We are back from a wonderful 4Day/3Night Vacation from Maldives. Needless to say, we enjoyed every second of the stay. Even after almost 1 month, I am still not over that wonderful feeling.
We wanted to go to a beach location as I wanted to see the clean blue waters and white sand first hand. So, we had short-listed 5 holiday destinations, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Langkawi in Malaysia and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The decision to choose Maldives as the holiday destination was taken on grounds of the following points.
- Mauritius and Seychelles were close to African continent, hence more traveling time and money.
- Langkawi was closer to Jakarta which was a quake prone area.
- Andaman and Nicobar was part of India and did not require a passport to travel from India. My wife had received a passport in the previous month after an year long delay and was desperate to use it. :-)
- Maldives was close to India, required a passport to travel (:-)), had a lot of good reviews in the Internet, the water seemed more clear and blue than any of the other places and most importantly had the coral reefs for snorkeling.
- My cousin who works for the Great India Tour company arranged everything for competitive rates (If you want his contact details, you can e-mail me).
Although we are staying in Bangalore, we chose the Trivandrum airport as there was almost Rs 5000 difference in the air fare per person. The Air India flight took close to 1 hour fromTrivandrum to Male Airport. We were stunned by the beauty of the place just as we landed in the airport. As the airport is build in on a narrow strip of Island, it seemed like we were landing on water. There was an immigration clearance and we were issued a 90 day visa on arrival.
Points to note here are,
- Keep your sunglasses and sunscreen handy. Put it on as soon as you step outside that flight.
- If you are not having a satellite phone, get a SIM card and recharge it as it is ridiculously expensive to make a call from the resort island. An 8$ recharge should last for 4 days with calls of small duration. If I remember correct it was about half an hour of talk time to India.
- Check beforehand whether the resort provides you drinking water in your room. As one of my colleagues visited the place just 2 days before, we were informed that the water is not provided in the room and not even during meals. It will cost you an additional 3$ to get 2 ltr of water. So as a precaution, we carried some water bottles before starting from India. But make sure that you keep the water in the check-in baggage. But water didn’t become an issues for us as the resort included drinking water in our package after our first day (31st Oct) and we were provided 3 ltr of drinking water in the room each day, from 1st Nov onwards.
- Everything in Maldives has a $ rate. So, carry some American $ and you should be alright.
Our stay was arranged in Paradise Island resort. It was nice to see that and there were some people ready to pick us and drop to the resort when we checked out from airport. It was a 20 min speed boat ride that took us to the resort. The view was wonderful and the hospitality of the receptionist is really appreciable. The room was good, with A/C, intercom, mini bar and a TV. As we had booked the room as a honeymoon couple, the room also had complementary champagne and a fruit basket. It had a spectacular view right out your window. If you are opting for beach bungalow, opt for the one that is near the restaurant. We were fortunate to get the same and loved it. But our friends were not so lucky and had to walk around 6-8 KM daily to reach the restaurant. Each room was assigned two benches if you are keen to do some sun-bathing! Also they have a good bathroom. But if you are an Indian, my advice is, carry a mug, if you know what I mean. ;-)
If you are interested in water-sports, check out the rates in the first day itself. There are some packages available, which can be completed any day of your stay. But make sure that you complete the snorkeling early on any of those days because that, for me, is easily THE best activity in Maldives. Check with the sport-center if the water would be clear and calm to get a perfect experience. The snorkeling gear (except the fins) can be purchased in India for less than 1000 Rs. But if you are renting the same from resort, it would cost you the same(22$ per head); although here you get a life jacket and fins too, so even people who can’t swim can enjoy the trip to the full. Carry some underwater camera if you want to show the amazing things what you have seen under the water to the outside world. We were afraid that the X-ray machines in the airport might harm the film rolls in the camera but thankfully, were able to get some pretty good photographs with it.
The water scooter and parasailing was also enjoyable. When you are going for water sports, make sure that you have the goggles and head cap and do not allow water to enter your mouth because even though it seem clear, being sea water, it is very very salty. Also, if you are in the salt water when the sun is out, wear the clothes that cover your body parts that you don’t want to be tanned :-).
The food in the Paradise Island was very good. We opted for a half board option, which included breakfast and dinner and both are buffet. We carried some snacks which were sufficient during the day, especially when you are about to swim its better not to have a heavy stomach. The only problem we noticed is, although a beach resort, they did not have prawns or Lobsters. There were lots of Japanese tourists (Truly no offence to Japanese) in the resort and they were very annoying during our meals. Even if they want to talk to a person two table apart or to the person just near to them, they seem to have same level of volume. I wish there was some mute button in them.
The staffs were very friendly. They never invade our privacy and when spoken to, are very eager to help. Overall, the stay in the resort was excellent and I would recommend anyone looking for a quality time (and money), to visit the place. Don’t inhibit yourself. Enjoy to the maximum.
I will put down the expense per person so that you have an idea about expected rates as on 31st Oct 2010.
- Airfare - 14000 per head for round trip
- Hotel stay - 26000 for two in a beach villa for 4 days and 3 nights
- Water sports (Including 90 minutes of Snorkeling trip with the help of a trainer, snorkeling gear renting for one day, Parasailing, water scooter, tow able sport and canoeing) - 300 $ + 10 % tax
- SIM card and recharge - 10 $
If you want to know more on this, you can contact me. I will be happy to help. I will try to upload some pictures for the same.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Imagine an island right in the middle of the Indian Ocean, with bright white beaches, a lagoon with multiple hues of blue and aquamarine and tall coconut palms swaying to the breeze. Who wouldn't want to be marooned on one? All the more, when all modern comforts and formal professional services that one would expect on a five star hotel come together with it. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com so you can book your Paradise Island Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Paradise Island Hotel Lankanfinolhu Island
- Paradise Island Resort Maldives
- Paradise Island Maldives
- Paradise Island Male
- Paradise Island Resort & Spa Maldives/North Male Atoll