Unbelievable luxury on budget island A review of Fihalhohi Tourist Resort
We booked last minute with First Choice for a trip with Full Board at this resort.
A 10 hour flight from London, relatively comfortable (i actually slept!), then a short 20 minute wait at Maldives airport where people try to sell you drinks (they are not offended if you say no) before a 1 hour speed boat ride to the island.
Tip: Put your bags down on the boat and sit out the back with the crew. Inside is hot and stuffy and uncomfortable and outside you might spot turtles and dolphins like we did.
We were only there for a week. I think this island would be ideal for 10 days and no more.
Its a small island, takes 15 minutes to walk around completely, and is just beautiful.
Lovely clear blue waters, lovely white sand, and great house reef for snorkelling with great range of tropical fish, baby sharks - take a photo of these underwater, cause when you get photos back, the shark looks huge!, turtles, manta rays and possibly dolphins.
Our accomodation was very comfortable. We had comfort room (middle level). It came with air conditioning. We didn't always use it, but it was great to escape the humidity which was everywhere else. the budget room don't have air conditioning, (or you can rent for $10 per day) but my advice is pay a little extra to ensure your comfort - you are then in control.
The water bungalows were unavailable. We asked about upgrade, but would have cost an extra $90 per night, which wouldn't have been worth it.
Food for Full board was buffet every breakfast, lunch, dinner. All food is expertly prepared.
TIP: STAY with eating the local food - curries, fried rices, noodles etc. The european food they try to make is not the same at home, but the local food is delicious. Always, something nice grilled fresh as well, eg tuna. and lots of fresh fruit.
Only problem, almost having TOO much tuna over the days.
Try the FISH curry - its absolutely divine.
Bottle of wine costs £10 - $15 from France, Australia or Sth Africa, and all very good value. Cocktails generally were about $7, beer $3.30. Cocktails and soft drinks were never quite 'cold enough'...
Water costs $3 per bottle. Given you won't need much luggage (very few shoes - you could survive in flip flops, there is no where to wear high heals or enclosed shoes), and maybe your snorkel gear, take 10 litres of water with you. You won't feel it in your luggage, and it saves money!
WE took a few excursions (about $15 - $20 per person). 1 snorkel safari, to 3 different reefs; 1 dolphin safari where we saw 50 completely wild dolphins enjoying themselves. We were invited to swim with them, but they are wild, and they get frightened quite easily, and before you know it are on the other side of the boat. Almost better to stay on boat.
and Sunset fishin - go fishing at sunset, catch many fish - doesn't take long, and then they cook it for you. Only problem - they cook it at 11pm, so half our party didn't come meaning we had so much fish. But it was delicious and worth the wait. Have a snack from the dinner buffet while you wait.
One person we met went on night fishing. Catch fish and they cook it on the ship for you, but apparently they didn't clean fish first, so wasn't good. But our fish was properly cooked by resort chef, and was superb.
Really, this island has everything you want, quietness, good fellow customers (mainly dutch, german), your own deck chairs which you can take anywhere on island, meaning NO fighting, and great service.
But after 10 days, maybe the island might start to feel a little small. The nightly entertainment was ok, but don't expect a big party. Most people go back to their rooms at night leaving dancefloor, karaoke etc quite empty.
TIP: Don't walk along beach late at night to check out full moon and stars unless you love crabs. There are 500 million (rough estimate) who come out at night. They won't run after you, but gave my girlfriend a great scare!!
Highly recommended (and we weren't disturbed by any hol reps ever!!)
Our roomboy who does up your room every day, tried to make shapes out of sheets, but wasn't very good, and didn't always take our towels for cleaning. Our waiter was great. We gave $10 tip to our roomboy (standard) and $25 to waiter. Think about how much tip you leave for staff where you come from where you can tip for poor service, and compare it to the service here. You will want to tip more than recommended. DOn't forget these people are in a 3rd world country. I asked my waiter how often he sees his family (they are 45 minute boat ride away) and he says once a year. He works 7 days a week, and always happy!
email me if you want further info.