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“Textbook desert island - perfect”

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Sun Island Resort and Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 October 2010

Sun Island Resort is a brilliant All-Inclusive resort in the Maldives. I'm surprised to read other reviews saying that it is not - as far as we were concerned the All-Inclusive was effortless and worked well.

The Island itself is perfect and well cared for - always workmen and gardeners working during the day. A little distressing to see Muslim ladies in traditional full-length garb sweeping the beach and pathways with short coconut leaf brooms - very hard on their backs and arms I'm sure. The staff generally are wonderful - yes of course they want to be tipped but is that unusual? They are courteous and efficient and sort any problems immediately and with good grace - well worth a tip. Hussein at the pool is a real gentleman and has a tremendous memory. My only complaint was the bike hire man - clearly having a bad day!!

Beaches are stunning - especially near the Water Sports Centre - textbook desert island - photos don't do it justice - you need to see it with your own eyes.

Beware mozzies near the bungalows. The public areas are sprayed but other areas aren't and should be.

My one 'complaint' which isn't really a complaint - maybe a query - why do people insist on taking small children to the Maldives - it's boring for them and they end up having arguments. The Maldives should be the preserve of adults who appreciate it's beauty and tranquility. I am a parent myself so will apologise now - but please - don't waste your money - take your kids to Spain where they will be happier and have lots of new friends - save your money until they're old enough to leave home alone - you will appreciate the islands so much more without them.

Restaurants served good food - we ate mainly in the AI one - service in the Thai was rather poor but the food delicious.

Loved the shark and sting ray feeding - huge sharks at such close quarters - amazing.

I would recommend seaplane out to this island - but make sure you do the free Sunset fishing trip - fascinating and great fun!!

The Spa is also worth a long visit - I tried a Thai massage for the first time - what an experience and very effective. Staff are very courteous and the special offer including lunch is a bargain when you consider what the tratments alone would cost over here.

Loved it!!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nia_sws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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815 - 821 of 2,814 reviews

Reviewed 18 October 2010

I stayed with my wife here from 17-25 Sep 2010. Perfect honeymoon. I stayed in water bungalow. Perfectly placed settings. I wonder how come some of the visitors have negative comments about this resort. Staff and visitors all were cool people. At this time there was no rush and plenty of space to move around. We both enjoyed until we were so tired that we would drag our feet to the bungalow in the night. Just the way wanted it.

Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank xyzMapleOn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2010

Ignore any reviews that criticise this resort. My friend and I are widely travelled, and just spent the best week we've ever had on holiday. This island is absolutely stunning, the staff charming and polite, the sea is crystal clear, and there are plenty of facilities to keep you entertained. And don't forget the spa-brilliant!. Go and enjoy, I will certainly be going back.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank AJW12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2010

Having read every single tip on here before we went, i wanted to share my tips on this absolutely wonderful resort. We used tesco clubcard vouchers (£215, which tesco quadruple to get £860 off this holiday) booking through Virgin. We paid just under £1800 for the week with tescos paying the other £860 - bargain even if it was only half board.

We chose our own flights with Emirates, they are 1st class and even their cattle class is better than alot of business class on other airlines. Fly with Emirates.

I allowed 1 day travelling either side of the 7 day stay and coming back we got the 1145pm flight from Male to Dubai and spent the following day (yesterday) in Dubai sightseeing before getting the last flight back from Dubai, again well worth it. It is your holiday so you decide where, when to fly etc.

I was initially quoted $58 pp per day to upgrade to AI, but when we got there i immediately told the guy in the reception that i wanted to upgrade. He told me that they would do AI for the FB price ($43 pp per day), so we got yet another bargain!! Book only HB through a tour operator and upgrade to AI when you get there.

This leads me onto the big question HB or AI??? This is an absolute no brainer, you have to go AI. Why? Your TV is $10 per day (you have to pay it regardless), water is $3.50, you get 2 bottles a day and you will end up buying a bottle at one of the meals, so there is another $10.50 per day. You will also end up drinking at all meals (soft or alcoholic). Soft drinks are $5 each and they are only 300ml sized bottles, so 2 adults drinking 2 cokes/fantas/whatever, each day is another $20. Without any other drinks, your daily bill is already $40.50. We never went to breakfast, so i am basing my maths on lunch and dinner. As the upgrade was $86 for 2 people per day, you only have to spend another $46 to get your money's worth.

Lagers are served by the half pint and are $5 each. Spirits are $7. A bacardi and coke is therefore $12 for example. I also went to the gym a couple of times ($8 but free on AI). Between me and my wife we must have run up $100 bills every night but because we were AI, it didn't matter. The waiters are supposed to serve you a glass at a time, but i am a generous tipper, so they kept stacking the drinks up before i had time to finish my drinks.

Do's and Dont's - DO Take a snorkel if you are into that as the dive centre charges $10 each to rent for the day; Sting Ray feeding and shark feeding - it is free; take your own tea bags and coffee. We got the 3 in 1 sachets of nescafe from the 99p shop (you get about 8 sachets for 99p obviously!); take lots of 1 and 5 dollar notes for tipping. I tipped the room boy on arrival, our meal waiter once a day, and the waiters in the restaurant; take swimwear in hand luggage as your suitcase (like mine) might arrive on a later seaplane; fold a piece of card (like a business card) and wedge it into the slot for the room key - that way the aircon remains on all of the time; take your own snacks (pringles, mars bars, bags of sweets) to avoid the minibar prices (again the 99p store is a must before you go); get a room by the main bar area - rooms 167 to 200 are the best area. We were in room 189 and it took me 250 small paces (I paced it out) to get from the front door to the main bar!!; take lots of mosquitto repellant - they do spray the island everyday, but the little buggers still sniff you out!! Buy a Maldivian pay as you go SIM card at Male airport before you get the seaplane - They are available in the gift shop on the left hand side after you have passed through security. I paid $40. For that i got a SIM Card and a another top up card which in total gave me over 500 Rufiyya in credit. Call costs are 4.90 rufiyya per minute back to the UK so you get over 100 minutes for about £25 (25p per minute), which is a hell of alot cheaper than roaming rates. Text costs are 1 rifiyya (5 pence per text)!!! I gave my mobile to the Maldivian fella in the mobile phone shop and he put the SIM card into my phone, topped it up with extra credit and Bob's your uncle! DO buy your souvenirs at Sun Island as it is cheaper than the airport and Definitely get the seaplane. One final do - DO be careful of the odd falling branch off the palm trees.

DONT - take jeans or trousers as it is too hot to wear them, you only need shorts (mixture of swimming and casual); Don't take a jumper/cardigan. This is not the med and there is no cool breeze on a night time. If you get a room near the main bar, don't waste £3.50 per day on a bike; Don't bother with the other (payable) restaurants - food is good and plentiful in the main restaurant, so why waste your money!! Don't take towels; Don't bother taking waterproofs, it rained once in the last week for about 10 minutes and the place was bone dry 10 minutes later. Sun Island is 4 degrees north of the equator, everyday (for the last week) the sun came up at just before 6am and set just after 6pm. It is very hot and all you need is plenty of shorts, T Shirts and sun cream!! Leave the winter clothes for the holiday to Skegness!!!

Other titbits - AI is from 10am to 1am but all of the entertainment (crab racing, karaoke, maldivian music night, live band) finishes at 1am. Order your end of night drinks at about 1245pm. Get to know the barmen, tip them and they will look after you (they looked after me and Mrs). When you arrive everything is written down on the various bits of paper you get about AI - where, when, what drinks etc. You also get 2 free excursions on AI but we didn't bother.

If like me, you want to check in for your flight online, make sure you get the PNR code from your tour operator, to allow you to choose your own seats. Visit www.seatguru.com for the configuration of all seats on all types of aircraft to help you decide your preferred seat.

Finally - ignore any of the poor comments on here. This place is absolutely wonderful. If anyone criticises it, then they are obviously used to 7 star stays in Dubai, paying 7 star money (or just miserable gumpy people who need to get a life).

Have a great time on this wonderful island, we did and it literally was a "Holiday of a Lifetime"

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank BMF4274
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2010

Even though we arrived in torrential rain the staff were very welcoming and we got to our room within 10 minutes of arriving on the island. The sea plane transfer is definitely worth the extra expense. We stayed in room 281 on Reef View beach (super delux), we walked round the island one day (approx 1.5 hours and well worth it) and there was not a better bit of beach than the bit we were on. The basic rooms did not have a very nice beach. Reef view is exactly what it is. Calm seas, excellent snorkelling and even baby sharks each day going up and down the shore. This side of the island is also very still and the other side very windy and rougher seas.

We stayed on full board as we dont drink much alcohol. It was the right choice as AI was an extra £800. We worked out that we paid an extra £400 for drinks with every meal, lots of water and the gym, snooker, badminton, watersports and the internet so unless you drink a lot of alcohol it is not worth all inclusive. Despite what other reviews say it is not overpriced, just keep in mind that you are on holiday not shopping at tesco.

We had our own table in the main restaurant and our waiter was Ahmed. He was very friendly and on our last night decorated our table. He could remember what drinks we liked and asked us how our holiday was going on many occasions. Not once did we feel like he was just after a tip. The same goes for our room boy. We had our bed decorated with flowers twice and he came to see if you wanted to room cleaned twice a day. The rooms are basic but the bed was very comfortable and huge and with such beautiful surroundings your not going to spend much time in the room anyway. In the super delux rooms you also get an outside shower which we used everyday.

The food was exceptional. Over the 2 weeks we did not see the same dish twice for lunch and dinner. Breakfast offers everything you could possibly want although it is the same each day and even on full board you get free tea, coffee and fruit juice here. For lunch and dinner there was always fresh salads, bread, pasta, fish, meat (no pork) and the puddings were also amazing with lots of fresh fruit. We had no problems with upset stomachs - except for eating too much.

As this is a big island there is a lot to do. Various excursions are available as well as sports, spa, water sports and shark and sting ray feeding on the island. There is an internet center and a few shops too that are well priced. We only did the Rockin Rolla at the water sports center. Give it a go if you fancy a bit of an adrenaline rush. Even if you dont want to do water sports still walk (or hire a bike) over there as the beach is out of this world.

All in all we had the best time and are now very depressed to be back in miserable england. If you are looking for a holiday where you can relax and do a few things if you want, rather than lap it up in pure luxury, to then this is it. All the staff were so friendly, always saying hello as they cycle past you even if you havent seen them before.

We wouldnt hesitate to recommend this to anyone. Have a great time.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank suzieandalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2010

Just back from the best vacation of my life with my wife. Maldives , needless to say is an immaculate tropical destination. The most serene, most b lue waters, best snorkelling, super visibility, best diving, and host of other USP's give maldives the edge over other beach destinations.

Sun Island Eresort - A beautiful resort spread over a big island in South Ari Atoll. The views over the sea plane was just amazing, i recommend strongly to take the sea plane transfers, just a few dollars more and a memory of a lifetime.

Accomodation: We stayed in a water bunglow and i must say, they are just amazingly bueatifull, its quite a sight, one of the best symmetry i have ever seen. Rooms very comfortable and spacy with all amenities. Other land accomodation might not be as good as i heard from other guests, but the destination and a host of activities to do there over compensates for any negatives at the resort.

Food: We had all our meals at the Southern star rest for the water bunglow guests, the food was great if not the best, with a wide variety. I must specially mentinoed about the sweet dishes and fruit cointer, the best sweet dish variety i have ever seen across all destinations. Also the team at the rest was just amazing, all very friendly esp our dedicated waiter Mohamed, nicknamed Mode

Pool: The has has been recently rennovated, so it was in its top condition, a huge one with a super sunken bar.

Location: Sun isalnd is nestled at the corner of South Ari atoll so it gives excellent and unobstructed views fomr the island beaches, also this is the biggest resort in maldives, probably so it gives you a lot of private space as well

Diving: The diving school is located at one corner near the italian rest, and i must say, they have some really experienced and amazing divers esp Yusha (hope i get the name correct, Adam and Fayaz. Also Yasser (who incidentally shares my name was a great guy who helped us realise our diving dream. We took 2 dives each, could not however do the course due to the prices, but next time i shall save for that as well. The life in terms of Corals and fihses is just amazing out there, Its extremely rich. We saw huge coral gardens, a great drop off just 5 mins after diving, Big turtle, Rays (Not manta, but as big as it), Colorful groupers, Moray eel, and lots of other species which i dont know the names of.

Snorkelling: The house reef near the italian rest if good, but the better is the snorkelling excursino " Reef explorer " which they arrange for a nearby coral garden, it had some amazing underwater views. The guys at the boat are very friendly and helpful, they went with my wife in the water to help her make comfortable as she was having a bit problems initially to snorkel.

I strongly recommend for the "Follow the dolphins " excursion coz we were lucky enuf to sight a big groups of Dolphins on the way back towards the end of the safari. They were just amazing creatures, who come to the boat and swim with you all the way along.

All in all, its a place where you have so much to do and all of it is among the best in the world. There were so many special and memorable things namely: The dolphins, Scuba Diving, Jet ski (Abdulla was a great guy, the jet ski instructor), Water bunglows, White sand beaches, Lobster dinner at the Thai rest, Amazing views, Blue waters

Typical Maldives

Would we return ???.....hhhhhhhhmmmmmmm, u guess

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Yas_Munz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2010

It is a perfect destination for honeymoon. Beautifully constructed resort with shallow sea surrounding the island, it was a perfect delight. a near private beach with each room, tons of variety of food to chose from, relaxing spa.

PLs carry the booking coupons from your agent, otherwse its gets delayed in check in.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank ratnesh_bolivar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sun Island Resort and Spa

Address: 2100 (Formerly Sun Island Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Nalaguraidhoo Island
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nalaguraidhoo Island
Price Range: £112 - £648 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sun Island Resort and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 462
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sun Island measuring about 1.6 km in length and around 380 meters in width has 350 elegantly furnished guestrooms, including 72 water bungalows, out of which, 4 are Presidential Suites, 218 Super Deluxe Beach Bungalows and 60 Deluxe Beach Bungalows. All Deluxe and Super Deluxe Beach Bungalows are built on the beach ensuring a direct view of the shore and sea. All Water Bungalows are built on stilts in the lagoon overlooking the vast horizon of either the sunrise or sunset view, from your private deck. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sun Island Hotel South Ari Atoll
Sun Island Resort Maldives
Sun Island Maldives
Hotel Sun Island

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