Back again A review of Fihalhohi Tourist Resort

We stayed at Fihalhohi from 08/03 - 22/03. This was our second visit to Fihalhohi. We booked and flew with First Choice. This was a much improved service from our flight in September 2005 with Monarch. Wider seats, bigger seat pitch, seat-back TV, infact exactly what they say on their website. We departed a few minutes late but made this time up enroute.

Arrived at Male airport, queued to see our rep (only 15mins or so) and were soon on our way to Fihalhohi.

The transfer by boat took about 50mins. From leaving your luggage with the boatcrew you will not have to carry your luggage again till back at the airport. The crossing was pretty smooth and no problems. When we

arrived at Fihalhohi it wasas if we hadn't been away - everything was exactly as we remembered it. We checked in with reception and got our keys, identified our luggage to be taken to our rooms and were on our


It is customary to tip $1 per case taken to room. This time we were staying in th mid-range, comfort room. Our particular room was in a block of four (2x2). We were on the 1st floor. The room has a/c, ceiling fan,

fridge, safe, bathrooms (shower over bath), balcony. The biggest difference to the Classic room which we stayed in last time was the inclusion of a/c in the price. The room was clean on arrival, towels provided

(including beach towels) and everything worked.

Fihalhohi is classed as a 'budget' resort - three stars. It certainly is not plush (except for the waterbungalows) but it has everything you

need for a comfortable holiday.

The first five days of the holiday my partner completed with OpenWater Diving course (ISS). He had 1:1 tutition as no-one else was starting the same time as him, however we met other guests who had completed the course during their holiday. I had not previously dived before this holiday and decided to try the Island's 'resort course' which is aimed at

complete beginners. You see a videa, go through shallow water skills (this is done in the lagoon as Fihalhohi does not have a swimming pool)

and then go out for a dive. There is never more than four students to one memebr of dive staff. On this occasion the ratio was 2:1. After my partner had completed his OW course we went on a further three dives together. The housereef is literally a couple of steps in the ocean from the beach, so even though i was limited to 12m depth, the experience was

fantastic. The dive staff were patient, helpful, always close by but also gave you space to learn. If it takes 10+ attempts to do a mask clearance in shallow water skills (resort course) then that is fine. We would personally highly recommend the dive centre on the island. We saw plenty of fish and other sea creatures including giant moray eels

(three live in the housereef), sharks (nurse shark from boat dive, grey & black tip reef sharks in house reef) lion fish, trigger clown fish, blue

fin trevelly, squid, octupus, stingray, eagle ray and hundreds of pretty little fish.

The food a Fihalhohi is generally good. We were on Half board basis. Every meal at the resturant is buffet basis, however the Blue Lagoon bar also does food which is an additional cost. Breakfast is OK. We tended to have cereals, toast/breads/pastries, cheese, fruit and whatever was being cooked at the grill. This changed daily, eggs, waffles, pancakes. As pork products are illegal, the sausages and 'bacon' are beef based and were something that i couldn't get a taste for. We occasionally missed breakfast (07:30 - 09:30) so had lunch at the Surf cafe. For $4

each you could have toast, pastries, muffins, tea/coffee and juice. Breakfasts went up to about $7:50. Lunch we had at the Surf cafe and

generally had toastie and chips though occasionally had the 'special'. For $3.50 you could have a toastie, chips and coleslaw salad which personally we thought was great value. Food here was very good. Other foods were burgers chips and colslaw from $5, pizza (from $4), salads (from $3). Each meal was cooked to order. Drinks are reasonable:- 1.5 lt water $3.50, mug of beer $3.50, 330ml soft drink $2, milkshake (made with

icecream) $3. Fruit cocktails from $3.50 and alcoholic cocktails around $6. Don't forget there is a 10% service charge on these.

Dinner was again buffet style and was theme. Somtimes the food did look a bit 'samey' but it was usually pretty good and hot. There was always salads, soups, breads, rices, pasta, meat, fish, grill, fruits,

deserts. We also had a candlelight dinner on the beach but unfortunately we never made it on the beach due to bad weather. Nevertheless the food was fantastic. I had the seafood platter (saltbeef & cucumber roll,

vegtable soup & bread, seafood platter which included half lobster, giant prawns, calamari, fish, salad, fries, fresh fruit, tea/coffee for $36) my partner had the fillet steak (seafood cocktail, carrot soup and

breads, fillet steak, salad, fries, tea/coffee for $24) Excellent value in our opinion.

The evening entertainment generally passed us by as we had seen it all before, so mainly sat in the Fisherman's bar chatting. The entertainment is low key.

The coral cove does snacks if you are peckish which was mainly hot savoury pastries from $0.80 to $2 like chicken sausage roll, prawn puff and tuna bun. They also have a fab range of cake which again i think are

reasonably price from $1.50 - $3. The portions are big!

In terms of 'bugs' the main creatures you will see are ants, some of which are really quite big but they are harmless and important for the island. We saw two cockroaches which were dealt with swiftly. There are

also snails. Other animal life includes, fruit bats, crows, gekkos and herons.

We did a couple of excursions. Sunset fishing, Island hopping and Guraidhoo. As always the sunset fishing was great (went 4 times last visit). The boat crew remembered us (infact all the staff did) and could not

have been friendly. We specifically wanted to return to guraidhoo to see how the post-tsunami work was going. Things are improving but very slowly. Only eight houses built since our last visit in September. We took a couple of footballs with us from home for the kids but to be honest i found the experience quite upsetting. The desperation of the show owners comes across. Most of the shops sell exactly te same things. Our group split up so most of the shops were visited at least once.

At Fihalhohi you have two sunloungers that are marked with your room number so others shouldn't use them, however on two occasions i had to hunt mine down on the beach but that's not the resorts fault. The beach

is very good and quite wide in some places and whilst the island was fully booked when we were there there was still plenty of room. There is a lot of broken / dead coral so aqua soes can be useful.

Overall we feel that Fihalhohi is great value for money. What you pay for two people (£1500)on this island wouldn't cover one person on many

other islands. We did spend quite a bit on the island around £1000 whilst we were there, but half of this was diving courses and additional dives. I also had three treatments at the Spa.

We are planning to return in September 2006. We love Fihalhohi, service is great, friendly and relaxed and has everything we want in a holiday. The new FCA are a bonus!

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Fihalhohi Tourist Resort
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