After looking at various places in the world to go on our honeymoon, my Husband and I settled on the Maldives. It was a long task checking which resort was right for us, with a bit of ‘honeymoon luxury’ aswell as being ‘the real Maldives getaway’. We finally settled on Vilu reef mainly due to the resort facilities and reviews on trip advisor.
We flew with First choice who I must say have been outstanding with any problems we had (more of that later!). It was a 10 hr 30 min journey from London Gatwick. We upgraded to premium as it was a special occasion and I had never flown that far before.
We arrived at a sunny, hot, 30 degree male at 9am local time. Sorting out our transfer was easy and very slick. Once we gave our cases to the seaplane stand outside the airport, we didn’t see them again till we were on our boat going to the island. A bus takes you to the sea plane terminal. This is an air conditioned bus by the way! The seaplane journey is pleasant enough, albeit a bit loud so take the free earplugs they offer you! The seaplane journey takes about 40minutes and made one stop off at another island before taking us right over vilu reef for pictures and the most amazing view! We landed by a raft type thing in the sea where we boarded the Dhoni boat to the island.
We were greeted at Vilu reef with a man playing a drum as we walked down the jetty, then a beautiful hibiscus necklace and warm watery coconut drink. Wasn’t to my taste but the gesture spoke volumes. One of the staff sat us down in the bar to go through everything about the excursions, upgrades etc which I personally thought was very long and unnecessary. After a very long journey I just wanted to relax in our villa.
We were upgraded to a water villa from a garden room due to our honeymoon. I’m not sure I’d pay the extra for it though but if you do want to upgrade, do it when you get there – much cheaper! Saying that, I loved our stay in the water villa. We had one sunset side, room 440. The private sundeck is the main attraction about the water villas. It really is fab if you fancy a lazy day. We spent most of our days on ours sunbathing and watching the boats and seaplanes coming and going. The Jacuzzi is more like a bath with jets and this takes AGES to fill so do it in advance – was nice to take a dip in when the heat got too much. The bathroom is HUGE and the shower fantastic. It is kept very clean by the room boy with change of towels twice a day. The beds a bit hard but that’s just me being picky now! And the steps to the sea are so awesome, a whole new world just below you, it’s amazing! Take your snorkelling gear!
Didn’t use the bath in the bathroom as the hot water was coming out the tap a rusty colour?! Asked reception to sort it out but heard nothing. It must be like this in all the water villas as we was upgraded the second week to a Honeymoon Water Villa, and it was the same there too. Our second upgrade was due to towards the end of the first week we had maintenance work and banging going on in the villas either side of us without any warning?! So we complained to our first choice rep who got us moved and upgraded free of charge the next day. Again, I wouldn’t pay for the Honeymoon water villa. The difference from a normal water villa is it has a living room area, bigger sundeck and some wannabe power shower on the sundeck. We had a drain issue in this villa but this was actually rectified by the staff after I told them.
Ok, so this is an interesting bit for me personally. I do struggle with food abroad and I did get an upset tummy but this was nothing to do with the food in the restaurant, it was a Bombay spice mix we had in the bar which was VERY spicy! And just didn’t agree with me unfortunately. Saying that, my husband was having 4 helpings a night of the food in the restaurant and said it was some of the best he’s had abroad! Most of it is homemade by the chefs, including the bread rolls! There is an average variety and each night is themed, ie – Maldivian night, Asian night, International night.
We went half board and do not regret this one bit! We didn’t deprive ourselves of anything, had cocktails most nights, drinks before dinner and from the mini bar in our room when we wanted, lunch in the pool bar some days (toastie and chips for $6.50!), 4 spa treatments between us, 3 excursions and loads of souvenirs from the shop and our bill for 14 nights was under $1,200! We would have paid $132 per day between us for all inclusive! Which doing the maths is really really not worth it! All inclusive doesn’t cover anything ive listed above so this would all be extra on your bill! Even a couple we met out there who were all inclusive said they would go half board next time. If you plan on drinking beers, cokes, or house wines all day long and pigging out 3 times a day then all inclusive may be a good idea. If not, go half board. We saved easily over $1,000.
We done 3 excursions and I have to say we thought they are worth every cent you pay! I absolutely enjoyed them!
- Dolphin cruise – ok so this is pot luck but for $45 each its not bad at all. We saw over 30 dolphins and followed them round for over 90minutes. We definitely got our moneys worth and thoroughly enjoyed it! Amazing experience!
- Snorkelling Turtle Point – this was also enjoyable, my husband snorkelled, I stayed on the boat (non-swimmer!) but still enjoyed myself on top of the boat taking in the view! My husband saw manta rays, thousand of fish and turtles!!! Again, at $49 its well worth it.
- Robinson Crusoe ½ day – this is amazing. A whole island just for you for half a day! We chose half a day coz of the heat and lack of facilities but half a day was plenty enough time for snorkelling, sunbathing, checking out the island, pictures, and even dolphin spotting on the reef! This was $137 and drinks were extra.
We did hear the night fishing wasn’t worth the money and quite dangerous as its literally dark when you go and you only have a small light to use and the decks slippery etc so we gave this one a miss.
After every excursion, upon your return you are welcomed with a cold towel which is bliss after the heat from the sun!!
The weather here is mental! Its sunny most mornings and always very hot! The wind can pick up in the afternoons and sometimes the water villas feel like the roofs going to come off! Then the afternoon storms are amazing/scary! Like nothing ive experienced before. It pelts it down with rain and howls with wind for about 20mins before becoming sunny and calm again!! We had a storm almost every afternoon, but loads of sun and heat. Take your factor 25 upwards!!! The sun is VERY strong!
This was different every night. Crab racing was by far the best night, closely followed by the Vilu band and Disco nights. The entertainment doesn’t start till 10pm and the music can be heard right over by the water villas so be warned it can be a bit noisy on the island after 10pm! But this didn’t bother us and didn’t stop us sleeping.
The spa is absolute bliss! We both had a massage and a foot massage, both were amazing and worth the money! The Staff are nothing but professional and kind. You are given a cold towel and ginger tea before your treatment aswell which is another nice touch.
The island overall is ideal for honeymooners and couples. It is kept beautiful by many dedicated staff. Paths and the beach are swept before you even wake up! There is a heady smell of hibiscus everywhere you go. If you pass a member of staff they never fail to say hello or good day!
The snorkelling reef is amazing; we mainly went in from our water villa steps. So many types of fish and sea life to see. We took the opportunity to feed the fish and sharks from the water villas pier every morning. Very entertaining I must say.
There is a bit of beach with sun loungers especially for the water villa guests. We spent a day or two here as a change from our sundeck. Again, it’s perfect. No rubbish in sight. The beach is white, powdery sand with bits of coral and shell so I’d advise flip flops!
We planted a coconut tree as part of our honeymoon which was a nice gesture.
You are expected to tip the staff aswell as pay 10% service charge on everything which I think is very cheeky but we tipped the staff that were more personal to us. We had the same waiter in the restaurant and the same waiter in the bar every night who again were very friendly and nothing was too much to ask of them.
I personally think 10 days would have been plenty at this resort. 1 week not long enough but 2 weeks maybe a little too long due to the routine and quietness.
Ultimately i loved it here and do wish i was back there now. Do not hesitate to go here if your thinking about relaxation and somewhere to recharge your batteries - its very laid back here and such a beautiful place!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sleep in a shell home and wake up to the sound of waves, gently slapping the white sandy shore, just steps from your luxurious beach villas, Jaccuzi water villas, water villas with pools, honeymoon water villas and the Presidential water suite. Take a refreshing morning swim in the crystal clear lagoon of Vilu Reef Beach Resort & Spa, or enjoy a relaxing hot dip in your private open air bathtub. Your cooled and spacious villas, tastefully furnished and designed to blend with the shades of Maldives' nature provides all the modern amenities that make you feel at home away from home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vilu Reef Beach Hotel Haa Dhaalu Atoll
- Vilu Reef Beach And Spa Resort
- Hotel Vilu Reef Beach
- Vilu Reef Maldives
- Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort Maldives/Haa Dhaalu Atoll