The flip flops and the turtles
We often get caught up in busy lives and there can be few better places in the world so conducive to just chilling out than The Maldives. Adaaran Select Meedhupparu is a 45 minute seaplane ride (such a pleasure after the “big plane” ride) from Male and has 215 beach villas plus 10 water bungalows. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to walk around the perimeter of the island.
The villas are semi-detached, so when it is quiet you can occasionally hear your neighbours. This wasn’t an issue for us in our villa, which was on the South side of the Island No. 191 and perfectly positioned to watch the most amazing sunsets.
The villas consist of a large wooden floored King sized bedroom, with a bathroom at the back and patio doors at the front, leading to a raised decking porch with two chairs and a table. Two plastic loungers and beach towels are available for each villa. The bedroom is well equipped with aircon, tea & coffee making facilities (no decaf or proper milk), safe, TV, chairs, minibar (chargeable even if on All Inclusive) and desk. The housekeeper keeps the rooms in tip top condition and provides 2 X 1.5 litres of drinking water per day. The bathroom has an indoor shower, 2 sinks and toilet, with an opening on the far wall leading to the outdoor shower, which is simply a stream of water i.e. No shower head (so refreshing though). Shampoo and soap are provided. Overall the villa was in good condition but the were some small signs of wear and tear that need to be addressed. 191 was 5 to 10 mins walk to reception, main restaurant and bar on the paths through the centre of the island.
Inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the main restaurant and is buffet style. You are allocated to a table and lead waiter on your first visit, I would suggest requesting a table under a fan because sometimes there is little breeze on the island and it can get quite hot. There is a good selection of dishes at each sitting, although breakfast can become a little repetitive if you don’t want to try the curries or other dishes available. Most nights seems to be themed in some way, Italian, Asian etc. And the food is always of high quality and very tasty. Meat dishes could be a little more tender, particularly the roast joints but overall the food is very good. Local ideas about what is a spicy dish or not may differ greatly from your ideas and there is not clear marking of potentially hot dishes. My suggestion would be to take a small sample of the dish(es) you fancy before filling your plate with something that turns out to be quite spicy. My increased waistline is a testament to how good the food was, although I think the 4 choices of ice cream at lunch and dinner was my undoing. Other dining options are available, cafe mass, seafood festival, romantic dinner on the beach etc. all chargeable.
Leave the expensive clothes and the heels at home, casual is the order of the day here. Apart from a no swimwear rule, you can wear what you like anywhere in the resort. Cover that torso, slide on your flip flops, be cool, relaxed and comfortable. Some did get more dressed up for the speciality dinners e.g at the water bungalow restaurant.
Aside from laying on the beach or round the pool, there is a gym, tennis, badminton and volleyball court plus other activities. Do check out the water sports office (beside the North Pier) where they have a number of excursions that aren’t always well publicised. We went on two and swam with Turtles (see video link below), saw another amazing reef teeming with fish and discovered a pod of Dolphins (although we were looking for Manta Rays). The turtles are amazing, so graceful in the water languidly pecking at the coral. In fact I’ve never encountered another being so oblivious to me being right beside them, apart from Linda (only joking darling). These excursions are chargeable, as is snorkel equipment hire and the excursions that can be booked in main reception. The house reef has plenty of fish to see and do peek under the North Pier to see all the fish hiding there. The best snorkelling is on the North side of the island and they feed the fish off the North Pier at 21:30 every day, a must watch event. The head chef gives an informative and interesting Cookery demonstration once per week and there is nightly entertainment in the main bar (a couple of singers most nights we were there). The beach bar has music, pool table and dart board.
Drinks and bars
There are a number of bars to suit varying tastes but all have complimentary WiFi access (2 devices per villa only). Premium brands are not included in the all inclusive package. Table tennis is available in the main bar, where there is also a small library.
I would definitely rate this as a good 4 star and we had a really great holiday here. We found the staff here very helpful, friendly and accommodating. They are welcoming and polite requested are always granted where possible.
Our previous experience of The Maldives was at a 5 star resort which was at the top of its game. The difference in price, however, is enough to fund another small holiday. On balance, given the choice, we’d probably come here again and save enough for another small holiday rather than splash out on a 5 star. Really good relaxing resort.
Swimming with turtles
Adaaran Select Meedhupparu