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Opinions Required Please

Dublin, Ireland
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Opinions Required Please

Hi,

I have been reading on here for some tome now – I find these forums invaluable for holiday advice so hopefully I will get some help with my query!

I am getting married in September 2007 and we are booking our honey moon in the Maldives for 10 nights. We hope to stay in the Filitheyo resort as we have done our homework and it seems to suit us best. However, we cannon book through an Irish travel agent until September this year, a year in advance. Do you think the resort will have booked up by then or are we OK to wait?

Secondly, we are looking to spend 4/5 nights in another location has anyone any suggestions? We have ruled out Dubai as it doesn’t seem “special” enough (perhaps we are worng?) We really love New York and would ideally like to travel there as well but perhaps with the distances it is not possible?

All opinions and advice greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks

U.K.
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1. Re: Opinions Required Please

Hi Tanya

We did a two centre holiday to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. We went to Sri Lanka first and thoroughly enjoyed the wild life, culture and hustle and bustle followed by the total chill out that is the Maldives. A great mix.

Padi.

Liverpool, United...
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2. Re: Opinions Required Please

Tanya, two contrasts, New York and the Maldives!! But NY is our fav city too!

Emirates do fly direct from Dubai to NY!!??

Have you thought of Rome, very romantic and beautiful for a Honeymoon.

Dubai is servicing just about every city in the world, so after the Maldives, the world is your oyster!!

Dorset, United...
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3. Re: Opinions Required Please

Filitheyo only has, I think, 16 water bungalows, so if you want one of those you don't want to leave it TOO late. Having said that, we were booked in one in 2001 and were bumped at 2 weeks' notice when all the water bungalows were booked by one travel group. We were furious since the alternatives we were offered didn't suit at all and we ended up having to cancel.

Cotswolds, United...
Destination Expert
for Maldives, North Male Atoll, Southern Ari Atoll, Lhaviyani Atoll
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4. Re: Opinions Required Please

Sep 07 may be a little too early for booking now but keep trying every few months. I do have a contact via an independent english travel advisor if you would like to leave your email address and I can give you the email and tel no and you can try (not allowed to advertise here).

Another location? Gotta be Dubai! You said it! you are wrong! Plenty to do, the 4X4 drive in the desert is a absolute classic and nightlife is great, the Hard Rock Cafe was good when I last went. Take a ride on the creek (have a meal). Go shopping in the Malls, visit the gold souk. Visit the Wild Water Wadi. Beaches are great esp Jumeriah Beach where most of the hotels are located. The hotels interiors are to die for. I adore NY so I know you would love Dubai.

Not really feasible to do Maldives and NY due to the distances. Other possibilities are Oman? UAE? Sri Lanka?

... activegirl

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: Opinions Required Please

Hi guys,

Thanks so much for all your responses so far. I know the honeymoon is ages away but I just want to make sure that everything goes to plan. Perhaps I will hold off on booking and if it’s still not available in the summer I will try and contact some other travel agent etc (thanks for the offer of the contact activegirl)

Ok so NY is defo out of the question – I suspected as much! So now we are trying to decide between Sri Lanka and Dubai – any advice? Both sound fabulous and totally different from each other- maybe we could visit both or would that be a lot of travelling?

Also, while in Filitheyo we hope to do a diving course, I believe Filitheyo offer this facility? Has anyone done a diving course in the Maldives before and can offer some advice? Neither of us have any experience in this area? How long does it take to complete the course and what are the costs involved?

Thanks so much everyone!

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6. Re: Opinions Required Please

Hi Tanya,

I imagine that you have enough time to book Filitheyo for Sept. 2007 as Sept. isn't peak season so may not be booked out as far in advance as Jan/Feb.

I think Filitheyo is a great choice as the island is lovely with nice accommodation and great food. The head chef is Irish or at least that was the case when we stayed there.

I know how much time it takes planning a wedding but if you have some spare time maybe you should ring the main travel companies here in the UK for quotes. Not sure if they can book so far ahead but if not you could still ring in a couple of months. When I lived in Ireland (I'm Irish) I found that when booking the Maldives the Irish travel agent just rang Hayes & Jarvis or Kunoi etc and converted the quote into punts (euro now). This was in the 1990's so not sure if that is still the case.

When my brother was arrangeing his honeymoon to Mauritius I rang around the various tour companies here and tried to see if one would give a better deal than the other. At the end there was a massive saving in price between the quote here and what he was quoted in Dublin so if you have the time consider doing this. I do it for all our holidays and am amazed at the difference between quotes. Also take a look at the tour companies websites online as they give discounts for online booking.

Perhaps also email Filitheyo directly to get a quote for the difference between a Deluxe room and a Water Bungalow as it may be cheaper to upgrade directly with the resort. Email is fili@aaa.com.mv

Live webcam for Filitheyo on www.wernerlau.com

While we were there we were offered an upgrade to a Water bungalow very cheaply but as it's your honeymoon it would be too much of a gamble to wait until you arrived on the island to look for an upgrade.

I think Dubai would be a good second destination (haven't been there but have been to Bahrain and enjoyed it) as the reports about it seem very positive and you can go wild in the gold and diamond souk :-) plus you would avoid having to take malaria medication which you would need for Sri Lanka.

Have a fantastic honeymoon.

Regards

Siobhan

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7. Re: Opinions Required Please

It depends on your budget. If you can afford it then go for Dubai. You said it wasn't special enough but it is one of the most Sepecial places I have been. If you can stay somewhere like the Jumeirah or one of the other top resorts you will never experience service like it.

Dos cerveza, por...
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8. Re: Opinions Required Please

Tanya -

My advice would be to go to Dubai first, stay in Jumeirah area as previously advised, go mad on shopping, etc, then head to the Maldives for the chill out part of your trip. You could do Sri Lanka also as the distances aren't that great but it depends on your budget. Personally, I would leave Sri Lanka & spend the money on yourselves in Dubai....:o)

Diving - all resorts in the Maldives have a diving centre. PADI Open Water usually takes around 5 days to complete, but that's going at it every day. Best advice is to start your course in Ireland (look in Yellow Pages for instructor schools). Do all your pool & theory & get what's called a referral. This will leave you with only your acual open water dives to complete when you get to the Maldives. Less time in paradise "wasted" if you see what I mean....

Cost of the course is £200 - £300 but obviously it will be split if you take above advice.

Rex

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9. Re: Opinions Required Please

Hi Tanya. We stayed in Dubai for three nights before going to Maldives and I would recommend doing Dubai first. For a honeymoon I would suggest the Dar Al Masay. It is a part of the Madinat Jumeirah Complex. This consists of three hotels all linked by waterways on which you can get around via Abra (Water Taxi), obvioisly free of charge just in case you were wondering. The other two hotels are Mina A Salam and Al Qasr. We booked Mina A Salam but were upgraded on arrival to Dar Al Masayf that comes complete with butler. The Villa rooms at DAM are massive and I'll not mention the bathroom! I'll let that surprise you! The staff there spoil you rotten and breakfast in Al Qasr or privately on your own terrace is excellent. If you want to know more about it...please ask

Dublin, Ireland
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10. Re: Opinions Required Please

Thanks so much for all the advice guys – I am getting so excited about the honeymoon now – shame it’s 18 months away!

I did some more reading and research about Dubai last night and I admit that I was totally wrong about it – some of the hotels mentioned in the last post sound fabulous, I would love to hear more about them! Also the cost of staying in them approx for 4 nights?

For the PADI diving in Filitheyo – I doubt that we will get the opportunity to complete a diving course before we go to Filitheyo, where does that leave us? If we are in Filitheyo for 10 nights will that give us enough time to complete the course without having every waking hour being spent in dive school?

Finally (last question!). Has anyone stayed in Fili All Inclusive – what is and is not included? I know that drinks are only available from certain bars at certain times – is this inconvenient?

Thanks a million again guys.