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Colin & Jenny's October 2012 trip to Meeru 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:47 pm Reply with quote
Colin & Jenny
Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 132
Location: Scotland
Living in Scotland we usually had to drive to Manchester to travel to the Maldives but this time around we were fortunate to get an Emirates flight from Newcastle to Male via Dubai. This suited us as our favourite cattery was on the A1 midway to Newcastle.

To break up what was going to be a long journey we booked into the Doubletree hotel at the airport for the night prior to departure along with car parking. I have to say the hotel is first class and had a great restaurant onsite. Our 5 year old found it to be a great adventure plus they did fantastic pizzas.

Check-in was swift and with perfumes purchased we were on our way to Dubai (Boing 777-300). On board entertainment is really good, enough legroom and they have really nice touches for kids like child meals so good you wish you ordered one for yourself and also got colouring books and pens with a teddy! She was a happy camper!

Unfortunately it was about a 4 to 5 hour wait in Dubai airport before taking off again. Dubai airport is huge and duty free seemed quite expensive there. It’s also very busy so hard to switch off.
Next plane journey uneventful but hard to get some shuteye due to being fed regularly and child’s toilet trips…

Arrival at Male and departure to Meeru was swift, an hour tops at the airport then an hour on the Meeru Express boat.

As we were repeat guests we were taken aside at arrival, given towels and refreshments before going on the buggy to out Beach Villa. We attended the repeaters party and later in the stay were given repeaters t-shirts which our daughter loves and used as a nightshirt!

Our beach villa was really nice inside and is all we ever require as we spend almost no time in the room other than sleeping. Wife does the sunbathing thing at the pool or beech with lots of snorkelling and the odd massage whereas I fit diving and snorkelling around playing with child in the pool or taking her out snorkelling or playroom etc. Got my advanced cert presented to me at divers night! Oh I did the free 15min massage myself which was out of this world.

I think we were in the minority being FB, most guests seemed to be wearing a band. Looking at our bill we still spent less than if we were on AI as we don’t drink alcohol and all our water was free on this trip. Not to mention my $801 on diving…

Our daughter had a brilliant time as there were quite a few other kids so she made lots of friends and had a great time. For myself after a couple of fun dives I ended up doing my advanced diver course which was superb and no better place to do it. We also did the golf, glass bottom boat and kayak round the island with child twice!

Food as before was fantastic with plenty choice with the occasional trip to Hot Rocks for Pizza. There was something for everybody and puddings were out of this world. Food presentation and quality is simply stunning. Like Bandos the chefs were more than happy to rustle up a macaroni cheese when daughter was being fussy. Amazing service.

As it had been a long time since our last visit Meeru was just as familiar but with more facilities and better beaches. Snorkelling was better to as the north end of the island was off limits as was under development then and parts of the island are deeper thanks to the boat that sucks up the sand.

Weather wise it often rained at night with some showers during the day. The feeling of being in a huge downpour whist playing in the infinity pool was fantastic. There was one day when it did feel cool which was nice as most days were incredably hot though thankfully not as hot as our last trip to Bandos. The Scottish head chef mentioned that the locals are telling him that the weather is mixed up ie rain when they don't expect it etc, just like here in the UK where we seem to be getting more extreme weather.

Journey home was incredibly long and tiring. Room checkout was 12pm with boat departure at 5pm. It was not possible to extend time in the room but looking back was not necessary as you get lunch included server between 12:30 to 2:30 and there are showers you can use so the time is in no way wasted. Still got in snorkelling, pool and sunbathing not to mention the Sony Playstation…again! Our flight home was 11:20pm so there was a fair amount of time to kill in the airport. Basically we just got a table at the outdoor restaurant and with the odd walk to see the boat traffic and have a nose around time soon flew. Male airport is pretty much a building site but gets better every time you go. Once checked-in we had a look in the duty free but unless you are a smoker prices are way higher for the same in the UK. Flight as before with another 4-5 hour wait in Dubai airport. Tried to get some shuteye but as their aircon was on full blast so it was freezing in there, teeth chattering. Dubai is 30c in winter, 48c in summer and 15c in the airport! By the time we were on the return leg of the journey we were shattered.

I should add that the boat for the return trip to the airport, Meeru Mail, the noisy one(!) was the one I chartered to take me to hospital on Male in 2004! Nice to see it is still there.

When saying my final good byes to the Meeru staff and dive staff tears did well up as it is such a special place and I know we’ll be back sometime in the future. It’s not just the location but the people that make it so special.

Tip wise we did the room boy, waiter, luggage handlers and the chap who swept up the leaves from the beach outside are villa and around Hot Rocks.

We are often asked how it compares to Bandos. They are quite different from each other and both are fantastic so basically we went to the resort with the best deal this time round.

Can’t wait to get back to the Maldives but I know my wife would like to visit somewhere else but everyone she spoke to on the island that when they had tried somewhere else all said they wished they hadn’t bothered and just come back to the Maldives. Indeed just along from us a villa had a specially made plaque for a couple’s 25th visit! There was another couple had just been 28 times…

That says it all…

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:52 am Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1497
Location: Cumbria
Many thanks for your trip report..enjoyed reading it Very Happy
Once again your return visit to Meeru has provided some magical memories for you all.

We always go via Dubai and agreed it buzzes like the west end in London on a Saturday night and certainly is hard to wind down and relax..the thought of heading to paradise in around 3 hours or so gets you through it though Laughing

Great feedback.

Casey Cool

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Steve from Durham
Site Admin
Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 6096
Location: Lancashire.
Thanks for taking the time out to let others know how it went


steve
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:43 pm Reply with quote
karyn
Joined: 13 Apr 2011
Posts: 401
Location: Derbyshire
A great report. We didn't eat at the Hot Rock this year, so that's a 'must do' for next year.

We flew via Dubai airport but found that the 3 hours there went by so quickly, and it was nice to stretch our legs.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:13 am Reply with quote
rickc
Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 337
Thanks for the trip report. Eagerly 'devoured' to whet our appetite for our next visit in February ! Going with Emirates via Dubai for the first time so its into the unknown.......
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Colin & Jenny's October 2012 trip to Meeru 
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