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Fihalhohi Island Resort
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Reviewed January 30, 2012

Went here for 1 week returning on the 23rd Jan for our honeymoon, really nice island and its just like the pictures we saw before travelling! We saw rays, turtles and a baby shark which kept swimming along the beach everyday.
Restaurent is nice, we had a lovely couple sat at our table, the food is great and they clearly have tried to provide for everyone.
Rooms were cleaned everyday and the water bungalows are amazing :)

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank philfiha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2012

sorry for late review but been busy and xmas got in the way

Start the holiday off early and book into the airport lounge. £17.50 for unlimited alcoholic/non-alcohlic drinks and snacks/sandwiches in comfy chairs is a good deal. No hassel at all

Flights
Went with First Choice, No problems with the thomson flights, left on time and arrived a little early than expected. Food on the flights was edible. I bought cheap headphones from comet for the in flight entertainment, which were well worth the money ( approx £14 ) , I find the little ones they issue that you have to put in your ears hurt after a while.

Island
This is my 2nd trip to Fihalhohi in 1 year, and I love the laid back feel of the island. I kicked off my sandals as soon as arriving on the Island and didn't put them on until getting back on the boat to go home.
I stayed in the classic room this time and preferred them to the comfort rooms. I've read that returning guests stay in the classic rooms and i can see why. They rooms are not only bigger but on the better side of the island and theres no-one above you.
Rooms are cleaned twice a day and towels changed whenever you need them too. We would always take our beach towels with us either diving or to the beach and when we came back to the room, we had fresh ones there. The cleaner would then pick up the used ones in the evening.
The garden boys were out very early sweeping up the palm leaves before day break every mornng so you had fresh sand to walk on. Our garden boy would always go out of is way to way and say good morning. We tipped ours at the end of our holiday and he was genuinely greatful.
The Palm tree boys were amazing to watch, they manage to climb up the palm trees to get the coconuts with a bit of cloth around their feet!!!. My hubby paid them $1 for a coconut one day and they felt they didn't have one suitable so he climbed a different tree to get a nice edible one. Apparently there are ones for eating directly and ones for drinking, not only did they go out of their way but thet cut it up in segments for you too. Having a fresh coconut fresh the the tree is amazly thurst quenching and we made sure that if we were around when they were cutting them down we would go and give them money for one. I think if you asked them, they'd give you one for free, but £1 for us is nothing but a lot to them and well worth watching them climb the trees and they were genuinely greatful for the tip. ( in GB health and safety would have a fit lol)

Diving and snorkling
The dive school is wonderful, they give you a choice of dives every day. The dive boats go out every day to at least 2 different dive sites, and the boat boys are really helpful, especially with helping you on the boat.
Most of the dive school staff had changed since our last visit but the owners and suzanne made a big fuss of us when we returned ( can't believe they remembered us, considering all the people that go to the island)
We managed to see mantas on this trip, once on the way home from a trip and the boat stopped to let us jump in but the mantas went before we could all got into the water although we did see some more x2 on a drift dive the following day, just amazing.

House Reef
The house Reef is out of this world, both the north and south side of the island proved to be a dream come true. you tell the dive school which side of the island you want to dive on, and if it was in the morning/afternoon/sunset and they will put the tanks there ready for you. So you just walk up to which ever side of the island, gear up and walk in together ( all romantic) you sign out and sign back in again so they know you are safe.
One house reef dive consisted of; so many different fish you cant believe, a lovely turtle resting, 3 massive sting rays, 1 female and 2 males doing a courting dance ( out of this world) eagel rays above us, honey combed eagle eels plus other types of rays, lovey frog fish and 1 black tipped reef shark. I came up with a smile on my face as big as ever.
Snorkling aroung the island you see nearly as much as the divers but just not as close up, after our diving trips we would also go snorkling on the house reef as it was so good.
There are facilities for other water sports including wind surfing/ kayaking/jetskies/banana boats, but luckily enough the motor powered sports were very few ad far between, so the area wasn't spoilt.

Food
Buffet style breakfast/ lunch/tea, always something you fancy although menu wasn't as varied as on our previous trip and puddings a little poor although fruit was a plenty.
This occasion we were on half board basis, which we found much better for us. After diving in the morning we didn't feel the rush of washing equipment etc, eating then back to prepare kit for pm diving. If we were peckish at lunchtome we went to the bar and had lunch, menu ranges from salads/pizza's to 3 course lunches of lobster and was cooked lovely and not expensive.

evening entertainment was very low key, although after a busy day you just want a couple of drinks then back to your room to rest for the following days activities even if they consisted of sunbathing on the wonderful beach.

Shop
food items in the shop are expensive but they have travelled far to get there
buy a t-shirt to support the island, they wash really well and are hand painted and well worth the money

Tips
Take a travel iron
Take travel kettle, powdered milk, tea/coffee
Take heinze soup sachets, incase you want a snack for lunch
could take airbeds for the loungers but not necessary, I took them the first time but only hubby used his on this trip

would i go again?..........definately, tomorrow if i had the money
2 weeks on the island, seems like a months break, wish i could go yearly

Room Tip: book a classic room, best side of the island
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank nwillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

My new husband and I booked our honeymoon "last minute" to Fihalhohi, through the fab Antonetta Jones at the Travel Counsellors and she was fantastic; making sure we could get up to Manchester airport without difficulty, arranging our travel there, seeing as it wasnt our nearest airport- and more importantly making sure the resort knew it was our honeymoon!

The flight with Thomson/First choice was ok, just over ten hours to get to Male. My only complaints would be that drinks on a long haul flight should surely be complimentary as they are with other long haul airlines; and also the choice of inflight entertainment wasnt extensive- just a small niggle- you can't stop and start the films or programmes when you want, you have to try and catch them as they start! We travelled in economy but for £5 you could upgrade to watch the extra films on offer that premium economy customers have access to. We didnt bother as we had books, but trying to sleep was almost impossible!!

When we arrived Zita our rep met us and we were told where we could form an orderly queue to board the dhoni boat to Fiha. It was only a short wait and we were soon on our way across the Indian ocean and as it was our first trip to the Maldives we were very excitedly pointing out islands and guessing where was ours! On arrival at Fiha, be prepared, it really does take your breath away; despite being a bit shattered and all over the place from travelling-we were just constantly taking in the views of the beautiful beaches and clear waters :-)

We were greeted by the staff with a coconut drink and cold towel which was lovely, and then given our room key. A lovely member of staff brought our suitcases,bless him on his back in that heat (!) we were in room 120 which location-wise we couldnt fault, a deluxe room with a sea view. It was basic inside but very clean and with an amazing view- you literally opened your balcony door walked a few steps and you were at the sea edge! Inside, you had air con, table chairs, dresser, we did request a double bed but unfortunately there were just two twins pushed together. And just slightly a bit too hard for my liking, but the bathroom was fine and did the job. To be honest we were hardly in the room much, when you are somewhere so beautiful you wouldnt want to spend all the time in your room! As we were honeymooners we were given a lovely fruit basket and bottle of wine which was a nice gesture by the staff.

We tipped the two men who brought our suitcases there and then, but as we didnt have the room cleaned every day we left a tip at the end of the week for the room boys.

We then had a phonecall inviting us to lunch, we had gone for the half board option so we would have missed breakfast and we were a bit all over the place time-wise so it was good to have some food! Handy tip- Male is five hours ahead of the UK but Fiha is one hour ahead of Male time, so we were actually 6 hours ahead of the UK. A bit strange to get used to, when we had the lunch and trying one of the curry dishes, it was only 7.30am back home!

The weather was amazing thirty degrees plus and sunny, which I was very relieved about as all the weather reports had said rain. We only had one overcast day out of seven and even then it was very hot, but with a nice breeze.

With your room you are allocated two sunloungers to take where you like, we left ours just in front of our room near the little "cove" to sunbathe and just dipped into the sea when it became too hot. Tip- the loungers can get quite uncomfy so best to take a cushion or lilo!

The sea- wow where to start, just the right temperature to cool off in, crystal clear waters and the sea life is amazing- we completely got the snorkelling bug! We saw loads of all different kinds of fish, although I was very gutted I didnt see a turtle :-( The mantas came out to play when we were walking along the "harbour" where the dhoni's drop off and we managed to get some fab video's of them splashing around and chasing each other. There isnt a swimming pool here but you are surrounded by the most amazing Indian ocean do you really need one?!

The food was great, a buffet style restuarant with different themes every night, plus chef's cooking live for you. They try to cater to and please everyone so there should be something someone likes! My problem was eyes bigger than my stomach, and finding out the second time Id gone up for food I really had no room to eat it! I had emailed ahead and requested a table on our own, we were lucky and they did oblige us, despite having a reply to say they were very full and probably couldnt. But I am aware it was probably because we were on honeymoon that they did, as everyone else appeared to be sharing their tables, more common when you are travelling as a couple. We had a lovely waiter Abdullah, he was fantastic and couldnt do enough for us.

Drinks prices weren't too bad, Im in two minds as to whether this resort would be better with an all inclusive option as you really wouldnt need to take any cash with you! We paid our bill every other day just to stay on top of it, my husband treated me to a traditional indian head massage at the Sanctuary Spa and it was lovely, so relaxing.

There is a small gift shop and you can go on excursions such as swimming with the mantas, visiting Male the capital, snorkelling, nightfishing etc, but as we only had seven days we were determined to do absolutely nothing apart from chilling and swimming!

The evening entertainment for the nights we managed to stay awake was hilarious- we played bingo one night and lost by only one number! They have some very generous prizes first prize included a free candlelit dinner on the beach. The entertainment is held in the Fisherman's Bar, they held a film night which we were a bit too tired for, and then the last few nights we went along for live music and karaoke.

We also did two nights in the surf cafe bar with some cocktails, watching the sunset and enjoying the peace.

The wildlife is amazing, fruitbats, geckos, crabs, herons, amongst a load of other creatures are abundant, I just felt sorry for the two parrots that are meant to be attractions near the watersports area, they are out in the open, but tethered to their ledges and didnt ever seem to move which being an animal lover concerned me. But we did meet another parrot at the fisherman's bar who belonged to the owner and had quite a bit of freedom to fly about, (and go for your ice cream!) so maybe they were released at the end of the day.

We took a mozzie plug which Im not quite sure worked properly as I did wake up with a few bites. We took a travel kettle along too, very handy when you fancy a cup of tea because you've overslept and missed breakfast.. oops!

Favourite bits: the relaxation factor, beach, perfect temperatures, most amazing sunsets, sea, quietness, (just couldnt get over how peaceful it was) friendly staff and snorkelling. No one is pushy trying to sell you anything, all information about trips etc is in reception and you can find out if you are interested.

Least favourite: Food times! I love my sleep- please Fiha move the breakfast time to go on till 10.30 at least!!

When we left the staff came out to wave us off and I honestly could have cried, another seven days there would have been just heaven.

All in all, an absolutely amazing holiday and honeymoon, for a three star it is excellent value for money and it has spoilt me for beach holidays forever... if it wasnt for the fact we have an expensive house renovation project to do this year we would be booking up to go straight back!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Shoegal17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

There and back
No gripes at all with the flights. Thomson is a charter airline we have never flown with before and so expectations were low. Service, efficiency comfort and cleanliness equated to standards set by the big schedule carriers and so travelling was part of the holiday and not an endurance test. Well done Thomson Airways

As first timers to the Maldives (and Filalhohi) nothing quite prepared us for the stunning physical beauty of this little island a mere 450m x 250m in size. We have seen photos but two dimensional images do little justice to the wow factor of taking in what your eyes are actually seeing on arrival

After a brief introduction to the resort we were along with the 10 or so other Brits ushered to lunch by the welcoming party. We understood that restaurant table sharing is the norm here and had made up our minds to ask for a table on our own. Not that we are unsociable, but nothing is worse than sharing a table with strangers for two weeks with whom you don’t click. As it turned out we struck up a relationship with a couple (Paula and Matt) on the way out and we happily shared a table with them. By the time it came to leave we had become friends and so an unexpected holiday bonus.

Population during our stay were 70% German 20% French/Italian and 10% British. No issues at all – all were friendly and respectful

There are differing views on which side of the island to live. The north side has a beautiful sweeping beach with both classic bungalows and comfort rooms set back behind the dense coconut palms that line the shore. The south side has mainly two storey comfort rooms with ‘individual’ areas of beach separated by dense trees and vegetation which gradually gives way to a wide area of beach and the Blue Lagoon bar

We were for the first week on the south side, and whilst we had almost exclusive use of ‘our own’ beach I would not recommend living on the south side of the island. We had been led to believe the island is regularly anti mosquito sprayed. It isn’t, and both of us (but Gill my wife more so) were eaten alive my mosquitos and sand flies. I can only assume that the very dense and overgrown vegetation (that really needs some TLC) contributed to the problem that was not confined to us alone – everyone we spoke to was suffering. Our comfort room on the 1st floor (No 117) was below expectations. A clean but sparsely furnished room with tatty plastic balcony chairs and a dirty table, was made worse because vegetation had become so overgrown it blocked out most of the overhead light. Net result was that the room was in permanent twilight even at the height of the day. Matt and Paula moved from the south to the north into a downgraded classic bungalow which was quieter, lighter and furnished no differently than comfort accommodation. But for lack of availability we would have done the same

The resort is rated three star. By most standards it would imply that safe drinking water and tea and coffee making facilities in the room would be pre-requisites to the classification of the resort. Not so. A major gripe from us and most holiday makers we spoke to is that bottled drinking water (1.5 litres each per day minimum) cost in total between $6-$9 US a day. Worst case then add an extra $100 or so to your base budget.

The last major negative again relates to cost. We are moderate social drinkers and having struck up with Matt and Paula as well as other fellow Brits, the cost took the edge off letting ones hair down occasionally. Water plus a couple of small beers each at lunchtime, the odd cocktail or glass of wine in the afternoon followed by a bottle or two of wine in the evening is hardly binge drinking when one considers it is a holiday. Budget around £60-£75 per day GBP for socialising. Ouch! What contributes to these excessive prices is 16% of surcharges on top of the base cost of every purchase. (10% service charge and 6% government tax). Tipping is also encouraged but not many including us did so. No wonder why!!

Food hygiene and cleanliness could not be faulted and there was always a large variety of dishes, most served buffet style but always with specialties available cooked while you wait. Gill enjoyed the freshly cooked omelettes for breakfast, whilst the scrambled eggs were the best I have tasted. We made the mistake however of going full board. Exacerbated by the heat no doubt, three meals a day were too much, so we either skipped lunch entirely or snacked at the Blue Lagoon bar.

We spent our second week in a water bungalow and from that point the whole dynamic of our holiday changed. Absolutely fantastic and I could write a review on that experience alone. It was a world apart from ‘the twilight zone’ and I would recommend if your budget runs to it – do it. We didn’t book this in advance, and loaded the credit card with a $90 per night surcharge – but it was money very well spent

Conclusion
In spite of the negatives in this review Filalhohi is paradise on earth, there are no other words to describe this natural jewel of an island. Would we go there again? Yes – but only into a water bungalow AND if the resort became all inclusive. At £1500 the price for this Maldives resort is attractive, I would however question the three star status of the accommodation and the hefty on costs associated with drinks.

I think Thompson should be more upfront about the negatives that accompany the modest price tag. Even Zeta the rep described standard facilities as ‘basic’. We did however make the best of the worst and had a memorable time.

Room Tip: North side of the island between rooms 60-80
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank philcoates9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2012

We first came to Fihalhohi 5 years ago and absolutely loved it. This once in a lifetime trip was going to be repeated; I cried when I left! So for four years we visited other islands in the Maldives, North and South Male atoll, for the diving, but we always felt that nothing compared to Fihalhohi.

So we decided to return this January and I cried when I got there!! It was so good to be back. For two days, I was heard to be muttering "I can't believe I'm here!". I don't know whether iit was because the first experience was always the best - but we had been to 4 star islands and wanted to come back. Was it just happy memories - I don't know I always have fab holidays but rarely hanker to return wanting to try something new. I think it was simply because this traditional, small island has a certain charm that is just magical. The food is wonderful; they work a two wek menu so there is always something different. There is lots of fish, curry, salads and fruit but always some traditional foods for those not wanting spicy food. Last time we had a comfort room (with air con) this time a classic beach bungalow (with fan) and to be honest we preferred the classic room with the fan. The sand is white, the sea is blue, the weather is hot (with occasional clouds and rain that pass) There are tropical birds, bats and a resident cat! The staff are wonderful. They are such a friendly and efficient nation, friendly

But the diving!!! We are very keen divers in warm and cold water so this is just a treat. The house reef is one of the best we have come across - even snorkelling on the house reef - free swimming morays, shoals of snappers, sweetlips and more besides. The Dive Centre is German run and as would be expected, it all runs like clockwork! Credit goes to Freddie and his team, it was an absolute pleasure diving with you guys - you have the best job in the world!!

But back to Fihalhohi. Would I go back again? Planning it now!

Room Tip: The classic rooms don't have air con but to be fair are more traditional, a better design, have more storage space and have a larger bathroom as there isn't a bath. The ceiling fan is more than ample to keep you cool!
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank GKWWirral_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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