Good food, some of it spicy but OK.
Nice waiter at the restaurant. The room you get on the first day will be the same throughout the stay so don't hesitate to ask for the one you prefer on the first day.
We didn't have to share ours in the end but could have if there had been more people (depending on how much you tipped, I would imagine).
Room cleaned twice a day.
Threats not to let us take the boat to leave the island if we didn't pay twice what we had already paid our tour operator. (We eventually did manage to leave after an exchange of e-mails and phone calls with our tour operator 'karavel').
Didn't like the habit of tipping which was not as expected on the other island we went to last year.
Didn't like that you'd have to pay 90$ extra for a water bungalow if there were some available while in some Maldivian hotels, you get them for free if it is possible.
We stayed in a water bungalow and our first words as we entered were wow! it was fantastic, plenty of space, tea and coffee making facilities,a large four poster bed, dressing room, bath and shower. The outside decking had a table and four chairs and two sunloungers with steps straight into the sea. At night it had lights so you could see the fishes and sometimes rays swim by.
The food was very good better than we expected with a good choice and a different theme every night. The surf cafe also serve some great lunches if you fancy a change
The reef is fantastic for snorkeling and you will be amazed at what you see, something new every day.
The entertainment is limited but they do try with different things we had crab racing, a live band, disco etc. I celebrated my 50th birthday while we were out there with a champagne breakfast on our deck, and a meal on the beach in the evening at which the waiters had decorated the table and had a birthday banner behind my chair and a birthday cake with my name on. When we went back to the room the bed had been decorated with flowers it was amazing they all made it a birthday to remember.
Travel operator: First Choice
Once we got to the Male airport we were last off the plane and last to get our hotel details off our rep which meant more time in an air conditioned airport rather than the heat outside so only had 5 minutes to wait for our speed boat transfer. This only took aprox 50 minutes but a very enjoyable trip.
Once we arrived at the resort a warm welcome and cool towels were given to us and after check in we were shown our room. We had booked a comfort room on the north side of the island and what a lovely room it was too. Very spacious (even with an extra bed), clean and light.
Lovely clean modern bathrooms and plenty of clothes hangers in the wardrobe. There
Travel operator: First choice
The transfer by boat took about 50mins. From leaving your luggage with the boatcrew you will not have to carry your luggae again till back at the airport. The crossing was pretty smooth and no problems. When we arrived at Fihalhohi it wasas if we hadn't been away - everything was exactly as we remembered it. We checked in with reception and got our keys, identified our luggage to be taken to our rooms and were on our way.
It is customary to tip $1 per case taken to room. This time we were staying in th mid-range, comfort room. Our particular room was in a block of four (2x2). We were on the 1st floor. The room has a/c, ceiling fan,
fridge, safe, bathrooms (shower over bath), balcony. The biggest difference to the Classic room which we stayed in last time was the inclusion of a/c in the price. The room was clean on arrival, towels provided (including beach towels) and everything worked.
Fihalhohi is classed as a 'budget' resort - three stars. It certainly is not plush (except for the waterbungalows) but it has everything you need for a comfortable holiday.
The first five days of the holiday my partner completed with OpenWater Diving course (ISS). He had 1:1 tutition as no-one else was starting the same time as him, however we met other guests who had completed the course during their holiday. I had not previously dived before this holiday and decided to try the Island's 'resort course' which is aimed at complete beginners. You see a video, go through shallow water skills (this is done in the lagoon as Fihalhohi does not have a swimming pool) and then go out for a dive. There is never more than four students to one memebr of dive staff. On this occasion the ratio was 2:1.
After my partner had completed his OW course we went on a further three dives together. The housereef is literally a couple of steps in the ocean from the beach, so even though i was limited to 12m depth, the experience was fantastic. The dive staff were patient, helpful, always close by but also gave you space to learn. If it takes 10+ attempts to do a mask clearance in shallow water skills (resort course) then that is fine. We would personally highly recommend the dive centre on the island. We saw plenty of fish and other sea creatures including giant moray eels (three live in the housereef), sharks (nurse shark from boat dive, grey & black tip reef sharks in house reef) lion fish, trigger clown fish, blue fin trevelly, squid, octupus, stingray, eagle ray and hundreds of pretty little fish.
The food a Fihalhohi is generally good. We were on Half board basis. Every meal at the resturant is buffet basis, however the Blue Lagoon bar also does food which is an additional cost. Breakfast is OK. We tended to have cereals, toast/breads/pastries, cheese, fruit and whatever was being cooked at the grill. This changed daily, eggs, waffles, pancakes. As pork products are illegal, the sausages and 'bacon' are beef based and were something that i couldn't get a taste for. We occasionally missed breakfast (07:30 - 09:30) so had lunch at the Surf cafe. For $4 each you could have toast, pastries, muffins, tea/coffee and juice. Breakfasts went up to about $7:50. Lunch we had at the Surf cafe and generally had toastie and chips though occasionally had the 'special'. For $3.50 you could have a toastie, chips and coleslaw salad whic persnally we thought was great value. Food here was very good. Other foods were burgers chips and colslaw from $5, pizza (from $4), salads (from $3). Each meal was cooked to order. Drinks are reasonable:- 1.5 lt water $3.50, mug of beer $3.50, 330ml soft drink $2, milkshake (made with icecream) $3. Fruit cocktails from $3.50 and alcoholic cocktails around $6. Don't forget there is a 10% service charge on these.
Dinner was again buffet style and was theme. Somtimes the food did look a bit 'samey' but it was usually pretty good and hot. There was always salads, soups, breads, rices, pasta, meat, fish, grill, fruits, deserts. We also had a candlelight dinner on the beach but unfortunately we never made it on the beach due to bad weather. Nevertheless the food was fantastic. I had the seafood platter (saltbeef & cucumber roll, vegtable soup & bread, seafood platter which included half lobster, giant prawns, calamari, fish, salad, fries, fresh fruit, tea/coffee for $36) my partner had the fillet steak (seafood cocktail, carrot soup and breads, fillet steak, salad, fries, tea/coffee for $24) Excellent vaalue in our opinion.
The evening entertainment generally passed us by as we had seen it all before, so mainly sat in theFisherman's bar chatting. The entertainment is low key.
The coral cove does snacks if you are peckish which was mainly hot savoury pastries from $0.80 to $2 like chicken sausage roll, prawn puff and tuna bun. They also have a fab range of cake which again i think are reasonably priced from $1.50 - $3. The portions are big!
In terms of 'bugs' the main creatures you will see are ants, some of which are really quite big but they are harmless and important for the island. We saw two cockroaches which were dealt with swiftly. There are
also snails. Other animal life includes, fruit bats, crows, gekkos and herons.
We did a couple of excursions. Sunset fishing, Island hopping and Guraidhoo. As always the sunset fishing was great (went 4 times last visit). The boat crew remembered us (infact all the staff did) and could not have been more friendly. We specifically wanted to return to guraidhoo to see how the post-tsunami work was going. Things are improving but very slowly. Only eight houses built since our last visit in September. We took a couple of footballs with us from home for the kids but to be honest I found the experience quite upsetting. The desperation of the show owners comes across. Most of the shops sell exactly te same things. Our group split up so most of the shops were visited at least once.
At Fihalhohi you have two sunloungers that are marked with your room number so others shouldn't use them, however on two occasions i had to hunt mine down on the beach but that's not the resorts fault. The beach is very good and quite wide in some places and whilst the island was fully booked when we were there there was still plenty of room. There is a lot of broken / dead coral so aqua soes can be useful.
Overall we feel that Fihalhohi is great value for money. What you pay for two people on this island wouldn't cover one person on many other islands (
Travel operator: First Choice
We flew with Monarch Airlines
Travel operator: First Choice
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