FINOLHU BAA ATOLL
Before You Go
In June my family and I visited Finolhu Baa Atoll in the Maldives for the second time. After loving our first stay there we had to go back. Finolhu Maldives is the first of its kind in the Maldives. It has pristine beaches, turquoise lagoons but is a Maldivian Island with a wonderful retro twist. This 'groovy island' has managed to balance retro chic with island luxury. It is located in the Baa Atoll which is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. It has its own 1.8 kilometer sandbar which makes it a little different to other islands in the area as well. The staff are friendly, always smiling and very welcoming. Finolhu is ideal for families who don't want to compromise on a luxury island resort. On our return this year we got treated to our own buggy which I thoroughly enjoyed driving around the island.
Here are some photos from that trip.
Finolhu, Maldives is a great resort for both couples and families. However a few times a year the island transforms into a bit of a party island. The multi day extravaganza normally goes on for about 3 days. The rest of the year it is like most islands in the Maldives where the sound of waves are the loudest sounds around.
If you prefer it quieter like I do, contact the island so you can steer clear of those dates.
It is always best to plan ahead and book your activities, spas and dinners. For example if you plan to any boat trips for snorkeling, diving or fishing while at Finolhu it would be best to contact the dive centre and book your dives before you get there. I personally book private excursions and dives and if you prefer to do the same it would be best to book in advance.
Go through the spa menu and book your treatment ahead of time to get the time slot you like.
If villa privacy is a priority communicate it with the travel agent or resort. My personal favourite villa category on the island is the Rock Star Two Bedroom Ocean Pool villa. Villa 888 and 808 are both very private.
Upon arrival you are taken to Finolhu's lounge at the seaplane terminal where refreshments and light snacks are available. Check in is taken care of before you board the seaplane flight.
The resort is located in Baa Atoll and is a short 30-minute seaplane flight from Velana International airport in Male
CHECK IN/ CHECK OUT
Although check in time is 3 PM
most resorts in the Maldives have your room ready for you as soon as you arrive (I have always arrived on the islands at around 10:30 /11am).
Check out time is 12 PM
If you need to check out later communicate this with the resort prior to arrival.
The resort has a total of 125 villas.
Villa categories include:
Lagoon Villas, Ocean Pool Villas, Beach Villas, Beach Pool Villas,
Two-Bedroom Water Villa with pool,
Two-Bedroom Beach Villa with Pool,
Two Bedroom Rock Star Ocean Pool Villa
I have stayed in two bedroom Rock Star Ocean Pool Villa #888 twice and I love it! The villa is set right at the end of the jetty and very private. The lagoon in front of the villa is crystal clear and the sea here is mostly calm even during the monsoon season.
Breakfast is served at 'Baa Baa Beach Diner', a lovely setting right on the beach. There are some great breakfast choices.
I love going for a stroll after breakfast or lying on one of the many beach hammocks under the tall palm trees.
One option for lunch would be '1 Oak Beach Club'. You can eat by the pool or upstairs in the lounge area where the kids can enjoy a game of Fusbol or play 'Pac Man' on the arcade machine. You have the choice of eating indoors where it is air conditioned or outdoors on the first floor balcony. where the view is breathtaking.
There's also a cinema which kids or teens might enjoy.
'Fish and Crab Shack' has to be my favourite place to have lunch on the island and I'm not even a seafood eater. A short speedboat ride away or a 1 km walk along the sandbar, this hut like restaurant serves some great food. Crab and prawn tacos were a repeat order for my family!
If you're planning to go for an early lunch it would be best to take the speedboat there as the midday sun can get really hot.
You can always opt to walk back after lunch. I have to give a special mention to the set up. Dining in comfort surrounded by the sound of waves in somewhat seclusion; It is just the perfect Island holiday combo, and its right there on the resort.
For dinner an option would be 'Baa Haa Grill' for some mouthwatering North African Food. Absolutely loved their 'Mezze 24' which is delicious assortment of dips served with toasted pita.
If you're craving something Oriental head to 'Kanusan'. Request a table on the lower deck if you want to enjoy the sea breeze as you dine.
No luxury island is complete without its own snack bar and 'Milk Bar' has it all. It is perfectly located right next to the Fitness Centre and 'Movement Pavilion'. Refuel with a protein shake or cool down with an ice cream. You can also try a light snack or a get your caffeine fix.
Loved the Bullet Proof Coffee.
Oceaneer's Kid's Club
'Thunderball' Water Sports Centre
'The Cove Club' Spa and Salon
Gym (outdoor and indoor)
Yoga and movement pavilion
'Hub' Dive Centre
What I loved
I would have to say the service was outstanding. Everyone on the island went above and beyond.
The private buggy has to get a special mention. It was ready for us when we arrived on the island with our family name on the license plate. I just loved driving it. It was great to just get up and go from our villa which was right at the end of the jetty.
Island Bonus Rating
The expansive villa deck comes with its own 8m fresh water swimming pool, four lounge chairs, a swing and outdoor dining area with uninterrupted views of the crystal-clear lagoon.
The food at Finolhu is great no matter where you eat. I have to give a special mention to the Fish and Crab Shack for food and setting.
The view from the upper floor balcony at the1 Oak Beach club is not to be missed. Dine outside while enjoying views of swaying palms, blue lagoons and a sandbar that goes all the way into the distance. It is picture perfect.
Island's Photogenic Rating
A huge shout-out to everyone at 'Hub' I had two great dives here. The staff are attentive, informative and the dives were amazing. A videographer can also come along on the dive and make a memorable video of your dive.
Dive Centre Rating
Beautiful design, great treatments!