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Ian and Jo's trip report April 2014 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:28 pm Reply with quote
Ian & Jo
Joined: 31 Jan 2008
Posts: 328
Having recently returned from Meeru, we thought we should add a few other comments to those we made in our live posts. The free wifi has certainly changed Meeru life – for better and worse in our opinion. Yes, it’s great to sit down together at the end of the day and choose a few photos to post on the forum, but I thought it was sad to see couples and larger groups sitting silently as they all gazed in a trance-like state at their mobile phones. Maybe it’s just my age but I consider Meeru as a place to get away from every day life….

We had great weather the whole time we were there and we left on a hot sunny day. Staff say that the worst weather they’ve had in the last 12 months was during February. They also talk about changing weather patterns so there is certainly no point worrying about the weather before you go; you get what you get these days. The Island was also fully occupied (not too surprising during school holidays and the Easter weekend) and 5 cruises were offered over the 2 weeks we were there. Of course what always amazes me is if the island is full, where is everyone? If is always so quiet. It’s as though 90% of the guests are off the island diving, trips etc at any one time.

It was good to see some changes to AIP too. There have been some changes to the cocktails from when we were last there (I think that HJ posted about the larger glasses the day after we left last time) and the snack of the day and cookies just make it even easier to put on weight. Snack of the day is usually something quite simple - we sampled spring rolls, vegetable samosa, sausage roll, mini chicken Kiev, potato and spinach cakes as well as jalapeños stuffed with cheese (not all at once!). How this is served seems to vary from bar to bar. For example, the numbers of items you get per order can vary as can whether or not you get a dip.

One of the first highlights of the holiday for me was on day 3 which I called ‘the day of the heavens’. We got up early to do one of my ‘must do’ activities when at Meeru – watching sunrise. It’s well worth setting an alarm if you’re not naturally an early riser then getting over to the east side of the island. The area in front of the infinity pool overlooking the honeymoon rooms is a favourite place for many photographers. The island has an extra special stillness and calmness at this point in the day and it’s a great time for contemplation. Ian posted a couple of photos while we were there (see general meeru discussion/live from 647). Initially when we arrived, there was a bride stood at the top of the steps of the infinity pool in her full length white dress being photographed by her husband. It would no doubt have been an excellent photograph because as you will have seen from Ian’s pictures, the colours and the stillness of the water in the pool would have made an excellent back drop. Later the same day we saw the sun set from our room on the west side of the island before heading off to the full moon dinner which this time was held to the west of the Asian Wok. Almost 100 people attended and the food was magnificent, as always. The staff go to a great deal of effort to set up and dismantle the whole event not to mention their attentive care during the evening. The weather was perfect (and we saw the whole of the moon (can you remember the band from the ‘80s without looking it up??)) and we ate until we couldn’t manage a mouthful more. If you get the chance to go to one, I would advise booking an early table whatever time you would normally eat. You have the table for the whole evening but the event does tend to finish early (most have left by about 9 – 9.15) so 8.30 diners could find it a lonelier experience (albeit with as much food to choose from as the first diners experienced) with tables around them being cleared.

We paid 2 visits to the Asian Wok and both times managed to eat so much food that I wasn’t hungry until evening the next day. I love the Japanese food and this year we had the sashimi, nigri and sushi maki as well as the sweet chilli chicken maki for starters (again -not all at once, of course!). The second visit we were able to watch lightning in the distance and the winds got up blowing doors shut and clearing tables. It was also high tide so the sound of the waves crashing underneath was magnificent. Eating at the Wok does cost extra but it’s an experience which is difficult to replicate when back at home. Along with many great dangles at sunset, we certainly spent a lot of time there. During one visit, Ian was able to photograph some great shark action at sunset when the almost ‘playful’ swim through the fish ended and the serious feeding began. One of Ian’s shots (general meeru discussion/live pictures from meeru) caught 4 sharks and a ray amongst the fish as the fish shot out of the water to escape the danger.

We noticed an increase in heron numbers on the island and they are getting increasingly confident amongst humans. For several years now they have been happy to sit on the weir of the infinity pool and drink but this year we saw them sitting on the just submerged wall in the Jacuzzi end as well as bathing in the deep end or taking in the view from the hand rail of the steps. There was a clear territory war between two of them and most days they saw each other off in an exciting air display over the pool. The sea near the infinity pool is also becoming an increasingly good area to snorkel. Before 2004, the snorkelling was always great behind the 500s but the area suffered following the tsunami. The holes dredged near the honeymoon villas and jetty to the 300s are frequently used for try-dive and snorkelling lessons and it was interesting to see how the coral is beginning to grow on the surfaces created down there. It’s worth swimming under the 300s’ jetty too as the larger fish tend to ‘hang-out’ under there and can often be found in large numbers.

Shihab and the team were involved in making new promotional materials including a video during our middle weekend. The camera team had a remote controlled drone aircraft for taking aerial shots and it looked like great fun to fly. It was used to capture pictures of many things including a double wedding late on the Saturday afternoon. Earlier on the same day they were at the infinity pool and I thought they were going to ask if I would mind getting out of the water for a while but instead they asked if I would mind being filmed. I’m not sure that shots of a middle aged me taking a cocktail from the waiter will do much to encourage young, attractive honeymooners to the island but if I do make the final cut it could be the start of an acting career for me. Ian thought it was very funny as he hid in the shadows!

Finally, I should comment on the other visitors as I know this has been a topic of intense debate on the forum recently. The Brits were there in great numbers although there was a distinct decrease when the Thomson flight left on the Monday. The final flight out was due to leave just after we left so it will be interesting to see what the numbers of Brits will be like in the future and whether the removal of the Thomson flight will make a real difference. Yes there are more Chinese there and they arrive and leave on an almost daily basis as part of their island hopping experience. It was clear when we set foot in the airport building on arrival that there are more Chinese visiting the Maldives in general as there was literature specifically for them to pick up from the passport checking desks. I was unable to read the content but I hope it covers some of the issues raised by other forum members especially to do with marine life conservation. We found the behaviour of the vast majority to be completely acceptable. It was noticeable that the younger visitors tend to have a more ‘westernised’ approach to most things so quickly blend in to the Meeru lifestyle that most of us have got used to. If any behaviour stood out, it tended to be from the older members of the groups and they were fewer in number. We saw plenty of things which we found interesting or amusing. For example, his ‘n’ hers matching swimwear, inflatable buoyancy rings as well as arm bands to bob about in the shallow infinity pool and the most frantic professional photographer I have ever seen. The groups seem to take a professional photographer with them and one newly married couple spent almost their whole stay being photographed in different outfits. The bride even had a pair of 8 “silver stilettos! None of this disturbed our stay and instead it created an added dimension to our people-watching sessions.

All in all, I think this visit to Meeru was one of the best we have ever had. The care and attention we got from the staff was more superb than ever and it has always exceeded our expectations. We have never visited anywhere else where we have been made to feel so welcome and I doubt we ever will. We must now save hard and hope to visit again soon. Prices in school holidays are always a challenge so we are hoping that the increased pressure from the government on parents to not take children out of school during term time will not increase demand too much and hence price us out of the market. Fingers crossed!

Finally, finally, a few more pictures…..
Snorkelling with sharks

Coffeee and cookies (AIP) – some cookies already consumed

food in The Asian Wok

Seating originally inside the bar last year now outside Dhoni

Reception area in the over the water Spa

Heron visiting the infinity pool

Jo (and Ian)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:08 am Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Mar 2013
Posts: 44
Have really enjoyed reading your report this morning.
We are repeating next March, after having a Kuredu bug! Thank you.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:16 am Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 142
Hi Great report and photographs. Only two weeks until we go and this has reassured us that paradise is still just that! Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:23 am Reply with quote
Joined: 13 Apr 2011
Posts: 397
Location: Derbyshire
A brilliant report! I really enjoyed reading it.

It's interesting to see the comment about the worst weather over the past 12 months being in February. It certainly wasn't brilliant in Feb 2013 - we had rain on approximately 50% of the days we were there; fortunately not all day and we still had a great time! Fingers crossed that Feb 2015 will be wall-to-wall sunshine Very Happy


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:16 pm Reply with quote
Ann & Forbes
Joined: 01 Jan 2010
Posts: 271
Location: Jersey
Great report Ian & Jo and we really enjoyed the fantastic photos, thanks so much for posting.
So nice to hear that you had a fantastic time at Meeru. When we were there in February, the currents were really strong in the first week and the water was quite cool but soon heated up by the second week when the currents were calmer. Wall to wall sunshine for the two weeks though and we too had a fabulous time.
Yes, it will be interesting to see what happens with the numbers now that Thompsons have pulled out and lets hope management get the issues with the cultural differences sorted out so that everyone has a fantastic time on Meeru.
Ann Very Happy


Meeru February 2011, 2012 & 2014,
Komandoo October 2016 & 2017
Komandoo December 2018
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:40 pm Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1468
Location: Cumbria
Great synopsis Ian & Jo...loved reading this mini epic trip report Very Happy
Would love to see the new promotional footage from the drone aircraft..really interesting, but I'm guessing this would probably be in house on Meeru rather than on YouTube etc?
Great pics on here and the live from Meeru thread.

Casey Cool

Meeru 08/09, Kuramathi 2010, Vilamendhoo 2011, Maafushivaru 2013/2018
Kandolhu 2014, Seychelles 2016, Mauritius 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:32 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Feb 2014
Posts: 8
Our first time at meeru in just under 6 weeks. Loved reading your holiday blog. Can't wait.
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 9:59 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 326
Belated thanks for your lovely report (been away for a couple of weeks) and photos. Some interesting, and amusing observations, some familiar to us !
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 6:40 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1631
Location: Scotland
Thanks for a lovely trip report and photos, Meeru looks as wonderful as ever sunny

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Ian and Jo's trip report April 2014 
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