Travelling to the Maldives is a surreal experience. A destination that you should definitely have on your bucket list.
Regardless of whether you are interested in 5* luxury resorts, or staying at “affordable luxury” hotels without paying the luxury price, or even a local island experience – you definitely won’t leave disappointed!
Our first stay in the Maldives was at Plumeria Boutique on Thinadhoo Island (Vaavu Atoll). This hotel falls within the affordable luxury category. There are two Thinadhoo Island’s so make sure you go to the right island!
Getting to the island was pretty simple. We contacted the hotel in advance to secure a speedboat transfer from Male Airport. The hotel has their own speedboat so the luxury feel is there from the start. You are greeted with a bottle of water and a cleansing flannel to cool yourself down! This was exactly what we needed after wearing a face mask for 17 hours on our flight. The boat transfer took 1.5 hours and cost $65 per person.
On arrival we received a second cleansing flannel along with a ginger and lime iced drink, it was full of flavour!
Thinadhoo Island is a small local island surrounded by dense palm trees and white sand beaches. You will find a small handful of souvenir shops, two convenient stores where you can buy some necessities and three local restaurants where you can taste some local dishes. The menus at the local restaurants were limited to fried rice and fried noodles due to the pandemic but the food was tasty and a cheap alternative to dining at Plumeria – strongly recommend supporting local business!
You are able to access any beach on the island, but bikini beach can be found a short 5-10 minute walk away from the hotel lobby. The beaches are stunning!
We paid for a spacious sea view room however the view was obstructed by palm trees. Even though the palm trees were stunning, you could not see the sea which was slightly disappointing.
The rooms were cleaned regularly (twice or even three times a day) by lovely hotel staff. We were amazed by the hotel’s commitment to cleanliness (partly driven by COVID-19 measures).
Plumeria offers buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We went for the bed and breakfast option so the lunch and dinner buffet was not included in our package.
We did sample the dinner buffet on three occasions which cost $20 per person. The other four nights we either ate local or sampled the a la carte menu.
The highlights of the buffet included the live egg and waffle section for breakfast and the grilled fish and live pasta section for dinner. We did not try the lunch offerings.
We found the a la carte menu was quite limited and the breakfast offerings were similar each day. Despite this, the food did taste nice and there was plenty of food for hotel guests!
Plumeria has a good range of amenities on offer. The hotel has its own private dive centre where you can rent jet skis, paddle boards and canoes. You can even learn to dive (PADI to dive master) and free dive!
The hotel has table tennis, darts, billiards and table football which is free of charge. Access to the gym is also free.
The hotel also offers spa services and various excursions including: whale shark, manta ray and nurse shark snorkelling, sandbank trips and island hopping. These amenities come at an extra charge.
One major highlight of our stay at Plumeria hotel was what Summer and I called the “feeding frenzy”. Every evening at 6:30pm Plumeria staff attract nurse sharks, black tips and sting rays to the island by feeding them. You can spot up to 20 sharks and a handful of sting rays at touching distance which was an incredible experience!