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Lily Beach Resort

posts: 64
Lily Beach Resort

Hi!

We are off towards the the end of July!

I have recently read that swimming inside the house reef isn't really safe for weaker swimmers because ther is a nasty current round the island.

Does anyone know if this is true?

Is there anything else we should know at this time?

Finally - excluding trips, what should I budget in CASH.

Should it be dollars or sterling?

Thanking in advance

regards

Greensquares

East Sussex
posts: 9
11. Re: Lily Beach Resort

No, you certainly don't need a wetsuit. You may want to snorkel with a teeshirt though to save your back from the sun. The cost of the whale shark trip was $40 for a half day excursion of about 4 hours. This was by speedboat and I think we went as far as White Sands in our quest to find one (the guide and staff are on the look out for the 'shadow' the whale shark casts in the water and are expert in knowing the likely spots to find them). On the way back we were treated to a picnic on the speedboat. Do bear in mind though that whale sharks may not always be around but you might be lucky to be swimming with giant manta rays instead!

As for food in the Lily Beach restaurant we felt it was of excellent quality and good variety. All meals are buffet style but none were in the open air, not during our week's stay anyway. There is a theme each day such as Oriental, International, Italian, Maldavian. If you like curries and chinese food your in for a treat as there's always a variety to choose. There's a cold buffet too and some salad/fruit selections.

However, don't expect too much in terms of fresh fruit remembering that virtually all foodstuffs have to be imported due to lack of land mass. Two notable exceptions to this are coconuts and bananas - the latter at least are grown on the island and you'll find they are delicious.

I also have to mention the restaurant staff including the cooks and waiters. They are really friendly and you'll get to know them. I went home with the recipe for banana bread having commented how tasty it was.

posts: 64
12. Re: Lily Beach Resort

Hi sussexblue:

bananas just happe to be my favourite fruit, closely followed by pineapples and tomatoes. We also both love curries and oriental food so it sounds like we shall have a great time - although i don't tend to get hungry when I'm hot.

what do they do about drinks? do they tend to be less alcoholic during the day and is there plenty of water available. if you are on the beach do you have to take your own or do the waiters move around the island or do they have stands dotted round the island like they did when we were in antigua Antigua where cold water was easily available?

thaks for all the info. wehope you don't mind us firing questions off at you like this - I am very grateful for your time and trouble in replying.

thanks

greensquares

London, England
posts: 371
reviews: 1
13. Re: Lily Beach Resort

Greensquares,

You'll be in luck as fresh pineapple is available at least at 2 or the three meals - usually breakfast and lunch plus mango and at least 2 types of melon.

When i did the whale shark trip at Christmas it was $65 per person and was advertised at the same price when we were there in may so budget for that amount. The charge is added to your room bill which you just pay by credit card at the end of your stay.

As for drinks - whatever time of day you went they were stong - they pour the measures with a jigger and if you ask for a small one you'll get just a double UK measure otherwise the standard measure is at least a treble.

There are no stands around the island but water can be taken by the bottle from either of the bars and put in your in room fridge. As your longers are only 50 feet from your room you just have to pop back there to get cold water - the waiters do not come round the island asking if you want a drink.

In May I swam on the reef drop off point with 3 white tipped reef sharks which where approx 4 feet in length, which was both scary and exhilarating - especially as I was by myself! They hung around and came with about 5 feet of me for at least 30 minutes. Do take a t shirt for snorkelling - I lost count of the amount of people who said they burnt there backs whilst snorkelling.

Tracy

posts: 64
14. Re: Lily Beach Resort

Hi

thanks for the info.

I know what you mean about getting burnt: when we were in the Dominican Republic I got very badly burned on my back and on the back of my legs through snorkelling.

Believe me greater care has no friend than she stays up all night with you bringing more ice to top up the ice bath and tea otherwise I would have been hospitalised. By the time I recovered I was going into the sea fully dressed (notice it didn't stop me!) but I have no intention of getting that bad again it was an unutterably stupid thing to do. . . but I didn't feel hot in fact I felt quite cold while I was actually snorkelling. sneaky thing sunburn!

Is it easy to swim off the reef drop off point or is there a current there?

You said you went off in May - we go on the 21st of July and are getting really excited.

Just another question about tipping - what do you tip the dhoni crew or the boat crew when you go out and how do you set about tipping the bar staff.

Look forward to any replies. I really enjoy reading about it all. That's why I keep asking questions!

best wishes, greensquares

East Sussex
posts: 9
15. Re: Lily Beach Resort

Yes, I was one of those people who got sunburnt snorkelling too. Same story as you Greensquares, in that I resorted to shirt and trousers when I went into the water. As I've said before, all from not reading the sun protection lotion bottle carefully!

The current outside the house reef didn't present us with problems though some might be put off by the steepness of the drop which I believe goes down to 30 metres.

I stand corrected by Hersetta as upon checking my receipt for the whale shark trip it was indeed $65.

As for drinks, if you are at the northern tip of Lily Beach (the end without the sea wall but, in our view, the quieter/more picturesque end) you will have to walk a minute or two to the bar beside the restaurant. You'll find sun loungers allocated to you on the beach near your room, though I believe you can ask the staff to move them to another stretch if you want. After all the research we did we requested rooms at the northern tip and would not want to have changed our position as all was to our exact tastes.

Don't get worried about the tipping aspect - just follow your instincts. Personally I was impressed by the fact that the staff were not at all pushy to obtain them. I gave the dhoni crew/excursion leader $5 to share on each trip. I think we gave the bar staff at the pool $10 on the evening before we left. My teenage son gave his newEngland football shirt to our waiter for his own teenage son - something which was very spontaneous and touching for the waiter (who left the island for a visit home the morning before we left).

London, England
posts: 371
reviews: 1
16. Re: Lily Beach Resort

The bar staff also pool tips so it dosen't reallly matter who you give it to - I gave them $20 after a week then another $20 before we went home - but they did look after us very well. I gave our room boy the same I seem to remember.

The reef drop off is reasy to get to - on the side of the island opposite the jetty they are inlets you can swim down (if the tide is so low you can't swim over the coral) just look for the poles in the water as they signify where you can swim through the channel to get to the drop off easily. On the other side the drop off point is right by the jetty so you can always jump in from there. I used to go to the turtle nursery and bascially float with the current down the drop off point to the main bar area - used to take about 30 minutes.

i didn't think the current was too strong but i am a strong swimmer - just make sure you don't snorkel against it and you'll find it much easier.

posts: 64
17. Re: Lily Beach Resort

Hi!

Do you think that there is anything that we could take along that they might like as gifts as well as giving tips?

It just makes things more personal - I loved to hear that your son gave away his football shirt - that was a very sensitive thing to do.

best wishes

greensquares

London, England
posts: 371
reviews: 1
18. Re: Lily Beach Resort

They do love football shirts. The room boys and waiters play football every afternoon at 5pm and always wear their shirts so you see a mass of England, Chelsea, Arsenal, man U, Barca and Real Madrid shirts - they certainly don't wear shirts from the less well known teams. My Husband was going to take a Cambridge shirt for our room boy but in the end decided not to. We're glad now as our poor room boy would probably have been embarrassed wearing it !!

posts: 64
19. Re: Lily Beach Resort

Hi!

Another thought what did you do about laundering and drying swimsuits and so on.

Did they have a clothes line in the bathroom that we could use?

Or do we take some string and pegs?

best wishes

greensquares

posts: 64
20. Re: Lily Beach Resort

ps-

what do Cambridge play?

I thought they went in for rugby and rowing!

regards

greensquares