Old Feb 2, 15, 2:17 pm
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NIYAMA Maldives

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

NIYAMA Maldives

Olhuveli Island Embudhufushi , Maldives MV

Niyama (0 Photo)

NIYAMA Maldives

Just back from a stay at NIYAMA.

Here's my TripAdvisor review:

“Paradise with a couple gripes”

4 of 5 stars

Let’s get this out of the way first: Niyama is paradise. If you go you will feel pampered to the point of coddling. Relaxed to the point of nirvana. I wish to God I was there right now.

The resort is casual elegant, with a sophisticated rather than ‘beachy’ feel. We had a deluxe overwater villa which was finely appointed and provided exactly the experience we sought: private, stunningly beautiful and relaxing. Oh, and as a wonderful bonus, the wifi was smoking fast all over the resort.


We did a couples massage at the spa, and both the setting and the massages were superb.


The breakfast buffet is from heaven, featuring an eclectic mix of European, American and both South Asian and East Asian choices, as well as a mimosa bar.

But it was dinner where the niggles crept in. Our first night we did the Beach BBQ at Tribal restaurant. We are not big fans of buffets anyway and this one left us cold, literally. Most of the hot dishes were not hot. And all of the dishes were bland. The food aside, we were traveling as a couple, but were seated next to a table where a family including 4 rowdy kids were screaming and literally running around the table. Not romantic. We finally asked to be moved and were accommodated, but the damage was done.

The second night we wanted to try Edge, grateful to learn that it had a no children under 13 policy. Unfortunately, that happened to be one of 2 days a week it was closed. So we had the a la carte menu at Tribal. And this time the food was fantastic. But again, the staff attempted to seat us next to a couple of tables with children. We refused and insisted in being seated in one of the small side-structures that was, at that moment, empty, and asked that no families with children be seated in the space with us. We were accommodated and had a wonderful and romantic evening and meal.

Third night we finally got to Edge. And we were disappointed to see that the staff was not enforcing the no-children policy. There were two tables with children ranging in age from 2-6. We asked to be seated at the opposite end of the restaurant and were accommodated. There was some screaming and crying, but it was far enough away that we were not bothered. We tried the wine-paired tasting menu and it was absolutely five star. The food was delicate and flavorful. The wine pairings were spot-on. Our only regret was that we were only able to eat there once, else we’d have been there every night of our stay!

Underwater Dance Club

We did try the underwater dance club, and it’s cool. But with the dance club music blaring at 200 dbs while 3 couples sat around, we lingered just long enough to be impressed, take some photos and get the heck out of there. You know who goes to blaring night clubs? Single people. You know who goes to Niyama? Couples and families. Change the music! Anyway, back at the surface we had a wonderful time sharing a bottle of wine at the Edge patio bar over the ocean. A world class memory.


So, to recap: Niyama is paradise. But it is also a family resort. We had actually considered the W Maldives simply because of its no-kids policy, knowing that Maldivian resorts teem with kids, Niyama included. So we definitely knew what we were getting into. But Niyama (and ALL resorts, for that matter) should carefully consider that they cater to two very different groups: couples seeking romance and families seeking vacation. By being aware of this dichotomy among clientele and doing things like avoiding putting a couple next to a family with lots of kids and actually enforcing no-children areas at the resort, any resort can easily make both types of customers happy.

Niyama hasn’t figured this out yet, so I am giving Niyama 4 stars. Even though it is paradise. And I wish I was there right now.

And that all said, there did not appear to be any children staying in the over-water bungalows. And if there were, we'd never see nor hear them anyway! Because they are private and beautiful and AWESOME.

One other thought about the Maldives, generally:

Getting to a sea-plane resort appealed to us far more than a speed-boat resort. Although the advantage of the speed-boat resorts are a later check-out if you are hitting a red-eye from MLE. We booked a day room (an actual room, not a day resort pass) at Hulhule Island Hotel for our 4:00 pm - 10 pm sea plane/Cathay flight layover because the thought of spending that much time at the wretched MLE lounge was just too much to bear, even at US$300.


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