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Sri Lanka tour and Maldives recommendations/Kuoni

Sri Lanka tour and Maldives recommendations/Kuoni
  We're off to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in November for 2 weeks (can't wait!).
We're looking to go with Kuoni, has anyone got an experience of travelling with them?
Also, what are the main/best things to do in Sri Lanka, ideally I want to see some elephant orphanges and the best archaeological sites (for my inner geek), is it a good idea to take an organised tour?
Finally, the Maldives look amazing but i'm a bit bewildered as to which island to go for, are they all different or much the same?
Any recommendations or tips would be fantastic, i'm open to all suggestions.
Cheers,
MM


Answers:

Hi Madam Muck,
I can't help you too much with Sri Lanka but we travelled to the Maldives 3 weeks ago with Kuoni and have had about 3 holidays with them.
I have found that although Kuoni can be pricey they are very well organised. I have booked all three holidays over the internet with no problems at all. When arriving at the destinations we were always met by friendly representatives who were expecting us and transfers were always very smooth. I would highly recommend travelling with them.
We have been to two different islands in the Maldives, the first one we went to was White Sands. This was a last minute deal for us and so we were in a standard room with half board. It was a very nice place, beaches were lovely and the whole time we spent there was extremely relaxing.
The last holiday we had we stayed at Angsana Ihuru Spa Resort. This was a bit more upmarket, the rooms more luxurious. The reef was literally metres from the shore which was just outside our room and we could go snorkelling very easily.
There can be a significant difference between the islands with regards to room luxuries and such, but the islands themselves tend to be very similar.
My advice would be to look at the islands on the Kuoni website, if you see ones you like the look of use Google to see if they have their own websites to get more info. Also try using TripAdvisor.com, there are reviews of lots of the islands written by people who have holidayed there which will give you an idea as to what people think of them.
Hope that helps, and hope you have a FAB time! :)
Sal


Answers:

Thanks so much for the quick response!
Good to know Kuoni are good because I really fancy using them - I've found the Trailfinders brochure very confusing and also pretty pricey.
Thanks for the tip on picking the accomodation, we fancy something pretty luxurious so will choose carefully.
We have looked at the White Sands actually but then looked at the Taj Exotica........yum!
Cheers again:)
MM


Answers:

It's many years since I went, but I did do a two centre holiday with the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The Maldives island was Hhuduveli (sp?) which was beautiful, but I guess pretty basic.
In Sri Lanka there is a well known elephant orphanage which I can't remember the exact name of but starts with a P (something like Pinewalha) which has a lot of trips goes there and is well worky a visit. I'd also recommend a trip to Kandy for the temples etc


Answers:

Ive stayed at the Taj Exotica and Meerunfenfushi which I think are about the top and bottom of the scale. Both times we upgraded to a water bungalow which was well worth doing.
To be frank the Maldives are so goddamn beautiful that it doesnt matter where you stay! Last time I went I cried on the last day as I couldnt bear to leave.
There isnt much to do on the Maldives unless you are into diving (which I am) but it is the most lovely place to chill and do absolutely nothing. I would go back in a heartbeat but Bf insists we go somewhere else this year.
One thing I would say though is the transfer from Male to your atoll can be a bit of a nightmare as it is all by boat (and not a swanky one) and depending on where you are staying it can be as much as two and a half hours long. If you get the option of transferring by sea plane then definitely do it.
Both times we went with Hayes & Jarvis and they were great.





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