I have only just recently returned from staying at this resort for my honeymoon. I had read so many reviews about it and was extremely curious to find out what the place was like for myself. Neither my wife or I had stayed at a Club Med resort before.
After spending such a huge amount of money on this holiday here I expected massive things, and only day's filed with relaxation and bliss this was definitely not the case!
We arrived at Male airport expecting to see someone from Club Med with our names on a board after reading other reviews, however after looking lost we where approached and asked who we where looking for we said club med and was told to go over to one of the booths where we met a GO (Gracious Organizer) there, he gave us our room key and that was our check in.
After a little while the group of about 10 or so that had gathered headed to Club Med walked outside and boarded a boat. It was about a 25 Minute boat ride to the resort.
We left our luggage on the Jetty and walked down to the main reception. We where staying in a Lagoon Suite (Overwater Bungalow) so where taken with another couple away from everyone else, and given a litte tour on the way to what's called the Manta Lounge. We had a mocktail then another GO walked us down to our Bungalow.
We where shown through our bungalow by the GO, from here is about where our first problems happened. We had an end of Jetty Bungalow requested for us (due to other issues from club med before we arrived) which was really private apart from the 2 diggers about 30m off our balcony!! (See pictures) Not only are there 2 people sitting in these diggers facing our bungalow there is also the noise from the heavy machinery, the diesel fumes that blow into our bungalow, the extra workers that congregate at the door of our bungalow to watch the diggers (sometimes 5 at a time) as we are on our honeymoon we didn't want to keep our curtains closed and not enjoy the beautiful Maldivian scenery and we also don't want to have to worry about what we wear inside our bungalow with so many eyes outside.
We immediately told the GO showing us our room that we weren't happy with the room and didn't like the diggers outside. She told us that they where full and would be pretty much impossible to change rooms we told her we'd still like her to try. We where offered another room however it was in the middle of other bungalows so again not very private at all. We where told that we could change rooms in 2 days time that was an end of jetty bungalow, so private not happy we agreed.
As we where tired from our flights to get to the Maldives we decided to have an early night after dinner. We where told that the diggers would be finished about 5pm. As it was getting dark the diggers kept going using the lights attached digging up sand. It was about 930pm before I eventually fell asleep and the diggers where still digging. Not impressed at all!!
When we woke up the following morning we opened our curtains and to our amazement was a barge dropping off another digger!! We went and had breakfast and then a swim, we also attempted to make a booking for the A la Carte restaurant (Kandu) however that was also full. We planned on going snorkelling so joined the queue for snorkelling only to be turned away as they where to full. We asked to be reserved on the second excursion in the afternoon but where told we'd have to come back and line up.
We'd had enough of all the drama's after expecting a relaxing stress free honeymoon we wanted to see the manager. We explained the situation and he was quite good, he confirmed our room change the following day, got us a booking for the Kandu restaurant and put our names on the list for snorkelling in the afternoon.
The Resort is split into two sections the Bungalow's (75 in total) where the guests wear a blue wristband to identify themselves and then the other villa's which we didn't go in or find out much about, some are on the beach and then others are more in the middle of the island. There isn't any point staying here unless you're in an overwater Bungalow in my opinion. If you're in the Bungalows there's a lounge called the Manta lounge (in most pictures with the lounges/day beds to laze in) there drinks are served and if there's no one there you can pour your own drinks, there's quite a variety and the premium spirit's are included. Quite often snacks are given out which aren't to bad to nibble on.
At about 4pm everyday French Crepes are made in the Manta lounge that Bungalow guests can enjoy. There is also cocktails and snacks served from 7pm most nights. It is quite a walk, 10 minutes at the most from the end bungalows to the main restaurant but after all the buffet's you're having the walk is a good thing :)
There is wifi at various spots around the Island however it's limited to reception areas and bars the wifi is a bit intermittent and is quite slow often taking ages to load a page if it even loads at all.
The Overwater Bungalow's are incredible (If you don't have diggers out the front) They are quite spacious there's a seperate lounge room as you enter where there are 2 lounges then a coffee table, then you come through to the bedroom which is a large area with a tv on the wall one thing that we did notice and was quite shocked about was both the beds in the bungalows that we stayed in where 2 single mattress's pushed together, we thought this was extremely poor for such an expensive resort and was quite shocked by this!!
The bathroom is spacious with 2 basins a bath that looks out towards the water with a massive ceiling to floor window there is also a rain shower and a toilet seperate from the main bedroom. There is also a walk in robe that has the fridge stocked with non alcoholic drinks, hanging space, safe, board games, umbrella's etc There's bi fold doors that open out to the balcony where there are 2 sun lounges and then stairs down to a little pontoon that you can go swimming off.
The Staff We found that most of the G.O's won't approach you or come and talk to you, unless you are French or Asian even walking into the restaurant at the bar etc this can be a good thing if you're on your honeymoon but it's definitely noticeable that unless you're French or Asian you don't get treated the same.
One GO in particular was extremely friendly and accomodated every request that we had. He was a Maldivian local named Mahid he looked after everything for us and does an awesome job as Michael Jackson in one of the night time shows. The Maldivian staff are the most friendly out of the resort.
The Food other reviews i'd read where right it is targeted towards asian food and there isn't much western food at all on the menu. The first dinner was very ordinary and we expected a lot more, we dined in the A la Carte restaurant and the food was average and nothing special, although each time we dined it seemed that the menu's alternated every second night so you're eating the same thing which isn't great. The only meal times that we enjoyed where the lunch's, there seemed to be a little more variety compared to the other times, but again expected so much more from the resort. We had the in room breakfast menu as part of staying in the Lagoon Suites which was quite good although only warm if we where lucky by the time it gets to your room, however good variety that you can choose from on the breakfast menu. Overall the food is quite average and nothing special at all, we expected a heap more. The main restaurant only has fans in it and gets extremely hot, fans are going throughout but it's still not enough. You aren't meant to smoke inside, however staff weren't telling anyone that they couldn't.
The Spa was absolutely incredible, if only the rest of the resort followed in the foot steps of the spa!! We've had all sorts of massages around the world and the one at Club Med is by far the best! We went back again for another massage and it was worth the money spent. Although we'd made a booking the previous day when we arrived we where told that there wasn't a booking even though the girl at reception was the one who'd made the booking, she moved a few things around and accomodated us that was all soon forgotten once the massage had begun. The spa is highly recommended!! Each day they have massage specials that are quite good!! If you're honeymooning I recommend paying an extra $199 per couple which gets you another 50 minute Balinese massage a facial and some sort of hot stone massage, unfortunately we only noticed this on the last day :(
Extra Activities We where curious to know what other activities we where able to do at extra cost but there wasn't much info before we came here that we could find. They had once while we where there a 15 minute scenic sea plane flight for $195 p/p US that is only on Wednesdays, a Sunset Cruise which was $40 p/p US there was also tubing (towed behind a speed boat) which was about $45 p/p US for 20 minutes, there was jetskiing as well which was $190 for 30mins there was a glass bottom boat tour for $40 p/p.
I'd noticed that a lot of the reviews where from people from Asian countries which this resort caters for massively! Either Asian or French is mostly spoken there however most staff speak English but throughout the theme nights a lot of French was spoken and the singing and dancing where not in English therefore you couldn't participate all that much not knowing any of the music or songs. Also beware of the guests that aren't able to remember which Bungalow is their's and come up onto your balcony..............
Some other reviews said the lagoon was shark infested, there are a few harmless black tip reef sharks swimming around but nothing at all that would keep you out of it. We'd also read that there was sharp coral everywhere because of this we'd packed our "reef shoes" but they didn't even come out of the suitcase the coral on the bottom was fine
Overall I don't think we would ever come back to this Club Med and if we had the opportunity to book our honeymoon again we would be staying elsewhere. For the amount of money that we paid it was quite disappointing overall. We met a few Australians that where staying here and they also had the same views that this resort definitely isn't catered to Westerner's and unless you're either Asian or French you don't get treated like everyone else. We have another Club Med trip in February at one of the ski resorts in China so we're very curious to see how that one is compared to this one. It may just be our last ever Club Med stay!!
No point coming here unless you're in an Overwater Bungalow, try get an end of Jetty Bungalow fo...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.