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“Nice Holiday”

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Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vilamendhoo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 21, 2011

This was our first trip to the Maldives and we did not know what to expect....
After a comfortable BA flight (incidentally, a cheaper package than with Thomsons!) we easily followed the procedures to our seaplane transfer and not long after landed on a small floating jetty in the sea and were picked up by the hotel's Dhoni to be taken to reception.

CHECK IN
We were checked in swiftly. Before proceeding to our room we enquired if our request for a room on the South side of the island had been met (having read reviews on the North side being a bit noisy because of the jetty). Unfortunately all the rooms were full on the South. Before proceeding to our assigned room, as a contingency plan we enquired about upgrading to a jacuzzi water villa. We viewed the Beach Villa on the North and the JWV. The beach villa was small and dark in comparison to the JWV, there was no question of which room to go for. The JWV was spacious with a terrace at the back with the Jacuzzi and two loungers, as well as a front terrace with two loungers with steps leading to the sea. I'd recommend an upgrade for part of your stay, even one night if you can afterall, there aren't many resorts in the world where your room will be IN the sea!

ROOM
We were well pleased with our decision to upgrade and figured we would have had a completely different holiday if we "lived" by the busy jetty for the week. The wet room and double sinks and bedroom / lounge provided us with ample space. The sound system was amazing - don't forget to take your music! Our room was cleaned daily and the Jacuzzi water changed frequently. We didn’t see one mosquito and no bites!

WATERSPORTS
The snorkelling lesson was very good. Kaaloo was very patient and gave me confidence. They will lend you a life vest F.O.C. if you are in the AI plan.
Take your own snorkel set, the charge was US$5 a day to rent flippers and I think $8 to hire together with the goggles/breathing apparatus – glad we took our own as I wouldn’t fancy putting my mouth over where someone else’s has been.

SEA
The sea is stunning and crystal clear. You can walk far out to the reef in the mornings and see the tropical fish, baby sharks and stingrays. We saw a huge octopus from our room, apparently two live under the spa.

SPA
The spa is Balinese and I enjoyed a few massages. Very authentic and relaxing. All the girls are lovely. Always ask for a discount – you don’t ask, you don’t get!

FOOD / DRINK
Having been on numerous AI's and the price paid, we were very disappointed with the restricted AI here.

For AI drinks, the options were basic beer, wine (red or white out of a carton), whisky, vodka, rum and gin. The only cocktail that is included is the "daily special" was always foul. Iced tea and coffee were also included - these were nice (try the iced coffee with a shot of vodka!). Cappuccino’s and Lattes were chargeable. As with "normal" AI's don't expect any afternoon tea and cake.

The snack menu with chips, icecream etc was chargeable. You could order sandwiches throughout the day on the AI plan though. Only four small cans of beer were included in the minibar per day as well as soft drinks. A small bag of cashews was US$5! Tea and coffee making facilities in the room were good.

The dining times provided too short windows and too close from breakfast to lunchtime for our likings. We used the Ahima restaurant. The buffet meals and choices provided were good, although fish curry seemed to feature every day, even at breakfast! The other curries were delicious. We were disappointed with the lack of fresh seafood (prawns, mussels etc) and fresh fruit juices considering we were staying on a tropical island – sorry, smoothies were available but chargeable!!! I was very surprised to see that pork was served up, we don’t expect pork sausages when we visit places like Egypt or Dubai, as much as I love my ham, there’s no need for the hotel to compromise to this extent.

Our waiter Jameel was very attentive and friendly without being intrusive and RanaSinghe was our favourite chef, always cheerful and helpful.


BARS
It was also annoying to always have to quote your room number at the bars even though we were wearing these ridiculously wide white hospital bands on our wrists (indicating we were members of the feed and water me institute). They could have been much narrower and colourful with a holiday vibe as they usually are.

We went to Sunset bar most of the time.

The Bonthi bar was open 24 hours which is great if you can stay up! Service here was seriously lacking. I’d rank it as bar service rather than waiter service. Many times waiters just looked or diverted away when they saw that we wanted to place an order. My husband went up to one of the waiters one evening, who we assume was chatting to a manager as this other person was wearing a beige shirt and when he asked if we could order some drinks, the man in the beige shirt snapped and said “what’s your room number” and proceeded to be engrossed in conversation. So whoever you were on the 10th May night, please be more courteous!

WIFI
Chargeable at $10 an hour (can be used through duration of stay). Good connection in the gift shop.


ENTERTAINMENT
Local show nights are usually the biggest at most world hotels. Here almost all the guests retired to their rooms as soon as the slide show and local's presentation was finished on the Maldivian night. After the presentation the staff do try hard to make the night fun for guests. But the staff drumming and singing old folk songs and dancing didn’t seem to entice guests to join in. Maldivians are very genteel and shy and won’t beckon or drag guests to join in. I think a more colourful synchronised spectacle performed by male and female dancers would be more entertaining with a lively compere. Rather than (in a droning voice) if you don't dance now the singers say this will be their last song, which it was! A few of us got up to give moral support. The compere had the most UNenthusiastic tone ever – he even presented us to board the sunset cruise which was an anti-climax with our one glass of punch. I feel sorry for anyone who paid $25 for the trip.

Other nights, crab racing was fun, (none were harmed in the event!) as we saw number 3 running around for days after on the island! Games night was the theme for another night, where staff v guests in the games room and then guests v staff playing football. Not our idea of entertainment.

I must say, my favourite night was TUESDAY night!!! Disco night! And we must give a shout to Cordelia and Carin, it would have been another rubbish night without you. I wish we met you two lovely ladies earlier in our holiday. You were the life and soul of the night. Lucky there was a group of travel reviewers there that night who increased the numbers on the dance floor. The DJ was excellent, playing the absolute latest tracks and accommodating all requests. It was nice to leave on a high. Any one going to Vilamendhoo, look Cordelia and Carin up, they are so professional, informative and helpful.

STAFF
Generally all the staff were very polite and courteous.

GUESTS
Lovely array of polite quiet guests. Mainly couples, a few European families with extremely well behaved kids.

OVERALL
We had a nice time. Vilamendhoo was really nice and we loved the fact that it felt fresh, new and clean having been through a refurbishment. The sea is beautiful and calm here.

Even though all the hotel was running at 100% capacity at times, it did not feel like it as there was so much space and lots of seating in the bars and restaurants.

TIPS
Don’t forget to take waterproof camera(s)! Lots of sunblock - you'll need it, the sun is extremely hot!

Walk right to the end of the footbridge by the water villas.

If it’s your first trip to the Maldives, no walking out the resort to explore local life here! Don’t expect to do much else other than eat, sleep, drink and various water activities.

Enjoy it! It's a nice quiet resort.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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10  Thank LONDONMANIA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 21, 2011

If you decide to go to Vilamendhoo your impression will be dependent on where you stay on the island. For us this is an excellent island and of the four times we have been to the Maldives as an overall package including its value for money it was the best.

As a summary for those who do not want to read the whole review it is worth upgrading to the Beach Jacuzzi Villas (or Luxury Water Villas) due to the location of the accommodation and the access to the Ahima restuarant. The facilities on the island are great, house reef is excellent, food is tasty and overall we had a fantastic two weeks. All is not quite 100% but would definitely recommend a visit.

Rooms/Location
We stayed in a beach jacuzzi villa, room 211 which is near the Ahima Restaurant. The room had a large double bed, dressing table, wardrobe, mini bar, safe, sofa (with huge cushions), shelf space, air con, TV with 40 channels, DVD, ipod docking station inc alarm clock. Out the back was the shower, basins, a double recliner and the jacuzzi and out the front were two rattan chairs and a table, plus the urn of water to wash your feet and a couple of sunbeds on the beach with your room number on them. The room was excellent, could not fault it and the location was the best on the island especially as we got the sun all day which is not the case in some locations along the south side.

In terms of the other rooms available there are garden villa which were close to the building work that is still going on in the centre of the island and they look (from the outside) to be smaller than the other rooms. There are also beach villas and the water villas. The island is split between west side which has the Beach Jacuzzi Villas and the Water Villas and the East side which has the Beach Villas. The best location for the beach jacuzzi villas from the point of view of the beach is from 200-212. The North East side of the island has a lot of concrete breakers and sandbags plus very little beach so if you are staying in a beach villa then the southern side of the island is better and rooms 119-127 have the best location with the most beach and furthest from the two jetties. If you want a romantic secluded area then room 224 has its sunbeds located in a spot on the beach that has vegetation all around so you feel very isolated.

Food
One of the other advantages to staying in the beach jacuzzi villas (and the water villas) is that you are in the Ahima Restaurant rather than Funama. Ahima and Funama serve the same food but Ahima is for adults only which means meal times are a lot quieter (this was the opinion of others on the island who actually ate in Funama).

We stayed Full Board which means breakfast, lunch and dinner but no drinks. As we are not big drinkers or eater this was ideal for us, however Hayes and Jarvis did upgrade us to All Inclusive (but failed to tell us which means we only got 4 days of the upgrade) which gave us access to the all inclusive cocktail of the day, various drinks plus the kayaks, sunset cruise, the gym and other sports equipment. The food was very good and it is the first time in the Maldives that my wife has not gone to the more expensive restaurants on an island (Vilamendhoo does have an Asian Wok restaurant).

Breakfast was a selection of 4 cereals, breads, hot food like sausages bacon etc plus some traditional Maldivian breakfast, waffles, fresh eggs station, fruit, nuts, jams, tea, coffee, fruit juices. There was ample choice and once a week there was champagne available.
Lunch and Dinner was a buffet selection with 6 salads, bread, soup, some cold starters (we had sushi one day), 8-10 different dishes for dinner including veg, rice potatoes etc, 4 Maldivian/Indian dishes including rice and then a huge selection of desserts plus every 3/4 days they do a cheese selection.

Overall the food is very good, the variation keeps you interested and the quality is excellent. Things that could be improved are the fruit juices which are concentrated, the waffle/pancakes should be cooked fresh rather than buffet and the ice creams are a bit too runny probably due to the heat. These are just minor niggles.

Reef/Diving/Water Sports
The house reef is very good with various corals, fish, giant clams, octopi, rays and Bruno (the titan trigger fish) who is notorious. This is the best house reef we have been to and there are several great spots to see the fish. On top of the usual surgeon, unicorn, anemone, black tipped reef sharks and more common fish we also saw 5 sting rays in the lagoon, one day eagle rays visited the reef, plus cuttlefish, other people saw lobsters and turtles.

The dive centre is very friendly although due to the size of the island there are a lot of divers around which means it is sometimes are to find someone who is free, the current 5 dive package is $228, however you also have to pay $15 a dive for the boat trip plus $100 for equipment and $4 a dive to be guided if the dive centre deems it necessary. You can also rent cameras which we took advantage of for the manta ray snorkel trip and this was definitely money well spent. The boats provide food and drink and the staff on the boats are excellent. When you return your equipment is washed for you and basically all you need to do is turn up collect your wetsuit and go diving.

There are various other water sports available on the island including wind surfing and kayaking. Overall a great experience although busy and expensive.

Spa
The Spa is located by the water villas overlooking the lagoon. Overall the experience is very good, we got a free 15 minute massage and my wife has a reflexology treatment which she really enjoyed. It was about $90 for the treatment which is a bit expensive but she really enjoyed it. As you have a massage there is a window to the lagoon cut into the floor so you can watch the fish and after the treatment you get your ginger tea int he relaxation room. Overall an excellent experience but a little on the pricey side.

Summary of the Island
We would recommend due to all the positive things above however there were a couple of things that you may wish to be aware of
This is the first time I have heard so much plane noise from sea planes. It felt like some days there was 5 or 6 planes a day visiting the island so this is not the most peaceful of islands although you do get used to it.
Over booking of the Beach Jacuzzi Villas still goes on. When we arrived we were offered a deal on specific dates to go to Rangveli island and then come back to a Water Villa, however this was only available to those in Beach Jacuzzi Villas.
There is still work going on in the island and twice during the two weeks there was a large ship sitting in the jetty area which would spoil views for those staying close that area and you could hear building work going on in the middle of the island although this did not bother us.
The island is a lot bigger than we were used to so there is not the feeling of isolation that you get on other islands. There are also quite a few children although the island has been split so that there is an adults only pool and adults only restaurants however if you want to use the games room then you have no chance until later at night.
The happy hours in the adult bars are at 23:00 which is insulting really, most people can't take advantage of this and it would be better to just remove it altogether. This is the Maldives not Ibiza.
Lastly I heard a rumour that prices are due to go up next year. Our overall impression of the island takes into account the cost of the holiday (£3500 full board for two weeks) but had we spent £5k-£6k I am not sure we would be as tolerant. For this sort of money I would expect the the views to be improved at the east of the island, to have water supplied in the rooms free of charge, less noise from planes, a greater feeling of isolation, free use of the gym, organised events to start on time (the staff v guests games did not always take place) and free Wifi, however at the price we paid I would certainly recommend a visit.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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19  Thank Wildsnoopster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2011

I was really looking forward to out visit to the Maldives having never been before and heard many amazing reports from previous visitors. Unfortunately I think my expectations were just too high and this island just didn't quite meet them.

We had booked a beach villa. On arrival at the island we were given villa 241 which, as other reviewers have said, is very close to the service jetty with a view of the builder's boats, diesel ship, and various other unattractive visitors. We didn't mind too much for the first day or two but with the demolition work going on in the middle of the island, the third day on Vilamendhoo was the noisiest day I have had in many years - at home or on holiday. We asked to be moved and were moved to the other side of the island the next morning and I have to say that Lou, the rep, and the staff at the hotel handled us very well. However by that point I think the holiday was ruined for me and although our new room was nice and quiet, the island had lost some of its shine.

We spent the rest of the holiday in room 150. On the north side of the island, closer to the Asian wok than the water bungalows. Not much sun but that was a relief during the hottest part of the day and excellent snorkelling on the north side. Visibility was very good and although the variety of fish & coral may not be the best, the island does have a couple of turtles and there is much to see below the water! As the reef continues to grow it will only get better. the beach is constantly being sucked out to sea so there are concrete reinforcements and sand bags but if they weren't there, the island would soon disappear.

The rooms are quite basic. They look quite nice but the beds are very hard, with a fairly flimsy pillow. And the open air bathroom seemed like a lovely idea until the bats poo'd down the walls and the monsoon rain started!

The food was really good. We rarely struggled to find something we liked the look of and the puddings were amazing! And a very good selection of pastries for breakfast! You sit at the same table and have the same waiter for your whole stay and this really adds to the atmosphere at meal times. We got quite chatty with our waiter and our 'table' neighbours. We also had a lovely 'happy anniversay' cake and table dec on our first night.

As has been said, the minibar could do with a wider variety of all inclusive alcohol but it's not too much of a chore to walk to the bar for a drink or five... And it would be good if there was more than one cocktail included in AI. This was quite often something fairly obscure and VERY alcoholic.

The jacuzzi beach villas definitely have a better beach than the beach villas so it pays to spend a bit more on accommodation. We usually walked up the beach to the sunset bar end to start snorkelling/swimming. The sand up that end is lovely and soft. Towards the asian wok end it becomes very coarse with lots of broken coral. But the sea is beautifully clear and lovely and warm (most of the time).

We had the 15 min complementary spa treatment when we arrived and immdeiately booked a full treatment. I would definitely recommend that!

All in all we did enjoy our holiday - my husband really enjoyed it - and I think if it hadn't been for the disappointing first few days I would have too. Despite the 4 days of rain (well, May is the start if the monsoon season)! And all the other couples we spoke to on the flight home had an amazing experience. The island will be amazing when all the work is finished but I expect by then we wouldn't be able to afford to go!

And I would like to say a big thank you to the hotel for sorting our complaint so quickly, and for responding to our feedback on the questionnaire we completed before leaving (we had a response within a week). They are obviously eager to please.

TOP TIP: take your own snorkel & fins as they are expensive to rent/buy. We also took citronella candles for sitting out on the veranda in the evening and I am sure that they helped to ward off potential mozzies.

p.s. I think there was a gym but I didn't go near it!

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank beckyjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2011

FLIGHT

We flew with Sri Lanken Airways (UL510 out UL509 back) could not fault them really, more or less on time, food pretty good, staff nice and helpful, a great start to the holiday!

TRANSFER

Once we picked up our bags and got through security we found the Cosmos rep who told us which desk to go to for the seaplane tickets. Once the tickets were in hand it was over to the TMA desk to have the luggage weighed and check in then we were straight onto a minibus and whisked to the TMA terminal (luggage followed separately). The new lounge for Vila customers was great, nice cold towels and help yourself to soft drinks. We had just over an hours wait before we were taken to our seaplane then on our way.

ARRIVAL

The seaplane flight was great, what an experience :) make sure you've got your camera handy and try and sit right at the front behind the pilots, they might offer to take some pics for you if you are lucky :D 25 Minutes later we were at Vila and offloaded onto a floating pontoon, a boat was straight over to pick us all up along with Sabine the asst manager. Once we got to reception we were given cold towels and ice tea, then after a short wait we were given a brief description of how the island works and our room key.

This was disappointment number one. We had requested about half a dozen room numbers and failing those any room on the south side away from the jetty's. We were given room 149 on the north side, there was no sun here and nice concrete sea defences to look at! The villa itself was great, but we were not happy so asked to be moved.

Disappointment number two was that as honeymooners we were supposed to get a flower decorated room, fruit basket etc. This didn't happen (despite emails beforehand and our putting our wedding date on the registration form!) Not a big deal, but would have been a nice touch.

ROOM MOVE

So, we asked to be moved, one of the lads in reception gave us a list of villas that would be vacated in the next day or so. We had a walk to choose which one we wanted and decided on 236 a nice detached villa on the south side, perfect! The move seemed to be planned very well, we were told that we'd get a letter the night before confirming the time of the move and when to leave our luggage outside. We got the letter and the next morning left our bags out and went to reception to pick up the keys, to villa 235!

When we queried this we were told that there were problems with villa 236 and it was being worked on, this was a lie as we clocked the folks staying in it and they were still there on the day of our move, so the guy in reception had obviously messed up! Anyway we decided to cut our losses and accept 235 (semi detached). Again not a massive deal but this was our honeymoon and wanted everything to be perfect and I have to say the guy in reception didn't really seem to understand (or care) about this.

ALL INCLUSIVE

Couldn't fault the AI at all, the food was fantastic! For brekky there was cereal /fruit / yoghurt / juice / eggs any way you wanted / full english / curry / cold meats and cheeses, everything you could want really!

Always a good selection of dishes for lunch and dinner, international cuisine (although always a selection of curries :D ). The drinks selection was good as well, the house wines fine, most of the AI cocktails were OK (a couple were nasty tho!), beer and unbranded spirits all OK as well.

The room minibar was kept well stocked with water, soft drinks and beers, it was great being able to pop back to the room for a drink rather than having to walk up to the bar :)

SPA

When we arrived we were given a voucher for a free 15 minute spa treatment. This is highly recommended! You get a cold towel and ice tea before your treatment, then a 15 minute back and neck massage followed by a 'love seat' in the lounge where you are served honey and ginger tea. Really relaxing! We loved it so much that we booked the Honeymooners package, this consisted of a body scrub, foot / head / body massages, then a bath on the deck watching the sunset, perfect! The girls are great and very skilful.

STAFF

In general all very happy and smiley, even the gardeners. Our waiter Lahteef (Funama restaurant) was great, always knew what drinks we wanted and got them lined up for us very quickly! Hussan in the Bonthi bar was also great, he loved the banter and always said "alright mate" as he walked past, lol.

Only the uncaring receptionist let the side down (slightly!).

BUILDING WORK

There was work going on, the demolition of some of the garden rooms and a new building being put up near the sunset bar. It was all being done discretely, and did not disturb us at all. Worth mentioning that there was 2 large boatloads of building supplies delivered whilst we were there (taking a day at a time to unload) so obviously more work planned?

SNORKELLING

Awesome! It was our first trip to the Maldives and we were certainly not disappointed, we saw a fantastic variety of animals including Napoleon wrasse, turtle, moray eel, reef sharks, rays, lion fish. Not being a very confident swimmer I loved that in some locations (south side villas 213 - 241) you could normally swim right out over the reef to the drop off. I also enjoyed swimming over the north reef in the shallow, plenty to see here as well, followed a turtle for at least 10 minutes :)

Watch the currents though, they were especially strong towards the Asian wok end of the island, but I guess this varies with season.

CONCLUSION

GO TO VILA! You won't regret it, it's the best holiday we've had so far by miles! Not sure if we'll go back though, too many other islands to visit, we'll see though!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TimScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2011

I spent 10 nights in the newly refurbished Vilamendhoo in February. Having done a bit of research I requested one of the Beach Villas on the Southern side of the island between the jetty and the water bungalows, and that is exactly what I got. Very nicely furnished and comfortable, my only criticism is the closeness of the path running outside the rooms. I like to sit on the verandah with a drink and the path really is too close (equally uncomfortable when walking to the restaurant past other rooms). At that time there was much work still ongoing, especially on the northern side which I really didn't take to. Also some of the sand was very coarse and gritty which was uncomfortable to walk on.
Like most rooms in that area of the island, there was a nice private beach with 2 loungers although they were cutting down many bushes whilst I was there (and a few spats were breaking out over the loungers as people from the northern side were looking for a bit of beach - personally I was quite happy to share!)
Everyone had said how great the reef was - I actually found it quite disappointing compared to other islands. The coral was beautiful but the fish life was not outstanding. The island run trips to see Whale Sharks and Mantas. I went on both and we did see a huge Manta but no Whale Sharks.
What did amaze me was the food. Generally I loathe buffets but over 10 days there were probably about 2 sessions on full board where there wasn't something truly tempting. I also had a smashing waiter (I guess they are all super).
I did have a couple of issues with the daily checks on the room bar where I was charged for something I did not have - as I was leaving the island they were still trying to tell me I had a $20 dollar bill to pay (I know I did not!).
I cannot speak highly enough of Pete the rep - nothing too much trouble.
Overall a nice island, but looking back I preferred Reethi Beach a year ago, and of course there are still hundreds of Maldivian islands I haven't yet tried so I am probably not expecting to go back.

Room Tip: Water villas to the jetty are the best rooms
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  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank AttitudeAdjuster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VilamendhooIsland, Manager at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 19, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback we are grateful for your comments. Now, there is nice soft sand around the island. Glad you enjoyed the food, it really is great. In February we did some landscaping so that every room enjoys a nice beach/sea view and guest are happy about that. Sorry to hear that the reef was not to your satisfaction, but it is one of the best in whole Maldives. Thanks you again for your feedback and we do hope to welcome you back as a repeat guest.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2011

Stayed on vila from 23rd april -8th May ,
Travelled with Cosmos who were great and answered any questions .
Flew with Sri Lankan ,Direct flights and comfy . Inbound plane was better than out for in flight entertainment as slightly newer plane I think .

Vilamendhoo .

Had a great time from start to finish . management and staff extremely friendly . Big thanks to our waiter Abdullah and Hishma in the Funama restaurant and Hussan on the Bonthi Bar terrace . Not forgetting the egg man who did my scrambled eggs with chilli everyday :o)

The food was extremely good ,so much so that we didn't feel the need to try the Asian Wok . It did smell fantastic though as we sat on the terrace there some evenings before dinner for a G&T watching the sharks and rays . Try it its a must do .

The Beach Villa we had 231 was faultless and had a good view with nice bit of beach right outside . The best bit was it was very close to the reef . Nice to have the room so close to pop back inside to the mini-bar for frequent refreshments .The bathroom is amazing .

Not a huge amount of beach space on the island as so many villas but plenty of room at the sunset end . Unfortunately in my opinion spoilt by the view of the Water Villas being built on the best bit of the Island . So we rarely ventured far from our bit of beach .

The big draw for us was the Housereef .... The main reason for picking Vila .
It didn't disappoint . I preferred the South Reef ,West of the Jetty ,some preferred the North . Right from our room straight over the reef and West along past the sunset bar against the current then drift back to our room . Abundant fish and colourful coral . Swam along the reef early one morning with a 5' Moray . Found the Turtle a couple of times along here to , more than happy to swim along with you if you give her/him a little space .

I found the best time to snorkel was 7.30 - 10.00 Am as the sea was usually flat before the south west wind gets up .

Another must do is the Whaleshark and Manta trips . Put your name down in reception on the notice board as soon as you arrive as they do get booked up !
We were extremely lucky and swam with both :o) . What an experience that just about made the holiday for us .

There was a small amount of the aforementioned building work , ie . The garden rooms had been reduced to just outside walls but we didn't notice until someone told us .
Odd boatload of building materials .
An excavator was busy across on the lagoon creating a passage through but barely noticeable .
The service Jetty is quite busy anyway with dive dhoni's coming and going . Staff going back and forth to Dangethi . The odd boatload of stores for the island .

Plenty of seaplane traffic too .

Nothing impacted our holiday though ,just adding to what others have mentioned .

All in all we had a fantastic holiday and good value for money .
This was our 2nd Maldives Vacation as did Biyadhoo last May .

Would I go again .....probably not unless pricing remains as it is .. which i doubt .
For me too many rooms / too many people for the size of the Island as every available bit of coastline is taken up plus those Water Villas .
Why is there 2 swimming pools ? especially one right on the waters edge !
Is it just me ?
Slight moan over
There are so many other islands to see . The chance to swim with Whalesharks though may make me look again , and the reef really is great .
We did have a fantastic time .

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank andysSuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2011

This holiday was a 'once in a lifetime' holiday for my Husbands' 50th b'day. We went 1 - 11 May and booked a garden villa as they only had these or JWV that were too expensive. A couple of times before we went I e-mailed to see if any beach villas were available but always told they were full. On 29 March I saw a report on the Vila web forum about building work and noise so went in to First Choice and they rang Hayes & Jarvis who said the only work was a beach hut being built by the staff quarters and as there was no heavy machinery being used it wouldn't be a problem. The garden villas are by the staff quarters so I asked First Choice to contact Vila directly when I read more news a couple of weeks later. Corinne Frohlich (asst sales manager) replied saying "I can reassure you we don't have any building works on Vilamendhoo" (this was dated 15/04/11). This was true at the time but works had been planned.

When we arrived on 2 May the TUI rep, Lou Vassie, told us that, "because you come from Dorset (?!) and you have a birthday on this holiday, you have been up-graded to a beach villa" we were reallly happy and were put in 102 (2nd closest to all the building work!) not being any the wiser at first. The room was lovely and we un-packed. Later that day we went to have a look at the garden villas to see they were being pulled down so we couldn't have had one anyway! I went to see Corinne the next day and showed her the e-mail she sent to First Choice, all she said was she had been on holiday and only returned on the 1st May the day the work started. I said it must have been planned but she said the Management had decided to put in outside bathrooms as some brochures say the rooms have them and had only decided that day - a bit odd as they needed to get materials etc there!

I made an official complaint to Lou the next day and she said the work had been planned for weeks but didn't know exactly when. She said she was in a garden room with the pro-divers and my husband said that we are guests not staff and she said she was a "vip staff"!

At no time did anyone apologise for the lies or offer to move us to a room away from all the noise. I had to ask myself and eventually we got moved on day 5 to 158 where you can still hear the noise a little but you can't hear the sea planes at 6am or the music from the disco whis extremely loud and finishes at 1am, not what you expect on a Maldive Island.

I e-mailed First Choice whilst we were there to tell them and they have already started investigating and I am sending in an official complaint letter and photos and video clips with lots of noise so they can't be under any illusion!

We wanted a peacefull holiday and had more noise than last year in Faliraki (beginning of the season) which really isn't acceptable. If everyone had told the truth about building work we would have been offered a different island or destination.

All said, we had lovely weather and saw some amazing fish and the seaplane transfer is well worth it. We didn't like all the flies on the food and thought they could have covered the food over.

We won't be going back to the Maldives as so far to go so it was disapointing that we have so many bad memories.

If anyonw would like to see the video clips let me know.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank durdledoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Address: Vilamendhoo Island, 20187
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Vilamendhoo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vilamendhoo
Price Range: $328 - $1,179 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 184
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vilamendhoo Island Resort, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon, an excellent house reef and long stretches of white, sandy beach, is the only Resort on the island of Vilamendhoo, South Ari Atoll. It is 900 meters long by 250 meters wide, about 55 acres. Your seaplane transfer from Velana International Airport is a scenic, 25 minute flight. 184 Rooms include 30 Jacuzzi water villas, 30 Jacuzzi beach villas, 111 beach villas and 13 garden rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vilamendhoo Island Hotel Vilamendhoo
Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Hotel Vilamendhoo Island

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