A short summary
On this page you will find some more practical information. Hopefully this can be useful to you if you are lucky enough to be heading for Sun Island soon :-)
Arrival at Sun Island
We also got a map indicating where the different facilities are located. The fact is, it is a small island it is pretty hard to get lost :-)
The list also includes the rules of all inclusive. Meals are served at Maaniya restaurant (I have posted more information further down on the page) for those who stay in Deluxe or Super Deluxe bungalows and you can get drinks at various places around the island. e.g. Maaniya restaurant during meals; the Mekuna bar (main bar - no. 5 on the map); the pool bar (no 2);and in the beach bar (no 16). All Inclusive visitor (AI) drinks are only available between 10 am and 1 am.
So what can you get? Well, you can
get bottled water, soft drinks (Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite etc), canned
juice (apple, orange, pineapple etc), beer (Lion, Becks etc), wine (house
wine by the glass red or white) and different spirits (vodka, gin, rum etc)
Our room and bungalow
The room itself was pretty nice and clean. It had a tiled floor, light walls and it was actually quite big. Apart from a large bed we had a couple of chairs and a small table, a desk with a chair, a TV (with channels like National Geographic, CNN, BBC, Star Movies and some German and Italian channels), a mini bar and small safe. With a hot climate it was nice to find that the room had both air conditioning which was operated by a remote control and a fan in the ceiling. To save some electricity we had to insert the room key ring into a slot when entering the room and this activated the power in the room.
The contents in the mini bar were not included in our all inclusive stay so we didn’t actually get stuff from it. But we used it to cool down the 1 ½ liter of water that you get for free every evening.
The TV had some other cool features by the way. From the remote it was possible to get a wake up call, it was possible to get a listing of your bill so far and it was also possible to connect to the internet. I tried sending a mail but it was not that easy because of the wireless keyboard wasn’t all that great. But it is a pretty cool feature :-) The TV also gave us information on departure. The night before we left we could check out when we would get a wake up call, when our luggage would be picked up etc. I recommend taking a sea plane back to Male’ because we saw some people that had to get up at like 3 am to catch a boat in order to catch an early flight in Male’.
The bath room was also very nice. Apart from the toilet and the sink there was a bath tub and a bidet. There was also a door that gave us access to a small outside area which had a shower and I really enjoyed taking my showers out there (just watch out if you take a shower at dusk...the mosquito can be a bit annoying). On a small island like this all the freshwater is produced from sea water and it is important to not use too much water. Due to this you don’t get that much water pressure in the shower :-) Instead of having little bottles of shampoo there were dispensers in the shower with soap, shower gel and shampoo. As always there were little bars with soap and a hair dryer.
I had brought along a plug converter for my laptop but when we came to our room we were pleasantly surprised to see that there was a plug converter in one of the plugs already. But I was glad I brought along my own because the original one kept acting up and sparks were flying everywhere :-)
The room was “cleaned” several times a day. When we came back after being gone we would notice that the towels had been folded, bed spread was folded etc.
Facilities at Sun Island
The Maaniya restaurant
All the main meals are served in the Maaniya restaurant located near the lobby (4 on the map). At our first meal we were designated a table and a waiter – which we had to stick to throughout our stay. The food in the Maaniya restaurant is based on a buffet style meal and the selection of food was excellent. For breakfast (served from 7.30 am to 9.30 am) we had a great selection of cereals, bread, muffins, rolls, fruit, toast, eggs any way you want them, beans, bacon…well, due to the fact the this is a Muslim country we only got beef bacon :-) For lunch and dinner (from 12.30 to 2 pm and from 7.30 pm to 9 pm) there was a great selection of soups, salads, pasta, meat, fish and lots of sweet stuff for dessert. During our stay we didn’t run into the same menu twice. I have attached an example of a menu on a given day. This menu was posted at the entrance of the restaurant before breakfast every day. The temperature on the food was measured to make sure that the food was warm enough.
Even if the Maaniya restaurant has a 1000 seats it was never really crowded when we went to get our food. After dinner we had to sign for the drinks that we had had during our lunch and dinner meal. This is the method used whenever you pick up something on the island. We just had to show our blue wristband indicating that we were there on all inclusive stay and we had to state our room number.
There are also two other restaurants on the island. On the jetty where we first arrived is an Italian restaurant called Alpontile and on the opposite side of the island (outside the water bungalows) you can find a place called Sun Star and they serve Thai and Chinese food. We tried Sun Star one evening and it was a nice meal. We like the Thai cuisine and it was nice to have tom yam goong (shrimp soup), chicken in green curry and grilled fish. If you want to go to the Italian restaurant or the Thai restaurant you can just notify the desk at the Maaniya restaurant and you will get a 20% discount voucher. Our meal at the Thai restaurant cost us 40 US dollars.
Ice cream was pretty expensive to buy at the beach bar. Nikki and I had an ice cream each and that cost us 10 US dollars. It is cheaper to buy ice cream by the scoops at the Italian restaurant where 2 scoops in a cup cost about 2 US dollars.
We booked our trip through the Norwegian company Paradisreiser/Messereiser (www.maldivene.no). The flight to the Maldives was a bit long for us with lots of take-offs and landings (stops in Copenhagen, Vienna and Dubai). I was not very impressed with Lauda Air. First of all I think that a long haul flight like this deserves a bigger plane - this flight was a Boeing 737. After dinner there was a line that stretched half of the length of the plane just to get to the toilet and when there is just one aisle it was hard for the flight attendants to get food trolleys back and forth. This combination flight is also a bit strange because some people got off in Dubai at like 3 am while the other continued on to the Maldives. The people getting off in Dubai didn’t seem very interested in sleeping so you basically had half of the plane drinking and chatting because they were getting off soon and the other half trying to sleep because the entire night would be spent on the plane. And I also have to mention the entertainment onboard. The second movie that was shown on the flight was Spy Kids 3-D. I find it a bit strange that they run a movie made for kids at like 2 am, on a flight where there is not that many people and a movie that was made to be best seen in 3D. Well, I had already seen it at the movies :-). If we go to the Maldives again I think we might check other options of getting there. Some friends of our used Kodak travel when they went to Sun Island.
All inclusive or not?
I guess it is possible to calculate if you will profit by going all inclusive or not. For us it was great to be able to just eat and drink without having to think about the cost. Drinks are not very cheap on Sun Island if you want to buy them. I think that a glass of wine and a glass of beer was about 10 US dollars. That is not very expensive compared to Norwegian prices of course but compared to Asian prices it is quite steep. A bottle of 1,5 liters of water is 3 US dollars. During our stay at Sun Island we spent about 190 US dollars. This was spent on the Reef Explorer snorkeling trip, eating at the Sun Star restaurant, buying postcards/stamps etc at the souvenir shop etc.
http://www.sun-island.com/ - official page
http://www.sunislandmaldives.com/ - another good “official” page
http://www.visitmaldives.com.mv/ - for more information about the Maldives in general
http://www.sunisland-malediven.de/ - a German page about Sun Island with an active forum
http://www.sunislandmaldives.co.uk/ - trip report from Carl in the UK