Best Resort that I stayed in the Maldives
I already stayed in 7 resorts in the Maldives, but this one was the best! Outstanding beaches, very good accomodations, crystal clear waters, very good scuba and snorkel area awsome!
I already stayed in 7 resorts in the Maldives, but this one was the best! Outstanding beaches, very good accomodations, crystal clear waters, very good scuba and snorkel area awsome!
Have just returned from Olhuveli and cannot praise this island enough. The island is stunning. The staff are all fantastic, they treat you like kings and are so friendly. Food is lovely, different themes each night, but cater for everyone, so you would never go hungrey.We are booking again for next year, can truly recommend it.
We stayed at Olhuveli in a beach bungalow on an AI basis from the 21st of Feb to the 7th March '07.
We had used trip advisor to choose our resort and found the reviews very helpful. So many thanks to those who have previously submitted reviews on Olhuveli.
Overall, the holiday met and often exceeded our expectations in most aspects.
Getting there: We flew direct with First Choice from Manchester on a night flight which helped a lot people to sleep away most of the journey. This aspect left us feeling slightly refreshed for landing at 11am (LT) in Male. Our luggage was already on the carosel as soon as we cleared customs at this clean and well-run airport. After a brief wait, (30 mins) transfer to the speedboat was well organised and stress-free, and the 40 minute boat trip and sea air cetainly blew away any remaining jet-lag!
Arrival and 1st Impressions: On arrival at Olhuveli you are met with a low-key drum procession welcome that escorts you down down the jetty, a refreshing welcome drink and your luggage is transported directly to your room. -All a nice-touch which set the tone for our entire holiday. The resort itself is mostly wood-bulit but modern and unobtrusive in what really is a silver sands, crystal water paradise backdrop.
The Weather: Fairly hot, usually 28-32 C but the humidity at this time of year was manageble whilst you acclimatise; unlike for instance some Caribbean islands in the summer months, where the humidity really hits you when you land. We only had one day in 2 weeks when it was slightly overcast, but by the afternoon it had cleared. A usual day was sunshine and wall-to wall blue sky. I would say it takes at least 2-3 days to fully settle in, acclimatise and know your way around Olhuveli, but we did it at a slow pace and enjoyed this aspect of the holiday.
Beach and Pools: There are two really well made infinity pools each served by a bar providing food and drinks at Olhveli, but pool-beds were slightly limited so it was on a first come basis. There was some initial irritation about towel laying to reserve these beds and the no-one being there for hours syndrome compounded this. The fact is if you can't beat them, you have to join them. Go early to avoid dissapointment! -Not much though as dissapointment is very short-lived as the beaches were palm-fringed, idylic and the sea was gently sloping, shallow and crystal-blue clear. In many beach locations you could relax in splendid isolation.
Accomodation: We stayed in a 1st floor beach bungalow room (365) that had an excellent balcony, sea view and air-con. The furnishings were new and solid -(4 poster bed with drapes) and the room was cleaned to a high standard every day. The water bungalows looked good and as a treat we asked to book one for the second week, but there was no availbility. Please bear this in mind if you are planning to upgrade when you get there. This did not make much of a difference to our holiday as the room we had was overall to a good 4* standard and perfecly comfortable and adequate.
Food, drinks and restaurants: The main restaurant was buffet style food which was covered on the AI and was in general varied, plentiful and to a fairly high standard. You are assigned a waiter for your stay and ours unfortunately was always miserable, non-communicative and very slow despite a few 5-10 dollar tips (which ended after no further improvement). Other people had no such problems and I think our waiter was the exception rather than the rule.
The waiting staff at the main bar were excellent; always there to get you another drink if needed. Also a waiter called Joseph from Sri Lanka, based at the Pool bar was very friendly and great at his job. If you enjoy a drink on holiday, it may help your decision on wether or not to go AI as drink bills can be expensive. Tiger beer is on draft and covered by AI :) Saying that though, most cocktails were apx 10$ so not unreasonble at all. There was also Al a Carte and Japanese restaurants and several organised beach barbecues where anything from Sushi to grilled lobster thermidore was available.
Entertainment: at Olhuveli is intentionally low-key and not for people seeking loud clubs/discos every night. There is one disco a week which was OK but there could perhaps have been more as this was popular. Crab racing is fun and all ages can join in. The main critisism is that the entertainment does not start untill 9.30-10pm. By this time quite a few people had given up and gone to bed! During this season Olhuveli is blessed with 4-5 resident Manta Rays that appear each night at apx. 9pm at the end of the pier behind the diving school. These are amazing to watch and even better if you want to night dive on the house reef to see them; swooping at you and then veering off upwards at the last moment- Breathtaking!
The Spa and other extras: The spa at Olhuveli really is something quite special. There are all types of treaments massages available and a full 45 min back massage with free hydrotherapy afterwards was apx. 60$, which we thought was great value for money. Treat yourself whilst your there. It was so relaxing that you are literally floating on air afterwards, all the way to the bar:) Another small treat we liked were the barbecue grilled steakburgers and margeritta pizzas that they only serve at the pool bars and not covered by AI. Also, the AI cover ends at all bars at midnight.
Diving: It was a little difficult to find out much about the diving at Olhuveli before we booked so if like me this is a big part of your holiday I hope this helps: The dive staff were really helpful, friendly and professional from the start. There is a house reef which is OK and great for snorkelling and a checkout dive and every morning a large fully equiped and staffed diveboat sets off for two morning dives (each at a different site). There is also an afternoon dive by boat every day at 3.30pm and a nite dive option if requested.
The boat dive group is divided into seperate dives based on experience level often with 3-4 seperate dive groups from students to intermediate and advanced. The afternoon dives are great as the large pelagics come in from the deeper areas and the currents increase; sometimes up to 6-7knots as you cling-on to watch the grey reefs/white tips the odd leopard shark hanging effortlessly in the current. Then, finally releasing for a great drift dive.
You are pretty much gaurunteed to see sharks, (harmless) eagle rays, turtles, morays, groupers ,barracuda, napoleans along with a myriad of other reef fish on most dives morning and afternoon. We even had a pod of 20-30 dolphins swim closeby for 5 magical minutes! The corals, both hard and soft can be great in places but have been bleached slightly by El-Nino in the 90's and are slowly making a recovery. A nite dive on the house reef with the resident Mantas is a must.
Nitrox is available, but at time of writing they can only provide up to 26-28% EANX due to compressor limitations. The Nitrox povided though is free. If you can bring your own underwater cameras and as much kit as you need as every item is hired on a per-dive basis. -Though this hired kit is fair quality and is not too expensive (excludes wieghts.) All your kit allocated to you is stored in a numbered box and placed along with your tanks on the boat before each dive.
The dive school is run by Hassan with Taka and Bea along with several other AI's and DM's who are great at what they offer in terms of training at all levels and providing great diving with a good atmosphere all round. Highly reccomend: the Kalyma Thila Reef, (am dive) and Kuudi Kiri wreck and Middlepoint. (anytime).
There is a fairly eclectic mix of people at Olhuveli, which we liked. When we stayed Germans, Italians, Japanese, British and a few eastern Europeans are the predominant countries represented. Other reviews mentioned minor problems with some people but in general everyone was in a relaxed, blissed-out and friendly holiday mood and respectful of everyone else's desire to do the same.
Many Thanks to the Dive Crew: Hassan, Taka, Bea and all the AI's and DM,s. David (a fellow guest and my patient dive buddy :), Vladimir, Jurgen et. al. Special Hi to Kas and James who got engaged there-Congratulations! And all the really nice couples we met and had a few drinks with.
Finally a big thank you to all the staff there who helped make it a great holiday. Along with those staff previously mentioned, Arthir, the guest relations manger was great and should be your first port of call to arrange any day trips or questions about the resort.
Paradise, great resort, great people and great diving. What more could you need?
Second time in Maldives, and Olhuveli exceeded our expectations!!!
We stayed at Honeymoon Water Villas which are simply amazing!
Location, rooms, beach, pools, watersports and staff are far above average and worths every cent spend.
Don't hesitate, just book it and enjoy the paradise!!!!!
Having holidayed with Kuoni in 3 separate Maldive resorts over the past 3 years I am writing this review to aid comparison for those planning to book there.
There is a simple truth that in my opinion anywhere in the Maldives would beat virtually any other holiday hands down.
As for Olhuveli it is quite simply the best resort and gave me the best holiday I ever had in my life.
We stayed in a beach bungalow and for our entire stay had our own private bit of beach. We could literally lie in our double bed and have an unobstructed view of the sea lapping the beach, not even a stones throw away from our bed.
We had our own sunbeds, as do every room. The food was exceptional.
The resort is compact so we quickly got to know people and made to feel very much at home. Being compact means you can have a drink with at the most a 2 minute walk.
Excursions were good value for money. You can go fishing for $20 or so.
Beauty – in my opinion the layout of Olhuveli is exceptional. The view from the Water Bungalows quite simply leaves you breathless.
You do not need a seaplane as the speedboat takes around half an hour to get you from the airport.
In general the resort was exceptional. You even had satellite tv as standard to all rooms so you had something to do when it rained.
We stayed in Olhuveli for 6 nights. And loved it.
Weather was great so we enjoyed beautiful beaches and scenery every day. We got some sun burn on first day so had to hide from direct sun...
Resort is beautiful, have stayed in deluxe room. Room is spacious, bed is lovely, very romantic, veranda is the best, have spent some great time there reading...Bathroom is modest but clean and spacious.
The food is satisfactory, we had half board and did not even need to have lunch as it is hard to eat so much on that heat. There is a enough variety of food for everybody.
The reef is not that fantastic but you can see many many fishes. If you want better reef need to take an excursion, which we did twice.
Things we did not like are: everything else is rather expensive, there are many staff working on this island so each time you take a walk you meet at least 20 of them and they keep greeting you(which is nice but exhausting) so you ll have to say at least 10 good mornings to reach your restaurant in the morning.
Room is cleaned twice a day.
We had some difficulties understanding Maldivian English so we had to be very concentrated when speaking.
Also, when checking out we asked for late check out and even the person we talked to told us we can use the room until 5p.m. somebody else approached (maybe the supervisor) and said we must leave the room at noon. The surcharge for late check out was 100USD which was too much for us so we spent some time near the pool during waiting.
We would visit Olhuveli again, that's definite.
We stayed at the Olhuveli Beach and Spa Resort in Octber 2006, with a little degree of hesitation, due to some of the negative reviews on this site.
However, all we can think of is that the negative reviewers must have stayed at another Olhuveli! My husband and i both work in the travel industry, and I have very particular tastes. We couldn't fault the place for service, scenery, food and drink.
Flew with Sri Lankan Airlines via Colombo. EXCELLENT. Flight was empty O/B and I/B so hubby and I had a centre row of 4 each to lie down on for both flights. Cabin crew lovely too and bought us lots of aperitifs and wine! Inflight entertainment good lots of films/games.
As soon as you step off the transfer boat at Olhuveli you feel instantly relaxed. Like you have arrived in a tranquil paradise. Lots of smiling faces greet you and you feel really welcome. The scenery is just beautiful and the sunsets are awesome.
We initially stayed in one of the older Beach Villas (280). These have thatched rooves. This room was perfectly adequate, and had the most beautiful view from the bed! However, having seen photos of the refurbished rooms on this site, I was a little disappointed not to have the new style one, and asked about moving. We moved to 285, which was newly decorated and lovely, although we would agree with the previous post, about the whiffy bathroom!
Hubby and I spent our days in the sea. we saw manta rays, sting rays, baby sharks and TURTLES! The mantas are on the house reef at the end of the viewing platform. The sting rays are by the water bungalows, the baby sharks are in the shallowest water, and the beautiful turtles we found at the end of the water breaks on the house reef, nearest Fun Island. The house reef is brilliant and you see tons of species of fish. We even saw really odd fish like puffer fish, picasso fish and massive starfish.
The snorkelling safari is well worth doing, you are taken out into the ocean and dropped off at 3 different points. You see millions of fish and creatures under there, its almost like another world. We didn't see anything different to the house reef, but the quantity of fish was unbelievable, hundred of shoals crossing paths.
We also hired a canoe, and rowed round to the adjacent Fun Island. This island is derelict since the Tsunami, though and there was nothing to see. Be careful if you leave the island though as the watersports centre do say they will charge you for disembarking.
At night everyone walks to the end of the pontoon to the viewing platform to see the fish. You see something different every night. Remember not to feed the fish though, as they cannot digest our food and it kills them off eventually. We found the entertainment very good with discos and shows every night. We appreciated this as although we wanted a quiet break, it was nice to have some atmosphere.
Do not worry about sharing tables, in October they were 90% full and there were at least 100 tables free at any one time! The food is well presented, piping hot, and a super choice for all tastes. No upset tummies or anything like that either.
We were half board, and found the drinks inexpensive. A pint of beer is $5 (£2.70), glass of wine $3.80 (£1.80) and a 1.5 litre bottle of water is $3.50 (£1.70). We did take a lot of cartons of juice, crisps and chocolate with us which we were glad of, as there was little available in the way of snacks. The only snack food in the shop was crisps at $6 for a large packet.
We tried out the Sun Spa, Hubby and i had a romantic massage together, followed by a flower bath, which was heavenly.
The staff were wonderful, we particularly liked the little guy in the sunset bar.
If you like relaxation, luxury and being spoiled, you will love this place.
My wife and I took our 5 year old son to this resort for two weeks. We originally booked Bandos Island through Dialaflight, as they provided a kids club, highly recommended by a friend of mine who had stayed previously. Dialaflight booked our flights and accommodation, took our money and then informed us that there was no availability at Bandos and recommended an upgrade to Olhuveli, assuring us of a kids club facility. On arrival, no kids club! and the resort has not had this provision since the Tsunami. This restricted our holiday, as we could not enjoy the various watersports and facilties, the resort offered. We stayed in a supposedly 'superior deluxe' room on the beach. The decor was tired and in need of renovation, bathroom was shabby and for the money we paid, very disappointing and not the standard I expected. There were no more rooms available, so we had no choice but to stay put. Food was average, good choice however, but after a week, a little repetitive. Produce used was not of a high quality at all. V.Expensive all around. Everything costs extra.
We upgraded to all inclusive, but even this was very limited! Simple items like cappuccino were extra. Strawberry milkshakes were 15 USD! All activities were at extra cost. The staff were very friendly and helpful and did their best to accommodate us but this is definitely not a holiday for families! and two weeks is defintely too long! I would say four days is plenty!
More than 1,100 islands make up the Republic of the Maldives which are located a few hundred miles south of India. Of these, 200 islands are inhabited and about 80 are tourist resorts.
I've managed to visit 2 of these resorts - Bandos and Olhuveli View. The tips, unless stated, are general tips about the Maldives. I have added a Travelogue or each resort so you can get an idea of what it's like.
Though I'm a big city man through and through, nevertheless it had been a long-time dream to spend some time on an island pactically my own, a dream which came true in February 2004.
The name of the two coral islands we spent a week each sound like magic: Olhuveli and Fihalhohi. One a strip about 100 m wide and 2 km long, the other more circular. About 800 m across, which you could walk round completely in about 20 minutes if you walked sloly enough. A standalone bungalow with a beach of our own on Olhuveli, shadowed by the islands's most beautiful palm tree, a four-bungalow blcok in Fihalhohi, where, the vegetation was thicker, and palm trees bent almost into the water.
The sands, or rather coral dust, was snow white, the reefs large, their water transparent abd light blue, with an unimaginable weath of undersea life once you reached the edge of the reef and the lagoons. This diving lessons I took were worth every penny.
Best thing of all: not a trace of a crowd on the beaches, even though it was high season. You practically felt alone. At mealtimes I was actually quite surprised at how many other people were holdaying on the islands. You hardly met them in the daytime; they were either on diving trips oe excurisons, and those who remained were dispersed completely.
A quiet, seren beauty was what characterized both islands; it was the perfect holiday.
Olhuveli Resort from the air
I have booked a holiday in the end of March at Olhuveli Beach and Spa Resort. I have never been to the Maldives before and it is hard to find any reviews etc about this place.Is there anybody out there that could give me some useful information etc.?
You'll find 'tripadvisor.com' a useful site for holiday reviews.
Just type 'olhuveli' into the Site Search box, and you'll find there are 9 reviews on the resort.
Thanks for the advice Heatfield! I have been there already but I'm hoping to get some more info :0)
we will be at one of these resorts on aprill 11 and are wanting to now any info ,food ,weather, prices, trips , any tips , or places to go in male , its are first time to the malldives so any info wiil be good ,thanks to any one who replys ,john and beccy
Does anyone have first hand experience of any of the above? They're on my shortlist and would appreciate any comments.
Don't have first hand experience of these resorts but I read that Meeru had a problem with food poisoning last year and had previously had a problem with rats. There are always rats on the islands but I read an article in a magazine saying it was a major problem but this was a long time ago in 1999. I had been booked to go to Meeru and changed it to Villivaru due to the rat problem. As regards the food poisoning I imagine that can happen anywhere and if they had an incident last year then you would hope they would be extra careful now.
In the book on Maldives that I have the author gives a good write up on Meeru and doesn't have anything negative to say except that the reef edge is too far to reach from shore but there is a shuttle boat every hour and a half day 3 reef snorkelling trip every 2nd day. Inside the lagoon there is enough coral to keep novices happy. He says the rooms are built to a good standard and it is good value and cheerful.
On Meedhuparu the book I have says it is a new resort where the guests are mostly Italian and there are Italian animators who do a great job involving guests in the daily activities and special events. There is an outdoor theatre and a disco. Everyday there is group aerobics, canoeing, indoor games competitions, gym workouts, volleyball and dancing sessions. Also tennis courts, beauty salon, steam bath, sauna and an ayurvedic centre. The beach is wonderful for three quarters of the island but suffers erosion in one area in off season. The beach slopes down fairly sharply to give an immediate swimming depth but little paddling around width. The reef is within swimming distance but the snorkelling is only ok. 215 rooms include hair dryer and tea/coffee maker, 2 wash basins and 2 showers. There is a large swimming pool and the food served is a highlight of the resort. Buffets are varied, comprehensive and excellently prepared.
This is a condensed version of what the guide book says - hope it helps. He doesn't cover Olhuveli in this book but did in his previous one but that description may be outdated now.
PO Box 2117
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
Address: South Male Atoll,