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“Well organised, laid back, relaxing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Helengeli Island Resort

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Helengeli Island Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |     |  
Hotel amenities
Bordeaux, France
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Well organised, laid back, relaxing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

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.

  • Stayed November 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
    • 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.
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180 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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Beirut, Lebanon
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

My husband and I spent 1 night at Helengeli. It is a small and clean resort with all needed basic amenities. The staff is cordial and welcoming from the manager who greeted us on arrival and accompanied us upon departure to the waiters in the restaurant and bar, as well as the staff at the reception. Snorkeling is good around the island. There is no special entertainment at night. The resort is ideal for divers, groups or families.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brixham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

Firstly I would like to make it clear the island food etc especially the reef snorkelling etc etc is faultless. However please be aware of what may happen with your accommodation.
My wife and I stayed here on a short 2 day transfer whilst staying in a beach front woodland and ocean view jacuzzi beach villa aip on another island. We took the opportunity to visit Helengeli as we do to gain further thought for future vacations to the Maldives.
The problem was we were allocated one of I think four units of which were in a quite unkept area compared to all the other units i.e no ocean views, no soft sand to walk on as the others do, in a darker area infront of the harbour shielded by a very large tree and overgrown bushes this would be no.26 . we grinned and beared it as we were only there for the 2 nights. On the second morning we returned from a fabulous breakfast to find nos 25.27 & 28 occupied by around 12 younger very inconsiderate adults playing music taking up any free space outside of our accommodation.....though concerned again we were not sticking around as there is plenty of snorkelling to be done so off we went.
As we were leaving the next morning we wanted to get an early night good sleep so that we could benefit from being up earlier and get some last Helengeli snorkelling in before departing.
At 1:45am we were awoken to loud music general excited hyper singing talking shouting in the adjacent room 25 and the two other rooms 27 & 28, doors continually being opened and closed people backwards and forwards in front of our room porch lights left on.... by 4am enough was enough security was called denied anything was wrong and so I called the island manager he duly came along and agreed this was unacceptable [by now all had gone quiet] and there was nothing he could do. What had happened was the island had a staff party and thes 12 persons were the staff entertainment group that had just returned from their night of fun! no problem with that but giving us accommodation in the middle of them!?
An apology was given by the manager but our night was ruined with only an hours sleep.
So please be aware rooms 22 - 28 are not the to be recommended as this is clearly what they use for staff entertainment and non holiday makers.
This was a real shock to us as we have never experienced anything like this before and have visited several islands with nothing but courtesy.

Room Tip: Any room but not 22-28. Beware as the walls are thin - soundproof poor.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
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, October 18, 2012
Dear Nasaw,

I would like to take this opportunity and thank you for taking your time and sharing your experiences during your recent holiday with us on Helengeli Island. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed our house reef as well as our kitchen etc.

I would also like to take this opportunity and apologize for the inconveniences caused during your last night. In order to show our appreciation to our hard working staff we occasionally organize staff parties. For this particular party we had arranged a group of eight outsourced entertainers. I can assure you that we have learned from this experience and taken the necessary actions in order to prevent such incidents from re-occuring.

Once again, my sincerest apologies for the inconveniences caused.

Please consider us again during your next visit to the Maldives. The team and myself would be delighted to welcome you back.

Warm regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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
83 reviews 83 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
187 helpful votes 187 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.

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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*
Number of rooms: 50
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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