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“Our Best Holiday ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

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Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   South Ari Atoll, 20187   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vilamendhoo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
150 helpful votes 150 helpful votes
“Our Best Holiday ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2011

This was our 3rd visit to the Maldives
This was really the best ever, I would say beyond fantastic
We were in the beach villas which are fantastic but decided to upgrade to Water villas and although we were already having a fantastic time this really was the cherry on the cake.
The food was great,there was a fly problem but the management were dealing with this my husband cannot eat wheat flour so every day the chef would inform him what he could eat, the service from everyone was wonderful.
I would stay again and highly recommend this island to eveyone, It really is paradise and worth every penny, you really do get your moneys worth and more.
We went with Thomson and was really impressed with their service, We ugraded to premium and the service and seating were wonderful and my hsband had his best ever gluten free meal on any flight we have had top marks.
There was not one thing I can complain about, booking, flight, seaplane, accomodation food,reef and the thomson rep were a credit to all concerned

Room Tip: I think that all rooms were great
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Lincoln England
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2011

we stayed in room 131 which was one of the best beach villa. It was fine just the digger out at sea was a bit of a pain. I dont understand why there is a rep on the island because the staff where better at customer services. I must say the staff and the house reef made my holiday.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2011

My husband and i stayed in Vilamendhoo from 12/5/11 - 26/5/11, all i can say is pure paradise, we stayed in 173 beach villa, the room was spotless, food excellent, i strongly recommend it to anyone. Wonderful, best holiday ever, thank you to all the staff for making it brilliant.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

We stayed at Vilamendhoo from the 5th May 2011 to the 19th May 2011.
We booked through Hayes & Jarvis and paid for an upgrade from full board to all inclusive, the upgrade cost just under £900.00 we felt that this really was just a drinks package the only snack available as part of the A/I was a toasted sandwich of cheese, chicken or tuna & a cake that was not very nice. Not being big drinkers I think it would have been better for us to have stuck with the full board option.

Our flights were with thomson airways and inbound & outbound flights left on time, the thomson outbound flight was very uncomfortable, the first choice plane on the way home was much better.
The seaplane terminal is excellent, very efficent all air conditioned showers, towels etc are available if you have the time to use them. Soft drinks and tea & coffee are free.
Ear plugs are available free of charge and I would recommend using them as the seaplanes are very noisy.
We were lucky & waited less than an hour for our transfer which took about 25 mins you are offloaded on to a floating jetty & a boat then transfers you to the Island.

Check in was fairly quick as you are given a form to complete at the seaplane terminal, unfortunately our room was not ready on arrivial & we waited in the bar for about an hour.
We had requested a choice of a few rooms having read past reviews & we were allocated beach villa 126 we were very happy with this room it was away from the jetty which could be noisy ( you could here the seaplanes taking off & landing from this location but you do get used to it). The veiw from this villa is lovely, the beach area has nice soft sand & there are a couple of palm trees for shade.
Their are some works taking place in the middle of the Island in this location we were not troubled by any noise & the area was all screened with bamboo fencing.
On the opposite side of the Island the beach was very poor, & concrete sea walls meant that entering the sea was difficult in some places some villas had hardly any beach & the sand was dirty & gritty. I was told that they are bringing more sand on to that part of the Island. I would have been disappointed to have been allocated a villa on that side & people were complaining.
Our villa was clean & comfortable & had a stocked mini bar some items were included in the A/I. all the furnishings were new & modern. Tea & coffee making facillities are provided. The air con was very efficient and the villa was cleaned twice a day.
Because the Island often overbooks we choose to put our names down for an upgrade that was being offered, in exchange for us spending 2 nights at Ranvelli Village reached by a 10 min boat ride we were given a free upgrade for our last 5 nights to a jacuzzi water villa this was absolutely lovely modern clean & well equiped we were on the sunset side & the views were stunning.
As well as a double jacuzzi they also have a double day bed at the back and sunloungers at the front & a small table.
Take care on the last few steps being wood they get very slimmy and you can easily slip.

For us the food was the biggest let down & the only reason that I have given an average rating, it is not that the food was of a poor quality what was available was well cooked & hot but they have a real fly problem in both restaurants but more so in the Funama. The problem is worse at breakfast & lunch on the first morning flies were happily sat on the bread, the fruit, all the cooked meats etc to me that was a real turn off and I struggled with the food from then on. It really limited the choices of what I could eat. I know that there is probably little they can do about the fly population but I do feel that for the health & safety of their guests they should cover the food. I did mention this to the rep who said she had seen that it was a problem and had mentioned it to management. candles were burning around the food but didn't seem to make much difference.

Snorkeling was excellent even for novices as the house reef is very close, they have made entrance and exit points to the house reef to protect the coral.
I would recommend taking your own snorkle equipment as it is very expensive to buy and hire.
We met Bruno ( the titan trigger fish ) and his brothers on several occasions I fled as fast as my finns would carry me honestly I never thought I would be scared of a fish but after reading all about him I was taking no chances.
If you go & sit outside the Asian wok in the evening you can watch the reef sharks stingrays & other fish drinks there are included in the A/I.
Overall we enjoyed our holiday we did have 5 consecutive days of heavy rain during our stay but no one can do anything about the weather.
Because of the fly problem we would not return to Vilamendhoo as it really spoiled our dinning experience.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2011

We have returned from Vilamendhoo on the 12 of May 2011. My overall impression of the hotel is good. I hope that the hints below will help you to make your choice (sorry for my English – I am not a native speaker):
i. There is an ongoing construction in the middle of the island – as I understood they are re-building the garden rooms. Keep in mind that this is noisy, especially during the mid-day;
ii. There are concrete cutwaters (wave-breakers?) all the way from Reception to Asian Wok Restaurant and from room [178] to Asian Wok, so in some rooms the access to the water is not that convenient;
iii. If you are looking for privacy – this is not the place where you want to go. After my last trip to Maldives I expected to be alone in the beach, or at least to be out of sight for neighbors. Unfortunately, the bungalows are very close one to another and if you go the beach in front of your room you will definitely see your neighbors from both sides. One more thing – the island is located in the middle of the atoll, so you will have somewhat busy life around. Your expectation to see only stars in the sky is not entirely correct – plenty of light on the neighboring islands.
iv. Think twice before taking the room which is close to the reception – there is a runway for a plane (some plains arrive really early) and a shipment dock (the latter is very busy due to the construction works);
v. The best corals (for snorkeling) are along the shore from Diving center to Water Villas and from Water Villas to Room 161. Early morning (7-8:00) is the best time for snorkeling- you can get better visibility and a chance to see something special – I saw 3 Manta Rays while snorkeling early in the morning;
vi. Spa – nice and expensive. I liked the option called [Swedish aroma smth]
vii. Try to go to the Boashi Pool in the evening (say, from 17-00) and you will be able to enjoy huge bats flying over the pool, heron on the palm and some birds which looked like small crows. Please beware of the latter – they always try to steal your cocktail cherry.
viii. Diving – great, although the visibility was note that good. Try whale shark safari. I took 2 whole day trips – first time saw nothing, second time was rewarded – huge manta rays, 5! whale sharks and lots of smaller nice things.
ix. Food – I was completely satisfied;
x. Wine list – was not happy with variety of wines and prices. They also have lots of positions on the stoplist;
xi. The quality of service in the room and restaurant is very good. If you keep constantly tipping your waiter in the restaurant and the room-boy, both will surprise you.
xii. Go to the Asian Wok after dark, take a beer and sit outside – you will see babysharks and rays.
xiii. Do not forget that you can buy a coconut at the main bar. I also had a very nice Pina Colada at Boashi Pool Bar
xiv. Before opting for all-inclusive note that they have only a limited number of beverages and cocktails included. If the option costs you more than USD600 I would advise you to take FB.
Ilya

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
swindon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2011

Been on Vilamendhoo for three days now and thought people coming shortly would like a quick up date
We are in a Beach Vila 181 on the north side just metres away from reef fish every where, Vilas are great very clean and comfy with plenty of hot water .
Food and service is very good put two pounds on already,wine at meal time very good for A/I some of the spirts a bit tasteless
Used the games room a couple of times for darts, pool, snooker and table football.
Some building work going on re Garden rooms but unless you walk past you would not know
Only problem at the moment is the weather not good at the moment with a lot of high winds and rain hopefully this currnt spell we leave us shortly and we end up with some sun
one ship in at moment unloadind breeze blocks but no hassle or noise

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2011

This was our first trip to the Maldives and we did not know what to expect....
After a comfortable BA flight (incidentally, a cheaper package than with Thomsons!) we easily followed the procedures to our seaplane transfer and not long after landed on a small floating jetty in the sea and were picked up by the hotel's Dhoni to be taken to reception.

CHECK IN
We were checked in swiftly. Before proceeding to our room we enquired if our request for a room on the South side of the island had been met (having read reviews on the North side being a bit noisy because of the jetty). Unfortunately all the rooms were full on the South. Before proceeding to our assigned room, as a contingency plan we enquired about upgrading to a jacuzzi water villa. We viewed the Beach Villa on the North and the JWV. The beach villa was small and dark in comparison to the JWV, there was no question of which room to go for. The JWV was spacious with a terrace at the back with the Jacuzzi and two loungers, as well as a front terrace with two loungers with steps leading to the sea. I'd recommend an upgrade for part of your stay, even one night if you can afterall, there aren't many resorts in the world where your room will be IN the sea!

ROOM
We were well pleased with our decision to upgrade and figured we would have had a completely different holiday if we "lived" by the busy jetty for the week. The wet room and double sinks and bedroom / lounge provided us with ample space. The sound system was amazing - don't forget to take your music! Our room was cleaned daily and the Jacuzzi water changed frequently. We didn’t see one mosquito and no bites!

WATERSPORTS
The snorkelling lesson was very good. Kaaloo was very patient and gave me confidence. They will lend you a life vest F.O.C. if you are in the AI plan.
Take your own snorkel set, the charge was US$5 a day to rent flippers and I think $8 to hire together with the goggles/breathing apparatus – glad we took our own as I wouldn’t fancy putting my mouth over where someone else’s has been.

SEA
The sea is stunning and crystal clear. You can walk far out to the reef in the mornings and see the tropical fish, baby sharks and stingrays. We saw a huge octopus from our room, apparently two live under the spa.

SPA
The spa is Balinese and I enjoyed a few massages. Very authentic and relaxing. All the girls are lovely. Always ask for a discount – you don’t ask, you don’t get!

FOOD / DRINK
Having been on numerous AI's and the price paid, we were very disappointed with the restricted AI here.

For AI drinks, the options were basic beer, wine (red or white out of a carton), whisky, vodka, rum and gin. The only cocktail that is included is the "daily special" was always foul. Iced tea and coffee were also included - these were nice (try the iced coffee with a shot of vodka!). Cappuccino’s and Lattes were chargeable. As with "normal" AI's don't expect any afternoon tea and cake.

The snack menu with chips, icecream etc was chargeable. You could order sandwiches throughout the day on the AI plan though. Only four small cans of beer were included in the minibar per day as well as soft drinks. A small bag of cashews was US$5! Tea and coffee making facilities in the room were good.

The dining times provided too short windows and too close from breakfast to lunchtime for our likings. We used the Ahima restaurant. The buffet meals and choices provided were good, although fish curry seemed to feature every day, even at breakfast! The other curries were delicious. We were disappointed with the lack of fresh seafood (prawns, mussels etc) and fresh fruit juices considering we were staying on a tropical island – sorry, smoothies were available but chargeable!!! I was very surprised to see that pork was served up, we don’t expect pork sausages when we visit places like Egypt or Dubai, as much as I love my ham, there’s no need for the hotel to compromise to this extent.

Our waiter Jameel was very attentive and friendly without being intrusive and RanaSinghe was our favourite chef, always cheerful and helpful.


BARS
It was also annoying to always have to quote your room number at the bars even though we were wearing these ridiculously wide white hospital bands on our wrists (indicating we were members of the feed and water me institute). They could have been much narrower and colourful with a holiday vibe as they usually are.

We went to Sunset bar most of the time.

The Bonthi bar was open 24 hours which is great if you can stay up! Service here was seriously lacking. I’d rank it as bar service rather than waiter service. Many times waiters just looked or diverted away when they saw that we wanted to place an order. My husband went up to one of the waiters one evening, who we assume was chatting to a manager as this other person was wearing a beige shirt and when he asked if we could order some drinks, the man in the beige shirt snapped and said “what’s your room number” and proceeded to be engrossed in conversation. So whoever you were on the 10th May night, please be more courteous!

WIFI
Chargeable at $10 an hour (can be used through duration of stay). Good connection in the gift shop.


ENTERTAINMENT
Local show nights are usually the biggest at most world hotels. Here almost all the guests retired to their rooms as soon as the slide show and local's presentation was finished on the Maldivian night. After the presentation the staff do try hard to make the night fun for guests. But the staff drumming and singing old folk songs and dancing didn’t seem to entice guests to join in. Maldivians are very genteel and shy and won’t beckon or drag guests to join in. I think a more colourful synchronised spectacle performed by male and female dancers would be more entertaining with a lively compere. Rather than (in a droning voice) if you don't dance now the singers say this will be their last song, which it was! A few of us got up to give moral support. The compere had the most UNenthusiastic tone ever – he even presented us to board the sunset cruise which was an anti-climax with our one glass of punch. I feel sorry for anyone who paid $25 for the trip.

Other nights, crab racing was fun, (none were harmed in the event!) as we saw number 3 running around for days after on the island! Games night was the theme for another night, where staff v guests in the games room and then guests v staff playing football. Not our idea of entertainment.

I must say, my favourite night was TUESDAY night!!! Disco night! And we must give a shout to Cordelia and Carin, it would have been another rubbish night without you. I wish we met you two lovely ladies earlier in our holiday. You were the life and soul of the night. Lucky there was a group of travel reviewers there that night who increased the numbers on the dance floor. The DJ was excellent, playing the absolute latest tracks and accommodating all requests. It was nice to leave on a high. Any one going to Vilamendhoo, look Cordelia and Carin up, they are so professional, informative and helpful.

STAFF
Generally all the staff were very polite and courteous.

GUESTS
Lovely array of polite quiet guests. Mainly couples, a few European families with extremely well behaved kids.

OVERALL
We had a nice time. Vilamendhoo was really nice and we loved the fact that it felt fresh, new and clean having been through a refurbishment. The sea is beautiful and calm here.

Even though all the hotel was running at 100% capacity at times, it did not feel like it as there was so much space and lots of seating in the bars and restaurants.

TIPS
Don’t forget to take waterproof camera(s)! Lots of sunblock - you'll need it, the sun is extremely hot!

Walk right to the end of the footbridge by the water villas.

If it’s your first trip to the Maldives, no walking out the resort to explore local life here! Don’t expect to do much else other than eat, sleep, drink and various water activities.

Enjoy it! It's a nice quiet resort.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Address: South Ari Atoll, 20187
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Vilamendhoo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vilamendhoo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 184
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vilamendhoo Island Resort, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon, an excellent house reef and long stretches of white, sandy beach, is the only Resort on the island of Vilamendhoo, South Ari Atoll. It is 900 meters long by 250 meters wide, about 55 acres. Your seaplane transfer from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is a scenic, 25 minute flight. 184 Rooms include 30 Jacuzzi Water Villas, 30 Jacuzzi Beach Villas, 111 Beach Villas and 13 Garden Rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vilamendhoo Island Hotel Vilamendhoo
Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Hotel Vilamendhoo Island

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