The island is beautiful, much smaller than the big expensive ones, but a great experience. Let me start with saying that the staff was great. Per (the manager) and Lisa were great, they welcomed you at the arrival on the island and it was really personal and nice.
The rooms are nothing flash, but for the price you can't beat it. The bungalows are comfortable, A/C and fan worked well and the outside shower and toilet were great features, more than i thought they would be. Plus if you get a good room with a view (3, 4, 49, or 50 are my picks) then you literally walk out of your door and onto the beach. The cleaning boys were generally pretty good, but they did occasionally forget to fill up the shampoo. Which leads me to another point, they include body wash and shampoo as a 2-in-1, but no conditioner, which upset my wife who has long hair, so remember to bring conditioner ladies. Also, some of the bath towels were a bit old and tatty, but overall it was pretty ok.
The water is warm, the snorkelling was great. They offer a lot of diving trips but we didn't do any this time around. The snorkelling gear for rent isn't the best quality, but its rental so you can't expect much, Plus the diver center is independent of the resort so i can't knock them for that.
Food was really good most nights, the fish especially. You have to definitely do the dinner on the beach, it is an extra $60 a person, but worth it for lobster, fish, lamb etc under the stars. We were on half board, so breakfast and dinner included, but we were surprised to find out that no drinks, not even water was included with the meals, and at $4.20 for 1.5L of water it added up pretty quick. Beer was priced ok, $5 for a small pint, reasonable for an island resort i guess, but the mixed drinks were exorbitant to me, 11.50 for a small Pina Colada? So i would recommend sticking to beer. Also the lunch menu and prices need improvement, more lunch options at the bar and lower prices. We generally ate a big breakfast and took fruit to the room so we could avoid spending money at lunch.
The spa was pretty good, the service is great and the treatments are very nice. The price point is acceptable for them as well.
There aren't many amenities on the island if you forget something, so make sure you think it through before you go. We forgot Aloe Vera and of course got sun burned, but Per (the manager) was really nice and got some delivered the next day from Male, so that is where the service was exceptional, but they really need to carry that in the shop. So, don't forget that, and conditioner. We did tell Per about the conditioner issue, and he said he would address it so maybe you won't have to worry in the future.
Overall this was a great trip. The island is beautiful and the perfect place to relax. My wife and I spent 14 days on the beach, with minimal rain, good food, nice people, and got great tans. There isn't much to do, but that is by design. We would consider going back maybe, assuming they have made some improvements as we mentioned above. Worth it for travellers who can't spend $40k on a Maldivian vacation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- On Helengeli you experience the natural beauty of the Maldives at its best. Lush tropical vegetation, completely untouched beaches of the finest white sand surrounded by a turquoise lagoon and a fantastic house reef - the unique charm of this secluded Maldivian island will captivate you as soon as you step onto it. The resort has been completely renovated and reopened only in October 2004. It has been designed and developed with the preservation of the island's fragile environment and your comfort in mind. The result is an unspoiled island paradise with all the amenities that will make you feel completely at home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Helengeli Island Hotel North Male Atoll
- Hotel Helengeli Island