Yes we just made up a word spa + fantastic = Spa-tastic. As designed, there is not much to do when you are in Maldives. Thankfully that is the case – it allows us to truly quiet our minds and bodies.
In all 3 islands we visited we went to the spa. Here are our brief encounters.
Ginger Spa – Gangehi Island
This is a very Indian influenced spa. We had a great Ayurvedic body scrub followed by an outdoor shower, then finished off with a relaxing massage.
Yes, we were served ginger tea as the finishing touch! Felt great and started off our vacation and tanning on the right tone.
Tip: we did this first evening we arrived so our bodies had a healing overnight before hitting the beach and ocean the next day. We recommend this, it will help you get a longer lasting and more even tan.
Duniye Spa – Komandoo Island
This is a Balinese and more Asian influenced spa. We had Thai massage done — as fans of this technique we loved it. Serenity…
Duniye Spa – Kuredu Island
Yes, this is the same spa name as the one at Komandoo. We still wanted to go both to relax and we heard the one at the O resort section had glass floor to watch fish while getting a massage. We could not pass that up!
What did we see??
Little to medium sized fish. We kept hoping for sharks but maybe they were on vacation too 😉
This experience costs you $10 more than the other location at the island. For us it was worth it.
We had the pleasure of having an Oriental massage that combined various techniques like Balinese and Thai. We also had a facial done; we gave it two thumbs up.
You may not be at Maldives, but you should treat yourself to a Spa day or just a 60 min massage. Be good to your body and it will be good to you!
We are not ready to say goodbye to Maldives… but we said ‘until next time’ and hopped on the seaplane. Captain happened to be from Canada, fun chap! Btw.. what is it with men in uniforms 😉 Hard not to enjoy our drinks looking out on this beautiful sight. So happy we got to see these beautiful islands; Male, Gangehi, Kuredu, and Komandoo – before they disappear underwater. All photos on our blog are taken by us –using simple iPhone and iPad actually. Here are some scenes we captured, enjoy. A friend we made there said people usually return within 6 mo or a year. Having been there we understand why and hope we can also return in the next 2yrs to visit other islands. How can we resist a paradise like this! So… when are you going to Maldives?
How amazing is mother nature!
We sat at our covered deck, sipped hot coffee and watched the rainstorm pass over us pouring blessings and happiness.
During all this, it was not cold, so we just sat in our bikinis and watched everything unfold – wind blowing the water and trees around. Everyone was tucked into their villas – but we feel lucky to experience this weather variety.
We are so glad we packed light but smart. This way we can let go when we want and we can kick into fashion gear when we like. For us having what we need handy is relaxing, that way we are not thinking about WHAT we should wear or what we don’t have , but rather we think about WHAT we will do today.
You will definitely need more than one cover up as most places even beach bars won’t let you walk in and sit down in your swimsuits. We brought 8 coverups, just right for this long trip. Today we are wearing our comfy coverups by… Karen Zambos, Patterson J. Kincaid
The other day we wore these dresses to the White Party. Well, I got hassled by Peter (our Brit friend) that my dress was not white enough lolll He said this as he sat there in his blue and white striped shirt – thanks Peter! Designers: Dolce Vita, and the halter dress is by us (yes we are branching into designing and making our own line)
Today’s bikinis, perfect for this sunny fresh breezy day:
Designers: Lisa Marie, Missoni
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing we wish you a surprising and exciting day!
When you swim and a fleet of fish swim behind you and when you stand they circle around you and play — you can’t help but feel happy and so enchanted by the Maldivian ocean.
Truly our one big regret is not having underwater camera to capture and show you all these amazing fish. IF you ever decide to visit Maldives you MUST buy an underwater camera or some kind of gear so you can take pictures.
The food debacle continues… today we spent 30 min until staff finally directed us from one closed restaurant to another for a simple lunch. We ended up eating at the O Restaurant, which suppose to be the upscale one. Setting was pretty over the water and with breeze coming through windows. Food was OK and was served buffet style – we expected menu and service since it is advertised as a la carte. Well, we embraced the unexpected and ate up!!
A long walk on the beach took us to the island’s sandbar. So far on each of the islands we had the joy of exploring a sandbar. We can confidently say the Kuredu sandbar is the best and biggest. Saw 3 types of fish and a small shark. On our way back from the sandbar we decided to walk through the center of the island, where there is a sandy road and bit of jungle. This is also the main road where they drive golf carts (taxi) to shuttle people from point to point. We heard this funny squealing and decided to see what it was. See for yourself — they were two baby birds. We don’t know what kind they are but they sure are cute birds.
So the full day of sailing we were looking forward to… it was cancelled this morning via a letter at out door. Reason was there was not enough people signed up to do it. Frankly this gave us the opportunity to schedule excursions and reef snorkeling with the diveshop instead of the hotel. Diveshop staff has been very helpful and providing clear information.
Tonight the food theme is Arabian and we were told there will be a White Party at the bar — we have our white dresses ready!
We noticed this little charm lock at the beach swing. How adorable… we dedicate it to all of our readers, may you have a love filled fantastic summer 🙂
We were very surprised and disappointed when we got to the restaurant we selected for the night. We had booked half board and this was a designated restaurant. They basically turned us away saying we should have made reservations. We thought they were joking but no they were not. So they told us all the designated restaurants are booked and we should try eating at one of the a la cart restaurants. What a scam — why would anyone pay half board if they can’t get a seat at dinner. Would you??
Shot from restaurant where they turned us away:
As we tried investigating, we learned that one has to reserve a restaurant everyday at 9 am or take a chance before 6 pm (they don’t make reservations after this point). This is simply ridiculous! Defeating the whole purpose of a relaxed carefree vacation. They basically told us we need to be on a schedule – wish we knew this was going to be a regimented camp instead of a relaxation island, we would have gone to a different island.
Things got worse… since we are leaving at 8:45am for a full day of sailing, we thought we would ask the front desk to make tomorrow’s dinner reservation. This way we could eat when we return from the sail trip. Well, that would have been too logical. We asked and the answer was ‘we will give it a try but we can’t guarantee a reservation’ !!! WTF is the most appropriate reaction since this is an island you can practically walk around in about an hour and resorts owns the restaurants. We are not requesting dinner reservation at another island or country!
Sooo needless to say Kuredu is yet to impress us. Service is not cutting it. Maybe we got too used to excellent treatment at Komandoo, they did set a higher bar for sure.
To Kuredu, we will see if we can give Ken Flockhart, the GM of the island, some feedback about this unpleasant experience.
To you, dear readers and fellow travelers… unless you would like to be on a regimented camp and keep hours to make daily dinner reservations, mind you even having to get a ticket for the reservation before showing up to your dinner, we would recommend considering other islands. Afterall… there are over 135 resort islands, plenty to choose from.
Please share this posting with others so they may be saved from the unpleasant experiences.
We arrived at Kuredu island today and been exploring it all day. Why ‘partial report’ you might ask — well, it is a big island so it will take a bit before we can give you the ‘full report’.
We were greeted by the staff singing and drumming. We were assigned a host ‘Melanie’ – who will be our go to person whenever we have a question or need something. This was different than the other two islands, maybe because this one is so big and so many people.
It is the biggest island we visited here so far and our last island. Sad to think this is our last destination, until we return to Maldives again.
Kuredu has a different feel, more crowded and has more activities — so you don’t get the remote feeling from it. We like variety so this will be interesting after the quiet paradise islands we have been enjoying.
When they say activities they mean it – they have everything from power boats, parasailing, catamarans, kite surfing… and more. For now we are trying to figure out what time and where the daily yoga is 😉
Kuredu has 7 restaurants / bars – as we sample each we will let you know what’s good what’s not.
We are at a beach villa here – it is very similar to Komandoo. Without hesitation we can say the beach and water is better at Komandoo. We miss our private sharks 😦 circling in front of our doorstep.
Yes we already made a friend at Kuredu – meet Freddy the crab!
Ok, so at Komandoo, the general rule is the following:
It is a fantastic rule, we have not worn our flip flops since we have arrived. We runaround in our swimwear and cover ups. Our advice is pack at least 4 bikinis or your choice of swimwear and at least 2 cover ups.
The exception to this rule is dinner. We like dressing up a bit. You won’t feel out of place either way – there are others who are also dressed or casual. It is comfortable atmosphere.
Here are our accessories for tonight’s dinner: Designers: LaMer, Kenneth Lane, Kate Spade, Noir,
Don’t expect much of a nightlife. It is a small quiet island, but every couple days they have a cover band – which was actually fantastic!
Komandoo is located north of Male and takes about 35-40 min by seaplane to get there. It is surrounded by couple other islands, some where locals live.
The resort is operated in partnership by a Swedish and Maldivian firm. It also operates the Kuredu island which is very nearby. The general manager is Patrick who greets everyone at arrival and he is Belgian. We were greeted by songs, cold coconut juice and homemade coconut ice cream. They know how to start your holiday on a positive note.
We found the hospitality and level of service to be much better here than Gangehi. Also the beach front villas are better and cleaner. But we would advise to pick one not facing the local islands, the view is better. Our villa is nearly at the end tip of this 500 meter long island. Also the villas have outdoor bathroom, shower and jet tubs. Rooms are cleaned twice a day, but as a environment conscious island they won’t change sheets everyday unless you leave the cute wooden turtle on the bed. We love that they are eco friendly.
At first we were ambivalent about the half board but we love it now – the food is quality and lot of fresh fruits.
There is a bit of nightlife as well — last night we had a great cover band with a great variety of songs and sang some requests too.
The staff is better trained in hospitality and services in general. There are also women working at this island which we did not see at Gangehi except for the spa and the souvenir shop.
Water is fantastic – private beach with deafening quiet except of the sounds of ocean. The black tip sharks and stingrays go up and down the beach. So exciting to swim next to them and be in their presence. They are harmless and very cute (we think).
While this is the rainy season we have had great weather on both Gangehi and Komandoo. Occasional rains in the evening or overnight have been welcome after the heat of the day.
Ok so you are probably wondering what we wear and what is the attire around here. Before we got here we read many things, some said just beach wear some said long and modest clothes.
We are here now and this is what we have seen in 3 islands so far:
Male: little more conservative since it is the capital city and people live and work there. You can get away with shorts and knee length skirt/ dresses.
Gangehi and Komandoo: let loose and stick with your swimwear, cover ups, and for dinner casual or slightly dressy clothes. We brought long flowing dresses, they are super easy to wear and elevate the style a bit. Other people wore similar things, men stuck to casual but nice shorts and shirts.
Here is a glimpse at our beach ware… can you tell we love mixing, wearing matchy-matchy stuff is not our personal style.
Designers: Ondade Mar, Eberjey, VIX PaulAhermanny, Heidi Klein
Designers: Mikoh, Zinke, Tibi, Tori Praver
Please note – Maldives is not a topless zone. You have to keep your top on, maybe unless you are on a yacht somewhere in the distance.
Today’s swimming companion was a sting ray – seriously we were a bit afraid.