I fell in love with The Maldives when I saw them for the first time from about 30,000 feet from the window of Airbus about 20 years ago. The colours are so beautiful, they make you want to cry … but I do have a tendency to wax over lyrical. My first experience was in a water bungalow on an island then known as Full Moon. More recently, I left my footprints on Bandos in 2010 and Kurumathi in 2011.
Reethi Beach was recommended to us by friends who had been to The Maldives several times and to Reethi three times. The island is 124 km from Male.
We arrived by seaplane transfer from Male (45 minutes – a little longer if you pick up/drop off guests staying at another resort) with two other couples, both of whom had been to Reethi before and indeed at least 80% of our fellow guests we chatted to during our visit had all been there before. For one couple it was their eleventh visit – their children now return with their own families. So, given the amount of repeater guests, Reethi is clearly a hard act to follow.
Whilst off loading our luggage on to the pontoon in the middle of the Indian Ocean waiting to transfer our luggage to the dhoni, a couple who we would later become great friends with during our stay, were hugging each other, crying, they were so pleased to be back.
Reethi Beach is beautifully understated. It is the perfect no news, no shoes escape but everything you could possibly want is ascetically tucked away, very close by 2 artificial grass tennis courts, two fantastic indoor badminton courts and a state of the art gym for starters.
The accommodation is excellent. There are both standard and dulux villas, as well as water bungalows. In total:
34 Reethi Villa
36 Deluxe Villa
30 Water Villa
Total Rooms: 100
We stayed in one of the water bungalows.
All of which have a view to die for. The turquoise Indian Ocean and a couple of uninhabited islands some way off.
you cannot help be seduced by the view.
To be able to access the Indian Ocean from the ample decking of the water bungalows was just fantastic.
On day two of our holiday, a pod of about 60 dolphins swam past whist we were sunbathing on the decking, an experience that would be repeated several times throughout our stay.
The Resort is never less than 90% full and has a capacity of around 112 guests. So book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Like with all paradise Island resorts Reethi tends to attract couples, but families were staying on the Island too.
The food is as good as I have had anywhere in the world. The Rehendhi, is the main buffet restaurant, The Moodhu Bar and Restaurant is open 24 hours a day – which is elegantly perched at the end of a pontoon in the middle of the sea and there is also the Reethi Grill.
The beach at Reethi, despite the constant battle against erosion that all the islands face is fantastic. Especially the wide stretch from the water bungalows to the lagoon opposite the Sunset Bar.
The best we have experienced in The Maldives … the beach that is not the Sunset Bar; although we did spend some very memorable hours there!
As for the House Reef, we had seen many of the fish before on previous visits, but not in such huge numbers. It was a fantastic experience, with bat wings and angel fish swimming right up against your mask. Stingrays and Eagle rays and a 6 foot reef sharks were all in abundance.
I have experienced beach holidays in many parts of the world and in several resorts have been forced to get up at some ungodly hour to secure a sun lounger. Interestingly at Kuramarthi in 2011 they only had chairs on the beach, which were not particularly comfortable. At Reethi they provide each room with its own sunbeds and thatched umbrella on the beach.
The staff, mostly Maldevians and Indians were extremely helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. There are some Europeans on the Management and Reception staff, who are also intent on making sure that your holiday at Reethi will be the best you have ever had.
I am a travel addict. Maybe because by the time I reached my mid-thirties, I had only flown one long haul flight which had been to California when I was 21. Now I just cannot get enough of it. My Bucket List gets longer rather than shorter. I have only ever returned to the same resort twice and that was in Antigua, which is because I always feel I would be missing out on a new experience somewhere else. Reethi was undoubtedly one of the best holiday destinations I have ever been to and very much want to be included on their repeater guest list before too much longer.
As a family, we sewed a seed of an idea last night to return to Reethi in 2016. It makes me cry to think I will have to wait that long, but circumstances and GCSE’s dictate. Whenever we return and we will, I am absolutely sure that when I step on to the Reethi pontoon, I will feel more than just a little emotional to be back.
Please note, there is also a resort island called Reethi Rah which is 40 km from Male. Please do not confuse the two islands. I have never visited Reethi Rah.