So one holiday destination I never thought I would reach (or not at least until I was “rich”) was the Maldives!! But we have just gotten home from an 8 night stay at the Sun Island Resort and Spa, in the Maldives!!
First thing I will point out – I have been pronouncing the Maldives wrong my whole life… So here I am saying Mal-dives (the dives as in “he dives in the lagoon”) where as it is actually pronounced Mal-deevs (rhymes with Jeeves haha). Still trying to wrap my head around that one! I feel so silly!
I am a sucker for natural beauty – and I don’t mean “oh her make-up is barely there beautiful”. Nature can be such a beautiful thing – I say can because nothing is perfect right? Now I say this under the assumption that no-one has imported sand (but given the spread of it I am assuming not!), but its literally white sand and such clear blue beautiful water. The lagoons are what cause that beautiful colour you can see on Google earth images, as the water is less deep and clearer looking. Now, all the water is like that, even where it gets deeper, it just goes a darker blue but still clear and you can see all the marine life swimming below.
So much marine life! I fell in love! I could totally see myself being a marine biologist! I have snorkelled before, and seen such beautiful fish in Rarotonga, and beautiful fish and even a stingray and a reef shark in Fiji. This felt like it was building on from that.
There was reefs around part of the island that you could explore yourself (and a site near an Italian and seafood restaurant that had ladders down the side that literally just had hundreds of fish swimming around right there, you couldn’t touch the bottom but you didn’t even have to leave the ladder to see them!), and the hotel had separate trips you could do for different things. We went on a 3 site snorkel trip that they took you out to the spots where Sea Turtles, Manta Ray and Whale Sharks are known to be. Obviously, they can never guarantee what you will and won’t see, given that its the ocean and the animals are free to roam as they please lol. At the first site we saw two Sea Turtles (!) (they weren’t swimming together, and one of them the guide pointed out as it was just hovering above the reef and its shell was camouflaged into the reef and we almost missed it!). Other than fish that was all we saw on our trip unfortunately 😦 not from lack of trying by the guides to find the others. The said mantas they only see 50% of the time as they move through the ocean fairly swiftly so if you aren’t fast you will miss them, Sea Turtles they see about 80% of the time, and the Whale Sharks about 95% of the time. So we had accepted we wouldn’t see mantas but were hopeful for the other two.. Ah well, Whale Sharks we will hopefully see you another time. (Our underwater camera also decided it didn’t want to work anymore, granted after 7yrs its done good, so no turtle photos 😦 )
In our time there we saw fish, starfish, hermit crabs, crabs, sea turtles, a pod of dolphins, sting ray, sharks. I feel like the only thing we were missing were octopus!
The resort also did daily stingray and shark feeding, which was awesome to see! They did it around sunset, and close enough to each other to see both on the same night (although you had the potential to miss shark feeding if you lingered too long at the stingray feeding).
The sharks were fascinating – some of them were fairly small (1m or less) and some were quite large (3-5m). And honestly, they were beautiful. I know I have used that word a lot in this post, but it truly was. I don’t know a whole lot about sharks, but you always have the fear of “being eaten/bitten by a shark”, but at those size they wouldn’t be biting any humans lol. I was surprised actually there were fish in the water around the sharks stealing, yes stealing!, the food that was being thrown into the water for the sharks and they just ignored the fish! I was thinking “Oh oh, you eat the sharky food fish the sharkies will eat you!”. But nope, didn’t give them any attention at all. The larger ones were mostly grey and the smaller ones were white with black tips on their fins.
In terms of the resort itself.. It was nice. I would probably rate it 4 out of 5 stars? We had a Sun Room, and it was quite nice. They have overwater bungalows, Garden Rooms, Sun Rooms and Reef Rooms. The Reef Rooms, as the name suggests, had the best reef to snorkel on on the parts of the island that we did snorkel on. We had a large king bed, with a sun lounge in the room, and out the front of the room, and a tv (which we honestly didn’t use lol). The bathroom was the most interesting; it was partially outside! It was amazing haha
The shower is to the right in the photo, infront of the wall. The bath was concrete and really deep, we both used it. The staff were all very nice, and we took the half board which means we had breakfast and dinner included. It was a full buffet, and there was a wide range of food available. I don’t know how many days their cycle ran, but there was something different every day for dinner, including desserts. As well as running the day tours they had shops on the island that sold snacks and souvenirs, jewellery, sports gear, and an arcade, badminton courts, basketball course, golf course, gym, etc. They didn’t do day tours every day however, so if you were only staying for a short time (couple of days) you may miss the opportunity to do things.