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All reviewsasian woknorth sidesunset barour waiterwhale sharkssunset cruisefishjacuzzi water villaroom boysea planevilamendhoo islandmini barall inclusive packagehot rockcurriesgarden villaour honeymoon
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Reviewed January 9, 2012

So what do I mean by that? I'm always happy to tip anyone especially in poorer economies however I have never experienced staff 'hovering' for a tip, to the point where they were an embarrasement. When you are shown to your room, I would normally tip as would I when the bags arrive from reception. I will admit it was my fault in not having any small dollar denominations prior to getting to the resort, however their expectations of a tip is on a par with it being mandatory.

This was a poor experience to the start of what was a great holiday although the 'begging did not stop there.

We stopped in a jacuzzi beach villa on the North side of the island (I'd recommend 203-209) as being the best location, not too close to the Restaurant, Spa. pool and bar but with a great beach area that has the sun all day. The house reef is great to see many species of fish including baracudas, mantas, rays and reek sharks but to name a few.

The Food on the all inclusive package is the best 'buffet' food that I've ever experienced to date although the quality did drop off for three days after New Year (I'm not sure if they were waiting for a new delivery?)

We tried the Asian Wok restaurant (not AI) and a meal for 2 cost us $110, this isn't excessive although when you have already paid AI, it does seem excessive to pay full price for another meal again - that sade, the Japanese meal was worth it.

We were offered a free Sunset Cruise as part of the all inclusive package and this was a nice touch.

The waiter, cleaner and even the gardener became more responsive and chatty when they had found out when we were leaving - expecting a big tip no doubt... even the welcome pack offers guidelines on tipping so expect the onslaught with both barrels when you are due to leave.

Dissappointingly they turfed us out of our room at 9:10 on the morning that we were leaving even though our sea plane didn't arrive until 11:10. their excuse was that they need to get everyones bags on to the plane. (with 6 passengers, I think this was a poor excuse)

I've done alot of moaning on this review however when Lilly beach was offering the same holiday at over double the price of this one, I suggest that this is great Value For Money - begging included.

I would return without hesitation

NB No mozzies when we were there.
NBB the New Years eve supplement $100/per person was a rip off, not alot more than a disco for entertainment and some slightly better offerings at the buffet, Champagne at $200 per bottle

Room Tip: 200-209 are the best
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank thompssx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

As the Maldives are really in a league of their own as far as tropical island holidays go, you become a little spoilt, but this island is lovely and the hotel operators seem to have got it right in that they deliver good quality at a reasonable price.

Food was very good, with plenty of choice, and the Maldavian food was excellent. The staff were all very nice (and it can't be easy working that hard in the heat during Ramadan) and helpful and the rooms are great. The pool is also very good and we had no mosquito problems and there didn't seem to be any serious vermin. In a direct comparison with Meerut, which we went to the previous year, we thought it won comfortably.

The bad bits were few and far between but the dive shop do try to bleed you, don't rent stuff from them if you can avoid it, it's horrendous. Also the diving is not effectively guided, you are left to get on with it on your own really, which is unusual in my experience (although the diving is very good) particularly as its not cheap. The entertainment is identical to other islands, I'll leave it at that, and the excursions are quite good- the whale sharks are amazing, particularly seeing our six year old snorkelling three feet above a monster, but I wouldn't bother to dive the whale sharks, you will see as much snorkelling. The beach is probably the let down as they are losing it! Asian wok superb.

Room Tip: Despite all the advice, we were on both sides of the island, it doesn't make a great deal of difference in the beach villas.
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank uplifter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

We spent our xmas and new year at vilamendhoo and we had a perfect time... The island isnt the biggest one we have been too, but it certainly is one of the friendliest islands we have had the pleasure to spend a fortnight on.... We had room 221
The flight was awful though.. We paid to travel premier class with first choice, but there was nothing premier about it.. ! The seats were so awful,my husband had terrible back ache for the first three days of our holiday. They really need to purchase new padding, because it was like sitting on hardboard..
Vilamendhoo is a long island, and they have designed it so that the water villas and jucuzzi beach villas which we had were child free... So we spent a relitively quiet couple of weeks without any children up our end... Dont get me wrong, we love kids, but our holiday was about peace and tranquility which we got because of the way the island has designed it.. The other end of the island is beach bungalows and villas, and a separate pool and dining room for families, and even santa arrived on a boat which got the children very excited and some adults too !!! They dressed the island up with lots of lights and it was very xmasey indeed.... The beach is white sand with some areas of coral sands.. The reef is lovely, you can paddle out and see all the pretty fish and coral and even the baby sharks are swimming around your feet !!! If you go a little further out, the snorkelling is definitely worth it !!!
The adults only pool is beautiful and it is designed to look out to the ocean, also its where the bar area is, so you can lay on your lounger and have your drinks and food brought to you if thats what you prefer !!! The dining room was always a cheerful place, we had " jameel" who was very pleasant indeed, and all the staff and chefs went out of their way to please you.. The food was 5 *... The puddings were naughty !!! ha ha ...
Our room was very big with a full size jaccuzzi in our bathroom which was outside, but very private and we spent every evening enjoying a cup of tea while soaking in the bubbles!!!
We met a lovely couple called glenn (tattoo man ) and lefty (janice) who we bonded with straight away, who we will miss....
The only thing that i can say bad about this island is the sand bags spoilt it a bit.. Not very maldivian... But the blue sea, white sands hot sun and the hammocks remind you why your there !!!
My husband did 18 dives... Lol and he definitely reccomends the diving on this island.. He even dived a wreck or two !!!
New year was great, they turned the beach into a night club with bars etc.. and even a band playing... Then the next morning it was all gone and and it was no news no shoes again..... They really work hard on this island....
My last words are for the duniye spa girls....WOW.... They are so beautiful inside and out and make you feel so relaxed and massage your pains away.... Dont go home without a massage.. You dont know what your missing....
I will be back.. Even if its another island.... The maldives is the sort of place that once you,ve been, it becomes addictive .. !
Lynne and Richard

Room Tip: The rooms on the jetty side 200 - 250 catch the all day sun...
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank lynnepoos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

This was our first trip to the Maldives.

The diving was good, though we have seen better corals in some parts of the Red Sea, and to be honest the very strong currents didn’t suit us that well – though we did know before we went that we'd be getting currents! We prefer to take things a little more leisurely, though we were taught a lot of new skills about diving in current by Hussein – thanks Hussein!

We saw manta rays and whale sharks for the first time, which was our ambition - something else to cross off the list!

At the end of our holiday we were a bit stung by the diving bill – we pre-paid for all-inclusive diving on the Euro-divers website, but at the end of the holiday they charged us $300 extra because they said we’d been given a discount for being repeat customers and in fact we weren’t repeat customers. We had never claimed to be repeat customers when we booked and surely if we had, they would ask at the time of booking for some sort of proof of this which would have alerted us to the mistake – but they didn’t. We are convinced there was a fault in their billing procedures but it was rather a nasty shock at the end of our holiday, leaving a bad taste in our mouths – which was a shame as the dive team and Mike himself had been so friendly. We tried to complain to Eurodivers HQ after getting back, but they still say it must have been our fault. So the holiday cost us $300 more than we’d budgeted - beware if pre-booking your diving!

The other main problem we had on holiday was the outside living. It looked to us as though they had tried to cram too many villas on the island. We were unlucky to be put in a semi-detached beach villa and this made a big difference to our holiday as our neighbours were noisy and chain smokers. I don’t know why they charge the same for semi-detached as detached villas – there must be a big difference in comfort level if you don’t have neighbours. Normally we like to spend a lot of time on the balcony or in this case deck/patio, but it seemed as soon as we went outside, our neighbours headed outside too and immediately started smoking, sending us back inside. The same if we tried to eat outside at the restaurants, or have a drink on the outside bar terrace – no matter how carefully we chose a table away from any smokers, some smokers always seemed to appear within 5 minutes and sit themselves at a table right next to us. It meant if we wanted a smoke-free zone we were obliged to sit inside – but we didn’t travel nearly half way around the world to a land of spectacular beauty to spend the free time on our holiday inside looking at the walls of our room or eating and drinking inside! That was a big big disappointment for us.

So I don't know how typical Vilamendoo is of the Maldives, but I guess the smoking thing is a feature of being on a very small self-contained island – which is what all the Maldives are, as I understand it. For us it didn’t quite live up to the expectations of a tropical paradise and we’ll probably head back to the Caribbean before we splash out on the Maldives again.

Room Tip: Not sure it helps to try to choose a room - we didn't get anywhere near the location we asked for, though the place wasn't full.
Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
2  Thank Hardy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

We went for 2 weeks in Oct. We can generally find some faults with a resort, however minor. Apart from the long flight, First choice premium,(which has gone downhill in our opinion) and a wait for the sea plane. It was pure bliss. We were told to take lots of reading material, but the snorkling was so good (no brilliant)which was why we went, we had no time to read. different things to see at different parts of island. The best idea is to leave flippers of, go in at the end of island, keep still and slowly drift along. We saw some amazing sights, load of the usual and unusual fish,sharks, manta rays, dolphins,(on 3 days a large pod swam round the island) eagle rays (7 one day) turtles, (most days) went on a whale shark trip saw 4, had to swim out of the way of one who was swimming towards me, passed within 3 ft, what a buzz that was. Stayed in beach villas, one side of island first week, then asked for other side next week, no problem, and both detached. Food was the best ever for a holiday resort, and we could not fault the service. staff are great. Wev'e been most places around the world, this will be hard the better.

Room Tip: Beach villas 160 to 190 have a very good beach frontage, we had 186 detatched we thought this was the best
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank junkanooLincoln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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