We’ve just got back from 2 weeks on Angaga – our 7th trip to the Maldives but our first at this time of year (July). We’ve always been in March previously but thought we’d give the rainy season (and cheaper prices!) a go. There were very few English on the island but a lot of Germans & Japanese. Everyone was pleasant but some were more willing to chat than others. English is always used to communicate.
For the first time ever we flew into Male in low cloud & missed the stunning views of the atolls. It was hot but drizzly, windy & grey. This was really what we expected at this time of year but nevertheless it was disappointing as we are normally so wowed by the amazing colours. The British-style dismal weather continued for the first couple of days & we spent our time reading under the shelter of our veranda. It was relaxing but we did miss the beauty & the urge to wallow in the turquoise sea. In fact, I think we both thought we’d be off to Europe next summer. Anyway, the sun eventually emerged and we had a few days of heavy (& sudden!) rain interspersed with glorious sunshine. The wind remained, which made the sea choppy but it also made it much more pleasant when the sun came out. And our last 5 days were wall-to-wall sunshine! On a particularly stormy evening, we watched an in-coming sea-plane circle the island a few times & abort 2 landings before eventually coming down in a rather unconventional area of the lagoon. There must have been 50 people out on the beach, willing the pilot good luck. It was then a bit of a challenge getting the passengers transferred to the pontoon and then the dhoni. This was particularly tense as we’d heard that a seaplane had sunk at Conrad the previous day, when the wind & rough seas buffeted it into the pontoon. Nobody was hurt. Worrying about the weather is ridiculously stressful – there’s always that anxiety that the poor weather will be as good as it gets. I know that people will say that ‘you’re still in the beautiful Maldives/paradise’ but, for us, the beauty of the colours in the sunshine is really important.
We’d been to Angaga before & had emailed a room request based on our experience in March 2010. We were happy to be allocated 128 – until we saw how the island had changed shape with the tides (something we’d read about before but hadn’t experienced). The wide beach was gone & this part of the island (between rooms 120-128) was under threat by the rough seas. Outside our room there was very little beach (not even enough for our sunbeds) &, when the tide was in, the water was coming right across our veranda in quite an alarming way. It was interesting to see at first hand the desperate situation that the staff were in as they tried to limit the damage with sandbags & a rope to tie up a beautiful overhanging palm tree. It was not a pretty sight but they had to do something as a matter of urgency. They had our sympathy. By the end of our holiday this small area looked like a war zone but I think they’d halted the damage. Although we were told that this was the worst erosion they’d ever had to deal with, they were hopeful that the sand would be repositioned when the winds change. Let’s hope so. We gave it a couple of days then asked to move – we ended up in 109, which was calmer & prettier. The rooms are large & simple – no frills but comfortable. I walked into the corner of the enormous bamboo bed frame every time I got up in the night! The shower in our first room was rather a feeble one – we noticed the difference when we changed rooms. With hindsight, we should have mentioned this at the time but we thought they must all be the same.
The food was a little disappointing, especially in terms of veggie options. Desserts (particularly the crepes) & fruit were wonderful but the salads were always very similar (but tasty) and the main courses lacked my beloved curries! Breakfast was always good. We were on HB so had a snack/fruit platter in the bar for lunch – this worked well for us. We were amazed by the huge number of smokers & feel it’s worth pointing out that the restaurant has a smoking area (bizarrely, this is closest to the food) & 2 smoke-free zones. We didn’t realise this & were put in the smoking zone.
Generally friendly – some exceptionally so and some a little dour. All men, except for the spa ladies.
The spa was great & all the ladies were delightful. I had 3 massages for a deal price of $180 + taxes. In terms of leisure, there is very little to do, apart form the obvious attractions of beach/sea. There were a few trips but, apart from the night fishing for Mr Mexi, we didn’t do any. One night, a very good band played in the bar – it was a lovely evening & great for people-watching! There were plenty of books in the library.
On the calmer, sunnier days, it was amazing. We saw two turtles and a sizeable (4 ft?) white-tipped shark one day. The reef is great at Angaga – easily accessible and teeming with fish. On our last full day, there was an invasion of jellyfish – little purple blobs washed up all along the shore on one side of the island so everyone had to stay out of the water there. These little things have incredibly long tails/tentacles – some were about 4 ft long and so thin they were almost invisible. That’s how I got one wrapped round my leg – and it hurt! Our waiter had been in the water cleaning the reef the previous day and he’d also been stung. I’m sure we weren’t the only ones.
Stars & Phosphorescence
On a clear night we used to lie on the beach & just gaze at the amazing stars – we saw several shooting stars & found it magical. We also found that by kicking the sand gently along the water’s edge on a dark night, we could see the phosphorescence.
Of course, by the end of the holiday, with the sun shining, we were talking about booking again for next year! Thoughts of Greece were fading.... We love the Maldives & if I’ve seemed at all negative it’s only because I wanted to point out that expectations should be realistic to avoid disappointment. Angaga is a beautiful, simple, natural island (with some temporary erosion) & I’m sure we will be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Angaga Island Resort & Spa is located in the South Ari Atoll and is surrounded by a wealth of natural beauty along with crystal clear waters and a white sandy beach. The island is approximately 45,000 square metres and is superb for snorkeling and diving with the house reef just 7-8 metres from the beach featuring live coral and beautiful marine life. This is a great island for those holidaymakers seeking peace and tranquility. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Angaga Island Hotel Angaga Island
- Hotel Angaga Island
- Angaga Island Resort & Spa Maldives