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“Best Parasdise Experience Ever!”

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Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vilamendhoo
Certificate of Excellence
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Parasdise Experience Ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

We spend 3 days in this island and it was one of the most unforgettable experience in our lives. Both of us loved every moment of it. We picked the Beach Villa which was very nice. During our time there, the weather was perfect for all the outdoor activities.

The staff are superbly amazing and friendly. Food was great throughout the entire stay. it was buffet style for breastfast lunch and dinner in funama restaurant.

There are all sorts of activites in the island from snokerling, diving, kayaking and cruises. Snokerling alone was amazingly great as just being around the islands you can already see all types of species from a turtle, moray eel, a baby white tip reef shark and schools of fishes!

If you have the chance to go, do it. This beautiful islands is really paradise to relax and just enjoy what marine nature has to offer.

Room Tip: The Sea aeroplane ride can be difficult for some as flying there and returning from there, we have p...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank AlaisterLim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VilamendhooIsland, Public Relations Manager at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear AlaisterLim

We thanks you for your fantastic review. Glad you enjoyed your 3 day stay in the Beach Villa, better then nothing.
Villa is a wonderful Island with lot's to do, so you can have both, a relaxing time or be really active, we offer something for everyone and our Guests do appreciate that. We wish to welcome you back to the Maldives and thank you for your review.

Best Regards
Vilamendhoo Management
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

We went here as the second part of our honeymoon. It was definitely the "budget" part of the trip so I wasn't expecting it to be a high-end resort but I think we were disappointed in several aspects of the stay.

It was our honeymoon and certain things that they told us would be a part of it were not delivered and we had to request (flowers, champagne and fruit plate). Small details but still a big miss in my book. When we arrived the person checking us in was clearly not comfortable giving us the briefing or explaining how things worked and we had to ask the same question several times. During my booking I had requested to be in the "adult only section" and was told they would make an effort to accommodate. When we arrived we were in an ATTACHED bungalow meaning a FAMILY was in the bungalow we shared a wall with - there was no mention of attached bungalows. When we went to the front desk they explained that the adult only section was a different type of room - and we could upgrade for a small fee. The upgrade was not offered prior which I felt was also a big miss. For an extra $60/night we would be in a MUCH nicer room with a jaccuzi which was well worth it. The new room was really lovely and the adult only section definitely was nicer all around.

The dive center was also a bit of a mixed bag. My husband has been an instructor for over 30 years so he was a bit offended that they wanted him to go through the basic check dive to make sure he knew how to do certain basic skills. Again, he is an INSTRUCTOR and was a much higher level than any of the folks we spoke with. They eventually realized how ridiculous this was and they let us skip it (I am also very experienced but would have understood the check dive for me). The instructors that we did go out with were very nice but the one that gave us the briefing insulted us on more than one occasion and left us feeling our experience questioned and even mocked.

We did however dive a lot b/c that was the whole reason for this location and we did have some pretty great dives. They run their business different but all in all it was good diving.

Finally, at check-out we had several issues getting the seaplane confirmed and FINALLY the person checking me out apparently didn't know how to use a credit card machine - 15 minutes before he realized the strip needed to be put INSIDE the machine, sigh.

All in all, a good value but not the best with the details.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank jojonyc72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VilamendhooIsland, Public Relations Manager at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear jojoncy72,

Thank you so much that you have taken the time to give us your feedback.
Sorry that there was a misunderstanding about the rooms being different then you thought. Also sorry that things didn't go as you wish at the dive Center
Vilamendhoo is a beautiful island with one of the most amazing house reef, hope you still enjoyed the beauty.
We like to thank you fro your review.

Best Regards
Vilamendhoo Managemenr
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013

We were there from 26th of May_ 10th of June, it was wonderful place and had amazing staff. I was there with my Daughter and her family the island made a big expression on my grandson (messi)who is 8 he had his own chair at the bar and the waiters looking after him .The food was AMAZING something for everyone my grandaughter very fussy and they made sure she had a plate of chips our waiter nawal was the best he kept us busy with napkin folding lessons and our table on our last night left us all in tears .we have already booked to come back in October its been the best yet ,

Room Tip: sorry not telling
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank fishinhud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VilamendhooIsland, Public Relations Manager at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Dear fishinhud,

Thank you very much for your great review. We are so happy to read that you had a wonderful holiday with us. Vilamnedhoo is a lovely island and there is lot's to do.
Hopefully we can welcome you back one day

Best Regards
Vilamnedhoo Management
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Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

Well, we have been back for a month now and still have the blues.

We booked this trip with only a month before we departed. It will be a big birthday for me next May and we’ve decided to celebrate it in the Maldives. Being May, it’s classed as off season and therefore, rainy/monsoon season. We didn’t want to risk spending 2 weeks next May in the Maldives if the weather was going to be a wash-out so we decided to book a cheeky last minute week as a ‘taster’ for next year.

We spent 2 weeks previously on Meeru in February the year before and absolutely loved it. The number of repeat guests there is phenomenal and their experience of visiting other islands has left a lot of the repeaters with regrets and disappointment. This therefore played on our minds as we didn’t want to risk disappointment however the one thing that we felt Meeru lacked slightly was the coral and subsequent marine life. Therefore after some research, we opted for Vila due to the reviews of the coral and it being part of CCR chain of which Meeru is a part of. From looking at the pictures and reviews, the islands had very similar facilities and décor which would give us that familiarity factor.

We spent a week at Vila from May 20th – 27th. As we booked a month before we departed so the only rooms available were GV and BV so we opted for the BV. Our 2 weeks in Meeru were in a JWV so we were disappointed in the small amount of rooms left but that was our fault for booking so last minute and it also shows the popularity of the island.

Upon arrival at Male, you are transferred by bus to the CCR lounge at the seaplane terminal. It’s only about a 2 minute journey and it’s a quick turnaround from when you clear customs. Our seaplane was slightly delayed as the heavens opened about 5 minutes after we arrived and when I say they opened, they opened. After about an hour, we were on our way. It was a shame that the skies weren’t clear but we still had a good view from the plane and took some great pictures. After an 11 hour journey from Gatwick, we were hoping for a quick transfer however, our plane dropped off some passengers at another island which was a little frustrating at the time but it gave us the chance to have a good old nose at a neighbouring island

So after taking back off again, Vila finally came into view and it looked so stunning. I got butterflies just looking at it and instantly felt relaxed. Is there anywhere else in the world where you instantly feel relaxed?

After arriving at the seaplane platform in the sea, there is a short boat transfer to the island. A cold towel and a chilled drink awaits you at check-in. There were a large number of arrivals and everyone was handled very quickly it was really well organised. After 5 minutes, we had our key and were on route to our BV which we would call home for the next 7 days.
Our BV was really lovely. No complaints whatsoever. Would we have preferred a JBV? No, not really. We may have used it once so it wouldn’t have been worth the extra money. Were we bothered about not eating in the adult restaurant? Not at all so the BV was absolutely perfect for us. Given that we had been spoiled previously in a JWV for 2 weeks, it was so nice to step out on to the beach, be in the sea within 10 steps and then within 5 feet, be surrounded by coral and fish. We had initially planned to enquire about upgrading to a JWV for the last few nights however, we just fell in love with out BV. We had emailed in advance and asked for a detached villa as some of them were semis and we were looking for some privacy.
Unfortunately, it continued to rain heavily for the rest of the day and the following day – non-stop with heavy storms in the night. I have never experienced rain like it but not once did it dampen our spirits. There are 4 bars to choose from and there’s one not far from wherever you are staying so even if it does rain, grab your book or tablet and go and enjoy the view from one of the beautiful bars.

Every day, the staff go and play football. My partner got chatting with the staff and ended up playing 3 times with them as well as the staff vs. guests match on the Sunday. Be warned, it’s in the middle of the island and very hot so if you are planning on playing/watching, then take plenty of water

Day 3 – woke up to total silence. Peaked out of the window and the sun was beaming. Hurrah!! Raced for the shower and was up and walking round the island by 6.15am. We had no idea how long the sun would last so we wanted to make the most of it. What a beautiful island. The colour of the sea is just ridiculous and the sand is mostly softly soft although there are some rough bits but just think of it as the most perfect foot exfoliated you will ever have 
For the remainder of our holiday, the weather was absolutely perfect. Hardly any clouds and hot hot sun. There are parts of the island where you will get a great breeze however, the sunburn is deceiving so take a high SPF and avoid the lobster look that a lot of the guests were sporting. It may be rainy season but this means the temperature is hotter than peak season so be careful. If you are someone that gets bitten by mossies as let’s be honest, some of us suffer a lot more than others, then wear SPF that includes repellent as it does make a difference. I got bitten 1 in 6 days but on my last day, I foolishly swapped to a different cream with no repellent and I got attacked. Bites everywhere and not just little ones either. Itchy blighters that made sleeping and travelling back on a long flight very uncomfortable.
I would recommend taking your own snorkelling gear as apparently its expensive to hire plus, please take an underwater camera as its so worth it. We took 2; 1 waterproof camera and our nice camera which we bought a housing for. The pictures from our camera/housing were stunning so it was worth the investment. The marine life from the water sports centre down towards the Asian Wok is the best part of the island and if you are lucky, you will see the turtle that lives there near the watersports reef exit point. The current can be a little strong at times, especially by the Wok so if you aren’t the best or most confident swimmer, then life jackets/buoyancy aids are available to hire for free at the watersports centre. It can be a little tiring out there as there’s just so much to see that you won’t want to come back for a rest.
So on to the food. 8lb gain in 7 days should demonstrate that the food is good. There is curry at all 3 sittings which you quickly get used to and the puddings are amazing. There is a lack of carver meat which is the only thing I noted. Cava/Sparkling Wine is also available with breakfast on a Sunday which is a lovely treat. There is a lot of food choice and it doesn’t get repetitive so there is no pressure to pay to eat elsewhere however, there are options to mix things up a bit. Dinners on the beach, full moon dinner which was a beach BBQ for those guests who are there during the full moon, Hot Rocks and Asian Wok. We loved the Asian Wok on Meeru and couldn’t wait to return. We did the teriyaki which is an experience in itself. I think they can only cater for 6-8 each night so it’s worth booking in advance as you may not get in on the same day. Charge includes service but its worth taking some tip money too and it’s a fantastic experience. The A ’la Carte was great as well and both options do offer value for money compared to prices back home. We did the A ‘la Carte on the day of the full moon and the view was spectacular. We had drinks on the decking before the meal and we were seated for our meal facing the moon. It was a clear night and it really was quite breathtaking and rather emotional. Amazing food, amazing service and a beautiful location. Whats not to love.

It’s worth going All Inclusive as drinks, including water, are expensive. Even if you aren’t an alcohol drinker, it’s still worth it. There are a choice of about 6 All Inc cocktails which are actually all really lovely so it’s very easy to stick to the drinks that are included in the price although the cocktail list is rather tempting. They have removed the Ice Cream from the Iced Coffees which is a shame but they are still nice with a drop of rum in them.

If you are All Inc, you also get a half bottle of Champagne which is delivered during your first evening. It would be lovely to share this at your favourite place on the island or like me, I popped mine whilst watching the staff vs. guests match on Sunday as a reward for being a very understanding g/f

So the routine for our holiday involved a walk round the island, breakfast, snorkelling, lunch, sunbathe, football/reading, dinner, entertainment, bed. Amazing.

As a previous CCR guests, we were invited to the weekly repeaters cocktail party which was lovely. Nibbles and drinks were supplied whilst staff and guests mingled. All very civilised and it was nice to share experiences with everyone.

There is entertainment every night. It’s not a lively resort but does anyone really want that from Maldivian holiday? Karaoke, disco, bands, crab racing and more were all available and kept everyone entertainment.

You are offered a free 15 minute massage when you arrive which is to be used within the first few days of arrival. You can upgrade your 15 minute voucher which will give you 30% of a normal treatment. As the treatments are expensive, this can be very advantageous. We had a Full Moon massage which was $378 plus tips on top which wasn’t cheap. It was over 2 hours long and includes a bath with champagne and you do feel really relaxed afterwards. We wanted to splash out and treat ourselves however, we would never spend this much on a treatment at home. After your treatment, you are moved to the relaxation room with a pot of ginger and lemongrass tea which is delicious.

Sunsets are beautiful and the best place to watch them from id the sunset bar as the sun goes down behind the JWV. As part of the All Inc package, you also get a sunset cruise which hopefully involved some dolphin spotting.

We didn’t go on any excursions due to being on the island for only a week but we heard good reviews of the Turtle/Manta trip as well as the Whale Shark excursion. However, feedback received from the whale shark trip is there is too many people at any one time and crowding round the sharks…including some guests from other countries who kept trying to grab their tails. Be respectful people!

Everyone on the island works extremely hard and all staff appeared to really enjoy their job. Our waiter Assad was absolutely fantastic. I know most people say the same about their waiter but Assad was brilliant. He had stealth like skills as he appeared out of nowhere with more drinks, pulling out my chair for me etc. We had a real laugh with him and missed his presence on his day off.

Upon arrival on the island, we were greeted by the very lovely Solah who is the islands operations director. He previously worked at Meeru and their loss is Vila’s gain. The guests loved him and he always went out of his way to check everything was ok. He was a total superstar and one of the reasons we are looking forward to a return booking.

We travelled with First Choice which is part of the Tui group. Tui have removed the Maldives from their list of destinations from April 2014. Vila was exclusive to Tui so at the moment, no other UK operators are offering Vila from May 2014 onwards. We are desperate to make our return booking and wanted to ideally avoid doing every direct as it’s working out more expensive. I understand that other tour operators are engaged so I hope there’s good news in the near future as we want to get everything booked for our 2 weeks next May. As much as we fell in love with Meeru, Vila has pipped it to the post for a return journey

If you are reading this in the hope of deciding where to go, then don’t hesitate as you will love it. If you are reading this as you have already booked, you will have an amazing time and I’m really jealous. If you are reading this as you have recently returned…are you as depressed as me? Lol

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
23 Thank clarky74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VilamendhooIsland, Public Relations Manager at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Dear clarky,

Wow, your review is fantastic, thank you so much. It's great to read that you traveled to Vila after Meeru, two different resort but both are very nice. Especially the house reef in Vila is amazing. Glad that you also had some sunny day. You review will help other guest, so thank you for the advise.
Hopefully we can welcome you back again.

Best Regards
Vilamendhoo Management
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Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

We arrived at Vilamendhoo 6th May 2013 to a wonderful welcome by the Donhi crew who were all really friendly. We arrived on the Island to a cold flannel and a welcome drink and was escorted to room 224 (JBV which I would completely recommend) and it was everything we could've wished for, it was very roomy with nice decor and a Jacuzzi in the back garden!

We were literally a few steps from the ocean which at times was not always calm (due to being at the tail end of a tropical Cyclone) but it was always beautiful. We had never snorkled before and it was absolutely stunning!! we saw something different every time we went in including turtles and octopus! We have really been bitten by the bug and want to experience snorkling at other holiday destinations (so any recomendations welcome!)

The food was wonderful, always hot, always plentiful with lots of choice (at times too much choice which meant 5 course lunches and dinners!) The curry's were some of the best I have ever eaten but if you dont like curry's, dont worry, there are still other options for you. Our waiter Ahlim was always friendly and knew how we took our tea at breakfast and what wine we had with our meals (although he wasnt great at football! lol). The staff were so friendly even people who had not met us before always greated us with a smile and a hello.

We read on trip before we went that sometimes the resort overbooks on certain days and people were offered the chance to go out on a boat trip for the evening (sometimes it is a 2 night trip). If you get offered the chance GO ... it was one of the highlights of our holiday and we did so many things in 2 days which included, seeing a whale shark, turtles and manta rays, snorkling around a deserted island, having a bbq dinner on the same island, night fishing and playing touch your nose game with the other guests of the boat and the staff (dont ask! lol) The staff really did make the trip so enjoyable and it was worth packing our bags for one night .. to surprisingly be offered the same room back, which was a lovely surprise as we loved the room.

I cant think of any negatives of the Island and you would think with such a small resort (it takes 20 mins to walk round) you may get bored, but there are so many great things to do (mainly the snorkling) even when it is raining,( that is an experience in itself :0)) you can go into the games room, or talk to other couples in the bar.

I can not tell people enough how great this island is and if I had the chance I would go back tomorrow, thank you Vilamendhoo.

Room Tip: If you like a bit of a breeze, ask for the north side, whereas the south is a little calmer. We sta...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank kirsty b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VilamendhooIsland, Public Relations Manager at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 27, 2013
Dear kirsty,

Your review is truly wonderful and we thank you very much for it. Vilamendhoo is such a lovely island and we have one of the best house reefs in the whole Maldives. Our Chefs try hard to prepare great meals everyday and we are happy that you like the food.
Thank you again for your review and we hope to welcome you back one day.

Best Regards
Vilamendhoo Management
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2013

Fantastic! Great atmosphere, very friendly, polite and helpful staff, good choice of foods and fun entertainment (every evening something different - from live music and disco to movie nights and traditional cultural entertainment). Best place for snorkeling and divers (you can get padi certification in 4 days if you wanted to take up a short course). Beautiful and peaceful. Good choice of excursions, most involving snorkeling. More suited for couples or groups of friends (there are 'adult only' areas on the island). There are sport facilities such as the gym, tennis court, etc Overall, fantastic welcoming atmosphere! Didn't want to leave!

Room Tip: Stayed in a beach villa and loved it - summery decor inside, immediate access to the beach, great vi...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Alesya_2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VilamendhooIsland, Public Relations Manager at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear Alesya,

The whole Vilamendhoo Team thank you very much for your review. We are so happy that you had a great holiday with us. Diving really is fantastic and we also have a amazing house reef.
Thank you so much for your review.

Best regards
Vilamendhoo Manangement
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Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013 via mobile

Just returned from two weeks at Vila, what an experience. It is a great resort, we had a Jacuzzi Beach Villa which was really nice, nothing fancy but excellent air con! Yes it rained, yes it was quite overcast most of the time, but it was always lovely and warm, even in the ocean which was 27 degrees at 15 metres down! We had a couple of storms, some heavy rain (mostly at night to be fair) and one day when the wind blew so hard all boat trips were cancelled, but not difficult to find an upside on this great resort! The weather "blew" a group of large rays in to the lagoon which was quite special. It was a great excuse for a bar crawl too! The food here is really good, the chefs are very happy to explain the local dishes, careful though it can be quite spicy! Our waiter in the Ahima restaurant was Hassan, a really super chap, always up beat with a cheeky grin when I tried the spicy food, and quick to bring a cooling drink too, or recommend a dessert to get rid of the burn ;-) A real pleasure to have met him. If you make it to the Boashi Bar say hello to Jalal, another warm and welcoming member of staff, who also goes the extra mile to make you feel special, remembering your drinks and room number! Rohan, the new Thomson Rep also deserves a mention. We didn't need any extra help with anything but he gave good advice and information to help you settle in quickly, and make leaving as painless as possible, communication is key in that role. We did some fabulous diving and, after MUCH searching, even saw a couple of Whale Sharks! Not for the faint hearted but a real experience to treasure. We did a couple of dives on the house reef and they were well worth it! Illy took us out one day and we found a turtle chomping on the reef, such an amazing sight. Also did a night dive on the house reef with Dex, would not have missed that for the world, flatworm, baby pipe fish, hermit crabs spawning, the biggest morays I have ever seen out in the open hunting, black tip reefs sharks, blue finned trevally darting around, lion fish, scorpion fish ... I could go on, there was so much out at night. Have to mention Leila from EuroDivers. She was just wonderful, so kind and patient when my diving technique started to go a bit pear shaped, she is the queen of non-verbal communication, even behind a mask at 10 metres you know exactly what she is telling you, thank you so much. This resort has so much going on, I could write a book, but just go and see for yourself! And yes, Rohan is right, even when it is overcast, you do need SPF 30!

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Vicky Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VilamendhooIsland, Public Relations Manager at Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Dear Vicky,

Thank you ver much for your wonderful review, it's great that you spend a amazing holiday in Vilamendhoo. The island is so beautiful and there is lot's to do. The excursions are great, and we are so happy that you saw the underwater beauty. We have one of the best house reefs and snorkeling is out of this world. We are happy to forward your good comment to our staff
Hope to welcome you back one day.

Best Regards
Vilamendhoo Management
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Additional Information about Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Vilamendhoo Island Hotel Vilamendhoo
Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Hotel Vilamendhoo Island

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