Kuramathi Jacuzzi Water Villa reviews
Impressions From a 10-day all-inclusive stay in Nov 2009 in the Blue Lagoon (BL)
It's a 10-hour flight direct from Heathrow to Male. SriLankan Airways are very good, good service, free wine/beer, not enough water. Buy bottled water at the duty-free (90p/litre).
Your bags will be x-rayed on the way into the country, in Male customs, looking for alcohol, which will be confiscated.
The Air Taxi is very good and definitely worth it, but expect ALL your bags, including hand luggage and purses, to be weighed before the flight and to pay extra for being over 20kg total per person. But the rates are not too bad (I paid $20 for being quite a lot over).
The rooms in the BL are air-conditioned, and have an outside (walled, private) shower. The mini-bar is kept stocked with water, but you may have to remind your housekeeper to check it.
The water bungalows have steps into the water, which is about 2ft deep. If you're lucky, there's sand on the bottom, if not, reef, which is sharp underfoot.
The main restaurant at the BL offers excellent high-end choices. All meals are buffet-style.
There is nothing to eat from 14:00 to 19:30 unless you go to the Village (1 mile) where (the all-included) High Tea is available from 15:00 to 17:00.
You are presented with a bill to sign after every meal and every drink, even if the total is $0.00 and all-included. It gives you another opportunity to tip the waiter.
Room Service doesn't exist. But you can take an all-included carafe of wine to your room.
There is now a "Basic all-inclusive package" and a "Select all-inclusive package". The only difference is that in the Basic, you can eat for free only in your home restaurant, in the Select you can eat for free in any of the 3 home restaurants (Cottages & Village).
"Dining Out" in any of the specialty restaurants will still cost you, about $100 per person. The food quality is excellent throughout the resort.
The Shopping Trip to the neighbouring island takes you to a group of souvenir shops. Hand-painted t-shirts are $8 - $10, which is about a quarter of what they cost in the resort shop. Worth it for that alone. Don't expect to mingle with, or even see, the locals.
Anything you buy in the shops will be billed to your room, even if you want to pay directly. The staff don't touch cash, except tips.
A day-trip to Male is discouaged. The boat trip is $100 return and 90 minutes each way, and even then you have to piggy-back on an airport transfer, both ways, so you can only go when they go. The same for the air taxi, except $250 return.
The Stingray Feeding (18:30 daily at the Laguna Bar) is wonderful. A guy takes 5ft stingrays, lifts up their nose and pops a piece of tuna into their mouths. About a dozen rays plus reef sharks gather to harass him, then push off when he's done.
At 18:00, it's dark. Pitch black. The whole place, and especially the main road, is very poorly lit, so if your vision is at all impaired you won't see a thing. The main restaurants are cavernous and dark.
The bus service which runs up & down the main road is excellent, and will drop you off at your room if requested. The bus can be called from your room or from the receptions.
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