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Reviewed October 22, 2011

Myself and my new wife recently visited Vilamendhoo for our honeymoon. We flew out from London Gatwick on 18th September and returned on 3rd October. Below is our account and review on the island and our first trip to the Maldives. Hopefully you will find it useful.

The flight to Male was on time and went without delays. We flew with Thomson and certainly will again. The staff on the plane were fantastic but the TV was poor. Our fault, we didn’t take the option of the upgrade, which I would strongly recommend (we did on the way back). It is a long flight and the queue at Male airport to go through passport control was also long and a bit of a wait, but saying that, the staff were efficient and polite and it wasn’t long before we were collecting our luggage and making our way to the bus. Male airport is something else, unlike any airport I have ever been to, they care about you, you’re not just a number, there is no chance of getting lost, a member of staff takes you everywhere. The airport lounge in my opinion was fantastic, we were met by a young lady and offered cold towels to help us refresh. You could help yourself to non-alcoholic refreshments and there was also a TV showing the news. There was a slight delay with our seaplane but the time flew and I didn’t really notice it.

A short seaplane ride away and we arrived at Vilamendhoo. There is just one word, Perfection! We arrived at our paradise! A short welcome in reception we were given our key and taken to our Villa. Walking on the golden sands through the vegetation and palm trees for the first time was fantastic. A short wait after and our luggage arrived (I would advise you to take a change of clothes such as shorts/bikini in your hand luggage, we did and were glad we did, we waited about 30min for our luggage which is a long wait when the heat is so intense). However, the wait for our luggage was offset by the generosity of the Vilamendhoo staff who had left us a fabulous fruit basket and a nice bottle of red wine along with a card congratulating us on our marriage.

The room we were allocated was in the area we asked for, we purposely opted for the South side which has been slated in some previous reviews. We chose this side because we felt that it was right for us based on some other reviews, and we were certainly not disappointed. We were allocated room 220 which we were very lucky to get. In our opinion it was one of the best views and the location of our lounges were in a very private section of the beach whilst still being in full sunlight with a perfect view. We enjoyed watching both the other guests and the staff making use of the water sports centre including the catamaran and windsurfing. If you don’t want to see the sea plane land or the windsurfing lessons then do not stay on this side of the island, it happens all day, however, we loved it and met some fantastic people because of it.

Our room boy Hamdsoon must have spent hours making our bed on our first night, making our sheet into a beautiful heart and decorating the whole bed with petals. Also the bottle of sparkly that I ordered long before flying was suitably chilled and waiting for us. Tip the room boys and they will look after you but don’t do it to early because they will change shifts (or so I have heard)

The North side of the Island was also very nice, there was more beach there but at the same time there was more vegetation and trees casting the villas into shade and also meaning that the sun lounges and sea were a further distance from the villa. I’m not saying this is bad but personally I went to feel the sun, see the sea, feel the heat and still feel the need not to lock my villa up as well as be able to see the sea while sat relaxing in my villa! The north side also had more dramatic sea defences, I’m not complaining, I appreciate that it is needed to protect the island, there was lots of concrete defences to the North east of the island, on the South it was sandbags, still visible in places but each day more sand was added.
The staff in all the bars and restaurants were phenomenal, we were allocated the Sunset bar, and a special mention has to go out to Dinika, Cyril and Sajid who made our stay very special. Dinika & Cyril would pour the drinks before we even asked and Sajid made it difficult to leave, ensuring that we never got past halve a glass before a new one was brought to us.

Our waiter in the Ahima restaurant was Hassan who was again perfect, Such a smiley face and always polite and happy to help. The food was great and I don’t think we saw anything more than once (apart from the famous fish Curry which you must try –and go on, have it for breakfast!)

As for the rest of the food, we ate at the Hot Rock Cafe, cooking your own food on the beach in paradise is perfect. We cannot recommend it enough! We also had room service a few times, that was phenomenal, and the promptness and care put into your food is not what we are use to in the UK!

During our stay we also visited the Asian wok although just for a drink, we didn’t get to eat there unfortunately but the staff were excellent. We also visited the Pool Bar (Boashi Bar) where we met the barman Sumesh. Now, this man is one barman you must meet when you are on the island, He was the best at remembering our drinks, entertaining us with card tricks and his humour.

As for the snorkelling, the coral was fantastic and the variety of fish was mesmerizing, in fact we could not walk out with the water up to our knees without them nibbling at our legs. However be careful of the Sting Rays, one step into the water is all you need to see one buried in the sand!

To those football lovers, beware of signing up for the staff vs. guests. The staff train hard! You could hear them (if you were awake) at 6 in the morning training, they run around the island and daily and are very focused, Be prepared to lose!

We only went on 2 excursions; the first was the Dengethi Local island trip! That was an experience, for $25 each you should do it, learn about the Maldivian culture, meet the locals, and pick up a barging (it’s much cheaper than the Vila gift shop but make sure you haggle)
The second trip was the Punch sunset Cruise (free if you were all inclusive). That was breathtaking, we were lucky enough to see loads of dolphins and get loads of pictures, however some others that went on different days were not so lucky.

Our last night was very special just like our first but in a different way. We enjoyed 2 bottles of champagne on the beach with two fantastic people that we met there making the flight home slightly painful but topped off what can only be described as a honeymoon in paradise!
Vilamendhoo can only be described as paradise; it was the perfection that we wanted for our honeymoon and first trip abroad together.

We would without a doubt recommend it to anyone and we will definitely be returning

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank TIGERHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2011

Beautiful location, excellent service. So much choice at all three meals, incredible variety and delicious. Spa was a real pleasure with wonderful treatments. Amazing choice of activities and excursions available if you have the energy ; would recommend the sunset cruise.
Reef within paddling distance, nurse sharks swam past in the shallows, herons sitting just outside our rooms alongside noisy bats!
Shame the hotel plays chess with the guests and does not honour bookings in the first instance. Room changes are endemic. Like many, we had to put up with Villa 135 for a couple of nights and then enjoyed a much better Villa after that. Several guests had booked water bungalows and jacuzzi villas but found themselves downgraded.
On our last two days we were unable to use the beach outside our villa as the hotel turned it into a building site without notice whilst they rearranged the sea defences.

Room Tip: Not Villa 135!!! Villa 171 good if hotel does not carry out unannounced building works, that side of the island is definitely quieter and less current
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Shaun S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2011

Two weeks in paradise. Everything was awesome. Just got back two days ago.

The island is absolutely beautiful and the views from our JWV were fantastic.
Everything seems to be thought through tremendously well and we couldn't have hoped for more.

Weather was superb.

We went snorkelling nearly every day and went on the Sunset Cruise, Whale Shark excursion and Manta Ray and Turtle excursions. All were fantastic.

We thought the food was brilliant, and didn't get hungry once! Although there is the Asian Wok and Hot Plate Restaurant, we didn't experience them as planned as were so happy with the buffet food from the Ahima restaurant.

The Spa is expensive, but since it was our honeymoon we did treat ourselves a couple of times and it was wonderful.

Rooms are cleaned frequently throughout the day, and we often put out a DND if we were home and didn't require any cleaning as they will come in anyway.

Will certainly return at some point.

Mr and Mrs Rhodes

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Simon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2011

returned last week after spending two weeks didn't get beach villa we requested worst situated room asked for move got one four days later found the staff not very friendly only our room boy food was not hot good variety but we like hot food to be hot seen rats running around compared to last year at centara grand which was fantastic we would not go hear again

Room Tip: water villa are best option
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank gail d
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 October 15, 2011

Valued Guest,

I would like to thank you for taking the time to write this review.
We apologize that we could't proved your requested room on your arrival date. We always try our best to meet all requests.
Hot meals should be hot, for sure.
I have shared your constructive feedback with the relevant areas and we will certainly use this to improve for the future.

Thank you for staying with us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2011

Have just got back from a 2 week stay at Vila and have to say what a wonderful trip! We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a jwv when we arrived and it was fab!

Weather was fantastic all holiday, the reef was amazing and the food and people their were all brill! Can not praise the island and staff highly enough! Thank you vilamendhoo for an unforgettable holiday!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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1  Thank Lisaloo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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