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Reviewed April 8, 2012

This was our 4th trip to Vila - 2 of which were pre-refurb. We have also been to Angaga & Bandos. This time we booked with Kuoni & flew with BA & it was great - plenty of room so we had a spare seat between us.

As expected, the island experience was superb in every way & we were lucky to be allocated BV194, as requested. We were intrigued when, on day 4, we received a flier asking for volunteers to spend a night on Ranveli to help alleviate an overbooking issue. Compensation was an upgrade to AI (we were on FB), a free excursion & $100 to spend in the Asian Wok. Why not?! Our only anxiety was whether we'd be allocated such a good room on our return.

So, we packed up our cases to be left in reception & took an overnight bag on our little trip. The dhoni took less than 10 mins to deposit us on Ranveli where we were met with the usual cool drinks & towels. We were shown to a massive ground floor room with an 8ft wide bed! It wasn't as glamorous as our room on Vila but it was very comfortable. The beaches were beautiful & there was a lovely sand bar stretching out into the lagoon. Food was disappointing in comparison to Vila but it was fun eating in the over-water restaurant. The pool was particularly lovely as it was tiny, deserted and had an oasis-feel to it. Anyway, the next morning our dhoni arrived to collect us and, after more cool towels and drinks, we were shown to BV196 - a superb room and even better than our previous one as it was detached. We were also given our AI wristbands & vouchers. Going to Ranveli was great fun & saved us a considerable amount of money. We wouldn't have done this if it hadn't been in our first week but the way it worked for us it made the holiday seem longer than just 2 weeks.

If this happens to you & you fancy a night on Ranveli, you need to be quick off the mark - several people were interested but we got in first!

We love Vila and can't fault it. However, we feel we ought to branch out next year & try a different island - possibly Reethi Beach. But we could be back......

Room Tip: We like the north side of the island - tends to be breezier.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Mexi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2012

We did a lot of research before choosing this island and were not disappointed. The only blemish was that they messed up our first night booking and we had to stay in a Garden Room.
Otherwise it was fantastic.
We would not recommend the rooms on stilts as the wooden walkway is VERY hot during the day. Our prefence was the Beach Villas as they have everything except a spa... who needs that when there is a great sea on your doorstep.
There was spectacular snorkelling on the house reef, The outings to the whale sharks and mantas was wonderful. The scuba diving was also very good indeed.
We chose October as the rates are a bit lower and the weather still good and we had only one rainy day... but the weather is unpredictable.

Room Tip: The rooms near the pool on the eastern end of the island and facing south seemed to be quiet but still had some boat and seaplane activity.
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank Adventurers049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2012

We stayed at the Vilamendhoo Island Resort in mid-February 2012 for 7 nights.

The seaplane transfer was quick and offered a great aerial view of all the islands and reefs on the way to the island. Keep your camera out of your luggage to take some pictures.

We had a beach villa on the north-east part of the island - Room 140. We were very impressed with both the room and the location. Although not luxurious, the room is very nice indeed. It also has a great little patio with two comforatble chairs and a table which we used quite a bit. The room has all the facilities which you would need, including a fridge, tv, cd/dvd player, hairdryer, bath robes, umbrella, safe and air-con. The half-outdoor bathroom has a double basin, toilet and large shower, together with a small sandy/gravel outdoor courtyard. The cleaning service was excellent and the room is serviced twice a day. Each beach villa also has it's own (marked) loungers directly outside the room, which means you never have to struggle to get a lounger. The beach villas in our area were probably those closest to the sea, being about 20 paces, and we liked this a lot. But it was great to have some beach as well. Although we didn't stay in a water-villa, we decided that we preferred the option of having the beach as well and would choose a beach villa again.

The beach itself is absolute paradise. The water was around 27-28 degrees every day, with the air temperature around 31 degrees. The snorkelling right in front of our villa was awesome - lots of fish and coral. We also took a lilo which we used a lot and would recommend for just floating around relaxing.

It rained in the morning just before we arrived (which resulted in our seaplane being delayed by 90 mins), but other than a heavy downpour during our first breakfast (the next day) the weather was pretty much perfect. On average, the south-western side of the isalnd was the most sheltered (around the sunset bar pool), although the breeze on our side was not much to complain about and helped cool things down a little.

Although our area had lots of trees and a very narrow stretch of sand (only really useable at low tide) before the actual sea, the area under the trees is also sandy and you can catch the sun between the trees by moving around your lounger. I think it would be actually very difficult to say which areas are best. Our area was definitely very quiet and secluded, which is nice if that's what you're after. The villas between 190-212 have the biggest beach area (ie widest stretch of sand). Those near the sunset bar (213-233) are also very nice but tend to be a bit busier with people walking past. Villas 323-241 would be great if it wasn't for the fumes from all the boats as well as the activity in the area. I would suggest anywhere between 133-212 on the north side as probably being the best, other than being slightly more breezy than the south side. Although we requested a room location upon booking (which we did not get) I really don't think the location of the room is much of an issue at all. The entire island cannot really be faulted and you'll be happy anywhere.

The food was fantastic. A huge selection as far as we were concerned and they really went all out on Valentines Day with the dinner. Breakfasts were particularly good. The service in the restaurant was also excellent.

The diving is some of the best I've experienced, whether at the house reef or on excursions. The dive staff were comparable with anywhere else and the service was friendly and professional. The hotel really has a phenomenal house reef which offers very convenient diving.

The Sunset pool is awesome and offers a fantastic view of the sea and a truely relaxing experience. The Boashi Bar pool is also very good, but although very big and sheltered amongst the towering palms in the centre of the island, it has no view of the sea. Although it is meant to be the kids pool, we didn't see any kids there when we were at the pool, and, in fact, there were very few children on the island.

All in all, we thought the hotel and it's settings were absolutely fantastic. It truly is paradise! Highly recommended!

The only negatives we experienced were:

When we arrived we were told by the Guest Relations Manager that the booking they had for us was one day less than it actually was. I informed her that this was incorrect and she said she'd look into it. However, we heard nothing further from her and assumed that she'd found the error on their side. We eventually received a letter under our door thanking us for our stay and notifying us of our departure time the next morning - one day too early!

We went back to the Guest Relations Manager and reminded her of the error, and reminded her that we had told her upon arrival, and that, as she hadn't got back to us, we assumed it was sorted out. She did not seem overly concerned with trying to help and the Reservations Manager told us that even if we wanted to pay for another night, the island was full and we would have to leave. They would arrange for us to stay at another hotel in the area, at our expense.

Luckily, our travel agent back home sorted everything out for us. It turned out that the intermediate booking agency had provided the hotel with the wrong booking details.

However, the attitudes of the Guest Relations Manager and the Reservations Manager were somewhat disconcerting. It was only when I pointed out that I had corrected them upon arrival, that clearly nothing had been done about it since we arrived, and I wanted to speak to the hotel manager, did anything start to happen. Nonetheless, it was all sorted out and we stayed the extra night, as originally booked and paid for. So much for the hotel being fully booked.

However, it was unfortunate that this all took place on the evening of Valentine's Day. Instead of relaxing and enjoying our evening, we spent the time phoning our agent and worrying about whether or not we'd be kicked off the island for our last night, where we would stay, how we'd get back to Male on time for our flight, etc, etc.

The only other negative was Ismail at reception who, upon being given cash to settle our account, gave us a receipt for the amount of the invoice, but just kept the change. He should've recorded the actual amount tendered and then given us the correct change, with whether or not we wished to leave it as a tip for him being our decision, not his. But I gather this is how he does things if you give him cash. It wasn't a big amount so wasn't worth worrying about, but just something to bear in mind.

Aside from these two minor incidents (the latter particularly minor), we found the hotel, location and service excellent and would highly recommend it. We would definitely return. It truly is paradise!

Room Tip: The beach on the south side is sunnier in the afternoons and more sheltered, however, some parts are noisier and you can also get fumes from the boats. The north side is more secluded but the breeze, although it cools things down a bit, can make the sea a little choppier for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Brett A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2012

My wife and I spent 14 amazing nights on the Vilamendhoo Island Resort (12th - 26th March 2012).

On night one we were upgraded to a Water Villa. It was a spacious and comfortable room with great access to the reef for snorkelling.

From the second night and for the remainder of our stay we were in Jacuzzi Beach Villa (room 207). We actually preferred this room to Water Villa. It's proximity to the beach and amenities on the island were excellent and it seemed more enjoyable than the Water Villa's which felt too disconnected for our liking.

The room:
Room 207 was a detached JBV on the best and biggest stretch of beach, on the side of the island that benefited from a gentle breeze and had great views. It's decking at the front, the enclosed garden at the rear and the room itself were incredibly comfortable and relaxing.

The food:
It was incredible and there was always more than enough choice. We were able to try amazing new foods and flavours that we might never have picked on a menu in the UK but always had the "security" of having something we knew we would like.

We also went for a meal in the A la carte, Asian Wok, restaurant for Teppanyaki. The experience of seeing the food being cooked and the food itself was amazing and we would definitely recommend it.

The service:
Service from every single member of staff on the island was second to none. We were always acknowledged in a polite and friendly manor. Our waiter, Hussain, and our room boy, Shazy, were brilliant and made our stay even more perfect.

The activities:
Apart from relaxing on beach we also did various activities over our 2 weeks stay. Firstly there was the snorkelling. Absolutely amazing - say no more! We also had a sunset cruise where we were lucky enough to see dolphins. We kayaked around the island, played tennis, played pool and used the gym.

Before booking, I was slightly nervous about getting bored on this sort of holiday. I can safely say that I completed under estimated the value in being able to completely relax, I loved it! We honestly didn't want to leave and could have easily stayed for another week.

The weather:
Two weeks of blue skies and 30 – 35 degree heat with a gentle breeze - perfect. A couple of days were slightly cloudier but we still had plenty of sunshine!

All an all, it was a perfect trip and we would absolutely recommend it!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2012

This place is just paradise we have just come back and absolutely loved it and wanted to stay longer!
Firstly the resort is lovely, it is all newly decorated and looks fab.

STAFF
Most helpful and lovely staff in a resort I have ever met always smiling and doing there best to make your holiday great. I have to mention a couple of exceptional staff these were a member of reception who went specially to his room to get his tool box to mend our camera. Also I must mention the Excursion staff who were very helpful aiding you in and out the water safely, also because I am not a particularly fast swimmer one of the crew took my hand so I could see the whale shark close up, this was very kind of him!

ROOM
We stayed in a garden villa which was very nice, this had a great location in the centre of the island, although we did not have a specific lounger on the beach this was not a problem as there were plenty of spare ones! plus we liked moving round the island and being at the pool as well. Really nice having a FREE mini bar in the room. Also was a bit worried about the outside bathroom but loved it, it is so nice and airy!

FOOD & DRINK
Delicious, especially the soups and desserts!
Lots of choice most days and normally several alternatives for people not keen on curry!
Also great being on AI as you can have as many drinks in the hot weather as you like, especially liked the mocktail and cocktails of the day that were also FREE

REEF
wow wow wow
The reef is absolutely amazing so many types and colours of fish and coral, we spent most of our time snorkelling and loved it! It is really great as the sea life starts from about your waist!
The reef is also very close to the shore with lots of exits to come in and out without damaging the reef. We also done a couple of dives which were also really good, pricing of dive school was a bit confusing but staff and organisation were really great, you are all given a dive watch and your kit is all washed and ready for you each time you dive! As well as diving and snorkelling you can also see lots of fish from the beach and the jetties, we also liked sitting by the Asian Wok at night as it is over the water with lights shining down, you can sit there forever watching the sealife below.

EXCURSIONS
These were all really great and well organised. We went on the Whale Shark trip which is a must for everybody, it was an experience I will never forgot to swim amongst this huge graceful creature! Also went on the turtle and ray trip and saw these too! Also if you are on AI you also get a FREE sunset cruise which is really romantic several days we were there people saw pods of dolphins that circled their boat.

WEATHER
Really hot so take plenty of sun cream!
Only had one cloudy morning and a brief shower one evening!

FACILITIES
Really nice to have 2 swimming pools, Bonsai pool larger and infinity pool really great for watching the sunset!
Both were really quiet most of the time and several times we were the only ones in the pool!
Entertainment ok but this did not bother us as the place is so beautiful, was good however that they had a games room with 2 pool tables, snooker table, darts, table tennis and table football which we played sometimes after dinner. Also had a game of putting which was fun, we also saw people playing tennis and in the gym which looked nice but we were on holiday so gave this a miss!We also really liked Canoeing around the island, this took about 40mins but I wasn't doing much paddling (don't tell the husband!)

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank HOONSLondon_Uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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