What travellers are talking about
We reached Male after a fairly uncomfortable journey but happy to be able to use throughout the day from morning. It is always wonderful to see the spectacular scenery of the atolls that seem a long way landing. Coming down we saw the islands dear to us wrong and we greeted the South Male and Kurumba, you see it well during the landing maneuver, given the proximity to the capital.
We also noticed the incredible growth of Hulhumale, that leaps to 'eye, an artificial sand esplanade that stands out in the blue, unnatural, and in contrast to the great circles of the islands we love. Quickly the plane descends and we are on track and we see other works in progress.
Even the 'airport is expanding, they must also extend the runway to cope with the arrival of all these tourists. L 'plane stops on the track and not wait for the burst of humid heat, the warm embrace that tells us that we finally arrived. fast down the stairs and as we cross the track towards the entrance immediately we feel the sun beating down. No wind, we hope that the sea is not too rough ... The transfer by speedboat could be unpleasant.
We deliver the visa to customs, stamping of passports and we're outside. Let our representative who delivers us the documents and entrusts the staff to Fihalhohi. Unfortunately, we are told that we must wait for another flight then we leave. In fact they make us wait in the bar two hours. We want to move ... stroll to 'external scanning the sea in hopes of seeing get our boat, a drink at the bar ... The' wait is long and the desire to leave so much. It's sunny and we want to dive. In this season we know that time is a dancer and might even rain. Arrive and depart many Maldivian boats, people moving for work or other reasons beyond their island in here intersects with tourists who push carts loaded with suitcases.
Many lives intersect on this islet overlooking the capital Male, much grown over the last 20 years with the tower blocks and container port around, and 'behind the black smoke Thilafushi, which sometimes comes the stench are here reminds us to pay attention and to bring home our waste not to help feed the toxic cloud.
Then finally he arrives as if by magic in our boat, down the Germans and Eastern, we go up and the German lords and we are finally on the blue to our wonderful holiday.
Wear life jackets, we receive a bottle of water at the head apologetically to the long wait and the engines begin to roar.
when the boat takes the 'exit from thde airport is the worst time of the trip, there are more and more 'high waves while turning around the' island of the capital.
It is impressive to see all the buildings crammed on 'island, surrounded by container ships and many other vessels, then you approach the south Male and luckily the waves subside and the journey becomes more' pleasant, the islets are run near to us and we ask what are their names, sometimes we crossed other vessels and in 40 minutes we reached our destination.
5 star spa
We went back to Kurumba and this summer we were given vouchers upon arrival for discounts at the SPA. Referring to the copy of the magazine Kurumba available to every room I read the special treatment that are proposed. In the magazine there was an interesting article describing the career of a Maldivian girl who runs the SPA after studying the properties of the Maldivian endemic plants and massage techniques in other euro area countries.
From this union were born of the exclusive treatments of this SPA with a mix of typical and warm vegetable oils sands ... I was immediately intrigued by these proposals. I already knew their massages, the girls are very good, prepared and attentive to customer needs.
I went to visit the SPA for more information about these treatments including the Tamburu fei that seemed particularly pleasant.
Their welcome is always elegant and delicate, once you cross the threshold with water wall that drops the mix of music and perfume surrounds you and you already feel relaxed.
the operator in reception will make you sit on the sofas and then they will help you to choose with you the best treatment at the times most convenient to you.
The SPA is great and there are many operators and large availability of times, hard to find time for a cuddle.
evening treatments Are also proposed for couples together with fresh fruit and drink, the top is certainly the evening couples treatment
In the moonlight, with bath in the sea to rinse with hot sands peeling, but also the price is of those to spare no expense, perfect for a couple on their honeymoon. In reception I talked to the operator, I was particularly intrigued by the super-hydrating and refreshing treatment with aloe and coconut oil but they helped me and did not recommend it because it has more suitable for reddened skin in the end I opted for the popular treatment for the feet with hot sand packs.
A cuddle more of a perfect time for circulation and relax, not to be missed. All treatments were discounted with discount 30% so I also spent little and I have not even used the credits that had delivered me to holiday start. Also I am repeater if I return I will be entitled to an extra discount. Excellent customer loyalty policy. the operator performing the treatment you will receive, fill out the card and asks you what treatment and what intensity you want to use. SHe accompanies you to the changing rooms and welcomes you outside and will escort' along on a 'water walkway up to your cabin where you will' sit down and will start your treatment.
the operator will ask' you more 'times if you are good or if you prefer a more or less intense treatment.
Once treatment is the 'operator makes you sit in a room on' the other side of the spa where you can enjoy relaxation while sipping a delicious herbal tea of your choice and fresh fruit.
is very pleasant to enjoy this moment of relaxation after the treatment, there are several sofa bed but at the time when we went there were no other guests the ultimate in relaxation. After this additional time to pamper you back to the locker room, equipped with shower and services, there are also hair-dryer available for drying the hair to those who wish it. Then it's time to get out ... unfortunately
not good as last trip
For the second year we chose Turkish airlines. As they are Star Alliance members we were expecting same good service of past experience. We chose Turkish becauseof the good match of price and time table, that is always important for us as we are travelling with Children. We reached Turin airport fastly and left the car in the car parking we booked though internet with no problem. We reached Turin Caselle airport really fast and after the check in we could have a look at the airport. This year a part of the airport is work in progress and we couldn' t enjoy the shopping at the duty free very much. The queue for the passport' s check was pretty long but we were in time, so no hurry for us. Turin airport has always nice sculptures on the second floor. This year we found very nice sculptures of animals insteads of the dinosaurs of 2013. We were the second family to be on board, not very much children travelling on this flight. The airplane was not new, as we faced 2 years ago. We were in the first places of the airplane, much more comfortable than the following sits where the leg space was smaller.
THe wc was clean at least and the children book was given before the departure to all the children.
We had to wait for the lunch but we weren' t hungry, so this didn't matter. Once we received the meals we discovered that our booking for special meals had been lost. THey could find a child meal only, we had to eat the standard menu. Quality was poor for both menu. CHildren food was spicy and fried, not good for a child at all. The dessert was a strange pudding, not good tasty. Our food was spicy too.
On the main screens we saw Adaline. We didn' t have headphones for all of us but this was no problem, flight was short and we were anxious to reach Istanbul. Unfortunately the landing was terrible. When we arrived to Istanbul, probably due to a traffic jam in the airport, the plane started to increase and decrease the height, this was killing our ears.We had chewing gums luckily but this didn' t help that much and we really suffered, once we finally landed I was suffering very much.
We catched our bus and were taken to the transit hall. The airport hall was empty, we expected to find the airport full of people like past experience but it wasn' t so. We appreciated we could have some seats to chill while we waited for the following flight. WC are dirty as always. no paper in the toilets, water on the floors. People serving in the shops is not friendly at all and doesn't encourage to make any shopping. Water at the bar is ridicolously expensive. Luckily our flight was called and we moved to the exit...then we discovered we had to run to the opposite part of the airport! and we moved the fastest we can to the exit to wait for our bus. We made a long trip to reach our airplane and when we arrived there was a strong hot wind. We reached our seats and were surprised that they were so small and near.If you are tall it will be an unpleasant fly for you. Furthermore the armrests are blocked and there is no space for the legs. Headphones didn' t work well, we asked for another pair and it didn' t arrive. THe choise of films and entertainment was good but without headphones we couldn't appreciate that much. On this flight we received the meals we have booked, quality was better. We reached Male in time but when I received my luggage it was damaged. I was very upset but at the airport they told me it is no sense to make a claim as the baggage could be used again altought it was very damaged. THe trip back was on delay ( as always from Male) check in was very slow but we had good seats. the flight was coming from Sri lanka and was full of people. It was hard to find a place for our cabin luggage and My husband had to awake a man that had taken his place. seats were really uncomfortable, small and too near. Food is always the same. Toilets always dirty and without paper in the morning when you are reaching Istanbul, but the real problem was the air conditioning that wasn't working. We had to wait on the airplane for 1 hour without any air conditioning. The temperature was hot and people coming from Sri lanka was suffering a lot. Only after some repair we could leave but temperature was still warm. Flight for Turin was called in time and we traveleld without any problem and reached Turin it time, then back to the parking, loading our suitcases and then back home, wit our heart full of lovely memories of an unforgettable holiday andthe decision that next time we won' t fly with Turkish, no matter what the ticket price will be.
Excellent Service worth for the Price - Etihad Airlines
Thank you Etihad Airways... It was really amazing Service.
Etihad Airways Business Class & Economy class fares are the cheapest in the Market.
My family will use Etihad Airways in future to Travel Europe & USA
Experience the service with them.
Be prepared to be ripped off if you want late check out
We are a group of 21 of adults, teens and kids. Our flight landed at 9:30 pm at night. Whilst the hotel is only 20 minutes away by boat from the airport, it was not until 12:30 am that we received our last piece of luggage in our room.
Our flight departs at 10 pm tomorrow and we requested for late check out arrangements, we were quoted a rate of USD37 PER HOUR whilst one can book a room on line at USD 120 (all inclusive) per day. What a ripoff!
There is only one restaurant opened for lunch. The menu is very limited, and quality of food is poor, yet price of food is not cheap at all. Average price for a very simple lunch is USD50 (food + water/ soft drinks).
The manager and the dive masters at the dive centre are friendly and helpful.
This is one of the UAU factor islands, where villas are just amazing... We stayed in overwater lagoon vila and also overwater ocean vila and we both liked lagoon side more then ocean side. Probably because of soft sand below the vila instead of corals, while we like to be in sea a lot.
Food was amazing, also the staff was fantastic and very helpful with everything.
SPA was nice, but we didn't go underwater while our eyes are closed when we take massage:) so we didn't saw the point of paying so much more.. but we went to see underwater spa and it is nice, but for us was regular spa treatment just fine.
Everything was very private, and outdoor terrace with the daybed was a winning idea for us:)
We had also surprise romantic dinner where one chef was cooking just for us and this was really nice spend money.
Everythink was great and I hope we will visit their sister Niyama soon.
Qatar.... not far off a 5 Star Airline.
My first experience with Qatar has set a very high standard for future flights. I've been flying to and from Maldives since Thomson (at that time called First Choice Airways) offered direct flights between Manchester and Male' and miss those flights!! Since Thomson ceased operation I have found Etihad to offer the best rates and transit times and used them a handful of times and was planning to use them again having found flights around USD930.00 return during high season.
A friend mentioned Qatar currently had a sale on and when I checked their prices I found return seats for USD 697 return, so over 200 USD cheaper! I also really liked a short transit of 1hr 15 minutes even though it made me a little nervous.
The one thing that made laugh was after booking the seats, receiving a mail regarding upgrading my seat from Doha to Manchester for USD800. I'm not sure how many book budget seats and then pay 3 times the amount for the seat to upgrade to Business class!
The online check in was smooth and the flight wasn't full so on one leg I had a row to myself and the second leg a spare seat between me and another passenger. The flight generally was quite empty and many had a row to themselves to space out.
At check in they issued boarding cards for the full journey and bags travelled smoothly from Male to Manchester.
The crew on both flights were friendly and polite. Especially the Male to Doha sector. I think having a reduced number of passengers made everyone a bit more relaxed.
The meals were good, drinks frequent and the cabin wasn't freezing as I've experienced on other long haul flights.
I was impressed with the entertainment as I found a lot of my favourite comedy series with episodes I hadn't seen before. It's also possible to listen to the music and switch to map mode which I couldn't do on Etihad. So you can snooze with music on and check the flight progress every so often without switching screens.
No comfort packs were issued so take your own socks,earplugs and sleeping mask..it may have just been that flight..or standard procedure.
The short transit was no problem, we arrived into Doha ahead of schedule, cleared the security smoothly and the boarding area for the onward flight was very well organised. Boarding was done via Zones. Doha airport was very quiet considering it was the middle of the day. It's not as busy as Abu Dhabi and Dubai airport. Everything is well signposted and labelled with lots of staff on duty keeping everything moving.
We arrived into Manchester 45 minutes ahead of schedule. This is when the bubble burst as there were only 2 staff on the immigration counters and those 45 minutes we saved were then wasted doing what us British do best.. standing in a queue.
But, overall it was the best flight in a long time!. Everything was smooth and leaving Male' at 9.00am and landing at 17.15 the same day felt almost like a direct flight.
As far south as you can go.
My review is a little late, I stayed for 2 days at the Equator Village in July 2014.
The reason I booked was I wanted to see the Addu Atoll. I could have chosen a guest house but as it was Ramadam and the rates for Equator were quite attractive, I decided to go with a resort environment so I could enjoy a drink and sunbathe as my holiday was just 4 days in total. (My second 2 were at a local guest house in Fuvahmulah)
The flight was smooth, I chose Flyme as I was departing to Fuvahmulah and they were the only airline offering this option, I personally prefer Flyme because of the service, aircraft and price. The timings were convenient too.
I didn't realize just how close Equator Village was to Gan airport and in future wouldn't pay the extra for the transfer. I only had an overnight bag.. I could have walked. I am sure a taxi would also be cheaper as it is literally 2 minutes. Saying that. The flight program isn't very frequent so I wouldn't say the proximity to the airport will disturb anyone's stay there.
The property was as I expected. The occupancy was very low, I was one of 3 rooms in the whole resort which came with massive advantages and a small disadvantage.
The room was a little old fashioned but spacious, clean and comfortable. There was tea and coffee, a TV, decent sized bathroom and the bed was super comfy. The location was also great, less than 20 steps to the beach and a minute away from the bar/restaurant.
The beach was beautiful. It was well kept and wide enough for a few scattered sunbeds. This was one of the big advantages, I was near enough alone there so had true peace and quiet. The pool area is nice, I didn't use it as I prefer the beach and the ocean and I think I saw one couple there once during the stay. The pool bar in the middle was closed during this time.
The main bar area is also nice, the furnishings throughout the property are quite old but they are clean, well maintained and comfy. There was a lot of painting going on around the resort, I can't blame them when they have 3 rooms in house!
The restaurant was also a little dated but clean and airy. The food was OK. Exactly what I expected for a low occupancy 3 star hotel. It was edible and the service was lovely from my waiter who keeps in touch with me. My favourite part was the afternoon snacks, one day they had short eats (hedika) which went down great after a day in the sun sipping a shandy. I was on all inclusive so spent more time around the bar area reading than I would have done normally. I was a true Brit getting my money's worth!
By far the most memorable part which I remember one year on was how fantastic the massage was. I visited the spa on my first day when I was wandering and found them both reading books.. I felt a little sorry for them and they were ready to offer very good discounts. I booked to go in the second day and I think in the end it came to around US$30 or $35 for a back, shoulder and head massage and I certainly got a 5 star treatment. I remember around the first 30 minutes.. and then waking up! It was glorious and far better than some high end resort treatments.
Bikes were available to rent, I had a local guide to take me round the Atoll on a motorcycle which was definitely the best way to do it! He took me from Gan right down to Hitadhoo which is the end island in the chain. He is from that island so we visited his family. I have visited many local islands before but Addu felt somehow a little smarter, more modern, cleaner and well kept. As it was Ramadam, the roads were very quiet during the day time and we made lots of stops here and there for sight seeing. I'm sure I saw far more than I would have if I explored alone on the bike. Shops and cafe's opened in the evening only. I was happy I chose the Equator Village after seeing how quiet the villages were.
I was pestered a little by the mosquitos. I am not sure if they were controlling them very well and as we experienced a rain shower during the evening, it brought them out. The bar staff were very helpful with candles and deterrents but I came away with a couple of bites.
The only slight disadvantage when visiting a low occupancy resort is the over attentive staff. At that time I was working in another resort, I wanted a break and some R&R. As the staff were short on guests, they all wanted to chat.. which is nice.. but the conversation always starts with how many days are you staying and where you are from.. I need to invent another character to introduce at these times as when they know you work in a resort all the work questions come.. how much service charge? How is the occupancy? do you know my friend ....? I understand they are being friendly, I enjoyed getting to know them. I just also wanted to feel like a guest for 2 days. Not to talk about the island I was having an escape from.. It's inevitable in some ways but I will create a fairytale for next time.
For this reason I tended not to sit at the bar, just a little further out with my book. On a positive.. I definitely didn't have to wait for a drink!
I would recommend this resort for a stay in Addu if you get a good offer. It's convenient and comfortable. Visit in June/July and feel like a Saudi Prince having the whole island to yourself!
I certainly can not claim to know very well the airport Male, because in my life I have transited there only five times.
I'm not obviously comparing with the Maldivians, who live there, and then in their airport they feel pretty much at home, but with other lovers of the Maldives, who, like me, arrive and depart from 'Male' International Airport - Ibrahim Nasir to reach one of the beloved islands.
There are many fans of the Maldives who went traveling in that paradise even more than 20 times (so they write in the forums), and there is no doubt that those people know that airport as their pockets, much better than me.
However, certainly one thing that unites us is the feeling we have from the plane, when through the window we see that track, which seems to begin from the sea on one side and end up in the sea on the other ... .there I feel really "arrived" ... where? .... at home ... on vacation ... in a dream ... in another reality, another life ...
When you arrive, anyway, you can not "see round" the airport, because all are projected outward, toward the belt conveyors for the unloading of luggage, and then to tour operators, the fast boats or seaplanes.
When you have to leave, however, generally you have much time available, especially when you have the plane travelling in the late evening, and then the exploration of that place can be done quietly..
In the first room, where there are all the desks to check in, there is nothing particularly attractive, except for a room far more cool and quiet compared to outside, where the heat and the coming and going more or less noisy tourists reign supreme.
This year I had to go in that room four hours before the arrival time for our check-in.
It is a good thing to have a good book to read, or a magazine, or someone to talk, if you do not want to get destroyed by boredom at the was time of departure.
I started to prepare my reviews for Maldives Traveller in that time frame !!!.
The beauty comes after checking in and getting rid of baggage, because then you can climb on the first floor and there the room is completely different about look and color.
This is the ideal place for those who love shopping, but also for those who must choose an object to take home as a souvenir, or for those who want to relax, but without getting bored.
I will not bother to mention the rich assortment of souvenirs about the Maldives, especially depicting the wide variety of colorful fishes of these seas, I will not speak about those stands with beautiful purses and handbags signed that make your eyes sparkle to every woman, or about those showcase with enchanting jewelry ... It is certain that even if you do not want or you can not spend big bucks to buy some designer object, looking costs nothing and you can spend a lot of time to enjoy your eyes with those items
And if you are too hungry or thirsty, of course there is also the possibility to sit in a quiet corner for a bit of refreshment.
On the one hand, with respect to the duty free zone, just after a small bar that also offers tasty snacks, there is a long corridor, which, after some bright stands, on its sides has some comfortable chairs for relaxing . You can sit there too, waiting for boarding time by gates on the lower level, or you can use the First Class Lounge Leeli, that is located precisely along this corridor, near the end. At Leeli lounge, as well as a rest certainly quieter, you can also find a range of snacks and drinks.
When, inevitably, the hour of departure comes, in a moment you can go down the stairs that are located at the bottom of this corridor and get to your departure gate.
Before reaching Kurumba I have read so many positive comments about the spa that I must confess I was really curious to see if it was so cute. Kurumba is high level resort, therefore I expected high level of the services too. Of course I wasn't disappointed by Veli spa. I love spa treatments, as many women do. Could I miss the opportunity of a relaxing treatment in a dreamy island and in a dreamy spa? Of course I couldn' t. Furthermore, as long as you are recorded as guest at Kurumba, you will get the thoughtful gesture of the bonus discounts at the spa. How could you resist? I would recommend to book the soonest the treatment you prefer. Once you visited the SPa you will probably want to book more than one. The place is absolutely relaxing and inviting to enter and book. It is near the Orchid Garden, one of my favourite walks on the island. I reached the spa after a walk in the garden, so quiet and relaxing. A very nice place to visit although you are not interested in the spa services. But of course I was and had already checked the wide choise of treatments I could have simply looking at the website before departure. It is possible to book directly through internet before you go but this was not my idea, I didn' t want to have any appointment in my agenda, at least not on holiday. Next time I will stay at Kurumba I think I will try a scrub treatment, there are many and they are all gorgeous. Probably the mother of pearl, so "tropical dreamy holiday".
I forgot to write that the gentle ladies working at the spa are smily, expert and nice with guests, as all the people I met during the stay at Kurumba. A positive experience I recommend.
Promoted with restriction
Our relationship with this airline has started very well, since before our departure.
The night before leaving in fact I was surprised to find in my mail an email sent to me by Emirates, which reminded me of the booking details and that I could do check in on line, saving time at the airport.
I had never received such reminders with the other airlines used so far.
Flight almost on time (we started from Venice at 16.10 with 20 minutes delay) and very quiet, made in two sections (Venice - Dubai and Dubai - Male) with the same type of plane, a 777-300ER.
The seats were those required at the time of booking, next to the window, quite comfortable for your legs. Unfortunately we were sitting on rows of three seats, and my husband and I were blocked by a third passenger who never got up, and we didn’t want to disturb him.
Good food (in the standard, in line with that received with Qatar or Turkish Airlines), but better in the first section, from Venice to Dubai; in the second part, even after choosing a dish made with chicken rather than another, a hostess came to apologize, saying that it was finished!
Very good service on board and rather welcome the unexpected offer of a great ice cream!
Screens with entertainment proposals were very rich and well working, but even in this regard I have not found anything more than other airlines so far known ... certainly nothing to do with the services that are in charter flights, there is no doubt about it, but maybe I expected a little more, given the reputation of Emirates
Huge and spectacular the Terminal 3, during the transit in Dubai. A colorful crowd of people, of all races, nationalities and ages, was moving along long hallways, spectacular and sparkly, in a succession of shops and attractions. We even crossed an indoor garden, with trees and a little swimming pool with a small waterfall, and we saw in a showcase a huge geode of amethyst that left me stunned for its size.
As I had been anticipated by friendly people, we had no trouble finding the directions to get to our departure gate for Male, despite the enormous size of the terminal.
The return trip was heavy enough for us, due to waiting time, as we had imagined.
We started from Male at about 11 pm, after waiting for more than five hours. Certainly this was not a fault of Emirates, we knew we'd arrived at the airport in the afternoon, as the seaplanes cannot fly with the darkness, but it was inevitable that fatigue began to be felt.
All right in the first stage of the journey, from Male to Dubai: we were only we two, in the three seats of our row, so we also widened ourselves and we rested a bit.
Once in Dubai, the terminal seemed to me even bigger and more spectacular than the first time. I felt like a delighted child, who was walking with the nose up, looking left and right. There were restaurants and shops to no end and even a high wall that looked like a huge waterfall. Following the signs to get to the departure gate we even got on a fast train, and moving is not lasted a few seconds, as I had thought when I had got on! The most pleasant thing was then to find in a waiting room some chairs, similar to beds, with a supporting-legs that allowed us to feel almost relaxed, with your legs raised (never seen similar chairs in other airports!) ... shame that at the beginning they were all occupied.
When we could finally fill a couple of them, the waiting time has become less heavy, but always very long (7 hours and 40 minutes!).
It was hard to sleep some with people who moved, children who were complaining (poor babies) and announcements of flights.
In the second stage of flight I was also able to get some sleep, but not my husband, who arrived home very tired.
Great the Emirates Airlane service (once again we were offered ice cream!), but the plane was really full and you could not move much.
If it weren't for the waiting time so long, I approved this airline with honor... to evaluate in future choices!!
shopping, what a passion!
I think there are few women who doesn't like to go shopping, and I speak in general, without reference to specific places or situations.
I am no exception: I ALWAYS like to go shopping, but for me it is almost a must when I'm traveling abroad ... and I must add that in this passion I have infected a little also my husband, generally reluctant, when we are at home, to spend money on unnecessary items.
I already started with this "passion" several years ago, when, from every place where I spent a vacation, I took home at least a shirt with the name of the place well printed out front.
I never did overspending, but I wanted every time to put at least a tangible "memory" into my suitcase to return home.
The first time I went to Maldives, I remember having bought several t-shirts for my grandchildren during the excursion to the fishing village, of various sizes for different ages, and it was fun to choose colors and pictures of fish with them in my mind. Then I could expand the choice, my grandchildren began to attend school, and then I could buy pencil cases, stickers, pencils with a minnow on the tip, copybooks with images of fishes, magnets, calendars ...
In the resorts there is always a wide choice of items. In Gangehi this year we found a really great assortment of objects, even sunglasses, handbags made with pearls, earrings for all tastes, long blouses and sundresses, soft toys and even clothes for young girls, sarongs and tablecloths of different sizes ….. There were even two tailors always working to adapt the clothes of not perfect size for you, or sewing what you wanted. Actually we didn’t find articles of clothing for little boys (that we searched), but you can‘t have everything.
In the fishermen’s villages then you can find even more articles and better prices, and for those who forget something, then there is always the airport duty free, colorful and well stocked ... it is impossible to resist an such eye catcher!
I would almost say that there is TOO MUCH choice, between hats, costumes, sarongs, wooden fishes of various shapes, sizes and colors, as well as for different uses, shells, necklaces and earrings, posters and postcards ... if a person does not have the clear ideas, really can't decide what to buy! ... And these objects are only "little things", affordable to all, because next to these simple articles there are other exhibitors with proposals that have absolutely exaggerated prices, at least for my budget.
You can find bottles of wine or liquor that cost thousands of euro, bags, belts, designer wallets, beautiful jewelry... and you can’t not stop to admire and be dazzled by the beauty of such articles, although I wonder every time: “How many people actually stop to buy them?”
At the airport this year I searched a book about plants present in the Maldives. I had kept in my purse for much time the title of this book, in English, expectant to find it at the airport in Male. It was "Trees and flowers of a tropical paradise," it had been suggested to me by Paola M.L., but I did not find it, what a pity!
In the end, as usual, we bought something only for our grandchildren, we have been satisfied (so to speak!) of what we have had and lived during the beautiful days spent at Gangehi.
Gangehi: the REEF
When you are preparing to choose on which Maldivian island you want to spend your holiday, usually you express your own priorities in choosing.
There is who prefers a village where the absolute tranquility of nature prevails (small island, without animation, with few bungalows, no TV ....), who prefers to find good food in the resort, who wants comfort in the rooms (maybe with a pool side), who searches an "all inclusive" in which all comforts are present, who likes the presence of children, or a doctor ... .on the contrary first I look at the reef , if there are many corals and fishes and how they are.
There are Maldivian islands that have a beautiful lagoon with stunning colors, but they are without the reef nearby, and if you want to go snorkeling along the corals, where colorful fish are never lacking, you have to rely on the resort, which often provides free transportation over the surrounding reef, once or even twice a day, but of course you have to accept their schedules and their programs.
We prefer the freedom to go into the water when and how much we want, to stay more or less time in a section rather than in another, to follow with a camera a beautiful fish or a turtle, to stand in the water waiting for a moray with its head out of a hole in the rocks ....
The reef at Gangehi surrounds the island for three quarters but it is not nice at all points in the same way.
It must be said also that in Gangehi there is always a marine biologist available to tourists, and this is certainly an added value to the stay. While we were at the resort, there was Valerie, expert and nice, from Switzerland. The biologist once a day accompanies those who want to do snorkeling, starting at 4 pm, or from the end of the strip of sand or from the lagoon, near the pier, depending on the sea currents. During the guided snorkeling the biologist shows you from where you should enter the water, she teaches you the name of some fish species, makes you noticed the corals or fish more details ( because maybe at the beginning you can escape), calls you back if you go too close to the corals with your fins ...
We usually went into the water in the morning for a long ride on our own, and in the afternoon at the beginning we always followed biologist Valerie with her guided tour, and then we continued to remain still in the water, after having greeted her and all the comrades at the end of the round. There were never many people who took advantage of this service, at most three or four persons every day.
If you want to snorkel along the pass on the side of the strip of sand, it is always better to start from the end, rarely from the bar, because according to our experience the sea currents always push from the Ocean towards the inside of the atoll.
The currents are never strong, and it's really easy, while you are swimming with fins, to be gently pushed toward the bar. When you arrive to the bar, you can go back to the beach ,if you are tired, or swim towards the coral garden, to the side of the lagoon around the pier.
The corals along the pass are not very colorful, nor very dense, they are much more beautiful from the bar going to the lagoon, however you can find equally some nice fish. It was while I was swimming out to the pass, from the strip of sand, that I met a couple of oriental sweetlip with the juvenile colors, in spots instead of stripes, very beautiful.
Along the pass I could then see, in blue, a napoleon fish, and a couple of long white tip sharks, while near the reef we easily met moray eels, pipefish Schultz, once an octopus, in addition to the usual variety of reef fish, which here, however, are less numerous than on the corals in coral garden. Along the pass you can then do special meetings, such as eagle rays or manta rays, if you are lucky.
If instead you want to swim in the coral garden, you should exit from the space between the second and third wall anti-erosion, on the side of the first Beach Bungalows towards the jetty.
It was coming out from there that one day, with the biologist, we saw a huge moray eel coming out with its head by the grid that covered a wall ... how it did to get in, in that hole so tight, it was a mystery to me!
As soon as you exit from the opening, you can see the first brain corals, which promptly the biologist shows plunging to the bottom, and you see immediately also big fish, like the titan triggerfish or very big parrotfishes. From that moment onwards, it's easy also to meet some quiet turtle (there are five, settled on that reef), surgeon fish ... and every reef fish. Swimming towards a red buoy, moored off, you cannot mistake, because about at that point the reef forms a sort of curve to the north, which closes a bit the lagoon around the pier.
In that sort of submerged peninsula there is a splendid set of corals and fish, always, all days. At one point there is usually also a lobster, rather in depth, that the biologist has also tried to photograph for me. Turning around the tip of this submerged peninsula, you swim back to the south and west, and from there onwards the discoveries and special meetings follow each other without interruption.
If you want, you can swim above the reef also coming out from all the other openings that are between the walls anti-erosion, but in that case the path ahead towards blue and the edge of the reef is long enough, because there the reef is very broad and it is easier to do this if the tide is high.
You can very well to swim above the reef even at low tide, but in that case you must sometimes bypass the emerged corals, so as not to damage them.
The discovery of the most strange and wonderful corals, similar to very dense succulent plants or like labyrinths, and view the most beautiful fish is assured ... just look at the photos!
Gangehi - Veli Restaurant
The " Veli Restaurant " is the resort's main restaurant, where everyone goes to eat, with buffet service for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This restaurant consists of two rooms, Bodu Veli Room with 80 seats, and Kuda Veli Room with 30 seats, and it offers a Mediterranean and international cuisine.
In the resort, when you make a reservation, you can choose from all-inclusive, full board or half board, and you notice this when you go to eat.
Matthew, an italian chef (native of Biella) who works in Gangehi now from two years, told me in fact that in that period (May) at least half of the guests had chosen half-board, so the lunch room was much more quiet and empty than in the evening, when almost all the guests were present. Matthew is definitely very sociable and friendly, as well as very professionally prepared. When you went to choose between a well-stocked assortment of dishes, after asking from where you came, he explained really everything: what was in each bowl, pot or dish that you had in front, the ingredients, what kind of fish or meat it was .... and they were a lot !!!
We start from the beginning : breakfast is served from 8 am to 10:30 am.
After an oven for toasting bread, you can find sliced bread, cakes of various kinds, croissants empty, or stuffed with chocolate or jam, donuts, a basket with different kinds of jam, several large bowls with breakfast cereals, soy milk, whole milk and hot coffee, a box with twelve different kinds of tea bags, hot water, two other thermal coffee carafes, four pitchers with cold drinks (usually natural water, mango or orange juice, pineapple juice and watermelon juice), already sliced fresh fruit (pineapple, papaya, passion fruit).
Behind this table, separated, a boy is willing to make an omelet with ingredients of your choice.
On another table there are various type salty food: stuffed croissants with ham and cheese, quiche already cut into slices, grilled tomatoes, potatoes with bacon, boiled eggs, sliced ham and cheese, various vegetables.
The waiters turn near the tables and they bring you coffee, tea ... or whatever you prefer.
During breakfast there isn’t Matthew (who, among other things, said that in June he will leave Gangehi), while he is always present at lunch and at dinner, every day of the week except Friday, the day dedicated to the Maldivian cuisine.
During lunch and dinner you will find the great buffet counter with many varieties of vegetables, raw or cooked. The cooked vegetables are prepared each day differently, tasty, tempting, with unusual and appetizing combinations of ingredients . You can always find lamb, beef and chicken, grilled or with more or less spicy sauces. The meat is always tender and tasty.
Rice, cold pasta salad and small bowls with sauces of various kind are among the other containers of meat.
Then the fish is outstanding. I do not know how Matthew does (and of course the chefs who work with him) to find so many ways to prepare the fish, which is presented in single portions, wrapped in rolls, or cut into pieces, covered with chopped vegetables, or caramelized, or cut into thin strips ... with an endless imagination, not to mention the goodness of such preparations !!! The fish are different: jackfish snappers, groupers, ... all fresh, they are brought daily from fisherman's island opposite to Gangehi. Towards the end of this long buffet table, behind the dishes, there is a large hot-plate and a cook broils chicken fillets, beef or fish ... and finally, in a thermal container, you find a huge roasted fish (daily different), covered with herbs and chopped vegetables, which the chef cuts for you if you like it.
A few steps away from this corner, on a separate table, a boy is involved in the preparation of pasta.
I have never got pasta (because there were TOO MANY good foods to choose from !!!!), but my husband has never failed to enjoy the pasta. Never overcooked, it was almost always of two different types and seasoned with imagination and taste, both with fish and vegetables or with meat.
Finally, near to the north entrance of the restaurant, on a large table there are fruit, cakes and ice cream.
The fruit are always papaya, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, dwarf bananas and watermelon, rarely fruit salad.
When I was there, the watermelon was not very sweet, but the mango, papaya and pineapple were delicious in my opinion.
The ice cream was always two or three kinds, but I never ate it. There were always two types of cakes and pastries portioned, caramelized peanuts and bowls of mousse which were absolutely delicious, irresistible to the eyes and the palate.
For the sweet tooth and chocolate lovers a bowl of melted chocolate was available to garnish or add flavor to your cake, if you wished.
Even during lunch and dinner of course the waiters turn near the tables to bring you drinks and pick up the empty plates.
I was very glad about what I found in the restaurant in Gangehi (excellent from all points of view), and happy by choosing the full board.
THARI RESTAURANT, on the water of the lagoon
This is the second restaurant of the resort, located at the end of the pier on the lagoon and it is open from 6.30 pm as Lounge Bar, to sip an aperitif watching the sunset, and then as a la carte restaurant, on reservation, until late .
It proposes a different drink for each evening: the classic, the vegetarian, the "mise en bouche" and the Italian. And if guests want to book also dinner, those who make use of the full board or the all-inclusive can get a discount of 30% on dinner. Lobster or special fish are offered also on request
However, given the variety and the quality of the buffet offered by the restaurant Veli, we never had the desire to try a dinner in this restaurant.
The Kandu Bar is the main bar of the island, open all day from 8 am till late (another bar is at the Thari restaurant, which opens only from 6.30 pm for cocktails).
Kandu Bar offers, such as the reception, a free Wi-Fi connection (this year is also available from all rooms with a password that you receive from the reception, even if they apprize you that in the rooms it is slower than in the two places mentioned above ).
At the bar, in addition to the usual drinks of all kinds, alcoholic and not, hot or cold, you will also find various salads or snacks, toast or fruit salad ... and this can certainly be useful for those who want to choose a half board accommodation in the island, rather than a full board or an all-inclusive. To us it was useful on the day of departure, when we didn't have wanted to stop for a full lunch at the Restaurant Veli, which would have cost us 30 euro each.
Bar prices are not very affordable, according to me... although it is certainly subjective.
To take some examples, a glass of juice costs 3 euros, a toast with ham and cheese 8 euros, most cocktails 8 euros and a half ... to which of course you add taxes (10% plus 12%).
Inside the bar area is also a screen for viewing video (mostly on marine life) proposed by the biologist, and an area where you can take vision of the activities and excursions offered for the same day or the next days and give your accession to the excursions that interest you.
Very attractive cards, with explanations in English and sometimes in Chinese, invite you to choose between fishing (sea fishing, evening or in the morning), snorkelling trips to nearby islands (Bathala, Madoogali and Vihamaafaru), by speedy boat or by dhoni, or snorkelling with manta rays, or at night, or private, or excursions to the island of fishermen.
Even the excursions are offered with prices not exactly cheap. Some examples: 35 € plus tax for the excursion to fishing evening, 50 euros plus taxes for snorkeling with manta rays, the same for the output to see the dolphins and snorkeling in the various islands ... however I have to say that in excursions to which I have participated was always present even the marine biologist, who, during the trip by speedboat ,explained precisely what we could see and what we should do, and who accompanied us even in water.
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