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Niyama
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Reviewed January 16, 2020

For our seventh Maldivian holiday, each time at a different top resort, we've made, this year, the best choice, Niyama Private Islands.
An attractive tandem of two islands, Chill and Play, connected by a bridge, so much alike and though so much different one to each other.
Alike one to each other, as both are so green, so much green, from tall palms to bushes with yellow flowers, changing color when falling down, to a splendid brown to magenta... Green and full of life... birds, from the Grey Heron, a solitaire on each Maldivian island, usually called George, facing every morning the sun not yet raised, to the Waterhens, drinking water on the edge of your private pool... And, yes, the bats, the flying foxes, so cute but so shy, difficult to catch with your camera, with their spectacular extended wings during the flights from the top of the highest palm to the next coconut tree.
And so much different one to each other: Chill, so quiet, with over-the-water villas on the ocean side, including the secluded Crescent, but also with wonderful beach villas, on the lagoon side, facing sunset, with private pool, with their green yards opening to the beach, that beach with the whitest and finest sand we've ever seen (and we've seen a lot of beaches around the world !), beach which is lazy oozing into the incredible light-green sea... and Play, which, beyond the great villas, is hosting a lot of activities. The largest playground for children on a Maldivian island, very well equipped for any age, where the parents may escape the care for children for the whole day long and enjoy an unexpected new honeymoon... A tennis court, a badminton court... And, the most spectacular, the Surf Shack, the most western point of Niyama, with a small bar and some long-chairs where you can lay and enjoy a drink while watching the incredible sunsets... This is a place of surf, where surfers, from beginners to pro, are waiting for the high waves of the ocean. There is also a kind of an open air Hall of Fame of the famous surfers who came here, including a World Champion, surfers who donated their surf boards, as a memento of their performance.

'Niyama', the name so well chosen, means, among a lot of other meanings, “recommended activities and hobbits for healthy living” and “liberated state of existence”. Or, simply, the nickname “Nature's Playground”. And, yes, it is true.

About villas... incredible how many types of villas could be on these two small islands. From Beach Villas, with or without private pool, one or two bedrooms, to the outstanding Three Bedroom Beach Pool Pavilion, with two private pools, spa treatment room, and... nanny room... And Water Villas from Water Pool Villas to Two Bedrooms Ocean Pool Pavilion...
We've chosen a Beach Pool Villa. Villa no.9. Better than any other we've seen from the beach. Sunset oriented, facing calm lagoon waters (instead the nervous ocean waters, on the sunrise side), it was perfect for a couple. Large to the extension of our needs, yet not to get lost in it, modern but not minimalist, with a great green yard, embracing the private pool (so refreshing when coming back from sea and beach), assuring privacy by its less than 1.5 meters wide opening to the beach and sea... With a serene inner backyard, extension of a modern open bath room, with flowers falling calmly on the water mirror, on the way to the so much beloved open air shower... a covered terrace with a large swing to lay on... what else could you possible need ?
Inside the room, all necessary facilities: wi-fi (a good one, thank God !), a nice Bose System, to which I've connected my iPod with the music we love, a large TV (which we've never used it !), a Nespresso coffee machine (free, of course) and a huge full fridge. The ice cream (free, of course), together with the daily fresh fruit basket (free, of course), followed by a non-alcoholic cocktail (too hot for alcohol in day time !), usually our invention, the Ginger Virgin Mojito, from Dune Bar, just two minutes away on the beach, and, of course, a good coffee, all these were a good and healthy alternative to a lunch, between a huge breakfast and a great dinner.
About breakfast and dinner.
Six restaurants (including one at 500 m far from the islands, and one six meters deep into the sea), four (or five ?!) bars... all of them on these two small islands.
Breakfast, at one of the two all-day-dining restaurants (Epicure on Chill and Blu on Play). Great. Complete. Best. Continental, Indian, Far East (Thai, Japanese, Chinese), any kind of egg dishes you can imagine, all kind of bacon, smoked fish, cheese, honey (from honeycomb to Manuka), a lot of sweets, a lot of fruits (so good papaya and passion fruits), coffee, tea, fresh squeezed juice and... sparkling wine.
And the people...so attentive, so friendly, so careful... “Have you a small problem with your throat ? Let us bring a ginger-lemon-honey hot drink to you.”
But, about the people, later, on below...
For our two weeks stay, we've chosen a half-board meal plan: breakfast and dinner.
That includes dinner in Epicure and Blu, buffet type, on thematic evenings (seafood, Thai, Maldivian, Italian...).
The buffet in Epicure and Blu was great, with a large variety of dishes, live grill stations... difficult to say which evening was better.
For dinner in the other restaurants (Edge, Nest, Tribal, Subsix), we've got 50$ vouchers per person per dinner. And, these restaurants... what a poetry !
Tribal, african – south-american, game and... lobster, great food, in spread pavilions, most of them with no more than three tables, open-air, with arched ceilings,... so african.
Nest, a restaurant... on top of the trees, with separate zones, usually with three tables, linked by catwalks, a la carte or teppanyaki, excellent food, from great Tom Yum and Tom Kha Goong ( we came here four times especially for these Thai spiced soups !) to the incredible Kobe steak, on teppanyaki.Nest is so much interesting, so we came back in day time, to take proper great pictures.
Edge, at 500 meters far from islands, in the middle of the sea, with its conic tent shape, offered a wonderful quiet evening to us, with no wind, no heat, tasting an exceptional seafood platter for two, so huge that we, always very fond of seafood, have surrendered, not possible to finish it.
On the same platform, in the middle of the sea, is Subsix, the six meters deep restaurant,, with splendid corals housing a lot of fish beyond the glass walls. Interesting in night time, but even more interesting in day time, when we've came back, for a drink and nice pictures.
All in one, during the two weeks, we've discussed often about the restaurant to choose for each day, as it was not easy at all.

As it was our seventh Maldivian holiday, we were a little bit fed up with “activities”, and were tempted more by swimming in the sea, enjoy the sunshine, refreshing in our pool... We've found out that the day is so short... And, adding the time spent by my wife at Spa (excellent massage specialist, my wife enjoyed massage sessions quite a lot !), our days were shorter than we've hoped they could be.
But we couldn't stop ourselves to observe how many activities were available. Water activities, from snorkeling and scuba diving, ski jets, kayaks, boards, to surfing. Tennis. Badminton. The Gym, full equipped, where we've been in the only raining afternoon. Cruises. Sunrise cruises, sunset fishing cruises, dolphins, whale shark... a lot of possibilities.

As i've mentioned on above, I'd like to dedicate a special part of this review to the people of Niyama. Definitely, the people we've met are the main asset of the resort.
I'd need a lot of words to characterise them: professionals (each of them al his level), efficient, prompt, quick, productive, reliable, helping, friendly, warm... and I may continue.
But, the most important quality is their team spirit. Working as a team. Acting as a team. Each of them knowing its role, but able to change the place with the next one, where needed, to replace one each other, at the same level, but to remain fused together in a single well-trained team.
I'd like to mention some names. And, as during these two wonderful weeks we've perceived them as our friends, I'll call them by first name only, without title, same as one is calling his friends.
I will start with the top people. Rebeca, the Front Desk Manager, and Siwa, the Operations Manager.
Rebeca, she really impressed us. Very professional, capable, efficient, reliable, but friendly, she is the one who keeps everything in her hands and, with the help of Siwa, is running the whole resort smoothly, like a well-oiled, efficient machine. She is finding time and resources to take apart each guest, with its specific needs, to solve these needs in the best way and made each guest to feel himself as the most important guest of Niyama. Very open and direct, eventually we've considered her as our best friend from Niyama.
And, yes, she is the one who made us really consider to come back to Niyama as soon as possible. Thank you, Rebeca, for your understanding and support ! Hope to meet you again, soon.
Unfortunately, we couldn't meet the General Manager of the resort, as he was missing from islands for a while, but only two minutes before our leaving seaplane take off. But, shaking hands as farewell, we've congratulated him for his team and urged him to take care of such a great team.
For every guest, in center stage is the thakuru, the personal butler. Our thakuru was Mahey.
To be Mahey the best thakuru of Niyama ? For us, he was the best. Prompt, effective, reliable, following and solving our requests in an easy and natural way, as he knows them in advance. He greeted us when we've get off the seaplane (together with resort management, Rebeca, and Siwa...) and drove us with a buggy direct to our villa, where we've made check in. Everything was done in the villa, check in, check out, dinner and Spa reservations. In our villa, not at Reception. Niyama has no Reception. Well, it is a place called Reception, in fact a kind of an open-air meeting room, next to the offices of management and executives. But in this Reception you can not find desks with computers and clerks. All necessary operations are done in the villas, by thakuru. Mahey took care of us. Any time we've called him, he came to pick us up with a buggy, never late, never early. Calm and friendly, with a good sense of humor, Mahey let us the impression that he can not be better. Thank you, Mahey.
Below Mahey, a lot of people, in the restaurants, at Spa. Just to mention few names.
Habeeb, who hosted us at all our dinners in Nest, and also taking care of us at breakfast in Epicure. Careful, attentive, pro, listening to our requests or to our stories and also telling stories, but never crossing the line, Habeeb make us feel that, if we were not the only guests in the restaurants, we were at least the guests of honor. We may see Habeeb in any Michelin starred restaurant.
Teddy, which we perceived as a maitre d'hotel at breakfast in Epicure, met us every morning with a nice smile, inviting us to a table, as this table was the best and reserved for us only. Friendly, warm, pro, she was the best start for breakfast every morning.
Ao (what a nice name !) made my wife to feel herself very well and relaxed at the end of the massage sessions, in Spa. After first session, my wife choose to continue with Ao for all further sessions, and that proved to be a good decision. Very good Spa, very good specialist.
Thoha, the housekeeper. He is a special one. Very good, pro, we consider him as a senior housekeeper. Careful, attentive, prompt and quick. Every morning, coming back from breakfast, or every evening, coming back from dinner, we found the villa as new, as it was in our first day.
But, soon, we've discovered different sides of his personality.
As my iPod and the Bose system worked very well together, I've asked Thoha if he likes to listen music. He was affirmative. Well, what kind of music ? Classic, he said. Classic ? Are you sure ? First, I've proposed a compromise. Abba ? No, thanks ! he said. Classic ! So that, when we've left the villa to breakfast or dinner we've let running, for him, the Imperial, the Four Seasons, the Swan Lake... It seems that he was quite happy. And we were happy for him.
And we found out that Thoha is also drawing ! And his drawings are quite good. What a gifted housekeeper ! Thank you very much, Thoha !

All in one, Niyama was our best choice of a Maldivian resort this year. We've spent here two fantastic weeks. And, thinking to our cold winter season, we've really found ourselves in the Seventh Heaven. We'll be back soon ! Niyama... we already miss you !

Date of stay: December 2019
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Constant_Cri_Do
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hafidh_AlBusaidy_GM, General Manager at Niyama Private Islands Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded January 19, 2020

Dear Constant_Cri_Do

Greetings from Niyama Private Island Maldives!

We are absolutely delighted and overwhelmed to read your detailed review, thank you for taking the time out to write these charming words for us.

I am glad that the team was able to make a difference to your stay and were able to make it memorable.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back in our resort

Regards
Hafidh Al Busaidy
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2020 via mobile

Niyama is absolutely fantastic! From the moment you arrive on the breathtaking ride on the seaplane to the moment you leave the wonderful staff is at your service. There’s always a smile and willing to fulfill any request. Our Thakaru Affan was the best, always ready to answer our call with a smile! The atmosphere is gorgeous with breathtaking views! The restaurants are fabulous each having an experience in itself, one being on the edge of the water, one underwater, one in the treetops, one in the bush...amazing! Breakfast was fantastic with Teddy greeting you with a smile, latte always had a heart or message. Staff at every corner taking care of every need. Got a wonderful massage at the beautiful spa! Our overwater pool villa was very spacious with a beautiful view! It truly was a memorable 50th birthday celebration!! Thanks to all at Niyama!

Date of stay: December 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank travelworldlove1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hafidh_AlBusaidy_GM, General Manager at Niyama Private Islands Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear travelworldlove1,

Greetings from Niyama Private Island Maldives!

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and taking the time out to write this beautiful review for us we are absolutely overwhelmed.

Your kind words are very encouraging and we are delighted to know that you had an excellent stay with us.

We look forward to welcoming you back in our resort and making some more memories

Regards
Hafidh Al Busaidy
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2020

We spent 8 days and Niyama and before leaving we read some reviews here and to be honest, I think people who gave less than 5 stars to this resort went to a different place, because Niyama is possibly one of the best places we've been to in terms of service, cleaniless, availability and kindness of the staff.
We were a group of 18 people, with a lot of children, and our holiday it's been absolutely perfect.
LOCATION: Niyama is located on a pristine 2-islands about 45 minutes fly from Male. The two island are connected by a bridge and are beautiful, with long beaches and shallow waters. The reef is a bit far away but there's an artificial house-reef that is perfect if you want to experience a little marine life and especially if you have kids. Plus there are little banks of corals all over the island and thousands of fishes and sharks above the bridge.
RESTAURANTS: Niyama has 6 restaurants, which is a very big number for the Maldives, and that means that you never get bored because you can dine in a different place everyday. My favourite one was nest, a restaurant on a tree! Amazing and with a great seleciton of asian food and a teppanyaki table with the fire show.
We brought some of our traditional food and they were so amazing in setting up cooking stations just for us, allowing us to cook and giving us an amazing support. Kudy, the F&B manager, is seriously a person out of this world for his kindness and his ability to fulfill EVERY SINGLE need of the client. We were just amazed by how he managed to accommodate all of our requests in all restaurants, and looked after us.
KIDS'CLUB - super organized, a gorgeous space where kids can relax, have fun and play under the supervision of very qualified and nice people. Although my kids never separate from me, they spent couple of afternoons with Olivia and Sarah and I was constantly updated with texts and videos. Supreme service, here as well.
SPA - the Spa is a sanctuary, beautifully nested in the nature. I only had a massage and a manicure, and I can say it was amazing.

Overall, the resort is beautiful, our Thakuru, Juney, it's been attentive and looked after us from before our arrival (I sent her about 100 emails)

Date of stay: December 2019
2  Thank DalilaMariaCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hafidh_AlBusaidy_GM, General Manager at Niyama Private Islands Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 5 weeks ago

Dear DaliaMariaCarolina:

Greetings from Niyama Private Island Maldives!

Thank you for this fabulous review, we are delighted to read them. Your kind words are very encouraging and we are happy to know that you had an excellent stay with us.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you and your beautiful family back to our paradise and creating some more memories.

Regards
Hafidh Al Busaidy
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2020

My family and I (wife + 2 girls, ages 7 and 11) just returned from a week at Niyama. We had never been to the Maldives and had high expectations leading up to the trip, and i can happily report that all hopes / expectations were hugely exceeded in all aspects.

The most impressive / memorable part of our experience was the staff and how they treated us. Literally everyone from the initial airport pickup team to the housekeeping team went above and beyond to make sure we enjoyed our visit. Our butler, Sham, was just awesome...handled every request quickly / completely, basically spoiled us the entire time. He is truly special and was a huge part of what made the trip so wonderful. Barbara gave great tennis lessons to our kids. Batarey spent a ton of time with them at breakfast each day. Lyenne was a wonderful friend when we went to have a drink or lunch at the Surf Shack. Sam gave a great surf lesson. Mac is a wonderful Somelier at Nest. I am certain that I have left a few names off of the list, so apologies to the others....what a special group all around!

The villa (we stayed in #53) was beautiful and exactly as advertised. The resort has a really impressive / diverse collection of restaurants to choose from and a wonderful breakfast buffet(s) each day, so we never ran out of fantastic options. Weather was great the entire time.

It is worth noting that we visited over the NYE period. The resort put on a NYE party that was world-class...food / entertainment / fireworks were all executed perfectly.

The resort's GM, Haf, runs what we consider one of the top resorts in the world...i can't imagine how the experience could have been any better. Our kids are already begging to go back next year, and we will certainly look to do so. I can't recommend the resort any higher, a bucket-list type place made extra special by the people you will have the pleasure of meeting as part of your stay.

Date of stay: December 2019
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank pdaniel78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hafidh_AlBusaidy_GM, General Manager at Niyama Private Islands Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded January 6, 2020

Dear pdaniel78:

Greetings from Niyama Private Island Maldives!

We are so grateful to you for taking the time out to write a detailed review and delighted to know that you had a fabulous stay and that we managed to exceed all the expectations.

Thank you for your kind words for the team and resort, it is very encouraging.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcome you back in our paradise to make many more memories

Regards
Hafidh Al Busaidy
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2020 via mobile

1: Room 83 sunset deluxe water villa, on this side is basically impossible to swim you have a beautiful sunset but the sea has low water, and there’s rocks everywhere, is better to choose sunrise regular villa witch they are not deluxe but the only difference is they don’t have a jacuzzi they are located in the beginning where there’s No rocks and the sea is more clear and beautiful, 60-70 water villa 71-76 deluxe water villa

2:Hotel Where to start amazing for kids not so much for adults connection is terrible of the WiFi
No connection at all in the gym , so if you plan to workout while on holidays make sure you have your music download on your phone,
The Hotel is clean, But it has signs of aging, we visit the beach villas because we were unsure of staying in our water villa and they seem to be newer, with outdoor jacuzzi and bathroom they have easy access to the beach as well

3: Restaurants for this is amazing great variety 7 restaurants in total my family favorite was nest, i had a worst appetizer here with rotten vegetables it make me wonder how often they check their vegetables,vegan options are limited food overpriced at subsix is à set menu same price for vegan as for meat eaters

4:Spa, is amazing we got the IV therapy witch has many Health benefits and we don’t get to see it at every spa is amazing if your feeling tired , jet lag or if your ready for a detox week you can get an slimmer booster basically a cocktail of nutrients for your body .. I will personally recommend this as a personal Trainer

5:Beach is nice in front of the deli , we been to Maldives prior So I was not impressed by this island location or the real blue lagoon I always speck from Maldives but of course if your traveling with kids is worth the adult spoiled sacrifice

6: Kids Club, we choose this Hotel in specific for the kids Club and it meet all our expectations,My Son is 7 years old he loved it they have movie nights... plenty of staff and activities for kids he will come back to the room with an art craft made by them there Staff is super friendly my son wanted to wake up and go directly to the kids club,he was sad when it was time to go back home it closes at 6 pm but there’s an after hour Game room available, To go play I will say for kids 6 and older with staff until 11pm

7: Service, you are provided with your own Butler (tankuro) direct service easy to Make reservations, even drop off and or , pick up your kid or kids from kids club if they are old enough,

8: Gym small gym couple treadmills but you can make it work

Overall experience
We visited Maldives prior 3 times This hotel is amazing for kids I would Not come here for a couple trip ... Next we’re trying the intercontinental his kids club looks amazing as well

Cons... rooms can really be updated I cut myself with a screw driver that was coming out in the part of the lock where to put your finger to open the door ,
They should be careful when handling food I consume rotten cucumbers as a starter that I choose from the kids meal (fresh vegetables)
I’m glad it happened to me and not my kid , I processed to check them with my cellphone light after I felt a funky taste and sogginess the restaurant that happened was the nest and it’s pretty dark ... Of course management apologized but is not acceptable they don’t check the dishes

Date of stay: December 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
Thank daphnebieler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hafidh_AlBusaidy_GM, General Manager at Niyama Private Islands Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2020

Dear daphnebieler:

Greetings from Niyama Private Island Maldives!

On the onset please accept our heart full gratitude for this overwhelming detailed review. Thank you for taking the time out to write them.

Your kind words are vert encouraging and the team is absolutely thrilled to read them.

We have also made a note of your comments on the areas we can improve, we assure you to work on them.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcome you back in our island for more beautiful memories.

Regards
Hafidh Al Busaidy
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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