Maldives

Summer Island Village, 1999

2012 Update

Since I originally wrote this report, the dive school has changed management. I went back again in 2012, and had a much more enjoyable experience. The newer report is here.

Our flight was with Monarch. The plane was an Airbus 300 and it was pretty cramped with not a great deal of legroom. Still at least we didn't have to pay for our headphones and you did get a complimentary, if very small, bottle of wine with your meal.

Meedhupparu, Raa Atoll, December 2001

I booked the holiday back in April. I was somewhat amazed to not be able to get my first choice island, and settled on Meedhupparu instead. We arrived at Gatwick airport about two and a half hours before takeoff and there was absolutely no queue at all. Clearly the events of September 11th had mad a lot of people cancel their holidays. So we were quite surprised to find that the plane was quite full, though there were still some spare seats. The reason was that they had combined the Manchester and London flights. The next surprise was that we weren't stopping in Bahrain, as had been

Kuredu, Lhaviyani Atoll, February 1998

Following our experiences with the boat trip last year, we decided to pay the extra £120 for the sea plane transfer. It was money well spent. The flight takes about 45 minutes and gives you a good view of the atolls from the air. We arrived at Kuredu at about 5pm. The boat didn't get in until about 11.30pm. All of the luggage is sent on the boat to reduce the weight for the seaplane, so it was essential to have some suitable clothes for the evening. Some people had to walk around in jumpers

Kuredu 1997

This was our third trip to the Maldives in as many years so, on arrival at Male, we knew exactly what to expect and had changed into T-shirts and shorts on the plane. As we watched the other passengers wilt in the heat of the barely air-conditioned airport, we knew that we'd made the right decision.

The formalities always take a bit of time because of the customs checks. After we'd cleared the airport we transfered to the boat that was to take us to Kuredu.

Fesdu, Ari Atoll, Maldives, February 1996

Palm tree picture

The flight to Male, the capital of the Maldives, is quite a long one. It took something like 9 hours to Abu Dhabi, 1 hour to walk round duty free, followed by a further 4 hours. Still at least, they'd almost finished the new airport building, so it was a lot better than last year. They might even switch the air conditioning on next year too.  

Velidhu, North Ari Atoll, December 2002/January 2003

Ever since our trip to Fesdu, the Travel Collection have been sending me information on holidays. One dropped through the letter box in June with details of a Christmas break on Velidhu in North Ari Atoll. It wasn't cheap, at £2199 per person for 14 nights all-inclusive, but the idea of spending Xmas and New Year in the warm really appealed. So we booked it.

Ranveli, South Ari Atoll, March 2004

I was searching on the Lunnpoly website for holidays in the Maldives when I came across an island I'd never heard of called Ranveli. There was a substantial discount for the last 2 weeks in March, with £400 off, bringing the price down to £1020 per person for 2 weeks all inclusive. My first reaction was to wonder what was wrong with it. It seemed too good to be true, but I decided to go ahead and book it.

Kuramathi, June 2005

The original plan had been to fly out with Qatar Airways, but they refused to change a name on one of the tickets and charged me £50 for the privilege of cancelling, which is probably the only thing they'll ever make out of me. So we ended up going out on Sri Lankan instead. The check-in staff didn't bat an eyelid at baggage 8 kgs over the 20 kgs limit and it left at 21.45 on a Friday, so plenty of time to do a day's work before setting off for the airport.

The Maldives

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Summer Island Village, January 2012

I was doing a 2 week tour of southern India and wanted to finish off with a week in the Maldives. I looked on www.travelrepublic.co.uk and one island was much cheaper than most of the alternatives. Summer Island Village was £800 for one week all-inclusive. I'd been there before back in 1999, and written this report. The price didn't include boat transfers from the airport to the island. They certainly clawed back some money on them. They charged £135.

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