The view, a spread of luxurious bungalows suspended a few meters over unbelievalby cyan waters. It was something straight out of a Maldives postcard. Well, except we were there. We were standing on the wooden causeway connecting these to the main beach, admiring the over water lodgings and thinking to ourselves how we really can’t afford these.
|SHADES OF BLUES AND GREENS|
|DOCKING AT THE SUN ISLAND RESORT IN SOUTH ARI ATOLL|
But stay on this resort, we really would not. What we were here at the Sun Island Resort for is a day tour. Let me correct that, a free day tour. Coming from the Holiday Island Resort, we were given complimentary day passes to its sister resort at Nalaguraidhoo Island complete with free roundtrip transfers. Plus, we’re free to stay at the island until late at night too. Quite a deal, eh?
|BIKES ARE RENTED OUT FOR GUESTS|
|WE TOOK THE GOLF CARTS SINCE THEY’RE FREE EVEN FOR DAY TRIPPERS|
Sprawling on a land area of fifty hectares, it is the largest resort in the Maldives. It’s almost four times bigger than Holiday Island, where we were staying, and guests actually need golf carts for going to places within it. Bikes are also provided for, well, except for day trippers like us—we almost accidentaly snatched one, until we realized each one is actually rented out only for real guests within the resort, lol.
|THE SOUTHERN STAR RESTAURANT FLOATS ABOVE THE SEA|
|HEINEKEN BEER AT USD6.00 A BOTTLE|
This four-star resort is so huge, it holds five restaurants—four of them, sitting prettily right by the beach, and one, situated on stilts above the Maldivian sea. You also won’t lack for anything to drink here as they have six bars across the whole island. Of course, the price of alcoholic drinks on Maldives’ resort islands are sky high, but after days and days of no booze, you simply surrender and give them all your money.
|BLUE HOUR AT THE OVER WATER BUNGALOWS OF SUN ISLAND RESORT|
|DEFINITELY TOO EXPENSIVE FOR US|
More importantly, it also has those iconic water bungalows Maldives is famous for. Not that we have the money to stay on one [CHECK ROOM RATES & AVAILABILITY], but it’s enough that we have a few souvenir photos of it. And to complete the experience, that’s where we set up our camp for the day. Or at least, on the beach near it. We unpacked, setting our beach blanket and lining up the sandwiches and noodles we brought with us. And then it was time for a swim.
|FINE WHITE SAND THAT CAN GO HEAD TO HEAD WITH BORACAY|
|THERE’S A SMALL SHARK LEADING THESE SCHOOL OF FISHES|
The island’s sand is as fine and as white as those at Holiday Island and the water is as clear and as azure. It’s the paradise that we imagined Maldives to be. Underwater, we really didn’t find any corals where we swam, but schools of fishes abound—including the usually shy baby black tipped sharks.
|SUN ISLAND’S JETTY AT SUNSET|
|SHARK FEEDING AT THE SUN ISLAND RESORT’S OVER WATER BUNGALOWS|
We spent the whole day celebrating the beach life, alternating between swimming and lounging around the beach. We also watched the shark and manta feeding just after sunset, where hordes of wild six-foot long black tip sharks scramble for chicken meat being thrown by a resort staff.
|SUNSETTING WITH THE GIRLS AT THE SOUTH ARI ATOLL|
It wasn’t until late at night, like 11PM late, before we transferred back to Holiday Island, and then back to Maamigili for a night’s stay at Whale Shark Inn. It was our last night in the Maldives, tomorrow, we ride the ferry back to Male and fly out of the country. It was a fitting end to our Maldivian beach adventure, experiencing the luxury of its island resorts, complementing it with simple local island life in Maamigili.
On our way back, we counted our change, we still have a few more dollars within our budget for the final leg of our Beach Hop Asia!
Sun Island Resort & Spa
Address: Nalaguraidhoo Island, South Ari Atoll, Maldives
Contact Number: (960) 7330-066
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GPS Coordinates Map: 3.483417, 72.802051
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