Royal Island Resort & Spa
Best Experience: Couples, Value, Activity, Snorkeling with Manta Rays
Royal Island Resort & Spa is the leading property of Villa Hotels & Resorts family - other resorts are Sun, Fun, Paradise and Holiday. He is proudly 100% run by the Maldivians.
Built in 2001, Royal Island is a good middle class option in the Maldives, but “royal” is a stretch. The rooms are dated, the food is average and the decor is haunted. In addition, there is no overwater accommodation, and inconvenient location means that getting to the property will require additional costs for an expensive domestic flight. On the sunny side of the Royal Island Resort, there is a beautiful beach pool with a bar (there is a section for children), sports facilities, including lighted badminton tennis courts and a fitness center, as well as round-the-clock drinks at the bar, lively nightlife, live music and plenty of water sports. Other highlights include a diving center, and a spa with steam bath, sauna, jacuzzi, and a small beauty salon. Guests are likely to get more for their dollar (and free in-room Wi-Fi) at Kuredu Island Resort or Kihaa Maldives.
A visit to Royal Island starts with a domestic air transfer from Malé Airport to Dharavandhoo Island. A scenic, 30-minute flight is further followed by a short boat ride to a private island, known locally as Horubadhoo. A more direct (and more expensive) 35-minute seaplane jorney is also available.
The beautiful island, half a mile long, is stuffed with 150 rooms and is surrounded by a shallow lagoon and white sand beaches. Guests can choose from two restaurants, 2 bars, an outdoor swimming pool, spa and sports facilities connected by shady paths that permeate the lush jungle.
With a well-thought-out layout and beautiful decor, the public areas of the resort are unremarkable. Simple wooden furniture, white walls, dark tiled floors, armchairs with blue seats and a handful of woodcarvings - all arouses an exciting, but quickly decaying interest. Unlike most resorts in the Maldives, the high roofs are covered with regular tiles instead of dry palm leaves. Maakana, the main buffet restaurant has a large pond with salt water, coral spots and colorful fish.
The hotel is built on the same straight, solid lines as other resorts of The Villa, but uses more luxurious materials - lots of dark wood and rich textiles - and offers even better sports facilities. This is a beautiful island inside, but the beach and snorkeling are disappointing.
After several years of unsuccessful combating the erosion of beaches, it was decided to build a wall around the island. This allowed to stabilize the beach opposite each villa, but the quality of the sand was not the best. Work continues to remove numerous pieces of coral and seashells from the sand. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
Guests can choose from a range of soft, wooden deck chairs that are dotted with beaches. The chairs are unmarried with umbrellas, so be sure to drag your bed under the adjacent trees for shade. Peaceful island with a lagoon to the waist is ideal for swimming and kayaking. Most of the sites have soft and clean sand, but there are also beaches with pieces of coral.
The busiest resort's point is the 24-hour Boli Bar that's located next to a large beachfront pool. In the evenings, guests also flock to the Fun Pub bar, which has snooker, billiards, live music and karaoke.
Families can also find their paradise on the Royal Island, but most of the guests are couples and newlyweds from Europe.
Located 120 km northwest of Malé city in Baa Atoll, Royal Island Resort & Spa is one of the remote resorts in the Maldives. Most travelers use a 30-minute domestic flight to the local island of Dharavandhoo, followed by a short electric-golf car ride to the marina, and another 10 minutes by speedboat transfer to the private island Horubadhoo where the hotel is located. The island measures 800 meters long and 220 meters wide, and guests can explore the island in within 10 minutes. At Horubadhoo, 370 people live and work all year round. Baa Atoll is home to the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, where an abundant marine life has one of the highest biodiversity in the Maldives.
Villas and Rooms
2 presidential suites at opposite ends of the island enjoy either sunset or sunrise, while the other 148 identical Beach Villas are stretched along the entire length of the island between them. There are 10 connecting rooms, but Royal Island Resort is not considered a family resort. The guests are mostly couples, from honeymooners to elderly people who come from Russia, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, France and the Far East.
Despite the fact that the rooms rub shoulders each other, the dense foliage and strong walls of the buildings provide good privacy, and you will rarely see and hear the neighbors. The rooms themselves are not large, but they are expensively furnished. Dark wooden furniture with carved decor, wood paneling on the walls, heavy marble worktops, thick covers and curtains of gold and maroon colors give them a distinct aristocratic look. The best rooms (the sunniest) are located along the island's south shore.
All rooms are the same, except for the huge Presidential Suite, which also has outdated decor, but luxurious bonuses, such as the kitchen, bar, private pool and large spa bath. (Ricky Martin is said to have stayed in these apartments.) Large presidential suites with two bedrooms - in fact the same person, with slightly more expensive luxury items, and richly decorated interiors - are well suited for the Russian and Arab markets. The spacious veranda and swimming pool are certainly pleasant and connected to a private beach and lagoon. Among all, the Sunrise Suite perhaps boasts the best beach on the island.
In a wise style, Royal Island Beach Villas strive for majestic luxury, but something is missing. Filled with wooden panels from floor to ceiling and decorated with carved wooden furniture and unusual impressionism paintings, the overall situation lacks a bit of freshness.
Rooms are set back slightly from the beach and feature a private patio, inside you can expect free fruit baskets, tea, instant coffee, bottled water, bathrobes, beach towels, a minibar, and spacious indoor / outdoor bathrooms with outdoor showers, bidet, separate bath with shower. Slow Wi-Fi is free.
Food and Drinks
The à la carte Raabondhi restaurant is located in a great location on the water’s edge. Specializing in kebabs and their lobster dishes is a potentially recommended recipe for a good romantic dinner. The food at the main restaurant reflects the usual mix of buffets and non-inspirations for this class of hotel, although there is a permanent island of Mediterranean cuisine, as well as sushi and sashimi.
The resort’s main buffet restaurant, Maakana serves international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is free and guests can switch to full board, half board or all inclusive. Those who change their meal plan are entitled to a 15% discount at Raabondhi restaurant, which specializes in Mediterranean fare. The main Boli Bar is open 24 hours a day, and also offers à la carte dishes. Food quality is either a hit or no luck, but overall the quality is average. Royal island is one of the few resorts in the Maldives with 24-hour room service.
Things to Do
Unfortunately, most of the house reef was reconstructed during the construction of the resort. It is not used for diving and is not in the best way for snorkeling, however, sharks, rays and turtles can easily be found here. In the Royal Island Resort & Spa there is a diving school offers a fun dive trips and standard PADI courses. Both the resort and the water sports center offer daily snorkeling excursions to nearby corsl reefs. Big Game fishing is also in the program of tours.
Diving in the region is mostly around thila, which attract sharks and pelagic fish species, and the channels (kandu) are too wide and with strong currents. The school fish is abundant, and there are several sites for observing Mantas, offering an excellent opportunity to spot them from May to November. But, the biggest draw is Hanifaru Bay. Discovered a decade ago, this is the place where hundreds of whale sharks and manta rays come to feed in August and September.
The quality of construction, furnishings and amenities are the real strengths of this resort. It features a free-form pool with a bar and deck. It is the hub for most of the day, surrounded on one side by the beach and on the other by the main bar and lounge. A separate treat is the Fun Pub, which was built for crazy karaoke nights and discos, but mostly quietly on the island after sunset, only regular evenings with live music and Boda Beru nights.
Fans of rocket sports will be delighted with this place. A pair of floodlit tennis courts, a squash court and an indoor badminton court are all first class amenities. The gym is pretty decent. The center of water sports is really very big and has everything - from canoeing and wakeboard to parasailing and kitesurfing (snorkeling and windsurfing are free).
The spa has acquired a new main entrance, but overall, this center seems to lack some love and attention. Doctors have a good and impressive menu, but buildings, walkways and décor are not as attractive as they used to be.
Lots of fun are available for those who want to pay extra price. Popular excursions include snorkeling, dolphin cruises, tours to inhabited islands, diving lessons and fishing. The deserted sandbank (three minutes by boat) is a popular spot for private bbq dinners, picnics, weddings, and one-night camping. Free Wi-Fi is available at the main bar, pool area, a la carte restaurant and sports ground; Slow Wi-Fi in the room is available at an additional cost, so we recommend to buy a mobile Internet sim card at Malé airport.
Reviews praise Royal Island Resort & Spa for its numerous positive qualities including a pleasantly attentive yet never overbearing staff, delicious plates throughout the day, and beachy room decor. In fact, most reviews are 'superb', with only a few minor complaints here and there.
Friendly staff, clean property, excellent beach, and the restaurant food is delicious; I would love to come back here sooner rather than later. What an amazing place; Beautiful, relaxing stay; Hotel is awesome, but the personnel is a bit too greedy; Great place for relaxation and diving; If looking for the Maldives experience without blowing your budget this is your place; The perfect place for family and friends!
Why stay here? What Guests Love
- Beautiful, green and clean island with white sandy beaches.
- Nature and the underwater world are just awesome.
- The villa is excellent, has everything you need, everything is fresh, the bed is comfortable, cleaning twice a day. Everyone has their own piece of the beach and sun beds.
- Quality and unobtrusive service.
- Large swimming pool with swimming pool and poolside bar
- Scuba diving school and water sports rental (including jet skis, catamarans, and sail)
- Hearty and varied food
- Good spa
- Great snorkeling trips, there are sharks, rays and turtles
- Snorkeling excursion to Hanifaru Bay with mantas and whale sharks
- Free rental of snorkelling and windsurfing gear
- The main bar serves food and drinks 24 hours a day.
- Night life
- Value for money
What You Need to Know
- Royal Island Resort & Spai is located in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Atoll Baa, the best destination in the Maldives for diving and snorkeling; The resort is 35 minutes by seaplane from Male airport;
- Check-out 11:30- 12:00 Check-in at 13:00 pm;
- All children are welcome.
- No food or drink service on the beach
- No kids' club or playground
- No free Wi-Fi in rooms
- No over-water accommodation
- Old tube TVs and dated decor in rooms
- A pricey seaplane or domestic flight is required to reach the resort
- Royal Island Resort and Spa Maldives has been named a Global Winner in the Luxury Honeymoon Resort category at the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2018
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