I have only been back in Mumbai a few hours and the withdrawal symptoms are setting in fast. As I put my shoes on this morning a little Maldivian sand scattered on the carpet and made me sigh. I gazed out my window to the hazy city skyline and grey polluted waters and wished myself back in our beautiful hut overlooking the clear turquoise water where the sharks and stingrays didn’t bother the few spectators and swimmers who bathed alongside in the warm water.
Eight nights in this beautiful resort were an ideal antidote to the crazy daily routine that is life in Mumbai. But let me take you back to day one when we climbed out of the sea plane and were greeted by the resorts manager complete with island cocktail – now that’s my kind of welcome! Sadly we had about three hours before our room would be ready so we were given a tour of the island, which didn’t take that long as low tide its 380 m long and 162 m wide and high tide it shrinks to 280 m by 145 m and were given an information pack (initially in Italian which confused us a little) and then deposited in the bar (again I’m liking their thinking).
TIP if your flights get you in before the 2pm room check in then keep a change of clothes handy as there is a lovely changing/shower facility alongside the departure lounge at this resort and as the year round temperatures are hot, hot and hot you need to shed clothing asap upon arrival.
After trying desperately not to fall asleep in the bar as we had been travelling for many hours we were finally asked to jump in the golf cart and were driven to our room. The resort offers three types of accommodation, the beach villas, the water villas, and the senior water villas. If you read the online reviews for this resort then you will probably come to the same conclusion that David did when booking – senior water villas are the way to go. I almost squealed with delight when we were shown into our beautifully decorated villa, and that was before I noticed the bottle of champagne, fruit and chocolates that David had preordered!
The clever way the villas are laid out means that you have a private balcony (bar the occasional snorkeler who wanders a little too close – luckily David didn’t have a harpoon handy as he was very tempted a few times). Your own private access directly into the seawater and a private outside bath and shower also added to the feeling of opulence. This resort is all-inclusive and although there is no room service there is a minibar in your room that is refilled each morning with drinks, snacks and unfortunately M&M’s and Snickers- guess who had a chocolate overdoes on this vacation?
TIP select a resort that is all-inclusive as prices are crazy, I guess they have a captive audience once you arrive on the island. There are of course opportunities to purchase add-ons even at this resort but we were pretty disciplined on this trip (other than my champagne of course).
Dining was very well thought out with a few different venues if you so desired. The main Manta Restaurant is a buffet style option with numerous stations offering a huge variety of food at all three main meals. Each evening there was a different theme such as Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and Mexican that included ‘live’ cooking stations that ensured your food was cooked fresh and to order. All the waiters are extremely friendly and didn’t take long to get to know our preferences for sparkling water and our numerous cafe lattes at breakfast. The sommeliers were very keen to offer various wines to accompany our meals. Their wine cellar holds over 18,000 bottles with restocking every three months. We enjoyed a crisp Argentinian white and a fruity Chilean red but were surprisingly not tempted by the German Riesling recommend to us one evening! Perhaps not unexpectedly they do not stock Indian wine.
We enjoyed this restaurant as you could choose to sample a little of everything (not really but we did eat very well) The fresh salads that changed every day were delicious, the omelet guy at breakfast (who came from Mumbai) and the dessert guy who was always so happy made each meal a really enjoyable experience. There is an alternative option, The Altzee Grill required a booking and so we didn’t feel the need to try this option as our days were not running to a timetable. There is afternoon tea served at the poolside bar and of course numerous bars so you never need to go hungry or thirsty.
To counteract all the delicious food we really enjoyed using the gym everyday and nearly always had it totally to ourselves – go figure! If you don’t feel quite so energetic there is also a table tennis table (ask David who the reigning champion is) a sand bocee ball area, and a pool table. The gym instructor offered yoga classes on the honeymoon pier but once again we resisted that temptation.
No resort would be complete without a spa of course and this one had a beautiful setting of individual or couples treatment huts over the water. The $455 hours couples massage was tempting but as we can get great massages in Mumbai for a fraction of that price it was easy to pass on this option.
There were numerous excursions that you could enjoy and the area is amazing for divers although the snorkelers also seemed to have fun as the waters are so clear and you don’t have to venture too far to see a variety of fish. We took a dip a few times each day to cool down even though there were sharks and stingray sightings constantly but we were assured this was safe and we live to tell the tale.
So what did we love about this resort – We have discovered that we love to go places where we feel we can be away from the masses. We really only ventured out from our lovely villa to eat or to go to the gym. We loved the gifts left in our room a few evenings – a beach bag, a beach wrap and an iPod (yes you did read that right) The setting is beautiful, although there were a few toddlers this really is a couples resort and I can understand why it is a top honeymoon destination. Close your eyes and you can imagine that you are on your own private island.
Any negatives? Travelling to and from the resort are a little challenging. No room service meant we had to be even a little bit social. Some of the waiters were a tad over anxious to ‘help’ which felt a little claustrophobic on occasions. A few fellow guests really should read up on etiquette (the lady in the bikini in the gym and the queue jumpers) but that’s really getting picky and I’m not sure the resort can do much about that (although I might vent some more on a future blog)
We would fully recommend this resort and are now looking at their sister sites in the Seychelles and Mauritius
Website: Moofushi Resort (compete with video)