Rated 5 out of 5 by Elena88 Amazing experience, attentive staff
We stayed at the hotel in February, and were absolutely delighted by the experience. I had read some of the less flattering reviews online and was a bit apprehensive, but as soon as we arrived all our expectations were met and exceed. Good platinum recognition, careful and attentive staff that goes the extra way to make your holiday, and the facilities were great too. The breakfast buffet was abundant enough that we would often feel satisfied until dinner, sea salt restaurant was our favorite, and the deck bar (anchorage) has excellent cocktails! The new Club Lounge was delightful and so relaxing! We stayed in a Club Water Bungalow, and it was absolutely dreamy! This said, I would not recommend this hotel to luxury and ultra luxury travelers, who might be disappointed and complain about minor details - it is a good value for money kind of hotel, that offers great quality at a reasonable (for Maldives) price. Thanks again to the staff for the great experience and see you next year!
July 13, 2016
Rated 1 out of 5 by Scud29 Unfit to be called a Shraton
The most positive thing I can say about this resort; they have matched their service to cater for mass market tour groups and Budget Travelers. Sadly I paid $5500
USD for family luxury holiday.
- all kinds of surprises and exclusions which you only are told when you arrive. Here are some of them:
- The all inclusive meals have been geared for people to either hate them and order from a la cart menu or have so many exclusions and exceptions to extract more revenue from guests. I.e. Hardly any fresh food in the buffets, no presence of Salads, fresh seafood. If you don't want buffet, you get a small credit to order from menu but credit can be applied to some items, not for soft drinks etc. Kids can only order from Kids menu but if you want your kid not be restricted to fried food or pastas then you now have to pay - because kids won't get the credit.
- Kayaks and and canoes are restricted to 30min free of use, daily, 1 per room!!
- The resort children services starts at 0900 and end at noon. If you want to go for activities like Scuba, they also start at 0900 and end afternoon. So, hotel the. Sells you childcare service
- hotel doesn't have a reef lagoon. So any snorkelling trip will be outside in choppy waters. Charged at $120 USD per person
- Hotel pool is very small. Narrow and closes at 5pm.
- Fitness centre is a dark, moist, no view and nearly windowless room. It is more like a dungeon in middle of the resort
- guest services staff auto response is "No" on almost any topic and appear indifferent if you are angry, happy or surprised
- service staff are very kind and do their best to accommodate but they are under trained
- 3 out of 5 restaurants on the resort are open air setup. They don't have sufficient fans and cooling and no screens to keep out flies and insects. So imagine any buffet that sits there for 3-5hrs and warms in 28-32c temps and gets visited by the flies.... Yum yum.
All and all this is not a Sheraton that one would expect based on brand and service. This is more like lucky star motel geared to soak every dollar from mass market tourist from developing markets.
July 5, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by simple77 Water Bungalow Perfection
Really nice hotel especially if you get a over the water bungalow. Loved my bungalow where I could see many fish in the water and some coral too. Everything in my room was in perfect working condition especially important being AC and fan! Staff was very friendly. The breakfast buffet was good would have liked to see more fresh cut fruit. Pastries and bread were fresh and of bakery quality. The resort was not crowded and it wasn't hard to find a secluded spot.
June 7, 2016
Rated 3 out of 5 by Ummmm Far too noisy and crowded
Despite the staff's efforts & wonderful friendliness, the hotel did not feel serene and relaxing. It felt crowded and loud. I paid to upgrade to a water bungalow (which was the best decision I made, otherwise being on the beach would have been akin to staying in a city), and very explicitly asked to ensure there were no small kids next to the bungalow I was proposed. Although I got one day of peaceful rest, the following day a large family/group moved in 2 bungalows down. It was unclear how many were staying in the room, but they must have had their friends over constantly, because the level of noise and screaming was very high and persistent. Adults, children, drones - constant noise pollution starting at 6:30am.
I fully support personal freedom, but a drone flying over my head filming for extended periods of time is annoying.
The level of noise everywhere in the resort was far in excess of what I would expect of a remote (and expensive) island. Price for the water bungalows is ~$1,000 per night - to not be able to relax in peace is unacceptable, especially for that kind of money.
The diving center was another problem - a waste of time & money requiring experienced divers to do a pointless lagoon dive before being allowed to go out on the boat. I was only there for a weekend, and due to the completely unexpected and unreasonable requirement for a "pre-dive", I had to postpone the dive trip by a day. The center refused to allow me to do 2 dives, because that would have put me at 23.5 hours before my flight. Although 24 hours is the general recommendation, PADI cut off is 18 hours. It was really disappointing to discover that I cannot dive because of the additional draconian restrictions the hotel had put in place - especially as an experienced diver with a decade+ of dives around the world. I have never experienced the "pre-dive" requirement. As a result, I was completely disappointed with what is supposed to be one of this planet's premier diving destinations.
In addition, when I tried to take an excursion to see another island for some cultural exposure, I was told the tour was cancelled because it did not get the required number of guests. It is completely understandable that sourcing from one resort does not get enough people, it would have been nice to see an option of other tour companies not operated by the hotel in-house, particularly so close to Male & the airport. All in all, it was impossible to get peace & quiet on the island AND not possible to get off the island.
Unless you MUST be close to the airport, I would not recommend this resort.
June 6, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by RauldeNob Great choice for our silver wedding anniversary
When trying to find a destination for our silver wedding anniversary, Maldives came out as a place we would like to go as it looked like a very special place. It really proved to be.
Choosing the hotel was easy because we always put trust on Sheraton and this exclusive resort ticked all the boxes.
From arriving to departing we always felt well looked after and never felt bored even when it rained for one day, and we stayed for 12. Not easy to fulfil this length of time on just one place.
From management down to housekeeping staff we had the 5-star treatment expected from this brand. Even when works disturbed the normal running of the resort, like a routine maintenance of the island power station, we were offered activities and options to compensate the lack of power.
As we arrived at about 4 o’clock local time, after 24 hours of travelling, we did not have much time to enjoy it on our first day and thought we would not even make it to dinner lol. We ended up staying to the end as animation at the main bar was superb and remained like that every day during our stay. Very good bands and DJs I have to point out. Not expecting that quality, I must say.
Second day we had our first experiences at the water centre. We tried Jet skiing and were guided for 90 minutes by Adam Aana on a trip to find a sand bank and after 20 minutes we found one. Great ride for someone who never used a jet ski before and great time enjoying that piece of sand in the middle of nowhere. On arrival we arranged on his advice for a dive for next day. Another never tried experience by none of us.
Come the day and after the mandatory health questions and going through above water safety training, we went down. The patience Adam showed, in particular with my wife who had a phobia of diving, was amazing and went well past what he was meant to do as part of the job. In the end and never pushing her too far, she managed to enjoy 20 minutes of open water diving. As for me, I loved it so much that I decided to Get my PADI certificate down there.
And so I went for it with this Italian girl called Ambra Dugaria. She really knows one thing or 2 about diving lol, is university qualified and very focused on detail, never overlooking safety. She did run me through all the tests needed, took me to dives and written tests and in the end I got what I was aiming for. If you ever go down there, ask for this girl and she will make sure you learn and feel safe while doing it. Also when you meet her at after work gatherings and parties, she is very pleasant as me and my wife did find out a couple of times.
As we are in partying mode, on our third day we were invited for drinks and canapes at the Sheraton club and we got to mix with the water centre stuff and management. 2 names stood out: Ambra Dugaria as mentioned above and a gentleman called Rajbhan Singh, who happens to be the manager of this lot, and who took a huge amount of time to come and meet us giving us the pleasure of his company. As my wife is never short of conversation, I thought we would be interfering with his schedule but he even praised her for being like that, and that she spoke “not too much, but from the heart”. That was his only mistake lol. But he surely enjoyed our company as we were invited again. His attention to what we talk about, led him to order some wine we fancied and we were able to enjoy after that at the resort, a courtesy bottle of champagne, chocolate cake, bed and table setups, etc. A manager always present and also fair to his staff as I was able to find out through the people he manages. The man of the resort for sure and I will surely make sure I see him again there.
After a couple of days of trying the buffet, we decided to visit the island restaurants. And we tried all lol
Top of the list, and the rest have to excuse me, is Sea Salt and great Chef Wicum Rangana Madurasinghe. There we had a test of fresh from the tank fish, but we also had a taste of a great pea and grilled prawn soup. Divine!!!
The bill came a bit expensive, but well… it was worth it!
We visited the Baan Thai and also had a great taste of proper Thai food. We did have a mixed chicken and beef noodles, on request and out of the menu and … Superb!!
The Sand coast came next, and we visited twice during our stay. Wide range of regional and international dishes to please all tastes. Highly recommended and run by great chef Pertamwati Pramono. She knows how to cook to please.
Finally, the KAKUNI HUT. A beach bar close from our own hut where we had a few good moments with chef Abdul Alim who also on a rainy day taught us how to make a proper curry.
But our main food Hall was the Taste. We had breakfast and most meals there as buffet is a favourite with the wife, because she can be funny with her food. You can’t go wrong on a buffet and this one is up to the level of the place. I had a Bolognese there as I never had one before and I visited loads of Italian restaurants before. Chef Babu Kuppan cooked it superbly.
Chef Mohamed Kashif Nazir is also a great asset to the resort and we got to visit him around the resort as he was in a few places during our stay.
The nights were spent at the ANCHORAGE BAR and on the company of great friend Hassam Shinax. A pleasure to have met this great barman and pleasant person. Remains a personal friend and still in touch and that is enough said. Made our nights on a strange place, feel like our local bar after a couple of days.
Do not be mistaken in to thinking the island is quiet at night with no animation. The best Maldivian bands and DJs animate every night up to 1 am. And I mean great bands and DJs. To make me dance takes a good deal of drinking and an even better deal of music lol and both me and the wife loved the nights there.
We ended up going there most nights and even when we were tired, we had that message from Hassan and ended up going. Sometimes just for a bit of his company and to provide some company if place was quiet.
Another good experience there was the Spa.
I decided to please the wife but she dragged me in for a small facial treatment also lol She ended up going back for extra section and we both loved it. Timed also to perfection as it was on the only rainy day while there lol we were treated by Ni Wayan Kertiasih and Shrine Bisht. Recommended!!
Also keep in mind that the island has the best doctor on the Maldives in Doctor Fiaz Jilani. Available 24 hours a day and a great person as well as a great doctor. Needed him a couple of times, once for a burn, that was sorted with a cream in a couple of days; second time for an ear infection due to all the diving and swimming. Sorry doctor as I did not follow your advice to do not drink for a couple of days while on medication, but that was my last day lol. I assure you I started the course on the morning after on the day we left and the infection was gone in 3 days. I have to single you out as you deserve it. Many thanks.
We did so many things there, too many to enumerate here, and we were looked after by so many people, too many to name here. However, I need to leave some names here who stood out and made this memorable stay a superb experience.
Big thanks to the following and sorry to the ones who contributed to those magic 12 days and I can’t remember the names:
Manager Rajbhan Singh
Doctor Fiaz Jilani
Wicum Rangana Madurasinghe
Mohamed Kashif Nazir
Babu Kuppan (Bolognese)
Abdul Alim (curry)
Ni Wayan Kertiasih
Kota Venkatesh (Security)
June 1, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by dctravel16 Lovely Holiday
Beautiful location with lovely staff! Had a miscommunication when we first arrived, however the issue was quickly rectified by the GM Jean-Louis and Ms. Karen. This hotel lives up to the amazing SPG hospitality that keeps me loyal to SPG. A must stay for anyone planning a vacation to the Maldives!
June 1, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by HarryAG As close to paradise as one can get
We spend an excellent 5 nights at this beautiful property. Very relaxing and although quite expensive, we felt that it was well worth it for a once in a lifetime vacation.
December 31, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by GP58 Fantastic People
Brilliant accommodations, lovely bungalows (outside shower!) but the people make the difference. Very kind, attentative, happy to have a chat and friendly amongst themselves as well. The Indian sous-chef in particular (Chisan?) deserves a special compliment for preparing an excellent off-menu Indian meal for us.
November 2, 2015