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“Great small hotel for divers” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Helengeli Island Resort

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Helengeli Island Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |     |  
Hotel amenities
Moscow, Moscow City, Russia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great small hotel for divers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012

Very small (810x80 meters) island with a great home reef and lots of marine animals and fish even in low-season.

We were choosing among diving focused islands and finally decided to visit Helengeli. Absolutely no regrets because it turned out to be exactly what we expected. Just the nature and human.. all together in a silent, but deep synergy.

No TV, radio, crowd, animation, etc. which makes this place ideal for tranquil and pleasant stay.

Very nice personnel as well as GM, swedish guy Mr.Per Kvist - a new on this island but sounds to be promising.

We had room # 1, having (as most of the rooms) our own exit to the ocean and nearest to the reception, bar, restaurant, library and shop. This is very good for naturally lazy people, although a walk from this area to the very end of the island would take only 5 minutes :)

The room was nice & simple as, I believe, it should be on such islands. We had roommates in the forms of bumblebees couple, small lizards and ants. But don't be afraid, they live in an open space where WC and bathroom are located.

Great transfer from/to Male, fast and smooth. Personal welcome/farewell by GM which was nice.

Only some disadvantages have been found:

- Selling potable water for 5 USD per 1,5 litre bottle (the price for the same volume: 0,3 USD in Male) is definitely not a friendly decision, especially for isolated island in a subequatorial hot country.

- Reasonably high internet fee on island is ok but internet access could be extended to the rooms so guests could use it at any time without disturbing bar's personnel at night, where it is exclusively available (could happen if it's needed urgently or most of the night, for instance) as well as in daytime in a private environment, i.e. in your room. The solution is not so pricey 'cause there's no need for cables - just several more wi-fi routers.

- We decided to leave one day earlier to secure ourselves from missing the big main flight home because of the rainy weather and secondly we would like to see Male. Unfortunatelly they did not make a refund for the room, but that's not critical. Advise: If you eager to see Male, you better do that BEFORE your island rest because this city is beautiful only from the bird's eye.. Inside it's extremely polluted, small, muggy and hackneyed city.

We sincerely hope that Male authorities will do their best to make their capital a clean and attractive city (Switch to bicycles!!!) and Helengeli owners will go on taking care of this island and its nature and wish all of them the best!

We will surely recommend this hotel to our friends and colleagues !

Great holidays to all !! Will be glad to answer any questions! mak@zelife.ru

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
, General Manager at Helengeli Island Resort, responded to this review, July 5, 2012
Dear Zelife R,

I would like to express our gratitude for taking your time in sharing your recent holiday experiences. Our team here work very hard to ensure that your visit is as perfect and relaxing as possible. I will therefore be sure to pass on your kind words to the rest of the team.

Regarding the water prices, we are evaluating different options and we will be finalizing this very soon.

Please consider us again during your next visit to the Maldives. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back again.

Once again, thank you for your kind words and for your feedback.

Warm regards
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
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English first
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Make sure you ask for a bungalow closer to the pool, the view is better and you won't get too mu...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Per K, General Manager at Helengeli Island Resort, responded to this review, June 13, 2012
Dear JOB314,
Thank you for choosing Helengeli as your preferred holiday destination in the Maldives. I would also like to express our gratitude for taking your valuable time in sharing this review on TripAdvisor. Your feedback is vital to us and helps us to improve our services.
At the moment we are designing a new lunch menu with a broader variety. We will be introducing this shortly. We are also looking in to the option of bringing a separate hair conditioner as opposed to the 2 in 1 that we are currently providing. Furthermore, the Aloe Vera After Sun is now available in our shop.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly on manager@helengeli.net. I would be more than happy to assist you with your next booking to our little paradise.
Once again, thank you for your kind words!

Sunny regards,
Per
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Berlin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

Just returned from Helengeli and had a fantastic vacation. I've been to my fair share of beach vacations and the service here was the best I've had. Here are a few of my comments:

Pros:
- A true "island" escape
- Amazing beaches and turquoise waters
- Awesome snorkeling at the house reef
- Exemplary service
- Great bar and restaurant
- No shoes required
- Quiet relaxed atmosphere

Cons:
- long wait at the Male' seaplane terminal (not fault of Helengeli)
- Rooms showing a bit of age (beds not the most comfortable)

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Per K, General Manager at Helengeli Island Resort, responded to this review, June 2, 2012
Dear Warpath 123,

I would like to express our gratitude for taking your time in sharing your recent holiday experiences. Our team here work very hard to ensure that your visit is as perfect and relaxing as possible. I will therefore be sure to pass on your kind words to the rest of the team.

Please consider us again during your next visit to the Maldives. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back again.

Warm regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2012

General - a small island north of Male'. This is a quiet and relaxing style Resort. No bands, DJ, loud music. One restaurant, one pool, one large bar and general seating area. White sandy beaches, beautiful water, very good 'house-reef' and sunsets. The island is mostly all white sand. The beaches and island common areas are raked daily, making the overall appearance exceptional. The Island website states 'this is a barefoot island.' That is true. Barefoot is fine for dining also.
This was our first visit to Maldives and have no comparisons to other Resorts. However, the couple staying next had been to 6 different Resorts in the Maldives. They told us that Helengeli was the best overall (they were divers).

Room - The rooms comfortable and in very good condition (fresh paint and little sign of wear). The outside toilet/shower/sink area is tiled and good size. There is a high wall around this area with an open sky. A second outside shower (no hot water) can be used to rinse gear, clothes, etc.
Problem: Ants and tiny white ants. The room came with a can of bug spray. We took our own liquid (Walmart-Hot-Shot $3.95, 3 oz travel size). It worked better because it did not blast the little ants around.
No problem with misquotes or any other type of insect.

Food - We did the half-board. Found the breakfast to be very adequate and good selection. Dinner meals were varied and, we thought, well presented. Half-board was plenty adequate for us. We happened to be at the island dock and saw fresh fish being purchased by the Helengeli Chef for evening meals. One day the load of fresh tuna purchased for guests and staff was 800 Kilo. That evening there was a special tray of sushi grade tuna. Unbelievable wonderful. Fish was on the menu every evening. Generally great. Sometimes a bit over cooked (dry). Fish included grouper, snapper, and mix variety of reef fish. We saw the fishermen fishing just off Helengeli island. It was really fresh. Our compliments to the Maldivian Chef.

Reef - There are 6 reef access points around the southern two thirds of the island (northern third is off-limits). Large variety of tropical fish. Coral is coming back and many different colors. In addition to all the colorful tropical fish, we saw manta ray, sharks, turtles, octopus, barracuda, grouper... Great snorkeling. Divers we spoke with were very pleased with their dives in the area.

Service - The bartender and servers were especially friendly and helpful. A big plus is that most every worker on the island is smiling and greets you when passing. Some communication challenges. We are English speaking and vast majority of guests seemed to be from Switzerland, Germany, and Netherlands +. Some of the brochures and postings were not in English.

Price - We happened to be able to book this Resort while they were running a promotion. Making the 'value' outstanding.
Note: cost of 1.5 liter of bottled water is nearly $5. We drank 4+ liters a day. Making our fresh water bill around $100 for a 5 night stay. The island recommends 'not' drinking the tap water.
Happy Hour drink specials were buy one, get one free. Different each day and generally very good (the best buy).

Seaplane - Great experience to view the islands of this Atoll from the air. Everything was terrific except the long wait at the Male' seaplane terminal (not Helengeli Resort fault). Try to get a window seat.

Room Tip: Try to be on the windward side of island. Room #3 south to the A-frame unit (south tip of island)
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Per K, General Manager at Helengeli Island Resort, responded to this review, May 25, 2012
Dear Isle 'n Sun,

Thank you for choosing Helengeli Island as your preferred destination for your recent holiday in the Maldives. Our team work very hard to ensure that your experience with us is as enjoying and relaxing as possible. Therefore it is a pleasure to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. Your kind words regarding the staff have been passed onto our team here and are greatly appreciated. We hope that on your next visit, you will think of us again.

Lastly I would like to thank you for taking your time to write a review, your willingness to share your experiences with us is much appreciated.

Sunny regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

We just returned from a stay at Helengeli and had some lovely dives and relaxed. This is not the place for luxury and fine dining and we went knowing that. The house reef is great and the dive operator is so well set up and you can do your own dives on the house reef or they run boat trips in the am and afternoon. You do have to take a seaplane to get there and we did have to wait 2 and a half hours before leaving the sea plane terminal which was upsetting when you havent slept and arent aware of this and not this is not a fault of the resort. The rooms are def older but very clean. We stayed in the deluxe bungalow at the end and the beach was nice however did have people using the loungers outside on the beach so used the wooden ones on the lil deck. I think the room could use a clock as we def got confused with the time difference:) There is new management in place for around 4 weeks now and they seem super switched on and very nice and helpful. We did half board and found the food to be a bit bland but we are used to spicier food and they def try hard and have to get food all the way there! Had sarmies at the bar for lunch and Raj? the barman was so very nice and always friendly. Also the two servers during cocktail hour were great as well as our assigned waiter:) We had a nice stay and thank everyone on Helengeli.

Room Tip: Def take the only deluxe bungalow if its available!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Per K, General Manager at Helengeli Island Resort, responded to this review, May 17, 2012
Dear DBNCLTDXB,

We would like to thank you for sharing your experiences from your recent holiday with us on Helengeli Island. It is a great pleasure to hear that you had nice and relaxing stay with us!

It is regretful to hear that you had to wait for two and a half hours for your sea plane transfer. We do work very closely with the sea plane company in order to ensure swift and smooth transfers. However, it is a complex operation and in certain rare cases, delays are unavoidable.

On behalf of the Helengeli Team I would like to thank you for choosing Helengeli Island as your preferred holiday destination. It would be a delight to welcome you back again!

Sincerely yours,

Per Kvist & Team
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Ottawa, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

I have to preface this by saying that anyone who really complains about a vacation in the Maldives will surely come across as rather spoiled, and probably with good reason. However, I also think that many people who dream of paradise might find better ones at a fraction of the price.

Maldives appeals to many because it is exclusive. And it certainly is, this resort being no exception despite being on the lower end of the ridiculous amount of money that vising here costs. I took my mother on this vacation, and we stayed in the A-frame at the end of the island, which was lovely and, I would say, worth the extra money if you want more privacy. Everything was cleaned very well, and the staff were friendly.

The snorkeling, which is what we came for, was OK, but the truth is that due to the various cataclysms of the last 10 years, that reef (as most others around this area) is largely dead. That said, it is still an amazing experience. Swimming with giant turtles, octopus and many other amazing animals is definitely something to write home about. But as for the coral, sadly, this is not the place to go for spectacular views. Unfortunately, regular swimming can only be done off the boat pier, which was a bummer, as swimming is one of my favorite activities, and this is not the nicest place on the island.

Little annoyances were also there, such as instant coffee. I mean really, come on. Also, cheap hot dogs do not a sausage make - and should not, for the price of such vacations. In general, the food was quite good, but a little more local flavours would have been nice to see. Along with tropical drinks that are not made from a mix.

Overall, as I said, it's hard to complain. But it also must be said that one can find a better 'paradise vacation', even one with better reefs, at a fraction of the price. It all depends on how exclusive you want to feel.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

Just returned from 7 nights on Helengeli, booked through Maldives Scuba Tours. We had a wonderful time on this unspoilt corner of the Maldives. The rooms are comfortable, with an outside bathroom and are cleaned twice a day. The restaurant serves buffet meals three times a day, we chose half board and found that breakfast lasted us all day! The food was varied and excellent, and if you wanted anything the staff would do their best for you, they arrange B.B.Q. and dinner on the beach plus romantic dinners for you.
The Island is small and all accommodation is on land, with a bar, pool, & spa, and even when fully occupied it is not crowded, we often wondered where everyone had gone!
We booked 5 days boat diving with Ocean Pro, excellent staff, very friendly and helpful, and the diving was very good, plenty of choice of type of reef/drifts/wall dives etc., the house reef has 6 entry points and is very good diving and snorkelling, although we didn't have time to try it.
We can highly recommend Helengeli, Ocean Pro Diving and Maldives Scuba Tours who made it all possible. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Helengeli Island Resort

Address:
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Helengeli Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Helengeli Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Helengeli Island Resort 3*
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

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