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Old Mar 8, 07, 2:27 am
  #2  
arpiuk
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: RBKC
Programs: MUCCI Diamante- that's all that matters
Posts: 542
Originally Posted by From NYC View Post
Did you end up staying there? If so, what were your impressions? I am thinking of staying there in mid-March. Thanks.
Here is below my review of W maldives. I hope it helps.

W Hotel Maldives is a fantastic resort. I canít compare it to other Maldivian resorts, but in comparison to other tropical paradises, this is certainly a top end resort. Design-wise, it falls nothing short of what I expected from a W Hotel. Design conscious, with a meticulous attention to the wellbeing of the body and mind.



Being a new resort, itís not as busy, as the others (based on hearsay), but one can judge that as soon as one arrives at the airport in Male. You are being met by a W representative and driven across the runway (yes, across the runway) to the W Lounge. We were only 3 couples in this lounge, the other lounges being quite busy. Then the short, but sticky and humid flight to the W resort follows and I was glad I did not pack away the little W cooling pack that I was given in the lounge. It contained a little fan, a cooling air spray and wet toilettes tissues. It was heavenly, especially when I watched the other 2 couples sweating heavily, as they have packed away their little pouches.



As soon as we arrived to the resort, we were greeted with a cool towel and a refreshing drink, which was badly needed. We were shown around the island, which took 5 minutes, then to our lovely villa. First impression was very good, beautiful island, scenery, weather was amazing.



The island is very small, you can walk around it in 5 minutes. No less, no more. I read some well seasoned travellers expressing fears that the island itís too small and it could not comfortably accommodate the maximum of 150 people in their public areas, like restaurant, pool, sports centre. I perfectly agree with this, but I wonder if they will ever have 100% occupancy. When we arrived, Iíd say it was about 40-50% full, but at no time did I find it overcrowded. The opposite in fact, it felt deserted, except for the evenings, when you would meet the others at dinner. There are 2 a la carte restaurants and another buffet style restaurant, the latter being open 3 days a week only. At any time, I could not count more than 5 tables full for dinner. I ask you: is that busy? I donít think so.



During the day, everyone seems to be in their resort (they call each villa, a resort). Iím not surprised, they are so spacious and it has everything, why would you want to use the main pool? Each villa/resort has its own pool, however little, but you have the ocean right in front of you!!!! If anyone wants a pool, they should go to their local Holmes Place.



There were a few unpleasant experiences too, which ruined the perfect image that it started building up. First of all, hard selling. The staff are quite new and I donít think they have been trained well. I know a business survives on sale figures, but these must be done tactfully and discretely, especially a resort as expensive as the W. The room service and the restaurant staff are continuously trying to sell you something. Myself, I am not a big eater. I eat normal portions and tend to stay away from buffet menus. Also, I do not drink alcohol. Well, that did not go down well with the restaurant staff. They could not understand that a young-ish person like me does not drink alcohol. Secondly, I was very ill for 2 days (the resort was not to blame at all Ė I have a chronic illness). During such attacks, all I could eat is potatoes and very little of that, too. I ordered mash potatoes via room service and I even got the manager ringing back, enquiring why am I placing such a small order?



Another unpleasant service was the maid not replenishing the bathroom toiletries when needed. I had to ask for these. This is an Ultra Deluxe resort, not a B&B!



Please be aware of the phone charges. I asked 3 times what the charges to the UK where and was assured that itís 50 cents a minute. I did find that extremely cheap, but I was assured of the price. I made about 5 business calls of no more than 20 minutes in total. Expecting a bill of 10 USD, I almost fell of my chair when the phone bills where 400 USD. Outrageous. When confronted, the hotel was unable to give a breakdown of the calls, but was willing to give me a 50% discount. I had to argue long and hard, until I made them realise that I was going to pay the price that I was quoted (I had the name of the staff who gave me the phone rates). So, stay away from the 20 USD per minute phones.



Overall, a pleasant experience, but I canít forget the feeling of stinginess in service. Staff always wanting me to spend, when all I wanted is to be left in peace. Nothing was thrown in for free, which I was not expecting, but at 1,500 USD per day, surely a bowl of apples in the room would not break the bank.



Also, I am a SPG Gold member and the advertised welcome pack was never given, when compared to Dubai, I was upgraded to a Deluxe Suite (having booked the cheapest room), 2 bottles of champagne, free daily breakfast, a daily bottle of wine, free drinks at the bar and a daily box of chocolates Ė all for free (well, I assume because of the SGP Gold card). Both W Maldives and Grosvenor House, Dubai participate in the SPG programme, so itís easy to determine who treats their customer better.



Oh, and one more thing. I would recommend the beach villas in the W Maldives. The beach ones have an upper floor, where you can look out over the garden to the sea and itís a perfect place to spend lunchtime, when the temperatures are unbearable out in the sun. These beach villas come with a beautiful lush green garden and a beach that itís very private. There was no one, except for us two. The Water villas do not have a beach, nor a garden, nor an upper floor. Also they are very close together and whilst you canít see your neighbours, you can certainly hear them. If you want to go to the beach, the obvious option would be near the bar, which is not as private as you get if you are staying at the beach villas. Also, the beach villas are 40% cheaper than the water villas. Try and ask for the beach villas on the southern side of the island, i think villa nos: 115-125. These are the quietest and the best coral reefs are on this side.
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