Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa
Best Experience: Couples, Family holiday, House Reef Snorkeling & Diving, Whale Sharks, Value, All Inclusive
With one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, the great strengths of Vilamendhoo have always been snorkeling and diving, and affordable accommodation. After a major renovation it was re-opened as a luxury resort than ever. And it says a lot.
After receiving the winning formula in Meeru, Champa & Crown Resorts recreated the same thing here pretty much exactly. Both resorts are always full and tour operators always want more rooms for their British, German, French and Swiss clients. There is a price difference between Meeru and Vilamendhoo, but everything depends on seaplane transfer. For this extra price you get a Sunset bar with an ideal beach location on the island, and with a more modern and beautiful exterior, but the biggest attraction is the excellent house reef snorkeling just a few meters from the beach. Undoubtedly, Vilamendhoo is one of the best, the top 10 hotels for snorkeling in the Maldives. Nevertheless, because of the strong currents, do not forget about the fins.
With 184 rooms, Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is a luxury resort on a private island with a magnificent green and cozy landscape. The rooms are spacious and beautiful with furnishings from bright and playful to sober and chic. There are also Water Villas that grow from the pier at the western end. The resort boasts several swimming pools, restaurants, as well as sports fields, a spa (and much more) scattered throughout the island which is divided into the family and "adults only" areas. With a magnificent house reef and All Inclusive offering - it's a romantic, quiet choice for families and couples alike. Guests also consider, as an alternative, the related property of Veligandu, which is usually less expensive, and less packaged by families.
Run by Crown and Champa Resorts, Maldives hotel chain this luxury resort embodies the ideas of many travelers seeking to the tropical paradise. Located on the private island with a seaplane or speedboat transfer, the atmosphere itself begs for compliments. Although inherently, this is a fairly laid-back place that uses its successful surroundings for greater effect. Throughout the island there are many spots for relaxation so even with a resort's high occupancy the guests do not feel crowded. In general, the interiors are colorful and cheerful with simple but refined wooden furniture, modern wicker chairs and fabrics of bright colors. Most buildings reflect a fresh look with an open design and sandy floors. Walking barefoot everywhere, including restaurants - this is normal. The hotel provides equal opportunities for both categories of guests: families and couples, and is actually divided into two areas: for adults and another part for all ages. In the resort you can find many common facilities like a lobby, spa, Internet cafes, shops, and game rooms are located in the central part of the island. Vilamendhoo is an ideal place to relax, with all the comforts of a luxury hotel, but none of the pretense or fuss. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
A home to LUX* South Ari Atoll, Ari Atoll also known as Alif or Alifu Atoll is one of the natural wonders of the Maldives. Being one of the largest atolls in the Maldives, it stretches from north to south in the western part of the Maldives archipelago in 30 minutes by seaplanefrom Male airport. South Ari Atoll, a Protected Marine Area, remains one of the best places in the world to see whale sharks, which are spotted year-round on the outer reef, while North Ari Atoll is famous for its hammerhead sharks, although these are far more elusive and require deep diving to see. Most of the islands are home for the luxury resorts while others are uninhabited, the rest are inhabited by local residents. The main occupations of Ari Atoll are fishing, sailing, harvesting and processing of corals. READ MORE
The island is in a wide channel and is surrounded by a beautiful house reef. Vilamendhoo is also home to white sandy beaches and is 25 minutes by seaplane from Male airport. The size of the island is 900x250 meters, and a total area of 55 acres.
The choice of accommodation in Vilamendhoo determines not only your den and views, it is also a dining place and whether you are surrounded only by adults or families with children. Jacuzzi Beach Villas and Jacuzzi Water Villas - only for adults (and their main restaurant). Jacuzzi Beach Villas lack the over-water location and a little bit of size, but they are as the name implies directly on the beach. These villas have direct access to the lagoon, wooden floors, private outdoor terrace with sun loungers and hot tub, large bedroom, iPod docking station, espresso coffee machine, and panoramic ocean views. Beautiful and sober design, where black color contrasts well with warm woody tones.
Jacuzzi Beach Villas lacks a overwater location and large dimensions, but they ... as the name suggests - right on the beach. The views from their wide front terrace through palm trees and mangrove trees should not disappoint you and this category of accommodation occupies the western part of the island.
Massive construction work led to the fact that the flowers and shrubs at the ground level are gone and today the resort looks a little naked, as long as the planting is rooted and grows. Again, Vilamendhoo was always an island with a lot of huge coconut trees, and they are still there, entangled in shady paths and giving the island a tropical vibe.
The entire eastern side of the island is home to the standart Beach Villas and there are several rooms in the garden - these are the only rooms for people under 18 years old. The layout of rooms is the same as Jacuzzi Beach Villas, but without a hot bath and the decor includes a bright tiled floor and light textiles. All the bathrooms are spacious and clean. Some of them are completely closed, while others are covered / open. All of them are equipped with a shower with a rain nozzle and have modern sinks and toilets.
Restaurants and Bars
There are two main buffet restaurants in Vilamendhoo, both with soft sandy floors and thatched roofs under which the guests gather for the breakfast, lunch and dinner, and dinners at assigned tables. Quality food and drink are other key elements of the formula. The buffets for both main restaurants are the same and faultless. The collection of culinary islands means that there are no queues there is a great variety and the main dishes are different every day for 2 weeks. Funama Restaurant is located in the center of the island, close to the lobby and caters to guests staying in Garden Villas and Beach Villas. Ahima is an adult-only restaurant designed for the guests of Jacuzzi Water Villas and Jacuzzi Beach Villas. This is an accidental, but classy place is on the western tip of the island with a stunning sunset views. Both main restaurants are a sunday brunch place with free sparkling wine, a varied and delicious selection of food, and themed culinary evenings. All-inclusive packages are available.
Not included in all inclusive plan are gourmet dining with an a la carte menu (recommended booking). Located near Sunset bar, The Hot Rock is a small and popular choice among an adult guests with dishes including meat, fish and seafood being cooked at your table on hot stones, while Asian Wok is a teppanyaki restaurant that sits over the water on the island's eastern tip and it's a fantastically quiet place for a romantic diner. Guests also have the option of room service and private dinners on the beach, for a fee.
Each end has its own swimming pool and bar. A rare treat in the Maldives, the Bonthi bar slings drinks 24/7, so guests cangrab a cocktail and a chat, smoke or drink again when the mood comes. This is a sign of how well the whole resort's mechanism is well established, where the pool and bars are buzzing with fun and laughter. Clearly many guests are meeting others here that they really get on with. Also the staff are really well looked after by this company and it tells.
In October 2018, Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa has opened a new outdoor deck at its Funama Restaurant and Bonthi Bar. The cosy atmosphere of the highly anticipated deck, which is made from natural and sustainable wood, will make guests feel the energy of the ocean while they enjoy a divine meal and great company.
A cozy beach bar offers indoor and outdoor seating in wicker chairs. There are also film screenings, sports broadcasts, and regular discos with DJs and dances. The Sunset Bar nested on the west side of the island with a beautiful sunset view, and there is also a small library with magazines and books. The bar counter with several stools is packed with a variety of drinks, including the draft Carlsberg and Lion beer from Sri Lanka. What is interesting, the happy hour is not at sunset, but between 23:00 and midnight! Although much smaller and tamer than the resort's other bars, the Boashi Bar , located next to the the family pool, is a nice spot to grab a drink -- hard or soft -- while swimming with the herons or catching some rays poolside.
All Inclusive Plus Package
The general room rate includes full board, buffet-style meals from the main restaurant, however, there is an optional All-Inclusive Plus plan that adds:
Food & Beverage Included in the All Inclusive Plus Package
Breakfast: 0730-1000 | Lunch: 1230-1400 | Dinner: 1900-2100 served in the Funama Restaurant for guests staying in the Garden Rooms and the Beach Villas and in the Ahima Restaurant for guests staying in the Jacuzzi Beach Villas and Jacuzzi Water Villas, featuring “all you can eat” buffets with a variety of menus to please everyone's taste.
24 Hour “Afternoon” Tea served in the Bonthi Bar for guests in the Garden Rooms and the Beach Villas; and from 1000 to 0100 in the Sunset Bar for guests in the Jacuzzi Beach Villas and Jacuzzi Water Villas…after 0100, Tea is at the Bonthi Bar
Unlimited "all you can drink" alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages "all day - all night", as follows :
- Vilamendhoo Bottled Water (1 Liter) - Non-carbonated, House Brand
- Soft Drinks - Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Ginger Ale, Bitter Lemon, Iced Tea, Tonic and Soda Water
- Fruit Juice - Canned
- Beer - Draught
- Coffee, Tea, Iced Coffee, Iced Tea, Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte and Macchiato - Freshly brewed, not canned
- House Table Wine - Red, White and Rosé
- House Brand Spirits - Gin, Vodka, Rum, Whisky, Tequila and Brandy
- All Cocktails and Mocktails - House Brand Spirits
Mini Bar alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as follows:
- Vilamendhoo Bottled Water (1 Liter) House Brand; and Bottled Water (1.5 Liter) - both Non-carbonated
- Soft Drinks - Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Bitter Lemon, Tonic and Soda
- Beer - Canned
- Wine - Red, White and Rosé
- Coffee, Tea, Iced Coffee and Iced Tea
- The Mini Bar is refilled once per day per a regular schedule
- One 1/2 bottle of Champagne, per room, per length of stay
Activities Included in the All Inclusive Plus Package
- One Sunset Cruise, regularly scheduled
- One 1/2 hour Group Snorkeling Lesson (equipment not included), regularly scheduled
- One 1/2 hour Group Windsurf Lesson (equipment included), regularly scheduled
- One 1/2 hour Group Tennis Lesson,(equipment included),regularly scheduled
- Free use of the Fitness Center, daytime use of the Tennis, Volleyball and Badminton Courts; Table Tennis, Billiards, Snooker, Darts and Football Grounds (equipment included)
- Free use of the Kayaks and Windsurfers (equipment included)
- Free Yoga Session in Duniye Spa; group session, regulary scheduled; includes Pranayama, Asanas and Yoga Nidra
The All Inclusive Plus Package does not include
- Food from other Resort Restaurants, Room Service, the Gift Shop, Mini Bar items not listed above and Excursions
- Beverage from Room Service, the Gift Shop, Mini Bar items not listed above, Sports Center and Excursions
- Beverage not listed above, such as: other Liquors, Liqueurs, selections from the Wine List, Fresh Fruit Juice
- Blended Drinks and Cocktails (Premium Brand Spirits)
While most villas have their own private beach access, there are two small beaches for all hotel guests that have unassigned lounge chairs. They are located at opposite ends of the island, with palm trees and mangroves rising from the sand. Thanks to the ravenous tides and strong currents in the channel the popularity of public beaches and the overall size is constantly changing. The beach is narrow, because this thin island like a boat is washed by streams of currents entering the atoll, although the sand is very good for the most part around the island. The northeast corner is subject to slight erosion, from 15% to 20%, but there are plans to prevent it. The island's house reef has 10 entrances / exits that can be used right from the beach a shallow shade with colorful fish, sharks, rays and turtles is common.
The hotel has two sparkling, freshwater swimming pools - one for adults and one for families. There is also a rectangular children's pool next to the family pool. An adult-only swimming pool is an infinity pool, facing west - an ideal place to tan during the day and in the evening watch an amazing sunset over the Indian Ocean. The family pool is slightly larger, less chic, and surrounded by green jungles. It is also a good place to relax, read a book, and perhaps even watch the curious herons.
If the western half of Vilamendhoo is strictly "adults only", the eastern half is given to those who travel with children, which in general make up 5% of the total number of guests. The resourt has a family swimming pool with a bar and a playground for children. An additional plus, the hotel goes further offering a family package, which makes Vilamendhoo more affordable experience - kids receive huge discounts for living together with parents, full board meals or "all-inclusive plus", and even a seaplane transfer. These discounts and rates for children 14 years and under, and children under three years old - all absolutely free. Children can only stay in the Garden Rooms and Beach Villas. The resort has babysitting services at an additional cost.
DIVING & SNORKELLING
Snorkeling and diving remain an important part of the activity for many guests. There are 10 marked entrances / exits around the island for easy access to the house reef. Euro-Divers is 5-star dive center PADI and has its own diving base on the island. An international team of professional divers offers guests a full service, including fun diving trips, cources and diving certification for beginners or experienced divers. The channels of South Ari Atoll have long been known for the quality of their diving sites. And a few minutes by boat from the resort there are manta rays and whale sharks cleaning stations. All year, the waters around Vilamendhoo are well known for seeing whale sharks. Full day trips are frequently scheduled to nearby Mamigili, the 1st Whale Shark National Park.
The island is surrounded by a beautiful house reef (one of the best in the Maldives), and 10 channels give easy access with a mask and snorkel to a vibrant and abundant marine life. Snorkeling gear can be rented in the dive center, and diving trips by boat are available five days a week. Night diving and night snorkeling are also possible. In addition to snorkelling and diving, there are many other pleasures on water sports, including windsurfing, catamarans, kayaks. Equipment can be rented and lessons can be booked at the Water Sports Center.
Land-based activities are divided between: a fitness room with modern machines and weights, as well as cardio-simulators; tennis courts, badminton, volleyball courts, ping-pong tables; a putting green with a handful of holes; and bocce. Football tournaments are often held between staff and guests. The hotel also organizes a wide range of excursions, including tours to inhabited local islands and fishing.
Duniye Spa, located in an overwater structure uses Asian healing methods and techniques, organic spa cosmetics, organic products, and a holistic, natural approach to massages, scrubs and cosmetic procedures.
Other interesting spots include a souvenir shop, a jewelry boutique, a doctor, and free high-speed Wi-Fi in all rooms and most public areas. The resort participates in an environmental program producing its own electricity and drinking water. Unlike many resorts, there is no free drinking water here, except for guests accommodated in Jacuzzi Water Villas, or those with the "All-Inclusive Plus" package.
The most of guests prefer an all inclusive plus package. 'Plus' - it's free use of sports equipment and non-motorized water sports. On the offer there are many sports options: tennis, badminton, table tennis, billiards, darts, water polo, football (artificial top-class field) and a fitness center.
A sunset cruise is also included, but you also want to go island hopping, or snorkelling excursions with manta, turtles or whale sharks. Vilamendhoo was lucky with the location near the southern tip of Ari Atoll, where one of the largest spawning grounds in the world is for whale sharks. Big Game Fishing - it's expensive, but if you're lucky enough to catch a sailfish or a wahoo fish - you will get a delicious dinner on the same evening, and of course unforgettable impressions from the fishing.
Reviews for the Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa are very positive, particularly the ones for those who visited after the late-2010 refurbish and addition of the water villas. Guests find the house reef and the diving/snorkeling to be among the best in the Maldives. In fact, the snorkeling is one of the most talked about aspects of the resort, with many guests raving over and over again about it. There was some confusion over the rate plans, as they offer a full-board as well as an all-inclusive-plus plan, the first of which is only good for meals, and the latter includes alcohol and other extras. Some guests thought they were on the more inclusive plan and were disappointed, but most agree that this resort offers excellent value all things considered.
Why stay here? What Guests Love
- Gorgeous private island in the South Ari Atoll, great for whale watching
- Friendly and helpful staff
- Clean and spacious villas with a fantastic views. Cleaning 2 times a day.
- Magnificent house reef - one of the best in the Maldives - lots of fish, there are sharks, rays and turtles. A great snorkelin
- A wide range of water sports and outdoor activities
- Children's swimming pool
- Adults-only, double-edge infinity pool with panoramic ocean views
- Delicious and varied food, including children meal.
- The all-inclusive plus plan - at any time of the day, water, juice, wine, beer, cocktails are fully included in the price.
- Excellent diving with manta rays and whale sharks
- Interesting excursions
- Heavily discounted rates and packages for families with young children
- Free Wi-Fi
What You Need to Know
- Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa is located on a private island in South Ari Atoll and is 20 minutes (93 km) by seaplane from Male airport
- For lovers of snorkeling we strongly recommend beach villas 130-145
- Fee for bottled water in most rooms and power plans
- The choice of places and restaurants is limited to the category of rooms
- There is a doctor (24 hours) on the island
- few seafood on offering
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