Fabulous Finolhu Maldives
Oksana Turney just back from om a very nice Finolhu stay.
It was a very long way to travel coming from the US west coast but so worth it, to the point that after we have only been home for a day and we were already looking at possibilities for the next year.
The resort is beautiful, great retro vibe that really appealed to us. What stood out the most: wonderful employees that seem very happy working at the resort and are genuinely warm and welcoming. No request is too much. Anything we asked for or needed was delivered promptly and without questions.
We met people from all over the world, there were guests from Italy, Australia, China, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, Poland and Bahrain. Very few Americans.
we stayed in a pool water villa which we thoroughly enjoyed. Spacious, comfortable beds, pillows that make you feel your head is resting on a cloud, cool, fun furnishings, great terrace with an amazing pool, comfy sun beds, large bed to lay out on that stays mostly in the shade, rocking chairs we totally enjoyed and outdoor shower to rinse off after you climb back up the ladder from off the deck snorkeling. Coffee/tea pot with selection of coffee/ tea products. Two bottles of water supplied per day, more can be requested. Ample storage, large bathroom with a tub, in and out door showers (we loved the outdoor waterfall shower the most and used it every day), slippers, lightweight robes perfect for the climate, (and even big enough for my 225 pound husband), beach bag, as well as rubber thongs to wear to the beach.
The villas are quite a walk to the main area where the reception and restaurants are which we loved. Helped to walk off all the calories. You can catch a ride on one of several multi passenger buggies that circulate throughout the area on a regular basis, or like us, use the walk as an excuse for an extra dessert!
Entertainment: great DJ, we really enjoyed the tunes at the pool/bar area. Light show, acrobats, music and dancing at night. Mellow and relaxed, just right for a resort.
Activities: When walking just isn’t enough, they have a quite a set up for gym-rats, from several weight lifting and cardio machines, to morning yoga, UFC style cross fit work outs led by a professional instructor. The tennis courts are also very nice, well maintained with lights for a night game and the number of water related activities are insane. We paddle boarded, (be sure to ask for a paddle that floats…my husband’s sank, was also were a bit surprised that the board did not have a leash), snorkeled (amazing water clarity and a plethora of sea life to watch and video right off the villas) and Jet bladed…what a work out! We did not go on a scuba excursion, but spoke with several guests who did, including one couple that found themselves in a school of dozens of manta rays.
Beach: loved the clear waters, sand and the long stretch of beach you will never get tired of walking. You can take it all the way past the Crab Shack restaurant ( there is also a boat that will take you there). Comfortable and pretty loungers on the beach and plenty of them, beach service was a tad slow (we had to walk to the bar to order drinks several times, but someone would always bring them out). Plenty of towels around the pool and beach area. The resort was at 75% occupancy but the beach and pool areas were never crowded.
Food: our package included buffet and we never bothered with other restaurants even though we originally planned to, though if we had to do it again, we would have definitely gone to the seafood night at the crab shack. Each night dinner was a different theme: Arabian night, Asian night, Food truck night, Italian, French/Vietnamese, seafood, all had plenty to choose from. We especially enjoyed vegetable and chicken curries, lamb and fish ones were surprisingly not as good. I am surprised by people posting pictures of empty serving pots/platters. Yes, some foods were very popular and we occasionally would have to circle the buffet and come back when the serving pot/platter was refilled, but we never found ourselves unable to eat a particular dish…a little bit of patience goes a long way.
Service was superb. We are from Las Vegas where the standards are pretty high and we had nothing but praise for ALL the employees working at the main restaurant, from the lovely, always happy to greet and sit you hosts and hostesses to almost every server we came into contact with. Drinks brought within minutes of being ordered, (Ronilo made sure of that:) and kept us refilled without having to ask once. He was fantastic as were the rest of the servers that helped us during our stay. At breakfast, we were always offered more coffee, cappuccino, tea or whatever we were drinking. I have to mention the sweetest cook Finolhu had, Shiam, who we called “the bread man”. He made the absolute best bread during the Arabic themed dinner and lovely eggs Benedict for breakfast. He had the kindest smile and seemed genuinely happy to be doing his job, we really enjoyed saying hi to him every day even though there was a bit of a language barrier when we talked. Didn’t matter! Speaking of breakfast, you will have plenty of choices: Bagels and lox, eggs Benedict, Nutella crepes (or however you like them, many delicious fillings/toppings like vanilla sauce and peanut butter available, always excellent), seafood or vegetable dumplings and a variety of Asian foods, different breads, yogurts, variety of danish and muffins, fruit, the list goes on and on. We missed a few lunches because we were so full at breakfast. I don’t think many people will be unhappy with food choices (although there always seem to be some LOL).
Another employee that really stood out to us was Shohk, our wonderful bartender at the main bar. Always a smile on his face, just an amazing guy. We really enjoyed and appreciated the great service he offered us on a daily basis as well as just enjoying his positive attitude when we would chat.
The hotel has a wonderful doctor in case you are not well while there. I had a head cold and husband back pain and both of us were very well taken care of.
We were really impressed with how our late check out request was handled. Our flight back to US was not till 6:30PM Finolhu time (8:30 for Male). We were allowed to use the villa until our seaplane ride which was the last one scheduled from the island. Once in Male we had a Finolhu rep with us up until the time for us to go through security. We felt that Finolhu really cared about how our departure went even after we officially were not the guests of the resort any longer. Very nice touch.