Hi Cher and Starfruit
I'm back. Wow! Maldives is heaven! Beyond words.
Cher : I'd strongly recommend Paradise Island. The resort is large and is surrounded by clear waters and has a comprehensive range of activities and excursions. I agree with Starfruit that it's very expensive but definitely worth it.
I still feel nostalgic about the place and was deeply saddened leaving it
. As for Paradise, I love the place as you can walk out to the sea more than 100m from shore and the water level is only up to your hip...you don't need to swim far to see the marine life, as you can see the fishes even at the shore! We had a wonderful time there, really. We stayed 3N on beach bungalow and 2N on water bungalow. U must stay at the water bunglow for at least a night, it's wonderful, as you can simply be in the waters by walking down the stairs. Food there is also good (personal taste) and half board will be sufficient. It's buffet style and everyday they change the menu.
The resort is patroned by mostly Europeans and Japs, we did not meet any S'poreans there during our stay there.
It depends on your budget, really. If you are looking for a 5-star hotel and do not look for exclusive accomodation like Banyan Tree or Angsana, then Paradise will probably be it. The rooms are not super fantastic but they are clean, spacious and decent.
I'm not sure about March, but it sure is packed this Jan. All the rooms are full, I heard in Paradise..however due to the large island, the place is not crowded.
If you really want to try the seaplane, Paradise has excursions for photo flight. I did not try it but the 4-hour flight costs US$100/pax. We tried the island hopping trip and night fishing trip at US$53/pax & US$30/pax. At Paradise, everything u spend within the resort is charged to the room and only settles the bill when u check out..so you do not need to bring too much US$ if you intend to sign on credit card. We brought US$550/- and spent some US$350/- for 2 excursions, lunch, drinks, sovenirs etc.
Tips: Bring your own mineral water bottles, tidbits and book to read. A bottle of mineral water costs US$3/- at the restaurants and US$5/- in rooms. Soft drinks cost US$3.50/can and food (sandwiches) costs US$7-US$12. Grab the mineral water from Cold Storage at T2 in the airport at just S$0.95/ bottle! We only brought 3 bottles there, a Thai couple we met there brought 12 bottles there! And, put sun block! We got sunburnt on our first day by simply walking and swimming at the beach in the morning and suffered in pain the next few days. If you can, bring own snorkel eqmt, it costs US$10 to rent each day per pax.
Oh, u can skip Kurumba Village. We went there for island hopping and thought it's kinda crap. The resort fenced off the waters and you can't swim beyond 50m.
If you have any queries, feel free to ask. Must go!! Must go!! Must go!!!