The Maldives - for many an absolute dream holiday destination! Alone the landing approach over the almost 1,200 islands consisting of coral sand in the middle of the Indian Ocean is breathtaking. White sandy beaches, turquoise blue clear sea, palm trees and tropical weather. But how to choose an island?
In this blogpost we tell you about the Resort Insel Rannalhi in the Maldives! We write about the arrival, the facilities of the resort, the underwater world and generally about our impressions. Even though we personally worked there and did not go on vacation, we can give you helpful information and nice impressions about Rannalhi.
By the way, we shot an island tour video on Rannalhi, you can watch it here (we have english subtitles):
Let's start with a few key facts. Rannalhi is an island about 400 meters long and 150 meters wide in the southwest of the South Malé Atoll. Rannalhi is about 35km away from the main island Malé. The arrival to Rannalhi is by speedboat from Malé airport.
In the airport terminal each resort has its own counter. In this case you go to the counter of the resort chain "Adaaran". There you will find out when the next boat leaves for Rannalhi. As a prerequisite, of course, a booking already made on the island is necessary. Depending on the weather, the sometimes bumpy ride takes about 45 minutes.
At Adaaran Club Rannalhi you have the choice between standard rooms and water bungalows when booking. The standard rooms are in two-story cottages spread throughout the island. You have the choice between first floor rooms with terrace or rooms on the 1st floor with balcony. Unfortunately, we can't say anything about the interior decoration, since we slept in staff accommodations ourselves.
The type of catering on the island of Rannalhi is all-inclusive in buffet form. The main restaurant serves international cuisine in the morning, at noon and in the evening at certain times. Furthermore, you have the option to help yourself to the snack buffet at the bar between meals. Selected alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are also included.
Our personal opinion of the buffet: We found the food super tasty! Sure, food is always a matter of taste. But there is definitely always something for everyone, because it is very international. In the morning it went from pancakes and / or waffles to rolls with different spreads, some hearty dishes, yogurt, cereal, fruit to scrambled eggs, fried eggs or omelettes.
For lunch and dinner there were always different soups, a salad buffet, Indian food, pasta dishes, meat dishes (even with pork), fish dishes, various side dishes and a large dessert buffet with sweet treats & fruits.
In the cocktail bar or directly on the beach there are karaoke evenings, live music or a DJ on different days. So there is always entertainment provided.
The Maldives are of course very popular when it comes to the gigantic underwater world! Therefore, the point "diving" gets later in the blogpost still separately a greater attention. And of course also for the reason that we have worked there as a diving instructor.
If you don't want to go diving, there is another possibility to explore the underwater world. Around the island of Rannalhi there is an offshore house reef where you can snorkel. Equipment for snorkeling can be rented at the water sports center or you can simply bring it yourself. If you want to do snorkeling tours from a boat, you can also book them directly at the Watersports Center.
Of course, there is not only a lot to offer under water, but also on the water. Action-packed activities such as jet skiing or windsurfing can also be booked directly at the Watersports Center on the beach.
Those looking for further relaxation and recreation will definitely find what they are looking for at the Chavana Spa. Various massages and beauty treatments are offered. On some days, there is even a short, free "taster massage" in front of the main restaurant. Unfortunately, we had neither time nor budget for a massage, but we are sure that they are top!
On Rannalhi there are also a few small souvenir stores to bring home a little something for your loved ones. From postcards to various decorative items and jewelry to paintings, you can find everything. Especially cool: The postcards really show the island of Rannalhi!
If you are traveling with children - of which we noticed very little - there is also a playground for the little ones to keep them occupied.
Like most resort islands, Rannalhi has its own island doctor. Fortunately, we ourselves did not have to use his services, so we can not evaluate anything here. However, guests who were sent to the doctor for various minor issues were always satisfied. For larger concerns, however, one would probably prefer to go to the main island of Malé.
Paradise island feeling, that is what every vacationer wishes for in the Maldives.
Rannalhi definitely convinces in this point! A white sandy beach surrounds the island. So you have enough sunbathing area for extensive beach sessions. In contrast to this is the rather lush vegetation on the island. Bushes and palm trees provide shade and privacy at the same time.
In addition, Rannalhi is a barefoot island, meaning that the five pairs of shoes for a normal vacation can confidently stay at home. We have worn our entire time on Rannalhi no shoes!
On the island of Rannalhi there is the dive center of the German dive center chain DivePoint. It catches the eye already upon arrival, as it is located at the arrival jetty in a water bungalow. So the house reef is literally in front of the door!
Offered here is everything from the first try dive, a beginner's course (the Open Water Diver), specialty courses and normal dives. These can be undertaken from the jetty directly on the house reef or from the boat. You can decide if you want to dive in the morning or in the afternoon.
With the boat the most different diving places are approached. Whether channel dives with big fish and stronger currents or relaxed reef dives with turtles and macro creatures. So there is something for all needs.
Here is a selection of creatures that we have seen regularly around Rannalhi: reef sharks, turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, lionfish, moray eels, lobsters, nudibranches, mantis shrimp, ghost pipefish, clownfish in their anemones and of course many other species of fish.
With creatures such as the manta rays, of course, you have to be there at the appropriate season. We were lucky in mid-April and were able to catch the start of the manta ray season.
By the way, on our boat trips we were often accompanied by dolphins, the madness!
What is now a beautiful resort was once a lonely, unspoiled island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The Maldives are dependent on tourism, no question. But what had to suffer is unfortunately the nature! A Maldives vacation can therefore definitely not be declared as sustainable, so much you just have to be aware.
With the guests came of course also the garbage on the islands! The Maldives have an enormous garbage problem. Tons of garbage ends up in the sea. What we could personally witness here on Rannalhi on this subject is unfortunately a sad reality. A boat (so to speak the garbage collection here) is loaded with garbage at the jetty. Things that fall into the water or are blown in by the wind unfortunately remain there. Styrofoam boxes drift away in a short time due to wave and wind, the other garbage simply sinks. However, one could write a separate blog post on this topic.
It should be clear for us only that you should make your Rannalhi vacation as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible for yourself. At best, you take your own garbage like empty cosmetic packaging even just back home.
Finally, we can only say about Rannalhi that we felt super comfortable there and we would have liked to stay there longer. Of course, you have to look at this differentiated, because we were there just for work. But if you feel comfortable working on an island, you will feel comfortable as a tourist.
From a diving point of view, we found the mix of different dives and the diversity of the underwater world super! To the house reef in front of the diving center one must say however quite clearly that unfortunately much is dead. For try dives or for check dives it is optimal, but for all other dives we would recommend to dive from the boat!
If you have any questions about Rannalhi, feel free to drop us a line or ask in the comments below.
You can follow the rest of our trip on Instagram at @divingthisworld !
Tami & Chris