INVITATION TO TAKE PART IN A FINAL "TRIAL RUN" - 4 NIGHTS STAY
I was so excited to be invited to experience the brand new (and first in theMaldives) Dusit Thani Resort Maldives on the beautiful island of Mudhdhoo in stunning BAA Atoll!
Working in the Travel industry of course we do get invited to visit the resorts we sell. How else can we confidently sell a resort or hotel to future clients if we have never experienced them for ourselves!
Never in the 25 years I have been working in the industry has a resort or hotel in any of the many destinations I have work ever invited me to stay and experience the resort on a 'trial run' for 4 whole nights! This was a real treat and one that I was not going to pass up! Thank you Dusit Thani!
I had a 09.00am check in at the Maldivian Air Taxi Terminal. This was a nice time, not too early and not too late that I miss out on my first day there. Dusit Thani will have their own VIP lounge at MAT but at the moment it is still being renovated.
The airport representative was there to meet me at the international airport, looking very smart and very welcoming him. He checked in my luggage (typical women, I do not travel light) and gave me my boarding card and accompanied me around to the Maldivian Air Taxi lounge.
We didn’t have to wait long before we were boarding our seaplane which was bound for Royal Island & Kanuhura. Usually you get a direct seaplane transfer to Dusit Thani but as the resort was not open fully, we took the seaplane to Royal Island which is only 10 minutes away by speedboat from Dusit Thani and for me this was a nice experience as I had not seen Royal Island in all the 10 plus years I’ve been here!
The boat crew were ready and waiting for us along with our Island Host Aishath who was very friendly and welcoming. As a safety precaution all guests are given life jackets to wear during the speed boat which I personally feel is very responsible of resort to do.
We arrived to the resort to be greeted by a wonderful welcoming committee including, Heads of Department, Sales & Marketing Team as well as the Resident Manager himself. With Dusit being a Thai company, the welcoming was typically Thai, with the ‘Y’ ‘Sawatdee Ka’ greeting! It brought back my memories of working in Thailand and without doubt I would say the Thai hospitality and service has got to be one of the best in the world!
I was warmly greeted by my personal Villa Host (Suzie) who promptly escorted me to my Beach Villa with Pool, where check in was very smooth and she gave me a guided tour of the room facilities.
Suzie is the lovely girl on the right
My suitcase was promptly delivered to my room and I took the opportunity to change before Suzie met me at 13.30hrs to take me to the Pool and ‘Sea Grill Restaurant’ for lunch. The Sea Grill is one of the al a carte restaurants on the resort located by the very large infinity edge swimming pool but as this is the pre-opening dry run for the resort it is being used to serve breakfast, lunch & dinner.
'The Sea Grill' Restaurant
The hostess greeted me warmly at the entrance and escorted me to my table, giving me the choice to dine inside or outside. She then introduced me to my waiter who very efficiently offered me the menu. A cool towel was offered before and after the meal.
So many tempting delights on offer! I didn’t want to overdo things, after all I had the luxury to be on the island for 4 nights!
Temptation: A nice cold glass of Shandy, so refreshing and I decided on two light dishes, the Egyptian style Falafal and Tzaziki ! Delicious is all I can say. So much so I had to have the Tzaziki the following day and for my last lunch!!
Whilst you wait for your food to be cooked you are served a selection of delicious fresh breads accompanied by olive oil and balsamic vinegar! My favorite!!! I had to be careful I didn't stuff myself silly with all the bread and spoil my lunch!
In the afternoon I had a tour of the resort, and was able to see the Lagoon Villa’s, Ocean Villa’s, the Salsa bar (which had just been finished that morning) and we visited the ‘Tree Tops Spa’ which although was not opened as the interiors needed to be finished off, it was great to be able to see it and I very much look forward to revisiting it again when it is open as it is definitely something very unique!
'Interiors of the Ocean Villa' & private decking
During the tour we did visit the temporary Spa and I was able to book myself in for a lovely spa treatment for the following afternoon. Such a wimp I am, I chose a Swedish Massage as I like gentle massages!
That evening I enjoyed a pre-dinner drink ( a nice cold beer) in the sand bar and then dined in the 'Sea Grill' and was pleased to have the lovely Akiko from the Sales team join me! The atmosphere was nice, with soft music and the pool was glistening from the small fibre optic lighting. Service was excellent and the food delicious!
As sad as it sounds and I sound like an old woman but I couldn’t wait to get back to my room after dinner to sink into my lovely bed! I think the fresh sea air,delicious food, and not to mention the 3 beers (I’m not used to them living in Male) made me want to flop on my bed and just relax and enjoy the luxury surroundings of my room.
Beach Villa (with pool), interiors. Some have twin beds. Semi open air bathroom with in door and out door showers, bath and plunge pool. Rooms are very private with fencing either side for extra privacy.
I slept like a log as we say in the UK. The mattress was so comfortable and the temperature of the room just right, and what bliss I woke up at 6.30am Male time (07.30am Island time) instead of the usual 5am wake up my cat Minni has decided to give me for the last 6 weeks!
I check my emails (after all I’m still working) and nice hot shower and dress for breakfast!
As I mentioned earlier breakfast is currently being served in the Sea Grill Restaurant rather than the main restaurant. When the resort opens fully from next month then breakfast will be buffet but I was offered a nice al a carte menu, with plenty to choose from. I decide to be a little good and order some fresh fruit followed by eggs benedict ( I didn’t say I was going to be completely good)! Big pot of English Tea with cold milk, just the way I like it. I have to have at least 2 cups of tea to get me going in a morning!
This morning my Island Host Suzie had very kindly arranged for me to visit Eydafushi Island which is the Capital of BAA Atoll as I really love visiting the local islands and going to the schools and walking around the streets. The local islands are so different from Male' and the people very warm and friendly and there is a real sense of community. Shinan one of the Island Hosts was my guide for the morning Eydafushi is his home island so I was very pleased that he was showing me around. It only takes 10 minutes to get there and he gives me a tour of the island. We visit the Island Clinic, the main school and my favorite the Pre-school which has over 100 adorable children in. All dressed very smartly in their school uniforms and big smiles!
I definitely think tourists should be encouraged to visit the local islands as this is where they will really feel the Maldivian spirit and sense of community.
Shinan gets me back in time for another delicious lunch in the Sea Grill restaurant, with a nice cool glass of shandy!
The 'Sea Grill' over looks the huge (I'm told the biggest in the Maldives) infinity edge swimming pool. The pool is built around a large Banyan Tree which is the center piece of the pool.
Time to check my emails before Suzie my Villa Host collects me for my 3pm Spa Treatment. I’m warmly greeted at the Spa by the Spa Manager and offered a nice cool drink and cold towel. I’m required to fill out a Medical check sheet which is good and care is taken by the Manager to look through to see what I have ticked or noted. My treatment was originally for 60 minutes but she twists my arm into extending this to 90 minutes as she said I will feel more relaxed! I’m not going to say ‘No’! She introduces to me to my Spa Therapist and away we go!
90 minutes later, I just want to flop on my bed and do nothing as I feel totally relaxed! The treatment was wonderful and just what I needed!
Tonight I head to the Salsa Bar to meet Rifaath from the Sales Team. I enjoy a couple of nice cold beers as I wait for her and enjoy the wonderful surroundings, breeze and beautiful view.
Dinner is in the Benjarong, which is Dusit Thani’s signature Thai Restaurant which opened only the night before. The Restaurant is located on silts over water with the Sala Bar above. The breeze is wonderful and Rifaa and I are the only guests there so you can imagine we were totally spoilt. I love Thai food and we were given first some fish dumplings and then I opted for Thai Green Curry and steamed rice. The portions are very big and I simply could not eat it all, I did try! The staff all Thai were extremely friendly as one would expect and even the Chef came out after our meal to introduce himself and ask us how our meal was. Definitely recommended and after all I don’t think anyone can go to Dusit Thani and not try their signature restaurant.
For all guests staying in the resort, even if you pre-book your meal package on Half Board you get to dine around in all the restaurants and enjoy a three course dinner, so this a great advantage as in most resorts you have one main restaurant allocated to you if you have a pre booked your meal plan.
Another glorious night’s sleep and I get to enjoy it all over again the next day!
After a leisurely breakfast, I decide today I am going to take a nice walk around the island myself. I know it is not completely open and some areas are screened off, but it’s important for me to get a feel for the island and see if the work going on is disturbing in anyway. I’m pleased to say it is not and I have a nice stroll around.
Path ways leading to the Beach Villa's, jetty to the Ocean Villa's, The 'Tree Top Spa', beach opposite the Ocean Villa's and finally my sun bed for a few hours!!
I find a nice sun lounger and shade on the beach opposite the Ocean Villa’s and decide to soak up the sun a little and enjoy my book that I don’t seem to have much time to read when in Male.
I decide to take a lunch a little later today, again at the Sea Grill and decide I need a naughty treat so I opt for a starter only of Chicken Satay and then I can enjoy a delicious chocolate brownie Sundea! Mmmm.. delicious and so worth the wait! I had to take a photo and send it to my friend to make her jealous!
In the afternoon one of my colleagues from Male' who works for UK Tour Operator arrives so we arrange to meet up for pre-dinner drinks in the sand bar and dinner in the Sea Grill, which again was delicious and the service outstanding!
Another colleague from Male who works for other Operator arrive on my third day so after breakfast we all meet up and we opt for a girlie day around one of their plunge pools in her Lagoon Villa. We crack open one of the bottles of wine from the Mini bar, order room service lunch and have a really good catch up whilst working on our suntan!
6.30 pm we are booked on the sunset cruise!
There’s about 10 of us in total on the cruise, which is on a traditional Maldivian Dhoni. We take the stairs up to the roof where there are mats and cushions laid out and we make ourselves comfortable. Our hosts serve us with Champagne and Canapes and again Dusit Thani are careful when it comes to the Health & Safety of their clients and the champagne is served in plastic glasses although the quality is so good, you wouldn’t think it was plastic! The Canapes are delicious, in fact too delicious as it means I eat more of them! The diet starts when I get back to Male'!!!
The cruise was beautiful and relaxing. Such a fantastic way to end the day and watch the sunset and highly recommended!
As tonight is my last night I decide I want to really enjoy the benefits of my Beach Villa and especially enjoy a long soak in big bath tub in the semi open air bathroom. I fill the bath so full the bubbles are coming over the top, but it is shear bliss just to lie back and in the warm water and look at the stars in the sky above!
I order room service, which is promptly delivered within the 30 minutes stated time and yet again the food is delicious!
The diet definitely starts tomorrow especially after the baked tart I just enjoyed for desert!
Sadly my 4 night trip is over, so I enjoy one last delicious breakfast in the Sea Grill Restaurant and am envious that my colleagues and friends are staying another day!
One final photo with some of the staff in the Sea Grill Restaurant.
A fabulous 4 nights stays! Thank you to Mr Andres Rubio the General Manager and all his wonderful team for makings my stay very enjoyable! Dusit Thani is definitely a wonderful edition to the Maldives and the stunning BAA Atoll!
I look forward to promoting your resort to my clients and revisiting you again in the future!
Thank You! 'Kop Kun Ka'!!!
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