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“Fantastic experience”

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Fihalhohi Island Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 April 2014

We stayed in a water bungalow. This was beautiful and very spacious. We were able to watch the stingrays (large and small) sunbathing and sleeping below our bungalow. It was our first time to the Maldives but we are saving to get out there again. Truly everything you would expect from a paradise destination.

The staff were friendly and helpful. The food was plentiful and sufficient.
No complaints.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Karen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 April 2014

We didn't stay the night at Fihalhohi. We went there on a day trip instead from Arena Lodge where we were staying in Maafushi.

Arena Lodge has several excursions to different private resorts. We chose Fihalhohi because it's the most affordable one. I'm glad we chose it, because it's worth the 88 USD (per head) we paid for it. The 40 USD is for the speedboat, 48 USD is for the entrance fee and lunch buffet.

Fihalhohi is a no-frills resort, but it has a beautiful white beach, impressive house reef, and amazing water bungalows. We spent the whole day in the water, either snorkeling or just swimming. We didn't have beach chairs because they are reserved for stay-in guests, but we found shade under the trees where we put our stuff.

Buffet lunch is good enough. It has plenty of options and I managed to make four trips before I decided I've had enough.

Because beer is not allowed in Maafushi, we ordered a pitcher of San Miguel Beer at Fihalhohi and drank by the beach. It was nice to get a buzz!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Lex R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

We spent 14 nights at this hotel from the last week in March. Weather was brilliant and only two half days of rain.

As far as the hotel is concerned, you get what you pay for, as this is inexpensive for a Maldivian island. The island itself is a good size for getting to all the amenities such as the restaurant and the reef. The accommodation seems good no matter what you stay in, although we would not upgrade to a water bungalow as they look to be in a poor condition. We had a comfort room and stayed in an upstairs with balcony the first week which was not well cleaned and a bottom floor with terrace with closer access to the beach and reef during the second week (which was beautifully cleaned). Management seem to be very pro-active if there is a problem and will help to get you a move should you request it. The rooms themselves were spacious and the bathrooms have over-bath showers which are good and there is a plentiful supply of hot water, so no complaints. Wardrobe space is very small and there are no drawers for other clothes so you tend to live out of cases, which is a bit of a bind.
The classic bungalows have more space for clothes and a shower room without bath which seems a better idea. No one had any complaints about these and they are the least expensive and close to the reef area.

The beach is great with soft white sand and safe bathing for both adults and children for quite a reasonable area before you come across corals or the reef area. The reef itself is fantastic with new coral growth widespread. The fish are abundant and probably the best we have seen in the Maldives (better than Kuramathi and Vilamendhoo). We only saw one adult reef shark but several turtles, both large and small, even in the shallow water with eagle rays and morays also roaming the reef. We went out on a trip to see the dolphins, which many people had done previously and seen hundreds, but unfortunately it had been raining heavily earlier on that day, which was possibly the reason we saw none.

The only disappointment about the holiday was the food. We did not expect much but the variety and the quality were poor and the restaurant was very hot and airless. The staff tried very hard, especially Mahudi, who was our waiter and who was both diligent and charming and made the otherwise poor experience at least a pleasant one. If you go, do take the Half Board option as there is the cafe at the top of the island which serves freshly cooked food for breakfast, lunch and dinner at reasonable prices. This is a very good place to have a drink in the evening and watch the sun go down and then stay until dark to look at the stars. If you're lucky and we were, it may be dark enough to see the Milky Way.

Entertainment was provided every night in the bar and we have to say that for the Maldives, this was varied and good, with live music, discos, cultural evenings etc., The bar prices were steep but not excessive and this is normal on Maldivian islands.

So overall - rooms are good, food is poor, entertainment is good, reef is fabulous!!
So as we went for the fishes and did not pay too much for the holiday (Thompsons by Dreamliner, which was great) we had a great time and would go again, just not full board. By the way, for some reason, Thompsons are not flying to the Maldives in the future so this will be a great loss as they are one of the few companies that fly direct to Male. This island will then only be accessible via German, French and Dutch travel companies - there were very few English customers there when we went. Pity.

Room Tip: Choose a room near the reef as the beach is there also. There is also plenty of shade between the f...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank CorkeyWilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

Overall the resort had just as many bad points as good for us. My wife and I arrived after 3 days on Maafushi, a local island and we ended up missing our small guesthouse all 3 of our days on the resort. Some of the good things included well marked vegetarian meals in the dining hall. The beaches and sand were tremendous, with some of the finest shell sand we have seen.

The bad: the smell of mildew in our room with the mold growing on the lamps. They have an awesome staff volleyball team that won the resort staff tournament and we could hear them practice and playing games but couldn't watch. They set their time an hour ahead of Male time for no reason, perhaps only to have a catching but lame marketing slogan of, "we give you an hour of your life back when you leave." Why would I want to borrow an hour of my life when I got there? It makes no sense to me. I missed not having the absolute friendly feeling of locals and would not go back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Phillip Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

We just had week here and we loved the place. We were in a comfort room for the first part and it was large and spotless whilst a bit dated. The second half in water villa was superb and is a must. The transfer by speedboat was very good and we got cards for the phones and IPads before we left ( the telecom shops are to your right when you leave the arrivals hall). The check in was quick and we were met at the jetty and taken for a drink and snack whilst checking in was finalised. Likewise check out was fairly straightforward but they ask you settle your bill on the day before you leave and you only pay the balance upon leaving. As noted by others this a small island but they have set the rooms in the landscape to minimise the impact. You can walk around it in about 20 mins tops, the beach sand and the sand walkways never get that hot and you can walk barefoot in comfort. The island is lush but I did notice they seem to be struggling with erosion on the south side. The House Reef - how to describe it other than swimming in an aquarium! The reef is along the north side and is teeming with fish and clearly the coral is coming back. We didn't do any diving (sticky ears has seen to that) but the snorkelling was great. The landscape on the island is well maintained but some of the Palms and bushes on the south side are falling into the sea. There are fruit bats ( harmless, storks, parrots with some slightly noisy crows, lizards etc etc. We got several bites but they didn't seem as bad as we get in Thailand etc. We didn't notice any Mosquitoes . The food was fine, not superb, but far from bad- I think how it is presented that cause some of the negative comments- there is air of school dinners about meals ( we were on half board) as the times are fixed. We had a table to ourselves and our waiter, Salahuddin, was very attentive. A carafe of wine is only US$ 8.00 (but a bottle of wine starts at US$ 32.00), a beer is US5.00. There are several bars but only the Fishermans Bar seemed to attract a crowd for Sundowners but the maximum we saw was about 50 max and is very laid back. We only went on the Manta Ray and Dolphin excursion- no Mantas but lots of Dolphins and then 30 mins of snorkelling - turtles, eagle rays and lots of fish including Puffer Fish. Every morning we watched the storks getting their breakfast as the larger fish hunted the smallest fish onto the waters edge and they were followed by several black tips ( only a max 3 feet) and you could have stretched out and caught them by hand.(we didn't but this takes place on the western point just after sun up. Take an opportunity to go to the shade/hut at the edge of the water villas -look straight down and slightly to the left of centre at about 0800 hours - it is worth it and thank you Sahid ( who looked after the Villas) for showing us this. All in all,for us this was an excellent get away from it all holiday and intent to return.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank FerrydenScot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Just arrived home after spending two weeks at Fihalhohi, this was our first visit to this island and our fifth to the Maldives.
The transfer took 45 minutes both ways, we had booked through Thomson, but the rep did not accompany us to the island and we did not see him during the two week stay.

We were allocated room 82 (Thomson Deluxe, Island Comfort standard) which is on the North beach just to the right of the water bungalows.
The décor and finish of the rooms was standard three star Maldives accommodation and kept very clean by the room boy.

The good points:
1. The staff were great, all the staff at the Blue Lagoon bar were fantastic, very friendly and made our stay memorable.
2. The north beach had some of the finest (smallest grains) sand I have seen in the Maldives
3. The house reef was the best we had seen so far in the Maldives
4. The island vegetation completely disguises the rooms on the north and there are hundreds of palm trees and other vegetation, very lush.
5. The sunset Dolphin trip was very good we had a lot of Dolphins swimming in the wake at the front of the boat, fantastic.
6. The fitness centre looked really good with a modern selection of equipment

The bad points:
1. Sharing tables in the restaurant, luckily we did not have to share, I asked the head waiter about the policy, the resort was originally built with 96 rooms, it has since been extended to 148 but the restaurant still only has 96 tables so sharing is inevitable. He said they will always sit same language people together, as the British are in a minority and there were only 14 people arriving when we did, the other 12 shared, we did not, though this was more luck than anything else. We witnessed other couples sitting in silence not talking to each other whilst the other couple were at the table, this policy does nothing to enhance the romanticism of the Maldives.

2. The beach on the south side, there is only a beach at low tide, at high tide there is no beach, it has been eroded over the years. The sand bags do nothing to improve the look of the island.

3. The beach sun loungers, the most uncomfortable beds I have ever sat on, why can't the management get some padded covers, even if they charge a weekly rental fee.

4. I am no expert but chaining the parrots up must stress them, how about a large cage/aviary that would give them room to fly

5. They have premium drinks brand available for most spirits, but not Gin, why not?

6. The biggest issue? the other guests (not all by the way) who seemed to think it was ok to litter the beach with cigarette ends at every opportunity.
There was a large German contingency who decided to re-arrange the bar furniture every night with at least 25 of them in a circle at the last count, this is not what I think of when I think of a holiday in the Maldives.
The large number of inflatables, was there anyone who didn't have one? At one point it looked like an invasion force, there were so many people on them in the water.
And finally the German guests who felt it was acceptable to sun bathe topless, despite this being illegal and also disrespectful to the Maldivian culture.

In summary, there are too many rooms on the island, although the beach never seemed crowded, meal times were hectic, with some people just plain rude and pushing in to queues at the buffet. The food was standard 3 star Maldivian island fare, no better or worse than any other Islands we have been to.

They could improve the Island with some changes:
1. Build decking outside the Blue lagoon bar over the water
2. Replace all the horrible white chairs and tables at the bars with nicer wooden ones
3. Get rid of the horrible plastic penguins by the main bar.
4. Get rid of some of the rooms on the south side and increase prices, this would reduce the number of guests and perhaps price out some of the less desirable elements.
In the space created by knocking down the rooms build a decent Spa offering a variety of treatments.
5. Have a proper welcome meeting for all guests and explain about the harm that littering causes to the wildlife, the harm that walking on the coral causes and why people shouldn't take anything from the sea, obviously the multi language cards in the rooms just do not work.

I wouldn't say this is the ideal escape for a couple due to the number of families and the sharing of tables.

Room Tip: Get a room on the North side....
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Grant H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2014

I may waffle on a bit here so if you want the abridged version, here it is. Marvellous, idyllic, friendly, lovely - can I go back please!
This is the fifth time we've been to Fihalhohi, over a space of 14 years, and it never fails to please, on many levels. You get exactly what you would expect from an idyllic island in the middle of the Indian Ocean - dazzling white sand, palm trees and mangroves, azure blue sky and clear blue sea, and an island you can take a slow stroll round in about 20 minutes.
Where to start? The staff are absolutely lovely, all so smiley and friendly, from the guys who get up at 4 in the morning to rake the leaves off of the coral sands, to the GM, who strolls around the restaurant at night, smiling and chatting with guests.
The restaurant itself is dangerous - it attacks your waistline as soon as you enter, and after two weeks another half a stone was registering on the scales! There's a great variety of food, both at lunch and dinner, with choice for carnivores, omnivores and vegetarians alike, but whatever you do, make sure you leave room for dessert because they are truly to die for - the man who makes the mousses should be knighted, at the very least! The Blue Lagoon Bar is a nice place to enjoy a drink as the sun sets, and not only serves wonderful burger and chips at lunchtime (ah, the chips - probably the best chips in the Indian Ocean), but they also do a lovely romantic dinner in the evening, with a candle-lit table set yards away from the lapping waves and set beneath a sky peppered by a million stars.
It is a holiday for relaxing, obviously, but if you prefer something a bit more invigorating the water sports hut offers things from a relaxing kayak ride to kite-surfing and para-sailng. That's normally not for me, but having spotted a turtle from 90 feet up whilst para-sailing, I'm pretty glad I did it. Jenny and Manu are an absolutely lovely couple who help run the water sports, and were great company and also very helpful with local knowledge - if you see them, ask them about the Lair of the Hermit Crab.
Then, there is the life beneath the waves. I tried to work out how many different species there were around the house reef one day. After a minute I'd counted about thirty, then a further thirty a minute later. After that I gave up and decided that 'hundreds and hundreds' would do for starters. We saw turtles and eagle rays, titan triggers and octopus, every possible breed of parrot fish, and bands of marauding trevally, terrorising the shoals of margin-hugging bait fish. It's nice to see how the coral has replenished over the past decade, and there are some truly spectacular table corals and soft coral.
And dolphins! Go on the dolphin spotting trip - we went twice, and on both occasions saw hundreds and hundreds of the remarkable creatures.
There is so much more - lizards, parrots, hermit crabs, fruit bats, crème brulee, Sundance cocktail, the first beer after an hours snorkelling - but I'm sure you get the picture.
Oh, and I read a reviewer on here complaining about there being no swimming pool - you've got the ****ing Indian Ocean, what more do you want? I suggest Magaluf might be more to your liking.
We shall be saving from today in anticipation of a return in the next year or so.

Room Tip: It's such a small island, I find it strange when people suggest certain rooms 'because they...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Keith J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fihalhohi Island Resort

Address:
Phone Number:
Region: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > South Male Atoll > Fihalhohi Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fihalhohi Island
Price Range: £153 - £444 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Fihalhohi Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lush green natural foliage and hundreds of shady coconut palms fringed by white sandy beaches cover an area of around 80,000 sqm of land where just enough has been done to make your holiday comfortable without disturbing the beauty and natural enchantment of the island. Fihalhohi is the last island of South Male' and is located on South Western rim of the atoll approximately 28 Km away from the Male' International Airport. Transfer time to the resort by speedboat would take a comfortable forty minutes. Fihalhohi presents a carefully protected turquoise blue lagoon bordered by a coral reef easily accessed by swimming where scuba diving or snorkeling could be experienced. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fihalhohi Tourist Hotel South Male Atoll
Hotel Fihalhohi Tourist

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