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
Oblu on Helengeli Island ticks all your boxes.
Quiet, small island
AI (excellent food and drink choices)
Over water villas
Adult only pool if you want it super quiet
Amazing house reef with daily sightings of sharks, turtles, rays and sometimes dolphins
Fantastic staff who will make you feel like royalty
We absolutely loved it when we were there and can't fault it.
Septemeber's a great time ot go to the Maldives! Temperatures are around 30C, 7-8 hours of sunshine but ave rainfall is c.200mm, so you may get 1 or 2 semi cloudy, cooler or even rain showers.
Along with Mexico east coast, the Maldives has excellent diving with some areas having underwater visibility of around 50m.
If you'd like to stay on islands that are surrounded by marine rich house reefs where you can literally snorkel directly from the beach in dedicated snorkelling channels, the best islands are Lion's Head and Wattare Kandu in the North Male Atoll.
As @Zombiehunter rightly says, OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli has over 20 top dive sites nearby and Lankanfinoku has this amazing place called Manta Point, where you'll be startled and ovewhelmed by the sheer numbers of Manta rays stopping at the equivalent of a marine "car wash" to be cleaned by hundreds of cleaner fish!
If you wnat to go to South Male Atoll, one of my suppliers showed me pictures of Maaya Thila island, where you can get close (but not too close!!) to zebra morays, mantas, white tip sharks and occasionally, whale sharks.
The South Ari atoll is one of the best areas to see whale sharks between August and November.
But personally, for me, the Baa Atoll is the finest place for any underwater experience (I think it's an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) - Hanirafu Bay is extraordinary and although you can't dive here, you can snorkel amongs whale sharks and manta rays from June to around September, depending on volume of plankton in the area. If you're interested in doing this, I'd recommend Milaidhoo Island or Dhigali to get close to Hanifaru Bay.
As with most of the upmarket Maldivian resorts, select an All Inclusive option.
Let me know what's on your wish list and I'll suggest options that tick most of your boxes. Wish I was going with you!!
Lily Beach in the south ari atoll, it's fabulous, fantastic AI which includes Taittinger Champagne and a choice of over 80 wines. Good house reef.
Lily Beach is great! The house reef is amazing, and very easy to access. I've swum round the island a few times (it's quite small!) and seen octopuses, rays, and reef sharks as well as the usual profusion of colourful reef fish.
It's also 100% all-inclusive, so you don't have the two-tier thing of AI guests getting inferior products / service.
It's child-friendly, but the kids club, kids pool, and family villas are all at one end, and the over-water villas at the other (with the spa, an adult pool, a bar, and other facilities) so it works well for adults too.
Some big resorts being mentioned here.
Diamond athuruga, it's got one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, is tiny and very intimate, the water villas are fab.
I forgot to mention the turtles, mantas, dolphins, and whale sharks! Not on the house reef, but a boat ride away (a short one for turtles and mantas, a longer one for dolphins and whales sharks - no guarantees!)
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. Most resorts have whale sharks etc a boat ride away.
Op why don't you go to the Maldives forum on trip advisor and ask there.
Omg @Stopyourhavering64 please come on that holiday swap programme with me, that sounds just bloody fabulous!
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
Oops sorry bunnyup....holiday swap sounds like a good concept!...but I'm not swopping the Maldives with anyone
@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
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.
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.
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