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Dive Review of SUb Aqua DIve Center in
Maldives/south ari atoll

SUb Aqua DIve Center, Mar, 2009,

by Tom Kelly, s, usa (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 4686.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Spent a week at the Conrad Rangali Island in the Maldives during March 2009. Takes two day from Columbia, SC- leave on Tuesday arrive in Male same time- 2 days later. Flew on Delta from Atlanta to Dubai (16 hr flight) then on Emirates Air to Male (5hrs). Take sea plane 90 km (1hr) to Rangali Island. The Conrad resort is composed of two islands. The larger island (Main) has the 100 and 200 numbered rooms all beach villas about $850 a night not including taxes. The smaller island has all the 300 numbered villas. This island has the over water villas and over water spa. These rooms start at $1200 a night not including taxes. The two islands are connected by a bridge (a 20min Walk) or by a Dhoni (boat) that continually runs back and forth between the two islands. Both islands have their own reception area, store, spa, and restaurants.
A tube sun tan oil is $25-30 U.S, a beer is $10-15 US and mixed drinks are $18 U.S, $9 US for bottle water, so bring everything, I had no trouble bringing my favorite bottles of Medicinal Alcoholic libations in my suitcase. You can buy souvenirs at Airport in Male, the Maldives air taxi has souvenir booth next to the Conrad airport lounge that was really reasonable.
We were in room 332 a superior over water villa with Jacuzzi. I thought we could snorkel under the villa like we did in the Tahitian Islands; but no, mostly sand some stage horn coral with few small fish and only 2 and half feet of water under your villa. When the tide goes out two times daily there is only a couple inches of water under you’re over water villa. If you weren't careful you could get stranded out in shallow water during a low tide.
If I had to change I would stay in a Deluxe Beach villa 217-239 because of the constant ocean breeze and being next to the house reef. These people just walk out to a pristine reef with World Class Snorkeling. The villas 313-348 get no wind/breeze and are hot, real hot. The best water villas are 301-312 and get a lot of breeze and are on deep water. Consult the Conrad map; I think you'll see what I mean. Of course the sunset and spa villas got a lot of breeze but a twice the coast. I'd stay in a deluxe beach villa.
In our opinion the sunset grill restaurant was the best for the price and view. All fish fresh that day. All soups and appetizers made from scratch as you ordered it- amazing ($200 US per couple) no drinks. Ithaa restaurant is $900 US per couple with wine. So go for cocktails 11am-12 noon (“cocktails” means 1 glass of champagne per person for $160 US)
Make sure breakfast at the Atoll Restaurant is included in your rate. We ate here everyday at 10:50am. Technically the Atoll closes at 11am but they accommodated late risers. The food was great. Eat enough and skip that $125 lunch (per couple). You knew breakfast was over at the Atoll because they took all serving spoons off the entrees. We snorkeled every morning on the house reef and would just make brunch/breakfast at 10:50am. One of the best deals is room service. The first couple of nights we'd awake at 2-3 am order room service and he'd be there in no less than 15 minutes with lots of food for about $60 US.
If you are staying in a 300 numbered room the happy hour at Vilu bar is free from 5 pm to 6pm. This only applies to the particular drink for that day. If the drink of the day is a "Pearl Harbor" you can have a dozen of these but a different happy hour drink is $18 US. SO only one drink was really free at happy hour. Everyday there was different free libation.
Scuba diving was good but I don‘t I think I could say it was great. You had to take an "orientation dive “on your first full day to show your skills causing you to lose a diving day. This included taking your mask completely off in 30 plus feet of water. If you didn't do this you wouldn't be diving. This applied to instructors (me) as well as beginners. A one tank morning dive started at 8:40am returned at 12:30 pm. sometimes the dive didn't return till 1:15pm the afternoon dive departed 2:40 and returned 5:15pm. On Thursday was a three tank dive left 8:40am - returned 5:15pm-all day. One tank dives took almost four hours, just a lot of time. This is probably because the dive sites are a long way away. The dive boat(dohni) can be slow with 16-18 people. The divers are divided up into 4-5 groups dropped off and picked in their separate groups. The groups are spread out all over the reef. It takes a lot of time picking up and dropping off these separated groups. It just seemed to me we could have done two dives in the same time allotted. Went to Manta point three times didn’t see a Manta. The dive boat has a toilet but no camera bucket. Water, coffee, snacks, towels, are given out after the dive. The service was great, just slow.
Last couple of thoughts: I was told they would leave only 1.5 liters of bottles of water in the room daily. they desalinate and bottle their own water-now. I had no trouble getting 3-4 bottles of water daily from the maid. If you tell them you are on your Honeymoon you will get some additional perks so keep it in mind. No need to add a tip it’s included in all checks. Villa voltage is 240 .No rain. NO mosquitoes.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, palau, Balinese islands, all Tahiti, Fiji, Maui , all the Caribbean,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-79°F / 27-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100-150 Ft/ 30-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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