I was always reluctant to go to the Maldives as I thought it would be better described as the Boredives. How wrong was I? Very wrong.
Shangri-La hotels previously have not impressed me as much as other hotels but I have to say, this one is spectacular.
The staff are very passionate about their role in the hotel. The chefs want to tell you about the food and want you to try tasters and provide feedback. The cocktail/mixologist from India who has only been working at this hotel for two months is excellent. The hotel should make him an integral part of the hotels development with some of the other shinning stars. He has some wonderful drink mixes and ideas for the place. Staff are great, even those that are still learning the ropes.
Food and drink are good.
Make sure you go all inclusive. It’s not full of boring options, there is a good choice. Otherwise you will need a healthy bank balance to pay for a $10 coke, cocktail $14-16, €13 bottle beer, $10 small glass of basic wine and so on......it mounts up.....then add the tax and service charge.
We still purchased a treat wine from the paying menu, just for variety $105 plus tax etc, Cloudy Bay. Was getting bored of the standard selection.
Food is very nice, if not all inclusive, pizza for lunch approx $25 with prices going up to $60 for a tiny lobster (giant prawns are better). Pizzas are loverly as are the prawns and many other items.
3 Resturant’s, so you have variety......feels less like the same hotel food each day. That’s good! Each Resturant differs from each other. On the whole, Dinners are dearer during the evening, differ menu from lunch. Plus two of the three restaurants are only open for dinner. You use your all inclusive credit for those two places and you may go slightly over.
The breakfast place s excellent, so much choice for everyone. They have it all covered.
The gentleman in charge of all the food area/Resturant’s is excellent, he is on the ball and very helpful. Without him I think standards would drop. He keeps everything working and all staff working to the best of their ability. I thank him for all the hard work, he made it look effortless. He is key to this hotels high review rating!
All inclusive does not stretch to the pool area for food, just for drinks. Would be good if you could get a pool snack for lunch on all inclusive instead of having to sit at the main area.....might work out better cost wise for the hotel. Sometimes you just want a nibble or a club sandwich. This is not a criticism as the other option is still great.
Would also be nice to have all inclusive breakfast in the villa. Don’t mind paying a supplement but would not want to pay full whack again on top of all inclusive package. It would be hassle for the hotel and I’m sure people would complain that food is not hot etc. Cold breakfast option would be good if available.
We could not leave without staying in a water villa. That’s what everyone asks when returned back home. They are amazing, cool, picturesque. Hammocks over the water are great but if you are fair-skinned, potentially too hot past 2pm unless you are snorkelling. Depending on location of villa.
We also stayed in a land villa with a separate pool, additional room detached from the main sleeping area and close to the beach. I rate these big time! Upon any return here, land villa for me! But first timers should try the water villas. All incredible.
Love that you get your own cycle each with each villa and also like the free buggy service.
Water sport facilities are great, tours are great, plenty of activities.....So not boring!
Golf, pool, snooker, gym. Spa is pricy but nice. Surprised that Shangri-La does not throw one treatment in for free if staying for more than 5 nights?
Fabulous pool area but could get noisy with big groups arriving and being over excited and not being considerate to others (not the fault of the hotel). We were spoiled with our own little villa pool.
Pictures on web are more underwhelming but in reality, much better when seeing in person. Be prepared to be blown away.
Cleaning of room was approx 1:30pm, latish but no big deal as we were at our pool area of the villa for the first 5 days and turn down at 5:30. However, when we moved to the water villa, cleaning of room was done at 4:30 on occasions and that was effectively turn down as well. A tad late as we were running low on towels and water. I would say slightly less in-depth cleaning at the water villa 259. I’m sure that if we made a big deal of it, it would have been improved.
This is a quality place and little room for improvement. At most all I could suggest is, cushions on back of seats when dining, pool service for drinks and restaurant service for drinks could be quicker and drinks colder upon the pour from all Resturants. But remember, this is a chilled out place, take it all in and go with the flow. So I’m being picky as there is nothing major to report for gripes.
The all inclusive bills are a tad confusing at first, I understand for audit reasons you need to itemise everything but you should show a ZERO final balance unless customer has exceeded their allowance. It’s confusing to understand if one went over the allowance especially when you have to incorporate tax etc.
Again, there is no real critisms here that will impact the enjoyment of ones holiday.
Tips: at the far end the water villas have clear blue water (259 is best, on the end) but as a result, less fish if snorkelling (still ok though). If you want snorlking to the max, go for water villa at the other end (villa 109 and ones around there). Less clear water, more sea grass but that means more fish). You should sea baby sharks (they are tiny, don’t be worried) and turtles coming up for air in the shallow areas without the need to snorkel at around 4pm near the approach to water villas near villa area 109........
You will see fish everywhere. The buggy drivers will no doubt point this all out to you.
Land villa 146 had great internet connection. Sadly water villa 259 had poor internet connection. Bring a book or two!
Each day here feels like it’s two days, soooooo relaxing. I would come here again.
We went business class but the last leg upon arrival to the island, hand luggage can only be 5kg. A bit of a joke really as they make a big deal out of it. Had to transfer valuables into main case. But it all arrived ok. So no real worries. Our own fault really. Suggest you take a rucksack instead of cabin luggage.
Parting note: If from Europe, break up the return journey by staying in Dubai for a couple of days. Otherwise the travelling back will undo all the good that the relaxing holiday had to offer. On the way out you will be knackered but you just get straight into holiday mode on arrival.....
Amazing place, Thankyou. Read more