I'm back from paradise!
Just wanted to make a quick post while everything is still fresh. Generally everything went well. I shall just summarise main points from my trip:
OVERNIGHT HOTEL - Holiday Inn Male, 1 night
MAIN RESORT - Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa (King Water Villa), 3 nights
AIRLINE - SQ
1. Despite corresponding with Hilton months before my request for a noontime seaplane transfer the next day (so as to get more rest in Male and arrive just in time to check in @ Hilton at 2pm), I was disappointed upon my arrival at Male Airport @ 10pm to find out tt they had arranged me on the FIRST seaplane flight at 6.30am.
Reason seems they follow the FIFO (1st in, 1st out) principle, and try to transfer those who have arrived earlier 1st. Coz it seems tt more tourists arrive in the morn, and they would take up the afternoon flights.
My hubby and I considered, and decided to go along with it... but we were unhappy tt it meant we got only abt 4 hrs sleep the 1st night. I was also concerned that the ocean would not have been much lit up by sun in the morn... and our seaplane ride would not be so scenic. :-(((
But I suppose it turned out for gd. I shall explain later...
2. HOLIDAY INN MALE - Lovely rm, excellent shower with rainshower facilities. Only regret staying here is tt we were here just less than 6 hrs, and we did pay 3-digits for this plc. Didn't even get to enjoy breakfast, which was part of the package! Can you see why we were upset by the seaplane arrangement... But saw tt it eventually worked out, will explain ltr.
We were given ONE box of packaged breakfast the next day, with 2 bottled juices. I must say it was to my horror that the package was just 3 MINI pastries - for TWO pax! Honestly tt was q shocking. Pls understand I'm not trying to be picky, or expect a packaged buffet. But it was really pathetic, I think anyone would've reacted the same.
Those were the downsides. Othwise, I did enjoy the nice room.
3. Hilton - Lovely. Friendly service all around, food was of course expensive but not all tt bad if you consider tt it's fine dining. Food was ok though the buffet breakfast was uninspired from the 2nd day.
I loved their rooms too: his and hers basins, rain showers, etc. Perfect for a couple!
THE GOOD THING as I said abt the early seaplane ride - actually it was not dark anymore when we departed, and not overly sunny either. Perfect. We were checked in quickly upon arrival and I believe we were in our rm by 10am - 4 hrs ahead of usual check-in time of 2pm. We settled our stuff down, took time to plan activities and made pre-bookings (q essential), and then literally slept it off till nearly 6pm then had early dinner. My hubby was right - yes we sacrificed our time at Holiday Inn, enjoying their hotel, breakfast or resting, but ultimately, we came for the Hilton not Holiday Inn. The fact tt we could check-in earlier at Hilton, settle down and had a gd rest there was really a win-win situation. Hence, maybe the best of both worlds is, stay in a cheap but tahanable Male hotel overnight, grab the earliest seaplane ride, and fingers crossed u can check into your resort early!
4. Activities we signed on were Snorkelling Safari and Sunset Fishing. Both were gd!
5. 1 1.5l of bottled water a day didn't bother us eventually, since we got bottles too on our excursions, somehow we got by!
6. It did rain and poured at times, but we got through with wise scheduling and a lot of God's grace ;-) By the time we left, we had pretty much done the key things we wanted to do.
7. Snorkelling gear is rented out FOC, as are non-motorised sports stuff e.g. canoes and windsurfing stuff (only if u noe how to do it). No worries, the snorkelling gear is in rather pristine condition, doesn't look tatty and all-bitten.
8. 3 nights I feel is q enough. But do plan wisely and all.
9. Spa was gd too. Lovely garden setting.
10. V starry sky - so beautiful!!! Lie on the deck chair on your water villa and admire - I fell asleep twice!
11. They did accommodate my prior request for the latest seaplane departure @ 4.15pm, though not for extended checkout - while I was disappointed by this again, yet we also managed to work around it and killed the time easily enough.
12. We were surprised by the offer of a short Male tour when we arrived at the airport for our departure. Since you will have lots of time to kill before the 11pm SQ flight, do go. It may not be much but still interesting - since ur there! Pls be wary of being 'swindled' by souvenir shops though, I think I kinda was and it was upsetting, but anyway, pls be warned. However I got a lot of handpainted stuff which is v nice, so nm.
13. Seaplane ride is really v specatacular and worthwhile experience, I'd recommend it if u dun mind paying for it
I think abt USD400 per pax. It is a 45-min ride to Hilton (Noonu Atoll) each way - nice and long!
14. I was much 'assured' in terms of snorkelling - hardly saw any jellyfish. Coz I had a jellyfish sting b4 in Msia island, which was really a bad experience.
Heh heh, tt's abt it. A v fast recap. I really enjoyed myself, and it's just such, such a lovely place. Fr my research, Hilton's price, while not cheap, is possibly one of the lowest (?) for a water villa. Check it up urselves though.
Hey PatnDrew, I didn't see any guidebook at the airport which you asked me to buy... so sorry abt it ;-|
Thanks to the 'veterans' who helped with so mch info earlier too! I'm a 'convert' now as well!!! :-DDD