Maldives, Resort Accommodation

Traveling in the Maldives is much more different than most countries. The country is made up of hundreds of islands and there are two ways to travel domestically, the obvious, by speedboat or by seaplane. I took the morning boat from Gulhi Island to the Male’ airport where I had a transfer scheduled to one of the hundreds of private island resorts. Transfers can cost between $250 by speedboat and $1,000 by seaplane. It all depends on the distance required to travel. The more distant islands require seaplanes. This cost is before you even set foot on the resort island. Nightly fee for a room at a resort can start from $300 for a poolside or beachfront room. The same room at an all inclusive resort will be near the $500 range. If you want a fancy over-the-water bungalow the Maldives is famous for, that’s going to cost well over a thousand dollars. This is at the low end. That dream vacation everyone fantasizes about can put you in the poor house. The number of different types of accommodations a the varying prices can give you a headache, it certainly did for me.

I was lucky enough to find a resort that didn’t charge a transfer fee since it was only 15 minutes away from the airport. It was also less expensive than most resorts. So much so, I was able to afford an over-the-water bungalow at half the cost of the other resorts. The resort I chose is considered a four star property. I don’t need a private butler at one of those five star resorts. Also, I’ll be swimming the same turquois waters so it was an easy decision.

I found the resort representative at the resort booth and he advised me that I had to wait for a couple who’s flight was about to arrive and we should be on our way in about 30 minutes. I had no issue waiting for them, after all, this transfer service was free of charge. The couple arrived and we made our way to the island. In 15 minutes, we made our way around a row of over-the-water bungalows and the ocean changed to a turquoise hue.

We had arrived to a little slice of heaven and the OBLU XPERIENCE Resort. We arrived before 10 a.m. and I assumed I would have to sit in the lobby for the rest of the morning and hopefully be able to eat at the buffet restaurant for lunch. After all, it was too early to check in. But, they actually escorted us straight from the lobby to the restaurant for breakfast. After my buffet breakfast I made my way back to the lobby and I was told my room wasn’t ready yet. I had assumed that but I was then told I was free to enjoy the resort.

I didn’t have my swim trucks, it was in my luggage, so I wandered around the little island. I explored this slice of heaven walking along the beach all the way to the other end. I took photos and video as I went along and I made a mental note of places I wanted to return to.

I made my way back to the bar and had a drink while I rested and waited for the restaurant to switch to their lunch menu. After lunch, I went back to the lobby again and I was told my room was now ready. I couldn’t wait to see my room. I was told my room was at the very end of the row of over-the-water bungalows. I walked, and I walked, it was taking much longer than I thought it would. In fact, the walk to the restaurant would take 10 minutes from my room. I finally made it. It wasn’t the giant room you see in the Maldives travel adds and it didn’t have a plunge pool. And, It didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. This room was perfect for me, simple and beautiful in everyway. In fact, I was treated to the most beautiful sunset I’d ever seen and I’ve seen several sunsets around the world.

The next morning would bring some bad news. My nose was running like a broken faucet. I had a sinus infection which I never get. I think it was brought on by the amount of salt water that went up my nose while snorkeling during my stay at Gulhi Island. I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying myself. I spent the morning sitting at a shady spot near the pool but far enough so people couldn’t notice my nasal issue.

Noon was almost here and the pool area was starting to fill up. Feeling self conscious, I got up and walked to the beach in front of the beachside bungalows. This was something I saw the previous day and made a mental note to return to this beautiful spot. I walked into the ocean and noticed it was actually warmer than the pool. And, the dark area that I thought was seaweed, started to move. It was a school of small fish, what I referred to as bait fish. Groups of these fish were all along the coast. All the sudden, the dark group of fish parted and some jumped out of the water as I looked on. They were being preyed upon by five baby black tip sharks. They’re harmless to humans and kept a short distance from me. One even came within inches from my GoPro, curious of what it was. I had a late lunch and then made my way back to my room.

I couldn’t let my over-the-water bungalow go unused so every afternoon I would lounge and swim of the deck. Bait fish were under my deck as well and they were being hunted by another typo of larger fish. It was fun to watch as I swam alongside. (I captured all of this and it’s included in my video)

The next day, my runny nose was less troublesome but now I had a lite cough. I spent most of the day under an umbrella in front of the main beach. This was next to the pool and the bar and majority of the people spent there time here.

That would mean no fish, including sharks, in the water which most people prefer while they swim or just wade in the water.

The next day was my last day and I had kicked the nasal issue and the cough. I drowned both of them with lots of water. I didn’t get to drink alcohol, much. So, spent most of the day in the bar area and under an umbrella somewhere with a tropical beverage.

I didn’t get to take advantage of some of the activities available on the resort. Kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling was off the list because of my health concerns. I wasn’t upset at all. I still had an amazing time on this picturesque little island. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, they let me stay after my noon time checkout as well. In fact, I was able to stay until 5 p.m. since I had an 8 p.m. flight. The resort actually gave me a print out detailing my last day with the checkout time and the boat transfer time as well. It even included a link to a website I needed to go to to complete a government form for departure. I had the full use of the resort, even after checking out. I don’t think there’s a place on this property that has a bad view. Before I left, I spent some time at the bar lounge and at the lobby taking in every angle and view of this beautiful island.

I was already reminiscing of everything I saw and did during my short time here at OBLU XPERIENCE. It was definitely a sad time as I road the speedboat to the airport. My time in the Maldives was now over and I was now looking at a very, very, long flight home. The Maldives was definitely a once in a life time experience… unless I do it again.