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Fihalhohi Island Resort
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Reviewed February 13, 2012

Needed a last minute getaway (we went at the end of September). Found this resort at a bargain price around 800 each half board I couldn't believe it as I thought I'd never be able to afford to go to the Maldives. The flights were fine with first choice. The amazing experience started as soon as we arrived. The colour of the sea was a beautiful blue and the weather was gorgeous. We got the speedboat transfer and it was like being in a James bond movie! It was pretty rough so if you are not good on boats you won't like this. Upon arrival we were greeted and given an introduction and a drink.

Our room was alright it wasn't the classic room it was one up from that. The bed was a bit hard but we are used to a very soft memory foam mattress. We had a nice view from our lower balcony. We had heard about a meeting to learn more about what's happening and also a possibility of an upgrade to a water bungalow. We went along to see what they had and we managed to get an upgrade to the water bungalow for the last half of our stay. It was a couple of hundred extra but not too expensive. I would recommend upgrading through the hotel to get the best price. I emailed a lot with questions before I arrived and they were very helpful. Check out the website for a map and more info.

The water bungalow was amazing. It's something I'll never forget. We went straight off the water bungalow snorkelling and it was out of this world. I saw everything! If you are a confident swimming go right to the edge of the reef and see it drop down. On the edge you will see clown fish hiding. Both our snorkels broke so we had to buy new ones from the shop which were quite expensive. I think you could rent too.

The food got repetitive after 2 weeks but it's what I was expecting as they can't get everything on this small island. We were half board and just got lunch at the snack bar it worked out cheaper. The drink prices weren't too bad for soft drinks. Didn't drink any alcohol.

We always managed to find a spot to relax that was quiet. Have a walk along the beach in the evening and see all the rays it's amazing! You will also see reef sharks in the day. At the bar if you look out to see you can sometimes see dolphins too.

We didn't do any of the trips as I heard nothing but complaints about a particular trip to see dolphins which was the only one we were interested in anyway.

The entertainment was ok but we spent most time relaxing and having a drink and a game on our balcony. The karaoke was hilarious!

Overall I'd recommend this for a cheap last minute getaway to do nothing but relax and swim. By the end of the 2 weeks I was ready to come back. I'm glad I got to see this beautiful island :)

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank charzbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2012

We have just returned from a two week break at Fihalhohi and we had a really brilliant time.
We have visited the Maldives twice before, to Meeru and Kuredu,  both of which are 4* , and this little island was just as beautiful.

The island offers everything you would expect from the Maldives- turquoise sea and soft white sand -and is very unspoilt. It does not have a pool and accommodation is offered by way of a mixture of thatched roofed bungalows and over the water chalets.

We stayed in on of the former - a comfort room, and whilst basic, it had everything we needed including air conditioning and a fridge.

Highlights

One of the main highlights of the holiday was the snorkelling. The island is surrounded by a large coral reef which is home to a myriad of colourful fish, including moray eels, eagle rays and sharks, as well as sea cucumbers and lovely hawksbill turtles.  It is the best reef we have ever snorkelled and was far superior to those surrounding the other islands that we have visited. We also saw dolphins when we went on a dolphin trip run by the watersports centre, which I would highly recommend.

We opted to go for the half-board accommodation option, and are glad that we did. 
Breakfast and dinner was included (excluding drinks, but including fruit juice at breakfast)  and a wide variety of dishes were available everyday, all of which were very high quality and just as good as those on offer at other islands we have visited. With regard to lunch time options, we opted to eat at the surf cafe which offered chips, burgers, pizzas and salads, all of which were reasonably priced at around $4-8. Water is also reasonably priced at $2.50 for a large bottle (we drank about three of these every day).

At dinner times we were sat with another couple, which I thought was a little odd at first but it was actually really nice as we made new friends with whom it was lovely to have a chat every evening. Having said this, if you requested to sit alone, the staff, who are all very helpful and friendly, would try to accommodate this. 

Disadvantages

The shop on the island is very small and extremely expensive, although this did not cause us any issues - just remember to pack well!

A service charge of 10% and GST of 6% is added to everything, including trips, so you will need to add this on when budgeting.

Tips

We took a couple of bottles of squash with us and I would do this again as it meant we could have a change from water at minimal cost.  I would also recommend taking a travel kettle and tea and coffee. 

We also took some chocolates with us which meant we didn't have to buy any at the shops. The people on the table opposite us in the restaurant also took along a jar of nutella for their waffles and pancakes at breakfast and we would do this next time!

A truly gorgeous island!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Kate S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2012

First off, if you're looking for a party island, move along, nothing to see here (in fact you may want to consider another country if you're after a boozy beach venue. Similarly, it's a very small island with not much other than beach and Indian ocean, so if you want to do something other than read on the beach or swim, carry on searching. OK, still with us, then we continue.

Let's get the obvious thing out of the way - this resort's house reef is amazing. Although my missus no longer dives, we've been on dozens of beach hols with our mask and fins for a wee snorkel over the years in Carib, Med and Indian Ocean and the snorkelling is the best we've seen by a country mile. The water clarity and amazing variety of critters is the sort you get on an Attenborough Documentary on the Beeb, that's what we're talking here. There is a very high proportion of divers staying here for a good reason, but even mask and fins will let you see some beautiful stuff.

OK, taking things in a slightly more orderly way, first the location and island itself.Transfers are dhoni only it seems, it's a little too close to Male to merit water taxis, but not so close there's airport noise. 30-40 mins depending on weather and conditions. The island is small to medium by Maldives standards, and is actually pretty tiny, there are various excursions to other islands available if you're bored, but we never felt like we wanted to go anywhere else to be honest - our only excursions were on snorkelling trips.

Most of the facilities are in one area, restaurant, main bar (which has a small stage area for showing TV, films, bands etc) reception, shop, plus games rooms and "lecture hall." There's a small (and a little dingy) pool room, plus fussball, ping pong and a tiny library with a couple of board games available to borrow. There is also internet available, plus postings of printouts from news sies every couple of days. We're talking pretty basic, this is not a party isle, but there are efforts made to provide some basic facilities and something to do in the evening, but don't expect Cirque du Soleil to be making an appearance.

The other facilities are on the opposite side of the island near the water villas - snack bar and smaller bar, water sports centre if you fancy a blast at kit surfing, paddling or similar and the spa (at time of writing, there is legislation being mooted to shut all resort spas in the Maldives - research further if spa is an essential for you.) The other little outpost is the dive centre which is between the two main centres, slightly nearer the "main" stuff. Even if you don't dive, they post tide times to get the most out of your time in the water and can give helpful advice. We didn't use the spa or dive centre, but trips booked through watersports centre were fine. Either through watersports or main reception - Ray trip 'nuff said.

The downside for the island for us was the restaurant. Even bearing in mind the location and (relative) budget nature, it felt like there was something missing. Not a great selection for vegetarians, some days food was a bit meh and somehow the layout meant it was the least relaxing element of the holiday. Lot of people ended up sharing a table, which can be a hassle for some people. We were told they never have people share a table with people with a different first language though, so don't worry about being placed with a Croatian couple! You'll tend to have the same table for the duration, so if you're not keen on where you are, shouting up early is the way forward. Don't get me wrong, it was far from awful, but was the weak link as far as we were concerned. We actually ended up skipping lunch several days and getting stuff from the snack bar instead, who were more than happy to do "takeaways" for us.

As a general comment on the visitors, Brits are very much in the minority, but this is not a problem by any means, with many of the German guests happy to chat away in English. Expect mainly Germans, with a lot of Italians and French, plus a smattering of Russians and so on. Although the island is small, it doesn't feel cramped by any means. One other misc thing - the island has a radio mast. Yes, it looks a little out of place as you approach, but you'll be looking out to sea or down at fish most of the time anyway and you'll forget it's there, because you won't see it.

Now the rooms. Having been in water villas elsewhere in the Maldives, we were pleasantly surprised by the room. Very large, nice bathroom, 2 separate AC units and a great terrace layout. The ease of being able to go from your room into the ocean and back for a shower after a long snorkel can't be overstaded. The one weak spot with the room for us was the show cubicle was a little feeble, but the other shower over the (separate) bath was fine. One thing we didn't miss at all, but may be a factor for some people is that there's no telly - when they say it's a "no shoes, no news" resort, they mean it. Water villas also have loads of storage space, more desks and chairs than you can need, a wee radio/CD player a fridge for bunging water, sunscreen etc in. Didn't hear anything bad about the standard rooms, but some don't have kettles, so if you need a brew or two, check for your particular room type and whip a travel kettle, some teabags and cow sticks. As snacks tend to be expensive in resort we tend to always take a few bit of tea making stuff, sweets and savouries. You'll be taking so little, it won't be a hassle, trust me. Same goes for sunscreen, much cheaper at home but please go for a reefsafe one.

Final tip or two - you can hire snorkelling kit in resort, but if you buy at home, you can check fit and seal and get comfy with kit before you go away. Give serious consideration to an U/W camera to help remember the critters. You may also want to consider a snorkelling suit - this is basically a very thin wetsuit that is more for sun protection and very light barrier against less savoury things in the water. Great way to avoid putting loads of sunscreen into the ocean and avoid getting the classic back of legs burnt that's all too easy to come by on early days of your hol especially. A torch can be handy, as lighting is patchy and getting to and from restaurant can be a little adventurous. Books - lots of books or an e-reader of some nature. On the pessimistic side, in case you get a touch of the sun or take on too much seawater, goes without saying, but basic first aid kit, insect repellant etc etc etc.

We'd be back without hesitation as it's truly a gorgeous resort with an unparalleled house reef and beaches - the rare fifth star is only held back for the restuarant and the fact that although it's cheap-ish by Maldives standards, prices have gone up since we booked and the water and drinks do add up a little. You still aren't going to get anywhere else with diving and snorkelling as good for the money though. If you're after a relaxing beach getaway and don't need all the trimmings like a bustling night life, multiple bars, pools and 300 channel TV - this is the place for you.

Pics to follow when I get round to it, feel free to get in touch for more info.

Cheers

Room Tip: If you're going to be on a dive boat every day, you won't care. If you're more about the snorkelling, water villas for the win.
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank Magic_Bryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank nwillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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