More about Velassaru Maldives Laguna Beach
We spent one night at Full Moon and 10 nights in Laguna and had a really good relaxing break as part of our honeymoon.
We were staying in a beach bungalow which was reasonably nice. The more basic rooms weren't particularly nice and I wouldn't have wanted to stay in one of those for a week or longer. I would say that the accommodation was that bit nicer on Full Moon as it has been recently refurbished, however I preferred Laguna in terms of the large beach with nice white powdery sand and the beautiful lagoon surrounding the island.
We were also on Laguna the night of the storm. Firstly, this was quite a bad storm, with some of the loudest thunder we've ever heard - we actually thought it was great fun to watch and listen to..
As far as power cuts go, we didn't get one in our room, however I am aware that there was cuts on parts of the island. Given the nature and scale of the storm, I reckon it was only to be expected that there could be a power cut. As regards, being given a time when power would be restored, I know that if we had a power cut in the UK, and phone the electricity supplier for a time when power will be restored, even they would be typically vague in their response, so enough said..
I found that almost all the staff spoke very good English. The only issue for us was with picking up different accents, but this is only to be expected. Never once was a member of staff rude to my wife or I.
Our board basis, All Inclusive, meant that we only had use of the Summerfields restaurant. The restaurant was nice, but things did get a bit repetitive. I feel that this is too restrictive and and all inclusive/Full Board should allow for use of the Italian and Chinese Restaurants also.
As far as settling of our account goes, there was no issue whatsoever. We checked out at 12:00 and then went over to the counter to pay for any extras. It was all really convenient, we could charge any extras to our room during our stay, so we never needed to handle money, aside from bringing some dollars for tipping, which we did at the end of our stay.
In conclusion, we really enjoyed our stay, we think most people would enjoy a stay on this island, however we'd suggest going for one of the beach bungalows or water villas
We spent our honeymoon at Laguna Beach Resort. We started our honeymoon in a beach Bungalow but after a night there we thought that we deserved better so we moved to a water bungalow that was free and was very nice.
The resort really needs a improvement. The jacuzzi by the pool is terrible... We didn´t even go in because we thought that we could get eletrecuted... the pool is small and not that great but with such a nice beach who needs pools.
The staff was ok and I don´t agree that they understand very well english! Some may but otheres hardly understand a word.
Animation was nule... no animation besides a man that came to sing three times a week but during the day there was no animation.
We had a problem no our plain so we had our flight delayed 24 hours and had to stay at Fullmoon which belongs to the same group but was much better in all aspects!
I've just come back from two weeks staying at Laguna Beach Resort. I stayed in a water bungalow which was just paradise. The house reef is huge and packed with fish, even managed a couple of 20 minute swims with the turtles!
The island is beautiful, gardens are well maintained and the beaches just perfect. I thought the beach bungalows looked OK but i'd definitely go for the water bungalow if your budget allows. They're well appointed, fantastically serviced and beautifully kitted out and give you direct access to the reef.
Food was good, breakfast served every day if you're in a water bungalow which is heaven. Shame that all inclusive meant you're restricted only to one restaurant but there's plenty of choice on offer even for a vegetarian like me!
I thought all the staff were polite and helpful and would not expect them to speak fluent english - they cater for all nationalities. If you want a resort with fluent english speakers then try the holiday inn in blackpool.
The island offers a very relaxing atmosphere and the perfect location to unwind, its not ibiza so you need to bring your own entertainment.
It is close to Male so an advantage if you want a quick transfer but you can see the less attractive side of Male which is a shame but it didn't really bother me - just didn't give you that middle of nowhere feeling!
I'd definitely go again if I was looking for an easy, relaxing holiday - its a mid range resort, informal and easy going!
WOW! This resort was first class from start to finish. I was staying with my dad and the beach was unreal, the huts were cool and brilliantly positioned. |The sport was fantastic and the food was something to look forward to! However, we did encounter a storm on the last day but everyone was still smiling, including us! Highly recommended for all ages and money very well spent!
It was merely average considering the price we paid for the bungalow. I was expecting something amazing given the many rave reviews about the resort, but compared to the other resort we stayed at, this resort was merely average. Ho-hum beaches, bland snorkeling, and limited activities prevent this resort from the many other marvelous resorts on the Maldives.
Paradise Island, shame about the management
We stayed at Laguna for one week in a Water Bungalow as the last leg of our honeymoon. Arriving was bliss, like stepping into the postcard of a paradise island. This is the main reason why it gets 3 stars and not one to signify terrible.
The water bungalow was spacious with a lovely sun deck and steps down into the lagoon. Unfortunately our toilet leaked and it took 4 days/4 attempts to fix it whilst water flooded the bathroom floor.
I confirm that previous reviews stating the other accommodation isn't that great is correct, although there was a lot of refurbishment going on. The jacuzzi still looks in a sorry state and unsafe so we didn't try it.
Snorkelling here was great with loads of colourful marine life to look at and the Dive centre provided a great introduction to diving session.
The food was good but nothing outstanding - that was apart from the breakfast which was delivered to our room every morning. - That was delicious.
The near perfection of the island was ruined by the rigidness of the rules created by the management in terms of what food you could buy when and where you were allowed to eat it. This created problems which the management were not particularly helpful with and it took ages to be persuaded to grant our reasonable requests.
Further problems were encountered in the way your account is managed. Not taking actual cash as you go, there appears to be very sharp practices in place to get as much money out of you as possible. This included wating several days to get you to sign for drinks the staff say you had days before - so keep your own account of what you are consuming, not informing all inclusive guests of what actually is included, e.g. 2 types of juice - 1 included one not, if you ask for juice - you will be given the more expensive one and charged for it without the staff explaining or asking you to clarify which one you want. Even all inclusive guests were racking up expensive tabs!
The service we received from the room attendant, gardeners and restaurant was good, although again - if you wanted something you could get in one bar such as papaya juice, the waiters wouldn't fetch you one in the restaurant. Who knows why? It only takes 20 mins at most to walk right around the island.
The service in the main bar or cafe was not impressive, ranged from inattentive to downright rude. Upon complaining to the management and having assurances as to the deletion of their automatic service charges - these promises were promptly ignored and denied, so at the time of departure we were threatened with the resort cancelling our transfer off the island and our flight (not sure how they'd cancel flight but certainly told us we were being held to ransom- either pay or be detained on the island). The bill also included supposedly complimentary excursions so be careful if you're told you have these - check your bill. The management didn't believe us that we were entitled to these without charge until I informed them I had paperwork to confirm it and they then made several phone calls to confirm with our travel agent representative. If you book with Kuoni, don't expect the local rep to back you up, excuses will be made for the hotel as to why they try to charge you for the free trips, even though we had a look at other guests' bills and they didn't have reference to their free trips on the bill. We were made to feel like dishonest criminals.
We were told that the understanding of English/Language barriers may have been why we misunderstood what was happening! Whilst we don't accept that, the ability to understand English does vary greatly depending on the person.
This left a very bitter taste in our mouth to the extent that we will never go back there again and would not recommend this resort to anyone. Whilst the maldives are beautiful , there are loads of other resorts that will bend over backward for you and give you the service you paid for and deserve.
We stayed at the Laguna from 24th June for 7 nights in a beach bungalow.
After reading reviews for a few months on trip adivsor - I travelled with an open mind to this little slice of paradise!
I'm a travel agent and have stayed at 3, 4, and 5 * resorts all over the world and have a good idea what to expect. It was my first time to Maldives.
Laguna sells itself as a 4* resort but I feel that it was 4* in some aspects and 2* in others.
I got an oppurtunity to see 5 different room types and the accommodation ranges from very basic hotel rooms ( not recommended), basic shabby beach bungalows ( not recommended ), refurbished beach bungalows with 4 poster beds ( some with outside private Jaccuzi and some with private pool and terrace ) and lastly the Water Bungalows. The Water Bungalows are much higher standard than any of the other room types and are genuinely fabulous with four poster bed, floor to ceiling windows in the bathroom, private terrace, sun loungers and direct access into the ocean.
As nearly all the beach bungalows have outside bathrooms, I would not advise anyone to stay in these if you are anyway afraid of lizzards, cockroaches, giant ants and mosquitos.
Enough about the rooms!
I stayed on half board basis and had a buffet breakfast and buffet dinner in the main restaurant. The buffets were quite good with a wide variety of food on offer - good for vegetarians aswell. Every second evening there was a set menu with two choices of main course. I found myself asking for something different as I'm vegetarian - it wasn't a problem. Anyone on half board or All inclusive eat at this restaurant.
You can also dine at the Italian, Chinese and Cafe Laguna, prices range from about US$10 for starter, US$20 - US$40 for main course, US$10 for desert, US$4 for tea/coffee. You are allowed US$8 credit per person if you are on a meal plan ( Not much ! )
The island is very nice and you can walk around it in about 15mins on beautiful white sand. It's possible at times to be the only one on the beach ( except for the Herons and Fruit Bats ) and is very relaxing. On one side of the island you can see Male and another island with a cement factory on it so views here are not good.
Snorkelling is o.k. but there are exceptional strong currents in some areas so be careful. Got to see 2 sharks, stingray, pufferfish, turtle, angel fish e.t.c.
I paid US$26 per person to do a 'snorkelling tour' to Bolifushi - which in fact was a boat taxi for 10 minutes to neighbouring island where we were left for 3 hours - very dissappointing and waste of money.
The staff on arrival and check out were very polite but overall I felt completely frustrated with the staff. They rarely smiled, never said please or thank you and constantly mumbled or said nothing. I understand there may be a language barrier but this is no excuse for lack of service.
To be honest I felt uncomfortable and didn't like the over all atmosphere. Women are constantly being stared at on the beach by gardeners and other staff to an embarrassing degree. Bar staff are slow and inattentive and generally unfriendly. On our 2nd last night we had a 'peeping tom' while my husband was in the outside shower. There was an employee standing on the outside air conditioning unit and looking over our wall through the bushes. We contacted reception and got a grumbled response over the phone and heard nothing else regarding the matter. At this stage I was looking forward to going home.
Overall, I was not majorly impressed and wouldn't return to Laguna Resort, it hasn't turned me away from Maldives altogether - I would go again but to a different island further from Male and definitely one with a higher grading and nicer staff.
Hope my advise helps anyone intending to travel - Enjoy!
We loved every minute of it
We stayed at Laguna Beach in the second half of our honeymoon and can not find fault with the hotel, the island or any part of our stay. Staff were helpful from the word go - the reception when you arrive makes you feel special from the moment you step off the boat. We asked on arrival to have a west facing bungalow and the staff immediately changed our room to accomodate this request. Would recommend this as you get a brilliant sunset view from this side...
Staying on an all-inclusive basis seemed to be the best option as we saw no limitations to food or drink that we could have on this basis. The restaurant staff were helpful and reliable, and we enjoyed having the same table and waiter for our stay because he was such a character and never stopped smiling!
We stayed in the Water Bungalows and they were the best accomodation on the island. We had a jacuzzi on the decking of the bungalow which we used every day. Breakfast served to your room every day was an added bonus and the sunset bar was very handy to take drinks back to your room. Our room attendant was very thorough and helpful and fixed any problems in the room without us even noticing anything was wrong.
We would recommend this hotel to anyone and the Kuoni rep, Chloe, was very approachable and helpful. We did get a complimentary excursion because we were on honeymoon and this was clarified straightaway in our welcome meeting - highly recommend the nightfishing...
Overall I would not hesitate in going back to this island and would recommend anyone considering the Maldives to give it a try!
We stayed at Laguna for 5 days as part of our Honeymoon and loved it. Flying all the way from South Africa, we didn't want to be disappointed and we weren't. From the huge motor boat that picked us up from the airport (some of the others from resorts looked pretty dodgy), through to the open air reception, with hot towels and fruit cocktails on arrival, our stay was everything we needed. We booked a water villa (the ones on the stilts over the water) - it was great. We had the one at the end (316), so complete privacy, with a jacuzzi on the deck, a four poster bed and glass walled bathroom.(NB only the two at the end have the jacuzzi's on deck). Seeing sea turtles and the schools of fish while you're taking a shower is great. You can snorkel off your own private deck and the coral around the water villa's are the best. We wanted privacy so stayed to ourselves at the villa. Room service was great and the rooms fitted out to a high standard. The island itself is just the resort, and it is lovely walking around after dinner on the white sands, under the beautiful moon. Staff are non-intrusive, but friendly and helpful. My husband had cut his leg on the previous part of our honeymoon, the hotel doctor every morning and night dressed the wound and was very helpful - for no fee other than the dressing. Also the local scuba school cut up an old wetsuit for him so he could still snorkel without infecting it. The two of us hired a catamara out to a tiny atoll out in the ocean, where we snorkled for 3 hours seeing great fish. We ate in the main restaurant - which had a good range of food, enough variety to not getting boring. We also had a very romantic dinner on the seashore (lobster dinner). Cocktails at the sunset bar, watching the sun go down while the schools of fish dash around is a great way to end the day. All in all, we had a fantastic relaxing honeymoon here - everything we wanted. Private feel without big prices or pushy commerism.
Excellent Despite Service Shortfalls
I ventured to the Maldives several weeks ago after a brief stopover in Singapore. Many flights arrive late at night so the first introduction to the archipelago many visitors have is hopping a fast boat bound for the resort under a blanket of only darkness and stars. This is a truly refreshing experience – particularly after sitting on an airplane for a few hours – that awakens the senses fallen dormant in city life. The journey by boat to the beach resort is approximately 35 minutes. Racing across those darkened waters brings forth the realization that you have arrived somewhere in paradise and mounting anticipation on what the light of morning will uncover. So the vacation begins.
You arrive at the resort to a dramatic walkway lit only be dim recessed lighting; a welcome “committee” presents you with the proverbial tropical fruit drink and hot towels. After checking in, it’s off to your cottage room.
The morning failed to disappoint as the surroundings became clear at sunrise. The Laguna Beach Resort is the only establishment on the entire island (which takes, lets say, 30 minutes to walk entirely around at a leisurely pace) and the views are as spectacular as anything I have ever seen. The long white, powder-fine sand beaches mix with seemingly thousands of shades of blue from the waters surrounding the atoll and up through the horizon. I think other guests there would agree that it looks surreal – more like a painting backdrop – than that of reality. Perhaps most impressive is a blue lagoon (the color of swimming pool water) that stretches hundreds and hundreds of meters offshore, where the shallow waters average three to four feet in depth. Coupled with sunshine and a steady, cool breeze, it is nothing short of beautiful and invigorating.
The beaches, for the most part, and particularly on the east side of the island, are relatively empty throughout much of the day. It is not uncommon to be on portions of the beach for long stretches of time and see perhaps only one other couple in the distance. This sense of privacy and intimacy is well suited for the surroundings.
The resort facilities itself, including the rooms, seemed old but fairly clean and well kept. Nonetheless, my feeling was that their website oversold the modernity and availability of various facilities. The pool area was nice (to be nice) but seemed small and in need of renovation.
The service was the most disappointing component of the resort. For those that are easily annoyed by average or below average service, prepare to be frustrated every time you have to deal with the service staff. At first the staff seems indifferent and then with time it comes across more as friendliness albeit shyness and passiveness.
The food also fell short of expectations. Despite being advertised as offering a range of different restaurants, it seemed to me that it was just a single restaurant that was subdivided but offered more or less the same average food. The same is true with mixed drinks (the rule: keep it simple) and I suspect that many guests were disappointed they weren’t given the chance to sip a world class margarita at sunset or descent bottle of wine with a romantic dinner (I’m not an expert, but is red wine supposed to be hot and taste like grape juice spiked with vinegar?) The resort could certainly benefit from an experienced GM and F&B manager to add personalized touches and improve the service standards.
All of the service short-falls, however, are forgiven. The environment that surrounds you is so spectacular that it is pointless to be anything but swept away.
The guests were mainly European, Australian and mainland Chinese. There were very few Americans (largely due to the 48 hours of air travel it would entail).
The Maldives (at Laguna Beach) is not a party beach (the music “disco lounge” was so popular that not even a bartender showed up and there was no music) and is best enjoyed by couples or perhaps the loner in need of a muse and solitude. If you are not a diver, then there is nothing really to do which makes the time pass wonderfully, wonderfully slow.
For those in search of true paradise, they will find it in the Maldives. Would I stay at Laguna again? Maybe, but I would probably lean towards Banyan Tree.
The Dive School
The underwater lives..
Huge bathroom facing the sea
Anyone been to the Thulhagiri Resort?
We are flying out next week to the Thulhagiri resort and would love some tips on what to take\or not and what there is to do. We also need some information on prices of everyday goods like bottled mineral water. Hear that some resorts can charge the earth as here are no competition on the resorts.
Any info\help would be great.
Re: Anyone been to the Thulhagiri Resort?
We write in response to your request for info on the thuhagiri resort. We are flying out at the weekend and would be very grateful for any information in connection with the island. What is it like? We have heard that the standard of accommodation is three stars and are worried that we should have payed more for our first visit to the maldives. Thanks in advance.
Re: Re: Anyone been to the Thulhagiri Resort?
Hiya, I was wondering if you could give some pointers on the resort, as myself and my partner have booked 4 days in Dubai and 10 days in Thulhargiri in a water bungalow, half board, for our Honeymoon in October 2004.