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Dusit Thani Maldives
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Reviewed July 29, 2012

A truly top class resort that provides absolute luxury but provides the opportunity to relax and enjoy in an easy going way.

From the moment you arrive at Male airport you are given a personalised service and escorted to the VIP lounge at the seaplane departures. The seaplane allows for amazing views over the Maldivian Islands and an exciting arrival into the "Dusit Thani International Airport"- a pontoon on the edge of the island. A quick boat transfer drops you to the arrival on the boardwalk leading to the beach.

You are met at the wharf by your own personal butler and transferred by golf buggy directly to your villa where the check-in is carried out.
Villas:
We decided to splurge on an over water bungalow and loved every minute of it. The villas are very spacious, and decorated to the finest detail. The huge beds are one of the best I've slept on and a pillow menu is provided. The Bose sound system provides sound throughout the inside and outside areas. The bathroom is huge with a fabulous stand alone bath with looks out to the ocean and Molten Brown bath products are provided. The private pool and the deck with sun loungers and day bed are truly inviting. The deck is completely private from the neighbours with only the occasional snorkeler passing by in the ocean in front. The lagoon villas and the beach villas were all located to enable full enjoyment of the beach and ocean.

Restaurants
Food quality is amazing. Absolutely 5 star. The breakfast buffet is excellent with a choice so big its hard to decide where to start. At the fresh fruit station you can request any kind of fruit freshly cut as well as freshly squeezed fruit juices in any flavour you desire. The setting right on the beach is very relaxing. In the evenings, The Bennerong and Terrazo restaurant provide different dining experiences but both excellent. The executive chef is passionate about food and this passion and high standard has been passed onto the numerous chefs in the restaurants. The setting in the Thai restaurant sitting out on the ocean is amazing and the bar above provides for a gorgeous setting in which to watch the sunset. The bar serves complimentary hot canapés with drinks that whet your appetite for the quality dining experience that lies ahead.
The steak in the Terrazzo restaurant is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of eating.

Service
The staff are friendly and its easy to see they find pleasure in providing excellent service. Upon speaking to them its easy to see that they enjoy being on this island as they are treated very well by the management in regards to working conditions and the way they are treated.

Underwater
This is one of the island's assets that sets it apart from all the other islands. Being a new resort the drop off reef that surrounds the entire island is untouched. Jumping in the water outside any of the villas, weather it be beach, lagoon or overwater is like entering an aquarium with crystal clear water and an abundance of fish life and coral. The snorkelling and diving in and around this island is so much better that other resorts where tourists unfortunately left their mark and have destroyed what was there originally. The Dusit has made a concerted effort to protect the marine park during construction and the result is one of the best under water experiences you can have on your doorstep.

Although this resort is pure luxury and 5 star, it still enables you to walk around bare foot and casual, it doesn't have an air of arrogance other resorts of this quality can have. The general manager is a humble and unassuming gentleman and his calm nature seems to have spread down through his staff to create the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere this resort provides. I cannot wait to be able to visit again. No need to research other resorts in the Maldives when I have already found the Number 1!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Intrepidadventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2012

We were at Dusit Thani in April 2012 when it just opened.
Pros: Lovely, still rather virgin island. Nice, friendly staff. We had a brand new beachfront villa which was wonderful. Great diving and snorkelling adventures. Nice breakfast.
Cons: One would expect the food in restaurants for such resort to be exceptional, however this was not the case, especially at the Thai restaurant.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank alexandra d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at Dusit Thani for 3 nights after a week in another resort. I am very lucky to say I'm well traveled and find that Thai hospiltality is the best and most genuine. Nonetheless, you will the service at Dusit Thani nothing short of superb.

This 5 star resort is definitely worth make a trip to. After leaving the other resort, I am confident to say that dusit Thani offers 5 star cuisine. You must try the Thai restaurant, I have been to Thailand a dozen of times and nothing as good as what I've eaten at the Thai restaurant here. It literally blew my socks off!!

As for the location, I think it's only
Ok. Water is definitely more choppy and rougher than other islands. But the huge Infinity pool makes up for it as you can chill by the pool all day and watch the wave hit the shore.

Spa- nothing beats a Thai massage! Go! It's a must do! The treetop spa treatment rooms are very innovative and original. Love it!!

Breakfast is AMAZING!!!!!!!

Rooms are spacious and modern. However, the open air toilet with glass walls and door is just silly. Smell lingers in there bc no ventilation. If you are not much of a nature girl like me then you might get startled by the creepy crawlers in the open air bathroom. I screamed when I saw lizards hanging on the wall when I went to use the toilet. My husband has to accompany me to the toilet every night bc I was afraid what I may see.

Overall, this resort is worth a visit. It's new, it's trendy, it's chic with amazing Thai food. FYI, each villa comes
With your own butler.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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3  Thank ama172
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2012

We have just returned from a week at the Dusit Thani and it was truely wonderful. You are made to feel special from the moment you are met off the plane at Male airport. The welcome as you arrive at the island itself is wonderful.
I have never been anywhere where the staff are so attentive, without being at all intrusive. After the first day, staff in the restaurants knew our names and our preferences for drinks! How they can remember everyone is beyond me, but it's the little touches like that which make the holiday all the more special.
We travelled with our two teenagers and stayed in villas 105 and 106, beach villas with plunge pools in the bathroom. This side of the island has a particularly lovely stretch of beach and it felt as if we were on our own little island, it was so private. The rooms are gorgeous and the bathroom is stunning. Just be aware that as it is an open bathroom, you can have a problem with mosquitoes in there at night. A quick spray of repellent (which the hotel will provide) helped considerably.
Food on the island was really lovely. We didn't sample the in-villa dining, but the two restaurants were excellent and the breakfast selection in the Market was unbelievably varied! Other reviews have mentioned that the cocktails were a bit weak for their liking. We found this was the case on a couple of evenings, but other times they were fine. Perhaps it is down to the staff who mix them but regardless, we were always asked if the drinks were ok and on the occasions they were a little weak, there was no hesitation in making them stronger for us. Nothing was too much trouble.
My daughter and I tried the Deverana Spa. It was the best massage I have ever had, in the most attractive surroundings. Thoroughly recommended.

This island is a real jewel. If you are looking for night life, look elsewhere! But if you want a wonderfully relaxing break on a beautiful island, you can't do much better. We loved it!

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
10  Thank juwat0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

We spent amazing nine days on the island, and we will never forget our time here. The ocean villa we stayed in was great, very spacious with a great bathroom and private terrace with pool. As the sea can be a bit choppy in front of the ocean villas, you rarely get snorkelers directly in front of your villa, which gives you added privacy.

The check-in is done in the villa, which is nice, and your butler can explain the facilities in the villa if required. The mini bar is fine, nothing special but can be customised to your needs. Tea and coffee is free of charge. Four bottles of desalinated water are provided daily free of charge (2 litres).

Breakfast at the Market restaurant is very good, with everything you could wish for. There is a live cooking station where you can order omelettes, pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc, which can be brought to your table. The pastries are excellent, and there is also a lot of choice of fresh fruit which you can have cut fresh and brought to your table. Service is very good and attentive. We usually ate way too much, but as we went to the gym before breakfast every day, we didn’t feel too bad!

The majority of the guests on the island are from China and Korea, some Russians and very few Europeans. We found the constant picture-taking of the Asian guests quite entertaining, but chose to relax instead. Most of the guests use the buggies to get around, we preferred to walk as the island isn’t big so everything can be reached within a few minutes.

The room boys are very good – friendly and attentive, and they keep the villa super-clean. The pool is great to cool off in during the day, as you can’t really swim in front of the ocean villas, especially during low tide.

The house reef is fantastic – we went to the dive centre on our first day to pick up the snorkelling equipment which is free of charge, and to get some advice on where the best spots are. You can snorkel around the whole island, but only if you are a good swimmer as the current can be quite strong on one side of the island (and as it takes around 1h40m, probably not all at once). We went snorkelling twice a day and you can see a lot of different fish, and we saw turtles every time we went snorkelling which is amazing. The area around the dive centre jetty is particularly interesting, and a good trip is also to jump in at the arrival jetty and snorkel to the dive jetty. Some stairs would be good so you don’t have to jump in (also at the Benjarong restaurant), but we managed. You can only snorkel to the edge of the reef from the ocean villas during high tide. Unfortunately some of the Asian guests don’t seem to understand that it is not a good idea to walk around on the corals – some brief intro upon arrival might be a good idea.

An absolute highlight was the Benjarong restaurant – great food, reasonable prices, excellent service. Go to the bar on the first floor to have a cocktail first and watch the sunset – amazing views.

We also hired a speedboat for an afternoon – not cheap but worth it. We wanted to snorkel at a different reef and also try to find some Mantas, which we did in the end. To snorkel with Mantas was the absolute highlight of our holiday – thanks again to the captain and our guide for finding them!

Once we also saw dolphins from our terrace – you can only see their fins but it was great anyway!

Overall, Dusit Thani is a great place to spend your holiday, but there is definitely room for improvement. We have been to the Maldives a number of times before, and went to Six Senses Laamu last year. Given the cost of the ocean villas, below a few things that could make a big difference:

- Our international flight landed at 9:10 in the morning, the air taxi didn’t leave until 12:10. A three-hour wait was not how we imagined our holiday to start. In the end it turned out that we had to wait for some Asian guests to fill up the air taxi. Dusit Thani doesn’t have their own air taxi lounge, so we ended up spending three hours in the “VIP” lounge as the air taxi left later than scheduled. This lunge is essentially dark room with stale sandwiches, and a temperature of about 15 degrees C. As we were quite tired after our flight, the wait didn’t help. We mentioned that we weren’t happy to both the Dusit rep in the lounge and to our butler, but were more a less told that they don’t make the schedule and that hopefully in a few months time there will be a local airport which will improve things. As we only arrived on the island after 1pm, a little gesture from management would have been appreciated.

- The wood that has been used for the jetties, and even the terraces of the ocean villas as well as the hand rails is not sanded and untreated. Not ideal as we managed to get quite a few splinters stuck in the soles of our feet. And we decided not to touch the hand rails again...
A holiday in the Maldives for us is about walking around with no shoes on, and this is the first time we had this particular problem. The quality of the wood is also not great – you can see that some areas of the ocean villa jetty look like they will need to be replaced in a few months time – not ideal given the resort only opened a few months ago.

- The fire points around the paths of the island don’t add to the natural feel – some wood around them would help. Same for the concrete structures (used by the room boys to store their stuff?) – some wood around them would make them look a lot nicer.

- Light in the villa – could use some more lights, as it is quite dark at night – you can only read in bed, not when sitting on the sofa.

- There is a master light switch which is a bit pointless as you can’t switch off all the lights and you have to hunt down the ones you need to switch off separately.

- Quite a few of the sockets don’t work – e.g. the only one for the mini bar wasn’t working so we had to plug in the water cooker on the floor.

- Some of the materials chosen already show some wear and tear (e.g. scratches on the desk and the floor) – not sure how good the rooms will look in a year’s time

- The air con control unit looks like I fitted it myself...

- Room service charges: I don’t know who worked out the prices, but some of them don’t make any sense. Main courses between 30 and 40 dollars are fine, and I can really recommend the burger which costs a reasonable 25 dollars. What I don’t understand is soup for 25 dollars, rice and noodle dishes also for 25 dollars, and then desserts costing 20 dollars. We once ordered a cinnamon apple crumble slice for 20 dollars, which is tiny, and seriously over-priced.

- Some of the facilities are not ready yet, and you are not made aware of that when booking your stay. The Market restaurant is open for breakfast only, but the information in your room advertises buffet dinners there which don’t exist.

- Sea grill restaurant – not our favourite. We went there once on our first evening, rather stiff atmosphere. There were only three other couples in the restaurant, still we waited around fifteen minutes for the bread to arrive. After two more minutes, the bread was taken away as the starters arrived. Why not leave it on the table? My husband ordered steak and asked if it comes with any sides. The waiter said it would come with fries. In the end it came with two salad leaves, no fries. We then asked for fries, which arrived after he had pretty much finished the steak, and they were of the frozen variety and tasted like the ones you buy in your local supermarket. Another few minutes and the ketchup arrived, impressive if you consider that the restaurant was almost empty. Go to Benjarong instead – it is cheaper, has an amazing atmosphere, and the food and service are excellent. To be fair, there was a Mediterranean buffet on our last evening at the Sea Grill, which was very nice, and as the Benjarong restaurant is closed on Sunday’s, the Sea Grill was full and the atmosphere a lot nicer then on our first evening, service was very good as well.

- Management: we sat in the Sand bar once, and the engineering manager and some other employees put some floor lamps down on the outside decking. There were other guests in the bar, and you could clearly hear him criticising his team, saying that the lights looked terrible. Why not do this in the morning when the bar is still closed? Apart from that, management was not visible. We talked to the Spanish chef once, who is very nice and does a great job, but during arrival and departure nobody from management attended.

- Gym: should open at 7, but we once got there at 8:30 and it was still closed. We then had to walk to reception to ask them to open it. There is also an issue with having water available at the gym – most of the time we had to walk to reception to ask them to bring some water. There is a phone at the gym, but without a cable – so obviously not working. Some cool towels in the fridge would be nice as well.

- Bad luck: all hotels invite tour operators / travel agents to stay for a day so they can tell their clients first-hand about the facilities. There was a big group of Russian tour operators (10-15 people) on the island during our stay. Unfortunately, some of them stayed in the ocean villa next to us – luckily only for one night. Around five of them got back from the bar at 4am and decided to party in the pool, with the some techno beats turned on so loud that it woke us up and we couldn’t sleep anymore. We complained and after about 45 minutes the music was turned down, but they started to sing instead. In the end, we managed to go back to sleep at around 5:30am. Again, a small gesture from management would have been nice, given that our night was not great.

- In front of the Market restaurant, which has amazing sea views, are some kayaks and surf boards – made of plastic which don’t add to the view – would look a lot better in front of the dive centre.

- Life vests: when you arrive on the island by sea plane, you get dropped off on a floating platform, where the speed boat picks you up. The journey time to the island from this platform is about 45 seconds, but you are forced to wear a life vest. Given that when you hire a boat you are on it for 4 hours + and don't have to wear a live vest - please let people opt out if they don't want to wear them - works on other islands as well.

Room Tip: Go for an ocean villa - doesn't matter which one!
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank Kurumba77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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