Dusit Thani Maldives

Oh God. Maldives.

It sucks! Sucks the fact that it’s not gonna be easy to have other vacations. Welcome to the world of the Spoiled By Maldives.

As I wrote it in my previous post: it is paradise. So that is a fact, but can a hotel go even beyond your expectations and make heaven an actual place on earth? Yes. The Dusit Thani did it. And as nature is already perfect, we believe that the cherry on top was the employees, that made us feel as welcome as our grandmothers do when we visit for a Sunday roast.

We get to Mali Airport and are welcomed by a rep, who takes us to another check-in counter that took care of our bags – that process ran smoothly, but nothing glamorous yet – and then we head to a small but comfortable lounge, where we have to wait around one hour for the little jet that will take us to Dusit Thani. The flight isn’t’ included in your stay, but booking it is easily made through the resort’s website.
Flight was deliriously hot. No a/c, and the quaint fan hanging by the cockpit doesn’t do much but to contribute to the peculiar situation. Make sure you wear light clothes and try to get a window seat. The view is the only escape from that little hellish aircraft.

 

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About 25 minutes later, you’ll approach the promised land. Although guests must arrive daily, the event seems to always be unique and special. That is the magical time where you’ll meet the hotel managers and your buttler – yes, I said buttler – and head to the beautiful wooden tent where you’ll be checked in for what might be the best week of your life.
Our butler, Ryaz, was the best. He provided us with whatever we needed in a matter of minutes after our requests. Sometimes it seems he read our minds and offered us things we didnt even know that we wanted to do, like book a special dinner for a special date (it was our honeymoon and wedding anniversary), or suggest in-room breakfast for our last day. He also drove me to the island’s doctor when my skin got a weird rash. Too much sun = guilty as charged.
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Then there was another Ryaz that right on our first night became our best friend: dinner at The Market restaurant; “Spicy Night”, Indian food was amazing but getting to know our waiter was the best part. “Robinho” was his nickname, because he looks exactly like the soccer player. Somehow even in this small detail, they managed to make this Brazilian girl happy.

I swear we are not the kind of couple that looks into making friends when we travel, we are quite reserved. But Robinho was so nice that instantly we wanted to hang out with him.

And that is what makes Dusit Thani exceptionally great on customer service: once you connect with a specific employee, this same person will take care of you until the end of your stay. They will remember your names, your favorite table, your drink of choice, etc.

We got the Pure Indulgence (all-inclusive) package, which includes meals and beverages in all operating restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include room service, but in the end, it didn’t really matter as we were loving to go to the restaurants for all three meals and see all those smiles all around.

About Pure Indulgence add-on: I think it’s worth it if you like having a cocktail or a beer in your hands at all times. We do. Alcoholics travelers = guilty on second count.

And that’s how we met another of our favorites: Casmir. OMG Casmir is the best bartender I ever met. First of all, super nice guy. Then he would mix the greatest cocktails – he actually made us a tower of glasses on fire and we would drink the frozen drink under its wall with a straw. Can you imagine? I mean, I was there and sometimes I can’t even believe it’s true. He did it after we were already loving him, in our second last night. Before that, he entertained us doing magic tricks and just being awesome.

So these three guys we wanted to bring home us: Ryaz (butler), Robinho from Market, and Casmir — our bartender.

But there were so many more people that made our stay memorable.
Another person that captivated our hearts simply for being super nice was Anil, our housekeeper. He surprised us with petals and towel-made flamingos on our bed, but it wasn’t about that. Every time we would see him, he would talk to us in the sweetest way.

We stayed in an Ocean Villa, those that are above the water and with a private infinity pool. I know, right? So fancy and just what the dream calls for. We were rewarded with some of the most beautiful sunsets we have ever seen, and daily dolphins sights.

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Although the over the water villas are the staple for Maldives, we had a sneak peek at the Beach villas and it’s also beautiful.

About the Restaurants

The Market

The biggest one, and it’s where the beautiful breakfast buffet happens daily. Oh yes, here I can’t not mention Atta, the fruit ninja. He knew how to cut all kinds of fruits in the best decorative way. There were so many exotic fruits to try, and he would daily suggest something new. Oh Gosh, what I life we lived there. Obviously the buffet had everything else you can expect, like a great collection of sweet and savory breads, eggs your style, pancakes, and asian hot meals to spice things up. One in a budget could definitely live off the buffet breakfast there. But don’t.

At night the market would have different themed events, like Indian or BBQ or something cheesy but delicious.

Benjarong

The Thai one. It was my favorite for dinner, plus everybody at Benjarong was awesome, Rahul always served us like it was a pleasure to have us there. And the kitchen guys were also always thanking us for coming, making eye contact and smiling all over. Casmir, the best bartender, usually worked at the Sala Bar, right above Benjarong. So we would go for a cocktail, then sit down at a table by the water for dinner.

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Sea Grill

With a more American menu, it was normally our choice for lunch. It’s by the infinity pool so that can be a positive or a negative, depending on how busy this common area is at the time.

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Our routine…

I know one thing that makes people think twice about Maldives is the “what is there to do there” question. Some say it can get boring, as you’re pretty much stuck in a little island for a week. We loved it, but we are a bit like sloths… so I’ll let you decide if this routine is enough for you.

7AM – wake up, have a coffee in the room

8AM – go for a 40 min run, or the gym

9AM – after shower, hop in our bikes to go for breakfast at The Market

11AM – back to the room, for tanning, reading, swimming, sex, etc

2PM – go for lunch, drink by the pool, etc

4PM – go for a snorkeling swim session or SUPs

5PM – back to the room, relax, nap, shower, sex, etc

8PM – drinks with Casmir, then dinner at Benjarong

11PM – sleep!

SO… quite a busy day actually. And then you alternate bars, restaurants, activities. I could have stayed for another couple of weeks! But one or two weeks is probably the best number. Maybe 10 days is perfect?

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Other things I can tell you

Note that the resort wasn’t busy while we were there. Maybe at 50% capacity? Apparently, April/May is low season and rainy season. The weather was still beautiful, with a little tropical rain here and there but mostly sunny and very hot.

Wi-Fi was great at all resort locations if you need to use your phone or laptop.

If you are a runner: the island is tiny. To do my morning 5k I would have to go around it 6 times (following the same bike/golf cart path). There’s no running on the beach (very small stretch).

The gym was small but had everything you need and it was very clean and always empty. We got a kayak (free) and a SUP (US$15 for 1.5h) and actually went around the island on those.

Highly recommend you go to the SPA and get treatment. We did the four hands massage – two women massaging you at the same time. It is a sensory nirvana.

 

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Conclusion

Everything was amazing, but the WOW factor really came from the people. They made us feel special, like we were their favorite people on the island. Perhaps because we were in the Pure Indulgence package and so we were always at the bars and at the restaurants, we became friends with the employees. They actually gave us a Maldives coffee-table book at the end of our stay, claiming that was our prize for being such wonderful guests.

We are still friends with Casmir and Robinho through Facebook. (I know!)

This welcome feeling cannot be beaten.

(And that includes the managers – in spite of being super busy, they would take the time to stop and make conversation.)

Urgh so tell me now how can I stay somewhere else if I ever go back? Dusit Thani is the best. Or is there somewhere else as good? Is everywhere in Maldives a pure indulgence experience?

Let me know if you know? I will keep dreaming

Date of stay: April 2016

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