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Meeru Island Resort & Spa
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Reviewed May 15, 2013

Great resort but not worth the risk of them ruining your holiday!

We booked our stay directly with Meeru and were offered a Garden Room All Inclusive with the carrot of an upgrade to the best available room on arrival subject to availability.

Great I thought and worse case is we end up in the garden room which will just be smaller and not prime location on the beach. Wrong! What Meeru and their website don't tell you is the Garden Rooms are horrible substandard rooms that appear as if they are converted staff quarters. They are clean and tidy and I would be more than happy to stay in them if I were being paid, but not the other way around! They have minimal old fashioned, basic and tired furniture, the rooms smell of damp and are dark with very little natural light. The have decking outside which is semi-shared with the adjacent rooms with no privacy. This is not a problem as you wouldn't want to sit there anyway!

It felt like we were being treated like second-class guests just because we had been offered a cheap deal, however as the week progressed I learned that the resort was constantly overbooked and guests were being out booked to goer resorts or downgraded on arrival. Everyday we saw guests arrive in the garden rooms who had booked more expensive rooms and everyday I saw guests complaining.

It appeared that most of these guests ended up with a better room at some point during their stay because they had booked with a tour operator and their rep had more influence. However as we were just a direct booking we were put to the bottom of the pile.

When booking this holiday we looked at a number of resorts and had serval very attractive options. We decided to book with Meeru because they were so helpful and accommodating. How else would they get someone to pay to stay in these dreadful rooms?! As soon as I arrived I started looking for another resort to stay in however everything was now fully booked so we were stuck!

I am sorry to say our stay was ruined and our impression of the island. The Garden rooms and the way the reservations are managed let the resort down. Otherwise the food and drink is good, the swimming pools and other facilities are excellent.

I wouldn't recommend booking this resort, even if you book the honeymoon suite, because you have no guarantee you'll get it!

Avoid, it's not worth ruining your holiday!

Room Tip: Avoid the Garden rooms whatever you do!
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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22  Thank WiseDiner2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corinne F, Manager at Meeru Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Dear WiseDiner,

Thank you for your review and feedback. We are sorry that you didn't like the booked Garden Room, they are our lowest room category, still many Guest think they are nice. We wish that you could't have enjoyed your holiday, sad that you didn't. We do try our best to upgrade, but if the Island is fully booked it's simply not possible.

Best Regards
Meeru Management

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Reviewed May 14, 2013

I stayed at Meeru Island Resort for my honeymoon for one week on a full board basis. Me and my wife stayed in a jacuzzi water villa located north of the island.

Both me and my wife really enjoyed our holiday and would recommend it to others. The food was lovely. Both me and my wife are vegetarians. During meal time there were limited vegetarian options on some days. However, the dining staff told us if we wanted anything specific they would make it for us. During breakfast you can get free coffee/English Tea and some other juices. For all other meals you have to pay for drinks (including non alcoholic) unless you book all inclusive. Our waiter Hassan was really friendly and made us feel really welcome.

One of the disappointments of the holiday is some of the excursions. This is especially the case for the Diffushi Island Excursion. The excursion was quite expensive and there was very little to see there. During the tour we were shown the outside of a school/medical centre/water cleansing centre/mosque/a few shops. If you are expecting to see art/crafts etc then you won't see anything like that.

We also spent a lot of money on a submarine dive. The submarine dive is run by a third party company. We did not enjoy this either because the submarine dive was 30 minutes. 15 minutes of this time was spent looking into the empty sea because only one half of the submarine faces the corel where the fishes all are. After 15 minutes you are told to swap seats with the people who are sitting on the side of the submarine that is facing the corel.

This submarine excursion also includes a one hour tour in the city Male'. I didn't like this either. The tour guide gave a 20 minute tour around the small fish market/outside of a mosque/a martyr memorial. We spent the remainder of the time in a souvenir shop selected by the tour guide.

The sunset punch cruise was definitely worth it. Although the punch wasn't tasty the actual boat trip was lovely. The sunset was lovely and we managed to see dolphins on several occasions. We also did the glass bottom boat which was really nice.

Our room was nice and we had a lovely view of the sea. The inroom internet comes at a charge of $20 for 2 hours (the 2 hours can be spread throughout the stay). There are also other purchase options.

In general the bed was ok however the bedsheets will only be changed if you request it. The bed is made everyday and the room is cleaned to a good standard. Our room boy Ahmed did a fantastic job of making the bed in different designs. The room comes with two free 2 Litre bottles of water everyday. The bathroom amenities include a bar of soap/shampoo/conditioner/body wash/fresh towels.

The beach was nice however on some parts of the island had a lot of plastic bottles and other trash. I would recommend that anyone who goes snorkeling buy plimsolls to wear in the sea because the seabed has sharp rocks.

Overall, we had a pleasant honeymoon and for the price we paid we definitely got our moneys worth. The mistake we made was trying to tourist activities in a place meant for relaxation. The friendliness of the resort staff made our visit enjoyable. The fabulous meals made our visit that more enjoyable.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Kapil P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corinne F, Manager at Meeru Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Dear Kapil,

We sincerely thank you for your review and we are so happy that you had a wonderful honeymoon with us and hope you will never forget this special occasion. Glad to read that you as vegetarians enjoyed the food as well. Sorry that you didn't like the local island excursion, they are small islands and have not so much to offer.
Also sad to read that you didn't like the Submarine, but happy to know that you like the Sunset Cruise and saw dolphins. We will forward your good comments to Ahmed, I am sure he will be happy to hear that. Thank you again for your lovely review and we hope to welcome you to Meeru again.

Warm Regards
Meeru Management

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Reviewed May 13, 2013

We stayed here late August 2012. Speedboat transfer was a novelty in itself for me seeing as it was my first time in the Maldives. The welcome drink and cold cloth was an unexpected nice touch on arrival to the island.
We'd booked a beach villa, but on arrival were offered a free upgrade to a Jacuzzi water villa as our villa 'wasn't ready' (ie people in it?!)-apparently a common practice is to overbook, then try to juggle the guests by trying to get them to go on cruises, thus vacating the rooms for more guests and so on, etc.. Can't say this bothered us as we had a fab upgrade for half our holiday, but if it was vice versa I'd have something to say about it! Through reading reviews on here I think this does happen though I have no idea whether there would be compensation, I don't know the details. Loved the steps down into the sea from the jwv. Beach villa was also nice, though the outdoor bathroom was prone to ants, hotel supplied bug spray. Housekeeping was efficient and polite.
We ate at both buffet restaurants owing to our 2 room locations, both equally as nice. Food was really lovely, plenty of choice, well cooked and non-repetitive. Sneaky glass of champers with Sunday brekkie too! Also tried the Asian Wok and Hot Rock restaurants, loved both though the Wok was the favourite, def worth a try. Limited choice of AI cocktails throughout the resort in my opinion though.
Loads of excursions possible but we chose only 2, the sunset cruise (free of charge AI) and the submarine trip + Male tour. Slightly disappointed as the tour guide was intent on taking us to souvenir shops that he seemed to own instead of showing us any true sights of the capital, suppose this is the norm in mass tourism these days?
Plenty of activities available - gym, pool, table tennis, darts, draughts, chess, cards, football, windsurfing, catamaran ride, kayaking, snorkelling, diving school plus some talks in the evening about marine life and local conservation - actually very interesting. AI gets you a free back massage in one of the spas. We opted for the over-water spa and really enjoyed watching the fish as the magic hands did their thing! Nice touch having the refreshing ginger and lemongrass tea afterwards too. We did a lot of snorkelling as we had our own stuff, but there's plenty of kit to rent including underwater camera. Only problem we found was the current - vv strong in places, worryingly strong in fact. I found myself in a spot of bother on one occasion as I seemed to be being pulled out to sea - coupled with the fact that there are no lifeguards at all, this must be a concern for people regardless of swimming ability. However don't let this put you off. If you make sure you're in a safe area and confident of the conditions, the snorkelling is amazing, well worth it.
Evening entertainment was ok, mixture of things from talks (see above) to music, dance and crab racing! But this seemed to suit the overall laid-back attitude of the island. It wasn't the type of place where you just park yourself in a seat, drink loads and watch some half-hearted entertainer do his thing, very much an entertain yourself kinda place I thought. We were happy just to walk round the island and grounds taking in the scenery, popping in to the bars for a swift refresher every now and then.
Overall I cannot recommend this enough! Yes, it was my first time to the Maldives, and yes, there are probably far more luxurious resorts to visit, but seriously consider this if you want your very own slice of paradise for a not-too-extortionate price. I would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DifferentJen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corinne F, Manager at Meeru Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 15, 2013

Dear DifferentJen,

The whole Meeru Team thanks you so much for your wonderful review and for your description from you holiday last year.
The overbooking can be a problem, but many Guest get a great upgrade and as you, they like that a lot. Some are less luck, but everyone get's a good and far compensation, we hope all Guests think that as well. We also think our Chef's prepare lovely meals and there is something for everyone. The Sunset Cruise is wonderful, hope you saw many dolphins. We are happy that you tried the Hot Rock and Asian Wok, they are both fabulous restaurants at a amazing location. Sorry that you didn't like the submarine excursion. Meeru is a big enough Island and there is lot's to do for everyone, so after the good food you can all worked it off with different activities. Also the Spa is such a special experience and everyone should try it.
The evenings have also somethings to offer, so if you don't feel like to stay in the room you can always go out and enjoy a show or some music. We are so happy that you enjoy your holiday and that you again for your review. We hope to welcome you back soon

Best Regards
Meeru Management

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Reviewed May 12, 2013

Good points.

Food is first class, exceptionally good considering they cater for so many people. Place is very clean everywhere and never seems over crowded. Plenty to do if you want...or nothing, great choice. Weather is great and Island small enough to get round easily and quickly.

Not so good. We were all inclusive but still ended up with a bill for around $800. The extras are terribly over priced. I don't see why everyone rants about the staff so much, I didn't find them over friendly at all. Many of them ignore you completely. Not that I really care much about it, it's just that I expected a bit more. The service was no more than ample, certainly not first class.

We stayed in the 300s water villas and I would recommend them rather than the 700s. Not sure why, they just appear better to me. Plus they are set at angles and don't overlook each other. Good standard of accommodation.

Before travelling, think carefully about what package you take. We probably didn't need all inclusive because we're not big drinkers. The drinks choices are limited to AI anyway so choose carefully.

Overall, a good holiday but very expensive.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank truth99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corinne F, Manager at Meeru Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2013

Dear truth,

Thank you very much for your honest review. Glad you enjoyed your holiday, but we are sorry that you didn't find our staff so friendly, we will definitely disuse this matter in there next meeting. Great to read that you liked the meals, they are really tasty and you can find something for everyone. Hope to welcome you back and wish you all the best

Best Regards
Meeru Management

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Reviewed May 12, 2013

The island is out of this world, fabulous room, food, beach, coral, and service. It was just like the pictures you see in the brochures/postcards. Clear blue sea and white sand. Perfect, perfect perfect.

We booked less than a week before traveling for our honeymoon, we were set on the Maldives, we came across a deal for meeru for 10 nights flying with Qatar airways.

MEERU
Upon arrival at Meeru we were offered a welcome drink and checked in. I had already emailed the hotel in advance to ask for a room in the adults only section of the island as this was our honeymoon, we were assigned bungalow 651 it was about half way between the main pool/reception/bar area to the adults only restaurant/bar area.

There were plenty of sun loungers on the beach for you to use, as well as 2 loungers provided for you to drag onto the beach by your bungalow.

The best area for snorkelling was to get in by the spa and let the current take you west towards the coral. There is a great deal of sealife and we were not disappointed, this beats the Caribbean for the sheer variety.

Entertainment was low key, but a few nights per week there was a local band that came along, and they were excellent, playing modern music. Everyone got up to dance.

Save weight in your luggage, you dont need shoes - in the day you are on the beach, in the night in the bar/restaurant which are covered in sand!

We got canoes to go round the island, this was hard work going against the current but enjoyable enough.

Every day there is a free boat trip out to the "house reef" - the coral is larger but I saw nothing different to what I saw in the shallow lagoon corals. The house reef is deeper and more choppy being out at sea, worth a go but we only went once. We were more than happy with the sealife on our doorstep!


JACUZZI BEACH BUNGALOW
The accommodation is like nothing I have seen before, it was a very modern and bright bungalow, that clean and comfortable, with plenty of space inside and out. The garden was fully decked had a double jacuzzi, two sunbeds and a double lounger in the shade. The bathroom was out of this world with an outside shower. Unlike other maldivian resorts, you can use the minibar as part of the all inclusive (non alcoholic drinks and cans of beer only). This was replenished every day, but you could always ask the room boy for top ups if you wanted.

FOOD
You had to stay in the same area of the restaurant for each meal and had the same waiter, but you could choose to eat inside or outside. The food was limited in comparison to other AI resorts I have visited, but I found the selection fantastic and always to a high standard, I tended to go for the fresh reef fish each night, but they did a variety of other meats and bbq. One night each week was Maldivian night with variety of curry. Christmas was an extravagant gala buffet. Breakfast - the usual omlettes to order, waffles/pancakes fruit/yogurt/breads/pastries/cereal.

We did try the tepenyaki, it was nice to do something other than the buffet for tea, food was fine, but I have seen better.

MALE
Upon arrival at Male airport we had to wait about an hour or so for the speedboat transfer - the airport wasn't the most comfortable place to wait after 12 hours traveling, no air-con and very humid. The speedboat transfer was fine, they provided bottled water and took about an hour. It was very bumpy.

On our return we were put on a 1pm transfer to male, even though are flight was at 8pm. The Meeru reps at the airport took us on a tour of male whilst we waited. We paid for our left luggage, and the local shuttle boat which is $1 each way, and one of the reps took us for a walking tour of male. We had already ruled out the excursion trip to male as we didnt want to take a day off the island, but this was a nice to do whilst we waited for our check in. It was nice to see the markets, have a chance get souvenirs but not alot to do in Male. - I would not make the trip to male especially.

All in all a fabulous holiday, everything was fantastic, except when we had to leave for home.... You would do alot worse than book Meeru...I am looking for my next late deal to get back there soon.

Room Tip: If you go in the 600's you will get to use the adults only restaurant to the north of the island, the view out across the beach/sea is much nicer should you choose to eat outside and this will help you avoid kids getting under your feet. West of the island will mean you get afternoon sun and watch sunsets.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Jennie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corinne F, Manager at Meeru Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 12, 2013

Dear Jennie,

We thank you very much that you have taken the time to write this wonderful review and as you have mentioned, the arrival at Meeru is really picture perfect.
Thank you for your detailed review about your Jacuzzi Beach Villa, they are lovely. Our Chef prepare tasty meals everyday and there is something for everyone. The Teppanyaki is a really special experience and so much fun, great that you got to enjoy that as well.
Glad that you also like the snorkeling and saw some underwater life, which is really amazing and beautiful, as well as some of the activities at Meeru, there is lot's to do.
We are so happy that you have enjoyed your honeymoon with us and hope to welcome you back to Meeru soon.

Best Regards
Meeru Management

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