The all-inclusive Equator Village resort has to offer one of the best values for money paid in the Maldives. We paid a very reasonable sum for a five night stay here. No there was no five star beach front over the water villa accommodation, yet we would find friendly staff, a comfortable room, decent food and drink, private snorkel excursions and all at a fraction of the cost of other resorts in the Maldives.
We did significant research on “real Maldivian” spots and were rewarded with the what we sot after! Gan island is pretty much the only place in the whole Maldives where one can rent a scooter, drive about and interact with the locals and if that along with basic all inclusive accommodation and meeting some great Maldivians is your thing then you cannot go wrong staying here!
We were somewhat nervous of our booking and flights as the resort refused to confirm or book our flights from Male until a week before our arrival. Apparently they told us this is standard procedure. We had to insist on a booking for insurance and to make sure we made our connecting flights resulting in some heated email exchanges which eventually led to a booking and confirmation number……. It was not a great start and still does not sit well with us. The flights going and coming from Male a number of times a day are always full so be prepared to be flexible with your schedule if you book flights and accommodation directly with the resort! I think we would book our flights separately if we returned again to avoid this experience!
The flight up to Gan Island was part of the parcel and truly a scenic one that included crossing the equator for which we were all given certificates. Our pick up ride was waiting for us at the airport and we would subsequently check in to a large clean plainly decorated room, that unfortunately refused to cool. After two hours the temperature actually increased in the room and we complained. Maintenance showed up and declared the A/C good based on the fact they could hear the unit operating, and thereby indicated we wait for four hours. After four hours the increased temperature still had not moved from 29.0 Celsius so we tracked down the General Manager who immediately moved us to a room with a brand new A/C unit that worked bang on and cooled the room promptly below expectations.
In the barracks style room which was large, clean and comfortable we had a fridge, on demand hot water shower with soap but no Shampoo……… however a trip across the road to the local shop solved the Shampoo issue and all at a very reasonable price. The store sold a number of sundries and touristy items and would also rent Scooters to tour the island, however it pays to check with the shops further up the road as their prices can be somewhat more competitive! Although the resort offers free bicycle use, we had difficulty finding ones that were reliable and in good repair, so a pair of scooters for travel in the heat of day seemed to be the best option for touring the complete Attol!
The grounds here are beautiful and well-manicured. Gardeners can be seen maintaining the grounds daily. Say hello to them and you might find yourself with a bouquet of tropical flowers or just one or two for your ladies hair. In fact all the staff from the gardeners, the front desk staff, cooks, waiters and bar staff were supper friendly and always helpful. Speak slowly so they can understand you and spend some time getting to know them. Some of the staff are imported on a one year long contract from Sri Lanka, however many of the staff were born on the Island of Gan or a neighboring island and are raising families and living nearby.
The dining room, bar area and recreations rooms is all barracks type open air rooms that are cooled by ocean breezes. There is a military type regimented system in that on arrival you are assigned a waiter (ours was Ishmael) and a table which is yours for all three meals a day for your entire stay. You must use the same table for every meal. Singles would sit at the same table on their own every meal………
Meals are buffet style and the food is basic and bland but serves the purpose of a meal. Keep in mind you are not paying for five star gourmet meals. The resort caters to a lot of Russians who can get quite pushy to get their food. Delaying until they go through is generally the more relaxing approach. There tended to be a different Buffet food theme every night, Western, Chinese, Russian, BBQ nights etc.
Lunch & dinner always had salads, breads, chicken, fish, rice, curry & cooked vegetables, Deserts consisted of lots of gelatin type dishes with a few cakes
There is an omelet station at breakfast. Breakfast tended to be put out around 4:00 AM to feed the first flight out guests, so the food was a bit dried out by 7:30 – 8:00 AM opening time frame.
The all-inclusive package includes Chinese Beer / Cheap Rum & Brandy /whiskey and wine. There are no blenders, but ice, Juice & soft drinks are available for mixed drinks
The pool here is large and spread out with lots of chairs around the pool – like the beach, people tend to spread out and there is never a feeling of having people on top of you or finding an empty chair.
We would snorkel the house reef finding it not too bad for a house reef. The best value was booking a private boat through the resort for around $100 for the morning and taking a three stop snorkel tour getting to see rays and turtles and a good assortment of fish and coral.
Laundry was very cheap and the clothes always returned clean.
The Spa was a bit of a rip considering the only one girl working appeared somewhat inconvenienced by having more than one massage to do in an afternoon. We wished we had given it a miss as her massages reflected her attitude – weak and ineffective!
We knew before arrival that we had not booked five star luxury, but for what we paid and the experience we had this may well have been the best value for money spent on our whole two month trip.
Our thanks to the management and staff, who made our stay so pleasant and memorable. Given the opportunity we would return again and look forward to that possibility!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Equator Village spa resort- the alluring tropical beauty of Addu Atoll. Nestled in one of the largest, most interestingly formed and historically rich atolls of Maldives, an exotic adventure begins the moment you start your journey from INIA to Gan International Airport. This is not your typical Maldivian resort; this is an equatorial escape into a land of culture and nature entwined together ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Equator Village Hotel Gan
- Equator Village Seenu Atoll
- Equator Village Maldives/Gan Island