Trip Advisor: Maldives

I compiled this post in parallel to Maldives are Rubbish – it’s based on TripAdvisor reviews and was originally intended to show how even tourists are experiencing difficulty with the Maldives now.

Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi:

Experience a holiday in the tropics beyond compare at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi. Blessed with thriving vegetation and pristine waters, the Island of White Gold finds itself in peaceful seclusion in the North Male Atoll. Discover a paradise hidden away in plain sight where the sun rises painting the skies in rich orange hues and the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean caress the shore with grace.

Set in 83 acres of surprisingly lush tropical beach property near Kani Beach on Lhohifushi Island the resort’s design enables it to snuggle into its surroundings reinforcing the impression of a quiet village whose shores are lapped by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, a haven of tranquillity.

Complete with 137 air conditioned and well appointed Beach and Ocean villas with wonderful views, an outdoor pool, a white sandy private beach, tennis court, children’s play area, a spa with varied treatments and fitness centre. Guests can avail themselves of recreational activities including snorkelling to view the rich and diverse marine life, wind surfing, canoeing and indoor sports. Mid night fishing, photo cruises where spinner dolphins can be spotted are activities of a more exciting nature.

A review from TripAdvisor from a woman who says she stayed there in December 2011 with her husband, her mother, and their three children (8,5 and 20 months). She had left 12 reviews on TripAdvisor – this one was the only “Terrible” one. “So disappointed!”:

We waited ages upon arrival for our room allocation. We needed two rooms and had booked them next to each other, however the staff were totally un aware and we were put in dingy little rooms behind reception for one night until more suitable ones were ready the next day ( everyone on our flight were put in these rooms initially) Not impressed but accepting we took the children to the pool area, only too be totally and utterly horrified at the state of it. It was so green in colour, there were dark patches where the bottom of the pool had worn away, it was tiny and there were workman repairing decking on one side so that was boarded off. The pool is the main reason I am writing this because when you have children the pool is so important and I cannot emphasise enough how bad it is. Even the manager admitted he would not let his children swim in it. It was so bad that I requested to move island! There wasn’t even any cushions on the sunbeds, the decking was in desperate need of repair and no ramp for pushchair or wheelchair access.
The nxt room we were put in had a broken shower so after two days of promising to fix it, we had to move again.
Overall the island setting is beautiful and the side we were finally on was lovely. However the rooms were very basic with poor workman ship evident through out. This was a theme running through the whole place unfortunately. Everything was just run down in need of a good refurbishment! Definitely not even close to a 4 star. Snorkelling wasn’t good either, such a shame as 11 yrs ago it was amazing.
We didn’t find any of the staff helpful at all. On previous Maldives holidays the staff have been excellent.

The food was ok bit repetitive. Waiter service not good.

Another reviewer who travelled with her family in February 2011. She had left 14 reviews and again this was the only Terrible one: “A Grotty hole to be avoided if possible”:

The room was badly pained in mustard yellow, the paint on the ceiling was peeling off. The beds are small and hard, so if you’re a bigish guy it will be too small. There are no home comforts just a sheet on the bed and a very small cover. There is free tea and coffee with powdered creamer and a minibar that is NOT INCLUDED- $6.50 -$8.50 for a miniture plus 13.5% tax.
The bathroom is outside, which was ok in theory, but it is ant infested and the odd rat runs past on the high wall, they also run over the roof at night time which is off putting. The bath is tiny and I a size 10 5foot 3 inch female found it tight. The shower has broken beige tiles and the surround is black stones like a road that has been recently tarmaced – yuck! The whole thing needs to be gutted and re-done.
The aircon is strong, but only does freezing so we were up and down in the night switching it on and off, it also dripped which kept me awake.
All inclusive – JOKE! They have time limits which are so stupid, the beach bar stopped serving AI at about 6pm, so you’d have to walk to the main bar to get the same drink on the AI programme. The staff often took 3 goes to get a vodka soda water and slice of lime correct, and even saying diet coke about 4-5 times still infront of me with no one else at the bar he put in coke. The food is served in a big canteen where the content is high fat, and the only real health option is salad (lettuce, cucumber, carrot). There is fresh fruit at lunch and dinner but tinned at breakfast. There is no fresh juice on the AI plan only squash. Wine is by the glass in the restaurant at lunch and dinner only. AI drinks are coke, fanta, lemonade whisky gin vodka brandy, there isn’t an AI cocktail, this is $8.00.
The fitness centre is a grotty 1970’s looking school sports hall, no windows dank and dark. It has a broken X Trainer, antiquated bike and treadmill. The weights are ok, but all the benches are split with tape covering the holes on them, and the metal work is rusty, so pretty grim. The swimming pool is murky and parts of the concrete covering on the bottom is broken and bits are missing.
The internet cafe they advertise is a tiny cubby hole room with 1 computer, again no windows and often locked by management for some unknown reason. There is NO FREE INTERNET, it’s about $60 for the week, and is hellishly slow. If your business requires you to keep in touch you would be best to avoid this place. The cafe component is in the main reception area, a table with overboiled coffee on a hotplate.
There is no long stretch of clear beach on which to walk, it is all tiny lagoons with concrete/coral jetties. The island is very tidal and there is no more than 8 inches of water until about 2pm. The snorkelling is poor around most ofthe island, but there is apparently good snorkelling to the left of the main jetty but the current was too strong for swimming and the red flag was up for our entire stay. I must also warn you becasue the hotel don’t, that on the rest of the island when the tide comes in about 3-6pm the current is very strong and swimming with flippers you don’t move and it’s a bit frightening.
The sea around the the newly constructed ocean villas is littered with builders rubbish in the form of wood, pipes, nails etc and the coral is also destroyed which is a shame.
This isn’t a 4 star hotel at all, and the stars were possibly based on the ocean villas and not on the majority of the complex

From a man who stayed with his wife in June 2010 (14 reviews, this was the only Terrible one) “Not a good Maldives Island!!!”:

Booking in was very slow, when we were told our room number was 139 we were quite concerned(more about that later!!). I told the person booking us in, that we would prefer a room on the other side of the island and that I had requested one by e-mail, but he wasn’t budging. We had no choice, even though we told him our main reason for being in the maldives was to swim and snorkle.

We were showed our room and all was good. The rooms are nice and very spacious. The bricks around the outside shower are not a good idea they harbour all sorts of bits of rubbish from previous clients, very hard to keep clean. Take plenty of DEET because you will certainly need it, especially in the rooms at night!!! I’ve never had bites so bad as the ones I got here. The last trip to the Maldives I never had 1 bite.

Our major disapointment was the location of our room. The sea in front of our room was quite shallow, full of sea weed. It was almost impossible to swim without knocking against the coral, there were sea slugs everywhere!!! But the biggest danger were the Titan trigger fish patroling the waters edge, I came face to face with them many times while snorkling, there was little space to avoid them or them you and they can get quite aggressive, I refused after 1 day to go into the sea on this side of the island. People feeding the fish were also encouraging them to circle you!!

From the second day we walked the 10 minutes to the other side of the island, not really a big deal but you miss the comfort of having your room near by, for drinks, toilet etc. Several times we got caught up in horrendous thunder storms, having to dodge dropping coconuts and tree branches while running back to our room(every thing in our beach bags soaked through). Other times we braved the storm and stopped in the sea! but for 2 hours+ this is not fun. It is really like being on a different island if you get a room on the 200’s side.

The food in the restaurant was always varied, but eating it was the problem. We are not fussy eaters, but most meat dishes contained the bones, fat, gristle, and the Duck on the chinese night even had the neck attached to every piece!! I found I could not even lift the lid of the meat dishes to look in after seeing the duck!. The meat on most occassions was so tough it was inedible. On the plus side the soup, bread and salad were usually very good and the desserts were plentyful. The waiting staff work tirelessly to look after you. Our waiter decorated our table beautifully on our anniversary.

This is not a couples resort, there are many all male groups of surfers, who were on the whole really nice people. The world cup was on while we were there, so the whole bar was dedicated to football. It was not a problem but you couldn’t sit and have a quiet drink after dinner because there is only one bar and it got rowdy at times.

I was avoiding the one-review reviewers, but this review from December 2011 had posted photographs to back up his complaint about cleanliness: “Hudhuran Fushi…two stars would be generous!”:

Something else we must mention is the terrible lack of cleanliness – another disagreement with posts we’ve seen on here. We don’t care one iota about tired decoration, an old TV or basic furniture, the Maldives shouldn’t be about boutique akin to a hotel in Mayfair or Paris. What we do feel very strongly about though is basic hygiene and cleanliness and this was badly lacking.

Easily the biggest problem on this front is the Beach Bar…absolutely dire! We had drinks from there for several days without thinking about anything too much but about five days in to the holiday, as my wife got towards the end of her drink she said it tasted very gritty and course, with a strangely thick consistency.

It wasn’t until we then both looked at her glass to see it hadn’t been washed in about a fortnight! It wasn’t just an old, tired glass…it was filthy, brown stains on the inside and more lip imprints than you could imagine. Absolutely disgusting and something of the like we’ve never seen before. Within hours, my wife had a seriously upset stomach which lasted several days – coincidence?

In actual fact, my glass wasn’t that much better. We spoke to Concy about it, he spoke to the Food and Beverages manager but the latter failed to address the issue with us, another example of the complete lack of care about what’s going on from those higher up the chain.

In our room, it wasn’t clean. The bathroom was the worst part and standards dropped yet further as the two weeks wore on. We can’t be sure it’s just a lack of care on the part of the Room Boys or whether their instruction from management is to whip through quickly. Either way, not a pleasant experience and the mould in the bathroom, the tide marks in the bath etc were horrid.

The valance sheet on the bed, which we assume started life white but was actually now yellow, had dry blood on it and there were stains and marks on the floor in certain places which remained all the way through.

Hudhuran Fushi does have its positives, the food was great all holiday (and we’re both vegan so nobody can complain about the choice available), some of the staff are pleasant in the Maldivian tradition (although some do have a distinctly militant attitude these days) and if you get out onto the beach between 7.30am and 8am you can usually enjoy a couple of hours of tranquillity.

Then there’s the Excellent reviews. There are 204 of them. Many of them are posted by people who have only ever done one or two reviews, and many of those all look unsurprisingly similiar.

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Filed under Biosphere, Poverty, Sustainable Politics, Travel

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