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Back from Robinson Club

Ho Chi Minh City...
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Back from Robinson Club

Well I'm not very delighted to report that I'm home after 10 days at Robinson Club. No Maldives countdown for me any more :(

I will write a full review over the next few days but just thought I'd give a brief overview of my impressions of the island.

Firstly, we had a fantastic time! So much about the island is really excellent. But it also has flaws.

Plus points:

Extensive reef: you can snorkel all the way around the island. We take our time so did it in two halves, before and after lunch one day. To go the whole way around I estimate would take about 2-3 hours. It took us about 4.5, going pretty slowly. We saw reef sharks every day and turtles most days but no rays at all. We saw fish that we've never seen before e.g. a giant puffer and a Napoleon fish but there were also some obvious fish completely absent e.g. orange collared butterflyfish and clown triggers. Visibility was very good usually and the reef is very accessible in some areas so good for beginners.

Food and service. Absolutely fantastic - probably the best buffet food we've ever had in the Maldives (even better than Mirihi). We don't usually like buffet style dining but this was great. We also had 3 five-course dinners, including in-villa dining. All meals were prepared beautifully. The staff were first class - they can't do enough for you. I actually shed a few tears when we had to say goodbye to head waiter Azmeel - something I've never done before! The chef gave us recipes for his chicken and fish tikka and gave us some spices. The cooks also prepared foods especially for my husband after he said he particularly liked something. Ruwan (manager of the restaurants) and Samy (manager of in-villa dining) were also fantastic. They head a great team of staff. First Class management and service!

Rooms: The water villa was lovely but I was disappointed that the jacuzzi had been removed. We spent one day in the presidential suite as part of a "Feel like a President" package. This was heavenly - well worth every cent! It included a massage in the suite, in-villa dining for all meals and a champagne breakfast and cocktails at sunset.

Minus points: Really these are down to personal tastes.

Entertainment - Just not our cup of tea! Most of the entertainment takes place at 22:00, after dinner. While we were there there were two themed parties (Caribbean night and Pirate night), casino nights, live music and a DJ and the gala night. OK, you can avoid this if you don't like it, but the music was very loud. We were in a water villa almost as far away from the island as possible and we could still hear the music in our room.

The main problem is that there is nowhere else to go for a quiet drink. Only the main bar is open after dinner. Other people seemed to love the dancing and music (although it was mainly staff dancing) but, for me, it is too raucous and, dare I say, a bit tacky!

Drinks at the sundowner bar at sunset were good - very enjoyable to watch all the photographic sessions going on for hours! Sometimes the music here also annoyed me. I would rather hear the sound of the sea.

Before dinner the main bar was absolutely dead. I think this is due to the board basis. People don't seem to want to spend money in the bar when they can get free wine and beer with their meals later. I found this a little sad. Maybe I'm just too picky - I want some atmosphere before dinner but not loud music and enforced fun after dinner! As I said - personal taste. Other people would love it.

If you want a very peaceful and mainly adult only environment then you should perhaps avoid the school holidays. There were a lot of families on the island and a fair amount of shrieking teenagers in the pool some days. This seemed to increase towards the end of our stay as more German schools would've broken up for the summer holiday. The clientèle when we were there was mainly Chinese (couples and large family groups) and German. Apart from one family on the first couple of days I think we were the only British people on the island - not a problem for us but some people may like to meet other British holidaymakers. We tend to avoid this ;-)

My brief overview has almost turned into a full review!

Our priorities when choosing an island are reef, quality of food, friendly service and standard of room. On these things RC is first class. I would definitely return to this island, which is not something I say about all islands we've visited. I would say that Mirihi is still my favourite, very closely followed by RC; which I think is high praise indeed!

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Hello

So pleased that you had a wonderful time and thank you for the balanced review.

It's exactly as I imagined and not on our list due to our priorities - as well as a good house reef, we like a nice water villa, and a peaceful atmosphere on our holiday; and yes, we can only travel during what are school holidays elsewhere but find that even non school age children can be noisy and therefore opt for resorts that absolutely offer no baby sitting etc and ideally age restrictions, or even adult only - however, we don't want to go back to the same resort - Komandoo - every time ;)

As someone who does not enjoy flying and we already have a connecting fly before our long haul we quite like an island that does not need a seaplane but that's not a deal breaker.

Looking forward to seeing what Baros is like next month, after last two trips to Mirihi.

England, United...
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2. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Cakestin

Glad you had a wonderful holiday ;-) it sounds like a fab island ,

How would you compare the reef and currents to Mirihi/ Athuruga ?

Darryl

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Cakestin, thanks for the detail review, now i know which island to recommend when people asking night life in Maldives! 22:00???? That’s usually the time i enjoyed a dark beach under the starry night, the only sounds i like will be the wave and breeze...........

Northern Ireland...
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4. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Thanks for the heads up . That would be a deal breaker. After dinner we like a few quiet drinks, maybe the odd musician a la athuruga or at least the choice if bars a la kuramathi to pick and choose if we want to join in. The staff night, once a week is ok but not every night full on madness. I know it wasn't but it does sound like Butlins at night time

Ho Chi Minh City...
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5. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Karla - we are also limited to school holidays. It can be a pain but I also can't really moan about having 15 weeks paid holiday a year! ;-) I'll be very interested to know what you think of Baros. The extra internal flight on the way out was no bother but on the way back the journey seemed very long (22 hours door to door). The plane used is also very small and hot. I prefer the sea plane to be honest but the internal flight wouldn't put me off.

Darryl - it's difficult to compare, to be honest. All have their pluses and minuses. At Mirihi we could only snorkel on one side of the island, so this was a drawback. I would say the reef at RC is as good as Athuruga's but I loved seeing all the rays at Athuruga. I think we've enjoyed all three reefs equally. There seemed to be quite a lot of algae on some of the corals at RC. I'm not sure whether this is a seasonal thing. RC's reef was probably the easiest to snorkel in terms of lack of currents. We loved that we had so much of it to explore.

Frequent T - Yes, 22:00 is late for me on holiday too! But we did enjoy a drink with one of the chef's and Samy, the manager of in-villa dining, on the Pirate night!

Paul - Butlins is a bit harsh :-) But I do understand that many people, including ourselves, do not like entertainment. We rebelled at the Captain's gala white night by wearing our brightest clothes possible. At times the entertainment annoyed me but by the end I had got more used to it. Maybe that's the brainwashing effect of the "Club" mentality! Although we did not like the entertainment I would certainly return to RC before Kuramathi or Athuruga.

Northern Ireland...
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6. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Captains gala white night?... As in dressing up in something white? .... Sounds like Kuredu. No way would I go to an island with such full on animation. The thought of leaving the restaurant where the drink is free to then go to the bar to pay for an unquiet drink would make me stay in the restaurant and eat verrrryyyy slooowwwwwwwly lol

Cumbria, United...
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7. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Pleased you had a good time (despite the loud entertainment)!

We too like a quiet bar for an after dinner drink but if the reef is good we would compromise on that. I do like the idea of the presidential suite for a night - our budget only stretches to budget/mid range islands so its an opportunity to live the high life briefly!

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Back from Robinson Club

cakestin,

I'm off to Robinson Club in 10 days. Was it loud every night? I'm surprised that people in garden & beach villas didn't complain about the noise. We're in a garden villa for the first few days, I'm a bit worried about that. How late did the noise go? Sounds not as restful as I'd hope, which worries me slightly...

Also, my SO needs Internet/wi-fi or he will get very grumpy. Is RC's internet very fast? Otherwise I'm considering to buy a SIM card and router when we land in Male.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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9. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Heather - it was amazing. I had a huge grin on my face for the whole time.

HappyBelly - it wasn't loud every night. I think if you're inland or on the other side of the island you may not hear the noise. We only used the WiFi briefly and it seemed fine.

Edinburgh, United...
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10. Re: Back from Robinson Club

Hi again

Yes will do a detailed review after Baros

I think it's great to give different islands a go and while ours have been quite similar, the marine life has varied - looking forward to seeing those lovely bat fish again ... Never encountered any at Mirihi.

Evening entertainment is not something we're looking for though don't mind the odd guitar player ...

Saying that, it's impossible to find an island that ticks every single box, particularly when one is so picky ;)