We have been to Fihalhohi two times for a total of 6 weeks in 2000. Read our short summary:

The Island

Just like most of the Maldive islands, Fihalhohi is a very small spot - measuring just a few hundred meters all over. You can surround the island taking a walk around the at the beach in just about 12-15 minutes - so if you're looking for a place with much action and things going on, do not go to the Maldives. If, however, you're looking for a place of total relaxation, Fihalhohi might be just the piece of paradise you've been looking for.

Already our very first walk around the island upon our first arrival made us instantly forget all the strain of the previous year. Within 15 minutes you`ve seen the whole island - you just never have the feeling to miss anything - Fihalohi is surely the most peaceful and relaxing place we have ever been to.

The most striking first impression to us was maybe the incredible intensity of colors - the deep blue sea and skys, the turquoise water at the beach, the blinding white coral sand and the deep green of the vegetation is a powerful treatment against the gray central European winter.

Fihalhohi has the nicest beaches we've seen in the Maldives. The island has simply a very natural flair, with much green vegetation around the whole island and the finest sand all around the island. Also the foot paths around the island are of fine sand and very tidy - you`ll be walking bare footed wherever you go on that island...

As for the weather, the Maldives are blessed with moderately hot temperatures (28-30 celsius) and much much sunshine all year long. During the monsun time it may become a little wet (high rainfall between May and October), but during european winter, there are just few places to expect more sun and less rain than the Maldives - and who wants to glow in the Sahara. The constant slight breeze makes the temparatures easy to bear and after a few days of adjustment, the climate is close to what a winter-struck european would call ideal.

The resort facilities

Fihalhohi was first opened in 1984 with major reconstructions in the late `90s. You have two types of rooms, the original "standard" and "superior" (adding air conditioning and a fridge to the "standard") rooms and the new, highly comfortable "deluxe" rooms. Whereas we had a standard room during our first stay, we chose a deluxe for our second stay and we must say the deluxe rooms are well worth the little premium they cost.

While the rooms in other resorts are often rather simple and strictly rectangular (more resembling a car garage than a hotel building), the Fihalhohi huts all have a palm roof and are carefully fittet into the environment of the island. Fihalhohi is not a place where you find bold, sterile luxury. Instead, the place bursts of Maldivian charm and still offers all comfort you'd expect to enjoy on a dream island.
Comparing Fihahohi to other resorts, it is very tidy and exceptionally well organized. The staff is very friendly and brings attention to all the little details that make a stay on Fihalhohi such an experience which it is. We got the impression that also the staff really enjoys their work - they have humor and obviously, they do have reason to be proud working in a place like that. We have yet to meet a Fihalhohi staff member in bad mood.

Food

Meals are served in buffet form in the "Palm Grove" Restaurant. Every week there are a few different "theme buffets" - including one really good curry buffet where the cooks are allowed to show off their talents. Spicy dhal curry, fish curry, chicken curry with nan bread, cucumber raika and a few more really delicious items.

Too bad the resort otherways needs to comply with "international standard" - meaning you will find lots of very average pizza and noodle stuff that is hardly enjoyable (at least when you`re spoiled when it comes to italian food). You really can´t compare it to European standard.

When you're lucky, you find a well done chicken (red wine sauce! and bombay!) or fish dish (curries) with the buffet. Good tuna/cheese pancakes and tasty spring roles have been sighted, too! While the soups are again something you better stay away from, the salads and the deserts (like fresh fruit salads and yoghurts) are actually quite good. Also the sandwiches and burgers at the Blue Lagoon bar are pretty good as well.

However, keep in mind that the Maldives need to import really everything except fish, bananas and coconuts. Many fresh ingredients are surely hard to obtain and this does reflect in the quality and choice of food. But when you insist on gourmet food you don't really travel the Maledives in the first place. Still overall, the Fihalhohi buffets are well acceptable and there are surely many resorts that are not as good when it comes to food. We also met guests that were really satisfied with the buffet and surely liked it better than we did.

Activities

If you like swimming, snorkeling, diving, sun bathing and reading books, the Maldives will be your favorite destination anyway. The local "Ocean Venture Diving School" (under German management) has a good reputation and offers frequent diving tours to the south and east (Biyadoo area).

On top of that you can play volleyball (a group meets at 5pm every day), badminton, pool billiard, darts, table tennis or do some jogging on the beach. The bar has a changing entertainment program every night - sing karaoke, listen to the Fihalhohi live band, watch a movie or send out your personal crab to win the crab race. Fortunately, there are no animators at Fihalhohi ("hey now come on we all dance the Macarena on the beach") like they may chase you on other resorts (e.g. as on the neighbor island Rannalhi).

The resort offers a variety of excursions like island hopping, snorkeling safari, night fishing et cetera. You even find a pretty well equipped store with souveniers and basic traveler needs (make sure you negotiate the higher priced items). There are sufficient things to do to not make you feel trapped on this small small island in the huge Indian Ocean.

We'll be back :)

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