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-   -   Maldives hotel recommendations (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxury-hotels-travel/1835939-maldives-hotel-recommendations.html)

akiangel Apr 11, 17 8:26 am

Maldives hotel recommendations
 
Would be great if you could share your most luxurious stay in Maldives or the hotel on your wishlist. Been longing to go for a very long time and would love to have some motivations for saving money! Thanks in advanced.

kzap Apr 11, 17 9:18 am

Lots of posts here but for me its Gili Lankanfushi:

https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/ShowU...nkanfushi.html

Mickidon Apr 11, 17 9:44 am

Our most luxurious stay was at Velaa:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...ECK_RATES_CONT

kmd0506 Apr 12, 17 5:49 am

After 2 trips in 2 years, Baros is by far my favorite hotel in the world. Bonus for us is that no children under the age of 8 are allowed, and it's only about 25 min from the airport so worked well with the short timeline we had for our trips there.
Both visits we stayed in a overwater villa with pool.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...os_Island.html

aleksandar99 Apr 12, 17 6:27 am

What about Reethi Rah?

DavidO Apr 12, 17 9:31 am

Depends on what you want!

For "polished" luxury, go for Velaa Private Island or Cheval Blanc Randheli. One&Only Reethi Rah is of the polished variety of luxury but is a significantly larger resort.

For "Robinson Crusoe" casual luxury, go for Gili Lankanfushi.

Here are my reviews from March 2016.

chinmoylad Apr 12, 17 9:36 am

Reethi Rah is running a Stay 7/Pay 5 (as are many of the others too depending on dates). Some even mix it up with a half-board/full-board and transfers included if you plan to stay that long.

scented Apr 14, 17 6:35 am

Don't think that 'saving money' and 'Maldives' is possible, especially in 2017. Prices seem to rise just as fast as sea levels there...
Although the O&O deal seems rather good!

Interesting re Maldives: Link

chinmoylad Apr 14, 17 7:10 am


Originally Posted by scented (Post 28177422)
Although the O&O deal seems rather good!

Velaa, Soneva Jani (and Fushi), Gili Lankanfushi, Cheval Blanc, Six Senses Laamu etc - they all regularly run Stay 7/Pay 5 - usually either with complimentary half-board or return transfers or both. Some even run 4th night free deals with similar add-ons.

Usually combinable with Virtuoso too.

entrada May 7, 17 10:20 am

Looking for help in sorting out best Maldives options
 
We will be in Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks in early November and are considering spending a week or so in Maldives afterwards since they are near by. Unlike many vacationers going to this area, we are not interested in staying in an over water villa. We like the tropical beach environment and would like to stay on the beach at the water front surrounded by palms and have a private outdoor area including a small pool and shower. For example, the deluxe villa at the conrad hilton property is appealing. We are not seeking complete isolation and there are only two of us traveling.

I am a Hilton Diamond so I first looked at the conrad hilton. It has some features that appeal to us but I am wondering if we could find someplace with more of a beach focus than the overwater stuff.

Most of the Maldives coverage I have seen focusses on the overwater experience. Honestly, it would be great if there were no overwater structures and just beach villas. We would also prefer an island that is large enough to take walks around and even have access to a bicycle. It would also be nice to have access to a sailboat - either dinghy or catamaran. And finally, a variety of dining options. Is this at all realistic?

Thank you in advance for your advice!

kzap May 7, 17 12:16 pm

Soneva Fushi sounds just about right, no overwater structures, bikes, intelligent luxury

chinmoylad May 7, 17 10:00 pm

Soneva Fushi.

kmills84 May 8, 17 8:41 pm

My wishlist, I'd love to try a combo of rustic Soneva Jani and modern Velaa.

El Puerco Volante May 10, 17 6:05 am

Reethi Rah, without a doubt. Gili Lankanfushi was great few years ago, especially Crusoe villas. But it's getting a bit long in the tooth now and it's VERY rustic version of luxury, check first if that's your thing.
Conrad's saving grace are jacuzzis on balconies, but the place is full of point spenders and Chinese tourists.

Regards,

El Puerco Volante

ridefar May 10, 17 5:44 pm

Amilla Fushi also meets your requirements. I rate it very highly but haven't stayed at the other properties mentioned here so can't provide a first hand comparison.

MilaidhooMaldives May 11, 17 11:48 pm

akiangel: most resorts in the Maldives have beach villas, so it depends on what type of luxury you're looking for in the Maldives. A few questions to think about:

Do you want a man-made island with no coral reef and truly fabulous designer villas that could be anywhere in the world, or do you want a natural island with a coral reef and a more Maldivian style?

Do you want things like a private pool or jacuzzi in your villa or are you happy with the ocean on your doorstep? Do you want to see the ocean from your bed or do you prefer to have a private garden giving your privacy? Are you happy with an open air garden-bathroom (a Maldives tradition) or do you need high-powered air con to bathe comfortably?

Do you want a busy island that's buzzing with watersports, activities and things to do or do you want to lie on a beach that feels like you're the first person to ever be there and just read your books?

Do you need an adult-oriented resort or are you happy with one that's got family-friendly vibes?

Are you looking for a teeny-tiny boutique resort or a larger place that has many restaurants and activities?

Do you want barefoot informality style or dress-up-and-look-at-me style?

Do you want to swim with whale sharks and manta rays, or is that not important to you?

Kat

ChocolateFactory May 15, 17 5:12 pm

My uncle is in the process of booking a trip to the Maldives for the first week of December.
(Before that, he'll also be in Sri Lanka for a week, any recommendations on where to go and where to stay are also much appreciated.)

He would be in the Maldives for 7 nights and he'd be willing to spend up to ~450 USD per night (or less).
I saw that by buying HHonors points during a promotion and using the new points pooling feature, he'd probably be able to book the Conrad Maldives for about that rate (provided there's enough award availability).

However, I don't know if it would be a good choice. The photos I've seen didn't look that spectacular, and from what I've read, you'd only get a beach villa for points anyway.

Are there any other hotels you can recommend in that price range (of course, transferring points from his German Amex or simply buying hotel points is an option as well).

He likes small, boutique hotels with great, personal service.
I don't think a family resort would be his kind of thing.

Any suggestions?

DavidO May 15, 17 5:14 pm

IMHO, beach villas are better than over-water bungalows.

Think of over-water bungalows as a way to create real estate where none exists. Beach villas let you step right out on the beach and are usually larger rooms with landscaping and more privacy.

ChocolateFactory May 15, 17 5:17 pm

Ok, that makes sense.
Would you recommend the Conrad?
What other alternatives can you recommend in the given price range?
I'm sure the Park Hyatt or St. Regis would be great, but my uncle doesn't want to spend that much money.

Epicura May 16, 17 3:55 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28315932)
Ok, that makes sense.
Would you recommend the Conrad?
What other alternatives can you recommend in the given price range?
I'm sure the Park Hyatt or St. Regis would be great, but my uncle doesn't want to spend that much money.

I am afraid USD 450 is a bit tight for the luxury hotels of Maldives as discussed in this subforum. For points bookings I would suggest to have a look at the master threads in the relevant forum (Hyatt, Hilton, ...).

ChocolateFactory May 16, 17 4:08 am

I thought some hotels have "7 nights for the price of 5" promotions?
At 700 USD per night, that would mean 500 USD per night using the promotion...

But that aside, would the Conrad even be a good option?
Juding by the photos I've seen, the rooms looked rather basic (not bad, but not really luxurious either)?

jp-mco May 16, 17 5:35 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28317547)
I thought some hotels have "7 nights for the price of 5" promotions?
At 700 USD per night, that would mean 500 USD per night using the promotion...

But that aside, would the Conrad even be a good option?
Juding by the photos I've seen, the rooms looked rather basic (not bad, but not really luxurious either)?

We've stayed at the Conrad and, whilst it's a solid choice for the Maldives, I do think there are better resorts there. The biggest problem with the Conrad is point burners. A lot of guests there are staying on points which means the hotel has less to spend on extras for the guests. We paid cash for our room which meant we didn't feel, compared to the Reethi Rah, that the hotel offered as much back. For example, at the Reethi Rah there's an extremely good afternoon tea for all guests every day. They also lay on a manager's champagne reception each week. They're not serving pre-mixed cocktails (Conrad I'm looking at you) they're serving Laurent Perrier from Jeroboams! I guess you just can't do that if a huge proportion of your guests are getting their rooms for nothing.

There's all sorts of stories on the internet of people going to the Conrad and taking dried noodles with them, filling their bags with food at breakfast (which they get free because of Hilton status) or only eating room service because it's cheaper. Whilst I certainly don't begrudge anybody doing that it does have a knock on effect for those staying who are paying cash.

We were staying in a Premier Water Villa which cost around $2k a night (and was stunning!) and for that amount we didn't feel we got anything included. The contrast with the Reethi Rah was like night and day where you constantly felt like they offered something - whether it was fruit at the beach club, Evian misters, cold lemongrass scented towels, free bottled water, afternoon tea or the champagne drinks reception. The ironic thing is we were paying less at the Reethi Rah per night!

Oh and whilst we're at it the food at Reethi Rah was on a completely different level to Conrad where I didn't eat anything the whole week that was outstanding. Every single meal at Reethi Rah was great - especially breakfast which is still the best hotel breakfast I've ever eaten and is unlikely to ever be topped.

ChocolateFactory May 16, 17 5:45 am

I've only stayed at a Hilton property on points once, and that was at the WA Conquestador in Puerto Rico.
Which was a very... standard family resort (people were showing up for breakfast in nightgowns and PJ's!), definitely not worthy of the WA brand.
Their cafés had plastic chairs.
Then again, I sort of knew what to expect, so it was still ok.

However, if this is what the Conrad is like, I think he'd be better off somewhere else. Anywhere else really.
But comparing a 400 USD hotel (when buying the points) to a 2000 USD hotel is a bit unfair. ;-)
I do understand that you'd be disappointed when you pay cash.

jp-mco May 16, 17 5:55 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28317752)
But comparing a 400 USD hotel (when buying the points) to a 2000 USD hotel is a bit unfair. ;-)
I do understand that you'd be disappointed when you pay cash.

That's a fair point but to be honest I'd have been disappointed drinking pre-mixed cocktails for $400 a night considering the cost of F&B, excursions and the seaplane to reach the resort.

kmd0506 May 16, 17 12:13 pm


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28315899)
He would be in the Maldives for 7 nights and he'd be willing to spend up to ~450 USD per night (or less).
I saw that by buying HHonors points during a promotion and using the new points pooling feature, he'd probably be able to book the Conrad Maldives for about that rate (provided there's enough award availability).

One thing to remember is that food, beverage and activities can very quickly add up to the cost of the room (or more). We went with a higher budget, even with breakfast included in the cost of our room our "additional" costs almost equaled our room cost at the end of our last visit- full disclosure we did 2 days of diving and had 2 higher cost meals.

DSI May 16, 17 8:33 pm

That price will be tough, especially with airline transfers. They can always just eat breakfast and fast but it won't make for a great vacation. Eating out with a postcard from the Maldives might be more fun.

We stayed at the COMO Cocoa Island and loved it. The transfer is included and not costly and they do run some 4/3 specials. Won't hit the budget, but it won't bust it like other super lux resorts there.

m3red May 16, 17 9:37 pm

I'm just back from 5 days at Gili Lankafushi and loved it - so relaxing, amazing food and great snorkelling- 20 mins boat from Male too.

Expensive but worth it. I would caveat that if you like dressing up and wearing shoes it's not the place for you.

ChocolateFactory May 17, 17 2:53 am

I spoke to a travel agent and he suggested:

- Cocoon Maldives
- Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Resort & Spa
- Angsana Resort & Spa Velavaru

How do these compare to the Conrad?
The total budget for 7 nights would be about 5000-5500 USD for two people including transportation from/to Male, breakfast and dinner, but excluding activities like diving etc.
That should be enough for the Conrad on points, but maybe there is something better in that budget?

MikeFromTokyo May 17, 17 6:56 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28322157)
I spoke to a travel agent and he suggested:

- Cocoon Maldives
- Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Resort & Spa
- Angsana Resort & Spa Velavaru

How do these compare to the Conrad?
The total budget for 7 nights would be about 5000-5500 USD for two people including transportation from/to Male, breakfast and dinner, but excluding activities like diving etc.
That should be enough for the Conrad on points, but maybe there is something better in that budget?

If you have the points, I say go for it. You should also get on a meal plan, so that most meals will be included at a fixed predictable cost. That will make it easier to budget for activities and incidentals.

There's absolutely no way seven nights at the higher end properties primarily discussed here will be doable for $5500. That might pay for two nights at some of them, if that...

ChocolateFactory May 17, 17 7:37 am

Thanks.

I just found out that Hyatt are running a points sale at the moment.
The Park Hyatt should be available for 450 USD or so per night by buying points.
But judging by the reviews I've read, the Conrad is a much nicer property (and also much easier to get to)?

MikeFromTokyo May 17, 17 8:00 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28322776)
Thanks.

I just found out that Hyatt are running a points sale at the moment.
The Park Hyatt should be available for 450 USD or so per night by buying points.
But judging by the reviews I've read, the Conrad is a much nicer property (and also much easier to get to)?

I would not be so sure. PH seems to be the much nicer option given its small size. It also by all accounts has an amazing house reef.

At both resorts people often pay to upgrade to higher categories on award stays.

I suggest looking at both property threads in the Hilton and Hyatt fora. There is much information about award stays, meal plans, upgrades, etc...

Conrad is notorious for price gouging on F&B etc... I guess that's their business model because they have to make money somehow even with so many people staying on points. So, if you do go there be sure to have a very clear understanding of meal plans and what your options are.

Park Hyatt gets good reviews for F&B, and there is less talk of price gouging.

MikeFromTokyo May 17, 17 8:05 am

Just to clarify, when you say $5,500 does that mean for incidetals only? i.e. do you already have the points and only need to pay for food and activities?

If you are talking about buying points, and your TOTAL budget is $5,500 that isn't going to work... You'll need a substantially higher budget or to look for another destination.

ChocolateFactory May 17, 17 8:19 am

I was thinking about buying points for that budget, yes.

Hilton was recently selling points for 0.5 cents each, the Conrad is 567,000 points for 7 nights (as the 5th night is free for elites), so 7 nights would cost about 2,835 USD, i.e. 405 USD per night, and breakfast should be included for Gold/Diamond members.
The transfers are another 1000$.

Hyatt is currently selling points with a 30% bonus, i.e. 1.85 cents per point.
The Park Hyatt is 25,000 points per night or 175,000 points for 7 nights. So the price for 7 nights would be 3237.50 $ (or 462$ per night).
But I guess breakfast wouldn't be included as it's much harder to get elite status with Hyatt as they don't have a co-branded credit card over here.
Transfers are 1000$ for 2 people (return) as well.

Activities would come on top. And dinner...

ChocolateFactory May 17, 17 8:21 am

And in this review from 2013, the Conrad comes out much better:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20252872-post786.html

Also, I've read that the house reef at the PH was damaged (coral bleaching) by El Nino in 2016...

DSI May 17, 17 8:32 am

Not sure any of the hotels you're mentioning really fit in this forum. You might find the Hilton forum better?

Most of the hotels in this forum that are Maldives places are really 2x the budget you're talking about.

MikeFromTokyo May 17, 17 8:35 am

And you are aware that F&B and activities can easily cost more than $1,000 per day in the Maldives even if one is not drinking expensive wines or doing anything over the top, right?

You will find a lot of information about the cost of staying in the property review threads.

I suggest that you take a meal plan at Conrad if you stay there, just to ensure you do not end up having to skip meals. That will make it easier to predict the cost of the stay.

ChocolateFactory May 17, 17 8:37 am

Thank you all very much for your help, I'll continue in the more specific/fitting forums.

m3red May 17, 17 8:49 am


Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo (Post 28322987)
And you are aware that F&B and activities can easily cost more than $1,000 per day in the Maldives even if one is not drinking expensive wines or doing anything over the top, right?

You will find a lot of information about the cost of staying in the property review threads.

I suggest that you take a meal plan at Conrad if you stay there, just to ensure you do not end up having to skip meals. That will make it easier to predict the cost of the stay.

Don't I know it!

We did Gili does romance and had a few things thrown in otherwise it would have been ridiculously expensive. Dinner would easily be $500 gong easy on the wine....

I'm going back though it was amazing

jp-mco May 17, 17 8:56 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28322933)
Hyatt is currently selling points with a 30% bonus, i.e. 1.85 cents per point.
The Park Hyatt is 25,000 points per night or 175,000 points for 7 nights. So the price for 7 nights would be 3237.50 $ (or 462$ per night).
But I guess breakfast wouldn't be included as it's much harder to get elite status with Hyatt as they don't have a co-branded credit card over here.
Transfers are 1000$ for 2 people (return) as well.

Activities would come on top. And dinner...

Just so you're aware, everybody gets free breakfast at PH Maldives. It's not status dependent.

MikeFromTokyo May 17, 17 8:59 am


Originally Posted by m3red (Post 28323028)
Don't I know it!

We did Gili does romance and had a few things thrown in otherwise it would have been ridiculously expensive. Dinner would easily be $500 gong easy on the wine....

I'm going back though it was amazing

I love Gili Lankanfushi. A good thing is that sometimes they include full board if your reserve far in advance, which is a huge amount of added value.

The cost of wine in the Maldives works to help incentivize moderation, which is always a good thing for me😉 It leaves me better able to enjoy my vacation without a hangover.


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