Brilliant sunshine, miles of fine white sand and turquoise blue waters. Welcome to Passikudah.
Maalu Maalu was the first resort to be developed on the then deserted Kalkudah beach in Passikudah and it quickly became one of the go to places in the area. Its iconic thatched chalets are a distinctive sight on the now more populated coastline.
Maalu Maalu is unique. Dried palm and coconut branches are employed in the design to create the look and feel of a luxurious fishing village (we're aware of the paradox).
However, the interiors aren't particularly spacious. The reception is a small space, the dining room isn’t that big (they use the bar area opposite to accommodate crowds during dining hours sometimes), and the rooms are a bit cramped. Room rates start at Rs.24, 000 per night on full board basis, but increase during high season.
Boutique properties usually have luxuriously large rooms so this was one area we felt was lacking. Smack bang as you walk in is the bed and not much else. Concealed behind a large panel made out of what looked like coconut wood, is a bathroom which is as big as the bedroom itself. It kind of compensated for the rest of the bedroom experience. There’s also a cute little verandah for each room. Ours was a deluxe room, and situated on the lower floor, so you couldn’t see the ocean. But since all you had to do was take a few steps to witness it in all its glory, it didn’t matter. All in all, not spectacular, but nice enough.
The pool is lovely and lit up prettily at night - good for aquatic star gazing. However, the shape of it means that you need to watch out at night as there's a part that extends into the walkway - one gentleman even fell in on the night we were there. A lawsuit waiting to happen.
There are two old boats styled into the pool bar emanating soft ambient music. On Saturdays, they have an outdoor BBQ dinner buffet on the beach which is romantic. Allows for more star gazing too.
All meals were served buffet style, so our plates were the usual mish mash of local and western food - you know, the bread buns with the salads with the biriyani. Everything was tasty (except the desserts, which were sub par). The seafood and meat dishes were excellent: batter fried fish, seafood kebabs, and the lamb and pork chops. When you see these, serve extra. The local northeastern fare was also very well prepared, and was an inclusion unique to this part of the country.
The hotel staff were pleasant, although you get the feeling that they don’t really understand what you’re saying sometimes. Which is probably why it was difficult to get good service during the crowded dining hours. Room service was prompt. The Manager, a young cheerful fellow, was helpful and friendly. For example, after arranging our snorkeling trip, he came to greet us at the beach upon our return to make sure everything had gone off well. Overall, they generally stay out of the way and mind their own business. It helps create a sense of security and privacy.
Rest, relaxation and serenity are definitely the keywords of a vacation courtesy Maalu Maalu. The best part about this resort is that nothing gets in the way of your view, since all the development is condensed into small spaces, so you can really feel the vastness of it all, be it the sky or the ocean. Which is pretty amazing.
If you are staying in a deluxe room and want a view of the ocean, ask for a room on the top deck. And do go snorkeling.