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“Paradise Island”

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Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vilamendhoo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 17, 2013

We returned from this fabulous island at 11.20 last Monday 15 April 2013. Two fantastic weeks spent lazing in the sun on our own stretch of beach just a few footfalls across the sand from our fantastic beach villa. No regrets about having a Jacuzzi Villa or a Water Bungalow. The resort never seemed crowded, although full. Late afternoons were spent at the pool watching the fruit bats flying around being watched by the roosting Herons (who also enjoyed a swim). The rooms were immaculate, the staff so friendly especially "Salty" at the Bonthai Bar, the waiters and the pool barman. We enjoyed the luxury of a massage at the spa, and ate at the Asian Wok which was fabulous and at the Hot Rocks where we ate kangaroo. A Sunset Trip lacked the sunset that night but instead we found pods and pods of dolphins which the skipper kept the boat with for a good twenty minutes - what an experience. Lou the Thompson Rep was first class, the snorkelling terrific. We stayed in 159 and enjoyed the cool breeze and the shade of the trees when the temperature climbed in excess of 37 degrees. The food was excellent with plenty to chose from. Recommend the curries and the home made soup. Can't wait to return.Judy Harper

Room Tip: We had rooms 159 and 160 which were on the breezy side of the island and seemed to be more spread ou...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Judeharper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 16, 2013

Just got back following a stay with my wife on the 8th – 15th April 2013.
After 14 Caribbean holidays I finally convinced my wife that we should try the Maldives – long on my “bucket list” and we are both very happy we did as well as starting with Vilamendhoo. I say starting as we have now quite probably got the “Maldives bug”. So, from 2 people who are practically “Caribbean cheerleaders” we’re probably now “Maldivian Missionaries”! This was a fantastic holiday and totally different from our Caribbean experiences.
The flight via Thomson was very good – we upgraded to Premium which offers more in terms of legroom, entertainment, food drink etc. Although at an extra £658 it isn’t a cheap option it’s just about worth it I think. That said the regular Thomson options are usually very good. At the airport everything went really smoothly and after a c60 minute wait in the seaplane terminal (with free drinks and snacks) we were on our way. As most have said it’s a 25 minute flight with breath-taking views that introduces you to the Maldives superbly. The hotel transfer then was just as smooth and within c15 minutes we were in our villa.
We opted for the Jacuzzi Beach Villa in the adults-only area on the South side. It was just perfect and frankly any of the JBV’s (North or South) would have been fine, although the South did seem to get more sunshine (?) One downside from my wife’s point of view is the partially open-air bathroom which although well-equipped and comfortable feels a bit odd when using the toilet, possibly a bit picky or just being reserved Brits…................
Stepping out of your room and down onto the sand then just metres away are your own sun-beds and the beautiful Indian Ocean.
The beach is white, the sea seems permanently clear and turquoise and the swimming is simple and at times with quite dramatic scenery. We took our own snorkel gear (easier and cheaper than hiring). This got used every day and we got lost in the beautiful underwater world that was anything from a couple of feet deep to what looked like a drop off to 30m+. We aren’t experienced divers or anything but always felt safe, followed the simple advice from our Thomson’s rep Lou and managed to encounter a vast array of fish, octopus, starfish, coral, coral and coral!, sharks, turtle, rays and also just leisurely enjoyed the very peaceful and energising swim. We explored both sides of the island and found them different in the types and size of fish too. However, not once did we feel in any danger. Finally, some good advice is that you rinse your ears with fresh water when you come out to avoid any infections from the microscopic plankton and that worked all holiday for us both – apart from the last day I forgot and today back in the UK I’m nursing an ear infection!
The main restaurant (The Ahima) meant we were “allocated” our waiter for the week; Hassan who was just brilliant and we could choose where to sit when we arrived. The choice and quality of food is very good – although 1 gripe would be that they should cover the breads, cold meats etc. as there are a few flies that often land on them which can’t be too healthy. That said the food we had was really good, tasty, varied and is worth experimenting with as the Maldivians really seem to know how best to use the spices and flavours available to them. (Plus no tummy bugs at all)
The service from all staff was top drawer and Hassan always had a smile never seemed to forget you, what you drank etc. and was discreetly super-efficient.
We tried the snack menu by the pool and they were equally good and although they weren’t included in the AI package the charges were very reasonable.
Both pools are beautiful so don’t miss them – you even get to see the local Heron’s at the Boashi pool and you can see the islands fruit bats flying overhead or even hanging upside down from the trees tucking into whatever fruit is on there.
We used all the bars and the service again was 1st class in them all which is a nice change from having to beat the other guests in attracting the attention of the barmen! They are quite different too so it’s worth exploring the island and using them all. Plus we took advantage of a complementary ½ bottle of champagne and watched the sun-set on the beach on our last night.
Entertainment was varied but quite low key. Ranging from Karaoke, Disco night to local Maldivian music – you could party a little but like most people we probably just mellowed some more!
Finally, I was a little concerned about how we would both react to a slower pace and a difference from our Caribbean experiences (particularly Jamaica and Barbados) but somehow everything seemed just right. I certainly chilled out much more than I expected as did my wife. We both just took in the wave of calm that flowed over us and had a very relaxing but amazingly fulfilling holiday in a place that felt like we were in a little bit of paradise, all looked after by some of the most attentive staff we have encountered in a resort. Everyone seemed to smile and just be brilliant at whatever they were doing.
The Caribbean clearly now has some competition for our well-earned ££’s or as my wife put it – we’ll just have to do both each year so time to save a little harder! Somehow I suspect this might actually happen as we will definitely be back.
I hope this is useful for any readers and wish you a wonderful time either at Vilamendhoo or wherever you go in the beautiful Maldives.

Room Tip: Any of the JBV's
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank DavidLF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We stayed here 1st -15th April in a beach villa 176. This is the breezy side of the island and you really need that. We had no regrets in not taking the Water Jacuzzi Villa. It doesn't have the luxury of your own stretch of beach. My wife says this was her best holiday ever! The resort never seemed crowded although meal times you did see quite a few people. The flight was a long ten hours from the UK so it's worth it to upgrade to the Premium Economy for £150 per person each way.
We had the All Inclusive Package plus but it wasn't so inclusive as I would have liked. Only the items marked in red on the drinks menu were free. We did get used to this after a few days but I still missed my Piña Colada and Long Island Iced Tea which were not included.
I take my hat off to the staff that went out of their way to sort out any problems big or small. A personal thank you to the operations manager Sohlal who spoke to us nearly every day to check on our experience. There was nothing he couldn't sort out!
The food was great but not exceptional. If you like curry this is the place for you, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You don't need to take too many clothes and no one dressed up in the evenings. Teeshirts and shorts were the order of the day.
We spent two days on a small neighbouring island for free. It's good to make a comparison!
My wife would go back tomorrow, for myself I prefer Mexico (Cancun)

Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Allan050651
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Just returned from a week on Vilamendhoo-where the only concern is what is next to eat!
The drawback to the whole week was the increase in cost due to the seaplane transfers at approx £220 each (return), which was more than the cost of flights from Colombo to Male!
The hotel was immaculate, the food was plentiful and tasty. The staff were courteous and friendly at all times. Our rooms were very comfortable and regularly serviced. And just outside the door were our own sunbeds, straight beside the gentle shoreline. The reef gave plenty to look at either by snorkelling or not.
There was entertainment daily, but we didn't really access any of that through our own choice. The added adventure of a 28 hour trip on the sea in the cruiser was great - particularly the delightful picnic on the candlelit beach of a deserted island.
All in all a great week...

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Angee087
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

From start to finish this resort was fantastic. We went for our honeymoon in November 2012 and arrived with noro-virus that was contracted at the wedding. The staff and travel rep for Thomson (Lou) were amazing in looking after us and getting us back to health to enjoy our honeymoon.
We stayed in a jacuzzi beach villa which is well worth the money. You get access to the adult only pool, bar and restaurant and coming back to our private jacuzzi at the end of the day was such a luxury.
The excursions were great, even when we didn't get to see whale sharks (it is 50:50 chance) but we saw lots of manta rays, dolphins and a turtle.
The reef is gorgeous and a snorkel around the island is well worth your time (renting snorkel gear is quick, easy and value for money).
It takes about 20 mins to walk around the island which is what we did after every meal... The food was amazing and even when we weren't hungry we struggled to hold back. So much variety and so tasty made it difficult to pass on anything! We ate a the Asian Wok twice for special occasions and it was fab, although the main restaurant has so much to offer that it was only the Tepenyaki that gave it an extra twist.

Another great part of the resort is the spa over the water. Beautiful, exotic and very attentive staff offering great services. We thoroughly enjoyed our three visits for massages and would recommend to any couple.

Transfer is a quick (30 mins) sea plane ride (with unforgettable views of the atolls) that was easily accessible and very enjoyable.

All in all it was amazing; we spent our mornings snorkelling, afternoons relaxing by the pool drinking cocktails and the evenings first in the jacuzzi and then to the bar for some live entertainment.
Nothing bad to say, and nothing we would change. We can't wait to go back for our 10 year anniversary!!!

Room Tip: South west part of island had lots of sun with enough shade for those who don't want too much...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tomarto03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

From the moment we were greeted for the seaplane journey on arrival to our departure we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The Resort is friendly, clean, relaxing and like stepping into paradise! We stayed in a JWV and would thoroughly recommend this if you enjoy peace and quiet (adults only part of the resort) and also the ease of being able to walk straight into the sea (which is like getting into a bath!) from your own steps. The villa was kept spotless by our dedicated Room Boy Thahir and in the Restaurant we were attended by Hussain throughout our holiday, which is a great idea as you build up a good rapport with the staff resposible for you. We found everyone to be friendly, from the gardeners through to the reception staff etc. We went AI and enjoyed the selection of food on offer for breakfast, lunch and dinner! The Reef is amazing and as beginners to snorkelling we were "blown away" by the colours of the corals and the fish and it has certainly made us appreciate how precious this part of the world is. The ocean was so incredibly clean we just wanted to swim around in it and walk in it at every opportunity! We treated ourselves to a couple of sessions at The Spa which was a wonderful experience too. We would not hesitate to return to this Resort, even though there are many others to choose from.

Room Tip: JWV are beautiful and at the adults only end of the Resort. Sunrise side are "evens" and s...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ZigiB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

This was our third time in the Maldives but the first for 16 years. We are a family of 5 with girls aged 15, 12 and 7. The island and the resort was FANTASTIC. We based our island choice on the reviews on tripadvisor and we were not dispappointed.
On arrival we were greeted with cold flannels and a drink and very quickly were given room keys to two semi detached beach villas on the side of the island that we actually wanted to be on. The cases are transported to your rooms and a small tip for the guys and the room escort is appropriate at this stage. We had missed lunch but was given vouchers to order anything from the menu as were on the all inclusive package.
THE ISLAND
Absolutely fantastic in all aspects of what they do. The cleanliness, the Ecological self sufficient way the island looks to remain sustainable without impacting on the environment, the continual efforts to improve vegitation, privacy and maintenance of the building fabric. In the two weeks that we were there they redecorated the games room, built new stairs for one of the jetties and planted more palms and vegitation near the villas to help create a natural divide between villas.
ADULT/FAMILY Split
I think this actually works quite well. it was nice to sneak off after a snorkel and relax in the Sunset bar and infinity pool. Or in the evening just to drop down to watch the sunset. The island is so safe that you do not worry about your children.
SPA
We treated ourselves to the signature massage with a couple of nights to go. About £70 for a 75 minute foot to head massage. This was a loveley addition and the SPA facilities and experience are superb.
FOOD and DRINK
WOW. There can not be any complaints about the choice, quality and volume of the food available in the restaurants. We were holidaying over Easter and the chefs had taken the time to put an Easter theme to the Sunday meals and the decorations on the food. This was 4/5 star buffet style food and its absolute best along with eggs, pancakes, waffles, pasta all cooked to order. The all inclusive drinks were easy to understand (highlighted red on the bar list) and the fruit juice, soft drinks, selected cocktails, spirits, lager (Tiger or Carlsberg) and house wine were all included.
There are six bars on the island and a fridge in your room so you are never far from fulfilling that thirst.
BEACH/SNORKEL
White sand, blue warm sea, corals everywhere, fantastic marine life.
The coral entry points are safe but you must understand snorkelling and what the sea currents are doing. This is normally pretty easy to understand. Generally the fish swim against the current. So in essence if you are snorkelling towards the fish you are going with the current. It can be dangerous. Tales of people struggling, having to be rescued etc were common but do not let this put you off because in general it was because of ignorance or over confidence. A young boy stepped on a stingray whilst we were there and reports were it made a mess of his leg. But again you do not go snorkelling and step down without looking what you are stepping on. Reef sharks and stingrays were in abundance just a few feet into the water (they do not harm you). In the corals we had the pleasure of seeing 100's of different fish, octupus, turtles, spotted rays, eagle rays, squid, moray eels and many more. The coral was different all around the island and if you catch the current right you can enter one side and drift the whole island without too much difficluty. I personally did not where flippers and did not find this a hinderance. I can only say that if you are going for the snorkelling it is sensible to invest in a very good snorkel set.
NIGHT LIFE
The maldives is not about what happens at night and to be honest if you are up at 6am you are pretty tired at about 10pm anyway. The bar staff and waiters are courteous, fun and in particular took great care of our 3 girls. Sit at the bar from about 4pm and you get free popcorn. This delighted our girls and was a real treat. If you want to dring until the early hours you can.
DIVE CENTRE
This was an excellent well run facility and my 15 year old completed the PADI Open water course in 3 days. For her a great experience and something that she wants to continue with. I can only state that the snorkelling is that good that you do not need to do this to see the marine life.
TRIPS
We personally enjoyed the Sunset cruise (choose late on the day based on the sun). We also paid for the Whale Shark trip. A 4 hour cruise in the sun towards the far South of the Atoll. We were unlucky not to see Whale Sharks but did get to snorkel with Mantas, saw dolphins, flying fish and turtles all on the trip. Word of warning is to make sure that you do not underestimate the sun intensity on these trips. Yes after being away for 12 days without getting burned two of us got caught out on this trip.
SPORTS and POOLS
The main Boashi pool was a great facility although the shallow end was 1.5mtr so not great for small kids. However, the kids pool next to it was perfect for smaller children. As the pool is in the middle of the island it does not get a breeze and can sometimes be open to the heat of the sun but there are plenty of parasols. The infinity pool is a great place to have a dip from the sun and just relax and look out to the sea/sunset etc.
Weekly guests v staff footbal match and water polo match (all great fun). Tennis and badminton court, beach volleyball net, small golf putting area, gym, table tennis, pool and snooker table, table football, darts, kayaks, windsurfer etc. If you want to do it they generally are not that busy so easy to participate.
SHOP
Lovely little air conditioend shop with all the holiday basics, mementos, an onsite tailor, internet area. You are in the middle of the Indian Ocean so do not expect the imported stuff to be cheap. A bottle of suntan lotion is £20 so take plenty. However, the tailor and the some of the clothes are great value. T Shirts are dear. The jewellry shop is down to personal choice.
ACCOMMODATION
Beach Villas were fantastically furnished with plenty of space and plenty of places to put your clothes. TV with 40 sat channels came in useful for our youngest when she wanted to be out of the sun as she watched the cartoon network. The beds were comfortable and large. The AC unit and fan were a necessity and worked very well as it is hot in the night and always good to get changed in a cold room. If you want to walk out on to the sand then the beach villas should be your choice. The water villas obvioulsy do not offer you this facility but you do have your own private small deck with jacuzzi. Personally if we visited without the kids we would still choose the beach villas. The garden rooms are what you expect. You are not too far from the beach but again if i was travelling that far i would want to walk straight on to my own sand/beach. I understand budgets so this is at least an option for those that can't quite afford the extra and you only have to walk about 150 yards to get to the beaches.


Summary
Like many others who have reviewed Vilamendhoo i have not found anything to be critical about. This is the carefree paradise that you pay for. I found the island was suitable for all age groups and it did not matter if you were a family, couple, single or group you should get from the island what you were looking for. The majority of the visitors are English and German. However, Italians, French, Swiss and Japanese nationals were all present and again i found the mix of different nationalities was great. Would we go back? Yes, Yes and Yes

Room Tip: We were in 168/169 and this side of the island does offer more breeze, more shade and better snorkel...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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11  Thank Mike H
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
Phone Number:
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: $271 - $1,207 (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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