Briefly just a little background info...Reethi was our 8th island last year and the first we have wanted to return to, so departed 21st Nov for 2 weeks.
Firstly the negatives....1) Mossies...none last year in Sept. but plenty this year. Not sure whether they stopped fogging whilst closed during the summer or if it was down to the recent bad weather. 2) DJ Ahmed needs to check out some of the music at the Veyo (pool) bar. Whilst it is a good mix, there are one or two "gangster rap" style tracks with crude and offensive language which is not suitable. 3) After spending close on £20,000 between 10 of us last year on travel, accomodation and food at Reethi (including our daughters wedding ceremony-see review dated 4th Oct 2009) it would have been nice to have had some form of "welcome back" greeting from management. We were provided with a very nice returning guest meal but just a word on arrival or at the managers cocktail party (where management didn't mingle with the guests) would have been appreciated.
We booked a standard Reethi villa and were given 156-more or less half way down the west (sunset facing) side of the island. A good clear view of the beach and we were pleased with that although the weather has devastated the beach along this side.
We chose this time to be B&B rather than AI as we wanted to experience the other restaurants rather than the main buffet and eat a la carte.This turned out to be a good decision FOR US as we saved about £300 compared to AI and we got to eat "proper" meals every night. Nothing whatsoever wrong with the buffet but that's how we wanted to do it this time round.
The Reethi Grill offers a menu consisting of tandoori/Indian food, Italian pizzas from the new outdoor clay pizza oven (makes fantastic pizzas!) and a grill menu (meats, prawns, chicken etc). This was our favourite restaurant. There are 2 tables just a step down from the main decked open air dining area which are on sand, covered and have a fan to keep cool, and dim lights.Try the Boti kebab...probably the best lamb dish I've ever had in a restaurant. The Moodhu restaurant, open 24 hours, is over the water and does a fairly comprehensive menu from simple sandwiches and burgers through pizzas, whole fish, steaks, lobster pasta etc, different dishes to the Grill. Finally the Saima Garden is on sand amongst the bushes at the entrance walkway to the Moodhu and serves an upmarket set menu in 5 choices...Maldivian, Vegetarian, Seafood, Meat and Lobster. This is also where the returning guests meals are served and is a quiet and intimate experience.
All the food for the whole 2 weeks was exceptional and we were glad we went down this route. As far as drinks were concerned, we had a couple of beers each at lunchtime, a couple of glasses of rose by the pool most afternoons, pre-dinner drinks, a bottle of wine with dinner and a couple of nightcaps most nights. We couldn't imagine having drunk any more if we had been on AI.
The staff in all the restaurants and all the bar and waiting staff were exceptional and that is why I am not going to name any one individual...they were all professional, courteous and genuinely seemed pleased to see us back and to serve us...thank you all!
The island itself as mentioned above has changed somewhat due to the weather which tends to move the sand around the island. The beach on the sunset side is now very narrow and you can only sit on it at low tide. All chairs and sunbeds are now on the raised "upper" beach which is about an 18" step up. The beach at the south end is still very expansive from the main reception jetty, round the watersports centre and narrows then at the sunset bar (the old beach bar). The water villas 213-216 now have their own bit of beach outside of them (ocean side) although I understand this will shift when the monsoon changes.
During the summer Reethi was closed for a refurb although this was more of a tart-up rather than a major refurb. The spa was extended and now has an extension upstairs (beachside) with a spa at beach level looking out to sea. There are some new toilet blocks including one at the entrance to the Moodhu and another at the jungle bar by the water villas. The rooms have been altered slightly making them lighter...glass now floor to ceiling at the front and glass doors on the wardrobes. The mattresses haven't been improved though...they are firm on one side and solid on the other! We were moved to a water villa for an extra night when we could not return to the UK due to snow (!!!) and we felt the mattresses in the WV were softer. The WV are more luxurious and now have steps directly from the private balconies into the sea but I'm not sure they're worth the extra £££'s...personal opinion.
Finally onto the reef and the sea-the reef was actually a lot better than I remember it from last year and there are very clear signs of colour returning to the coral. A couple we met up with got their diving qualifications sorted out in the UK prior to arrival, did one dive and said they never realised you would see so much just by snorkelling. They didn't do any more dives. We were treated to a dolphin show almost every other day just the other side of the reef...on one occasion there must have been more than 100 dolphins performing for a mesmerised beach crowd.There does seem to be however a major problem with people walking/standing on the coral and there seems to be an increased number of people wearing big, heavy water shoes. They seem to think that the coral is just rocks as opposed to a living thing and even in the dead coral rubble, young life exists. Two photos are attached to this review which show a couple of the tiny baby fish that live amongst the coral rubble. As soon as you are knee high in the water, you should get your feet up! If you need to adjust your mask, tread water! DO NOT TOUCH THE CORALS! The islands (not only Reethi) should be doing more to get this message across.
So to summarise...an excellent holiday, an excellent island with superb dining and staff. As good as last year??? A different experience but still well worthy of my 5 stars and still our favourite island.
I will upload more photos shortly and will put a link on the forum pages.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Reethi Beach is one of the most eco-friendly, Maldivian style, 4 star deluxe island resorts situated in Baa Atoll, the Maldives. Decorated with refined care, the villas, elegant and spacious, are enhanced by typical architecture of the Maldives and provide all comfort of modern life. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Reethi Beach Hotel Baa Atoll
- Reethi Beach Maldives
- Hotel Reethi Beach
- Reethi Beach Resort Maldives/Baa Atoll