Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

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Reviews summary

4
Good
2385 reviews
Brilliant
1511
Good
542
Average
195
Poor
80
Awful
57

17 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Hi there to all the staff at the full-mo...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 8th March 2008

"Hi there to all the staff at the full-moon hotel !!! My husband & I stayed at the full-moon for our honeymoon & we can honestly say we enjoyed every minute of our stay. The staff could not do enough to help us make our stay enjoyable. The scenery is breath taking & will stay with us forever!! The food was excellent & if you are watching your figure then don't go!! We stayed in the water bungalow with a view to die for. The staff were a lot of fun & they were having a football tournament when we were there, they made us guests of honour & treated us like royalty it was lovely. This was a holiday of a our lifetime & we will never forget our time spent there. We would go back any time & would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for their kindness & hospitality!!! A big hello to our fab rep Shirley, it`s a hard job but some ones got to do it shirl !! & hello to Husein our lovely waiter !! hope you & your wife are both OK & busy!! (you know what I mean!!) best wishes from julie & Brian Glasson "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 8th March 2008

We had a fantastic honeymoon. Would rec...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 11th September 2007

"We had a fantastic honeymoon. Would recommend the water bungalows as relaxing on the private deck looking over crystal clear water is idyllic. The food was great (even for vegetarians) and the staff very attentive. You could see some great tropical fish, reef sharks and sting ray if you are snorkelling or even if you are just looking into the water from the bar!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 11th September 2007

Our 4th visit to the island in the last ...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 29th September 2006

"Our 4th visit to the island in the last 5 years, our first visit back since the island was refurbished. The beach cottages are gorgeous especially the bathrooms. We have previously stayed in the water bungalows, but would recommend the beach bungalows. Ideal if you want a quite relaxing lazy type of holiday. We always go Bed and breakfast then move around the other five restaurants choosing a different restaurant each night, even though the island is only small this gives the impression that you are in a much bigger place. The food is excellent, we have travelled all over the world and stayed in many 5 star hotels this is one place we have fallen in love with. The staff are all smiling and very friendly and helpful, this year was my 50th birthday we arrived back in our room one evening and the bed had been beautifully decorated in flowers by the room boy, what a wonderful touch. As the island is only about 15 minutes from the airport, after the long flight it is nice to know that you do not have to endure another long journey to reach your island. As some of the islands are a couple of hours away from Male Airport. Take your snorkelling equipment or buy/rent from the island shop as even someone like myself who is not a very good swimmer can enjoy seeing a good selection of marine life from quite close to the shore, in fairly shallow waters. The new Spa is also wonderful I spent a couple of afternoons enjoying treatments that I do not have time to enjoy at home. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 29th September 2006

A Small Piece of Paradise

4
Good
by
Reviewed 9th December 2012

"My wife, daughter and I spent a week there in April 2006 and we loved it. The Island is perfect, the rooms fantastic and the food is excellent. We were on the Half Board plan which includes Breakfast and Dinner. Breakfast was always a very nice buffet with a large selection of fresh food including delicious fruit. Dinner at the main restaurant varied between an a la carte menu or a buffet. Every meal was delicious and the staff really go out of their way to make your stay there very enjoyable. The drinks are rather expensive and they are not made very strong at all (mixed drinks contain 37cl of alcohol). A Heineken beer will cost you $5.50, a Pina Colada will set you back about $11 and a bottle of water is $4. Basically, anything you buy there will be expensive. Lunch usually cost us $70-$85 for two adults and a child. We spent an additional $1400 during that week and as I mentioned earlier we had Breakfast and Dinner included. I highly recommend trying the Spa. From the moment you enter, it is as if you entered heaven. In all it was the best vacation we have ever had and we look forward to returning soon."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 21st May 2006

This resort was absolutely superb. The ...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 15th May 2006

"This resort was absolutely superb. The staff couldn't do enough for you. The restaurants are fantastic - I only wished they had an All Inclusive option. Don't go full or half board as this restricts you to just the main restaurant. If you do, you can still go to the other restaurants on the island, but you only get a paltry amount in lieu. There was some minor aircraft noise from nearby Male Airport, but nothing too obtrusive. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 15th May 2006

What You See is What You Get!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 8th November 2012

"This was my 40th birthday present and a destination I've hankered after since I can remember. I searched on the internet for weeks & hours at a time before finally choosing Full Moon - a combination of price/quality/location attracted me. I was not disappointed - it was the most fantastic place I have ever been to (Bahamas, Barbados, Acapulco included). I really can't fault it - only give tips perhaps on how to get the best out of it. Firstly, we flew with Monarch Charter and I was expecting the worst (having checked online that their seat pitch is only 29" - on an 11 hour flight!!!) and although the personal space was quite cramped for a night flight, the service and food was very good. You get soft drinks free but have to pay for alcohol and there's no individual TV's - just the public screens, so you had no choice in viewing. We had registered for Premium Economy as they were sold out when we booked but were lucky enough to be able to upgrade on the way home @ 200 US dollars each which was worth it - quite a lot more room, individual TVs, all drinks free and outstanding food - highly recommended but does sell out quickly so need to book quite well ahead. I deliberately chose an island near to the airport because the last thing I wanted was to get off an 11 hour flight and then have to wait in a hot airport for hours before getting on another plane for the transfer to my island. Instead, within 1/2 hour we were in a beautiful, huge, air-conditioned speed boat, enjoying a free bottle of water and being whisked away to the island. On arrival we were greeted with scented towels and fruit juice and very efficiently transferred to our beach cottage by golf buggy. We could actually see Male (an amazing spectacle of a concrete jungle rising out of the ocean) and the airport from our cottage and it didn't bother us at all - gentle aircraft noise and plenty of boats and activity made for very pleasant and interesting horizon gazing as we lazed on our beach. What you see in the pictures is what you get - the most amazing aqua coloured water lapping beautiful white beaches, abundant and colourful fish, beaujtifully kept gardens and very stylish buildings, decor and furnishings. The beach does have soft sand but it does also have quite a lot of coral as does the seabed, so you can go barefoot along the beach but would recommend taking swim shoes, as we did, for swimming & snorkelling. We were told the island was full whilst we were there but you would never have thought so - you seemed to hardly see anyone and there were certainly always sun beds on the beach and plenty of seats in the bar at any time of day. The beach cottage was fabulous - very big with more than enough storage space and the most fantastic, largest bathroom I've ever seen. (3 showers in total, double bath, huge palm plants etc.) It did take a bit of getting used to going from the brilliant air-conditioned cottage in to the heat of the outside bathroom - had to keep toiletries etc. indoors otherwise they'd melt! (They supply the usual - soap/shower gel/shampoo & conditioner) so save on weight and leave them behind! Our cottage was in a fantastic location, right next to the restaurants etc. and only 10' from the water - we didn't have to pack a bag or worry about security, we simply fell out of bed on to the beautiful beach which never ceased to take my breath away. All decor and furniture was very modern and stylish and the rooms were very well equipped with CD player, TV, free safe, mini bar, toiletries etc. The type of accommodation is down to personal preference. The standard rooms are in blocks of 4 - very nice but no where near as spacious, no TV or cd player, but a good size indoor bathroom. We did actually also view a water bungalow and although very nice, it was quite a lot smaller than the cottage and for us we wanted to see white sand and aqua seas (only really viewable from cottages & standard rooms) where as it was really just ocean view from the bungalow... and we certainly wouldn't want to give up the fantastic outdoor bathroom! No where is too far on the island - it literally takes 7/8 mins to walk anywhere and even then golf buggies are always stopping to offer you a lift or you can just ask for a lift. We were really glad we chose half board. The breakfasts were amazing (served 7am-10.30am) and the 4-course dinners in the main restaurant were lovely (7.30-9.30pm) - varied and filling and presented beautifully - we also really enjoyed the buffets. Not sure you really need Full Board, only twice in 2 weeks did we buy a snack in the afternoon - & that was just being greedy! However, to buy your dinner every night was expensive - a couple we got friendly with were spending over 100 US dollars a night on dinner and that was on no more than 2 courses. We did indulge ourselves on our anniversary in a romantic dinner for 2 on the beach in front of our cottage - a 7 course meal for 110 US dollars each with our own waiters and beautifully decorated table and linen - the food was magnificent. We did wonder whether 2 weeks on a small island would be too much but we needn't have worried - it really was paradise just to relax, read, sunbathe, doze, ie. DO NOTHING. When we did tear ourselves away from our spot, we enjoyed an island hopping excursion (visited another resort which felt more like a holiday camp and didn't feel as special as Full Moon), sunset fishing excursion, several spa treatments & massages (balinese girls & the best massages we've ever had - but book early they're usually fully booked 2/3 days ahead - sample price - 25 mins massage 45 US dollars), feeding the fish with bread pinched from breakfast, daily visit to the shop (which was very good & reasonably priced), internet room and in the evenings enjoyed a drink on the open air deck and karaoke in the air-conditioned 'pub' style bar - with Sateesh the lovely smiley barman who remembered your name and your drink! Drinks were quite expensive but no more than London hotel prices. There was also a dive centre, water sports inc. sailing, banana boating, kayaking, doughnut rides, surfing etc. and more excursions inc. visit to Male, sea plane trips, dolphin cruise etc, volleyball, table tennis, fully air-conditioned gym and tennis courts with floodlights. There is also a beauitful fresh water swimming pool which we used only once as a token gesture as we really couldn't pull ourselves away from the beach. I have yet to talk about the service - this was outstanding. The staff were from Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and all were lovely - very friendly with a genuine desire to help and please. Our thanks to Samad in the restaurant who anticipated our needs excellently, Sayeed for the impromptu karaoke nights on top of the scheduled nights and again Sateesh for his lovely smiley service. Nothing really was too much trouble. My husband said this was the best aspect of the holiday for him - he felt totally pampered. Although the staff absolutely deserved the 10% service charge that was applied to everything, I too would prefer to pay them that direct in the way of a tip so I know it actually does all end up in their pocket. I did feel uncomfortable not tipping all the staff but on the other hand when we tipped the waiter, room attendant, masseurs and some bar staff, I did feel as though we tipped them twice. We were told that the service charge also pays for parties for the staff, but perhaps they might appreciate the money instead as I understand the wages aren't brilliant! One last thing - do not underestimate the sun - it is extremely hot. It might also be worth grabbing a bargain and travelling in their monsoon season May/June because the staff said that the rain clears very quickly and you still get plenty of sunshine - we were there for the last week of April and first week of May and didn't see a cloud in the sky let alone rain until the last 2 days (which was actually a welcome relief) and it was back to clear blue skies on the day we left. Finally, there were many repeat visitors there - one couple on their 19th visit!!! - which is testament to this fabulous island - and we too hope to become repeat visitors (bank account permitting!)."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 14th May 2006

Heaven on Earth!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 9th December 2012

"We have just experienced the most perfect week of our lives - staying at FMM was simply out of this world... We were met promptly at Male by the rep and the boat crew, and enjoyed a brief boat ride to the island with our complimentary water. On arrival, we were greeted with cool flannels and a drink, and within 5 minutes we were being escorted to our water bungalow. Inside it was absolutely stunning. The bungalow was very spacious, light and airy, and very tastefully furnished. The bathroom was superb, and the view from the bath looking out over the sea was marvellous. Very romantic! We had a HUGE four poster bed, private sundeck, and just a few steps took you into the gorgeous sea. You could see fish there all the time in front of the bungalows very clearly, fabulous for snorkelling fans. The service at the FMM was second to none - we could not fault anyone. Everyone from the gardeners to the chefs were so very polite, welcoming and friendly, and could not do enough for you. I have never received such consistently excellent service. The food in the main restaurant was lovely, the set meals were generous and delicious, and the buffets were lovely. Breakfasts were tasty and there was always lots of choice for each meal. The Atoll Grill and also the Thai restaurant were outstanding, fabulous food and lots of it - cooked to perfection. The Anchorage Bar was magnificent, sat outside in the evenings there were marvellous, and the entertainment was tasteful and peaceful, and matched the atmosphere of the place perfectly. The Sen Spa had a "Sparkling Soulmate Soak" for just $60 for an hour, which is one of the most romantic settings ever. The isolated outside bath house there is beyond description, it was set with champagne and glasses for us, and the bath was filled with the beautiful flowers from the island. It was a magical hour.. The massages there are incredible too, and the whole atmosphere there is just wonderful. We cannot understand how anyone could complain there was nothing to do here, as there were numerous excursions to enjoy if you were tired of tanning. We went sunset fishing, and the chef cooked the fish we caught fot our dinner the following night. We enjoyed the sunset dolphin trip, to see them in their natural habitat was magnificent. We also enjoyed a trip to nearby Kuda Bandos island, for some tanning and snorkelling. A trip to Male was also a lovely afternoon out, although we could happily have stayed on the sundeck of our water bungalow every day and still not been bored. The diving centre was very professional, and my partner enjoyed several dives to stunning reefs nearby. You could also hire speedboats, take plane trips etc - and had we been here for two weeks I am sure we would have done. I treated my partner to one of the special romantic packages available through guest services, and after a massage we returned to the bungalow to find a romantic cd playing, champagne and glasses, flowers and candles all over the place (including in the bath - lovely!) and petals placed in the shape of a huge heart and several smaller ones on the bed, all done by our room service boy Nooha. Very skilled. It looked stunning.. I expected a lot from FMM, and they totally exceeded every expectation we had, and then some. It was absolutely magical. I cried when the boat came to take us back to the airport.. Anyone who complains about the measly 10% service charge needs to get a life. It is not expensive to stay at FMM, we were full board and therefore only paid for drinks and the meals we ate away from the main restaurant, and we ended up taking money back to change back to GBP. The drinks are not expensive, and please let's not forget that Maldives is one of the poorest countries in the world. We tipped generously to our waiter Ikleel, as he served us usually three times a day and was a genuinely lovely person. Overall, it was the most magical and perfect setting for what was undoubtedly the best holiday we have ever had, and now we would never go to another island in the Maldives. After our FMM experience, we believe there is nowhere in the Maldives that could offer more in any way. It really is all that. Enjoy!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 23rd April 2006

Lovely resort...but too close to airport!

3
Average
by
Reviewed 20th December 2012

"We've just come back from a fortnight at the Full Moon, having been ugraded by Kuoni from Bandos, due to building work. Full Moon has got a lot of things going for it, after the Tsunami it was completely refubished, and the contemporary luxurious interiors are beautiful. Rooms are fabulous, our beachfront cottage, had a great outdoor bathroom, massive bed, sitting area, and well-stocked minibar. It's got a great Sen Spa, which is beautifully set on it's own separate island, offering a range of relaxing treatments. It also has the benefit of a jacuzzi-pool, sauna, and steam room, and a great relaxation room for after your treatment. The main reason for the lack of stars, is simply the proximity to Male. It's only 15 minutes boat transfer away, and whilst this is convenient, it also means its on a flightpath, with jumbo jets, and water taxis going over the island quite regularly. Whilst this won't ruin your holiday, it's not ideal, and does detract from the 'away from it all,' paradise island feel. Also possibly because of this, the marine life isn't as great as on other Maldivian islands. We visited Kuramathi 2 years ago, which had a fabulous reef, and much more fish and aquatic life. This island hasn't got a house reef, and athough there is plenty to see in the lagoon it's a lot sparser than other places, further away from the Capital. Finally, I was a bit annoyed that the 85 minute beauty treatments at the Spa, only actually lasted 70 minutes. Sadly, I was too relaxed after them to complain! In summary, a great resort, with a lot going for it, but sadly set just to close to Male for total relaxation."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 10th April 2006

We have just had the most perfect holida...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 31st March 2006

"We have just had the most perfect holiday at Full Moon-complete relaxation, excellent service standards and fantastic food. We have traveled all over the world and found this to be one of our best holidays ever. The staff were fantastic and we were made to feel pampered and important. The food was excellent every day as were the services standards generally. The spa facilities were excellent and we enjoyed both the luxurious treatments and the pampering generally. We came away feeling totally relaxed with very happy memories of our holidays. We will definitely go back."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 31st March 2006

Fanstastic

4
Good
by
Reviewed 12th December 2012

"Wow - what more can I say - we went to Full Moon on our honeymoon and it was more than we ever expected - we have been to many places over the globe - but this was just surreal. We stayed in a beachfront cottage - it was was fantastic - they decorated it with flowers and gave us choccy cake for our honeymoon (made my hubbys day I can tell you). The room had tons of space and even more wardrobe space and a wonderful open air bathroom. I cannot get over the fact that in January I could have a shower oudoors under the moon. The resort is fab - our cottage was at the far end of the island - at the most an 6 minute stroll (you are on holiday - you have all the imte in the world - who cares how long it takes!!!)from the restaurants/bars etc. The room was lovely with an absolutely fantastic area of decking - I spent many an hour sunbathing and reading in silence whilst my husband went diving. A little about the food - cos I know us Brits are a bit fussy/faddy. We booked full board and the food in the main resaurant was more than ok - not haute cuisine - but hey we didn't pay haute cuisine prices (I would have gone to Banyan Tree for that). In the main restaurant they serve a'la carte 4 nights a week and then a buffet for the rest - I particurarly enjoyed the maldivian night and the Italian evening. The only complaint - and it really is not a complant is that the salad bar wa a bit lacking only 6 dishes to chooses from. Just remember this is not 5 star London/Manchester status and you will be fine. Breakfast was fine as I recall - loads of cereals, fruits, pancakes etc (I only made breakfast a couple of times - thanks to too many cocktails the night before). The whole resort is beautiful and the staff are fantastic - they are so friendly and not overbearing -in fact it was quite interesting chatting to them. My husband went diving and thoroughly enjoyed it - he took his Padi whilst he was there and raved about how professional the instructors were - he saw fantastic marine life and maybe he did have to travel a little further afield - but if you have never been the Maldives then who cares. I am sure that if you go to the 'real 5 star' places such at Hilton and Banyan Tree then it would be totally different - but for any couple who earns a normal sum of money of year (i.e less than £35k) with no kids then this place is heaven and then some. The beach is to die for and nobody disturbs you wherever you sit. I snorkelled for the first time on this holiday (I am terrifiedd of water) - i can't wait to go back - we are saving up to go back to the Maldives - it trully is paradise - just like it shows in the brochure. Yes it is expensive - they do charge 10% on everything and yes we will be paying for it this year -but it is great. Just one word of warning - we went late January/Early Feb and it is Chineses New Year - we had to complain about the neighboours (in the detached bungalow) as they decided to have a party and let their children run up and down the beach at 1.30 a.m in the morning - not what you expect in the Maldives - the Chinese children seemed to be able to do whatever they pleased irrespective of other guests (luckily they only arrived on the Thursday pm as we left on the Sunday) - my advice is if you want a tranquil sundrenched idyllic island - do not go the same time we did. All in all, we had a fab time, and cannot wait to return (bank balance allowing). I would recommend the Maldives - it is wonderful. My commendations go to the Full Moon Management and staff - they are wonderful."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 24th March 2006

Superb!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 23rd October 2012

"We returned yesterday from the Full Moon, after booking 7 days before arriving, and overall have to conclude that we had the most wonderfull holiday in a first class resort. The transfer to the island was 15 mins in a speed launch and upon arrival we were greeted with cold scented flannels, a refreshing fruit juice cockail and were swiftly allocated and transported to our room. We stayed in a water bungalow, which was extremely comfortable, clean, private and to a very high standard. The bathroom is great, with a large bath set into a bay window, looking out over the sea. Even the loo and shower room have a cutout in the wall so you can view the sea through the bathroom window! Also liked the 'his and hers'wash basins! All facilities are modern and stylish. It had a huge 4 poster bed, and also a day bed with lots of cushions. There is a C.D player and television, ceiling fan and air con. There is a private sun deck with stairs leading down to the water, and even a hand held shower head on the platform to wash yourself down with as you come out of the water. On the sun deck there are two wooden sun loungers with cushions, two reclining sun chairs and a table. Our room was cleaned to a high standard every morning. A copy of the 'Full Moon News Letter' and 2 chocolates were left each evening when the room was turned down, along with fresh beach towels for the following day. We stayed on half board and the food in the main restaurant was very good and presented well. Breakfast was good, with a varied selection to suit all tastes. In the evening, there was a starter, soup course, main course (of which there were 2 options to choose from), desert and coffee. This was the meal plan for 4 nights a week. The remaining 3 nights, were buffet night. Sunday is Asian buffet, Tuesday Italian and Thursday International. For guests wishing to eat in this restaurant not on half board the cost per person is $39. We also ate in the Atoll Grill which is also very good, serving Austrailian steaks (delicious!) as well as seafood. We each had a starter, main course, with a bottle of Austrailian wine, beers, coffee and liqueurs and the cost was approx $120. Guests on half board who wish to eat at the other restaurants, have a discount of $10 per person. We were allocated a table in the main restaurant on our first night for the duration of our holiday, which allowed us to build up a rapport with our waiter, Amsood, who has a great sense of humour, but in turn it also gave him the opportunity to get to know our requirements, so he anticipated our needs. The staff in the Anchorage bar (the main bar overlooking the lagoon) were all very friendly and enjoyed talking to guests. Again, we found out that waiters were allocated to guests according to room numbers i.e. 124 134 144, 214 224 234, 314 324 334. The cost of a pint of draught beer was $5.50 plus 10%, a spirit $4 plus 10% for a 37ml measure. Cocktails ranged from $8 - $12 plus the 10%. The dive school is excellent!!!! It is run by Kai (german) Atsuko (Japanese) and the lovely Mandhu (Maldivian) for Eurodivers. They are friendly, professional, always aware of abilities and keen to advise, guide and help in anyway they can. As expected they know the many dives sites like the back of their hands. There are so many sites to choose from, most within a 10- 20 minute boat ride away. They are by far the best dive group we have ever dived with. If you prebook over the internet, you will receive a discount, however be aware that you have to pay extra for the hire of the wetsuit (not included with equipment hire) and the cost of each boat trip. The only coral to be had, is on the water bungalow side of the island. Snorkeling we saw triggerfish, parrotfish (some quite large) butterfly fish, trumpetfish, moray eels, 2 baby manta rays, stingrays, octopus, cuttlefish, baby blacktip reef sharks to name but a few. On the other side of the island, in the lagoon, there is no coral, however stingrays live in here along with some moray eels. The lack of a coral reef is really the only down side to this Island, but if you are a diver, the quality of diving makes up for this. The was an even mix of nationalities, English, German, French, Japanese, Koreans, Italian and Russian. In response to reading the previous report, Yes it is expensive, Yes 10% service charge was added to basically everything, (except diving) but this in my experience is typical of Maldivian resorts. If anyone has mobility problems or does not wish to walk to the restaurants or dive school, you simply have to pick up the phone to reception and request a golf buggy, who will pick you up and deliver you to your destination at no extra charge and no expectation of a tip. It takes approx 20 minutes to walk around the Island. We arrived on the island on 9th March at 9.15 am and did not have to wait any time to be taken to our room. We were told cocktails were included in the happy hour. 2 bottles of complimentary water were provided in the room on the first day. My advice would be to take the time to talk to the staff and build a rapport. You will be rewarded with advice, excellent service, and you learn about their history and life. As we booked so late, the Full Moon was basically the only accomodation we could get at such short notice on the dates that we required. After reading the previous trip advisor comments, I had mixed feelings as to what to expect, because lets face it, it's not cheap. I can honestly say that our expectations at the Full Moon, were met at every turn. Finally, the Maldives are near the equator, the sun is exceptionally strong, do not underestimate it. Walking from the bungalow to the dive school which took approx 5 minutes, was enough to turn my back a lovely shade of red, even with sun cream on, be careful! We were very sad to leave, on a happy note however, we are planning to return in Nov 2006. For us to go anywhere twice, is a recommendation in itself! If you are contemplating whether to go this lovely Island, my advise would be ......BOOK IT and Enjoy!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 21st March 2006

Mixed feelings

2
Poor
by
Reviewed 8th November 2012

"We arrived at Male airport quite early on a Tuesday morning. On the approach the pilot said that it was 32C in Male we were absolutely delighted because we were looking forward to dispelling the winter chill. We were met by a Kuoni rep and within half an hour we were on a big fast speedboat/launch to the Full Moon island. Transfer took 10-15 minutes. When we arrived were told that because we were so early that our Beach Front Cottage wouldn't be ready for a couple of hours. That's fine, and we asked if we could have some breakfast. The answer was "Yes, but it will be an extra charge because you need to stay a night, before you can have breakfast". Understandable you might say, but more of this later. The island is quite long (about 1 km) , The welcome lodge is at extreme west end, an avenue of trees lead to the central complex (CC) and the rest of the island contains the accommodation, the staff complex and sports facilities. The CC is where the restaurants (5), bars (2), pool, shop, and reception are. The spa is on a separate island to the north east. If you are away from CC then resign yourself to walking a lot. Okay, accommodation first. this is split into water (100's), Cottages (200's), and Rooms (300's) The water accommodations are 50(ish) Bungalows, 4 villas, and 1 suite. These are on the north of the island, and although we didn't get to see inside them they looked lovely, albeit a bit isolated. The 4 villas and the suite are just opposite CC and the bungalows 101-124 are close, 125+ are away from CC and should be avoided. All water accommodations have TVs and a Midi system The Beach Cottages are arranged in 4 half circles on the south of the island. These are 201-212, 213-227, 228-241, 242-255. The staff call them "circles". Circle 1 and 2 are fine, reasonably close to CC (very important), nicer and the circles aren't too large. Circle 3 and especially 4 are further away and not nice. If you are inclined you could email and ask for one of the best ones - 201, 212, 213, 227 or 228, - they are directly on the beach while the others are set back a bit. 201 is the one pictured on the web site. Cottages have a TV and a Midi system. The Deluxe rooms (44) are in 11 buildings. Each building has 4 rooms over 2 stories, odd numbers downstairs and even upstairs. Rooms 301-316 are close to CC, but 317+ are right at the other end of the island, - i.e. miles away. If you have booked a deluxe room then you should email the resort and request a room close to CC, and preferably an odd number. The odd number rooms are on the ground floor and have terraces which are right on the beach. 317+ are 10-15 minutes walk from CC. There are no TVs in Deluxe rooms. We were allocated Cottage number 255 in the 4th circle. The 4th circle is 15-20 minutes walk (for me) from CC and suffers as a result. I have mobility problems, there was no way I could walk this distance and the resort very kindly moved us to the first circle. The resort tries to accommodate moves as much as they can, so if you’re not happy ask to move. From our brief stay in 255 it was obvious that the far end of the island is neglected, this exhibits itself in small (but significant) ways, - e.g. drinking water not refreshed in the room, gardens neglected, lights not working, broken window blind, towels not changed, dodgy locks, faded paint, dead plants in room and bathroom, etc, etc. In complete contrast our room in the first circle was a delight. Mohammed popped in twice daily and did an excellent job tidying, polishing and dusting. The sheets were changed every 2-3 days and towels were changed every day, - twice if they were damp. Okay, Food.... There are 5 restaurants on the island serviced by 3 kitchens, - 1) Main and European, 2) Thai and Fusion and 3) BBQ. The Main restaurant is where you have breakfast, and all other meals if you are on a meal plan. The BBQ, Thai, and European have to be booked in advance but you can just turn up at the Fusion restaurant, - Sandcoast Cafe . Breakfast was good, - a lovely spread of everything you can possibly imagine that you might want to eat for breakfast, - fruit, cereals, eggs, bacon, breads, pastries, juice, meats, cheese, and lots more although I can't imagine why one would want fish curry for breakfast. We weren't on a meal plan, so we didn't have lunch or dinner at the main restaurant, but we did have a peek on a couple of occasions and it seemed fine. It changed a lot, which is good, and there were theme nights, - e.g. Italian, Asian. We ate at the "Fusion" restaurant most of the time, mostly because we couldn't be bothered to book one of the other (and mostly empty) restaurants. We did get bored with the menu, but managed eat most of it during our stay. We had a complete disaster with food one night. My partner loves lobster and we booked for the "Lobster Evening" at the BBQ restaurant. It was terrible. I'm not overly keen on lobster myself, but I can tell a good one from a bad one. This had been cooked ages before it was briefly warmed on a grill. It was cold, rubbery, tasteless, and quite foul, our deserts (crepes) were equally nasty. We returned both courses uneaten and left. Aside from this disaster, the food was quite good. The Maldivian curries were especially nice, - very tasty and not overly spicy. There are two bars, The Anchorage and Drifters. Drifters is a sealed and air-conditioned pub. We didn’t use it at all, but others did. The Anchorage has a lovely deck over the water and beach. They feed Moray eels and Sting Rays there every evening at sunset which the kids love. There’s a cocktail hour between 6pm and 7:30pm which gives a 20% discount on beers and popular spirits, but NOT on cocktails for some unknown and bizarre reason. The sand on the resort is dredged, - i.e. not a natural beach. It is not a typical Maldivian beach which is very fine, powdery, and white. At full Moon it is quite coarse and although you can walk on it barefoot, you may experience the odd stab from pieces of coral. If you’re a diver then there is a dive school which is apparently quite good. I can’t comment because I can’t dive. If you want to snorkel there is no house reef, but there is a daily snorkelling expedition which costs $24. You can hire snorkelling equipment for about $14 a day. Good things: The island is very beautiful, the colour of the water is a startling turquoise, the gardens are wonderfully colourful. Accommodation is of a high standard, food is good, and the weather was hot and consistent, every day is a day in paradise. Bad things: Expensive, expensive and expensive. Every time you turn around they will screw more $$$$ from you. If you sneeze they’ll charge you *and* expect a tip. There is an onerous 10% "Service Charge" which has nothing to do with service and more to do with maximising profit. It is added to *everything*, - even stamps. They say that the staff get the 10%, but if this is true then I’m Santa Claus. The staff also expect to receive tips on top of this resort tax. We had about $2500 for the two of us for 11 nights, and we had to be very careful about what we ate and drank. Even this amount proved inadequate and we had to use a Credit Card to pay the final bill. This almost spoiled our holiday. You MUST sit at the same table whenever you have meals in the Main restaurant. We didn’t know about this silly rule and we sat at a different table for breakfast on day two. About 6 waiters swiftly surrounded us and asked us to move, they were very polite but very insistent and wouldn’t explain why. I finally figured out why, - it’s to maximise tip earning by trying to establish a "friendship" with you. I found this very irritating. I’ve travelled all over the world and without exception there has always been complimentary bottles of water provided by the resort where the tap water is not drinkable. Not here. Water costs $3.85 at the bars/restaurants and $4.40 in the room. It is incredibly hot and humid and we easily got through 3 or 4 bottles a day. Another irritation, and mean. Unfortunately my partner got sunburn and this highlighted another aspect of the Maldives. There is really nothing to do if you can’t use the beach/pool. No shopping or sightseeing. Reading and watching TV is about it. You are trapped. Our Photo Flight excursion was cancelled because they couldn’t get enough people to make it worth their while running it. They needed 12 and only had 10. The internet costs $5 (+10%) for 15 minutes !!!! This is an outrageous cost. Finally, we DID enjoy our holiday, but this was in spite of the many irritations rather than because of anything Full Moon contributed. We won’t be going back though and I would make sure that anyone considering going is fully aware of what they are getting themselves into."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 6th March 2006
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Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is also called

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