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Robinson Club Maldives
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Villingili
Certificate of Excellence
Geneva, Switzerland
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2013

One of our best holidays ever. Left my wallet and shoes in the room on day one and did not touch them for two weeks. Everything went as planned and advertised. The island is great, the rooms in which we stayed were by the beach and were well appointed and beautiful. The beach (white sand, not crowded at all, clean, you have your own seats and umbrella waiting for you, etc.) and the sea are just superb. We did not stop snorkelling all day and could see all type of sea creatures just opposite to our room.

As this was an all-inclusive hotel I had no great expectations for the food. I was happily surprised by a great variety of very well prepared dishes. It was a real pleasure to go to eat. Not sure how they managed to have such a variety of high quality products available in this remote place. Great logistics I supposed.

All the staff (the German as well as the local) were very nice and helpful. When walking in the foot path to the restaurant I was happy to see (before even being noticed) that the local staff were always in good mood, chatting among themselves and laughing while working, and as soon as they would see you coming they would greet you politely and offer a coconut to drink or a lift with one of the three electric cars in the island. There is a non-tip policy in the island (if you want you can leave a tip in a sealed envelope at your departure, but no tips are given for individual services), so I truly believe that their approach was genuine to make contact with the guests. Activities are organized every day for those who want to joint, and every evening there is a theme show (some quite amusing).

Practically everything is included. Only spa treatments, excursions outside the island and boat/canoe’s rentals are paid. They provide snorkelling gear for free. So, while in the island, you spend almost no money.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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4 Thank Matias_T1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
181 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 248 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

I’ve been snorkeling in Great Barrier Reef, Thailand, and California. When choosing a resort, I was looking for the best snorkeling possible (unbleached corals), good food, water villa, and a medium-sized island so that we wouldn’t get bored after 5 days. Robinson Club surpassed all these requirements. This is a close-to-five star hotel at four star rates.

Snorkelling: The coral is unbleached. Apparently there was a bleaching event in the 90’s (?) that bleached a lot of the coral in Maldives. RC escaped this bleaching event because it is further south. We saw orange fan coral the size of my body, huge coral shaped in flowers -- it was like walking in a botanical garden with the myriad of hues. The colorful coral made the extra domestic flight well worth it. RC is rich in both flora and fauna. Fish were everywhere – 50-100 different species at least, you could just stand at the arrival jetty and see 5 sharks cruising among huge pools of fish. Besides the many reef sharks we saw, we also saw a couple of turtles and a manta ray hung out under our water villa. We also tried night snorkeling. There wasn’t much to see, but you did see a couple of things you don’t see during the day like lobster and rock fish. You see 95% of the fish during the day, night snorkeling is if you want to see a couple of new things. It’s also a different experience, a little bit spooky. Our guide did a good job of making sure we were safe.

Food: Eating is our hobby and we’ve dined in many high-end restaurants around the world (see my other reviews). We usually avoid buffets because we overeat and half of the food is inedible. Not so at Robinson Club. They had theme nights but you could count on wood-fired pizza at lunch or homemade pasta for lunch or dinner. There was always grilled fresh fish available and 10 desserts to choose from. We definitely overate, because everything tasted so good. The waiters were really generous topping up our wine glasses too – at dinner they gave you the whole wine bottle.

The staff was very flexible with food and drinks. Lunch officially ended at 2:30, but the staff was really nice where they’d still serve you a drink if it was after 2:30. My partner asked for fresh pasta specially made for him and the staff was happy to do so. Also, when you asked for wine, you’d get the whole bottle. The red wine was the equivalent of a $5 bottle from Trader Joe’s (easy to drink, but not memorable.) We liked the white and the rose much better.

It’s all-inclusive for breakfast/lunch/dinner, but if you want to go to the bar for drink, a beer is reasonably priced at $6.50, so they don’t try to gouge you. I liked that about Robinson Club, the food outside of meal hours is very reasonably priced, even the room-service. So if you want a beer at the pool bar or beach bar, it’s no big deal and you don’t have to worry about a large bill at the end of the stay.

Water Villa: We stayed in the water villa and a beach villa for a late checkout (which is $150 extra). The water villa is magical – we had the luck of spotting sharks and a manta ray through our glass floor. At low tide you can just wander down the steps into waist-high water, and it’s like standing in a massive aquarium. It’s a priceless experience –if your budget can manage it, try it for at least a couple of nights. The beach villa had a Jacuzzi bath which was fun. For the meals and service that you get, the garden villa is great value; while the water villa a worthy splurge.

Medium-size island: We easily get bored and this island was perfect for us in that there were optional activities such as yoga class, pool exercise, kayaking ($15/hour). There was also a pool party that was a lot of fun – free-flowing champagne and cocktail shrimp. There was also music some nights—our most romantic night was to dance under the stars with a guitarist strumming some light tunes. All of this is entirely optional, if you want to stay alone in your room and enjoy solitude that’s fine too. But everything was such a special experience that my SO who usually spends time in front of his laptop would ask about the schedule as to not miss anything.

Hospitality: Every step of the way, from when we landed in Male to when we left, the staff endeavored to make us feel welcome and special. Stepping off the ferry onto the island was magical; they had music playing, hors d’evours and sparkling wine to greet us. There was good attention to detail: we were given a hand-signed welcome greeting from the top management of the island. We were also lucked out getting an upgrade. In general, the staff try to give the best rooms possible. For example, our late checkout they were going to give us a garden villa, but did some double checking and rescheduling to give us a beach villa. It’s just one example of the little details and staff doing their best for guests.

The staff always smile, make eye contact and say hello, from the manager to the gardener or the guy running around with a bucket of tools. More importantly, everyone seems to have a genuine warmth when they greet you; this goes a long way to make you feel truly welcome. This is a staff training detail that we had only encountered in five-star hotels, like the Peninsula or the Four Seasons.

It’s hard to feel comfortable if the staff doesn’t feel comfortable. So, it was nice that the staff has a feel of a big happy family. The management has done a good job of making their staff happy to work at RC, and as a result, the staff do their best to make you happy. Part of this may be due to the fact that every staff member has to pitch in with all the “chores”; apparently all the staff works two days in the kitchen, in addition to their regular duties, to help serve and prepare food. They also get one day off per week, when they can enjoy the resort’s amenities, and it seems that most employees, including the local staff, get a couple days a year to stay as a guest on the island as well. It’s great to see the staff openly enjoying the same food that the guests eat; we couldn’t figure out the rotation but did notice that every day different staff members were eating at the buffet, and quite often they would sit down with guests and have a chat with them during meal times.

When it comes time to party, the staff are also invited to the party – in fact, they get the party started (that’s probably one of their duties). We had a pool party, and the staff were in the pool with everyone else, and during a dance party it was nice that the staff was there to help get the dance floor “primed”, because it’s always awkward to be the first person jumping onto the dance floor.

The wait staff is attentive, and they remember you. As we dined through the week, the staff began to remember our preferences for wine, beer, drinks, where to sit, and so forth. They remember where we’re from, and small talk from the previous night continues to the next. It was very nice to have service where you were treated like a person. Even though there is really only one or two food options on the island, it never felt like we “had” to go eat; meal time was always a time we looked forward to.

We went the first week of August to enjoy low season prices and were glad that we did. Weather – four days of clear skies and calm water. There were also two days slightly overcast with small waves that don’t affect visibility or your ability to snorkel because there’s so much to see. Occasional rain /thunder at night when you sleep, no biggie.

Tipping is not expected on this island. We would some times give $1 for a waiter/waitress for exceptional service, and they were very appreciative. More importantly, they weren’t treating you well because they wanted a tip, the service was exemplary because the staff wanted the hotel guests to be happy.

I was itchy on the island. I don’t know if it was reaction to the coral or mosquitoes (I never saw any). But bring bug spray and something to apply to relieve itchiness if you are bit. You will certainly need it for the domestic airport where there’s a bit of waiting.

Now the touchy subject of people who frequent the island. I am Asian myself but after sitting in an airport lounge myself with loud raucous Chinese groups for 3 hours waiting for my domestic flight, I can see why this is important to people – it can ruin a vacation. Thankfully, this wasn’t a problem at Robinson Club. I heard German and French being spoken, and about 30% Asian. Everyone speaks English, but the staff are really pleased if you speak a word or two of German to them. Now Asians is a very broad term and it may be hard to distinguish what country people are from. Some tourists from China can be very loud and disrupt the tranquility of the island. But there are different classes within China, and don’t forget the Japanese, Korean, Singaporean, etc. who are really polite. Because of what Robinson Club has to offer (focus on snorkeling, no karaoke, German crowd), there seemed to be very few loud tourists from mainland China. There would be a couple from Japan, Korea, and we’re from Singapore, and a few nice families from China.

Now for some facts/prices if you’ve made it this far:

The Internet is free but slow. Good for checking email, but that’s it. Better to buy a SIM card for your unlocked phone when you arrive at Male airport (it’s to the right as you exit the airport.). The SIM card is only $18 with unlimited data. Speed is about 1 Mbps sustained, with bursts of higher speed. We had to pay in exact U.S. cash as they didn’t have change. Also, check that your card works before leaving the store because the wifi counter failed to give us some important numbers and were unhelpful and trying to wave us off. Thankfully our Robinson Club guy who met us at the airport helped in making sure we got the right instructions to get the SIM card working. That was nice of the Robinson Club staff.

There is a library with German and Chinese books, but no books in English (I counted three). There are also board games, pool, and table tennis to play.

There is a seated 5 course meal on Friday night. The main course was fantastic and of really good quality. However, if you are coming from Asia, be aware of the time change, as it’ll be dinner at 1 am and some tourists were understandably tired. Better to come earlier in the week so that you have time to adjust.

Snorkelling gear is for free, safety vest and kayaking are not. Kayaking rate is reasonable at $15/hour, a safety vest in $8/day to rent. They also had a completely clear see-through boat for $30/hr which we enjoyed once. If you’ve got space in your luggage, you can buy your own safety vest for the price of a rental and bring it. We did that, but the conditions of the waves are pretty mild, and you can always snorkel just 10 m from the beach, so you don’t need a safety vest if you are a confident swimmer.

This is not a place where you can walk barefoot. The couple of times we did, one of us would end up with a splinter. Bring comfortable flip flops. We went after the refurbishment and the decks were in fine shape and didn’t see any wear or tear. Bottom steps of the water villa for water entry were slippery, so be careful. It’s just nature/algae growing on the wood, nothing can be done about that.

Bring spray sunblock for your head so your scalp doesn’t burn.

The best snorkeling is on the arrival jetty/sunset side of the island, if you’re going for a beach villa or water villa and want to be close to the snorkeling , request that side.

The domestic flight: The domestic transfer wasn’t bad for us, but that’s because I checked the flight departure times on the Maldivian Airlines website and chose a flight that ensured a reasonable layover time. The price is just a little bit more than the seaplane transfer. RC let us use the domestic lounge upon departure, and even at the lounge at the small airport on our return flight. It was a nice luxurious touch.

1 L bottle of water every day, otherwise a 1.5L bottle of water is $5. I had space and brought some water in, I think an extra 1.5L bottle per day is safe. You can also get water in the gym.

We had a great time in Robinson Club. I really enjoyed the AI concept – I didn’t have to worry about the bill getting too big and my SO could enjoy wine and beer. The staff, snorkeling, food, and service spoilt us. I converted my SO who was initially skeptical about Maldives into a believer. He is already talking about returning, and he doesn't even like beach vacations!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank HappyBelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairo, Egypt
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Robinson Club for 7 days in July and it was a perfect vacation.
We had booked a Lagoon-Villa. The Villa has a large four-poster bed in a spacious, light room with a 1x1 glass bottom, where one can observe marine life, especially with the spotlight on at night, which attracts the fish. The large windows face west to most beautiful sunsets. Private stairs from the very private sun deck lead into the lagoon for a midnight swim under the full moon and glimmering stars. The Villa is always kept very clean, daily change of towels, there is lots of space to store clothes, suitcases, snorkeling/diving equipment, cameras etc.Tto our excitement, there is a Senseo coffee maker in the room and coffee pads, milk and sugar are filled up twice a day so you never have to worry about your morning coffee when you had your afternoon coffee. The spacious bathroom has an additional door to the terrace and after your 'private' swim/snorkeling you can enter the bathroom without having to walk wet and dripping through the bedroom.
The food is exceptional good, thank you Chef Annand, excellent cooked and very tasty, both, the buffet or the restaurant 'Das Edel'. We had a very romantic birthday dinner at 'Das Edel' with excellent food and service.
The buffet offers a large variety of food, Indian, Asian, German, English, whatever your taste, you will find it. Everything is always fresh, fish and meat, salad and fruits. The waiters are always very busy and extremely friendly, always helpful and never miss to fill up your glass or clear the table before your return from the buffet.
RC offers lots of entertainment, varying from professional (Thai) massage to Yoga, Gym, with or without Instructor, guided Snorkeling tours, Banana boat rides, Jet Ski and many other kinds of water sports; explanatory tours on how the island and RC on the island work, in terms of electricity, sewage, provision and supply etc. Those, who prefer to sunbathe, will find plenty of sun decks with comfortable sun beds and shade spending umbrellas, a beautiful large pool and, of course, the beach with hammocks and sun beds.
I wasn't aware that bean bag seats are that comfortable! We loved sitting in these bean bags at the Beach Bar, which is located on the west tip of the island to ensure the best view of the stunning sunsets. Sitting there with a well mixed cocktail in your hands, letting the time just pass by while watching the fiery sunset .... heaven! The DJ proofed a good taste in music, playing beautiful Smooth Jazz, and every evening there was a live musician or Band, playing similar music and not this hammering Club Music. Very enjoyable.
All in all, this was the most perfect vacation we ever had in many years.
I would like to express our big big 'Thank you!!' to the whole RC Team who made this experience a fantastic one.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
7 Thank Starlet63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Level 6 Contributor
69 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

We stayed at Robinson Club for 10 days in July. This is the 7th island we have visited. Our priorities in choosing an island are the quality of the reef, good food and service and a good standard of accommodation. In these respects Robinson was first class. For these reasons I have given the island a 5 rating. However, it is not an island which would appeal to everyone but the faults which I perceived are largely down to personal taste, not fundamental flaws.

Arrival: We arrived in Malé on the night flight from Dubai with Emirates at about 8:30 AM and we were met by a rep from RC and taken to the domestic terminal, a short walk away. Our internal flight left at 10:00 so we only had a very short wait, which was fantastic. The local airport, Kaadedhdhoo, is basic and has lots of mosquitoes – have some repellent handy! We walked a short distance to the speedboat, which took about 30 minutes to reach the island. On arrival we were greeted with music and sparkling wine (very nice) and had a brief introduction before being taken to our room.

Room: We stayed in Water Villa, number 1111. I contacted the resort beforehand to request a villa as far away from the island as possible and this was honoured. My reason for doing this was, from looking at aerial photos, it appeared to be a shorter distance to the drop off on the reef. I would say this location is very good for people who want to do a lot of snorkelling from their decking. The quality of the room was very good: very comfortable bed, good air-con, a nice sofa, clean and modern bathroom, plenty of storage space – no issues. I was a little disappointed that the Jacuzzis had been removed from the water villas. Instead there is a very comfortable day bed, which was fine in the early morning and evenings but, in the day, with no shade it was impossible to use. However, there were two sun loungers (although pretty uncomfortable) with an umbrella. I would have appreciated an outdoor shower on the deck (or even just a tap) in order to rinse off snorkelling equipment, rather than dragging it all in and out of the bathroom – a minor point, though.

For one night we stayed in the Presidential Suite, as part of a “Feel like a President package”. This was out of this world and, I thought, good value for what you get; lunch, a massage, sundowner cocktails, a 5 course dinner and champagne breakfast, all in-villa. The room was beautiful and the private pool enormous. It also had various sun loungers, a day bed, a Jacuzzi, two amazing bathrooms, a dining area and living area. It was absolute bliss for 24 hours. We organised this through Marion, the head of guest relations, who was very helpful and super friendly.

Reef: Our main priority and we were not disappointed. Prior to booking I had read that the reef at RC is comparable to those at Mirihi and Athuruga, both of which we enjoyed immensely. And we enjoyed the reef here equally. It is possible to snorkel the whole way around the island along the drop off – perhaps not in one go, but we did it twice in two halves, before and after lunch. The reef is extensive with a lot of coral. In parts there seemed to be quite a lot of algae growing on the coral but perhaps this is a seasonal thing. It was a very easy reef to access and swim. While we were there, there seemed to be very little current and visibility in most areas was excellent, especially in the morning. Some areas are better than others. We especially liked the area around the top of the water villas and presidential suite and also the opposite end of the island, between the arrival jetty and the channel closest to the service jetty. Every day we saw white and black tipped reef sharks and most days we saw turtles. Fish life was abundant – most of the usual and we also saw fish here that we have never seen before; a Giant Puffer and a Napoleon wrasse and we also saw fish rarely seen elsewhere e.g. Batfish. The only obvious absences were rays. Also, from here, unlike other places visited, it was not possible to go on trips to (hopefully) see Whale Sharks or Mantas. We saw a reef patrol once and there were guided snorkelling sessions but I do still fear a little bit for the health of the reef as we often saw guests standing and sitting on the coral and even dragging themselves along by it! I’m sure that guests are advised on arrival about how to treat the reef but it is, perhaps, not enough for some guests who are very new to snorkelling.

Food and service: EXCELLENT! We are not usually fans of buffet food but this was something different – the best food we have ever had in the Maldives. The choice was immense and so much of it is freshly cooked in front of you. I think it would suit everyone. The standard of food, organisation and service at the Gala Evening was phenomenal. We also had a meal at Das Edel and five course In-Villa dining, both of which were fabulous. The service in the restaurants was faultless. The staff have so much time for you. A huge thank you to Azmeel, the head waiter, Ruwan, the manager of the restaurants and sommelier, and Samy, manager of In-Villa Dining. These people and their hard-working teams helped to make meal times an absolute joy. Ruwan and Samy went out of their way to cater to my fussy, kind-of-vegetarian tastes and ensured my husband had two amazing birthday meals. Every day Azmeel made us laugh. I have to admit, with some embarrassment, that I actually cried when I had to say my goodbyes to him in the restaurant – something I have never done before! Also, a big thank you to Chef Annad (hope I got that right) who gave us the recipes and spices for his chicken and fish tikka and to breakfast chef, Stalin, who made some Indian breakfast dishes especially for my husband. The waiters were incredibly efficient, always on hand to serve more drinks, take away plates and help you to carry things to your table, if two hands are not enough!

Bars: There are three bars; main bar, pool bar and sundowner bar. Most of the time the bars were very quiet. Apart from the weekly pool party the pool bar was generally pretty empty. But it certainly filled up when there was free canapés and drinks! ;-)
The sundowner bar got busy at sunset and it was very entertaining to watch all the photography sessions – my favourite involved three women in wedding dresses and another endlessly trying to pose as though she was holding the sun in her hands. We also enjoyed sitting at the sundowner in the afternoon as it was very peaceful. At sunset there tends to be music played (sometimes by a DJ or occasionally live music), which I found quite annoying. I would rather hear the sea. However, when we sat on the row of bean bags closest to the sea it was fine. Before dinner the main bar was extremely quiet. Often we were the only guests there. I’m not sure whether this is partly due to the board basis; people not wanting to buy drinks when they get beer and wine free with their meals or maybe it is just that most guests do not want to drink before dinner. I found this a little disappointing as I like a few drinks before dinner and to have some atmosphere e.g. being nosy people watching  In retrospect, maybe we should have taken our drinks outside to sit on the decking. After dinner things in the bar got a lot more lively (unfortunately – some might say)!

Entertainment: This is where the personal taste comes in! When we go to the Maldives we basically do not want entertainment. Caribbean and Pirate Parties should, in my opinion, stay in the Caribbean. I don’t want casino nights or discos. Of course, this is a matter of personal preference. Other people may love it – although it did often seem to be mainly staff dancing. After dinner I like to sit peacefully and look at the stars and listen to the sound of the sea. I don’t want thumping music and dancing. The problem is that the main bar is usually the venue for the entertainment but there is no other option for people who don’t want this – apart from to go back to your villa. I suppose you could sit outside on the decking by the main bar but the music really was pretty loud – we could sometimes hear it in our room, even though we were pretty far away from the island. Perhaps it is quieter in the beach and garden villas.

Atmosphere: We were on the island during school holidays and towards the end of our stay it was getting busier with families. There were quite a lot of daytime organised activities e.g. exercise classes, aqua fit, volleyball, mini-golf, kayaking around the island. Again, not to our taste, but you don’t have to participate and nobody hassles you to join in anything – so no problem! There were some motorised water sports e.g. a banana boat (never before seen by us in the Maldives) and jet skis, but these were only used very occasionally so the noise did not bother us. The clientele when we were there was mainly Chinese and German; many family groups and couples. For the vast majority of our stay I think we were the only British guests on the island. For us this is not an issue at all. It would appear that the resort is mainly targeting the German and Asian markets so if you are British (or at least an Anglophone) this may be an issue if you like to make friends with other people on holiday – although, of course, many other nationalities speak excellent English. We are not especially sociable so it suited us fine!

Overall we had an absolutely fantastic holiday and I would recommend Robinson Club very highly – even to people who don’t like entertainment! Out of the seven islands we have visited I would only definitely return to two of them and Robinson Club would be one of these two. Thanks again to the staff named earlier, who really added so much enjoyment to our holiday. I am more than happy to answer any questions if people send me a personal message and I also have a link to photograph albums of the island and the reef which I am willing to pass on to people who are interested.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10 Thank cakestin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swanwick, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
36 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 341 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2013

This was our 14th trip to the Maldives and the 2nd to Robinson Club.
We landed later than expected on a BA flight. This was due to a delay caused by de-icing the aircraft back in the UK. We walked out of the Male airport terminal and within seconds were greeted by ground crew (Hummingbird for Purely Maldives) then within a few more seconds greeted by a Robinson Club Rep who informed us that because of our delay we would probably have to wait for the next domestic flight, approximately three hours! It was 10.55am. We were disappointed, but this was understandable. The rep apologised, but said he would see what he could do. He rang ahead and then asked us if we could run. We sprinted and made the 11.00 flight! The pilot waited for us on the tarmac while we cleared security and we took off moments later.
We flew into Kaadhdedhoo which took just over an hour and then promptly took the 20 min speed boat to Robinson Club. There were previous reports of rubbish at the local airport. This is no longer the case. The island and sea were both in pristine condition, but please note this is a very basic airport with limited facilities and any hanging about may require some insect repellent.

We arrived at Robinson Club with the expected smiley welcome, sparkling wine, fruit juice and canapés. The addition of complimentary flip-flops this time around was a surprise bonus. Some guests also received beach bags, as they did not have a full range of flip-flop sizes. Even with the slight stress in racing for our flight, it really was a perfect start to the holiday as we had arrived with plenty of time to shower and, unpack before heading off for lunch.

So what has changed? (See my previous review dated January 2011).
These are not all moans, just observations and also some improvements. By the time you are reading this the island will have been be closed for renovations and re-opened, so a lot of my niggles will have been addressed.
Our previous visit in 2011 was when the resort was less than a year old. By Feb 2013 it had begun to show a bit of wear. Not in the rooms, bar or restaurant areas, where on-going maintenance was evident. Just things like the patchy decking and towels not as fluffy as they had been when new. Also all the beach beds in the past had white covers, they had been replaced by blue in some places, so not as smart or as uniform in my opinion. These are just ultra-picky observations. The beach has all coconut roof umbrellas now giving the beach a more traditional Maldivian island feel. The beach beds are the wooden adjustable type. Beach villa guests have numbered beds on the beach, but there are plenty of unnumbered ones in-between. There were always free beds for all at the pool; these were rattan type beds and love nests. None of these were adjustable, but had comfortable cushions.

The staff wall area was a little tatty, but they are building a fixed wall behind it. The staff area that was fenced off previously with reeds is now getting a more permanent structure, but this was all being done behind the existing screening and no building noise or visual work was being undertaken. I only know, because I was looking for the cat which incidentally was fine, albeit a little more timid than the previous year. I doubt you would even see her unless you went looking. There are also two parrots in an aviary. I don't agree with caged birds and this is probably why they were not mentioned in my previous review; however it appears they are only in the cage to sleep and eat. The rest of the time they are free to fly around. So be aware if you hear squawking coming from your open-air bathroom.

We had a few small issues with our garden room. I will not go into full room details this time, as these can be found in my previous review. Some rooms now have clothes drying racks. This would be an advantage to have in all the rooms. Our room did not have one and our room was also missing a full length mirror. I called my pillow 'a bag with lumps', my husband however liked them! We had a problem with Fruit Bats dropping nuts onto our roof at night. At night it sounded more like we were being bombarded by coconuts. After two nights with little sleep we spoke to reception. They sent someone to sort the overhang branch out. The following night was fine and then the bat returned and we had another sleepless night. Reception then sent a guy up to pick off all the fruit. We had silent nights after that. We were offered a change of room, but we didn't really want the hassle. Looking around only a few garden villas would have an issue with overhanging branches. I managed to work out the coffee machine this time around so spent many an early morning on the terrace with a cup of coffee before breakfast. There is quite a good choice of teas and coffees, also fortune cookies.

The decking around the island was a bit patchy in places, especially where they have replaced planks on the main jetty and some of the beach villas, in some places the wood was in different shades. This didn't really affect us, but some of the main jetty and some of the villas decking has been repaired and not yet varnished the same colour, so a bit patchy looking. Not so good for photos this time around, but I am sure this will be sorted out once the island re-opens. The resort has renewed its contract. I can't remember for how many years, but enough to warrant spending money on the outstanding maintenance issues once and for all.

Each Saturday at 11.30 am a pool party was held. You can avoid this if you like by staying away from the pool area. My husband wanted to, but was dragged there under duress. At first he sulked on a sun lounger surfing the web on his I-pad and then a group of bikini clad Australian school teachers arrived from a neighbouring island and the next thing I knew hubby was in the pool, camera at the ready. Complimentary sparkling wine, floating trays of appetisers, king prawns, various dips, tomatoes, gherkins, olives and feta. What's not to like? He actually asked to go the following week! Sadly for him the teachers had only stayed one night before returning home.

The main restaurant - There were complaints in early reviews in regards to tiles lifting. They were covered with sand. The restaurant food serving area is just bare cement, but this looks good and blends in well with the sand. This is a short term solution I believe. We will have to see what the renovations will bring.
I have read about lack of vegetarian food types. I can't understand this, but I would advise to have a good look around. For instance Hash browns and baked beans were in the Maldivian section at breakfast. And the soup had been moved to the desert section. There were also lots of health food options, such as cold soups and smoothies. As previous - salad items were housed in fridges and built to order, as was the Sushi, so nothing was left hanging around for too long. If you can't find something just ask. At my request I had the typical Maldivian breakfast of Mas Huni every second day, which composed of tuna, onion, coconut, lime and chili all served with freshly-baked flatbread. I had smoked salmon, capers and cream cheese on the other days or fish curry for breakfast. There were lots of other choices available such as the egg station, sausages, bacon and healthy options such as muesli and yogurt and fresh juice. There were many live cooking stations for lunch and dinner that did wok dishes, pasta, pizza, fish, BBQ, also the usual curries and freshly baked bread and a Chef Selection of the day all hosted by an international team of chefs. Dim Sum, Turkish pizza (Pide) and shawarmas were new on the menu this year. Also a few things I have not had in the Maldives before, two things that come to mind were sundried tomatoes and polenta. Meat dishes were of good quality including fillet of beef and rack of lamb. There is still a very good selection of cheeses (around ten) including blue, camembert and brie. Deserts are still all individual portions, although the ice cream was not as good as last time. The complimentary bottled wine was still as good Malbec/ Merlot, a Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay and a Rose. Drinks are complimentary with meals, beer, wine, soft drinks and bottled water. We enjoyed eating most of our meals outside on the decking overlooking the sea. You are not allocated a table or waiter at this resort, so you can pick where you like, either outside over the decking or inside under ceiling fans. There is no table sharing and meal times only appear busier on the Gala evenings (Black & white and white evening (captain's party) this time around) Five course sit down meal, wonderful atmosphere and artistically created dishes. The staff put a lot of effort into making the guests happy, although we came to the conclusion that the general manager (German) was a little put out that us 'Brits' had somehow stumbled upon his exclusive island. The food and service was however still outstanding.

One of the generators packed up for a few days, but this did not affect us, some villas had patchy power though.
There was some evidence of beach erosion. The area between the Das Edel Restaurant and in front of the main bar area and restaurant and along to the row of beach front garden villas there was no beach. I only managed to walk around the island a couple of times at low tide. There were also some sandbags. A wall has been built along the beach in front of the Das Edel. I believe now that the island has renewed the lease it is going to get outside help with a dredger to replace sand. There is still plenty of beach space with no overcrowding, but if you want to walk around the island maybe take reef shoes to traverse areas of dead coral. All in all, the beach was not as wide as it was in 2011, but this may be seasonal. Two of the water villas to the right (looking out to sea) were beached this year when a sandbank formed.

During our previous visit the Beach Bar (near the garden rooms) was open in the late afternoons, this time it was the Sun Downer bar (nearest the WV's). Although the island has several bars they appear not all to be utilised all of the time. There are new bean bags, a hammock and they have also added decking to the Sun Down Bar area. Complimentary canapés are served at sundown, drinks start at around $8. There was no sweet afternoon as was held previously.
Hammocks have also been placed around the island in designated garden relax areas. There were also a few golf carts this time around. I am not sure that these are necessary and seem to be used mainly by staff.

We recognised a lot of the staff from our previous trip and were pleased to see many had been promoted. We also recognised some of the guests, including a German couple on their 4th trip to the island.

It is still a very quiet island, although you can find things going on if you look for them. Daily yoga lessons, beach golf, Pilates, Aqua Fit and snorkel excursion on the house reef (usually two a day), a weekly Kayak around the island and behind the scenes tour. There is a beach volley ball court (inland) which hosts various activities including beach tennis. At additional cost – Big game fishing, catamaran courses, sunset cruise and various trips are on offer. There is an art studio; this seems more geared towards teenagers or for people wanting a Photography session than general use. The 'Wellfit' (fitness) area and gym is even more discreet this time around as the plant growth on the island is more established, offering further screening. There is a sauna, not that we used it.

There was still no loud visible entertainment, only the pool party and the weekly beach Party. As on most islands there are themed evenings in the restaurant. Some themes spilled over into the day. Maldivian day had staff carrying fresh coconut branches along the beach right up to your sun lounger where they split open the green coconut with a machete and you could enjoy the fresh coconut water. A small Maldivian market was held in the main bar that evening. There was a weekly Beach BBQ at Das Edel – one which was pirate themed. Whenever we did venture into the main bar it was empty; however we rarely ventured there after dinner as we are early risers.

The Reef – This is where Robinson club again is a cut above the rest in its price range. I recommend to take a couple of the free guided snorkel trips, as we ventured into area that we would not have found otherwise, and we felt more confident in a small group rather than just as a couple. We discovered Shark Point. At the beginning of our fortnight holiday it appeared that there was more marine life than during our first visit, however the wind picked up shortly thereafter exposing areas of reef and making it slightly more difficult to snorkel. We saw turtles daily, but sadly no Dolphins. The staff assured us they have daily sightings when the sea is flat. I swam with a Green Turtle for at least 10 min and I have excellent footage. Other than that all of the usual culprits were spotted along with soft corals and beautiful pink and purple anemones. There is no fish feeding on this island and also there is a sign board on the beach and a weekly presentation in regards to reef preservation, conservation and pollution.

Any issues we had with the island were minor. I still rate Robinson Club Maldives highly. My husband said he had the most relaxing holiday ever! It is such a fantastic natural and unpretentious island with internal meandering natural sand paths (you will get lost), established gardens, wide powder-soft white beaches fringed with green palms and views out to an unblemished turquoise ocean. The half board plus makes it good value for money too, certainly the best value 4 star resort that we have come across in the Maldives.

To Azmeel, Waheed, Samy, Wadey, Irsshad, Muawii for making our holiday special (we hope to see you all again soon). And to Purely Maldives who got us there and back without a hitch. Richard even offered to get us to the airport when we were snowed in. We would like to say 'A big thank you to you all'.

If you want to know anything specific, don't hesitate to ask.

Room Tip: Even garden rooms are large with separate seating area. The bathrooms have a Jacuzzi bath and two sh...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16 Thank turquoise23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

I stayed here for my honeymoon in September last year.

As others have mentioned the travel there is exhausting but well worth it. The food is unbelievable.

We had a water villa and it was amazing. Right on the edge of the reef and you can just walk down your steps and snorkel. Sunsets are excellent. They try an have themed nights at least every other night and the staff are very good.

It is predominantly German with the odd Asian couples, there were no British people during my stay. I marked it down for the fact it catered for mainly Germans, movie night, presentation night, all in German. Generally they do make an effort for the English though.

Compared to the other islands this gives you a lot for your money! Well worth it. Enjoy!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank Maakuji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Catania, Sicilia, Italy
Level 6 Contributor
472 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 603 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2013

We had a water bungalow and it was very clean. The room was very big and had a big glass window in the floor to watch the fished. Which is very impressive in the night, when the underwater light is on. The way from the water bungalow back to the restaurant is about 300 Meters so it´s a bit long but as the scenery is very nice, it was ok. The hotel is new, about 2 years and it seems that the water is treating the aisle badly as you can see some erosions. The food in the hotel was really nice and they had a big and daily changing offer. They do also have a big gourmet restaurant but as the normal restaurant offered really nice food, it seemed noone used the gourmet one. We spent our honeymoon on the island and we hoped that it wold be quite and even though there were some children, it was just perfect for us. The people there are many honeymooners from Germany and Asia (Japan, Korea and China) but also couples that wanted to have a balanced holiday between quite quality time and fun. The entertainers were excellent and special thanks to Viraj who alway put a smile on everyone´s face who saw him. They were not too pushy and left you alone but that was the key to success and the atmosphere was great even when the weather was rainy. As discribed, we had a water bungalow and the size was huge, it had about 30-40sqm. When the weather is nice, the waterbungalows are great even thoug the walk to the restaurant is quite a bit. When the weather is bad, it is a bit scary being on the water as the bungalows move slightly. There is television with about 20 channels (all English and Asian). We always had fresh water, coffee and tee for free on the rooms. There is also a huge balcony with a jacuzy on it and places to ly.The main room is air conditioned, it has also a safe and a fridge but you have to buy the things first. Of course also a telephone. When it rained, water came into the bungalow which is why I deducted some points. At the raining days our bathroom was completely wet. The staff was alway very friendly and very human, which means they also spoke privately and it seemed they indeed had fun at what they were doing. I want to thank again Viraj the entertainer who everybody loved. The guy is really crazy and has a great sense of "Schadenfreunde" (sorry, there is no word describing that in english). I have never seen anyone who made shy people waking up and playing Volleyball etc. All the other staff was the same, they were always approachable. Great job! Whenever you buy something there are 10% tipp on the receipt. For the very good staff, we spent some more money as we thought they did an extraordinary job. The food was alway great and they changed it daily. The fish was always fresh and they also offered the normal German things like Nutella etc. The gourmet restaurant is excellent but it is not necessary to go there. If you want to have a romantic dinner for two then this is the place to be. The prices are ok for the quality of the restaurant. When you buy something there are 10% tipping included. The island is very small, it takes about 15-20 Minutes to walk around it. The beaches are just great and very clean, I never saw any dirt or trash lying around. Even though the island is that small, they managed to put 400 people on that island (about 200 guests and about 200 staff). From the water bungalows you can directly enter the ocean which is very handy. It´s just great for snorkeling and diving because the reef is just at the bungalow. There is a small shop on the area that fill the basic needs. But normally you don´t need many things. The travel to the island is very exhausting, from Germany it is a plane from Frankfurt to Male, from Male with another plane to Kadhdhoo (flight about 1 hour), from there with the speed boat to the island (speed boat about 25 Minutes). The excursion possibilities are reduced to the ones from Robinson. Everything else is very expensive. But even 2 weeks are very ok as the program and the people make you feel great. They have a gib water sport offering but windsurfing, Kite surfing and Katamaran boating is not often possible as there is not enough wind. It´s perfect for snorekling and diving. I did not see any rescue swimmers. Diving is also possible for people without diving license and the diving station there has a very good reputation (Rudi). There is Beachvolleyball, Cross Golf accross the beach (which is no sport but very funny and due to the heat very exhausting). They also offer almost every night a progam after dinner. They don´t push you to attend but many people took the opportunity. On the rooms you have free internet access but the donwload rate is very bad.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank AndyVerne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Robinson Club Maldives

Property: Robinson Club Maldives
Address: Funamadua, Villingili 20077
Location: Maldives > North Huvadhu (Gaafa Alifu) Atoll > Villingili
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Villingili
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Robinson Club Maldives 4*
Number of rooms: 121
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Also Known As:
Robinson Club Maldives Hotel Villingili
Robinson Club Maldives Villingili

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