Our Family Holiday to Meeru Maldives
Before departing for our island holiday to Meeru , we were checking the weather constantly on our iPhone app. We were very concerned that the weather report was showing thundershowers and rain every single day for the 14 day forecast. We were bleak as we were imagining our 2 week holiday in paradise to be completely rained out and were tempted to even postpone.
We had decided to fly on Emirates Airlines as they had the direct flight out of Durban – travelling to Meeru was quite painless, the trip home however was long and tiresome. I would recommend if you have children to book seats and child meals ahead of time and to ensure if you have longer than 8 hours layover that you request a stopover hotel which, depending on your fare paid, is complimentary.
On arrival at Male airport we were met with Glorious sun and beautiful turquoise shades of water. We were so excited! Another concern that we did have regarding the resort we were going to, was the mixed trip advisor reviews that had been posted. They ranged from very happy & satisfied guests , to guests rating the property as nothing more than a 3 star. We resigned ourselves to not have any expectations so not to be disappointed.
Once we had collected our baggage we found our way to the “Crown & Champa “ counter where there was a list confirming all arrival guests that would be taking the boat to Meeru island resort and Spa. This trip took 50 mins and fortunately for us it was early morning so we could take in the scenery of the little islands we passed as we travelled.
On a arriving at the resort and getting off the boat , the water was crystal clear and our first sighting were 3 beautiful reef sharks swimming amongst shoals of fish – this was incredible to see on stepping foot onto the island that would be home for the next 11 nights.
We were met by Miriam, from guests services, who advised that she would be taking care of us during our stay. We were taken to a seating area and each given a cold refresher cloth and coconut with fresh coconut juice. We were then given a map and were briefed on the resort and where everything was located. The island is divided into two parts – one part where all the social activities, boat house activities and family areas are and the other side of the island which is tailored to more serene, quieter and adult only areas. This allows all guests to be accommodated, from families to honeymooners to retired couples wanting a quiet getaway.
Miriam gave each of the adults in the group a 15min complimentary Spa Voucher to experience the dunyune Spa in the first 3 days of our stay. We added onto our voucher to include 75mins couple massage, which was well worth the additional $178 we paid for both of us. The Spa and the therapists were out of this world and if I could have afforded it, I would have gone back every second day. The resort has 2 spa’s on it – one that is located in tropical gardens and one that is located over the water. Of course we chose the one that was over the water. The floor has glass panels which you are able to the view magnificent fish swimming in the reef below while you are lying face down and having all your travel tensions taken away.
We were given a Beach Villa for our family of Four comprising of 2 adults and 2 children, aged 6 & 14. The room was perfectly fine in terms of size for our family, however I would probably recommend taking 2 beach villas to have a little more personal space, especially if you are going to be staying over a week. The beach villa was perfectly situated and approx. 30 metres from the ocean. The rooms have recently been refurbished with aircon and foot shower for when you come off the beach. The bathroom was outdoors with partial cover which made for shower under the stars in the evenings.
Meeru has the most beautiful white sand and is one of the only islands in the Maldives that has a beach going completely round the entire island. The main pool area has a wonderful large pool facing onto the main beach. There were plenty of palm trees for shade and plenty of lounges so we never felt like people were on top of us. In fact, while we were staying at Meeru, they had 100% occupancy during that time and not once did we feel like we were crowded.
As we were on the all-inclusive plus meal plan ( which I highly recommend as the pricing is quite steep for drinks in general and food at the ale carte restaurants) we were assigned the family friendly restaurant for all our meals. You are also assigned a table and a waiter for your duration. We were very fortunate to be assigned Quraish. Nothing was ever an issue for him. He went out of his way to know our names and our children’s names and greeting us by them when we arrived at the table. On our last dinner at Meeru , he spent his entire afternoon putting together flowers to decorate our table and leave us with a gesture that none of us will ever forget. This was done completely on his own accord and not because he had to, but rather because he wanted to please us and do something nice for us. We were certainly impressed.
Some might say that the Maldives is not a family destination, we on the other hand had 4 children in our group, ages 6. 9, 11 & 14 and not once did we hear that they were bored or were spending their time on iPads etc. The sports centre may cater for children 12 and over, so water sports may not be an option for younger children, but snorkelling, swimming, table tennis, badminton, mashie golf, soccer, crab hunting certainly kept our children busy. They also had an opportunity to learn so much, from the marine life, to the types of crabs, shells, fruit bats and variety of trees to how the islands water is all from the sea and goes through their desalination plant to produce all the water on the island. It was certainly an experience our children will never forget and are still talking about today.
On the all-inclusive package, you have the opportunity to take the sunset punch cruise – one cocktail is provided so good advice would be to pack a few beers or wine from your mini bar to go with you. We chose the most perfect evening which did not disappoint with the most gorgeous sunset and dolphins swimming all around us.
Make sure you check the folder in the room or ask for a copy on arrival for the weekly activities and the menu’s, to see what is available at the different ale carte restaurants. If you are anything like us, we don’t frequent reception or watch the TV introduction to see what’s going on at all times and would have missed a number of activities had it not been for other guests that had mentioned some of things they had done. A few of the must do’s are as follows:
- The teppanayki show at the Asian Wok restaurant – here you can choose from the Asian wok menu and experience a show of a difference from the teppanayki chef which was a highlight for us and our children.
- If you are a football fan or have one in your party, there is a weekly match for guests against staff (so bring your boots)
- The nature walk /back of house tour allows you to see how the island works, the desalination , sewage plant, staff quarters, food preparation etc
- Beside the diving & fishing trips which we didn’t do, Meeru host some wonderful dinners throughout the month at an additional fee. We chose the full moon dinner, again at the Asian wok – which had food in abundance that was so well prepared and displayed. We definitely did feast that night and possibly they should change the name to the full moon feast!
- Obviously snorkelling – they have a boat trip free of charge twice daily out to the house reef. This I will say is a definite must and you will not be disappointed in the amount and variety of marine life you will see.
Every evening there is nightly entertainment provided, from old school disco, to a neon party, to divers night, which allowed people to come together, dance , sing and just be able to socialise with other guests. They also have an entertainment room providing pool and snooker table, darts, chess and black gammon which you could occupy should there be rain or in the evening after dinner.
Now for some tips on packing – pack light, you are not going to need any shoes with any form of a heel, all areas from reception to restaurants are predominantly sand and may make for some awkward walking if you are in heels. The resort is extremely relaxed and formal wear is non-existent. Majority of the time it is hot and humid, so don’t bother with packing sweaters and jeans as you will not be wearing them. Make sure you have plenty of sunblock and peak caps as the sun can be brutal. I mentioned we were worried that we were going to have torrential rain as per the weather report – well in our stay the most rain we had during the day lasted approx. 45mins and other rain happened late at night or in the early hours of the morning when it bucketed down. Don’t leave clothes hanging outside to dry as they will stay constantly wet with those night time showers.
We were very fortunate to have amazing staff looking after us – from Saeed, Arin and Waheed at the main pool , to our very special Quraish at the main restaurant, to the lovely Miriam from guest services. Without them, our holiday would not have been as amazing as it was. We are so appreciative of having the opportunity to experience all that Meeru resort and Spa has to offer and can definitely with our most critical view recommend this property of superior standard that by far exceeded our expectations.
Lastly, my husband and I had the pleasure of taking a trip by sea-plane to see one of the other resorts in the Crown & Champa Fold. Kuredo is the maxi version of Meeru also allowing for both families and romantic solitude. Kuredo being the larger of the two resorts has 4 buffet restaurants and 3 ale carte restaurants to dine at. Nicole was a fantastic host for our short visit and gave us a complete whirlwind tour. Ken the resort General manager is extremely passionate about Kuredo, about his staff and in ensuring his guests have the best experience possible.
Kuredo accommodate for more water sports with tube rides and water-skiing and also activities for children. The staff at Kuredo are extremely friendly and seemed to always be smiling. The house reef is closer to the resort at Kuredo and therefore it is not necessary to go out by boat, instead you can just go off from the jetty and you will have the most amazing sightings of turtles, lion fish, manta ray and many, many more.
Kuredo has the largest dive centre in all of the Maldives resorts. If diving or fishing are your passion both these resorts offer the best value and best options to make your Maldives stay beyond superior.
If given the opportunity, I recommend the sea-plane for any visitor if not for a hotel transfer, then definitely for a day excursion. The view from the sky is magnificent and will stay with you forever. The true extent of the Maldives beauty and how amazing these islands and atolls are is breath-taking from the sky and should not be missed. If you are in two minds of where to stay, either of the above properties will not disappoint and you will return from your holiday completely relaxed and recharged with memories of the most magnificent place of this planet.
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