More about Vilamendhoo Island Resort
We travelled out on 7th June 07 with First Choice . We had upgraded to Premier Class. I can only say first class. I am 6ft plus and the extra leg room was really good. The seats were extra wide as well. All drinks were included throughout the flight and were served in glass not plastic- as were the meals- on china. The staff looked after us very well, on call all the way. Well worth the upgrade. Once in the airport at Male our cases were unloaded first so we were not in the airport long . transferred to the seaplane terminal .Cases weighed again then boarding cards given. We had to wait about 45mins for our flight. I really enjoyed it as this was the first time I had been in a small plane. Great views for the 25 min flight at about 1500 transfer from plane to island by boat. We were meet on the jetty with a cool towel and drink. Filled in paperwork then we were taken to our room by our roomboy ,luggage followed shortly. We had room 121. I think this was a great position midway between restaurant/ main bar and sunset bar ,10 secs to a lovely stretch of beach. You have your own sunbeds with a mattress as well Our waiter was Shafeen and he looked after us for the 2wks. Changed our table for as we were not keen on it. In the main bar Jack looked after us 95% of the time (can't remember his full name we called him Jack ) he would never see us without a drink. Alli was in charge of customer relations and would come and sit and talk to people . There is not a lot to do at night -disco on fri night, We had live music one night and crab racing another, but most of the time we just sat and chatted with people we had met. Mostly English and German guests. The days were spent on the beach snorkeling and being lazy. There is a dive school on the island. We did get some rain but knew this would be the case in June. The dress code is casual. We went bare foot or just flip flops for 2wks as you are walking on sand all the time. Don't go here if you want a wild time. just chill out time. It was our first time in the Maldives and we loved it . A big thank you to all the staff at vilamendhoo that made holiday wonderful
Liked — natural unspoilt island
We have just returned from a fantastic two weeks at vilamendhoo! We have been to the maldives before (paradise island) for our honeymoon (3 years ago) and nowhere we have visited since has compared to beautiful maldives.The water really is crystal clear and the sand powder white,it is truley paradise.
We were recomended vilamendhoo from a friend who has been to the island 5 times so we knew that it wasnt going to be a disapointment,and it wasnt!
The seaplane transfer only takes 25mins and was fun,you also get a great view of all the islands and reefs as you are flying to vilamendhoo.
When we arrived we recieved a very warm welcome from the staff and also got a coconut to drink from,with a straw,and decorated with a beautiful tropical flower,which was very refreashing after the ten hour flight from gatwick!
We were shown to our room,which was superior room no.5 and its definatley worth paying the extra as they are beach front and not in the middle of the island like the standard rooms.Our room was big and had a outdoor bathroom,it felt strange at first looking at the trees whilst on the toilet,but u get used to it quickly and its definatly a fun experience!
The rooms are spotless and cleaned twice a day,they could possibly do with a little updating but at the end of the day its only somewhere to lay your head at night.
We had a small alcove beach with a beautiful view,it was quite shaded by trees but it got so hot it was quite nice to have abit of cover and if you wanted full sun theres a lovely beach at either end of the island,you can just take your towels up to lay on,theres always plenty of room,and if you go up to sunset beach you have the added bonus of being served drinks by the sunset bar staff!!
The staff are amazing,so friendly and attentive,if you are going to vilamendhoo you must make a point of talking to Nihad one of the guest relations staff,he is wonderful and good fun,he became a good friend to us and spent alot of time playing cards and pool with us and another couple that we met there.Nimbe(also guest relations) is also lovely,he also loves a game of cards! they really cant do enough for you.The main bar staff are also great especially Shurau,who always kept the drinks following!
The house reef is amazing,we snorkeled every day and saw different fish each time,and so many of them,every shape,size and colour imagenable! we saw turtles,rays,shols of parrot fish,orientel sweetlips,octopus,trigger fish,puffer fish,sharks,nemos!,surgen fish,barracudar,and to many more to mention! we also met the infamous Bruno,a titan trigger fish with an attitude problem(you will hear about him at the welcome meeting) who is known for attacking people! But dont worry to much,we saw him almost every day at reef gate 3 and he never went for us!!
The food in the restaurent was lovely,always alot to choose from and the freash pineapple is gorgeous,very sweet and juicey! The waiters are all very friendly and helpful.
We went on three trips,the whale shark excursion,but unfortunatly we didnt see any,but going out on the donhi boat was fun all the same.The lily beach trip was nice,(free to all inclusive guests) the house reef there is good to,lots of pretty coral.We also went out snorkeling on the catamaran with siead who works at the dive and water sport centre,we were out for about two hours at nearby reefs and its only $15 pp,so well worth doing.
Also you must join in the hermit crab race on friday evenings,its alot of fun,both our crabs won their races so we won plently of larger to put in our mini fridge! its also a good way to get chatting to people as its a popular event!
On vilamendhoo all the pathways are sandy so you really wont need many shoes,a couple of pairs of flip flops is all you will need,also take plently of insect repellant as there are mosquitos around,we took jungle formular extra strength and also avons woodlands freash oil spary,which is actually a moisturiser not a repellant,but really works and stops you getting bitten! we only suffered 2 or 3 bites each,and that was after being in the water and the lotion washing off,so i would recomend you wear repellant in the day to,if you do that you should be fine.
On the whole we had a fantastic holiday and would recomend vilamendhoo to anyone,it is compleatly relaxing and idylic,we will definatly be going back!!.
Vilamendhoo - paridise on earth
We stayed on Vilamendhoo for two weeks, starting the 9th July. We had been to the Maldives before but can honestly say nothing prepared us for this beautiful island. It is paridise on earth!
What makes this island sooooooo special is that, unlike many of the islands in the Maldives which have been over developed, Vilamendhoo is different. Its charm lies in the fact it is so natural and laid back. You won't find ugly water vilas snaking out into the ocean here. It is a simple island.
The island has a jungle interior with beautiful flowers. The beaches are white powder sands. There is a reef just off shore where you can snorkel quite safetly. Entry and exit points are marked with ropes. The water is quite shallow for a long way out so safe for children too. The water is a gorgeous turquoise colour just as you would expect and the water is teaming with fish. The island has an abundance of wildlife on land too with many birds, fruit bats, friendly herons, hermit and land crabs.
As others have said the rooms are a bit basic but how long do you really stay in your room? We were always out and about snorkelling, diving, walking around the island or relaxing on the beach. Each room is set back from the shore but not more than about 30 steps from the beach. They have a thin layer of vegetation between the beach and the rooms in order that the view of the island from the sea and the beach is more beautiful and natural.
The island has one main resturant, two bars (the sunset one being the best) a TV room, a shop and a doctors. You can get afternoon snacks as part of the AI at the sunset bar. This was our favourite place to be from 4pm onwards as we watched the sun go down. One evening we were even treated to a display from a couple of dolphins as they played in the shallows.
If you are a certified diver, once you have done a check dive, you can dive on the house reef unaccompanied. We did this and felt quite safe. We saw an abundance of fish, too numerous to mention and also saw Morays and a turtle. The centre is an SSI one. It is very well run and has plenty of space for guests' own equipment.. We went on a number of boat dives including one to a wreck. We also went on our first night dive on the house reef which was amazing.
The staff are lovely really friendly and helpful. They decorated our bed and table on the last night. Whilst we were there it was the 20th anniversary of my husband asking me to marry him. He arranged for us to have a candel lit dinner on the beach. They found a really quiet area of the beach where we weren't bothered by anyone. We had a lobster dinner under the stars and they decorated our table with red grains of rice, green sand and flowers. It was sooo beautiful and romantic.
I would recommend Vilamendhoo to anyone wanting to escape the rat race - it is pure relaxation. It may not have all the facilities of the larger resorts but that wasn't what we wanted - we wanted to see the real Maldives in all its natural beauty and that is what we got. I would go back in a heart beat.
We went toVilamendhoo, in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives in March 2005. It was our first choice and we were so glad it was!
The island was perfect in every respect. It was not overcrowded so there was beach space a-plenty. The island is perfect for couples, friends, families and singles.
Each bungalow (we had a superior one) had it's own beach beds allocated to it, table and chairs on the porch bit outside and the rooms themselves were light, airy and equipped with air conditioning. Fresh water was given to you every day and everything cleaned and tidied up immaculately. On our last night, the bed sheets on both beds were made into fan shapes and covered in bourganvillea! It's always the small things that make an impact!
The trips on offer are well worth it. Going to Dhangethi island (an inhabited one) was a very interesting and humbling experience. The fishing trips in the day and at night are quite good fun, too!
The weather was fantastic, only a few showers to mention. The house geckos were great fun at night, watching them run about catching their meals! The hermit crabs were excellent. I had the honour of becoming 'Crab Race Champion, 2005' after Hermie won every race going!
The staff are excellent and very hospitable. Would highly recommend going ALL INCLUSIVE though. Meals and drinks could prove quite expensive if you are going for more than a week.
The shop on the island has everything you need from snorkelling gear, suncream and chocolate bars!
All in all, a fantastic holiday, would recommend to all and we will most definitely be going back!
Vilamendhoo - would go back tomorrow!
We stayed on the island of Vilamendhoo in the first two weeks of July 2006. I agree with all the other reviews, Mosquitos were the only snipe - but then it was monsoon season, and the rain does make them worse! Even though they spray the island in the early evenings to make the female mosi's sleepy, you do get mosi bites and 60% DEET products still seem to provide no barrier! Unfortunately the only answer to this is to go another time in the year when its much hotter!
My only other quarm may be the rooms which need updating some what, but saying that they were adequate, provided AC, warm water, comfortable bed, plenty of space, option of indoor or outdoor WC ... what more could you need.
The good stuff and recommendations:
- The snorkelling is fantastic, swim out 30 yards through many different exit points around the island and you are at the edge of the reef and above a 300ft drop.
- Fantastic / beautiful fish to look at. Outside the shop is a list with pictures of the kinds of fish you can see around the island and we saw about 99.9% of them!
- Take your own snorkelling gear - the shop is expensive!
- Apparently the gem shop gems are excellent value, be prepared to barter lots!
- The food is fantastic, we couldnt not find fault with any of it, loads of choice, and if you like curries then you can eat one twice a day, with popadums and chutneys..etc Remember to leave loads of space for the puddings, and be prepared to put on about 5lb!
- the waiters and room boys are very friendly, they provide excellent service
- We had room 109 after moving from 54, the rooms on the north side have better beach! and 109 was nearer the bar!
- Try the 30$ fish meal on the beach, the lobster and tiger prawns are fantastic!
- My partner won the crab race championship with 'Little Monsta', we won a crate of beer, even though we were all inclusive...resulted in plenty of late nights when the AI ran out after 12pm!
- Recommendations - continue the British Snorkellng community expeditions, a group of us went snorkelling together at 11am and 3pm at each end of the island. With 10 pairs of eyes we saw much more! (And you can swap photo's when you get home!)
The island is very much 'untouched' very tranquil, and its perfect! Best holiday I've ever had!
We just came back after 2 weeks of wonderful holidays at Vilamendhoo.
Beautiful island, great food, nice and very friendly staff, fantastic diving and snorkeling! The flight by Maledivian Air Taxi - especially the view from it - was one of the best parts of the whole stay!
Our honeymoon in Vilamendhoo was two weeks of sheer bliss.
From the moment we arrived till the moment we left it was fantastic.
A lot of that is to do with the staff who work incredibly long hours but are always friendly and professional.
The island itself is a perfect size and is very natural. This means that the beach is smaller than other islands but it also means it is relatively cool and shaded when walking around.
The sealife on the house-reef is utterly amazing, a snorkel set is a must-pack.
We also did a guided scuba dive with an instructor and that was one of the highlights of the holiday.
Basically, if you don't like Diving, Snorkelling, Swimming, boat trips etc then it might not be the holiday for you. If you do, then it is amazing.
Regarding accomodation, I'd recommend the beachside bungalows. We were moved into a standard apartment for our "extra" night (because of delayed plane) and I wasn't too impressed with them. The walls are a bit thin and the rooms are a bit dark.
The beachside bungalows are a lot bigger and its great to have a 15 second "commute" from your front door to the beach.
Other tips I can think of are:
Don't worry about the sharks! Just watch out for the notorious titan triggerfish (Bruno) between Exit 1 & 2 of the reef. It's an aggressive bugger and gave my wife a nasty nip (fortunately not breaking the skin).
Another one "charged" us as we were leaving Exit 10 also.
We went on the Snorkelling, Nightfishing, Robinson Crusoe trip and full day trip to Madibadoo and they were all excellent. I went on the Morning Fishing trip alone and it was a waste of time, it's totally dull.
Simple Tip - Don't fly them
The journey really is as bad as you read about elsewhere on this site. Put it this way, the seats on our easyjet flight back to edinburgh from LGW had more space.
If you are stuck with them, try to upgrade.
If you can't, it may be best to get seats in the 3 seats in the middle of the row. At least that way it's easy to get out and you can maybe strech your legs.
The plane is so cramped that you have to inch sideways up the aisles. The only bright spot was that our flight home was delayed and we had an extra night in Vilamendhoo.
We stayed on the Island from the 31st July - 14th August 2006. We hadn’t realised it was the monsoon season but the weather was not a problem – a couple of heavy down pours in the evening but each room has its own big stripy umbrella!
We really enjoyed the holiday but were torn though between awarding average and above average grades many because the interiors of the main buildings and guest rooms look tired and need updating. We booked through First choice and in the brochure the resort is shown as 4 stars, we feel it should be rated at 3. The Island is gorgeous. I loved the colours; the luscious greens of the leaves, bright pink flowers on trees, perfect white sandy beaches and the blues of the Indian Ocean. That part of the holiday was perfect. Vilamendhoo is a small Island and you could walk round it in about 20 minutes – although it is not possible to swim completely round it.
We were booked a superior bungalow and were allocated number 2 on the South side. The beach areas in front our room were very shaded by over hanging branches, we like to have the option of sun and shade, so were a bit disappointed. You can ask your room boy to move your sun loungers to another part of the Island however we took our beach towels sunbathed wherever we wanted and then returned to the shade when it got too hot. The bungalow interior was a little disappointing but clean and spacious. Review I read before going had mentioned the decorating of the bed on the last night but I hadn’t been expecting the sheet to be folded into different patterns each night – a fish shape was our personal favourite!
The Island did not feel over crowed although it was busier in our second week. There are two bars: the main bar and sunset bar. We preferred the main bar, which seems to go against the other reviews! We felt the cocktails were nicer and the standard of service much better. Views definitely not as good though and the sunset bar served really good snacks between 4-6pm.
My boyfriend did the 3 day Scuba diving course and thought it was excellent. His instructors, Ingrid and Laurent were fantastic. They made him feel at ease and were very friendly – we celebrated his passing the course with a drink with the instructors at the sunset bar. He went on to do more dive trips once he had passed and enjoyed them all.
All the meals are served buffet style. We were all inclusive and on the whole the meals were good. Breakfast was our least favourite – got a bit boring. There was a good selection of dishes at lunch and dinner. I would say there was something for everyone but we were disappointed with the amount of European dishes.
The sea plane transfers were fantastic. We really enjoyed those. However, we had over hour wait on the way out to Vilamendhoo.
Overall a relaxing and fairly good value for money holiday.
Silver wedding anniversary heaven!!!
We stayed at this island from 17th to 24th July (7 days). We were a bit nervous before finally booking as there are so many islands to choose from and we wanted a really special holiday at a budget price!!! We need not have worried. It was absolutely fantastic.
We upgraded to a superior room, north of the island (worth doing at $140) and had an all inclusive package, also worth it as the drinks were very expensive even if you don't drink that much.
The room was fine with a partly open air bathroom and we sometimes saw a heron on the bathroom wall.
Vilamendhoo is a quiet resort without a swimming pool, spa, disco, animation team etc This suited us as we mainly wanted to snorkel and dive. The house reef was excellent as was the dive school (well managed and good quality hired kit). We went on a whole day whale shark boat trip and snorkelled with a whale shark twice. HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The sea was wonderful with turtles, eagle rays, white tip reef sharks, batfish, lion fish, parrot fish etc. It was like swimming in a tropical aquarium, the gorgeous colours etc.
Other things we enjoyed were crab racing, night fishing trip (included) and a ride on the catamaran. The red snapper we caught was cooked for us the folowing day and was lovely. We paid $40 each for a full day boat trip to the local capital, barbecue on an uninhabited island and a visit to another resort island. This was a worthwhile trip. Other people did not think much of the trip to Dhangeti & Lily beach, although this was included in all inclusive package.
On our big day (silver wedding anniversary) we had ordered a seafood meal on the beach by ourselves ($30 each). They had decorated the table really well with designs in coloured rice and the whole thing was really great. We decided to forget the champagne at $200 a bottle.
All the staff at the resort were friendly and the service was always very good. There was always lots of choice on the buffet at mealtimes and we enjoyed all the food. The island had lots of vegetation and bats, birds, lizards, crabs etc. There are mosquitos so take repellent, although the island is sprayed.
We wish we could have stayed longer, although I think we did most things in the week we had.
A truly memorable holiday.
I'm lovin it lovin it lovin it....
Fancy putting your feet up for a fortnight and literally being waited on hand and foot? Like the idea of swimming with turtles in crystal clear, bath warm water? Want to sit with your feet in powder fine, white coral sand with a glass of chilled rose wine as you watch the sun set into the indian ocean? Then you couldn't do it from a better place than Vilamendhoo!
My fiance and I spent two wonderful weeks from 26th June 06 on this beautiful island and would go back there at the drop of a hat.... dont worry if you do drop your hat someone will be there to pick it up, dust the sand off and put it back on for you! Although this is the wet season (something we didn't find out till we got there... thanks COSMOS!!) there was still plenty of sun and the heat was at times like being in a potters kiln. Still who cares if it's wet, you don't notice it when you are snorkelling along the superb house reef (currently developing the photos so will attach them later) amongst literally thousands of amzing sea creatures all of which have absolutely no interest in eating you!
For the more active and adventurous there is the superb dive centre, cat sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, a gym, tennis courts and lots of other things that quite frankly are far too strenuous even to type. For us it was about chilling and that is exactly what you can do on Vil.
The best rooms in our opinion are on the South side particularly the South West superior rooms which have the best beaches and are near the fantastic Sunset Bar. If you go make sure you get Ibrahim to serve you he is a really fantastic Maldivian guy who made our stay even more relaxing.
Can I do a few moans now? Nothing major but enough to break the spell now and then.
1)why do people insist on taking young children (babies) to the Maldives? I have children and would not dream of taking them to somewhere like this. If not out of consideration for the majority of couples who go to these islands for a romantic chilled holiday then for the sake of the children who really do get bored silly!
2) Lilos... please... if you want to float around on lilos go to Torremolinos! Nothing ruins the idylic views like someone perched on an airbed floating past. Please, you are in the Indian Ocean... get in it!!!
3) Televisions. The island has a televison area which is fine for those that cannot give it up for a few weeks. And I know the World Cup was on whilst we were out there but why does there have to a TV in the Main Bar? No one was ever watching it and frankly it was just noise that you really dont want when you are trying to chill. Put TVs in all of the rooms and let people who want to watch it do so without polluting the evening atmosphere.
4) All inclusive times. Basically AI runs from 10am till midnight. This means that if you want a coffee in the morning (outside of the restaurant) you have to either pay extra or wait till 10am. Come on... surely the AI price can stretch to include a few coffees?
And one more cautinary note... take lots of mossie sprays and anti histamine if you go when we did. I came back 4lb heavier and 3lb of that was due to all the mossie bites!
Finally though having been to two other Maldivian Islands I can highly recommend this island. Not least for the amazing service from the staff and the outstanding house reef. We will definitely be returning.
Can anyone give an indication of the prices for lunch and bar prices here. As I don't want to book all inc. if the drinks are reasonably priced.
Consensus of opinion is that half-board is better value than AI. Bar lunch Club Sandwich (US)$7, Pizza $6 to $8, Bottle of wine $20, Heineken, San Miguel, Tiger beer (all on draught)$3.50, Cocktails $7 upwards. You can stuff yourself full at breakfast and dinner, so a light snack is all you'd need at mid-day.
Cheers for that, Half board it will be I think!
VILAMENDHOO DIVE PRICES
Has anyone got a list of dive prices from Vilamendhoo they can either post or reply to me ??
Re: VILAMENDHOO DIVE PRICES
Have a look here for the various packages and price ranges. You can select English on Maldives page, bottom left.
Note that Euro Divers has taken over from Werner Lau as from January, 2007, but prices remained unchanged, I'm told.
We are booked a holiday to Vilamendhoo over the New Year period (2005/2006) and would like to know if there will be a New Years eve gala dinner and if so is it formal dress?