What travellers are talking about
nice vacation but ...
Went to Biyadhoo aware of finding a resort but with very basic
a still very lush and beautiful coral.
Indeed, considering the quality / price ratio you can not wait that long ...
We stayed two weeks and since we love to spend hours in the water to snorkel we were good. Great beautiful coral easy to explore and a myriad of fish of all kinds.
Our room was dated but everything worked properly, only negative our room-boy who in addition to tidy up the bed and sweep the bulk of the sand ..... undertook not great either (a day is not even got to the room to make this one ...)
Very friendly and helpful bar staff, waiters and cooks.
The day of my husband's birthday, our table at the restaurant was decorated with flowers and beautiful objects in cardboard products from our friendly waiter, a very nice surprise!
The only thing quite negative for us was the restaurant, an enclosed, air-conditioned strong enough, very spicy food and little variety, only the desserts deserve a separate discussion .... really delicious, a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
Finally, advice to those wishing to stay in Biyadhoo, to ask for a room on the west side because the beach is only present on this side, the rooms on the east side are closer to the sea but the beach is not there!
We arrive in Male at 15.20 after a perfect flight with Omanair, offerred practices in the airport waiting for us at the exit our contact person to whom we have "stolen" 10 minutes to go to take the sim and recharge .... way race to the fast boat just waiting for us to leave.
After a first time when the sea was heard a lot, once nell'atollo South Male navigation was quieter and we were able to relax watching the various islands we met along the way.
Just landed we were greeted by the resort staff with cool towels, snacks and the inevitable cocktail coconut, key delivery (wow .... just the room I had asked !!!) and the pleasant surprise of the package containing the giveaways MT ..... thanks again!
We speak of our room: Comfort room, basic but very clean and spacious, with arm chairs and coffee table, mini fridge, safe and other surfaces very useful as the cabinet is not very spacious, quite large and comfortable and the bathroom on the front, right on the beautiful beach the porch with two chairs, a coffee table, the drying of wood and hand shower x rinse your feet also present at the entrance at the back. On the inner courtyard we found our deckchairs numbered that can be accommodated on the beach where you want.
About the beach ...... unfortunately not around the whole island, but where is this is pretty plentiful. candida ... well ....... wonderful!
Taking as reference the arrival jetty, on the right you meet the first 4 units to 1 floor (room 1/8) close enough to the sea but no beach then from 9 to 35 (the best) unit with 1 or 2 floors that overlook beach big and deep and close to the reef, from 39 to 64 are standard rooms, very nice but smaller and immersed in the vegetation but far enough to the sea which is accessed by trails like the one that leads to the small SPA and the 8 ow very cute! Continuing on the beach are the Surf Cafe, Blue Lagoon Bar, and Aeolus Water sports. From this point the beach is almost absent, there are some small creeks hardly accessible and anti-erosion walls (84/136) continuing meet the diving center, the Restaurant Palm Groove, Fisherman Bar where the evening entertainment are offered very soft, the Reception and we're back at the pier of arrival! (It 'another small jetty service that is used by diving)
At the Restaurant Palm Groove are consumed all meals, at breakfast the choice is varied on salty, a little 'less on sweets. Lunch and dinner are always cooked pasta at the time, grilled meat or fish and a decent selection of foods often spiced, cooked and raw vegetables, fruit and pastries. We enjoyed the experience, to note that the table will be allocated on arrival at your disposal for the duration of stay and if you are a couple, you'll have to share a table with other guests.
The island is very well maintained, excellent cleaning in rooms and common areas, all the staff are very nice and I want to congratulate the guys on reception because they are all very well prepared and efficient (there is also a guy who speaks discreetly Italian).
The weather was beautiful, days with clear skies, calm seas and evening starry sky and moon that illuminated the lagoon! Only the last two days we had some clouds and a few showers, but overall, being August, we were really lucky.
Finally ..... the sea !!!
I kept it for last because this year the Indian Ocean has given us many wonderful emotions, spend hours and hours to snorkel and discover something new, we met turtles, sea eagle, moray eel, octopus many there have joy in their ability to change appearance and color to blend with the environment, many anemones with their clownfish about ..... beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!
Furthermore, aided by the flat sea, we have seen many times the dolphins pass in front of our beach and it is always exciting to watch their evolutions ... and one afternoon we saw also an orca that has hovered in the sea between our island and Biyadhoo. .. and then disappear and come back later in the evening ....! What good memories! About memories ..... will you find in the evening on the beach illuminated by the moon, many hermit crabs, crabs, the whisper of the sea ... that gently brings the sand many blue lights ...... plankton that lights the beach!
Stayed August 2013, in the room: 21
part 2 dinnet at Vihamana
After my review on the breakfast by Vihamana here is my review on the dinner Vihamana.
At the entrance to some waiters in white uniform welcome guests and accompany them to the table. If you are equipped with umbrella invite you to leave it in the pots at the entrance or next if they are full time in busy times. Despite the choice of restaurants at Kurumba is very wide there are many guests who benefit from this restaurant.
At the table you will be asked for the room number and drinks you like that are served immediately. the drinks are excluded from half board while water is included, pleasant surprise. if you are not interested in other drinks they won' t stress you to sell them as happens elsewhere. The dinner is buffet served but waiters will pass to control the drinks and clearing the dishes several times during dinner. Hardly does always attentive service. At night the lights are dim and the 'atmosphere is soft. tables are filled and crowded room but there is no queue at the buffet. There is one buffet that serves the whole room. the left side is set up with salads and cold appetizers.
The central part for hot and cooked on the spot right pastries and breads. The left tower is fitted with bowls and glasses containing small salads of vegetables and seafood, really nice to vedersi. Below bowls of salads with olives, capers and everything you want to prepare a salad varied. Faced trays of sushi and cooked vegetables. Do not miss steamed rice and corn. the warm foods containing baked pasta, macaroni messy cheese (good) .meat and codfish stew. Soups with oriental flavor. Potato chips fried at the moment (delicious). A chef is available to prepare fabulous tortillas stuffed with anything you like, you can dine only with those. As for breakfast wide selection of delicious bread and striae. Simply delicious home made bread sticks. You can choose fresh fruit in a wide selection of products, whole fruit or already ready. also you can enjoy delicious fruit desserts served in pretty glasses. If you prefer extra-large portions, there are some nice slices of cakes and puddings that await you. All of excellent quality '. Every evening the menu changes and you will find different types of salads, different types of sushi and cooked vegetables.
Unfortunately the tuna sushi is not offered every night. Also vary the dishes of pasta and fish or meat soups. The pasta always good and cooked correctly. You will always find a good choice of bread and cakes always fabulous, both in appearance and taste .. It is just that we could define not positive is that the ice cream is missing, perhaps because they serve at the bar or in the other restaurants and saw the price can 'be that they prefer not to serve buffet. Too bad, because it is very good.
I will not bore you with the choice of our courses but I must reiterate the 'attention to detail, good food and a wide selection of buffet. all of excellent quality.
top of the breakfasts
the Vihamana is the main restaurant of the Kurumba. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner if you buy the full board .the atmosphere is elegant although there are no towals on the tables. There is always a person who greets with a smile in the beautiful and wide entrance. there are, not missing, two large pots that stand at the sides for your umbrella on unlucky morning .you can choose the table you prefer. THE most of the tables is set equal to the buffet but there are also tables on two sides raised, very nice to see because it gives movement to the room giving it a look more 'croppy despite the size of the room. The tables are well spaced, there is space between the various tables also to pass with the stroller. Very convenient for families with small children in tow. There are also several tables to accommodate large families or a group oriental. Table selection is free, close to the entry or at the buffet or sides ... for them is indifferent but when you are in three people they would prefer that you use a square table, a little' small in reality 'but not too much not to allow us to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. We have taken advantage of the half and even at dinner the choice was clear. Breakfast is superb.
Hot drinks are served at the table while the rest is buffet. on the left side next to the raised central buffet There are dispenser of fresh juices that taste of juice and not the sachet diluted typical of many resorts. the left part of the buffet is the light part. Staged with cereals fruit vegetable cold milk yogurt. The central part is the part of the cooked food, some already 'ready other when cooked. The right side is prepared with sliced bread and pastry machine for toast. The food is varied and meets the needs of the Eastern palates as Westerners. you can enjoy other salty or sweet.
in both cases, the choice is not missing.
Lovers of hot breakfast and salt will typically oriental soups, cereals, eggs cooked on request, bacon, beans in sauce. Those who prefer a breakfast more 'light can' choose vegetables and fruit already prepared and slided. 3 varieties' of cereals and various types of muesli. or you can prepare a sandwich with meats and cheeses. Only yogurt is probably done at home was too acidic to satisfy the palate of the child, luckily there was the ham of which he is greedy and with a toast he had settled. the good looking 'installation of the pastry and the quality' are a pleasure to the eye and the palate. A large number of varieties 'of brioche to satisfy even the most' demanding. Wonderful pastries with cinnamon and tasty cakes chocolate. For lovers of nuts there are pastas and crispy.
the audience is so large, the Kurumba is a resort that welcomes many guests and probably in the morning is the time when there is the greatest concentration of guests at this bar.Il service as always is great and on time, drinks served with rapidity'. Dishes cleared away with equal rapidity '. The tables are always clean as soon as you get up, and so there are expectations it 'was forced to wait for that release a tavolo.Indubbiamente to offer a service of this level there are many waiters to work and also the' order in which the buffet is maintained is a sign that many are working to give great service. The trays are always directed and full of food and it's nice to find pliers for each course.
The bakery pastry is like another flower to 'eye of this restaurant, you will find many different kinds of bread for a leisurely breakfast, of course the choice of jams could not be outdone. You can match them to waffle or cake pan but suggest trying some different kind of bread, really good.
May I invite you to Try cooked eggs at the time and as more 'you like, you will not be disappointed. In conclusion we must be careful not to get caught by 'greed and taste everything or you'll have to wait too long before going to snorkel. I would Do not recommend to go for breakfast at about 9. It 's time more crowded and so in my opinion the least pleasant, in the morning I prefer tranquility' and little fuss. The buffet will still 'always perfect and there is no risk of long files to be served or to find empty trays, as I said the staff is well trained and efficient.
As far as I'm concerned the best breakfast in the Maldives either by choice or for the quality 'of the products that are used. it is true that this is the 'only resort to this level that I visited, but I must say that Italians often for food and stars do not go d' agreement. We are a nation of picky all 'foreign. Yet even if it is not managed by the West have found more choice than in other resort more 'European. So congratulations for this attention even for western guests who are a minority among the guests of Kurumba.
My news about TMA
For the "scenic" part, I refer you to my review (here on Maldives Traveller too) from last year .. this fact remains unchanged.
In this review, I consider more what, I have noticed, is changed in the management of the service since the two seaplanes' companies (TMA and MAT) are fused into one.
After the exit from the international airport, the reception's formalities at our resort's counter and the check-in of our baggages, we are accompanied to the shuttle bus to TMA airport.
Already inside the bus, it happens something new! Passengers are notified in which terminal they must step down! A, B or C, depending on where is located the waiting place (waiting lounge or common area) of the resort that we must reach. A quick look at our boarding cards for the seaplane reveals the right stop. Not that the terminals are located in a big distance (indeed they are very close) and be distracted about when getting off the bus, could damage the process of our journey.. but, this is already a sign of how "things" go towards to a management of a "real" airport.
My intuition, in fact, is strengthened by the various monitors, present in the waiting's places, displaying acronyms for each single resort, revealing us the take-off time and the course of our flight, including stopovers.
Now, I will make you laugh.. But I'm, personally, developing a certain allergy to Palm Beach! Because in my last two visits, it was always set, as stopover, in the middle of my transfer! I have already enough aerial, sandbank and arrival jetty pictures of Palm Beach (without ever having set a single foot on it!!) to publish a decent photo gallery.
The waiting time at TMA, in contrast to many, is for me never a problem, in fact, I enjoy wandering through the terminals, the various lounges and take pictures, especially if I have a 'buddy' that would never board without me!
For me, this waiting time, which many of us hate, becomes a time of discovery. My curiosity about the different resorts is, in part, satisfied when I discover their lounge at the seaplane terminal. For
us, who work in the hospitality, the very first contact that the customer has with a structure is fundamental. It happened to me, to see a lounge's entry of one of the most luxurious resorts adorned with a nice lot of junk! Okay.. probably, they did not have their customers using the lounge that day.. but.. I had to pass in front it to reach my lounge.. and I assure you that, knowing what it costs to spend a night in that resort, I was appalled and I still haven't 'digested' the 'crime'. Moreover, if we recall the fact that TMA is moving towards a modern management of its airport, I do not know to whom attribute the failure to properly clean the common areas!
My last two seaplane's flights brought also a huge surprise for me (and still I am here, wondering why TMA never official mentioned this!!). The windows of seaplanes are decidedly .. "widened"!!
Perhaps not all of you have noticed (I did!!), and perhaps not all aircrafts are changed. Surely, were the last two on which I boarded! A pleasure for those who does not sleep, tired from international flight (yes, there are!) and photograph the amazing panorama below.
Another new feature is a kind of last waiting room, air-conditioned, external to terminals, located right at the beginning of the jetties to reach the seaplanes. A final gathering place for passengers before the flight.
That's all for now. I'm just curious to find out what will be new at TMA in my next trip, in 2 weeks.
Eriyadu: Small island, big dreams
My titel is the sentence that adorns, since a while, the cover of Eriyadu's fb page. A kind of state of mind, which is currently and actually on going!
When it appeared first, some italian friends of mine, who visited before, were really skeptical about...
But I knew that there had been a changement in the management..
More: "I knew the new management (from a previous visit of mine in Maldives) and completely trusted him and his team!".
My visit to Eriyadu was placed at the end of a quite rich itinerary around Maldives,
touching mostly 5* properties and I can say that the level of service and cares on this small
pile of sand is nothing less than 5* as well..
But let's start with the natural part.
The island is blessed by an easy to reach (through well visible entrances), lively, colourful housereef! I am not a diver and, as only snorkler, this is so important to me.
The perimeter consists of wide beaches and picturesque spots where the vegetation borders the waters.
The inside is natural, rich, wild green. A small jungle to explore.. The banana plantation was absolutely my "wow" factor!!
Have I already listed a lot of reasons to visit Eriyadu? Didn't I?? Mother Nature has well done her part of the job in this small island..
She always does.. It is always "up to us" to have the right attitude to appreciate and notice this..
Now let's add the icing on the cake.
Eriyadu is on the way to its new level (changements and refurbishing is currently going on) and I well know that I was so privileged to have the chance to fully experience the future 'face' of Eriyadu.
Starting from my accommodation: brand new interior and bathroom! Comfortable, practical and cozy! Placed on the best corner ever of the island: you cannot imagine how much I enjoyed my "home"!!
But also all the rest of the facilities are under a massive uplift (partially already successfully ended):
- the reception area (now polished with nice corners where to stop and enjoy for a while)
- the overwater Blitz bar with its new terrace and adjacent swimming pool
(still smelling the air with a scent of freshly cut wood).
In both this areas there is free Wifi connection available.
- the Bougain Spa (where I discovered that "Hot Stones" is my fav massage ever..
only if practised in the perfect harmony of temperature, scents and sounds).I still can close my eyes, right now and refresh this experience! Because, I was given (as present) the eye-mask soaked in the oil essence, which I had chosen for my massage.
- the restaurant (where a 'Prince' and Chef Kumar managed to make me learn how to cook a Vegetable Masala Curry! No.. I mean.. I am a real disaster in cooking and now I have even a diploma!). Let's add Zahir, my waiter, who was also "forced" to learn all the ingredients that I need to create my fav drink at meals.. and he learned them perfectly!
- the new room start-up category (this still under constuction but heavenly located, which case is not usual in Maldives)
- the new.... No! I am not going to tell you everything.. I prefer you to discover and enjoy the difference yourself! Visit Eriyadu!!.. For sure it has, currently, a great, great value for money!
There is only one crucial point.. which is very, very important to me in Maldives and I will never stress enough about:
"Get an island where managers and employeers are passionate about their job.. Get an island where workers are proud and happy to be there.. Get an island which soul is respected and not exploted.."
I was very lucky to meet Eriyadu in this state of mind.. and body!
I am very lucky and grateful to share my passion with the people that I meet, everytime, in Maldives..
A small PS.. I MUST underline this, because I am already sure!! I will never, ever have such an incredible, amazing, smooth " very,very late check out" as the one I had on Eriyadu!! Thank you Aaron and Reservation Team Eriyadu! This was a 'care' that 5* and more can still long dream of.. ;)
Island of Smile
FUvahmulah - The Big ISland of Maldives is the most beautiful and Different island I ever been.
Being the nearest atoll to the Equator and the first atoll in the Southern Hemisphere among the Atolls of the Maldives, Fuvahmulah has many distinctive features which make the island unique and more beautiful than the rest of the islands. As H.C.P Bell says in his Monograph, throughout history Maldivians themselves have fairly judged Fuvahmulah to be the most beautiful island in the Maldives
Being a one-island atoll itself and the second largest island in the Maldives (if not for land reclamation), Fuvahmulah includes a diverse range of habitats ranging from tropical woodlands and wetlands to freshwater lakes, well-vegetated marshland areas, white sandy beaches of different variations and pebble texture plus gravel beaches and fertile lands of humus greater in area than any other island in the Maldives. The two freshwater lakes in the island plus the many number of swamps and marshland areas in the island give habitat to different plant and animal species not to be found anywhere else in the Maldives. Among such species, the Common Moorhen (locally known as Valikukulhu) is a bird natively confined to Fuvahmulah only in the Maldivian archipelago. Also, the dense forest of Syzygium cumini (Jambul), locally known as "Dhanvah Baal".
That's the one island i never want leave if i go there.
Lux is Paradise!!
I started out my search for a honeymoon resort very early in the year!! I looked online and researched several resorts. I settled on the Lux after a recommendation from Purely Maldives. The price was great compared to what I had seen so to be honest I wasn't expecting a whole lot... I figured the nature in Maldives will make up for any inadequacies!
Oh boy...How wrong I was!!!! Lux is amazing!! The welcome we received, the brilliant staff, the activities, the snorkeling, the view, the cleanliness! Everyone goes the extra mile to please you.
We went with my 4 year old son and he had the best time at the Kids club!! Barbara and Shaama are wonderful!! My son woke up each morning asking to go to the kids club and we were so confident leaving him there! He had so much fun with the hermit crabs and we even went on a free excursion on the glass bottomed boat! Barbara and Shaama truly love kids its so clear to see by the dedication they put into the kids club. I cant thank them enough for the time they spent with my son. I actually had tears in my eyes when I had to say good bye to them because I felt like we had known them for ages.
All the staff were so nice to my son as well. Most of them would call him by name and would stop to chat with us or suggest activities he could do. It was like being in a little village. Strolling down staff would call out a hello and I guess this was infectious because other families and couples would also say hello as you walked past them. It felt so homely and warm. We also never felt like the Island was overcrowded. We would walk for miles on the beach without seeing anyone on the beach. Maybe it was the time of the year we went. It also rained on a few nights and the resort provided umbrellas...but I tell you what...we didn't mind! To be honest , we didn't mind a lot of things!! I'm so squeamish about bugs and ants but I found myself in such a good mood that I actually started rescuing the ants and placing them gently on the leaves instead of screaming as I would usually do...LOL!!
For the food, you should definitely go all inclusive...My husband and I had more cocktails than we have had in a whole year...he!he! Well considering we live in the Middle East!! There was so much choice for the food. My husband is vegetarian but he was more than happy with the selection. There were theme nights in the restaurants through the week. The swiss roll was the best I ever tasted. There was also the home made Island Icecream Ici.....OMG!! Delightful. I think I have added several pounds.....it was all too tempting.
For the honeymoon package we had a cocktail making class, a dinner by the beach and a starlight cruise all complimentary. There were a myriad of activities, we had a movie night and a karaoke night...what a laugh!!
The Island was also very clean, Ali kept our room spick and span and all the sand we brought in from our daily walks around the beach were banished quickly..he! he! He made us an alligator on our last night there. The Island was kept really clean , there were loads of staff out cleaning frequently. We ate al fresco most of the time and we weren't bothered by bugs or flies. Flies for me are a big NO NO. The Island gets fumigated every evening...I read this in the weekly schedule which Betty handed to me.
Getting around was easy as there Golf buggies which you could hop on and off.....we were really lazy and took these quite often. For the more athletic minded there were also yellow bikes you could use if you found one lying about. You could also hire silver or blue bikes for a fee a day. My husband thought all the bikes should be free, but I wasn't too phased out with this.
I am an environmentalist and care a lot about the environment and I was really happy seeing all the effort that went into keeping the Island green. No plastic water bottles! Yes!
There was an herb garden and a marine biology center . There's also a water sports center. We didn't get to do any water sports but did go snorkeling. It was my first time snorkeling and I was mead to feel so relaxed and it was really great!! The instructor even put on my mask himself to ensure I had a perfect seal. It was a great experience I will remember forever!
There was also a table tennis, pool/ snooker table and just as we were leaving they had put in an air hockey table. There was table tennis available with a very nice Australian tennis instructor. I tried my hands on the French game with the balls but I gave up after a while.... found it too boring. I'm sure someone out there would love it though....lol!!
There was baby shark and giant ray fish feeding every night. We never made the shark feeding but we did see a few tiny baby shark swimming. I believe they are harmless so no need to panic...LOL!! There were also bats and hermit crabs. My son was completely fascinated with the hermit crabs and wanted to take them home with him....we had to tell him they needed passports to come home with us and that would take us a long time to get them sorted. If we didn't I believe he would have refused to get on the plane home!! Phew!! My husband came up with that one.
If you are looking for honeymoon/family holiday then you should definitely book the Lux Maldives! It was an amazing holiday and we will never forget. Waking up to the greatest sunrise!
We have departed from Venice on April 15 th 2013 with Qatar Airways, and arrived ontime to the airport in Malè on April 16 th at 7.50. Our flight was comfortable and pleasant. Despite all my fears before the departure, being my first time with scheduled flights and speaking little English, the transfer in the airport of Doha was easier than I thought.
The airport in Doha, that is huge, in my opinion is much better organised of our Italian airports and there I could find, both during the outward journey and during the return trip, some people that have asked me if I needed help.
Then the planes are much more comfortable than the charter carriers (which until that moment I had used), not only for the much wider space between the seats, but most of all for the good service of the crew and for the rich individual screens (sets on the back of every seat) fully functional and full of proposals in order to pass the time on board.
The food was delicious and varied and it could even satisfy the most demanding palates. The only drawback: the waiting time is a bit too long in Doha for the transfer of the second leg of the flight; sometimes this wait might be really heavy in the case of traveling with young children. Despite this, the experience with Qatar Airways is absolutely memorable.
Etihad, you are cheaters
#Etihad_worst_Airlines_ever My nightmare started when I booked a round trip ticket from Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt, and since not sure about the return I booked it refundable and paid extra charge, when I requested a refund, they refused and denied that option and when asked them about the extra charge I've paid, they simply answered "you lost it too". They simply let you do the purchase process and pay more for fake product, “BEWARE”
Aavun Spa lies in the South of the island, in a very quiet and secluded beachfront, next to the sports field.
When you arrive, you find an open area surrounded by huge trees, including the largest banyan tree in the resort.
In this area there are some umbrellas covered with palm leaves, sun loungers and a structure consisting of several small rooms, with a sort of living room-entrance to the Center, where there are tables and chairs.
One day two girls, who work at the Spa, did a walk along the beach, in the water's edge, presenting and offering to guests the opportunity to try one of their facials or body, based on natural ingredients such as papaya, coconut and cucumber. They explained that each of their treatments and massages had a specific property: it could be relaxing, rejuvenating, curative, beneficial for the soul as well as for the body, for the face or feet, to improve body metabolism or to achieve an inner balance.
Why don't I try? I would have just wanted to relax the muscles of my back, often contracts and aching throughout all the year, specially during winter. I could choose a time between 10 am and 8 pm. I chose 10 am o'clock , two days later.
Lying on the bed, I was massaged by expert hands with fragrant coconut oil and lime for fifty minutes abundant (for my personal comfort and privacy, every part of my body, that was not treated, was covered with a white cloth), and I came out as new, relaxed and regenerated.
Despite she looked like a young girl, the therapist who followed me has proven to be really prepared and professional.
Experience to be repeated!
Reef and snorkeling
This year we came to Biyadhoo for two weeks during the first half of July, which we knew to be a period a bit at risk as weather conditions. In fact, during our entire stay, except for a couple of days, the sky was now veiled, now wet, now a bit sunny, but always windy.
The sea was so constantly agitated, and therefore not recommended for snorkeling outside the reef. Luckily there was an area where the sea was always extraordinarily calm: at south-east of the island, starting immediately after the pier, between passage 7 and passage 1. So for almost the entire duration of our stay , twice a day, even in the rain (see photo), we snorkeled in that area, back and forth, or in the lagoon at west, when the waves calmed down a bit. After a week snorkeling in the same area was beginning to get a bit monotonous ... luckily the fish rewarded us for such constancy with their constant and varied presence.
A rich variety of specimens, singles, in pairs or flocks accompanied us and was photographed every day. Maybe it will depend on the season (or by luck, I do not know), but we saw fewer polyps than last year, no clown triggerfish, no emperor angelfish and only one turtle (during the excursion in the reef to the west of Biyadhoo, and not photographed because it went away too quickly).
There were, however, every day wonderful, large and giant moray eels; one day a light gray moray, almost white, passed, right next to the beach, less than a meter from my feet.
On the other hand, there were more titan trigger fish, blue and striated surgeonfish, royal angelfish, butterfly fish of all kinds, fusiliers, small blacktip reef sharks that swam even in small groups at a step away from the shore and even sharks a bit more long (one meter or more) that passed fast over the reef.
This year I have seen and photographed in the lagoon a quite large porcupine ray, almost completely white, which was very well camouflaged with sand, and a titan triggerfish in low water, close to shore. In slightly deeper water above the reef, we photographed the largest Titan triggerfish seen until this moment: it could move with his teeth a piece of rock at least a couple of pounds. Sometimes then, next to the pier, we photographed a beautiful lion fish with fins that looked like fluffy feathers, a wonder!
The corals of Biyadhoo are not at maximum of their beauty, according to me. The most beautiful, large and colorful corals are on the north and west of the island. They are fairly healthy and developed at the east, while at the south they are more destroyed, white, in pieces. You can see broken and dead corals a bit in all the reef around the island, but I have also found many of them in the lagoon where we went during our excursion, in the middle of the sea at the west of the beach, next to other majestically beautiful and great formations.
I do not know what is the cause of death of all these corals, especially thinking to those in the middle of the sea...
I took a lot of photos, which I will share with you even if I think they are not as beautiful as those of last year due to the cloudiness of the sky, which took away a bit of light and color also to the green and crystal waters of sea and of lagoon.
Manta Ray snorkeling
We are snorkelers and we love all the wonderful specimens of fishes that flock to these beautiful waters, so this year we decided to forgo the usual excursions, which we have already proved in our previous visits to the Maldives, to try to do the snorkeling with the manta rays.
I have to say that the desire to do this hike I had remained in my heart since last year, when I was still a guest of Biyadhoo, towards the end of April, and on that occasion I was told that at that time no one could certainly see manta rays, because the right time would have been from the end of May onwards, until July-August. This year, then, having booked from June 30 to July 14, I should be just at the right time !!!
At the Water Sport Center there was the proposal to do a "Manta Ray snorkel" on a catamaran, for $ 50 per person, lasting about three hours; if you had not seen manta rays, you could opt for a simple snorkeling on another reef, for $ 38 apiece.
My first thought was: "But how? ... If “I do not see mantas”? I came on purpose in June to see manta rays ... .they MUST be there! "
My husband, more realistic, had commented: "You'll see that if they tell you that there is the possibility not to meet them, it means that you do not see at all."
I am the usual stubborn and I insisted howsoever to make the trip, very hopeful..... we even waited a few days to get the optimal weather conditions, according to the skipper ... and rather unfortunately my husband was right, no manta rays! We paid the reduced rate and for consolation we swam right in the lagoon that we saw from our beach in Biyadhoo, at west, and that we repeatedly had the desire to get to know.
We started with a beautiful sun and a calm sea, but given the rather moist and unstable season then the sky is a bit veiled, but without never completely change to the bad weather.
The catamaran, under the expert guidance of our skipper, was spinning very fast, alongside beautiful islands. It was the first time for us to "navigate" with a catamaran and it was really nice to be so close to the water and at the same time feel safe. We soon arrived at Manta Point and there were already two Dhoni and a pair of speed boats that slowly moved from one side to another in the area. We also wandered us for a while, then, in order not to lose the whole morning, on the advice of our skipper we gave up and went back to Biyadhoo, to snorkel in the reef near the island, to the west.
It was a beautiful reef with very large corals, a couple of moray eels, a turtle and really a lot of fish, but it had nothing to envy to those of Biya’s reef, both as a quantity which as varieties.
Conclusion: nice snorkeling, but it was a big disappointment not to have seen the mantas.
Will it be a good excuse to go back to the Maldives?!
The Coconut Bar
To relax in the evening, but sometimes even during the day, there's no better place than the Coconut Bar, not only to eat or drink something, but also to chat and laugh with the other guests of the resort, frequented by tourists of all nationalities . You do not need to dress in an elegant way, indeed, you can even go in shorts and barefoot, since the floor is sandy.
In addition to snacks and drinks of various kinds, at the Coconut Bar you can choose from a wide range of spirits and cocktails, colorful and beautiful, as well as good.
Some examples of cocktails make nice view of himself on the counter under the shed of the bar, definitely tempting with their bright colors and their beautiful decorations, including flowers (see photo). The choice is wide: the most "beautiful to see" for me is the "blue maldivian" with blue curacao among the ingredients, but very refreshing cocktails are made with fresh fruit, such as "cat Biyadhoo",with pineapple, mango and passion fruit, or the "Fruit Fantasy", made with grenadine, pineapple and fresh orange and peach juice.
My favorite cocktail was, however, the "Pina Colada" because it is little alcoholic, very refreshing and with a slight coconut flavor that I like so much. The prices are not exaggerated, for the cocktails you pay between 8 and 10 dollars, plus tax (10% + 8%).
In the bar area around the service counter there are many tables in wood and glass, surrounded by plastic chairs or upholstered chairs. Alongside this central area, long tables with wooden benches are always part of the cafe; they are arranged under the trees, near two "gazebo" with the roof covered with palm leaves.
In one of these two there are coffee tables with plastic chairs as in the area to the left, in the other there is a sort of floor a bit higher on which young people perform for two evenings a week (Tuesday and Friday) to entertain guests in a slightly different way.
A tuesday I heard two really good maldivians guys sing and play, with an international repertoire of songs; I liked them very much, but the lighting of their corner was really very poor and with flashing lights, so I could not take photos. On a Friday, a group of nine boys allowed us to watch and listen the typical maldivian songs and dances (bodu-beru), to the sound of drums.
Unfortunately, on both occasions, the matches of the World Cup were broadcast on a giant screen at the same time in another area of the resort, so the public has been very scarce.
Pleasantly naturalistic note of bar: there are two palm trees that emerge from the roof, the roof looks pretty much built around their trunk, left intact so as not to damage them.
The restaurant at Biyadhoo
The restaurant is located in the north-west area of the island, next to the bar. It is accessed by a large paved square, which unfortunately becomes a bit slippery when it rains, crossed by a curved little street of sand.
Next to the front door there is a bulletin board, where they are exposed to the prices of drinks, special meals, information on the bar, the Spa, etc..
It is a low structure, with a roof covered with palm leaves, composed of two polygonal rooms joined by a central rectangular area, where there are tables with plates and containers of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet. The two polygonal rooms, in which there are tables and chairs for guests (see photo), are not very bright, in spite of the large windows that allow you to enjoy the wonderful view of the greenery outside. The floor is tile, not sand, although I have seen many guests go equally barefoot. The atmosphere is very friendly.
When you enter a cook opens the door to welcome you with a smile. In the restaurant there is air conditioning, but never too cold, you're just fine. There are numerous waiters who follow the various tables and some of them can even speak a little in Italian.
In the morning breakfast is international, with a little salty things (chicken sausage, white oats, fried eggs, omelettes of your choice cooked at the moment, toast, pancakes, baked beans with a red sauce, baked potatoes ...) and a bit of sweet things (small croissants of five or six shapes with different fillings, even if the dough seems to me to be always with the same flavor, honey, jam, butter, fruit, maple syrup ...) . Surely everyone will find something to satiate themselves thoroughly, though I think there is a great assortment of salty things, but not of fruit (usually two different types of fresh fruit, but sometimes even fruits in syrup). The waiter brings to guests tea, coffee and hot milk, and two varieties of juices and cold milk can be taken also by three self-service dispenser next to which there are large bowls with corn flakes and other cereals (see photo) .
Among the dishes in buffet there is not a big difference between lunch and dinner. In a table shaped like a boat, on the right, you can find different baskets with various types of sandwiches (the sandwiches are a softness and a unique flavor, they are really delicious !!!), large bowls (at least eight) with finely sliced raw vegetables or with mixed salads and then there are smaller bowls with olive oil, sauces and condiments (see photo). Next to this table there is always a chef if you need a vegetable soup.
In the central table, rectangular, there are dishes and seven containers with hot food: in the first container there is always rice, white or with vegetables, in the second container it is generally put the chicken (or other meat) cooked with curry, in the third different vegetables but always prepared with spicy sauces. At the bottom of the table, at "head of the table" there is always the container with the pasta (penne, fusilli or spaghetti), cooked with sauces every day different. The pasta is often cooked too much, but we must not forget that we are not in Italy!
On the other side of the table are then the meat (beef, chicken, pork, lamb ... with various sauces, not too spicy), which unfortunately is very often tough, then the fish (always tuna, cooked in a different way, always good, ... but always tuna), and potatoes (roasted, boiled, mashed, with parsley ...) or other vegetables.
The third and final table, boat-shaped, has small plates for dessert, fresh fruit (we got almost always watermelon, pineapple, oranges and apples, rarely smallish bananas) and desserts. These are so beautiful and inviting that it is difficult to resist to tasting of a nibble for type. For me, the soft desserts and puddings win for goodness. The mousse (like last year) are really not to be missed.
I just do not like spicy foods, but despite this I have always found everything that I wanted to stop eating. That said, and adding that I do not come to the Maldives "to eat", I have to admit that the cuisine of Biyadhoo does not give a large selection for those who have difficult tastes and is quite monotonous and repetitive (without wanting to speak about the meat which, apart the chicken, is often hard to cut and chew).
Something different is on Fridays, or on some other feast day, when the cook prepares the omelette with ingredients of your choice, or skips the pasta in the pan for you , or prepares special sandwiches (especially for children), and among the bowls of the vegetables, rolls with vegetables are added, meatballs with excellent fish and potatoes, boiled and fried eggs (good!)
I saw that the chefs pay particular attention to children, always trying to satisfy their demands.
I must say, however, that between strengths and weaknesses, the quality/price ratio of this resort is really great
I agree with what reiterated a friend of Lugano, known at Biyadhoo in this year, who said: "There is someone who says that a person goes to Biyadhoo only if he has no pretensions .... I have a LOT of pretensions, but they aren’t about the food!"
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