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Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa Maldives
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Reviewed June 30, 2014

Amazing hotel and very hospitable staff.
We had a great time and are short of words to express our gratitude to the Hotel Manager Rudolph and his team for such an excellent experience.
Right from landing in at Male to taking our international flight back to Dubai we were treated with kindness and gestures that shall remain in our hearts for a lifetime.
the food, ambiance, staff, services and facilities were perfect and each single moment of ours was filled with happiness and comfort. Thanks to the team Shangrila at Maldives, Villingili, Gan

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
Thank Aamarr P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneEgle, General Manager at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2014

Dear Aamarr,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on your stay with us here at Shangri-la Villingili.. I was delighted to learn that we managed to impress you with the quality of service provided throughout your stay. Your positive comments are very much appreciated and I have shared them with Rudolf and the rest of the team.

We do look forward to welcoming you back in the not too distant future.

With warm regards from all of us,

Rene D. Egle,
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2014

This is probably one of the best hotels I have stayed in. Definitely top 3. After dozens (way more than dozens) of luxury hotels I have stayed in, my expectations for an perfect 5 star resort have rocketed sky high. Shangri-la has managed to exceed my expectations. Making my trip ever so memorable.

Transport+check-in:
From the minute we arrived from the airport, we arrived at 10pm. So we waited in the lounge especially reserved for Shangri-la for our domestic flight to Gan island. Everything went smoothly. All our luggage was taken care of, by the very attentive staff. We then took an jetty to the hotel's private island. The staff let us have an in-room check in, and handed us bouquets of tropical flowers. Note: the hotel is relatively quite big, so there are stand by buggies if needed, or you could bike you way through this lush island. (FYI the domestic flight and and water jetty charge an additional fee)

Room
Our room was one of the over-water bungalow. The room was really spacious and well decorated, with one in room shower, also with and outdoor one too. There is an hammock on the balcony that lies above the waters, also an pool ladder going straight out to the sea. The room was beautifully decorated. Bonus: HUGE BATHROOM

Scenery
I have been to nearly 70 cities over so many countries, and have never seen anything this beautiful. The sea was literally crystal clear with this light blue color to it, the sky was beautiful. The beaches were pearly white, with the silkiest sand. The hotel has more than17k coconut trees, and bushes everywhere, with beautiful hibiscus shrubs. The reef within the lagoon was inhabited with different kinds of beautiful colorful tropical marine fish. Remember to look out for the beautiful stars scattered at night (never seen so many stars before, because of the light pollution back home). Bonus: the hotel also has an Mount ViIlingili (more like a hill), it is the highest point in the Maldives (5.1m high- 510 cm). The mountain is situated in the beautiful 9-hole golf course that over looks the end of the island. Shangri-la is the only hotel in the Maldives to have an golf course. This is what makes this hotel even more worthy to stay.

Staff
I believe each room has its butler, your butler will help you book all your arragemnts and activities you would like to participate on the island. There are all sorts of activities for people of all ages and interests. The butler can also help you book the buggies, or anything else you may need. BONUS: Each house has bicycles provided, so you can cycle around the island.

Food
The food was heavenly, there were I recall three restaurants? There are a seaside bar too. A large variety of seafoods, the styles vary from Western to Asian. Theres plenty to choose. I remember leaving something at the restaurant one night for dinner, until I got back I realised I left it there, I called them and they sent it back to me in no time. Beyond impressed. BONUS: all food sources are organically grown on the island, they have a mini farm on the island, and several tennis courts.

I would love to come back, this is now my no.1 favourite hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Angela J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneDEgle, General Manager at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2014

Dear Angela J,

A big THANK YOU from all of us for this fantastic review!

It was such a pleasure reading your comments and sharing them with my team, we are grateful and truly delighted to know your stay went beyond your expectations. It is a great compliment to be rated among the top number 3 hotels you have been, knowing what an experienced luxury traveler you are!

I am delighted to know you climbed the highest point in the Maldives, our very own Mount Villingili! A daily tour to the “summit” is organized where insights into the composition of the Maldivian islands and fascinating facts about Addu Atoll and the Indian Ocean are shared. We also offer the location as a venue for the private “dine by design” dinners.

I would like to thank you as well for mentioning the “mini farm” or “chef’s garden” which we proudly maintain and where we grow a large variety of fruits and vegetables in partnership with the farmers from a neighboring local island.

We look forward to welcoming you soon again!

With sunny regards,

Rene D. Egle
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2014 via mobile

From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we were all treated like royalty! This place is like something from a post card. I would recommend this to all types of people. The service was impeccable, the staff were amazing and the food was delicious. The rooms were amazing. We went for double villa with a pool and it was right on the beach. It couldn't have been more perfect. Worth every penny.

Stayed: December 2013
Thank Jamiedelaney1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneDEgle, General Manager at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2014

Dear Jamiedelaney1,

Thank you for this short and very sweet review!

We are delighted to hear you had an amazing time with us and thank you for the recommendation. The two-bedroom beach villas are a great choice when you travel in families or with friends and you wish to have both privacy and proximity.

Each of us look forward to welcoming you soon again in paradise.

With best regards,

Rene D. Egle
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2014

We have visited the Maldives on 6 previous occasions to the same resort Velingandu in the N Atoll, this time we decided to go to the very south and as my hubby always uses Shangri-La hotels on his business travel we thought we'd go to Shangri La resort on Villingili Island in the S Atoll. We flew from Dubai to Male, then Male to Gan, the speedboat from Gan to the resort - all of which was painless as the Shangri La reps takeover your luggage you don't see it again until it arrives in your villa at the resort, book you through to Gan direct you to the lounge, collect you take you to security, same happens at Gan you wait in the lounge before being taken to the speedboat. Once you are on speedboat thus will be the first view of the resort. On arrival you are given a very warm welcome by the General Manager and his management team before hopping on to a golf buggy and driving through the 'jungle' to our villa and the only word I have for our villa, the view etc is WOW! From the first day of our arrival to the last we had an incredible holiday which was in part due yo the resort facilities, dining experiences, villa accomadtion but mostly down the staff who were led by Rene Egle and his great management team they most of all made our holiday one of the best we've ever had and we are already planning our next one.

Room Tip: We were in villa 309 and it gives you total privacy whilst you are open to the sea and breeze.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with shangri-la.com
Thank TOKInsch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneDEgle, General Manager at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2014

Dear TOKInsch,

Thank you very much for this WOW review!

I could not be happier that you decided to visit the south of the country for your 7th visit and moreover, that you will be coming back again soon!

It is really great to know we delivered an experience that exceeded your expectations from beginning to end and that you enjoyed not only your stay on the resort but also the arrival process.

We look forward to welcoming you soon again on the island for another incredible holiday!

With kind regards,

Rene D. Egle
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2014

My family and I have recently stayed at the Shangri-La and we all agreed it was the best decision we ever made. This was our first visit to the Maldives and after a long online hotel-hunting session, the Shang looked like the best option with its array of activities, facilities, room choices, and privacy.

There were hotel staff at the airport to assist us with our check-in and transfer details. The process went pretty smoothly, and we were very impressed with the hotel's own lounge at the Gan Airport. Although the domestic flight wasn't very pleasant (hot and smelly airplane), the welcome process at the lounge and the boat transfer from Gan to Villingili made up for it. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by the manager and staff with coconut drinks and flowers at the pier and kindly led to our water villas.

For now, I'll digress into the little details of our vacation -the good and the bad- bit by bit.

The villas were HUMONGOUS! Very spacious and conveniently located in the water so you can literally jump into the ocean from your balcony. Everything you needed was given in the room: life jackets, summer tote to carry around, mosquito repellent kit, sunscreen, and generous bottles of water, Nespresso, and Dilmah refills everyday!

Facilities: clean pool with awesome views of the sea, nicely air-conditioned gym and changing rooms. I am in awe at the amount of effort put into keeping this resort clean: from sweeping the beaches to collecting the seaweed in the water everyday. The workers seem to be cleaning 24/7 and I am extremely impressed!

Activities: many options to choose from, but the activity list wasn't clear on whether each activity was complimentary or charged. We were told snorkeling was complimentary but upon arrival we discovered that we had to pay. On our third day, we also wanted to go sailing but there was only one staff on duty because it was a Saturday. We were quite offended when he turned us down by accusing my uncle of being drunk (when he was clearly not) and made a lot of excuses about having to call in advance to make reservations, which we were never informed of. Although we only went snorkeling, we were very happy with our snorkeling equipment and the boat, both of which were perfectly clean.

Food: Dr. Ali's was AMAZING. Every single dish we had was divine, and we ended up having dinner there three out of the four nights we stayed at the Shang. Great ambience, top quality ingredients (freshest seafood we've ever had), good service, and impeccable taste. Our sommelier, Lee Ya, was very attentive not only with our wine options but also with our food. She recommended a few very great dishes for us after our seemingly indecisive efforts to order food from the endless menu. Food is reasonably priced, and I highly recommend the following: Indian Ocean Curry Degustation, Murgh Makhani, Baba Ganoush and the Arabian Gulf Iced Tea.

Javvu, on the other hand, was a little disappointing and seemed rather out of place in terms of service when compared to the service at the rest of the resort's facilities. Breakfast was pretty much the only redeeming quality at Javvu, with a good variety of savory and sweet eats to choose from. We tried dinner at Javvu on our second night and although the food wasn't bad, it wasn't good either. There wasn't much to choose from the menu we ended up going back to Dr. Ali's on our third and fourth night. Food was overpriced, and frankly speaking, nothing special. We ordered the yellow fin tuna carpaccio, which did not suffice. The seasoning on the carpaccio was zesty and refreshing, but not enough to mask the odor of the tuna. For a carpaccio dish, I'd recommend a less odorous fish like sea bass which would be more fitting. One dish I'd order again though is the spaghetti with wild mushrooms and shaved parmesan cheese, which was flavored pretty nicely.

But the main problem with Javvu wasn't the food: service was the issue. We found the staff at Javvu to be quite rude, with the exception of Brian Yin, who was remarkably polite and and attentive on our last day during breakfast. We had to leave the resort by 7.30 and requested to have breakfast at 6.45. When we arrived at Javvu, the staff seemed extremely unhappy with having to prepare us for an early breakfast and we received quite a bit of a filled-with-attitude treatment from them. This kind of inexplicable impudence is beyond unflattering and unfit for a restaurant in a resort that should be welcoming its guests with open arms. Also, service was exceptionally slow during lunch even when there are no other guests around. During lunch on our third day the staff attempted to charge us for a dish we had cancelled as well.

Another minor complaint: my room never got a refill for fruits while my relatives rooms did everyday. I had to call the front desk for the refill on our second last day at the resort. Talk about fair treatment!

I would've given five stars with this review, but I felt like the service glitches needed a serious makeover. But until next time I visit the Maldives again, I'll definitely be staying at the Shangri-La. The crystal clear waters, pristine white sandy beaches star-filled night skies are not to be missed. I highly recommend this resort; a bit of a splurge, but you won't regret it ;)

Room Tip: Water villas are a must. These villas are situated in the water and you don't get this experience pretty much anywhere else aside from in the Maldives.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank minniexliling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneDEgle, General Manager at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2014

Dear minniexliing,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed review regarding your recent stay with us. Each comment was very valuable feedback and I shared them with my team.

I am delighted to know our private executive lounge made an impression! Our objective is to make the travel experience as smooth as possible by taking care of the luggage, the domestic flight check in and offering a private VIP Lounge of all our visitors and it is good to see it successfully improved your journey.

It is disappointing to see there was a miscommunication regarding the price of activities and it will be further investigated. However, allow me to specify for our readers that the snorkeling is free of charge on the island's house reef with equipment provided complimentary by our dive center. Only boat excursions with instructors are charged.

On another note, I am highly concerned about the service issues raised in Javvu, in the water sports center and with the refill of fruits in your villa. I would be very grateful if you could send me more details at slmd@shangri-la.com.

Lee Ya and the Chefs in Dr Ai’s were thrilled about your feedback on your experience in the restaurant. It is great to see we made an overall good impression for your first stay in the Maldives, with the beautiful scenery and the spacious villas. Thank you for all the beautiful pictures you have posted on our Instagram account tagging @slmaldives and #shangrilamaldives.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family soon again in our “paradise on earth” (hopefully many times!) and rest assured we will extend royal treatments!

With warm regards,

Rene D. Egle
General Manager

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