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“Better than I could have anticipated, nearly PERFECT family vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lily Beach Resort & Spa

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Lily Beach Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   20077   |  
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All Inclusive Honeymoon
San Antonio, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Better than I could have anticipated, nearly PERFECT family vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

I am truly blown away at how great my Lily Beach vacation was. First part was completely luck, I waited until 25 August to go which is when they drop the price for seasonal reasons. I'm really glad I did this, as I had a full week of sun -- it only rained one night after we'd already retired to the room so no loss whatsoever. I know they can't control this, but it definitely had a huge impact on our vacation.

Ok, now what they can control. First lets talk about "all inclusive". I'd read previous reviews saying that you could only get certain drinks at certain times at certain places -- that is old information. This place is nearly fully all-inclusive. If they had the alcohol in stock, then it was "free" (in quotes since obviously we paid a lot for an all-inclusive resort). There are 3 bars on the island with very good operating hours, friendly bartenders and wait staff. I made sure I always tipped for my drinks, and in return I couldn't make it from the steps of the deck to my chair without an attentive waiter asking what my order was. I think even without tipping the service would've been excellent but I like to reward the individuals performing the good work. I'd also like to add they were great with my 10 and 11 year old children, and they always had a non-alcoholic version of the mixed drinks available, as well as chocolate and vanilla milk shakes. I think my kids had more virgin mixed drinks and shakes than the wife and I had on the alcoholic side!

Two of the bars and the main restaurant also had excellent hours for food. The bars had tasty ala carte menus, and the main eating area "Lily Maa" has a different theme for each day's dinner. Overall I found the food to be plentiful and tasty. I think if I'd stayed much past a week it would've started to get a little old, but for a 1 week vacation the quality and variety were great. A 1 week stay also get a free trip to Tamarand, their Thai/India/Chinese restaurant, a 12 day or longer stay gets 2 days. Tamarand has 4 outdoor tables on their own private mini-decks, I highly recommend reserving one of these, it was a truly unique dining experience. They had a good selection of wines, and any wine they stocked other than Dom was part of the Platinum Package. On the food side, the only thing that wasn't included was lobster which you could order ala carte. I figured after dropping $10k on a vacation I'd hold off on the lobsters at $75 a pop.

Next I'd like to talk about the villa and it's proximity to the beach and activities. We reserved a family villa. I don't know if they gave us a family villa or not, we had adjoining rooms (109 and 110), but it didn't matter -- the villa was perfect. We had a queen size bed on our side, and the kids had twin beds. The "front" of the villa borders the main walking path that runs between the bars, restaurants and pools. They have a cool outdoor bathroom setup that really works with the toilet, sink and shower under an extended roof, and a large whirlpool tub under the sky. The shower was the "rainshower" style which was nice, and the whirlpool tub was probably big enough for 4. The cleaning staff stops by 2x/day to keep the sand out of the room which is an absolute must, because right out the back and you've got a deck on the beach. From there, you are <1 minute away from a Jacques Cousteau worthy snorkeling trip which I'll talk about later. I also had the lucky benefit of having my villa a mere 100 meters from the Vibes bar, so it was a 1 minute walk to get a couple beers, and then bring them back to the lounge chairs behind my villa and watch the kids play in the ocean. Truly awesome. If there was one downside of the trip, it was in the villa and may not apply to all. I have a bad back and am addicted to my Tempurpedic mattress at home, I found the mattress in my villa too soft and woke up with a VERY sore back my first day there. Over time I got used to it and my back improved, but I'd have preferred a mattress with more support. So as to not end on a bad note, the villa had wireless internet "free" as well as a stocked minifridge that was also included as part of the platinum package.

The snorkeling was probably the best part of the vacation. I'm not an experienced snorkeler; however, I honestly don't know how it can get much better than this. First off is all your gear is provided as part of the Platinum Package. I don't know enough about snorkeling to comment on the quality, but I will say that I never felt like it hindered my enjoyment, so definitely good enough. The fins were a bit tight and took a bit of skin off my toes so I went barefoot for most of the trip. Not sure if it would've been possible to get a wide version of the fins but my guess is no, but certainly this wasn't a big deal. Anyway, when I snorkel I focus on 3 things: proximity to shore, variety of species, and quantity of fish, and the house reef excelled in all 3 areas. I'm not that great a swimmer and always feel a bit worried when I'm not at my rightful place at the top of the food chain, so I just feel more comfortable if I'm pretty close to shore, the Lily Beach reef is RIGHT THERE. If you wanted, you could stay within 10 meters of the shore and think you had a great snorkeling experience. As part of proximity, I'd like to throw in current. As not such a great swimmer and without the benefit of fins, it was very comforting to have such a mild current around the island. I never felt like there was a chance I'd be swept away by the current, in fact I usually used it to my advantage. I'd walk to the far end of the island, swim out to the reef where it vertically dropped off into the deep, and then let the current kind of push me to the other end of the island (which just happened to be where my villa was located).

The next part is variety, and there is no lack of different species on the Lily Beach house reef. Their gift shop has a 3 poster set of "fish of the Maldives" and I swear I probably saw >50% of those fish if not 75%. Go to your local salt water fish store and check out their entire selection -- yeah, it's all there within 10 meters of the shore at Lily Beach. Octopus? check. Small reef sharks and rays? Check. I couldn't believe how many different types of fish that I'd only seen on TV, I saw within 50 meters of the shore at Lily Beach. In addition to quality, there was quantity. There were LOTS of fish all over the place. It was easy to get distracted since there were so many fish to choose from.

We snorkeled once or twice every day for 1-2 hours per session and this had to be the highlight of the trip. This is a great activity for the entire family to participate in together, and I'm sure my dinner table at home will be filled with discussions about our snorkeling for the next few months and even years. You simply don't get that kind of family fun and bonding in many places, the time I got to spend with my kids on an activity we all liked was worth the price of admission alone.

Most of my friends would probably say I'm a glass half empty kind of guy, so believe me, to have such a great review of this place really is saying something. I have so little to complain about it's pretty damn impressive. Overall, best vacation I've ever had and I hope that someday I get to go back.

Room Tip: There really isn't a bad room, they all have their own advantages.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,144 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (264)
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English first
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

My wife went twice this year, and I went with her once. It was amazing , staff were great , place so clean,all Inc , really means what it says.
Can't wait till may 2012 . As we have booked to go then with two friends.

Room Tip: Beach villas are amazing
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  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshire
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

Just got back from 2 weeks honeymoon had a nice time but that's about it room was lovely started of in a beach villa upgraded to a water villa which was nice but well over priced & room service was not as good as beach villa. The staff at Lilly are just the best & always on hand to help.
The food was for us ok but after two week was a bit repetitive and having never gone 5 star before was very shocked to fined in the main restaurant it was a posh motorway services !! We did eat at vibes wich was very good and the Tamarind wich we did think was just great (5 star) The staff in vibes are very friendly and your glass was never empty a big thank you to them. Night life at Lilly will not take up to much of your time 1 night a week a live band and that's it's (week 2 same band same songs same order) we found at Lilly come 10pm the bars are empty.
In Lilly beaches defence I do think we did not research it well enough it's not for us. Sorry

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2011

We have just returned from Lily Beach and thought it was one of the best holidays we have ever had. The all inclusive plan is definitely value for money with good choice and quality food and drinks.
Once we arrived at Male we had less than 30 minutes to wait for our seaplane. This was a new experience for us both and the views were amazing. The only downside was the seaplane was quite noisy and it was quite hot on board but we would still travel on the seaplane again rather than taking a long boat journey. Once the seaplane landed it was a short boat ride to the island with a fantastic greeting from the staff. We arrived at 11am and had no problem checking into our room straight away.
We stayed in the beach villas for the full 10 days and did consider upgrading for the last part of the holiday but decided we were more than happy with the accommodation we had. We would book the same if we return.
All the staff were very friendly and always trying to ensure your stay was perfect.
We thought the food served throughout the resort was of a high standard. The main buffet restaurant served a wide variety of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each evening was a different theme night so you didn't get bored of the same thing. Both pools bars (Aqva and Vibes) serve a good variety of snacks and meals throughout the day but stop serving food at 7pm. Tamarind restaurant can be booked once per week (we got to dine there twice during 10 days but not sure if that would be possible during peak season). The food served is Thai, Chinese and Indian and everything we had was delicious.
In addition to these dining options you can also pay a supplement to have a table outside one evening with French cuisine. I think this was approximately 40 USD per person. The menu did look impressive but we didn't try it this time. We did however try the Tepanyaki night which has only been available for the past few weeks. It was expensive 85 USD per person but we really enjoyed the evening. Chef Dexter cooked us a fantastic meal.
All the drinks served were premium brands and they had an extensive wine list available in all the bars. If there were any complaints I would say the mini bar could have been stocked better and all food ordered from room service was chargeable and quite expensive. (the mini bar was replenished every day free of charge but I would have preferred some fruit juices and maybe spirits)
The spa treatments were fantastic and the staff were wonderful. The prices were the same as most 5 star hotels.
There were also quite a few excursions. Some were chargeable but we did get one free and we went on the sunset boat trip which was lovely. They serve canapés and a small bottle of sparking wine.
We enjoyed the holiday so much that we are already thinking of booking again for early next year.

Room Tip: Beach villa 156 had great beach access and was close to the main restaurant and bar.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Kent, UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2011

Lily Beach is amazing for a family holiday. We hired a family villa where the rooms connect. Having your kids in a separate room is perfect and they really enjoy having their own space. From our perspective the family villas are in the perfect location on the island. They are right near the pool and the beach is on your front door. Privacy is assure by the way the place is designed. Also, in our opinion, the best snorkelling is to be had at this end of the island. Our children were either in the sea or the pool and never got bored. Food is superb, staff do everything they can to make your holiday perfect. The all inclusive deal is really great too. The concept really works due to the high quality of the food and drinks. Lily Beach is a gem. They have an amazing waterspouts service with most of it free and inclusive although for the more adventurous they have powerboats available for wake boarding and hire. We went in the rainy season too and had a couple of days when it rained hard but that was actually fun as it is so warm. When it rains it is also a great time to head to the spa. My wife loved the spa and said of it that the service and treatments are superb. Our children came home and said it was the best holiday they had ever had so I guess that says it all. My wife and I managed to get plenty of time together too which is a rare treat so we thank Lily Beach for having one of the best thought out resorts in the world all set in the stunning location of the Maldives.

Room Tip: If you have 2 children with you the interconnecting villas are the way forward. They are superb insi...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Spalding, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2011

Stayed in over water bungalow for 1 week June/July. After a long flight the VIP lounge at the seaplane airport was a luxury. Greeted at the island with a fruit drink and checked in efficiently. Taken to water bungalow on golf cart.All tiredness vanished on seeing the interior of the villa -large glass floor in the hall, fabulous bedroom and bathroom, and infinity jaccuzzi on the decking.It`s all actually better than it looks on the website! Easy access to the house reef down the steps off the decking. Have snorkelled and dived all around the world but this was the best house reef I`ve ever seen. Thousands of triggerfish,tangs and butterfly fish, turtles,rays reef sharks and moray eels all along the reef. It was easy to snorkel all along the reef on both sides due to the prevailing current gently drifting us away from the villas and towards the bars. Aqua bar was fabulous with great food,service and infinity pool. Food in the main dining room also very good- huge choice and always fish + meat cooked to order. Over 70 wines included in all inclusive,no need to spend more. Nespresso coffee machine in room with bar and snacks replenished daily. Staff very attentive, especially Saeed- thankyou. Ocean trip to swim with mantas and whale sharks bit expensive {$150}, but magical and the dolphins on the way home made it worth every cent. Dive instructors and gear were top rate. Best holiday we`ve ever had, and all we can think about now is saving up to come back. If you`re planning a holiday to the Maldives, come here!

Room Tip: If you want a private water villa,ask for one further away from island.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sevenoaks, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2011

We just returned from a fabulously relaxing holiday at Lily Beach Resort & Spa. From the moment we stepped off our international flight we were looked after by a representative of Lily Beach and the transfers to/from the resort via sea plane and boat went seamlessly. The 'Platinum' all-inclusive plan is excellent .......... great wines, cocktails, soft drinks, a replenished mini bar daily and the food was not only delicious but the choice was at times astonishing! We stayed in a Beach Villa which was spacious, well furnished and kept spotlessly clean by twice-daily housekeeping. It's a top class resort with super facilities and delightful staff whose only aim, it seems, is to please. Well done Lily Beach for making our trip to paradise so enjoyable!

Room Tip: Our beach villa was close to the main restaurant and spa and at night lovely and quiet.
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  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Address: 20077
Phone Number:
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Huvahandhoo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Huvahandhoo Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lily Beach Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 119
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
---UNDERGOING UPGRADES--- In the deep blue sea of the Indian Ocean, among the scattered small Islands known as the Garland of Flowers (Maldive Islands) of indescribable nature, Lily Beach Resort is the island - Huvahendhoo at the South East Ari-Atoll. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lily Beach Hotel South Ari Atoll
Lily Beach Resort And Spa
Lily Beach Resort All Inclusive
Lily Beach Maldives

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