Here comes Part II of our Maldives travel log. Are you ready for more? This is mainly about our experience at ClubMed Kanifinolhu.
Checked In @ Airport
There are many resort kiosk located outside the arrival hall, so many of them. All you need to do is spot your pre-booked resort kiosk. For us, we’ve choosen ClubMed. Once we arrived at the kiosk, we were directed for checked in. We got our room number immediately, and our lugggage were tagged with bag tag. They provided us with purple ribbon. We were clueless about it, as some of the guest who checked in after us did not have it.
We were informed at the resort jetty anyway, where the purple ribbon indicate that we have booked for overwater suite. Sounds pretty exclusive (not as we are weird). Haha.
Each resort have their own boat/ flight schedule on daily basis. Be sure to check out with your preferred resort for the arrangement. Of course, it is at certain price. Most of the resort package does not include airport transfer, however it is definitely cheaper than charted heli or boat to the resort. Unless you stayed Male Town, you have a choice of ferry which is USD2 per person from the airport. TIP : Strongly recommend you to opt for airport transfer when pre-booking your stay.
The airport transfer service rendered was very well done. It always on-time for both ways. The staff handled our luggage with care, no damage, not even wet due to the sea water splashing all over due to high speed boat. Yay !!
Although it is not a four seasoned country, you’ll need to check on the weather forecast to avoid disaapointment throughout the stay there (ie. the RAIN) !! Since most of the activities are outdoor, you probably does not want to welcome rain and thunderstorm.
We’re lucky enough as the weather is on our side eventhough we went there between end of April – early May. It rained a little on one of the night, but it was fine with us since it was NIGHT time. Another yay !!
Arrival at ClubMed
A warm welcome was given by the GOs at the jetty, and brief explanations about the island, clubmed were given. They introduced us whereabout around the resort. Then we were directed to the private area specially for over water suite guests.
There was security guard around the trident square hangout bar to prevent other guests from entering the overwater suite privileage area.
Another briefing was given as to e-wallet, room key, itinerary, food, restaurants, facilities etc. Everyone will be given another special wallet bracelet. A USD500 is required to open an account. Any payment made around the island using the cashless system, and settlement only upon checkout. I think this is very good, as we don’t have to worry about carrying so much of money and our wallet at all time.
GOs / GMs
You’ll get to meet many people all around the world. Eventough English is widely used over there, you can easily get GOs/GMs who are from different nation who can speak in the language you are comfortable in (except alien language-lol). From English, to Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, Chinese etc. And when you met someone from your country, you’ll be like “Oh yeah – High5!!!”. Be so excited about it.
They were extremely friendly and helpful in ensuring we got the best service, our queries are well entertained and feel comfortable around the island. You’ll feel like home indeed. Smile is always on their face. So lovely. I think its plus point to it.
Since our return flight was at 9.00pm local time there, they’ve arranged extension of stay until 5.00pm (to catch our boat transfer at 6.00pm) at no extra cost. That way, we don’t have to camp at the small airport (but we do have time to browse the souvenirs section in the airport). At least we don’t have to kill minimum of 5 hours at the airport.
Room – Over-water Suite with panorama view
After done briefing, a GO was assigned to us. She then proceed to direct us to our room, explained on the key room, basic necessities etc. Did you noticed that I didn’t mentioned about our luggage, don’t you?
The last time we laid our hand on our luggage was by the pier back to the airport (before boarded the speed boat). If you’re worried about it, relax. They handled the bag very well. After settle down the room, as usual, taking photo every corner of the room, and the room bell rang. Tadahhhh !!! Oh, hi luggage ~ Same service when we checked-out the room. We were informed by the GOs to leave the luggage by the door, they will arranged for pick up and delivered it to the jetty.
The room was in good condition, clean and cozy. They even placed 2 life jackets in the wardrobe. Glad that they are in the midst of upgrading the rooms in batches. This is because the stainless steel staircase at the bottom was little bit rusty. It was a pretty long walk to and fro to our room. At night, it is quite dark even though there was dimmed light on the walkway. The only downside of staying at the over-water suite is that we need to walk very far from the center of the island (where most happening area like dining area, swimming pool, events, boutiques, spa etc.)
Snaps taken in the room, here is how it looks like ~
Food & Drink :
We were amazed with the varieties of food served both at the buffet at main cafeteria and even fine dining. You may opt for delicious and fresh lobster as well (additional cost applies). There are 2 common dining area which serves buffet, 1 for standard hours of breakfast, lunch), and the other dining area serves late breakfast & lunch. For fine dining, you are required to make reservation (however, we were informed that over-water suite guests have privilege in term of making reservation). You may opted for fresh lobsters at additional cost.
The food was so tasty and we totally enjoyed it. Food taste was good for me, never need to mentioned the all day and night long beer, wine, cocktails etc. We spent lots of time having our drinks (from wine to cocktails to mocktails to juices etc) at both Sunset Bar (because it is located at middle of the island – swimming pool, beaches, and common areas) & 5 Trident Luxury Space (pit-stop before going back to our room). Not to forget, the nutella pancakes beside the reception area (for over-water suite guests). I had it everyday for my evening tea time throughout our stay. It is delicious.
TIP : Maldives is a Muslim country, you are not allowed to bring in pork, or lard, or any non-halal items. However, I do noticed the Chinese cuisine food have pork in the soup. My extra advice for Muslims, make sure you asked prior to taking any food from the buffet (if you have doubt about the meat).
Thumbs up to all the chef at club med. You did great in getting the food done so well.
1. Sunset Cruise with Dolphins – Yes, I strongly recommend this 1 hour cruise to enjoy the beautiful sunset. However, if you are lucky, you’ll get to see DOLPHINS swimming around. At the end of the trip, you”ll be served Champagne while on the way back to the resort. For kids, they get to enjoy Orange juice. We have lots of fun recording video of the dolphins (photo is way too hard to capture the fast swimming dolphins). It is worth paying for. This cruise cost USD45 (not sure about kids price).
2. Snorkeling – The snorkeling included in the package does required someone to pass the 50m swimming test against and follow the water current at the jetty. This is a mandatory requirement for the inclusive snorkeling, however only 1 test needed (you need not require 2nd test on the next day of snorkeling if you passed the earlier swimming test). This is because it is a huge group (probably about 30-40pax each boat), and the water current can be relatively strong and mini waves on and off of course. I totally can understand why they have such test. Since, I am not a swimmer, I’m glad that I opt for the snorkeling discovery at the excursion counter. I do enjoyed my very first snorkeling experience with the help of the team. He bring me swim and look for fishes. Thank you so much. Snorkeling Discovery is available at USD80 per person and minimum of 4 person per boat. Life jacket, snorkel mask and fin will be provided as well.
3. Scenic Flight – This is something I’m looking forward to since our flight to Maldives and return is at night. So, I’m looking forward to it. We registered our name at the excursion counter, however, we did not managed to try this out. Minimum pax per trip is 14. Otherwise, the flight arrangement will not be made (We were informed that the flight will not come to the resort if less than 14 people for the trip). I guessed maybe it is pricey (about USD120) so that is why not many guests signed up for.
Other activities around the resort – there are plenty of activities throughout the day and night. All you need is to participate and enjoy yourself. Itineraries on weekly basis are readily available at the information board. My favorite would be the aqua fitness. YOu won’t be bored. Activities such as zumba and yoga are also available. If you are spa lover, or you wish to have relaxing massages, head up to the spa.
We were lucky to have one of the stay (Sunday) where the local Maldivians came to the resort selling souvenirs. Apparently they will be at Club Med on every Sunday from 4.00pm to 9.00pm. If you missed the day, don’t worry – you can still grab it at the airport. You can also shop souvenirs as well as postcards and stamps at the boutique store. We enjoyed shopping there too. The GOs at the souvenirs store were very helpful and nice. They even wrapped my sand bottle nicely so that it is safe in the bag. (I collected some sand from the beach with the bottle purchased from the souvenir store). TIP : Do not be cheapskate here, if you want to bring back some sands, I suggest you to get a bottle from the boutique and collect it from the beach. A bottle cost as cheap as USD4 to USD12. Ýou would not want to be caught and in trouble at the airport later on. A thorough check will be conducted at the airport to ensure that there is no stealing of sands.
This resort offers wifi connection for all guest all around the resort, and the wifi connection is extremely smooth. So, yes, you can contact your friends, and family or even uploading photo of your trip there. Like I mentioned in my post (Part I), I think it is not a necessary to get tourist sim card at the airport. I totally skipped the sim pack as we find it too pricey.
Overall, we are happy and satisfied with the services provided throughout our stay there. and we are planning our next trip the moment we left there. Keep up the good job !! Thumbs up everyone at ClubMed Kani 🙂