If your idea of the perfect holiday in the Maldives is a mosquito-infested scrub of a postage-stamp sized bit of land, arrived at by boat driven by a kamikaze style crew with a death wish,( and it's a good job that on the way here,transiting through a country of Buddhists,Hindus and Muslims I brought with me the peaceful sense of Nirvana that I was able to draw upon during my near-death experience) ,where the beach bungalows are basic and in a very poor state of repair and have been for many years, at least since 2010 or earlier so the excuse that they're undergoing renovation no longer washes,( like indoor camping), where the food is virtually the same leathery fish stew or pasta every day but endlessly recycled with the previous days leftover veg and baked in cheese 'singles',where the coffee is the worst brand of instant stewed sludge (although some bright spark has had the brass-nerve to display an "Illy" coffee sign ) and what purports to be " fresh orange juice" at breakfast is ,without a shadow of a doubt,orange squash , where the Maldivian language of Divehi is hardly spoken even by locals ( very annoying having made the effort to learn it on another island last year ), if you don't mind fellows guests arriving at dinner dressed in vests or using the bar tables as footstools, then Adaaran Club Ranalhi is for you.
If you have the misfortune to stay in one of the beach bungalows,( currently under refurbishment) ,choose an upstairs room as you won't be bothered by the stream of guests walking by on the way to ( what masquerades as ) breakfast, lunch and dinner.So as you sit on the verandah of your beach bungalow , you will be eaten alive by a plague of Mosquitos .There is no anti mosquito repellant or bug bombs sold in the tiny shop on the island so I would suggest, to relieve yourself from the constant itching , take a regular dip in the salt water, whilst trying not to ignore the "Swim at your own risk" signs.There is no gym and no pool so prepare to be bored out of your skull.
In desperation ,I swapped to a water villa for the remainder of my week and although the fixtures and fittings were much more up to date in terms of the bathroom suite ,TV and music centre, overall the maintenance was poor,( I can come back with my tool box and paints to help things along if needs be) steps to the sea from the villa were downright dangerous and a word to housekeeping:"Enough with the Origami bed sheets!!!".
Foolishly,I ordered a laughably over-priced room service breakfast of poached eggs,toast and fruit juice( bizarrely, coffee and tea is not included on the room service menu). The poached eggs were half raw,half microwaved,in other words,totally inedible.The mango juice was clearly not freshly squeezed .( the breakfast was removed from our final bill). I would be more than happy to demonstrate how to prepare two perfectly poached eggs on toast,with freshly brewed coffee from real coffee beans with a glass of freshly squeezed juice , all in about 10 minutes( I do this regularly at home) to your catering team as they are clearly in desperate need of the basic skills.After all, if you are in the food and beverage/ hospitality business and you are unable to prepare a basic breakfast,do not bother getting up in the morning.Food should be something to look forward to and a highlight of a vacation,not something to be dreaded, wondering what weird concoction of leftovers the chef could come up with each night.The most I had to look forward to all week was an early night and two soluble Anadin in a glass of water.The " wine" served at dinner would be more suited to cleaning windows and the " all-inclusive" spirits served in the bar ( not brand-names) were of dubious enough quality to leave me with a blinding headache and raging stomach ache.
The very brief spats of rain were very pleasant as I live in the Middle East where, at the moment temperatures are at least 40 degrees Celsius and the humidity is at 80% or more.For me then, this is the perfect time of year, from a climate perspective, to visit.Actually, this is the ONLY reason to visit. The ocean, the spectacular fish and the sunshine and the Herons ( who will sit on your bungalow's deck at night spying the fish) are the reasons to come here but are spoiled by building a poor excuse of a resort here.I strongly urge anyone visiting this part of the world for the first time, to spend a reasonable amount of money if you're going to travel from as far away as Europe( thank goodness I live only 4 hours away) to choose a resort such as Vilamendhoo for your first Maldives experience and go up from there.Altogether much friendlier,with much better local cuisine,better service,better rooms ,great water villas , a pool,gym and lots of in house entertainment and arrived at by sea plane rather than the " take your life in your hands" style boat trip.
In the low season,Adaaran Club Ranalhi, popular with Russian and German visitors,is very inexpensive and there are some terrific Groupon rates to be had.But bear in mind, there are very good reasons for that.And for goodness sake,DONT leave a tip just because someone fills up your water glass at meal times.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rannalhi was a favourite transit destination for islanders, being the final fresh-water landfall on the journey south from Khaafu Atoll in the Maldives. Known as 'the measure of gold' (ran means gold, nalhi is a unit of measure) for its beauty and fertility, Rannalhi island is now home to an all-action fun resort where good times and friendship make for unforgettable tropical holidays. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Adaaran Club Rannalhi Hotel South Male Atoll
- Adaaran Hotel Rannalhi
- Adaaran Hotel South Male Atoll