On the Maldives, more precisely on Kedhigandu Island, the island of the RIU Palace Maldivas, I spend one week in November.
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How to get to the Dhaalu Atoll
How do my husband and I get to Dhaalu Atoll? We take the nonstop flight with Condor from Frankfurt to Malé, the capital of the Maldives.
The Maldives are an Islamic state. Of the approximately 1200 islands, about 200 are inhabited and there are more than 100 hotel islands. Mostly, the hotel’s employees usually stay on these ones if the next island is too far away. Nevertheless, there are also some islands where you can find small hotels, which are located in the residential areas. Here you can swim, snorkel and so on only in specially marked sections of the beach.
So, we end up in Malé. Here, after customs control, we are received by a representative of RIU and taken directly to the National Airport. So to speak, next door. We check in our luggage and soon we are sitting in a Manta Air airplane that takes us to the airport of Kudahuvadhoo Island in about 35 minutes. This is located on the neighboring island of our hotel. Our luggage we will see again in our room.
About 5 minutes is the bus ride to the port on the other side of the island. Here we board a speedboat and in 20 minutes time we arrive at the reception of the
RIU Palace Maldivas
The 5-star hotel welcomes us with a cocktail, and we are informed about all the important things. Everyone gets an individual code for the really excellent Wi-Fi, which actually works very well all over the island. Then a golf cart drives us over the jetty that connects the RIU Atoll and the RIU Palace Maldivas, past the overwater bungalows, to our junior suite. This shuttle service is available virtually 24 hours a day.
Our Junior Suite
The two-story houses each have eight suites. They are really big, with a spacious balcony on which we got two chairs with adjustable backrest, a small table and a frame for drying clothes.
Our junior suite is located at the top and we are happy about the glass railing. So, we can enjoy the often-beautiful sunset just after 6 pm directly from here. A very photogenic palm right in front of it functions as a photogenic model.
Plenty of storage space we got in the large closet and the dressers. First, I drink something cold from the minibar, which is refilled daily and can be customized. A drink dispenser with 4 “spiritual” drinks hangs over the refrigerator. I think I’d rather have a coffee or tea every now and then, because with this all-inclusive drinks’ menu at the bars, I don’t have to drink alcohol in our room.
I am particularly impressed by the open bathroom with two sinks and a huge shower. Here, 5 people would certainly be able to stand together under the rain shower or choose the normal shower head. A hair dryer, cosmetic wipes, conditioner, soap and a fragrant body lotion can be found as well. The toilet got a separate room.
The air conditioning goes off automatically when the balcony door is open and can be individually controlled or switched off.
The king size bed is extremely comfortable and really big, all lights and also the ceiling fan can be switched on and off from here.
Our roomboy Bhathiya is a real decorative artist. Every morning, when we arrive back from breakfast, we find not only a clean room, but also a beautiful work of art made of leaves on the bed.
Other Suite types
Unfortunately, I can’t look at the other categories of rooms as the hotel as it is fully booked. The manager of the RIU Palace Maldivas explains to us (even in German!) that the rooms of the overwater -bungalows are even bigger. In each of the bungalows there are three different guest rooms, all of which have direct access to the sea. The middle one also got a small swimming pool on the terrace. What they all have in common, however, is that no railing blocks the view over the sea. It can be dangerous for young children who are not yet able to swim. Parents are only allowed to stay here with young children with a declaration of f release, since the risk is too high for the hotel that a child might fall into the water.
However, I am very lucky that the manager of the RIU Atoll got some time for me and shows at least two more room categories of the 4-star hotel. It is located on the neighboring island of Maafushi Island and connected with an 800-meter-long concrete bridge, on which the overwater -bungalows of the RIU Palace Maldivas are located.
First, he shows us an overwater bungalow. The room size is probably slightly larger than our junior suite, but otherwise very similarly equipped. However, additional is a free-standing bathtub in the room. Again, the terraces do not have any railings, so they are not really suitable for small children.
Then we look at a standard room, which is considerably smaller than our suite.
Overall, this island of the RIU Atoll is much larger than the island of the RIU Palace Maldivas and more guests can stay here.
The seawater desalination plant and the own sewage treatment plant, as well as the accommodation of the employees are located here on this island.
Entertainment and activities
The water sports base with jet skis, standup paddleboards, diving and snorkeling equipment etc. is located here as well. Trips, such as dolphin watching, and other water activities can be booked here. A lot of things are included in the price, for some an additional fee must be paid with cash or by credit card.
The large show stage with open air bar, a shop, the entertainment program and the children’s club are also located at the RIU Atoll. In general, all activities at the RIU Atoll are also open to guests of the RIU Palace Maldivas, vice versa not.
Food and beverage
Four specialty restaurants can be reserved and used without additional payment. Guests of RIU Atoll can enjoy the Italian restaurant and steakhouse, while guests of RIU Palace Maldivas can also enjoy the Japanese restaurant and the Krystal, a fusion restaurant. I was particularly enthusiastic about the Japanese restaurant, but that’s a matter of taste.
Of course, each hotel has its own main restaurant, where delicious buffets are prepared in the morning, at noon and in the evening. They are not only extraordinarily diverse, totally delicious, but also visually an eye-catcher. At the RIU Palace Maldivas we enjoy one gala buffet with even more specialties. Vegetarians and vegans will also always find plenty of opportunities here.
I particularly like the fact that the portions on the buffet are kept as small as possible and replenished at any time. In this way, an attempt is made to waste as little food as possible.
The logistics behind the scene impressed me very much. Literally everything must be imported, and nothing is missing! The salad is as crisp as it comes straight out of the garden, the meat is fantastic, as well as the many fruits and vegetables.
I particularly liked to eat from the Asian part of the buffet. Indian, Sri Lankan, Maldivian and many other Asian delicacies make me rapture again and again. I like it when the food is spicy and authentic!
Although it is a Muslim state, pork is available as well, although mostly other meat varieties. Sausages and cheese, too. Only the yoghurt is not quite to my taste, but I love the freshly squeezed fruit juices for breakfast all the more.
Mostly Yasir, a young waiter already knows on the second day that we prefer to drink water with bubbles,we like to drink a coffee after the meal and like to chat with him. Every now and then, just before leaving, he gives me a small bottle of soda water, bottled by him, so that I don’t have to drink still water on the trip or on the beach. This is a really great service and the young man is only in his early 20s. He certainly has a great career ahead of him.
Parasols and sunbeds are set up on all beaches. The many palm trees also offer shade, many thousands have been replanted in the garden. Although the hotel islands have only been in operation for about 6 months, the plants grow so fast that they have to be cut back already. The gardeners certainly cannot complain about not having enough work.
A few large flying dogs share the fruits of the palms with a few crows and other birds, even some non-disturbing insects can be found in the vegetation.
However, the underwater world, which starts directly at the beach, is particularly impressive, as the corals grow everywhere. At low tide you can wade up to the outer reef, snorkeling is almost difficult, at high tide the water is about waist-high, optimal to observe the many colorful fishes and corals.
Unfortunately, many of them are found here bleached, too, by climate change and the resulting warmer water, i.e. dead corals. But the good news is, they are slowly regenerating. However, every guest can help and be careful not to step on these sensitive organisms and, above all, to apply a sunscreen that does not attack the corals. Here you should pay close attention to the description of the products on the websites of the manufacturers.
Also, of course, if you put on bathing shirts and shorts that cover a large part of the body, it helps, so as not to get out of the water red and totally sun burnt. Fins are actually not necessary; bathing shoes are fine.
We are even very lucky that we can see how the corals multiply. All release seeds and eggs into the water at the same time, which then unite and hopefully multiply properly.
The hotel is home to guests from over 60 different nations. All of course with different habits. Sometimes it’s just fun to sit down in the bar, drink a cocktail or café latte and watch.
The staff is extremely friendly, somehow always smiling and always helpful. We have felt welcome all the time and cared for throughout the holiday.
If you are looking for a Maldives holiday, you are welcome to contact me.
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