07 September through to 15 September 2019 – Report by Gordon Quick

We flew with Sri Lankan Airlines from Heathrow to Colombo and onto Male, all flights were on the Airbus A330-300 series, service was very efficient and friendly, food was a choice of 2 main courses plus a vegetarian option, and there were two meals served on both long haul flights, with a snack served on the Colombo –Male flight.

We visited 6 islands staying one night in each apart from Kuramathi where we stayed for two nights.


Kurumba was the first resort to open in The Maldives back in 1972, it is the closest to Male with just a 10 minute boat ride, it is a large island compared to many with 180 rooms, with a choice of rooms and villas, some with own pools. We stayed in a beach villa which was very comfortable and had an outside bathroom (which is common in The Maldives), TV and a choice of twin and double beds. You have a choice of breakfast, half board, full board, all-inclusive and dine around all-inclusive, the difference in the last two is that all-inclusive you would eat in the main buffet restaurant, whereas on the dine-around you can have dinner in any of the 8 restaurants.

The hotel has a children’s club for ages between 4 and 13 years and for families some rooms have inter- connecting, The island also has tennis courts, gym, water sports and a diving centre. One side of the island does overlook the city which is not the greatest view

Sandies Bathala

Sandies Bathala

A new island opened in June 2019, just 70 beach and over water villas, beach villas inter-connect if required, a definite away from it all feel with no tv’s in the rooms which were minimalist but very clean and comfortable. One restaurant on the island along with one bar, and the whole island is very eco-friendly. A small island where you can walk all the way round in 10 minutes or so, it does offer a good paid diving centre along with snorkelling, small gym, games room, spa. The hotel offers an All Inclusive basis only however during the day local bee, house wine by the glass, soft drinks and tea/coffee are included, with further alcoholic and cocktails available from 6pm.

A definite no shoes no news island. Transfer from Male is by seaplane of around 25 minutes.

Diamonds Athuruga.

Owned by the same group that own Sandies Bathala, this is though a step up from that island. A very ‘away from it all’ feel to Diamonds, 70 rooms which are Junior Suites, Beach Bungalow, and Over Water Villas. There are 3 restaurants however 1 is for sole use for the over water villas. Facilities include a spa, water sports centre including a Padi Dive school, the over water villas are extremely roomy however do not have their own pools. A well run and managed lovely island, again not a large island and you could walk around again in around 10 minutes or so. All l inclusive is the only option here and a seaplane transfer from Male takes around 20 minutes.

My villa at Finolhu


A very high end and ‘cool’ island, very Instagram, situated in the unspoilt Baa Atoll so has some of the best marine life in the Maldives. A very quirky island which has VW campers on the beach , beach cinema, and a weekly ‘white party’ .125 beach , lagoon, and overwater vials, some two bed overwater villas are also available. Much more of a ‘party style’ island with DJ’S flown in, so much more going on in the evenings than most Maldivian islands. 4 restaurants, 3 bars, tennis court, outdoor gym, spa, Children’s club, plus a buggy service to get you around the island. You can have a choice of breakfast, half board, all-inclusive and dine- around all inclusive.


One of the largest islands in The Maldives, with 9 a la carte restaurants and 3 buffet restaurants, with 7 bars. The island is not that wide but is very long, with ‘bus stops’ where large golf type buggy’s ferry you round to different parts. There is plenty to do so would appeal to families with children of all ages especially teenagers, with kids club, water sports, gym, spa, tennis court, so there is plenty for all ages if you prefer to be more active. The island has a long spit of sand extending for a few hundred yards where weddings take pace including one celebrity wedding in 2019 filmed by ITV Be. You have a choice of Full Board, All Inclusive where you eat in the Buffet Restaurant or Select All Inclusive where you have the choice of all restaurants. 360 rooms from garden villas to over water villas , and the journey time from Male is 90 minutes by speedboat.



A lovely chilled island with a distinctive ‘Mykonos’ feel, very friendly staff compliment the lovely accommodation, ranging from beach to over water villas, 129 rooms in all, rooms are well maintained with lovely outside bathrooms, 5 Restaurants and some of the best service we received during the week, one pool (infinity) fitness centre, tennis court with watersports such as windsurfing, diving and snorkelling.

You can choose breakfast only, half board, full board, and all-inclusive options, lovely overwater spa with 10 treatment rooms. Just 25 minutes speedboat transfer from Male so a nice relaxing transfer.

A really good and informative week visiting lots of different islands from smaller to large islands, all different types in but excellent in their own styles, there is an island to suit everyone. You have to either get a sea plane or speedboat transfer depending how close you are to Male. Beautiful Waters, beautiful Islands, you cannot fail to fall in love with The Maldives.

For more information on the Maldives contact gordon.quick@holidaylounge.co.uk or call 01455 559803