A Flight Attendant Blog/Review ~ Finolhu Maldives, Baa Atoll

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Hi! I am Kimberly Atkins.

I just got back from a DREAM trip to the Maldives.

You can book the same trip at special airline/travel agency employee All Inclusive rates at the bottom of this Blog/Review or by Clicking Here

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We talked about how amazing it would be to take a surf trip to a country composed of a 26 Atoll chains, whose average elevation is just 1.5 meters above sea level!

I've dreamed of going here since High School. 

My best friend and I bought matching sea shell rings that looked like Maldivian islands from space.

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While I didn’t have the chance to surf on this trip, I DID get to bask in all that Maldivian beauty and experience some truly incredible places!

Read on to find out more about my stay in the breathtaking Finholu Resort.  

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You can book the same trip as me by clicking on the link below!

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The journey

When I think of the most distant and exotic place on the planet from where I live in California, one particular island chain always comes to mind.  

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In the middle of the Indian Ocean lies 1,192 coral islands with white sand beaches, coral reefs teeming with life, and water every shade of turquoise and blue the human eye can register: The Maldives.  

Since the Maldives are literally on the other side of the planet from our home in Redondo Beach, California, my husband and I decided to make our trip to the Maldives a trip around the world.  

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We started flying east and hit a few amazing stops on our way. We stoped in Rome, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi before catching the Etihad Airways red eye to Velana International airport in Malé, the capital of the Maldives. 

Upon arriving in the Maldives, we were greeted by a fairly simple and quick customs and immigration experience. ​Since every resort in the Maldives is on its own Island, and you have to organize transportation to that island. ​

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This is definitely a place where you need to book your trip in advance and notify your hotel of which flights you are taking.  

If your flight is delayed, they’ll be able to track it, and if you’re living the “Non Rev” life flying standby like we do, just email your resort as soon as you know you won’t be getting on your planned flight. 

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Hot Tip: Alcohol in the Maldives

When planning a trip, take note that alcohol is prohibited to be taken into The Maldives, but dont worry it is served readily at the resorts! 

So when visiting, don’t pick up any libations from Duty Free before heading to tropical paradise, and don’t try to make any attempts to bring it in with you. Your resort will have everything you need, and many offer all inclusive options.

Since its a destination that most people book in advance, Ive noticed that the loads don’t jump dramatically like they do for other vacation destinations like Mexico, Hawaii, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

That being said, keep an eye on your flights in the days leading up and make sure you’ve got a back up.  

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/_assets/Mk1KTXAyazZVZDRreC95ak1Lcm1hZz09Finolhu Maldives, Baa Atoll

When you think of paradise, palm trees, turquoise water, and white sand beaches usually come to mind. 

​Now take that image and add a few classic VW vans, a kitschy 70’s throwback around every turn, and a resort that was literally designed around the idea of letting go and having fun.  

 ​Throw in an incredible bubble tent on a private strip of sand where you can sleep in comfort as you enjoy a sweeping view of the ocean and the stars, and you’ve got the Finolu Maldives in the Baa Atoll.

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The flight of a lifetime

Since the Baa Atoll is about 80 miles from Male, a sea plane is your way to the island.​

As you wait for your flight in their private “Tommy Bahama-esque” departure lounge, enjoy a view of the sea plane hangar, flip through Conde Nast traveler, and enjoy some coffee and snacks.

When its time to board your flight, you will be swept over to your “gate” which is a room on the dock where you get to watch the super cute Trans Maldivian Airways safety demo.  

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Now I have to say, this was definitely one of THE coolest plane rides of my entire life.  ​ 

Your flight attendant will act as both flight attendant, and skipper, opening the hatch and hopping in and out of the plane (while its moving across the water) to dock it as well as tie up the ropes before take off. 

 I got a kick out of the fact that both our flight attendants and our pilots get to work barefoot! As you take off out of MLE take in the gorgeous views of the islands from above.

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Enjoy the view as you board your incredibly cool boat plane to paradise! 

At Male’s Velana International Airport we met the Finolhu representative just outside of the arrivals area. They will escort you to the Trans Maldivian Airways counter where you will be checked in for your inter island sea plane flight to Finolhu.  

A sea plane ride is worth it just to catch a glimpse of that classic perspective of the Maldives that so many of us imagine: rings of coral reef and islands in 50 shades of beautiful blue.

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The flight is only about 40 min, and before you know it you will be descending over a crescent shaped paradise that will be your home for the next few days.

After checking our bags, we were transported over to the sea plane terminal (which was super cool for this flight attendant), and Finolhu’s beautiful departure lounge.  

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As a flight attendant and aviation nerd, all of this was seriously an incredible experience for me and I loved every second of it!  I mean, come on, its a plane AND a boat all in one… what is there NOT to love?!?!?!  

When our seaplane was docked, we were greeted with smiles and refreshing cool towels, and our resort guide Mauricio. We checked in with a fresh lemongrass coconut mocktail, and then we were off on our golf cart tour of the island with our guide Mauricio.  

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#Born To Play

The first thing you will notice about Finolhu (other than the giant stretch of pristine white sand beach) is that the energy is high, the vibe is groovy, and there is always something going on.  

The islands throw back to the 70’s theme comes across in many of their details, modifying it of course to include modern conveniences.

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The second thing you’ll notice about Finolhu, is that island time is REAL.  

Seriously, in order to maximize the daylight hours and make sea plane connections work better, the island literally is on a different time zone than the rest of the Maldives.

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This makes the sunset a couple hours later, and helps you enjoy the daylight just a little bit more. Your resort guide will let you know what time to set your watch to, when we were there, the island was on Bangkok time.  

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“Sleep and Chill” in The Villas

Whether you want an over water villa, over water pool villa, beach villa, or private pool villa the Finolhu has it all. We went with the private pool villa. 

No matter what room you choose, rest assured you’ll have all the tropical island vibes, with a few vintage throw backs like a 70’s style Marshall speaker (with bluetooth). 

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The indoor outdoor living style gives you a plush comfortable bedroom with all the amenities, multiple outdoor showers to choose from, and all the modern amenities you desire.

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We loved having a private pool to jump in early in the morning or in the evening before bed when the tide was too low to access the ocean in front of our room.

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Beach bubble tent - wow!

The show stopper at the Finolhu is their one of a kind beach bubble tent.  

This bubble tent was all over my instagram feed way before I even knew it was at the Finolhu, so I was SO excited to have the opportunity to experience it. 

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Be sure to book a night in the bubble ASAP because it books up fast! 

The bubble lies at the end of the island, in a very private area that is actually blocked off for the bubble guests by a security guard stationed up the beach.  

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You are served a dinner on the beach cooked by your own private chef, under the stars of the Maldivian sky. 

 The bubble tent has all the amenities you’re looking for. A/C, a private shower, a plush king sized bed, and coffee and tea.  Just hop on the boat on the main dock near the dive shop, and take it to the end of the island. 

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Graze and Groove ~ Restaurants and Bars

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"Fish & Crab Shack might just be my favorite restaurant IN THE WORLD"

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 The fish and crab shack is located near the end of the 1km sand bank (one of the longest beaches in the Maldives). You can either walk down the beach, or hop on the complementary boat from the sea plane pier. You’ll enjoy a stellar seafood lunch on the sand, with super cute beach bar, smooth tuned from the live DJ, and a jaw dropping view.

The seafood truffle pasta was out of this world, as was the grilled lobster, and if you’re a seafood lover you HAVE to try the seafood sampler platter for two.  After you eat, enjoy the beach chairs and loungers next to the restaurant and enjoy your escape on the end of the island.  Open daily for lunch 1-5pm, reservation require​​

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Baa Baa Beach Diner
This is your go to breakfast spot. Expect a giant breakfast buffet complete with egg station, international cusising, and a “Keto Corner.” The Baa Baa beach Diner has a full bar, an incredible selection of wines, and pulls out all the stops for their buffets for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Check your weekly resort calendar to see what international cuisine will be featured at the dinner buffet that evening.

You can have a pool or ocean view (or both) or even opt to eat with your feet in the sand.

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Milk Bar
This retro food truck turned healthy cafe offers everything from chocolate and ice cream to protein shakes and açai bowls. Fresh brewed coffee, wine and beer are also available. Since professional athletes love to come train at Finolhu, the milk bar offers the opportunity to have your daily super food protein shake while on the island.

1 OAK Beach Club
Enjoy a cocktail at the swim up bar, on the beach, or in the lively pool side lounge. Acrobats, fire dancers, aerial silk performers and mermaids are a staple at the 1 OAK Beach Club, along with live music and DJ’s.  There is a shisha menu available, and always something going on here at the heart of the Finolhu.  There a game room and a gorgeous second story deck over the pool that turns into an illuminated waterfall at night. 

Be sure to check out the view from upstairs!  

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Kanusan
Located on an over water deck with panoramic Indian Ocean views, this Asian Fusion restaurant is dazzling. Ask for one of the tables on the edge of the deck, and enjoy the view of the fish and sharks swimming on the illuminated reef below you.

We loved the fried soft-shell crab, ahi tuna tar tare, and whole grilled reef fish. Open nightly for dinner, Reservation required

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This is a lunch date to remember. 

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Baa Haa Grill
This Middle Eastern and North African inspired restaurant offers mezze plates, grilled meats and fish, stunning deserts, and hand crafted cocktails. Dine on the sand, or in the open air dining room. The selection of wines was incredible and went great with our mezze platter and grilled lamb and fish.  

To ensure your grille meats stay warm as you eat, they are brought to the table on an impressive mini charcoal grill. Be sure to try one of the many incredible deserts! Our favorites were the grilled fig and pistachio baklava. 
Open daily for dinner, Reservation required

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The Cove Club - Spa and Fitness

If you’re looking for an indoor/outdoor gym to stay fit while traveling, a yoga class, or personal training, you’ll be able to find it all here. Enjoy an ocean view workout or head over to the spa for a relaxing treatment or massage.  

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Since this was a three week long trip around the world for us, we experienced the “jet lag” spa package. It included refreshing and rejuvenating herbal teas, a soothing full body stretch, and an incredible relaxing massage. 

 Each treatment room is named after a 70’s diva! 

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Enjoy the steam room and sauna, or book number of massage or beauty treatments including mens barber services, a full salon and nail bar. 

Have a solo treatment or enjoy a couples massage with your significant other.  

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Activities

Enjoy the entertainment by the pool or create your own fun with a game of beach volleyball, ping pong, or any number of complementary non motorized water sports like Stand up Paddle boarding and kayaking. 

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For the kids, the Oceaneers Club always has a fun (and supervised) activity going on.

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Be sure to check out the water sports booth, and don’t forget to stop by the Dive Shop! 

Pick up your complementary snorkel gear and fins for your stay on the island and look at booking a snorkel or dive tour of one of the local reefs. 

The Baa Atoll has some of the richest sea life in the Maldives, officially declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.  ​​

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Farewell Maldives

Theres one thing for certain when it comes to the Maldives, when it’s time for you to leave, you won’t want to go.  

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We had the perfect departure when it came time to go. A sunset seaplane ride back to Malé let us take in the beauty of the blue atolls one more time.

We enjoyed every moment of our stay at Finolhu, and the employees at the resort went above and beyond to make it even better.  

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For now, its time to go, but I can wholeheartedly say that after you’ve experienced the magic of the Maldives, you will most definitely be back.

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These islands are truly a unique and breathtaking paradise

You can book the same All Inclsuive deal as me by clicking here

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