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Another Journey Begins Too

Southampton, United...
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Another Journey Begins Too

Hello all - Adam here from Purely Maldives. If I haven't spoken to you via email, it's very likely you'll at least know Richard, who is doing a similar thread of short reviews during our Fam Trip.

First things first - the awful title. It's not bad English, it's just Rich's terrible attempt at humour, gah!

Island #1: Velassaru

We actually didn't find out that we'd be visiting Velassaru until the last minute, and I'm really glad we did as I've been keen to see this island for some time.

After a long and nearly-sleepless flight, we took our first speedboat of the trip and tried to remain enthusiastic (despite being half asleep!). We received a very warm welcome as we arrived at the speedboat jetty, and the warmth from the staff continued during our short five hours there. I've noticed a distinct difference in the Maldives between being genuinely friendly and just being polite/helpful. This friendliness from all of the staff made me feel really welcome, and it was nice that you could have a chat and a laugh with the people there.

After a brief tour of the island, we were given a day-use room to have a shower and get changed, before going to meet Ivana for lunch. I have to say, the food was absolutely fantastic (I can see why this is Richard's favourite island when it comes to dining!). They also have a juice bar, which is a new addition as of two or so weeks ago, which serves really refreshing and imaginative drinks.

I have to add - the chef's special desert of the day was quite possibly the nicest desert I've ever had, well done sir!

The beach is very fine and runs (I think) all the way around the island. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to check out the reef, so I cannot speak for the snorkelling.

Sadly, we also didn't get a chance to see the rooms either, as they were incredibly busy. However, one thing I did notice is that the Deluxe Villas (the base room type) were a lot nicer looking than I thought they'd be. They're a generous size and, from the outside, look gorgeous. Oh well - maybe next year!

Another nice feature is the pool. Velassaru is home to a really stylish looking infinity pool, located near the bar. It seemed that it was quite a social area, with a fair few people sat around on daybeds and sun loungers having a chat and a drink in the sun.

One thing I did notice was how clean everything was. I know you'd expect a five star resort to be kept tidy, but not even a grain of sand was out of place in my eyes! Everything has a very sleek and modern design and they're doing very well to maintain the high level of luxury all around the island.

So, a big thank you to everyone at Velassaru and I hope to see you next year for a proper visit :)

Southampton, United...
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1. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

Island # 2: Baros

A quick note - I think I got a little carried away with the length of my previous post, I'll try and cut things down from now on (no promises!).

I'm a little bit gutted that we visited Baros right at the beginning of this trip, as it's quite frankly set the bar incredibly high and it's going to be a very tough act to follow.

This island was very luxurious, right from the airport pick-up. Their boat was very nice and we were served juice as we boarded (much appreciated after all the travelling).

Upon arrival, one thing really struck me - this is a very green island. There's a huge amount of vegetation, including enormous 50+ year old palm trees around the main bar's outdoor seating area. Baros is actually a pretty small island, although walking through all of the winding pathways through the jungly landscape made it feel much larger.

Once again, we had a really warm arrival and were made to feel very welcome. We were given a quick tour and looked around some of the room types.

All of the room types we saw really blew me away. Even the Deluxe Villas, which are the base room type, were really spacious and nicely located on the beach (although they are behind a couple of trees). The very tall ceiling made the room feel even larger, and the beautiful wooden décor and ambient lighting made it feel really luxurious and cozy. My favourite part was the bathroom - a really nicely designed outdoor area, with an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as an outdoor bath right in the middle.

We also go to see the new Premium Pool Villas. These are basically the same as the Pool Water Villas, however they also have a jacuzzi on the decking. The interior is, once again, very grand, with a huge curtained bed, Bose sound system and a large fold-out TV. The decking is really nice, with a generously sized pool and a jacuzzi on the other side, both looking out to the water.

We had dinner with Shuhan, who was really nice. We had a couple of cocktails in the palm tree'd area (very relaxed at night - not much light other than a few candles), and then headed off for dinner. They have different themed buffets, and we were lucky enough to be there during their seafood night. The food was exceptional - all of the fish was caught locally within 24 hours of serving and was prepared & cooked to perfection. There was a huge variety, including sushi, crab and even lobster, which is fried there & then and brought over to you.

Baros were incredibly generous and actually gave us each our own room (after an admin error - they weren't expecting Richard to be with me). Shuhan was also nice enough to lend me his underwater camera the following morning, which I somehow managed to forget when I went for a snorkel! The reef was fantastic, I was surrounded multiple times be whole schools of fish. Although, as someone who finds deep water unnerving, seeing the steep drop-off just past the wall gave me a bit of a fright!

So - huge thanks to the guys & girls at Baros, we had a fantastic time and I'd definitely recommend this one to the honeymooners out there.

Swanwick, United...
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2. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

Adam are you going to be visiting any of the southern atolls?

Have a lovely time and keep posting!.


Cumbria, United...
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3. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

Adam - don't worry about the length of post as all info is greatfully received!!

Have a great trip!

London, United...
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4. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

Great to hear about the snorkelling...did you spot any turtles?

The reef and sea-life is far more important to me than the food.

Edited: 12 October 2012, 14:51
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5. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

Yes, please keep them long and detailed! We love the updates!

Truro, United...
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6. Re: Another Journey Begins Too


Thank you so much for the updates. As has already been said keep them long and detailed, it helps with the maldivitis withdrawal symptoms... hehehe:)

Hope you continue to have a good trip. Will you be visiting Angsana Ihuru or Banyan Tree Vabb during your visit, I'm yet to hear much post refurb?


Southampton, United...
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7. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

Hi all - update number 3. First of all, to Turquoise - I'm afraid I'll only be visiting north & south Male islands (speedboat transfers to save costs as I'm the newbie!).

To Xarla, unfortunately no turtles - it's my goal for this trip to seek one out so I'll keep you posted ;) but no luck so far. Baros's reef was consistently very healthy though - admittedly I only spent 90 minutes or so snorkelling, but in that time I didn't see any dead coral, and the sand elsewhere was lovely and fine. At one point I was completely surrounded by blue sturgeon fish which was pretty amazing.

So! Island #3: Vivanta by Taj, Coral Reef

Arriving here, I noticed that almost all of the guests were quite young. It's full of honeymooners aged 20-30. If I'm completely honest, going on a tour of the island I was a little put off by a couple of things. The staff quarters took up a huge section in the centre of the island (which is fair enough, it's a small island and there are a lot of people working there) - but I personally found myself distracted by the noise from the generators there. The other issue I found was that the staff accommodation seemed to look over the outdoor shower of the Nirvana Suite - of course, I can't say for sure, but it definitely seemed to spoil the privacy.

Otherwise, the Nirvana Suite was incredibly nice. Very modern and incredibly roomy, with an upstairs decking as well as the downstairs area with a generously sized pool, leading straight onto the beach.

After getting settled & showered I went for a snorkel, and ended up spending two hours swimming around. I started off near the arrival jetty and made my way towards the reef. The reef is very good and varied here, and there was all sorts of marine life to be seen. However, the current was quite strong against me so I carried on into their lovely little dedicated snorkelling area - a large circular space protected on all fronts by a sea wall. This is really nice for beginners as it's nice and sandy, shallow enough to stand in and has a lot of variation in healthy coral and rocky areas - with no current and plenty to see.

At around 5pm, I was heading back along the beach to our room and noticed a crowd around a small area of beach. It turns out it was feeding time for the sting rays, which were rolling onto the beach around guests' feet to be fed chunks of tuna.

After the sun went down, I was really quite amazed at how much the resort changed. There were candles and fairy lights everywhere, and the main bar was really lively. It turned out that we were to be judges of a couples dance contest, which was really fun. Some were obvious honeymooners and had a real connection, whereas some were just plain hilarious, and I thank them for that ;)

We then had dinner which was also really impressive - very nice indeed. One very nice thing about Coral Reef is that everything is a la carte - if you're on Half Board, your evening meal will be a choice of anything from the menu (with a small supplement for the expensive items such as lobster). If you're on All Inclusive, you can have as many meals as you want!

As usual, thank you very much to the staff, as well as the Korean and Chinese guests who danced like absolute nutters for us - I felt like a real Simon Cowell! Also, to the woman in the villa next door, please let your husband back into the room, as he is snoring very loudly on the daybed. Cheers!

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8. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

Excellent post Adam TY

Divide, Colorado
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9. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

as far as that fishfeeding ... what is your position on that, Adam and Richard ? are you speaking to resort management about the practice or just accepting it ?

London, United...
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10. Re: Another Journey Begins Too

Excellent report, Adam! I'd miss a meal to snorkel on any of the islands; it's my priority as it is for so many who post here (not everyone, obviously, but when I did a kind of survey it came out top).

Keep the reef reports coming! Just 30 minutes can give you a good idea of what there is to see.

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