What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Beautiful & Natural resort
My wife and I have just returned from a seven night all-inclusive break celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary at this wonderful resort. First, I will start with the positives: - The welcome, transfer to lounge in Male, check-in to local flight to Gan, welcome in Gan and boat transfer to the resort were all very good and the staff were all very friendly. Even better was the fact that you are taken on a buggy straight to the room where check in is completed with minimum fuss. On the way back it was the same again. - The over the water villas are large and very good (I won't go into details as there are good YouTube videos for that) I would definitely recommend staying in Serenity Bay. Our room was 230 and the location was excellent. - The island is absolutely beautiful and natural (not artificial and fake like many of the Maldives resorts). It is large enough to have lots of privacy and things to do so you will never get bored! Cycling and walking around is the best way to enjoy and appreciate the island (they do have a very good buggy service too). For those unable to ride, they have kids bikes with stabilisers and adult size tricycles. Some of the activities we tried were cycling around the Island, snorkeling on house reef, swimming in the infinity pool, kayaking, coconut climber demonstration and Dolphin watching boat trip. - The main restaurant Javu is very good with decent options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You also have two higher end restaurants for dinner - Dr Ali and Fashala. Dr Ali has more options as they have Arabic, Chinese and Indian menus and you can mix them up as you wish unless it is a set menu night (we had once and were not pre-warned so beware). Fashala is like eating in a top Michelin star restaurant. Everything we had there was a ten out of ten! They give a whole new meaning to chicken wings and their signature rocky road desert is very good! - The SPA is up there with the best I have been to around the world. The staff are very polite and friendly. Attention to detail and perfection is evident in everything that they do. - Last but not the least, all the staff are really friendly and greet you very politely all the time. Now the negatives, hence the four stars: - The day we arrived, our host was not around and therefore were introduced be a replacement. We only got to meet our host the next day after enquiring. It would have been nice if they allocated a host who'd welcome us and also provide a WhatsApp number we can contact on from day one rather than much later. Information we received was in dribs and drabs usually when we enquired due to our research on TripAdvisor. It would be better if everything is communicated or documented so that we can help ourselves! - Two days in a row, toward the start of our trip, our room was not cleaned in the morning despite not having the do-not-disturb light on. On the second day we called up to inform them yet they still only did the beds and did not clean the rooms, toilet or shower! After complaining to the host and speaking to the rooms manager, the service was better for the reminder of our trip. This should not happen in a 5* hotel at this level! They did provide us with a free bubble bath and flowers on our bed but I would prefer if my room was cleaned well in the first place! I also noticed that their wooden floors have lots of spots and scratch marks and badly need some polishing! - We tried the dine by design by the beach and were left very dissapointed with the food! We ordered two different menu options and both were well below par. My main course - grilled Angus beef was so hard that I struggled cutting into it and was impossible to eat! My advice is keep away and go to Fashala instead! Maybe try asking if Fashala would set up a private table by the beach at an additional cost. Despite informing management of our dissatisfaction, we were charged every cent! I did not complain but think they missed a trick here. - The hot / cold drinks service at Javu was consistently appalling despite making them aware earlier during our stay. Drinks would consistently arrive well after we'd finished our meals! This is unacceptable for a 5* hotel in their main restaurant during a period of relatively low occupancy. - The all-inclusive package is a bit lacking and should offer more. In conclusion, although the resort is absolutely beautiful, based on this experience, I am not convinced by Shangri-la brand as a top class hotel brand. I think they are pretty average and can learn a lot from the likes of Jumeirah and Hilton Conrad who provide a much better service, value and are very proactive.
We have just returned from a week at this fantastic resort. We had a pool villa which was very close to the main restaurant but far enough away to be peaceful and very secluded. Our villa was very private and luxurious and only a few feet from the sea. As it was on the side of the island where the sea was not suitable for swimming, it felt like we were the only ones there! The food at Javvu was consistently excellent, and the service was good and very friendly. We did play tennis a couple of times which was very hot, but the staff made sure we had a good game and stepped in to make up the numbers when required. There is a daily list of activities at slmd.info but there were a couple of things that didn't happen like the water aerobics and pool sports. The all inclusive does not include the mini bar, and does not fully cover the meals at the other two restaurants (an allowance is included). Overall a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing stay and we would recommend it.
Our best family holiday EVER
Our third time in the Maldives, and the first with our 3 boys. We had a fantastic time. The service was marvellous, with super friendly staff. BTW, for those looking for a "socially responsible" holiday (though I am not a competent voice on this): note that staff go back home every day to Addu City, a huge difference with many resorts where staff leave the place only once or twice a year. More thoughts: - We had 2 treehouses. Stunning views (better than the other side of the island), huge space, privacy. Need to know: 1/ you see the sunrise from these houses; we would go to the bar every evening to enjoy the sunset. 2/ You cannot swim on this side of the island, but the house pool is really nice and the lagoon is just a few mn away by bike or buggy. - Restaurants. With its amazing buffet, Javvu is the GO TO place for families. We tried the two other places but service was slow, more suited to romantic evenings. Breakfast was great too. Bars are very pleasant; the all inclusive package made our kids embark on a cocktail galore. - Snorkelling by the house reef was really great. We topped it with some excursions to add diversity. We saw sharks, turtles, eagle and sting rays... I played football with the staff a few times, in a competitive yet jolly spirit. The 2 tennis courts are in good state. Ideal venue to try golfing as the 9 holes playground is forgiving (first take the free intro to golf, and off you go!) All in all, probably our best family holiday and memories - ever.
Honeymoon dreams are made of
Recently my new wife and I visited Shangra-la For our Maldives Honeymoon, after reading some dicey reviews of the resorts in general of the Maldives we were a bit apprehensive of what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised, a beautiful location with top of the line accomodation, polite friendly staff who wave and say hello with their hand on their heart wherever you go. We got the all inclusive package which is the only way to go when you travel to a remote place. I think some people forget to understand the costs incorporated in supplying these goods to a remote island. And then get upset when they get charged for this, it’s a business not a privilege to serve you. Honestly, What do you expect? As an operations guy I found the small things like water pressure in the showers, the toilet systems/procedures are catered to the western lifestyle, Solar water, efficient and capable air conditioning, the roads and beaches are swept daily, the rooms cleaned twice a day, the resort islands are there own entity it would seem and alcohol and all the obnoxious western world delights are catered too in an area that does not believe or allow these behaviours, we should be grateful they allow us to share this part of the world with all of our Lifestyle choices, all in all it was a truly beautiful location, wonderful friendly service staff made for a great time, the food was top notch and absolutely delicious with a vast variety to keep you wanting. Hard working chefs and their staff. The director spoke to us frequently and checked in to make sure we were happy which we were pleased to report his staff were doing a wonderful job special mention to Anaji and Moonis who were on point and didn’t miss a beat-I would think they are Snr staff as they were leading the team and if they’re not they should be. It must be said there were a few small mistakes, a missed dinner booking, an order forgotten here or there but these were all small time probs and we’re sorted out in the end anyway, it was really no big deal like some reviewers are making out, the staff are trying constantly to appease their pretentious clients and I wouldn’t let such a small insignificant mishap ruin your limited time on the island or harshly review such petty matters, these people are working hard in the heat for small wages and doing a wonderful job! You should expect to have extra costs for extra activities and expect it to not be cheap-I know what’s involved with liabilities, training & logistics to be done at profit. If you can afford it, if you can handle the travel Do yourself a favour and go and visit this tropical paradise. 5 stars! Lawrence
Cuisine and Views!
Shangri-La Villingili was beautiful. We loved having our own bikes to ride the island with. They are very generous at their buffet restaurant with seafood, meat, vegetables and deserts - we were really spoiled for choice! We stayed in a deluxe pool villa which was beautiful, but if you can splurge for the beach villa as the lagoon side is very rocky and you cannot swim or have direct access. Snorkelling was great and the staff were oh so friendly. Thanks!
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