Independent
Maldives resort reviews
Equator Village
Great for a budget traveller interested in comfy local Maldives.
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October, 2011
With Colleagues
Dylan Thomas
Great for a budget traveller interested in comfy local Maldives.

I've been in the Maldives for a few months and have seen a variety of resorts, and I have to say that although Equator is nowhere near a Four Seasons or Club Med experience (great service, awesome spa, picturesque beach and pampered bedrooms) it's historical value lends it a unique charm and it is totally suitable for the budget traveller.

Built as British Army barracks several decades back, the place has retained the colonial structure and the design makes you feel like Bing Crosby could be wandering around in khaki shorts and flip-flops. There is a small TV room and an Internet room set up in the lobby , the un-flashiness of which adds to the resort's campy feel.

The food isn't anything to talk about, but as long as you're ok with that you won't find too many reasons to complain. If you have a dairy issue you may want to buy some yogurts and keep them in your room fridge. But there is variety, and options for vegetarians. The food covers both standard western and Maldivian palettes, partly because Maldivian business and army folks do tend to hang around the place on business trips. If you aren't sure about the exclusivity that most resorts offer, be assured that Equator Village's snob level is close to nil.

Service is friendly and casual, and there appear to be enough regular guests that the place develops a comfortable worn energy. The bar area is open, with a ping-pong table and billiards nearby. Plenty of options behind the bar as well.

The rooms are fine, again nothing flashy but most seem to have a fridge, wide bathroom, wide bed, fan and A/C system, and decent lighting. Don't expect beach access, the lodgings were barracks and the British weren't there to sun tan (officially). But it's an easy walk to the beach, which though small is still a beach. Word of caution: bring bug spray. The vegetation on Addu is beautiful, but does come with a cost.

Overall, the place is quiet and laid-back, offers friendly service and standard facilities (fyi, though--wifi is $5/15minutes), and has a neat 50s charm that you won't find at any other inn or resort in the country. With Addu's long roads, it's probably the only place a backpack-style traveler will be able to walk and take in multiple islands without getting on a boat. Bikes are also available for rent, and you could do worse than bike around the atoll. The locals are friendly, and cafes are a good way to get familiar with the local vibe and cuisine. If you can find Addouin food, do--it's supposed to be distinct from northern Maldivian food, and quite tasty.

Addu is also the second place in the country with a live historical village, opening Nov. 2011. Worth a visit--- as Addu's city council has pointed out few islands offer much visible history, but Addu has been able to retain its colonial architecture and the avid culture/history/geography geek will probably get a kick out of tracing the historical ghosts. For a modern fix, check out the convention center, built for SAARC 2011 and the country's largest building to date.

Yes
Business/MICE
Family holiday
Fully independent travel (FIT)
Local/expat visit
Business/MICE
No
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Inhouse reviews by guidebook author Adrian Neville