August 2011 marked our 9th (ROM) Anniversary, and in celebration we embarked on a 5D4N vacation to atoll paradise Maldives! Our initial plan was to go Maldives for our 10th Anniversary, but when we saw Singapore Airlines having an airfare promotion, we jumped at the chance :) Well, we'll think of where to go for our 10th Anniversary next year :p
Since this could probably be "once-in-a-lifetime" journey for us, we decided to stay at Hilton Iru Fushi which required us to take a 45min seaplane transfer from Male Airport. We thought it would be a great experience to have a bird's eye view of the atolls. And we opted for 2 nights' stay at a Beach Villa and 2 nights' stay at a Water Villa. Must experience both types of accommodation mah :p
We booked the resort package through an online agent Atoll Paradise based in Male, which offered us a good deal including seaplane transfers, four nights accommodation (Beach & Water Villas) and buffet breakfast. Service was very prompt and the travel consultants were very helpful even though it was an online agent.
So how is the "Atoll Paradise"? Well, both of us agreed that while the island(s) is beautiful, the overall experience didn't totally overwhelm us. You know, those kind of feelings where you go "OH WOW!""? Perhaps it was due to the boring and uncomfortable 45min seaplane transfer to the island (Hilton Iru Fushi) we were going (it was rainy heavily so lots of turbulence and no view of course); perhaps it was due to the bad weather (it rained heavily for 2-3 mornings/afternoons we were there); perhaps the bad weather affected the sea visibility so diving was blah (anyway, dive guides told us not to expect a feast like Sipadan); or perhaps the less-than-satisfactory service standards of Hilton Iru Fushi (on arrival our luggage took more than an hour to reach us, our luggage got lost when we transfered villas, air-con was spoilt for our water villa, staff didn't deliver their promises to us...). In the end, we got upgraded to an Infinity Water Villa but that was after a few hours of waiting, frustrations and demands to see the General Manager. So I guess all these added up to just an OK trip to us, unlike the raving reviews of other travellers.
Nevertheless, Hilton Iru Fushi is lovely for the days where there were great sunshine, brilliant blue sky with fluffy white clouds and sparkling clears waters of turquoise blue. As always I took thousands of photos and had a hard time selecting which to feature, and how to write my posts here. After deliberating (yes, for 3 months :p), decided to post based on the following themes: