Getting there from the UK takes 3 flights and a boat ride, so be prepared but once you get there, it's as you would imagine it to be, absolutely beautiful. We flew Emirates on an A380 from Heathrow to Dubai, it then takes a 30 minute walk (yes 30 minutes and we don't walk slow) to get to the gate for the flight from Dubai to Male (you can take a train if you wish, which we did on the way back). Be aware that you cannot take alcohol into Male, all baggage is x-rayed on arrival and it will be confiscated. However, you will get a receipt and can pick it up again when you leave Male, which was nice. A bit hypocritical as booze is freely available at all the resorts (but at eye wateringly expensive prices - wine around $40-55 a bottle, $16 for a whiskey (50cl) cocktails around $12-14 and beer is around $6-8 (375ml)). Baggage is transferred between flights at Dubai and there was a rep at Male to take our baggage from Male international to the domestic terminal for the internal flight and that was the last we saw of our baggage until we walked into our villa.
The food and choice of food was fantastic, the serving staff were a credit to the hotel, especially Amal and Ali, my wife suffers from a number of food allergies (gluten, wheat, yeast, onions, cucumber, bananas) and once they were aware, they provided her with appropriate food that she could eat and nothing was too much trouble.
The beach villa was well appointed and was cleaned twice a day, fresh beach towels provided every day and you have your own sun beds at the waters edge. The pool area was also excellent, really good sized pool (with Jacuzzi area) and an attendant who sorted you out with cushions and towels for your sunbed. We didn't try the spa as again, extremely expensive compared to other resorts that we have been to. We booked the picnic on the deserted island for half a day which was excellent, I did a night fishing trip which I enjoyed but again $66 for the 2 hour trip and then had the cheek to charge another $18 to BBQ the fish that you had just caught. We also went on the 'Island Hop' trip which in my view was a joke (just 2 islands), they took you to a small island and you just walked around the streets whilst a guide told you some 'interesting facts', the second island was the domestic airport island for an hour which had 2 souvenirs shops and that was it.
I would have given this hotel 5 stars but for the disappointing Island hop trip and the very expensive drinks. Additionally every other resort I have been to (including others in the Maldives) provide water with every meal (as is expected) but on this island you are charged $4 for 1.5l of water at lunch and dinner (not even provided at breakfast but they do provide fruit juice). Given the temperature and humidity experienced on this island, drinking copious amounts of fluids is a must and you just feel that the owners of this resort are milking every penny out of the guests that they can get away with. Did I enjoy the trip - yes immensely, would I go back - I doubt it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Come experience the Maldives you’ve always dreamt of at Royal Island Resort & Spa. Amidst the sparkling jewels of the Indian Ocean, our exquisite Maldives luxury hotel shines and dazzles above all. Indulge and immerse yourself in a colorful journey of discovery, where shores lined with luxuriant banyans and lush palms yield to a majestic underwater world that will render you speechless. Enjoy unmatched services and facilities, including the lavish Araamu Spa and a fabulous selection of restaurants and bars. Relax and unwind with a vast selection of resort activities , including a fully equipped gymnasium, tennis, and squash to scuba diving and water skiing. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Island Resort And Spa
- Royal Island Hotel Baa Atoll
- Royal Island Resort Maldives