Maldives

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Robinson Club,
Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa and Equator Village

Maldives Island, July 2010
Travel diaries from Roberta and Paolo

You can find all the latest galleries of the visited villages here
You can find videos of the visited villages here

 

The chance of a last minute flight allows us to leave again for Maldives, after we spent our Easter holiday in Bathala.

We left on July the  5th with a Neos flight from Malpensa at 10.15 p.m which stopped over in Rome. The flight was one hour late, but despite this we enjoyed the trip: decent food and quite comfortable seats.

We arrived in Hulhule at 12.30 a.m., about 45 minutes later than we expected. As soon as we joined the passport control queue,  two airport stewards came up to us and made us pass ahead of other people, while trying to speed up the luggage delivery process. They explained that our local flight was waiting for us because there were no seats available on the next one. After we took our bags we run to the national departures to catch the local flight that would  take us to the South of Maldives.

There were some big clouds in the sky but during our one hour flight we could admire the atolls passing under our eyes and took some images from the plane that will remain an indelible memory about all the wonderful things that nature offers us.

aereal photo and view of Maldives

We landed at the airport of Kaadhedhoo, in the Gaafu Atoll. After we took our bags we went with the steward to the pier where there was the boat waiting , which took us to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa  After about half an hour of navigation, we reached again on the island we visited last year in August, when it had just opened.

Park Hyatt Hafahaa from the top
Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives aerial

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Gaafu Alifu Atoll

Distance from Male' (Km): 405
Transfer times:
Internal flight (m): 55 + Fast boat(m): 75

Category Resort: 5*
Total number of rooms: 50
Reef: the coral reef, easily reachable, completely surrounds the island’s perimeter



(You can see the new photo here and video here)

420x300 meters big, it’s composed from 14 Overwater Aqua Villas and 36 Island Villas, 20 of these equipped with a 12 square meter private swimming pool and is 120 squared meters in total.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water island villas

We were assigned to the Villa 11, the same one of last year. Memories immediately become to present. The time difference from Malè is one hour forward.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa

The whole structure is made of wood, with large windows that look onto the external part where there is the swimming pool and the access to the sea.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa 1

The bedroom has the bed in the middle of the room and is provided with all comforts: air conditioning, minibar, 37 inch plasma screen, cd and dvd player, ipod docking station, telephone, kettle, tea and coffee, Nespresso machine, free internet access and wi-fi. A sliding door divides the room from the bathroom, which is as big as the bedroom. There are two zones: one indoors and the other one outdoors.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa internal

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa internal 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa internal 2


In the indoors part there are a shower  and a toilet area. The other space is dedicated to cupboards, where you can find bathrobes, a hair dryer and a safe box, two sinks with different towels for men and women.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa internal 3

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa internal 4

A wide window divides this indoors area from the outodoor zone, where there is  bathtub and another shower.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa internal 5

The veranda is made up of a wooden plain with a little table and some chairs, and a base of bricks with big pillows that surrounds the swimming pool.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa veranda

Only a few meters further in front of it there is the sea access where there are the reserved sun-beds.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa veranda 1


The Island Villas, 100 square meters big, not counting the swimming pool, are exactly the same inside, but they only have their veranda with two chairs and a sun umbrella outdoors.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives island villa pool

All the Villas are surrounded by a thick vegetation which offers privacy and quietness.

The fourteen 110 square meters big overwaters are made up of a wide room with the same facilities of the Villas.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa 2


The room has a wide window that looks onto a terrace where there are two sun-beds and a big sofa.
The whole structure is made of wood, reflecting the style used for the construction of the island. The overwaters are built very close to the reef, reducing to a minimum their impact on it.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa room

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa room 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa room 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa room 3

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa room 4

The very large bathroom has a double bathtub, and the shower unit and toilet are separated.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa room 5

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives over water aqua villa room 6



The northern part of the isle is dedicated to the common areas, all close together.

The first structure we find at the end of the pier where we arrived is the Reception. The various parts that compose the upper part of the structure have been created in the Haa Atoll in a carpentry, where dhoni are producted, then they’ve been carried and assembled on the island. The effect is really remarkable: the roof is an exact representation of an inverted dhoni.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives reception

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives reception 1


Inside the reception you can see the ceiling that is basically the inside part of a hull and its boards, and the structure rests on some wooden pillars kept together with some windows. Here you can find the counter, some sofas and a pool table.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives reception 2

The northern part of the isle is dedicated to the common areas, all close together.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives relaxation area

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives relaxation pool area pool 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives relaxation area pool 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives relaxation area pool 3

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives relaxation area 4

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives relaxation area 5

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives relaxation area 6

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives relaxation area 7


Near the restaurant you find an area where there is the boutique, the bookshop with a selection of international newspapers, classic books and some other ones specialized in history and evolution of the Maldives, a plasma screen connected via satellite and the auditorium with internet access via two iMac.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives boutique and bookshop

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives boutique and bookshop 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives boutique and bookshop 2

Behind the restaurant you also find a gym and the yoga center.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives gym


The restaurant is divided in several areas and is situated in front of the swimming pool. The lower part is called Relish, the upper one Horizon. The ground floor part is both indoors and outdoors, if the weather allows its use.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives restaurant

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives restaurant 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives restaurant 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives restaurant 3


The upper floor is also divided in outdoors and indoors. Indoors there are only small rooms that look onto the inner lower hall, with 5 flats divided by panels, 2 with tables to have dinner, while 3 are relax area where you can have an appetizer or have some talking after dinner.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives restaurant 4


On the upper floor again, but outdoors, you find a wide zone to relax and another one where you can have dinner in the open air, also privately, enjoying the sunset view.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives restaurant 5

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives restaurant 6


The restaurant offers various western, eastern and local dishes. The standard treatment provides only breakfast “a la carte”. Lunch and dinner are served “a la carte” too. The chef can cook any dish on demand according to everyone’s culinary needs.

Next to the swimming pool there is Bell’s bar. The name comes from H.C.P. Bell, an English archeologist who stayed three times in Maldives from 1979 to 1922. He explored Maldives to further knowledge of  pre-Islamic age and what remained of Buddhist culture. This bar is specialized in cocktails served with exquisite cigars.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives belli's bar

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives  belli's bar 1


Behind this area, next to the overwaters’ pier, there is the Battuta’s., the restaurant where you can taste Maldivian specialties. The name comes from Muhammad Ibn’ Battuta, who lived in 1300, a “moresc” traveler who went as far as Sumatra and China, southern Russia, Maldives, eastern Africa’s coasts and Timbuctu. All these things made him the greatest traveler of the Medieval Era.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives battuta's restaurant

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives battuta's restaurant 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives battuta's restaurant 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives battuta's restaurant 3

Still behind the main restaurant, but on the inside of the island, you can find the Diving Center and the SPA.

The Diving Center Padi, “Blue Journeys” offers immersions in this area which were available until now only to those who enjoyed underwater cruises, known as Suvadiva. Best availability, new equipment and free nitrox. The Diving Center provides for free mask and fins for snorkeling.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives diving centre

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives diving centre 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives diving centre 2


To the Spa has been reserved a large area. It is made up by a swimming pool area, sun-beds and sofas, and 5 double bungalows dedicated to massages and various treatments, with an outside area to relax provided with a double bathtub, Jacuzzi and shower.
During our permanence in Alila, we  managed to have a Balinese massage, in a really suggestive and relaxing atmosphere.


Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives spa

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives spa 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives spa 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives spa 3

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives spa 4

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives spa 5

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldive spa 6



As water sports you can practice catamaran, windsurf and canoing. There are also some useful services: baby-sitting, a full time doctor and laundry.

The island is very green and surrounded by beaches with incredibly soft sand (in some places you can sink all the way to your ankle) all along its perimeter. During the day the depth of the beaches changes depending on the tide.

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach

 Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 3

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 4

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 5

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 6

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 6

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 7

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 8

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 9

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives sand beach 10


The leader of the projecting team of the Park Hyatt Hadahaa is Chan Soo Khian, who is the founder and the main author of the Singapore-based SCDA Architects. The company also received the prestigious Royal Insitute of British Architects (RIBA) Worldwide Award for one of his projects in Singapore and, recently, the Architecture prize for Emergent Architecture in Asia. In 2006, Chan Soo Khian was nominated Designer of the year by the President of the Design Award of Singapore.

Soo Khian’s style is evident. His architectonical philosophy tries to pull out the best from culture, traditions and local material. The design and the construction have been guided by environmental impact studies before realization. Completing the spirit of environmental management, Soo Khian has been careful to ensure his project would promote the rainwater collection and recycling, by various steps of filtering and depuration for different uses: irrigation, running water for bathrooms (shower, sink, bathtub and toilet), swimming pools all the way to water served in restaurants, both sparkling and still, thus preventing the disposal of at least 100000 bottles of plastic per year, reducing to the minimum the damage to corals all around the island, conserving and enforcing existing vegetation. Waste treatment plants guarantee that the pollution of resorts is minimal.

One of this island’s elements of pride is surely the reef, the most beautiful we’ve seen until now during our trips. Hundreds and hundreds of coral’s mushrooms  of different dimensions: from a few centimeters to 3/4 meters of diameter. Real coral trees with trenches up to 20 centimeters of diameter, all vivid and with colors raging from white to blue and yellow.

A lot of anemones, with their yellow clown fishes, can be found also in a few centimeters of water. Fishes of many dimensions and varieties complete this incredible and uncontaminated reef

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives reef

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives reef 1

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives reef 2

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives reef 3

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives reef 4



On the 9th of July we left Alila in the morning. An awesome resort on an awesome island with a very high level of service and treatment. An exclusive island that will reserve a rare experience for the lucky people who will stay on it.

After about 40 minutes on a fast boat we arrived at the Robinson Club, a resort which opened in December 2009, managed by a hotel company which owns a worldwide hotels and resorts chain.

Robinson Club from the top

Robinson Club, Maldives aerial

Robinson Club Maldives, Gaafu Alifu Atoll

Distance from Male' (Km): 400
Transfer times:
Internal flight (m): 55 + Fast boat (m): 20

Resort Category: 4* sup
Total number of  rooms: 75
Reef: the reef, easily reachable, surrounds the Island for half its perimeter

(You can  see the new photo gallery of the Robinson Club here, and the videos here)

The island has an oval shape; it is 220 meters long and 570 meters large and it’s 400 km far from Malè and 60 km North from the Equator. It can be reached only with the internal flight directed to Kaadhedhoo and a further transfer of about 20 minutes by fast boat.

As soon as we landed on the pier the attendant director was waiting for us with a fresh fruit basket and a bottle of Prosecco. That was  a great start!
After the usual formalities of the registration at the reception, located in the eastern part of the island, we’re accompanied to our room to leave our bags.
The time difference is one hour less than Alila and so we got there on lunch time

We were in  overwater n. 1123, in total there are 24 bungalows and one Lagoon Suite and they’re situated to the North-West of the island.

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa 1

The room is very big, it’s 115 square meters large, all the furniture and floor are made of dark wood: at the entrance, on the left, there’s a big separating wall that separates the bedroom from the area where there are the cupboards with a safe-box, minifridge, kettle and coffee machine.

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal

The sleeping area has a window that looks onto the wide terrace: beyond the bed there are a little sofa, a desk, a TV with DVD player and a little table with two chairs standing on a transparent floor which allows you to see the water below and  sometimes you can see fishes passing by.

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 1

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 2

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 3

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 4

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 5

On the left there is the bathroom, with the bathtub, a wide shower and two sinks. Toiletries are complete, with the bathrobes and the hair dryer. From the bathroom there’s a door giving access to the terrace.

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 6

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 7

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 8

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa internal 9

The terrace, completely made by wood, has a Jacuzzi on the left, two sun-beds and one little table with some chairs and a sun umbrella in the middle, and a sort of little sofa on the right.

Robinson Club, Maldives overwater villa terrace

The room is equipped with air conditioning, blades on the ceiling, telephone and wireless internet connection.

 

We go to the restaurant, situated West, for lunch: breakfast, lunch and dinner are always buffet, except for special occasions during which there is table service. The cooking is international, always very different, appetizers, first courses freshly cooked, second courses of meat and fish, ready-made vegetables and salads that can be prepared depending on tastes, fruit and desserts as much as one likes. There are also snacks like excellent pizzas and buns. The “all inclusive” includes drinks as well: soft drinks, white, red and “rosè” wines, beer, tea and coffee.

Robinson Club, Maldives restaurant

Robinson Club, Maldives restaurant 1

Robinson Club, Maldives restaurant 2

After lunch they brought us to see the island and the other types of rooms. Walking through the island we realized that it’s very green and the vegetation is very lush.

Robinson Club, Maldives vegetation island

Next to the restaurant there is the Main Bar, the floor is made of sand and faces the sea. On the left side there is a painting room, where adults and children can paint on canvas or other materials.

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar 1

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar 2

On the right side, beyond the pool table you can  find a bookcase and a hall used as disco, conference room or cinema with a giant screen, used during special events like now for the football world championship.

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar pool table

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar  bookshop

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar bookshop

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar cinema

Near the Main Bar there is the swimming pool, with the Pool Bar available for guests and the Das Edel Restaurant, the  restaurant à la carte.

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar  pool

Robinson Club, Maldives main bar  pool 1

Robinson Club, Maldives Das Edel Restaurant

Robinson Club, Maldives Das Edel Restaurant 1

 

 

The 18 Beach Bungalows are situated North-East and they’re 97 square meters big. Every roof is made of brown bricks and behind them they have a little wooden veranda with sun-beds, a little table and chairs available.

Robinson Club, Maldives beach bungalow

Like in the Water Villa, there’s a dividing wall which separates the cupboards area from the sleeping area.
The furniture is wooden like the floor: safe-box, minifridge, kettle for tea and coffee machine are in the cupboard area.

In the sleeping area there is the bed, a little sofa, a desk and the TV with DVD player.

Robinson Club, Maldives beach bungalow room

The bathroom is outdoor. The indoor part is equipped with double sinks, Jacuzzi, shower unit and toilet unit. In the outdoor part there is the shower; toiletries are complete, with the bathrobes and the hair dryer.

Robinson Club, Maldives beach bungalow room 1

Robinson Club, Maldives beach bungalow room 2

Robinson Club, Maldives beach bungalow room 3

Robinson Club, Maldives beach bungalow room 4

The room is equipped with air conditioning, blades on the ceiling, telephone and wireless internet connection.

In the veranda there are two sun-beds and a little table with chairs. On the beach there are two more sun-beds and the sun umbrella.

Robinson Club, Maldives beach bungalow veranda

 

There are 7 Garden Villas, which are 90 square meters big each, located South, exactly the same as the Beach Bungalows; the only difference is that the Garden Villas don’t have direct access to the beach.

Robinson Club, Maldives garden villa

Robinson Club, Maldives garden villa room

The 25 Beach Villas are 117 square meters big and they’re similar to the Beach Bungalows, but they’re more spacious and comfortable. Some of them are connected by a door, a smart solution for families.

Robinson Club, Maldives garden villa room 1

Robinson Club, Maldives garden villa room 2

The Presidential Suite is at the end of the Water Bungalows’ pier and it’s made up of two bedrooms and a living room, two bathrooms and a big swimming pool on the veranda. The features are the same as the other rooms.

Robinson Club, Maldives presidental suite

Robinson Club, Maldives presidental suite 1

Robinson Club, Maldives presidental suite 2

Robinson Club, Maldives presidental suite 3

Robinson Club, Maldives presidental suite 4

Robinson Club, Maldives presidental suite 5

Robinson Club, Maldives presidental suite 6

Laundry service is available around the clock for everyone.

The Diving is on the South-West; there are more than thirty local scuba diving locations, quite easily reachable. The Diving’s guys are always looking for new scuba diving locations, as, together with Alila, they’re the only two villages on the atoll, and both opened since less than a year.

Robinson Club, Maldives diving centre

Robinson Club, Maldives diving centre 1

Next to the Diving we have the Water Sports Center, with windsurf, a catamaran and canoing.

Robinson Club, Maldives water sport centre

Robinson Club, Maldives water sport centre 1

Robinson Club, Maldives water sport centre 2

Robinson Club, Maldives water sport centre 3

Returning to the reception you can find the medical clinic and the Boutique.

Robinson Club, Maldives reception clinic boutique

Between the reception and the restaurant, which menas in the middle of the island, there is the SPA. There are little bungalows with double couches, and a  Jacuzzi available after the massage. We tried a massage before dinner and, like every SPA in Maldives, the relaxing effect is guaranteed: the atmosphere you can breathe in these places is unique.

Robinson Club, Maldives spa

Robinson Club, Maldives spa 1

Robinson Club, Maldives spa 2

Robinson Club, Maldives spa 3

The widest beaches are on the northern, eastern and southern side of the island where there are the Beach Bungalows and the Beach Villas.

Robinson Club, Maldives sand beach

Robinson Club, Maldives sand beach 1

The reef is intact and gourgous, on the eastern side it is about 20 meters from shore, on the western side, the overwaters’ area, about 200 meters

The Island is visited mostly by Germans, but sporadically there are also English, French, Spanish and Italians. It is a resort where the “animation” part is certainly strong even if the guests, mostly German, could not fully enjoy this.
Unfortunately the only day passed and the bad weather we found, didn’t give us the chance to live it to its fullest, but it is for sure a beautiful island with an excellent service and a staff that is really up to it.

 

On the 10th of July, after a fast lunch, we took the boat which brought us back in about half an hour to the airport of Kaadhedhoo. We waited there for our little plane which brought us to Gan.

Gan Airport, Maldives plane

In less than 30 minutes, overflying part of the Gaafu atoll, we landed in Gan, situated in the Addu atoll, at the furthest South of Maldives under the equator. Our destination is Shagri-La’s Villingili, which is located East of Gan; we reached it in less than 10 minutes by fast boat. It was raining and the sky didn’t give the impression it will stop soon.

Shangri-La's
Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives map

Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Addu atoll

Distance from Male' (Km): 537
Transfer times:
Internal flight (m): 70 + Fast boat (m): 8

Resort Category: 5* sup
Total number of rooms: 132
Reef: the reef surrounds the Island for about half its perimeter

(You can see the new photo gallery of Shangri-La's here, and teh videos here)

We arrived at the resort under a deluge. As soon as we landed we were brought with a “golf cart” directly to our room, one of the 60 Water Villas on the island, the number 108 one. All the Water Villas are on the western side of the island.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives resort map

They’re located in the lagoon in three different positions, well spaced to ensure maximum privacy, and equipped with every comfort.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa

Next to our Villa’s entrance there are two bicycles we’re going to use to travel around the island far and wide.

 

We entered, they brought our bags, we gave our passports to the person who’ll take care of us for all our vacation and when we’re finally alone we began to explore the room. In the sleeping area you can find a long sofa on the left, and a shelf to be used as a desk on the right, equipped with different accessories for client comfort: mobile phone with the butler’s numbers always available, iPod docking station, Bose loudspeakers for iPod or iPhone, internet socket even if wireless is available in the whole room. On the shelf of a cabinet we found a bottle of champagne: a resort’s tradition to welcome their guests.

In the room there are: 40 inch TV screen, stereo system, telephone, air conditioning and blades on the ceiling, Nespresso machine, kettle, tea, coffee, minifridge and a selection of spirits.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 2

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 3

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 4

On the veranda you can find a big sofa, a little armchair with a little table, 2 sun-beds and a net on the water to rest comfortably.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa veranda

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa veranda 1

In the wardrobe you also find the safe-box, oilskins for rainy days, bathrobes and slippers, and the menu for choosing the best pillow depending on your preferences.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 5

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 6Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 7

The bathroom has the toilet unit on one side and the shower unit on the other side; there is the Jacuzzi in the middle of the real bathroom, on the left and on the right two sinks with all the accessories: bubble bath, shampoo, soap, body lotions, shaving kit, toothbrushes and hair dryer.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 8

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 9

In front of the veranda there is a window which looks onto the outdoors shower.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives water villa room 10

All the types of room have almost the same features and accessories.

 

Before dinner the rain gave us a little rest and we left the room  to explore the island by bicycle. The island is about 2 km long, as the crow flies, its perimeter is about 6 km long, it’s very green with almost 12 hectares of tropical forest with 45 different species of trees; it’s covered by 17000 coconut palms, and it has 3 little natural lakes, one inside the staff area. There are tours for the guests which allow them to discover the forest and the various trees.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives island inside

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives island inside 1

When you go  Southward, coasting the Eastern side, after one of the two natural lakes, we find Dr’ Ali’s Restaurant, then the island reduces his width and still on the Eastern side there is a fenced part of the beach which  access is denied to the guests: it is the zone where the turtles go and lay their eggs or rest.

Going up from South to North on the Western side you can  find the widest beaches.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives sand beach

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives sand beach 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives sand beach 2

At about half of the Western side there is the Endheri bar with swimming pool, the Javuu Restaurant and the Reception.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives Endheri bar pool restaurant

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives Endheri bar pool restaurant 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives Endheri bar pool restaurant 2

Behind the reception there is the “Village”, the boutique zone, a little recreation room, an equipped area for children and the diving. Many guests come to this resort just for  scuba diving or for snorkeling. This area in fact has not been hit too seriously from the corals’ whitening, which took place in 1998, and it offers some beautiful diving spots and very colorful walls.

Still in this area there is the Health Club with a gym, two tennis courts, sauna and Turkish bath, all for free.

We quickly returned  back to our room because of a storm.

In the evening we had dinner at the Main Restaurant Javvu: dinner, exactly as lunch, is “à la carte”, with a rich choice of international and Mediterranean food and an excellent selection of wines.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives Main Restaurant Javvu 1Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives Main Restaurant Javvu 2

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives Main Restaurant Javvu 3

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives Main Restaurant Javvu 4

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives Main Restaurant Javvu 5

The following morning we had breakfast at the Main Restaurant Javvu again: besides the indoors part, it is possible to have lunch on the beach, which is equipped with a gazebo. The service is buffet: sweet, savory, fruit, vegetables, juices, omelets… you can find everything you desire.

 

After breakfast the morning is dedicated to the visit of the different types of rooms.

There are 15 Pool Villas, 133 square meters big, located in front of the sea, on the Eastern side of the island and immersed in the vegetation. They have a veranda and a private swimming pool.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives pool villa map

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives pool villa

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives pool villa room

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives pool villa room 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives pool villa room 3

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives pool villa room 4

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives pool villa room 5

 

 

The 8 Deluxe Pool Villas, which are 189 square meters big, are also located in front of the sea, still on the Eastern side of the island. They have a wide garden and a terrace with sun-beds. They’re made up of two different rooms: bedroom and living room and they’re both provided with inner and outer shower.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives deluxe pool villa map

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives deluxe pool villa room

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives deluxe pool villa room 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives deluxe pool villa room 2

 

 

The 21 Beach Villas, which are189 square meters big, are identical to the Deluxe Pool Villas, situated in front of the sea but on the opposite side of the island, on the Western side. They are ideal for couples or families beacuse they’re situated on the side of the island with the widest beaches.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives beach villa map

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives beach villa 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives beach villa room

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives beach villa pool

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives beach villa  beach

 

 

The 10 Twin Beach Villas, which are 225 square meters big, are 2 Beach Villas together with a bedroom and a private bathroom. The court and the swimming pool are in common. They can host a maximum of 6 adults or 4 adults and 2 children.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tween beach villa map

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tween beach villa room

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tween beach villa room 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tween beach villa room 2

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tween beach villa room 3

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tween beach villa room 4

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tween beach villa beach

 

The 16 Tree House Villas are 218 square meters big, lay on structures which are raised 3 meters up and allow a marvelous view of the ocean from the Eastern side. These villas are provided with a private “infinity” swimming pool, a wide living room and a veranda with sun-beds.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tree house villa map

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tree house villa pool

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tree house villa bedroom

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tree house villa bedroom 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tree house villa bathroom

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tree house villa veranda

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives tree house villa rest room

  

The Muthee Villa is an Over Water, which is 570 square meters big, situated on the farthest tip to the North-West: it is equipped with a private swimming pool of 16 square meters, a big living room, a wide bathroom with a bathtub and outer shower, wardrobe, dressing area and a private Spa.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives muthee villa map

The Laalu Villa, the biggest solution, is 960 square meters big: it has 2 big bedrooms, a wide living room which looks onto the private garden. In the wide bathroom there is a double bathtub, which is raised from the floor with a cascade of water next to it and a shower with hydro-massage jets, a position for yoga, a private Spa with sauna and the private masseuse available every day, a little gym and a study. The garden faces the sea, on the Eastern side, about in the middle of the island.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu map

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu 2

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu veranda

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu bedroom

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu bedroom 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu bedroom 2

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu gardrobe

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu living room

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives  villa laalu living room 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu living room 3

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives  villa laalu gym

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives villa laalu spa

 

We can also see the “Chi” SPA, situated North-East on the island, a very big structure with 12 bungalows for the treatments based on the Chinese and Himalayan rituals. Unfortunately we hadn’t enough time to try a massage.

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives spa

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives spa 1

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives spa 2

Shangri-La's Villingili, Maldives spa 3

 

We had a quick lunch at the Main Restaurant Javvu under a gazebo and after that we got ready for the excursion to Gan they organized for us. Luckily the sun shined high.

We took the fast boat and we landed at Feydhoo with our guide who accompanied us throughout the afternoon.

The Addu Atoll is the most Southern extremity of the country and played a strategic role for the English Fleet and the Air Force during the World War II and for the following decades. In 1930 the English established a military base on the atoll and then a landing strip was built to control the strategic air passage through the equatorial channel. The British Air Force remained on the atoll until 1976 and during his period of maximum activity gave 1200 workers a job. Addu represents the nerve centre of the Southern atolls. The atoll is sufficiently peculiar as the majority of the islands are connected by a paved road which was built by the English. Nowadays a modern road connects the islands located on the South-Western border of the atoll.


Tha Gan Island today hosts only the airport, various airport’s offices and administrative buildings, a resort, some docks, and some fuel yards. The structures built by the Royal Air Force include tennis courts, swimming pools and golf courses.

Also in the Shangri-la Villingili, somewhere on the island, it is still possible to see the ruins of some old British buildings.

The island we  landed on is called Feydhoo and it is part of a group of 4 interconnected islands whose names, from North to South, are Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo and Gan.

We took a first walk around the streets of the town, while we waited for our bicycles.

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 1

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 2

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 3

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 4

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 5

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 6

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 7

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 8

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 9

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 10

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives shop

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 11

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 12

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 13

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 14

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives 15

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives boat

After about half an hour the dhoni service, which carries Maldivian staff working at Shangri-la Villingili, arrived; we took our bicycles and we headed North on the main street.

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives dhoni service

The resort organizes this excursion for all the guests who wish to join it: a piece of Maldivian life really different from Malè, the capital.
We began the tour of the islands with our guide.

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 1

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 2

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 3

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 4

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 5
Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 6

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 7

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 8

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 9

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 10

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 11

We came back South via the internal street, which is less open, but allowed us to see the inner part of these islands.

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 12

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 13

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 14

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 15

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 16

When we arrived on the Gan Island, a big gate delimitates the entrance. Maldivian people don’t live on the island anymore, except those who work in some offices, in the airport and in the only existing village, the Equator Village, which is the old village where British militaries lived that in time became a tourist village.

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives view from sea

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 17

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 18

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 19

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 20

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldive tour 21

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives tour 22

We asked to visit the Equator Village and they gave us the permission to do it.

Equator Village
Equator Village, Maldives aerial

Equator Village, Addu atoll

Distance from Male' (Km): 540
Transfer times:
Internal flight (m): 70

Resort Category: 3*
Total number of rooms: 78

 

(You can see the new photo galley of the Equator Village here)

It seems that time didn’t pass here the old images we had seen some years before are still very up-to-date.

Walking the small path which brings you to the reception, you can  find the rows of little houses that constitute the bungalows, lined and bordered by little gardens, but we didn’t had the chance to see them inside.

Equator Village, Maldives reception

Equator Village, Maldives reception 1

Equator Village, Maldives rooms 1

Equator Village, Maldives rooms 2

Equator Village, Maldives rooms 3

Equator Village, Maldives garden

Equator Village, Maldives room terrace

Equator Village, Maldives reception 2

Equator Village, Maldives reception 3

The Reception is located behind the bar and the restaurant; beyond it there is the swimming pool.

Equator Village, Maldives restaurant

Equator Village, Maldives restaurant 1

Equator Village, Maldives restaurant 2

Equator Village, Maldives pool

There are no big beaches available; the island is mostly visited by German and English people, which come here to fully immerse themselves in these area, which is certainly less popular than the ones more to the North, where you can  find mass tourism.

Equator Village, Maldives beach

Equator Village, Maldives beach 1

Equator Village, Maldives beach 2

Equator Village, Maldives beach 3

We came back towards Feydhoo, it was getting dark and our time was running out.

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives beach

Islands of Hithadhoo, Maradhoo, Feydhoo e Gan, Maldives beach 1

We left our bicycle in the deposit and we got back to the Shangri-la Villingili with the fast boat that came to pick us up.

In the evening we had dinner at the Dr’Ali Restaurant, a place that offers Arabic, Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese food.

The following morning, on the 12th of July, we took the fast boat and we reached Gan. We left behind  a village quite different from those we visited until now. Maybe it doesn’t look like the classic Maldivian island, but it’s a beautiful resort, with spacious rooms, well arranged and offering a treatment worthy of its name.
It’s not only an island where you can sunbath, but also a place that you can calmly visit through the little streets that stretches inside; it is a very green island and, if you want,  you really can have a taste of the  Maldivian life, going to their islands, walking in their streets, talking with them and going into their bars and cafès.

 

When we arrived in Gan, we took the local flight directed to Malè.

Gan airport Maldives external

After a flight of about 70 minutes, we landed at the airport of Hulhule and with the dhoni taxi we went to Malè. This time we stayed in a nice and very clean guest house that a friend picked up for us.

On morning of July 13th, at 12.50 a.m. we left again with the Neos flight directed to Milan

Even this time we had been able to see new structures and different realities. We went further in the remote atoll of Maldives and we hope that, with our report, we will give useful information for your future travels or even only that we have been able  to make you relive  our sensations and emotions.

Maldives see you soon!

Roberta & Paolo