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“Beautiful place, some drawbacks” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Helengeli Island Resort

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Helengeli Island Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |     |  
Hotel amenities
Spalding, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful place, some drawbacks”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Just returned from a week at Helengeli with the full board package.
Firstly, this is a superb island resort, small, very quiet, with great food and service. Being only 800mtrs long and some 80mtrs wide, it must be one of the smallest resorts around, with half the island taken up by the staff area. Even with 50 rooms, the place felt empty, with my wife and I having no issues getting a sunbed around the pool. We would have been diving there, had my sinuses decided to be ok, but talking with other guests, the Dive centre seemed a slick and well run operation.
The food was excellent, with great variety, buffet style breakfast, lunch and Dinner,
Go to the spa, had a few treatments done there, and the staff were excellent, and the environment is relaxing, and well priced
My biggest complaint is that you have to pay for water, at nearly $5.00 for a large bottle. Being a hot and sunny country, with a dive centre located on the island, I would have though water would be included.

Room Tip: Room 1 is right near the reception and pool, though it is so peaceful you wouldn't know it.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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172 reviews from our community

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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 (29)
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

A natural island with comfortable facilities, friendly staffs and amazing snorkling experience! The first day we arrrived the island we saw the rainbow over small wood! The first sight is a group of senior guests sitting down on the rock ( deck) facing the sea peacefully, I knew it is the right place I am looking for.

A bit shock is when having dinner, I find almost all are on barefoot in the buffet restaurant! yet later I got used to it and really enjoy the feel absolutely relax...stand on the soft sands and eat, it is a real enjoyable touch!

Every morning, we will hear the big birds singing with 3 rythems! I really love it! On the beach, there are lots of hermit crabs, some normal grey, some red! We took a lot pictures with them!

The entire island is very quite yet well managed, very few asian faces.

Yummy food! I have to say the food is absolutely delicious! Although only one restaurant and one bar, yet the buffet dinner has a wide variety to choose from! I really enjoy the feeling that we sit down together like a family, like in university restaurant yet with better foods!

We stayed there for 3 nights, it is a great experience especially it is really valuable compare with its pricing! It has buy 6 get 1 free during summer season!

Last but not least, taking seaplane overlooking maldive islands are also memerable! especially when the vice-pilot is on foot:)))

  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chur, Schweiz
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

I visited the island in June. At first I was a bit worried about going to the Maledives alone, always having the picture in mind that the Maledives are a destination for honeymooners. But after reading the reviews about Helengeli I thought that this shouldn't be an obstacle here. And I was right, there were couples there but also other persons travelling alone and it was very easy to get in contact with other travellers. We always met for happy hour before going to dinner. Especially divers will not have any problems getting in contact with other people. But you can also have your alone time when needed.

The rooms are very simple and don't offer any luxuries, which is one reason why I chose this resort. I can watch all the TV I want at home. It is a nice and quiet place to unwind.

I chose the half-board option since buffets aren't my favourite thing. For lunch I went to the bar where they offer a variety of food. I usually had the curry of the day - I can have all the burgers and fries I want at home. For me a big part of the experience to travel to another country is tasting the food. Unfortunately the buffet was mostly european food except Saturday which was Maledivan night and offered great food. Actually the buffet is - for me - the only downside of my stay. I had tuna on one night - sorry but I've never had anything this dry before. I would have preferred having more local food on the buffet. The price for drinks were not really a surprise for me, having read about that in other reviews before. The prices were about what I would have paid back home in Switzerland. Best thing was the happy hour where you get two drinks for the price of one - being there alone that meant a lot of drinking for me ;-)

The whole staff from waiter to room boys were super friendly and everybody always had a smile for you (especially the guys picking up the leaves every morning always smiled). Thanks a lot!

The dive center was great. We had a lot of good dives with loads of fish.

Overall I enjoyed my vacation very much and I might come back next year.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 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.
Colorado
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

After traveling 44 hours to get to Male, we checked in for our seaplane ride to the resort. There was no flight time on our tickets and when we got to the seaplane terminal we saw all flights had been rescheduled due to weather. Over 5 hours after arriving in Male, we left for our 15 minute flight to Helengeli. This was a very bad start. Although both Trans Maldivian Airlines and the Resort blamed the delay on the weather, the real reason is there were only 8 people going to that resort that day. The morning weather affected their schedule and they lost the use of a plane because it was damaged when it hit a dock. It was a calculated business decision to wait until all 8 people arrived and send only 1 flight. It meant we were inconvenienced a lot so more people would be less affected. It is a business decision I would have made but I would have been honest with my guests. If we knew we would have to wait that long, there were 2 day beds in the VIP lounge where we could have at least slept but every time we asked when we would leave, we were given a time about as half hour later.

We expected to be at the resort in time for lunch and an afternoon dive. We arrived just before dark and after registration, we went directly to the dive school and were able to convince them that we had the experience to do a night shore dive by ourselves on a reef we had never seen before. Tanks for night dives are available only with prior approval and must be completed before 9PM. Reluctantly they agreed and we did get in the water that night which made us feel much better. We then raced back to the room to change because there was only 30 minutes left before the restaurant closed and all of the buffet was put away.

Before we finished dinner, we were presented with a bill for US$4.90. I initially though it may have been for tea and coffee but it was not. It was for a 1.5l bottle of water. Our Full Board package did not include any drinking water. We have been to hundreds of hotels in over 40 countries including much poorer and less developed countries and NEVER have we had to purchase all of our drinking water. Even the lesser hotels in Mexico and Honduras provide a liter of drinking water per person per day. We had a $60 drinking water bill for the week. It would have been a lot more if we didn't drink a lot of tea which was included. If you go to this resort, take a portable water purification system. It will pay for itself in one week. Reading other TA reviews, we are not the only ones offended by this expense.

The Resort was generally very nice. The food was excellent with good variety. Our room was spacious with a very nice bath with a Balinese shower in addition to the regular shower. There were clean towels and hot water. There were large black ants all over the bathroom floor every night. This was usually not a problem unless one of then got cold and decided to crawl into bed with us. All of the rooms are on the island, not over water like many other resorts. There is a main path in the middle of the island but the beach is interrupted so you can't get to most rooms by walking along the beach. Since all of the paths are sand, no matter how many times we tried to wash and wipe our feet and no matter how many times they cleaned the floors, it seemed that every night there was a little sand in bed.

We chose this resort because it offered shore diving. It described 6 access points for shore diving so we thought there would be 6 different sections of the reef we could see. But the 6 access points are cuts through the coral or the sandy point at the end of the island which are all good for snorkeling. The only good dive entry was from the dock and that was almost .5km from the dive shop. It's a nice walk without dive gear but a very long walk with equipment including a tank. 3 of the others were somewhat closer but required a long walks/swim through the coral cut. Also the currents can be strong and variable. One day we did entry 6 to the dock and it took only 20 min. Another time, the same dive took 52 minutes. The shore diving was both more difficult and less interesting than we expected.

The Dive operator is Ocean Pro. It is a German run operation and as would be expected, is very professional. But it is the most expensive diving we have ever done. The 6 day "Unlimited" diving package is US$474. But that doesn't include any boat dives. 2 boat dives in a day cost an additional US$25 PLUS a $2 "service charge," probably for taking your equipment and tanks to the boat and back. We have been to over 80 different dive resorts and when shore diving is available, it is complimentary on the days you do boat diving. Ocean Pro charges $40-50 PER extra shore dive even if you are doing both boat dives that day. Also the boat schedule and meal schedule makes it extremely difficult to add shore dives if you do both the morning and afternoon 1 Tank boat dives. On the days we did both dives we had time for only one additional afternoon dive or a rushed, early night dive before dinner.

The boat dives are worth the extra cost, relatively speaking. They can be up to 75 minutes. They are drift dives so you don't have to fight the current as much and they are to better sites than the house reef. There are 35 dive sites in their book although some are just different parts of the same reef. Although there was different topography, the marine life was pretty much the same. There were a lot more and larger fish than the reefs closer to Male which we did the following week. Unfortunately, in 16 dives, we did not see a single Manta even though this was prime Manta season. After traveling halfway around the globe, this was a major disappointment. Another major dissatisfaction is there was no drinking water on the boat. As with the resort, drinking water is available for purchase at US$4.20 plus tax and service for a 1.5l bottle. We have never been on a dive boat that did not have plenty of water (and often juice) and encouraged you to drink a lot as that is the best known prevention for DCS. Also instead of a refreshing piece of watermelon of orange, they offered a piece of dry coconut after the dive. The crew probably drinks the coconut water.

Several other TA reviews made reference to the seaplane delay. Apparently this is not an uncommon problem. If you have any questions for us, please feel free to contact us through TA. We are unlikely to go back to the Maldives. There are other, better places to dive that are much easier for us to get to and less expensive

Room Tip: Bring your own water. Be prepared for a long wait before your Trans Maldivian Air flight to the res...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lagos
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012 via mobile

Helengeli was nice to stay. Hubby and I went there for our honeymoon in June and it was a real value for money. They had a promotion going on and so we paid a very reasonable amour for our stay.

The island was quiet, we were even the only black couple present at that time. Food was wonderful, our waiter Zubair was friendly and so so helpful.

Pool was clean and the island itself was clean.

Remember to pack it toothpaste when going. We had to go two days without brushing before getting one.

Also the souvenirs in the shop are wayyyyy more expensive than the town.


Overall it was a very lovely stay. We got a very very very good deal for the price we paid. Thank you helengeli

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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 JumokeLagos,

I would like to thank you for taking your time and 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, especially your waiter Zuhair.

Please consider us again during your next visit to the Maldives. We would be delighted to welcome you back again.

Warm regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Moscow City, Russia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
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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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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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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