We holidayed here from Tuesday 30th December to Monday 19th January 2009 for 13 nights through Thomson.
Flight (First Choice Airline) – This was an absolute disaster. We experienced a 24 hour delay on the outbound due to technical (engine) problems and a 4 hour return delay due to sheer incompetence by First Choice maintenance/servicing due to lack of the correct equipment on board. The outbound flight itself was uneventful but the return flight was crewed by one of the worst I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. To say they were inexperienced (especially the Manager) is an understatement.
Male Airport – we disembarked and proceeded through the airport very quickly. We were then transferred by mini bus to the other side of the airport for our sea plane taxi transfer to Angaga. The sea plane transfer was excellent and well run. The flight takes 25 minutes. The baggage allowance for the sea plane is strictly 20 kilos. You will be charged for excess baggage, or worse - your case will be delivered by boat the next day.
Angaga Island is wonderful, and very well run. Reception is efficient and extremely helpful and is manned 24 hours a day. Money exchange (US Dollars) and safe opening times (safe’s are in a room by Reception) are displayed. No money exchanges hands on the island for any services; all bar bills etc are signed for and you pay at the end of the holiday. All prices are shown in US dollars (tipping is also in US Dollars). The island rate was $1.40 – at the time less than in the UK.
The island is lovely with beach and sea bungalows. There are gardens and lily ponds (with brackish water) on the path through the inside of the island. There are a few budgies on the island, and what look like large blackbirds. We also saw Heron, Terns and a small wading bird of some sort. Reception, the spa and the rooms are hard flooring. Everything else is sand including the dining room. No shoes were worn for the whole two weeks.
Bungalows facing west are spaced slightly wider apart and are on the calm water side of the island. The bungalows facing east have a wider beach and the sea was rougher, although snorkelling was better on this side as natural lagoons appear at low tide. The sun rises early on the east side; however it disappears around 4pm. Guests staying on this side come round to the west side after 4pm to watch the sunset.
There is plenty of shade on both sides of the island within the trees if you don’t want to sit in direct sunlight.
There are pro’s and cons for both sides. If you are on the east side of the island you had a constant breeze which made it cooler. You could leave bungalow doors open so you didn’t have to have the air conditioning on all night. On the west side of the island there is no breeze and you can suffer from mosquitoes. You will need a spray as the bites can be bad.
We stayed in a beach bungalow on the west side of the island overlooking the water bungalows (number 130). The bungalows are large, well furnished and comfortable. Each has a TV, air conditioning and fridge. A kettle along with tea (including Green Tea/Peach and Peppermint) and coffee/coffeemate was provided, and supplies were topped up daily. The bungalows all overlook the beach/sea and have a sandy terrace area outside. Each terrace has a swing and seating although no table/chairs are provided. Sun loungers are allocated to each bungalow with soft mats to cover the slatted base. Beach towels are changed every two days. There is a line on each terrace to hang wet swimsuits, towels etc. Pegs are provided.
The bed was hard but comfortable. A bed cover is provided in the wardrobe which we used as it could get chilly at night with the air conditioning on. The bathroom was large with an open air walk-in shower area. Basic toiletries were provided, and hairdryer and Towels were changed regularly. There is a back door to the bungalow that enters via the bathroom area. This door could not be locked so it’s wise to lock the door between the bathroom/bedroom at night and when you leave the room.
When leaving the bungalow through the main entrance you need to push the button on the inside of the door and then close it to lock it. We saw many holidaymakers standing outside their doors trying to work this out!
Rooms are serviced twice daily, in the morning and again about 7pm when the beds are turned down. The only criticism was that the bedside table lamps were not bright enough to read by and the headboard sloped which made it difficult to lean against to sit up (to read).
Staff on the island were excellent, well trained and friendly.
Food and restaurant:
We were on a full board arrangement with Thomson. There is only one restaurant on the island; all meals are buffet style. The food is warm but not piping hot.
There is plenty of choice although the selection doesn’t change much on a daily basis. It’s best to select a different main dish daily rather than sample the same favourites together for each meal. You could get bored if you did this. Dishes varied from curry’s (our favourite was the fish), Chinese dishes, Italian pastas, a selection of English dishes and a griddle (BBQ) serving fish (including Tuna), chicken and steaks (very good). Seafood was also available (Prawns and squid). There is a salad bar which also serves sushi which is excellent.
The desert area serves cakes, puddings and hot deep fried bananas, apples and doughnuts (excellent).
Considering the islands location, and that all food is delivered to the island by plane/boat it was of good quality and made with tasty ingredients.
You can get snacks throughout the day from the Beach Bar. Prices were reasonable (between $2.5/$4.5 for a sandwich). They also had hot dishes such a spaghetti bolognaise, burgers etc. The snacks were ideal for those who didn’t have lunch included in their package.
The wine list is good but fairly expensive. In some cases a bottle of UKP £6 supermarket wine was selling for $35. Wine prices varied from $17 for the cheapest up to $35. We did try the island house wine which is sold by carafe. As red wine drinkers we found it a little rough, but the Rose was drinkable. It costs $2 for a standard glass, $6 for half a carafe and $11 for a full carafe. It is possible to run up a considerable wine bill over the course of the holiday especially at today’s exchange rate!
There are two bars on the island. The Sundown Bar is at the end of the sea bungalows. We only went here once for a drink. We preferred the Beach Bar next to the restaurant.
There is no swimming pool on the island.
The seabed is covered with broken coral so you need to be careful where you walk. We took some rubber-soled slip-on water shoes which allowed us to walk about and not hurt the base of our feet on the broken coral. The depth from the beach to the end of the coral shelf is only around three feet deep. There are areas where you can walk through gaps in the coral banks so that the live coral is not damaged. You actually don’t need to swim and can stand and watch through the clear water as the fish swim around your legs. We saw sea slugs for the first time - amazing. The beach sand is superfine and pale yellow. Its like walking on talc.
There is a shop on the island. It sells the usual tourist stuff; sarongs, postcards, stamps, sunglasses, swimwear and jewellery. There were a few snorkels but it would be best to take one with you.
There is a small gym which looked to have the usual stuff in. The island has a tennis and volleyball court. Darts and table tennis are available too.
This was an excellent spa – part of a franchise – based in the centre of the island near reception. It employed the only women on the island (4 Thai ladies). They offer a range of massages and facials. We tried a Balinese massage (50mins for $70) which was very relaxing and an Asian Facial (50mins for $70) - this included a foot and hand massage. Both treatments were excellent and the Spa is well worth a visit.
The Spa had a shop (within the complex) which sold a range of good quality products.
There is a TV room and library available. The book selection is very good as books are being constantly updated as guests leave the books they took on holiday with them. The largest selection is German, but English, Italian, Japanese and French books are also available.
Whilst we were at the hotel there was a mix of nationalities but the majority of guests appeared to be German.
We had a fantastic holiday on Angaga and would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel or going back at some point in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Angaga Island Resort & Spa is located in the South Ari Atoll and is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty along with crystal clear waters and a white sandy beach. The island is approximately 45,000 square metres and is superb for snorkeling and diving with the house reef just 7-8 metres from the beach featuring live coral and beautiful marine life. This is a great island for those holidaymakers seeking peace and tranquility. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Angaga Island Hotel Angaga Island
- Hotel Angaga Island
- Angaga Island Resort & Spa Maldives