...and everything's almost the same (see my first review of O&O RR). The same ? yes, the ocean is still turquoise blue, the sand white powder, the sky deep blue. But I notice some differences, signs that the world has changed, for better and for worse. The better is that the guest population is much more cosmopolitan, with more Eastern Europeans, Russians, Asian people. The worse is that there are less tropical fishes, the coral reefs are endangered; 5 years ago, the reefs were more colorful, now they look duller, darker, several areas of corals seem to be dead (consequence of the global climate warm-up ?). It's a pity, I'm really sad.
Back to the review... I choose this time to stay on the sunrise side of the island - on the Reethi beach, near the main pool - which I prefer compared to the sunset side, on the Palm beach where I stayed last time. The sunrise side is inward oriented, so the sea is very calm and shallow, while the sunset side is more windy and there are more waves. But, the sunset side is wilder and more secluded than the sunrise, you really feel alone in a desert island. So, the choice is yours. My ranking of the main beaches, in decreasing order is: Reethi beach, Turtle beach, Palm beach, North beach, Sunset beach, Grand beach and Reef beach.
The foods served at the restaurants are much better, I mean more tasteful than before, but unfortunately, prices also soar compared to 5 years ago. One new restaurant has been added, called "Chief's garden", serving delicious seafood with healthy vegetables from the resort's own garden. I rank the 4 restaurants in this decreasing order: Tapasake (Japanese), Chief's garden, Fanditha (Spanish, Middle East, Mediterranean) and Reethi (Indian, Italian, International).
Since my previous visit, the resort has added a new activity zone called "Club One" which is welcome, especially for grown-ups. There, you can enjoy beach and sea activities, but also table tennis, billiard, wall climbing, golf simulation or try some artistic activities (mask painting, pottery, ..., quite interesting to do, especially between 2pm and 4pm when it's too hot to go to the beach). One small glitch, sometimes beach/pool boys are a little bit lazy. Twice I went to the beach/pool at 4/5pm and they did not care to setup my desk chair, neither bring me towels or refreshing stuffs as they usually do when one arrives earlier during the day.
I have made one diving session, which is enjoyable but not as spectacular as before (see above, about the fishes and the reefs). The staff at the diving center is OK, not better but not worse than before. I did not try the Spa this time so can not say how it has evolved. As "repeaters" (guest coming back after the first time), I was invited by the hotel management to a sunset cruise. This cruise is very nice and I do appreciate the attention shown by the hotel management towards repeaters (if you are not repeaters, I do recommend to book a "dhoni sunset cruise" which is more or less the same.
Final word for the staff at the reception, restaurants and concierges, which are as friendly and helpful as before and also much more cosmopolitan, which helps to accommodate even better with diversified guests population.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives in the North Male Atoll has 130 exquisite villas, some of the largest in the Maldives, designed by world famous architect Jean Michel Gathy. The resort offers an unrivaled level of style, choice, and personalized service. An eclectic and imaginative menu caters to every taste and occasion in three restaurants, with an extensive wine cellar with more than 900 premium labels and 18,000 bottles on the island. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- One And Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
- One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives Hotel North Male Atoll
- Reethi Rah Maldives