Tour 2023 Review

Tour 2023

Our 20th Tour and now 116 resorts in the Maldives visited with the following additions:

  1. Dhawa Ihuru
  2. Baglioni
  3. Sun Siyam Vilu Reef
  4. Sun Siyam Iruveli
  5. Ailafushi
  6. Lobigili (day visit)

What struck me most about this visit was the increasingly palpable improvements in the country and the lives of its citizen who welcome us to visit their paradise. Maybe it was the new modern seaplane terminal. Maybe it was the maturing skyline of Hulhumale. But more likely it was the conversations with the Maldivians who shared not just a specifics of their enhanced lives, but did so in a very upbeat and optimistic tone.

The other funny historical shift has been in the disfunctional photographic behaviour of the guests. Years ago we found it curious and a bit sad that we were sitting at the sunset bar sipping our pina coladas surrounded by lots of lonely women abandoned by the SLR-toting husbands and boyfriends who were all clamouring to get the best sunset shot with their nifty point-and-click gadgetry. Now, we saw lots of lonely women wandering the resort with selfie stick in hand posing in all manner. Revenge of the SLR widows onto the new group of IG widowers? This observation is just one aspect of the tectonic shift in photography shaking up the digital content world. I didn’t really use my SLR for most of my shoots as the iPhone is just as good for most pictures where you are not trying to be artistic or need deep of field. Furthermore, I am taking and posting video material for “Best Ofs” than ever before (especially after this trip) which is much easier to shoot on an iPhone than an SLR.

Finally, a 1st world problem finally is being addressed as more resorts are using salt grinders in place of salt shakers which get perennially clogged.

3 Thoughts on “Tour 2023 Review

  1. cherie werner on September 17, 2023 at 7:38 am said:

    Hello Bruce. I have been reading all of your posts…thank you for all of it! I am still a bit lost. We have our flights booked to Male for a 5 day trip for our family of 5 (youngest 17) on Dec 19-24. I already booked Vilamendhoo on Agoda (free cancelation) because of the house reef. Last year we stayed at Emerald Faarafushi, my husband and I and loved it (first time) and that is why we are bringing back the kids. We are definitely splurging for this trip. We probably will not be back. I am looking for an island that has good food, addressed food allergies, has maybe some classes, standing boards or kayaks and great snorkeling. The only reason why I am hesitant on Vilamendhoo is that the cost is still 10,000 for us, and it doesn’t seem to include snorkeling equipment and they said we have to eat on the kid side and use the family pool area as well because our son is 17. Lily Beach has a similar offer (maybe 1500 more) and I am wondering if that place would be better or do you have another place in mind with an amazing house reef. Thank you so much for your time. side note…4 out of 5 of us will not be drinking alcohol.

    • Vilamendhoo is a lovely resort with a brilliant reef. Lily Beach is like the topological sister to Vilamendoo – 5 minutes across the water and virtually identical reef. Lily Beach is sightly higher standard than Vilamendhoo (Vilam has typically been a 4+ star and Lily has always been a solid 5 star). Another property that comes to mind that would seem to tick your boxes is Hideaway Beach.

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