We had a week at Helengeli, enjoying the delights of the island. The rooms are spacious with large outdoor bathrooms and efficient air conditioning. It was lovely to sit in the shade looking out at the sea each evening. The rooms were cleaned twice a day, probably due to the sand which inevitably we carried in on our feet despite washing at the putdoor tap before going into the room. Everything was kept beautifully clean, and the room boy was really responsive in repairing a non working light. You can choose how often linen and towels are changed. Beach towels are provided. There is a washing line in the bathroom and it would have been helpful to have had (or taken) some clothes pegs to secure our swimming things.
The restaurant is large, with a good variety of buffet. Our waiter, Ali, was very efficient and helpful;he served us all week and quickly came to know our quirks and foibles. The food is very nice with excellent curries. We had half board and ate soup, curry or fruit plates at lunchtime in the bar. The only criticism is the price of water, and the use of plastic water bottles.
We went to Helengeli to dive and the dive shop, run by Ocean Pro, is excellent. Everything is incredibly well organised, but in a relaxed way. The staff are really professional and the briefings are just about the best we have ever had (and in three languages at least!). They were very vigilant during dives. Dives were well planned with a choice of difficulty and type of dive. Diving Helengeli Thila, twice, was a highlight as squadrons of eagle rays passed overhead while lots of sharks went by and a Titan triggerfish chewed my husband's fins.
We did two boat dives each day, diving from dohnis. The dhoni crews are very competent, manoeuvring the boats into impossible spaces as well as helping all the divers. The dhonis have loos.
The dive shop makes fish books available each evening and staff help with identification. The following day's dives are posted in the evening along with a book describing each dive so you can read about the options and choose the dives you want to do.
We also enjoyed snorkelling round the island, seeing sharks, turtles, napoleons, squid and lots of different fish on the house reef.
The sea plane trips to and from the island are such an adventure too with the amazing views of other islands and the turquoise ocean.
Wifi facilities are available in the bar, and can be bought by the hour or day.
The spa offers a free fifteen minute massage during the first three days. What a good idea! We had further treatments later in the week. The staff are delightful and competent, creating a great ambiance in the spa, and banishing 'tank back'.
It was so relaxing to be away from tv. The other divers, mostly Swiss, were friendly but not pushy.
So, overall, Helengeli was a good choice for a week of diving. If only they would rethink the water issue it would be just about perfect.
- 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