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Alison Westwood

What Kind Of Island Holiday Are You On?

1. When you arrive…
a. You're shown a patch of jungle and told to build your own hut using only the available materials.
b. You wait at reception for about half an hour. When someone finally hands you your key, you lug your bags up five flights of stairs because the elevator is broken.
c. You step off a seaplane onto the jetty of a private island, where a smiling woman hands you a cool facecloth and a glass of refreshing homemade lemonade. Your bags are whisked off as you're led to a soft, inviting couch overlooking a pristine palm-fringed beach.

2. In your room, you find…

a. A baby scorpion, a pile of dry palm fronds and a plastic bucket. You'll just have to use your sarong as a bed sheet.
b. Twin beds (you asked for a double) both sagging in the middle. In the avocado green bathroom is a small cake of soap and a thin, scratchy towel. The view is of another apartment block, with a small corner of sea visible on the far right.
c. A king-sized bed with snowy white sheets wafted by air conditioning. There's a plasma TV and minibar fridge hidden in a dark wood cabinet. Your bathroom is set in a private garden, with two showers, a bath and a pile of thick towels. The gels, shampoos and lotions smell deliciously of mint. A sliding door leads onto a secluded patio with two loungers shaded by a flowering tree. Beneath the arch of its branches are a white sand beach and the glittering sea.

3. For dinner tonight it's…
a. A small fish you caught yourself after spending four hours in the blazing sun hunched on a rock with a pointed stick.
b. Beef curry and rice, coleslaw, bread rolls (only slightly stale) and jelly trifle with tinned fruit. For the second time this week.
c. Fresh salmon and tuna sushi and an assortment of incredible Asian cuisine. Yesterday you discovered Turkish food and tomorrow night there'll be all sorts of American specialties. Your only problem is trying not to go back for thirds of dessert each night - but how do you choose between cassis ice cream, hazelnut crème brulee and crepes?

4. On a typical day you'll…
a. Walk a kilometre with your bucket to find fresh drinking water, squabble over who gets to eat the leftover semi-raw fish from last night, then spend a relaxing afternoon combing the lice out of your hair.
b. Elbow your way past 13 000 overweight foreigners to find a spot to spread your towel on the beach. You decide not to swim because you saw something dodgy floating in the water.
c. Wake up to the sound of soft waves breaking on the beach outside your door. Go for a snorkel or a scuba dive on the nearby coral reef. You swam with a whale shark yesterday and today you'll probably see some turtles. Soak up some sunshine on your lounger after a long, leisurely lunch before heading out for sundowners at the beach bar beside the rim-flow pool.

5. Your Facebook status reads…
a. 'Does anyone know what it means when your whole body is covered in red lumps? Should I be worried?'
b. 'Went to another bar last night. Very bored so drank too much tequila. Think I may have snogged the fat guy from the souvenir stand.'
C. 'Went for a surprise outing on a jet ski this afternoon and swam with manta rays!'


Mostly As: You are participating in a reality TV show. Your best option is to get voted off the island as soon as possible.

Mostly Bs: You're at an average island holiday resort. Next time you'll ask the travel agent to be a little more specific about what she means by 'luxury' and 'idyllic'.

All Cs:
You're at Diva Resort in the Maldives and you're one very happy holidaymaker indeed.

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Find out more about Diva Resort here.

Author: Alison Westwood
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