
Ps baros was over 12s only when i went not sure if that is relevant
I have been to Baros twice. Its a small island with a fabulous house reef and service and food (all al a carte) is excellent. Breakfast is a combo of cooked to order and buffet and includes proseco. The only downsides are the rooms are a bit old and tired and so not themselves have a wow factor. Also not sure the restaurants/ bar would keep you entertained more than 6 days...
Gosh, thanks for all the recommendations!....just caught up with them as sadly my dB died just before Christmas , so had funeral just after Boxing Day and had a 7hr drive there and back, so feeling knackered and emotionally drained , Christmas passed us by this year
However to try to look forward to something nice, I've been doing more research and been on trip advisor forums, still deciding , but narrowing it down, Kandolhu, Hurawalhii ,Baros , Halaveli and Naladhu ( +Anantara Veli) and maybe Lux and Lily...anyone been to these resorts?
Not too worried about AI resorts as buffets all the time get repetitive
Thinking of splitting time with 1 week on beach villa and the other on over water villa as we stayed on a fabulous beach villa ( with plunge pool) on Koh Phangan last year and loved that!
It's our 32nd wedding anniversary in September, hence why we're going then ( and dh is able to take time off then) .We've been to Thailand and Caribbean at that time ,and realise it's not high season, but we prefer that as it's out of school holiday season ! ( preferably adult only resort would be fab!) ..we have freedom now to holiday when we like as dcs are all grown up/ at uni!
Cheer me up with some of your Maldives experiences
I've been to the W very nice, but I preferred mirihi.
Mirihi looks amazing. I’ve never been but would have chosen it if we had the budget. Small, luxurious, amazing food and house reef. South Ari Atoll I believe.
Things change quickly out there and islands are always being refurbished so older reviews of places may be out of date, and there may be new options not mentioned on threads like this.
Bear in mind September is the rainy season. There will still be sunshine but also may be cloudy days and downpours and the water will be less clear.
Also bear in mind the top level of Maldives coral was sadly bleached by high sea temperatures in 2015 so many house reefs are not what they were.
Personally I prefer beach villas as I love lying on a beach under a palm tree and being able to go for a paddle - over water villas have outside decks but often limited shade and although you can get in the water from the villa, you have to go in fully. Sometimes they can be a bit cheek by jowl too. If choosing over water look very carefully at the deck area, is the seating comfy, is there shade and privacy, is it miles from your room to the island (the walkways get really hot!).
Sorry to hear about your brother.
I wouldn't recommend going September - same seasons as the Caribbean... you'll be risking shorter days with lots of cloud with plenty of showers 🤷🏼♀️ if you've got the budget wait till peak season where you can guarantee the weather. Otherwise why go and not make most of all it has to offer.
Been many times. Have family on Male. For your ask I’d recommend komandoo.
Villamendhoo island is beautiful and the house reef is second to none.
Lilly beach is a big resort and not one of the highly rated ones, I'm sorry. It's more middle of the road and it's not famed for its house reef.
Have you actually been there?
I've had some pretty luxurious holidays in my time and am pretty used to 5* hotels and I'd say it's most definitely a high end place. We take our food VERY seriously and the food and wine selection was incredible. The rooms were amazing, the staff were amazing, the landscaping of the gardens was amazing, we had an over water villa with an outdoor jacuzzi...the beach was beautiful, the house reef was great. No idea whether it was one of the best but it was certainly good enough.
I'm struggling to understand your comment to be honest.
A friend of mine swears by Lux, she's been several times. But they don't have a house reef. If we ever went back we'd have a really hard time choosing whether to try Lux on strong recommendation or just head straight back to Lily Beach which we could not fault in any way.
It's split into two halves though and you could spend all your time in one half without realising the other half if there.
and it's not a big resort, it's a nice size. Not tiny, just about right.
Lily Beach. Cannot recommend it highly enough. AMAZING food.
Lilly beach is a big resort
Lily Beach is in fact a small resort, no way could it be called big in any shape or form.
Ive stayed at Huvafen Fushi. The villas are really lovely but there is no AI option. Its a reasonably quiet intimate resort and def 5 star. House reef was decent and we say mantas on a snorkelling tour from there.
@Stopyourhavering64 I totally agree, life is too short and I'd rather have the memories of a fantastic holiday than little treats along the way like takeaways and Sunday carverys! Currently saving for a big holiday in 2020 and can't bloody wait already
Oops sorry bunnyup....holiday swap sounds like a good concept!...but I'm not swopping the Maldives with anyone
bunnyhop ....we never went on any mega holidays before kids or when they were little...all dcs have now either left home and doing their own traveling or at uni so we thought we'd join them in ticking off our bucket list....My dB is currently terminally ill with bowel cancer, so thought fuckit....life's too short!
Ive joined a trip advisor forum and got some ideas...I think I've narrowed it down to these resorts, so if anyone has any experience of The I'd be very grateful!
Lux S Ari Atoll
Omg @Stopyourhavering64 please come on that holiday swap programme with me, that sounds just bloody fabulous!
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