Expectation is everything, i came to think before writing this review since i am having a hard time whether to write positively or negatively. First of all there is nothing to be said about the setting of the hotel; it is on a big island where green and blue meets with sandy white beaches and gorgeous tropical trees. The villas, the overall architecture is minimal, chic and relaxing. Even the standart villas are huge with high ceilings, there is a lot of space within and outside the rooms ( even an hammock on your front yard) Because it is a big island it has the possibility to offer maximum privacy for each villa. Most of the time you have the beach right in front of you to yourself and you dint need to see a soul unless you go to the common beach club.
Also another privilage of being a big resort is to be able to offer several restaurants. Some resorts have 1 or 2. We ate at all of them (5) and enjoyed the food except the beach restaurant. In addition they offer half board packages which is unusal for such premium hotels.
We would have been very satisfied and happy if resort was called X and not One and Only. We always thought it was one of the most luxurious hotel in the maldives competing with Four Seasons. Well, we are sorry but the overall service cannot begin to compete with Four Seasons. ( we went there last year). Most of the waiting staff was unattentive. The beach service is good if they care to work on that day otherwise they would be playing pool instead. And they are slow most of time, we experienced it in nearly all restaurants. İt took 45 mins for our villa butler to get us a dvd one night. We couldnt get a nice cold beer anywhere they were all served warm and needed to be put in ice. How about coconut the juice? The signature of maldives, it was served hot since they were claiming that they were cut of from the trees immediately, well one should ask how they do it in four seasons because they were always cold and yummy.
There is a diving school led by Germans but surprisingly we didnt feel they were doing a professional job by throwing first timers into shallow water with no preparation anywhere else oyher than teoric introduction.
Finally i was expecting a small gesture from the management when we missed our flight and had to pay 2 nights we couldnt come to the hotel. I totally understand the policy of no show however even a small bottle of wine, a spa gift etc even would cheer unlucky guests like ourselves. ( Oh the spa is something else, it was the only department in the hotel with explicit service, superb massage treatments in fantastic rooms and resting area).
There many many alternatives in the area and hotels with such a competitive name have to do whatever they can not to lose against the newer resorts. "premium" service requires this and one gets frustrated when it is not fully offered. Maldives is a fantastic but expensive holiday area where even the 4star hotels start from €500 so it should worth every penny and deliver the paradise in full meaning.
To summarize; if you pre-plan get a really good package with transportation and half board etc. DO GO it is a beautiful resort. But if you are paying a fortune and are a picky person choose somewhere else. As i said there are thousands of alternatives.
Finally i'd like to end with a comment with our travel agency; atollparadise was refferred to us by friends. They are a local agency and they have to best rates i have seen so for. They are the first ones to welcome you and make sure u are handed to your resort and last one to say goodbye untill the departure gates. I also liked the fact that they called our room a couple of days later to see how we are doing. Highly recommend their service www.atollparadise.com