Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Adaaran Club Rannalhi - Enjoying The High Life for A Day @ South MaleAtoll [Maldives]

In all honesty, i would have given Maldives a miss if i wasn't aware that day trips could easily be arranged to exclusive island resorts! For a pauper like myself, i will not be able to afford the exorbitant price such resorts command for just one night stay! 

Whatever the case, a day trip was paid for and we happily congregated at the meeting point (near the drop off point at Maafushi island) a little earlier than 9 am. 

Remember to hold on tight to this small piece of excursion card - it is like the passport for you to get into the island and the permit for the speedboat to bring you out at the end of the day! 

In less than twenty minutes, this was the picture that greeted us; okay lah, you would have been given the full picture when the speedboat neared the picturesque island but i always like a little teaser for readers. 

So here goes for the blown up view! A wide lens would have given the island its due credit and i could have done so via the stitching mode on Photoshop.

Sadly, the excitement of landing on an exclusive island that everyone dreams of when it comes to Maldives went over my 35-year old head and i conveniently forgot about the need to take multiple shots in landscape format! :(

Whatever the case, it was a breathtaking sight! Shown in the above photograph were the straw thatched water bungalows and lounge bar. 

Reception area for you to register your presence. In the limited beach resorts i have been to so far, this is the first time i was made to stand and wait on a bed of sand! Note: don't wear covered shoes! 

Welcome drink even though we were just short term visitors. 

I take back the last sentence as this day visit set us back by US$70 per person (which included tax and service charge). With the coupon, you would be entitled to a buffet lunch in the main restaurant and free flow drinks at the lounge bar! 

Now, imagine sitting on the plastic chair and relax yourself by the occasional whir of jetski, peals of innocent laughter by the children frolicking in the waters, the charm of turquoise water and the blue, cloudless sky. Well, i did that for five minutes and ended getting irritated by the hot sun biting my skin! 

Indoor seating is recommended for those who would not want to have their skin burnt and risk the threat of skin cancer! 

The lounge bar would be mentioned at the end of this post; in the meantime, let me show you around Rannalhi island so that you could have a better idea of what to expect. 

A dos and don'ts information panel; not sure how many people adhere to them but i could guarantee you that Alex was guilty enticing the fishes by using toast! 

It's obvious that China is a huge market by the number of Chinese tourists i bumped into in the resort and having a traditional Chinese therapy centre would hardly raise an eyebrow. 

Standard rooms bungalow; as compared to the water bungalows, these were much cheaper and even so, the cost per night can easily top US$300!

Frankly, from the facade to the interior view (happened to peek into one room when the occupant left the door open), i was under the impression there wasn't much difference from the less than a S$100 a night accommodation billed to me when i was in Redang

Oh well, guess that's the price you pay for a stay in what's known as the ultimate paradise for lovers and honeymooners. Anyway, aside from the traditional Chinese therapy centre, you may also find comfort in the Balinese style Chavana Spa.

Pricing as above for your reference. 

Any calming effect as a result of the spa treatment would be broken upon hearing the shrill of this bird! I don't know what species it falls under but i guarantee singing isn't its forte.

Past the spa was the much awaited water bungalows; also known by same as villas over the water! Staying in one of these expensive establishments is the epitome of living the high life in Maldives.

Prices varied across the year and averaged a little less than US$500 a night for two persons.

Do keep in mind that this rate would not include the mandatory speed boat transfer of US$145 per person although it was all inclusive (all meals covered, including free flow drinks at the bar lounge).

It did seem very attractive, especially when your main aim is to chill by the beach, stay on the island, snorkel as and when you like and literally do nothing else for the rest of the time! Obviously not for hyperactive individuals like myself. 

Walking back to the "mainland". 

Navigation was dead easy with such a minuscule island; a factor i found to be extremely boring! Everything was within a few minutes' walk and there wasn't much exploration that would have kept me occupied for a few days. 

In addition to sea sports, snorkeling and diving activities, local island tours etc, you could also spend your energy on playing beach volleyball and soccer. 

Those with kids can dump them at the designated Children's Park. 

Okay, i am kidding. Adult supervision is still required even though the structures installed inside were nothing too elaborate and would not sustain the attention of toddlers nowadays.

Another jetty that was said to be closed for maintenance. 

We finally found a spot where we can unload our heavy bags and spend the rest of our time (until 5pm) doing our favourite activity.

Snorkeling of course! I am not going to overwhelm this post with dozens of underwater pictures. If you are interested to see the underwater world surrounding Adaaran, click here

The location was pretty remote, right next to the main restaurant where we had a great buffet lunch, and was blessed with a rare silence aside from the gentle pounding of waves. 

Even the bird agreed with us! 

My right with the large area of pure white sand. The lack of any shade means you can only find people who are out there to get a fierce tan that they can boast to their friends! 

I am just happy to be in the shade. This deviates from the past when i would visit Sentosa Island on a weekly basis just to darken my skin (yes, also to show off to my friends of my sexy tanned lines)! 

Random pictures.

You might have noticed that the photographs posted in this entry appeared to show colour inconsistencies, which in some cases were pretty obvious! I was using my DSLR, my underwater camera and also my iPad to take the photos! 

Swim at your own risk!

The threat of erosion is very real in Maldives and i do believe that if global warming continues at its current rate, Maldives would soon disappear. Do your part for mother earth and at the same time, plan for a trip to Maldives. You know, just in case.

Other activities that you could sign up; including a free trial dive! I still remember that having a PADI certificate would mean striking one item off my bucket list but Alex is dead against diving! No other crazy kaki is willing to join me. :(

After taking a rainfall shower in the open (note, i wasn't nude), it's time to hit the bar lounge.

Oh oh oh! A friend bought this Nabaji beach towel as a present for Christmas and i have to say it was indeed a must have for any beach vacations! The name is easy to remember too; just add the letter n to na and you would get a Hokkien vulgarity! 

Okay, now's for the bar lounge. Indoor might sound favourable when you consider the hot sun but it was really frustrating to keep having to flip the sand from my hideous Crocs. 

Key attraction of the bar lounge; unlimited beverages! Tea, coffee, soft drinks etc were the basic but what people really look forward to was the range of alcoholic drinks like beer, vodka, rum, whiskey etc! 

For Alex and myself, the serving of alcoholic selections (from 9am to midnight) didn't attract us; we were in fact drawn to the cocktail bar which served snacks and cakes at three timings! 

They were not fantastic although when one was exhausted from long hours of snorkeling, it was still a much needed stomach filler, particularly when you have a glass of coke on the table and a magnificent view in front of you.

4.50pm - time to proceed to the jetty! The building on the left was the water sports centre. 

Biding goodbye at last - i had a marvellous time and if you ask me, a night or two stay at such exclusive island is strongly recommended just to have a short taste of an "atas" life. 

Every sunset in Maldives is a unique performance by mother nature! 


Within South Male Atoll


Day Visit / Excursion
Holidayers residing in Maafushi island may approach iCom tours to sign up for the package; the establishment was located near the ferry drop off point.

Note that the company would charge for transport (around US$25 per person) with the separate admission fee (US$70) collected by the resort.

For my Maldives itinerary,
click here


  1. Anonymous8:33 PM

    thanks for your blog.. now i can prepare our itinerary for next month :) any suggestions for 3 days maldives getaway? thanks

    1. No problem! 3 days as in 3 full days? If your 3 days include arriving and departing, then there's only 1 day to play with!

      And for that, i would suggest snorkeling plus sandbank which can be done in half a day. If you have sufficient time, do check out the exclusive island resorts. Some can be stunning; be it design, marine life etc!