I believe that I need to share this experience to my readers in order for any other traveler who would want to visit this island would be aware of what we went through. That it is possible to encounter these experiences coming from an exclusive resort.
It was our third night in Maldives. We were to stay in FIHALHOHI ISLAND RESORT for 2 nights. We booked 2 rooms. We were a total of 5. We wanted to maximize our overwater bungalow stay without spending too much for 2 nights. What we did is we alternate our stay in the overwater bungalow so that we can still visit and chill there at a lesser cost. — For the first night. two of my cousins stayed in the overwater bungalow with half board meal while me, my brother and his wife stayed in a deluxe room with a full inclusion package. For the second night, we were to exchange rooms. We will be in the overwater bungalow while my 2 other cousins will be in the deluxe room. With that, we can still visit
To have a better understanding about the Fihalhohi package. Fihalhohi offers HALF BOARD meal meaning free buffet breakfast and dinner, drinks not included. FULL BOARD MEAL – free buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, drinks still not included. ALL INCLUSIVE – free buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner with unlimited drinks and unlimited selected alcoholic drinks.
We made a reservation ahead with Fihalhohi Island Resort mainly because of the good feedback about their beaches and in house reef. They are spot on on that. However, what I am about to share to you are some unexpected experiences that we did not even think it would happen. This is our story:
I will labeling each bad experiences by STRIKES. Corresponding to that of a Baseball game.
We arrived at the resort 30 minutes past 12 in the afternoon. A staff greeted us from their jetty port with a warm welcome. Everything went on smoothly at first. We were then escorted in a lounge wherein they served us our welcome drink. While, we had our drink, they let us filled out some forms after which the staff told us that we should already eat our lunch which was included in the package. It was already almost 1:30pm. At first, we tried to negotiate to the staff if we can have our lunch by the next day since we will only have a few minutes left to eat, but the staff declined our request. Honoring that they are just following their regulation, we went to the restaurant and ate.
When we were at the restaurant, we were ushered to our seats. Each guest have their own designated seats and table for the duration of their stay. We went to the buffet area and got some food. By 1:45pm, a waiter approached us. He told us if we wanted more food to be taken out since the buffet will close at 2pm. It was a good thing to do that they informed us ahead so we can get more food which what we did. We got up and collect more food.
It was 2 pm, so the buffet was closed already. Waiters were closing and getting the food from the buffet area. What surprised us is that, a waiter then approached us again telling us with this phrase “Sir, can you hurry up already and be finished?!”.
It was very obvious that we were still eating, and we were actually in a hurry because we are not that insensitive to let them wait for us and aside from that, we were eager to plunge into the beach. Furious at the same time shocked with what he said, I just said, “okay we are finished”, even if there are still a lot of leftovers. That was strike 1.
After that, we went to our room and talked about it for a minutes then let it slide. We do not want to ruin our holiday just because of an unpleasant staff.
We spent the afternoon at the beach. After awhile, I went back into the room and called the reception about their in house activities. Someone answered and told us that there will be a movie that will aired in the lounge about scuba diving at 8pm, and by 9pm there will be stingray and shark feeding. We made our days schedule after hearing the activities. We were excited about the fish feeding.
We roam around the island for a bit and then went to the reception to ask about the venue of the shark and stingray feeding. When we got there and asked the receptionist, the receptionist sounded arrogant when we asked the question, it seems like he does not want to talk to us because he was just chatting with someone in his phone. It seems like he doesn’t want to be disturb and just pointed the board with activities in it, but the board doesn’t show the activity that we were looking for. What made us pissed off is when another foreign couple came (westerners), he was very accommodating and even greeted them with a smile and communicated to them effectively and even put down his phone. We were like, what the? that seemed racist. We were thinking if there’s a difference between their money and ours? It was not good at all. THAT was STRIKE 2!
Night came for dinner, we sat in our table then another waiter approached us again. He impolitely asked if where did the bottle of water came from? And before we could even tell him that it’s from the restaurant, he already told us that outside drinks are not allowed and we need to buy it from them even though
They certainly reached the home run with their services and made our holiday a living nightmare. I have been using superlatives because we really felt neglected and felt different from the rest of the guests.
After the strike 3. We decided to talk with the management about our experience and situation because we already wanted to cut our stay short. But the management apologized to us and reassured that everyone will be treated the same.
With our reports to the management, staffs began to be accommodating, and even the managers always approach us if everything is doing well. We appreciated the gesture, but personally we would not recommend this resort already to my friends. They already tainted us with bad memories. However, it is the discretion of my readers if they will still book this resort.
In Conclusion, the island itself is pure bliss! No doubt about that. Of all the 4 islands that we’ve visited, Fihalhohi Island Resort has the best beach, the best in house reefs and a picturesque overwater bungalow. The only mistake is their service which gave a huge impact to their resort. I hope they’ll train their employees hospitality for a better experience of their guests.
I understand that the management is not perfect and may not be able to manage everyone but I am only basing this through our personal experiences. Everything went well after we escalated all our experiences to the management.