This place is fantastic.
Travel operator: First Choice
The entire Island , hotel and beach were immaculately kept. Very clean resort.
To get to the island involves a 30 minute sea plane trip. Unfortunately for us we were delayed leaving England by four hours. This meant we then had a 2 hour delay waiting for our sea plane.
As a result it did seem to take an extremely long time to get there.
Once we arrived though there was no dissappointment. Everything looked exactly as in the brochure. The sea was clear and the sand was white. Even the wife looked good. lol
The staff were very friendly and extremely hard working. The restaurant staff were always chatty and made the environment fun. Sun Island is a big island with many guests. However , out and about the island you could be alone if you wished. It was only during breakfast and evening dinner that you appreciated the amount of people on the island.
I did find some frustration with the evening meal time of 19:30 to 21:30. If the mealtimes went on until later, say 22:30 then it would mean you have more time early evening to have drinks and watch the sunset. Which i personally find very relaxing and one of the best parts of the day.
We went to mauritius the previous year for our honeymoon and we were able to sit at the main bar and watch from a sun terrace the sunset every night of the holiday and still have plenty time to get ready for evening dinner as the food was available until half ten.
The island itself took approximately 1 and half hours to walk round, including time to stop and take photographs. Although there were some slightly tricky spots it was nice to find an island that you could genuinely walk all the way round at the waters edge.
Unless you are feeling extremely energetic and love walking then hiring bikes is an absolute must. Watching my wife trying to ride a bike for the first time in several years did provide some amusement and the bikes did make it fun to travel round the island.
We initially stayed in the deluxe rooms and these were very nice. The part we stayed on the island though did not have the best view down to the beach which was a shame. Once you got past the trees though actually on to the beach it was truly fantastic and completely picture postcard stuff. There was hardly any around and you did feel like you had your section of the beach and water completely to yourself.
We did spend some days up at the pool area which again is very nice. TIP : if you want to get one of the huts/ umbrella's then you need to be putting your towels down for half seven unfortunately. These beds offer the best views with shade and there are not many.
It is much busier up at the pool however and a couple of days each week is enough for us. It was far quieter down by your bungalow.
We upgraded for the last three days to the water bungalows. This for me is what the maldives is all about and I definitely recommend it.
Very very private, you wake up to sunshine on your own private deck. A ladder down into the water to cool off. Very relaxing and wish we had upgraded earlier.
We enjoyed the spa treatment facilities and if you've never tried them before. Be brave and give it a try. Its good fun and very relaxing. We tried the 2 A la carte restaurants. Both very good. We prefered the Thai out of the two and had two brilliant nights there. Pricey when you start firing down a couple of bottles of wine but very pleasant evenings and must be tried whilst your there.
Another must is the sunset fishing trip. Aimed at total novices its a fun evening out.
I noticed on other reviews some people had problem getting service in the main bar in the evenings. Fortunately we had read beforehand it was worthwhile tipping on the very first night. We did this and the guy was superb all holiday. Would find us tables every night . We were never without a drink and often he would bring another without us even ordering. So TIP on your 1st night is my recommendation. We would then keep chipping in 1 dollar a round more or less keep him happy.
Overall a fantastic holiday. If i was to be picky i would have loved a bar down on the side of the island where the sun set so you could truly enjoy that time of day getting slowly plastered before your evening meal :)
It takes a long time to get there especially if you factor in delays. For that reason if you are able to, consider booking for 3 weeks to really wind down.
happy hols !
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The signing for everything wasn't too bad but to make this a top class all inclusive resort need a few more flexible facilities. e.g As we were diving and on excursions it was often hard to meet set meal times and an all day snack bar in the coffee shop would have been welcome.
The setting was great with rays, turtles, Octopus and 4 ft sharks all seen within the lagoon during the day.
Diving excellent and the island and beaches beautiful but the Hotel in general just needs to chill out and relax.
How it was run was too straight laced for such a setting.
Apart from the few niggles We did have a great time and wouldn't hesitate going again.
P.S. I had my bike nicked twice it seems to be a help yourself at meal times. The staff just give you someone else's
Travel operator: First Choice
The hotel is extremely clean. Your room gets cleaned 3 times per day and the evening visit being a turn down. The rest of the hotel is exceptionally clean too however we did see the occasional mouse due to the nature of the islans but even for someone like me who can't stand mice/rats/cockroaches it was not frightening!!!
The food available is fantastic - all tastes are catered for. Due to it being a muslem country they do not serve pork therefore they offer chicken sausages and beef bacon for breakfast as an alternative. You are allocated you own table and waiter for the duration of the holiday which is ideal as it does not feel too 'buffet' orientated. The Thai resaurant is fab!! - excellant service and food!! Just be warned if you are wanting champagne a bottle of Moet can set you back $150.
The location of the hotel is south of Male which is apparently better to visit in our winter months.
Hotel staff were excellent - nothing is too much for them. They are alwasys willing to help! Always pleasant and friendly!
The entertainment was much better than I was expecting as I didn't think there would be any really! The live band night was really good, karaoke, crab race, maldivian, disco.
I would definitely return to the Maldives and would be difficult not to return to Sun Island as it was a complete Paradise!! which did not feel too caustrophobic!! We visited Holiday Island during our stay which is another Villa hotel and that was really tiny in comparison and felt too closed in!!
Make sure you can ride a bike before choosing the Sun Island as if you do not use a bike to get around then you are just not cool!!
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The food was buffet style and offered a range of international dishes, always including soup, salad, a pasta dish, potatoes (only chips once in 2 weeks) and curry. There was almost always a choice of fish, chicken and a red meat (usually beef). We are not particularly adventurous with regard to food but found that there was plenty to choose from. It was not the slop in a tray we have experienced in some places in Europe! We did indulge one night and have a candlelit pizza and chips in the Italian restaurant - not cheap but very tasty and a lovely setting to eat a meal. Don't miss the all-inclusive sunset afternoon tea in the coffee shop, and take a camera. The views are beautiful as the sun goes down.
As we were all inclusive we spent most evenings in the main bar, where the waiter service is very good. There wasn't planned entertainment every night but there was always music and there are four free pool tables to play on. The live band played once while we were there and they were brilliant. Unfortunately their appearance depends on the availability of a boat from Male and the second week they couldn't come. I was quite disappointed! Other evenings included karaoke, crab racing and live Maldivian music.
Overall we really enjoyed our first time in the Maldives and will be going back as soon as possible, maybe to sun island or maybe to try somewhere else. I would definately use the same chain of hotels, they have around 4 in total.
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
Duration: 14th June 2004 - 29th June 2004
Total amount of rain: Several light showers (5-10 mins duration)
Temperature: Daytime 30 Degrees, Night 29 Degrees
Board Arrangements: All Inclusive
Photos will not appear on this review - to see pictures look for my link in the forums.
Flying from Manchester to Male (Via Bahrain) on a Monarch 767, as there was no premium cabin on the aircraft we were unable to upgrade our seating. The flying time to Bahrain was just over 6 hours. Upon arrival at Bahrain we had to disembark the aircraft to allow for refuelling (also allowed us to stock up on dirt cheap duty free -- But remember you must not take any alcohol into the Maldives). After a short 25 minutes the aircraft had been refuelled, cleaned & re-stocked for our onward journey to Male, which took a further 4 hours 25 mins.
Upon arrival at Male, you enter the terminal building and proceed to the passport control - previous experiences of foreign airports mean a lengthy wait whilst immigration cards are checked and stamped - But these people know what they are doing and we only had a 5 min wait. You then collect your luggage and then have it X-rayed (You will be stopped and asked to open your luggage if they suspect anything in your case to resemble alcohol or drugs).
Transfers to the island are either by Sea-Plane (30 mins) or Speedboat (2 hours 40 mins) - We took the option to pay the extra and go by Sea-Plane and what an experience that was. Your luggage goes with you on the plane, and they seat around 14 people. Flying at 4,500 feet you can clearly see all the islands below you - they all looked very inviting.
TMA Seaplane -- Airport -- Male (Capital City) -- Sun Island -- Dhoni -- Speedboat
The Sea-Plane drops you off on a platform out at sea and a local boat (Dhoni) arrives to take you and your luggage to Sun Island, which is a short 5 minutes away.
Sun Island Sign - Jetty leading to Reception
On arrival at the island you are dropped off a the Sun Island sign and are escorted down the jetty to the reception area (where we first noticed that the jetty's do not have any kind of rails to stop you from falling over the edge - so families with small children beware!) We were greeted by a refreshing drink and a cool towel.
The reception area was very clean and the staff were pleasant and helpful - nicely decorated wooden ceiling with plenty of fans - a rock pool in the centre is the home to a number of fish and lobsters.
You were handed a form to fill in with details such as name, passport number, tour operator etc. after this you have your wristband fitted (loss or damage will result in a $20 replacement fee) and were handed your key (be careful if you lose this you will be charged $70 for a replacement) and a key card (this is used to identify you and what room you are stopping in) and asked to identify your luggage - Transport was provided to take you to your room and several minutes later your cases followed.
Reception - Transport/Bicycles - Map of Sun Island
The main transport on the island is via push bike - they seem to get everywhere, they can be hired for around $3 a day - Ideal if your villa is situated at the end of the island as it would be a 15 min walk to the restaurant.
VILLA: We stopped in room 307 which was situated at the Water Villa side of the Island - Several villas up from the Grill Terrace
We upgraded to a superior deluxe villa and the 1st impressions were that the room was very spacious and very clean - Air conditioning system & a very fast ceiling fan ensured the room stay nice and cool, 1 huge bed with IDD telephone at the side, 2 chairs with a table in front of the patio doors, a dresser table with mirror & drawers and chair, and ample space for hanging clothes, TV (on which you could keep track off your bill and access the internet), a mini bar and a safe.
The bathroom again was also very spacious with toilet, bidet, bath with internal shower, a hairdryer & a telephone - a glass door led to the small garden which contained the outside shower.
There were also 3 dispenser within the bathroom that all dispensed soap, shower gel & shampoo.
The rooms were cleaned 3 times daily - don't be alarmed when a man cleans your room as the only females we saw working on the island were either sweeping the sand or within the entertainment team.
The only downside to the room was that you had to insert the key fob into a socket to enable the power in the room to operate - meaning you couldn't come back to a nice cool room.
Also be aware that the mini bar is NOT free on All Inclusive and a 330 ml bottle of Coca-Cola will cost you $4.90, your mini bar is stocked with the following:
5x 330 ml cans of Heineken, 3x 330 ml bottles of Coca Cola, 3x 330 ml bottles of Orange Fanta, 3x 330 ml bottles of Sprite, 2x bottles of water.
A wider selection of drinks is available (at a cost) if required.
A 1.5 litre bottle of water was FREE and was left in the room every morning - if you required more, then it was available at the bars (also FREE)
All the villas on the island are hidden by palm trees so you can not see them from the beach, this is to keep the natural beauty of the island - so when you exit the villa via the patio door exit you will have to walk several metres through the trees before you can access the beach
Bathroom -- Outside Shower -- Bathroom -- Electricity Key fob -- Mini Bar -- Super Deluxe Villa -- Super Deluxe Villa -- Super Deluxe Villa
Room service is available 24 hours at a charge of $10 per call out (on top of the price of items ordered -- these are not included on All Inclusive)
A Pizza delivery service is available and a menu with prices is available in the room (these are not included on All Inclusive)
A laundry service is available and a price list is available in the room (these are not included on All Inclusive)
Laundry price list
Meals times are as follows:
Breakfast: 7.30am - 9.30am
Lunch: 12.30pm - 2.00pm
Dinner: 7.30pm - 9.00pm
If you are on All Inclusive, meals have to be taken in the huge Maaniya 1000 seater main restaurant (Southern Star restaurant if you are staying in the Water Bungalows) when you go for your first meal you will be assigned a table and a waiter which you will have for the duration of your holiday. At busy times of the year you may have to share your table with another couple (that speak the same language)
The restaurant was not that crowded unless there was entertainment on in the evening then everybody seems to go for there evening meal at 7.30 altogether.
Drinks are brought to your table by your waiter and you sign a receipt at the end of your meal for them (excluding breakfast) make sure the receipt has a red all-inclusive stamp on it before you sign or you will be billed.
Meals were very good with a great selection - we noticed that every day there was Beef (either in steak or minced form), Chicken & Fish - with a selection of rice & pasta dishes - huge selection of salads and there was always a vegetarian option (but usually only 1 or 2) Most of the dishes contained nut - so beware if you have any allergy and ask the chefs that are on hand if any help is needed -- The food was also tested for temperature every 10 minutes and any food that was not warm enough was destroyed. Any food left over from lunch time was not re-used for dinner (as other all-inclusive resorts do) it is eaten by the staff or destroyed.
A menu was also on show in the entrance so you would know what was for Lunch & Dinner.
Main Restaurant -- Main Restaurant -- Menu October 2003 -- Menu June 2004 -- Expect this is you have a Birthday
Maaniya restaurant - 2 sample menu's are above
Vani Coffee Shop
Vani Coffee Shop - Open 24 hours
Sundown Break (afternoon tea) is served from 4.00pm - 6.00pm
Includes tea/coffee (regular), mini sandwiches (tuna fillings, cheese & tomato)
Cake from the display, Mineral water (served by the glass - on request)
Italian Restaurant -- Inside of Restaurant - Feeding the fish at the Restaurant
The other restaurants on the island include an Italian (also Pizza delivery) - situated at the end of the jetty where you arrived
Lots of Fish from the Jetty -- Jetty leading to Water Bungalows - View of Thai Restaurant
Thai Restaurant -- Thai Restaurant -- Thai Restaurant -- Thai Restaurant -- Part of Menu -- Sunset from Jetty
& the Thai / Chinese restaurant - situated at the end of the jetty where the Water Bungalows are:
Well worth paying a visit here to see the amazing sunsets & to see the fish being fed just after the sunset - you can see the larger black Manta ray, the larger sharks, barracuda as well as many others
All-inclusive people can use all the bars but the drinks are only free at 3 bars on the island, these being:
Main Bar Sign -- Main Bar (viewed from left) -- Main Bar (viewed from right) -- Disco area -- Nightlife -- Pool Tables -- Outside seating
The Main Bar (Mekunu Bar)
Open 24 hours, This is the largest bar on the island and is where all the
nightly entertainment takes place - it also has a disco section and 4 pool tables at one end.
All-inclusive drinks are served from 10.00am - 1.00am only
All you have to do is find a table - a waiter will approach you and ask for your drinks order,
take your room number and bring you your drinks. If your glass is looking quite empty most
of the waiters would bring you another drink without you needing to ask.
The Pool Bar
This bar is open from 10.00am until sunset 6.00pm - and serves beers, soft drinks, spirits & cocktails
Beach Bar - Bear Bar (Scanned picture)
The Beach Bar
Open 24 hours and is situated at the far end of the beach, near the water sports centre
All-inclusive drinks are served from 10.00am - 1.00am only
The bars that you will be charged for are:
Lobby Bar -- Golf Course Bar
The Lobby Bar The Golf Course Bar
The 2 speciality restaurants also have 24 hour bars - but are charged as a supplement
I would recommend that you choose the all-inclusive option as drinks & meals are quite expensive - I totalled the bills up most days of what we (2 people) spent on drinks (we do not drink much alcohol) and they came to around $100 per day (around
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The check in at Sun Island was pretty fast. It was great being welcomed to the reception by a cold towel and a drink served in a coconut :-). If you are at the resort on an all inclusive program you will get a list of your
Travel operator: Paradisreiser
The staff could not have been friendlier, it made us feel so welcome.
Travel operator: Thomson
We paid extra for the water bungalow with magnificant sunset views. The interior was chic and you could lie in the bath looking out to the beautiful coloured sea as the window was that big, but no one could see you.
The food was excellent don't think we had the same meal twice. They would even set a table for 2 on the beach with a little prior notice.
The staff were so humble, little too humble at times, but never the less lovely to go somewhere were the staff actually do want to make you happy!!!
We found there was ample to do if thats what you wanted. The front of the island was the lively side and the back, well, you could retreat and not see anyone one for 300 yards or more. Beautiful tropical fish are happy to swim round you in the lagoons! It took 45 mins to walk around the whole island.
There were a few children, but it was not the kind of place I would take our now, small, daughter.
Travel operator: Eclipse
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