Palm Beach Resort & Spa, Lhaviyani Atoll Maldives
Maldives Island, April 2009 of Roberta & Paolo
Here we are with a new review! This time we talk about Madhiriguraidhoo island, better known as Palm Beach Resort and Spa, located in the Lhavivani atoll.
We leaft on Saturday April 25th with an Alitalia flight to Rome and from here with an Eurofly flight to the Maldives.
Even if the flight had one hour delay, it was good and the personnel was nice. We landed in Male at 8.30 am on Sunday 26th . There was a seaplane ready to leave but, as we had to wait for a friend, we decided to catch the next one. In Hulhule, all the guests of Palm Beach have at their disposal a lounge with sofas, air-conditioning, internet, snacks, drinks and coffee.
The weather was fantastic: clear sky and sunny. After 45 minutes our seaplane landed near the platform in the north-west part of the island. We are in Palm Beach!
Palm Beach Resort & Spa, Lhaviyani Atoll
Distance from Male' (Km): 143
Time of transfer by seaplane (m): 45
Resort category: 4* Sup.
Total room: 118
Palm Beach is one hour ahead of Male.
We went directly to the restaurant where we had lunch, then we went in our room, unpacked the luggages, we took a bath into the sea, a quick shower and then we started discovering the island.
Palm Beach is managed by Sporting Vacanze and is one of the biggest islands in the Maldives, about 1600 mt in length, but rooms are only 118. This grants privacy, peace and quiet and offers larger and more comfortable rooms for a perfect holiday.
Our room was nr. 2, an east-located suite, near the reception. Before starting the description of the different rooms, it is important to underline that all of them have wood floor and are well furnished, trying to keep the Maldivian style..
The room was very large, about 100 mq, with air-conditioning, fan on the ceiling, fridge, telephone, coffee and tea kettle, tv and dvd reader. There are also two tv channels dedicated to the movies: one in English and one in Italian. Plugs are Italian and the adaptor is not needed.
Guests staying in the Suite can require breakfast in their room and at their arrival they find a fruit basket and a champagne bottle. Thanks to the big windows the sea-view is breathtaking
Behind the room there is a space for the furniture, where you can find the safety box, the hairdryer, gowns and flip flops.
The bathroom is very large and has two open showers, the Jacuzzi, two basins and a bidet. It is furnished with robes and bath sets, including toothbrushes and shaving set. This big bathroom can be found also in the other room-types.
The veranda look on to the beach, there are two sun-beds, an external shower, one table and some chairs where you can have your breakfast.
Each Suite has two floating sun beds to sunbath and we often used them in the water during our stay.
Each room type has two or more bicycles to be used within the island. It is possible to require safety locks at the reception, free of charge, in order to avoid that someone else takes inadvertently your bike. Anyway there is always a buggy service at your disposal, by simply calling the reception.
Further to the 6 Suites, there are the Junior suites, 44 dawn-side and 46 set-side. The room is slightly smaller than the suite, but accessories are the same. Outside there are two sun-beds, the classic hundoli, the Maldivian swing, and the famous plastic floating sun beds.
Another room type is the Villas, two floor buildings. They are 16, 8 sea-front and 8 internal. Here there also two sun-beds, the Maldivian swing and the plastic floating sun beds.
At the lower floor there is a sofa and an armchair with a table, the TV, the furniture and the access to the bathroom. If needed, it is possible to add a double bed for two children or two additional adults. A grating divides the room from the furniture and from a table.
At the upper floor there is the bedroom with a terrace that looks directly on to the sea, as far as the 8 sea-front villas concerns.
The bathroom is open air but here there is an angular tube.
Further to these three room types there are also the Presidential suites.
They have two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large central living room. In the Presidential suites, guests can have breakfast, lunch and dinner directly in the room. There is also a butler at their disposal. It is possible to use a boat twice a week. At the arrival there is a fruit basket and a bottle of champagne. Guests of these rooms have free access to all restaurants.
On the Island there are always 3 baby sitters, but their number increases when the Island is fully booked.
The inside of the island is green and very well maintained: the name of Palm Beach comes from the high number of palms on the island. Only when you use the bike, you understand the largeness of this island and, when it is not too hot, it is nice to discover the several points of this resort.
The whole island is surrounded by beaches, for a total of 4 km. During our stay in the south/east side the beach was reduced by the high tide late in the afternoon. The rest of the island has very long and large beaches. Very nice, also for its colors, is the one that goes from the wharf to the sand.
Palm Beach is famous for the several sport activities at the guest disposal, all of them free of charge. There are two tennis fields, a squash field, a gym, a basket field, a soccer field for 8 people plus a smaller one, a space for the beach volley on the beach, billiard, darts, ping pong and various games. There is a tennis and squash instructor who can play with you or teach you at no additional cost.
The Sport Center for all the water-sports, such as catamaran, canoe and windsurf, is near the swimming pools. Further to the main swimming pool there is also a small swimming pool for the children.
Near the swimming pool there are always clean towels for the sun-beds. Some of them have umbrellas.
Near the swimming pool and the Pool Bar there is a Boutique and a Jewellery.
On the island there are three restaurants. The Main Restaurants is buffet and here lunch and dinner are served. The food is very good, copious and well-cooked. The 20 people, cook and cook-helpers, make their best to meet the most demanding guests.
Food comes from Italy and from Dubai, but many types of fruit and vegetables come from the Maldives.
There are always three main courses cooked at the moment, in addition to the ready ones. The three main courses, always different at any meal, are usually two pastas with different sauces with vegetable or fish and a risotto with vegetables. There is always raw fish, several hot and cold entrée, vegetables, cheese, including fresh buffalo-mozzarella, bread, pizza, focaccia, raw ham, salami, salmon and small things such as capers, pine-nuts and nuts.
Outside, near the restaurant, there is a small dhoni for the grill. Every day there is fillet and other types of meat and one or two fish qualities.
Every day there is any kind of fruit, cake, dessert and ice-cream. Drinks, such as water, soft drinks and beer are included and served in carafes.
The restaurant is divided into small rooms with the buffet tables in the middle. This solution which divides guests into different areas, gives the idea of smaller and less crowded restaurants.
Lunch is served from 1 pm to 2 pm, while dinner from 8.30 pm to 10 pm.
The Romantic Restaurant is an a la carte restaurant for candlelit dinners on a platform over the water. Food is really amazing and the atmosphere is very romantic. Good wine choice.
The Ihi Ghe Restaurant is the other restaurant on the east side of the Island, where the main dish is the lobster. The candlelit dinner is served on the beach, close to the sea. If weather conditions are bad, it is possible to eat inside, as for the Romantic Restaurant. We had an entrée with vegetables and lobster, grilled lobster with vegetables and fruit salad with ice-cream.
Guests can have buffet breakfast in three different places of the Island: to the Main bar, called Coffee Shop, to the Romantic Restaurant and to the Ihi Ghe Restaurant. Fresh fruit, brioches, cakes, omelet, salami, cheese, yogurt, juices, the and coffee are available from 8 am to 1 pm.
At Tea Time it is possible to have a break at the Coffee Shop: small pizzas, cakes, crepes, tea, coffee, ice tea and water are at the guest disposal. It is nice to seat outside and look at the sea, under the shadow of the big kajan umbrellas. It is a moment of relax and, if you are lucky as we were, you can also see the dolphins.
Before dinner, at 8 pm, the appetizer is served at the Pool Bar near the swimming pool: there are always small pizzas, snack and sushi. This is also the meeting point after dinner with live (and recorded) music, where guests can spend the evening with friends and with the other tourists known on the island. Before dinner we often spent our time with Matteo Mancini who, together with Massimiliano Cuccagna, is one of the two General Managers.
Matteo is here since 2004. Once he worked for Club Vacanze as responsible of the diving sector, then he arrived to Palm Beach to work for the diving. From September 2005 to January 2006 he attended the International School of Hotel Management Les Roches in Switzerland and then he came here again with a new role.
In the north-west of the Island there is the Beach Bar, opened from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm where you can have a light meals, such as salads.
The Reception is located in the south of the island and you can call them for any needs, not only for telephone, fax, dhoni rental, currency change and baby-sitting. It is possible to choose among 10 types of newspapers, not only Italians, at the cost of 4 Euro. Palm Beach has signed a contract with the company Todaily, which supplies the software and the printing machine. It is also possible to receive the newspaper in the room.
At the reception there is a small library and on the left there is the internet room with 3 PCs. Behind it there is a small shop where every week it is possible to taste and buy the tea. On the left of the reception there are two souvenir shops, selling also products for the body care, suntan creams, phone cards, Dhiraagu charges and, obviously, our products..
On the island there is a surgery with a doctor who is always at the guest disposal.
The Diving staff is Italian: 4 girls and 4 boys who bring guests to the best diving spots. They have 2 dhonis, sometimes 3. The diving also rents the equipment for the snorkeling and the cameras. It also organizes courses of marine biology. There is also a small boutique with several items.
There are aluminium 13 lt cyclinders, 15 lt steel cyclinders, whether int and din and the nitrox (12 lt cylinders).
There are many diving spots around and Paolo visited 5 of them: Kuda kandu, Brazz thila, Kuredu Caves, Maa ghiri sud and Fushifaru Kandu.
Very famous is that of Kuredu for the giant turtles and Fushifaru Kandu for the sharks. Here it is possible to meet the manta rays twice a year: on February and between July and August.
On the boat there are always clean towels, hot tea and coconut. In the morning it is possible to dive twice, while in the afternoon only once. Divers must only assemble the equipment.
During the snorkeling, guests are always accompanied. Snorkeling is free of charge and is organized once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Palm Beach is usually considered an Island without reef. However, in the north, not too far, there is a long reef that can be visited only from the inside, because there is no exit and the reef does not allow to go outside, unless you hurt yourself or destroy the reef. There are a lot of corals growing and many fishes. We met a beautiful Napoleon fish, groupers and other reef fishes.
The SPA, near the reception, is managed by the Coconut SPA, a chain of beauty centers very well known in the Maldives for their professional services. The SPA zone is very large: there are 4 rooms for the massages with 8 beds and there is a wide choice of massages; Jacuzzi, steam bath and hammam are at the guest disposal with no additional cost, while massages and treatments have same costs of the other SPA in the Maldives. There are about 15 girls from Bali working there and the atmosphere is very relaxing. A small boutique sells the products used during the treatments, in addition to clothes.
In the Island there is also the staff area, a village within the village. There are about 260 people working on the island. Shortly we will publish a special issue regarding the staff life.
Italian tourists during winter are about 80%. The rest is made up by French, German, English, Spanish or Russian. In the other months Italians are about 50%,
During the week we found beautiful weather and even if we were busy in taking images, videos and visiting the various areas, we had the time to enjoy the sea and to relax.
Before leaving Italy we were doubtful about this Island, especially because it was very big and we usually preferred smaller islands. Once arrived there, we changed our mind. The Island was beautiful and so were the treatments and the atmosphere. We felt ourselves home, despite Italy was very far.
Sunday May 3rd at 7 o’clock in the morning we caught the seaplane to Malè, from where there was our Eurfly flight to Italy at 9.40 am.
As usual we say goodbye to this heaven.
See you soon
Roberta & Paolo