Looking for a mid-range resort with great house reef and up to date bungalows. Look no further!
Stayed one wonderful week at Vilamendhoo in end of June 2015, and had unbroken sunshine for the whole stay!
The island is apart from the beaches in some areas; beautiful. The island is full of mature coconut palms, and the central area is the best maintained I’ve seen in my trips to the Maldives. The vegetation is varied, and there is also several types of flowering trees/ bushes. There are bad cases of beach erosion in several areas of the island, but thank god they are using more groynes and bags to prevent this, rather than too much sand pumping, which would have resulted in more coarse sand over time. But if beaches are your top priority, go for another island, or ensure a good beach booking a jacuzzi beach villa.
The sand is fine thanks to bags and groynes, instead of sand pumping. In the more central area of the island, it did feel a bit coarser.
The staff area is also nice. I think that it is important that travelers focus more on this in their reviews, as we are the ones that can strongly influence how they are treated.
I remember at Ritz Carlton Sharm, it was written: ”We are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen” on their wall. What a wonderful statement! And since then, I have been more attentive on how staff is being treated, and nice to see that Vilamendhoo seem to prioritize this!
There are a lot of reefsharks and herons at this island!
Did a room request, and got what I wanted. The beach villa 241 was very nice, still somewhat fresh from refurbishment 3 years ago. It is the closest bungalow to the jetty, but in difference to the ones next to it, you actually do not see the jetty, because of dense vegetation.
If you are on a honeymoon, this is the busiest part of the island. The northeast is the more quiet location which can be more desirable for some.
The bathroom was great, with modern dark grey tiles and a neon lighted urn in the evening. Shampoo, conditioner, a nice smelling shower gel and body lotion is provided.
The jacuzzi water villas are nice. Not too old, privacy is quite good and equipped with jacuzzi. I would recommend it to anyone if the price is not an issue.
The best thing with the jacuzzis is that they are really full size hottubs, and not bathtubs which is the case at most resorts.
The reef is very nice, most accessible reef I have ever been to. Close to the jetty, the drop-off is literally 5-6 meters from shore.
The reef close to the WV’s on both North and South of the island is very nice. There is dense growth of healthy tabling Acropora. Some of the best I have seen, but a small step down from Athuruga as comparison (which consists more of staghorns, and more beautiful dropoffs). But on the fish side, it has a variation of species I have not seen anywhere else (though a tiny bit more dense fish-soups at Reethi)
Food is very good at the buffets and varied, and changes daily (themed). It is not high level gourmet, but many levels above the standard charter buffet. The food is almost as good as on Athuruga, but was missing a pizza bakery corner. But was glad you can choose an outdoor table. I didn’t try the food at Hot Rock, as the atmosphere was much nicer at Asian Wok. Try the Thai lobster, very yummy! The Asian Wok is also the best bar during daytime, next to the water in a wonderful breeze.
The mealplans are FB or all inclusive plus. All inclusive plus generally means that drinks are for free, plus some other freebies. All food is the same on both mealplans. Which one you should go for, is dependent on how heavy drinkers you are, but remember that water is not for free either.
The cocktails are ok, not premium, but not bad at all either. Some are very good (Maldivian Dream, Sweet Dreams) while the regular Pina Coladas were a bit thin (texture) for my taste. Also try the ice coffee, not healthy at all, but very good (contains chocolate).
You will receive a half bottle of Champagne at the evening of arrival (Piper Heidsieck), a very nice addition. They also sell half bottles for 55$, which is nice for solo travellers, and not too pricy (being the Maldives).
The adult only infinity pool is also very nice. It was a great spot to get a cocktail in the heat.
The service level is very good. Always with a smile, and always efficient. In high season it might be different, but never had to wait for service.
The minibar was well stocked. Take a look at the attached photo of the menu. One minus is that you have to sign your minibar bills…
The night time neon lights around, are maybe kitsch for some, but I actually liked it. It gave a nice ambience in the evenings.
The visitors are younger than I’ve seen at other islands. There are quite many guests from the far east (maybe 30%) but also a lot of English, and other Europeans.
Try the full day Ocean Discovery (snorkeling) excursion. What a boat Gomafalhu is! Saw whale sharks, turtles and mantas. Amongst the best excursions I have ever done, if not the best!
Staff at diving/ water sports also very attentive. And would recommend the night snorkeling to anyone! Had an accident of maxillary sinus barotrauma, and was bleeding quite heavily (free diving with a cold), so was prevented from diving during my stay, so can’t comment on any of the diving sites.
Got late checkout, thanks a lot!!
It was so sad to leave the island, but I think I will return one day. But there was someone at home that was waiting, he thought a week was long enough.