14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
This island was amazing, i wouldnt chang...
"This island was amazing, i wouldnt change a thing, i am going back for my honeymoon. I have been to differnet islands but nothing was like this island, there was just the right amount of beach huts and they staff are so friendly.... i would give this island a 10/10. On this island there is plenty to do there is no pool, but who would want a pool when you have the sea, go scuba diving and see all the fish in there own habitat they are so colourful and really friendly, they like bread and they come and sit on your knee while your in the water it really amazing. Please go"
- Travel date: 7th October 2008
We twinned our holiday in the Maldives w...
"We twinned our holiday in the Maldives with a week in Sri Lanka. This was a great option as we got the hustle and bustle of Sri Lanka and then travelled an hour by plane to the Maldives for utter peace and tranquillity. The island we stayed on was about 1-1 1/2 hrs from male island. Upon arrival the place was amazing, complete heaven in my opinion. With its crystal clear water and white sands. Iâve never seen a beach quite like it and still havenât. The chalets you sleep in are dotted around the island and you are never more than a 10 second walk from the sea - beautiful. As we went in January we expected great weather, I was quite disappointed though as it rained quite a lot and the staff at the hotel Sais this was very unusual. But hey its a tropical island and you canât complain. The island was as clean as they come. They even had staff brushing away the sand and tidying that up around the bar and restaurant... The food wasnât up to much in my opinion. I know its a island in the middle of the Indian Ocean and their main dish will be sea like but to be honest their wasnât much else on offer. This was my only gripe on this holiday. The island is relatively small; you can walk around it in about 25 minutes so the restaurant was small too. You are assigned a table at the beginning of your holiday and are expected to stay there. You arenât alone either. If you are a 2 and the table is a 4 seater you will be expected to share. This is great if you get a likeminded couple to share with, and it does encourage you to mingle. The drinks on offer were all branded and included in the all inclusive. Johnnie Walker whiskey, tiger beer and the like. Brilliant! Snorkelling and scuba diving is amazing even just a walk up the jetty was great to see some of the fish, sharks (friendliest I promise), rays, and the like out there. There are lots of non motorised water sports on offer as you would expect but not much else really. Male is the main island and I think it was around Â£90 for a day trip there. We didnât bother and just enjoyed the relaxation time. We did walk to a neighbouring uninhabited island which was beautiful. Took us about 10 minutes in water that went up to your waist. Entertainment wasnât up to much; we had a live singer one night who was great. There was a crab race another night, (sounds horrendous I know it was a real laugh). Fun island is a great resort if you just want to chill and can amuse yourself. Overall we really enjoyed our stay here apart from the lack of food. It just felt really funny wearing shoes again when we had to leave!"
- Travel date: 6th January 2008
"I stayed at the W retreat for 2 weeks in April. When arriving at the airport in Male we were led to the W retreats personal lounge to wait for our sea plane. This was a great start....offered any drink/food/cold flannels etc. Then hop onto the plane and off the the island. We booked a water villa which I would suggest if you can afford the little extra. My partner and I spent alot of time watching the sea life at night through our glass floor. Villas were lovely with all the mod cons...plasmas...dvd players...ipod docks that connect to the outside(so you can listen to your music while chilling on the decking of the villa). We found all the staff lovely and the restaruants were good (FIRE was our favourite). A nice little extra....the icecream/drink huts dotted around the island were full of cornettos/magnums/coke/sprite/juice and you could take as many as you wanted. One thing I would suggest is to book up the spa treatments before you go as they were booked up when I was there. Overall a fantastic complete chillout sun holiday. Would I go again (the staff asked when we were leaving) - Yes definately but not for a few years(too many other places to see)."
- Travel date: 6th September 2007
"Just returned home from this paradise. this place is amazing. could not fault a thing the service and staff are fantastic, the food excllent and the snorkeling and diving amazing. Went game fishing and caught a 75 kilo sailfish!!! Only down side the flights from Australia dont have great connections and have to stay at Male Airport hotel o/night it was ok but would be great if they started a Male direct flight from Aus as we are defineitly going back!!!!"
- Travel date: 30th August 2007
A real treat
"My husband and I statyed at the W for 6 nights in May for a well deservered break and my Birthday. I cannot say enough good things about the whole experience. From the check in at Male to the farewell waves from the staff when we left the whole stay was amazing. It may have been that this was low season and occupancy was low but the staff were all faultless. From the girls in the spa with their relaxing massages to the dive team who took my husband deep sea fishing to the guys in the restaurants, everybody could not have been more helpful or friendly. The breakfast was a special event with your own 'mug' and 'anything you want' attitude. The kitchen also cooked up some fish My Husband caught 3 different ways. The villa over the water was amazing and didn't lack anything. My only complaint? one day of rain and not enough days!! I can't wait to return"
- Travel date: 5th July 2007
Beautiful resort but the service wasn't 5 star
"The hotel design is really tasteful and can't compare with any other hotel I stayed at. But for what you pay a night you would like the service to be at top standard. The service lacked the professionalism you would expect from such a resort. They messed up our room service and that itself I don't think is a big deal but the way they handle it was so bad that you got time to get irritated and me personal don't want feel like that on my holiday when we are pay 1400 us a night. They also told us to put our surfboard in storage at the airport but forgot to make sure it would be open for us to get the board back when we were leaving, that itself can happened not a big deal either. But they promise us they send it back to us straight away but two weeks later I still hadn't heard anything from them or got the surfboard and I had to call them up to try to solve it. But after have said this there were still a few staff that were really nice. This hotel could really be somthing over the top if they in the future trained the staff better."
- Travel date: 23rd May 2007
"I stayed here for 3 nights 4 days and i have to say that i read every review on the place first and although yes as some mentioned the lack of restraunts is annoying, i thought the SERVICE WAS EXCELLENT! ppl were very friendly and kind.. i thouroughly enjoyed myself.. i would have to say tht the ocean oasis is GREAT much better than the beach oasis retreats... I foudn Fish better then Fire, and i went when the hotel was quiet so i thought that 15 below was a bit boring.. overall though the place is lovely i love the little refreshment stations they have dotted about.. the place is pricey but well worth i think, oh and because EVERYTING is serviced charged DONT tip, they split and share the service charge among the staff ( found this out after i complained about serverice charge) i woudl go again"
- Travel date: 5th May 2007
Not really a retreat
"When we booked the W we were after a stress free 10 day break on a beautiful island with a good reef to snorkel, and good food to eat. Other than the snorkelling it was a huge disappointment. Had it not been Easter with every other resort fully booked (& return flights) we honestly would have moved or gone home. Good bits â the island, the reef- packed full of beautiful fish, the staff- all very friendly, Bad bits â Rooms â We stayed in an ocean villa, inside and out it had everything we needed . However, as a result of building maybe 50 over water rooms (most resorts having half that number) â each one is extremely close to the next. We felt like we were sharing more than we would like with our neighbours despite the wooden slats for privacy. Every time one neighbour turned on their music system the neighbours on the other side would turn on theirs (with different music). We could also hear everything that was being said by both parties on both sides. As a result the second day we elected to sit by the main pool. An excellent idea until Dance music starts booming out (10am?) â literally two metres behind our beds. It was to signal the start of water aerobics. Splashed and developing a headache we left to return to our squabbling neighbours. Food â I would completely agree with the last entry. Its really average. Even breakfast was a bit disappointing with its heavy uninspired pastries. Fire was certainly attempting too much and our food was either a bit bland, bit cold, or both. Fish was better but not much. Reservations â Its difficult to articulate this without flying into rage. I donât know if everyone else had been pre warned to book spa treatments before arriving.. but we were unable to find an appointment for the entire duration of our stay. However the restaurants (being a bit more vital) were even more laughable. We were unable to get a reservation at the restaurant of choice on 7 out of 10 nights. One night we went for dinner.. without a reservation only to find all three restaurants were full. (it had been raining during the day & only âkitchenâ is indoor, the other two have limited space under cover) they were sorry but noted we could have in room dining. In London that happens â but on holiday?? Fly half way around the world, to be told there is no room in the restaurants & its due to the weather??? Had no one forseen that situation arising ??â 365 days in the year â and it hadnât crossed their mind that one might be rainy? It wasnât due to bad weather it was due to poor planning. Water â Unlike most resorts in the world this one does not provide bottled water beside your bed in the evening or bottled water if you are sitting around the pool or on the beach. What it does provide for free can be found in the several well stocked (with fizzy drinks and ice cream) drinks stations dotted around the island â but if you were thinking you might find water here â you would be disappointed. The Island has some sort of water cleaning process â which means you can drink the tap water. Excellent. But why on earth not give it out then. Why not have someone do a trip round the pool with a jug of the iced (cost free) water. Why not put a tap and some cups in the drinks station and why not leave you your own jug to cool the (always hot) tap water in the in room fridges. I was more than happy to drink this water â and save on tonnes of glass bottles being shipped over from germany â but why not make it easier? Most people just ended up poaching the bottles from the gym. Full Moon party - The full moon party mentioned in a previous review was really the cherry on the cake. This island has its own (fantastic) nightclub â why in the world would you they put the decks on the beach???? At mid night when we were literally beyond belief â we rang reception â and were told it was due to continue until 2am âalthough we have had quite a few complaintsâ¦â Of course you have there was a handful of people who attended â mostly staff, and if we wanted to go to such a party we would be in Ibiza or Thailand â thanking our lucky stars we hadnât come here. One last thing â theyâve stopped bothering with the ear plugs, fan and water spray mentioned in an earlier review âdo take your own, the plane is small cramped and very hot. (oh and we had to do several landings and take offs at other islands on the way â which very nearly resulted in us missing our long awaited return flight). Go to the Maldives â its beautiful âbut stay somewhere else."
- Travel date: 22nd April 2007
Tries too hard to be cool
"Firstly I should say that W Hotel and Spa is a fantastic resort, but then again, when considering the cost of staying there one expects a faultless experience. There is a lot the place did very well such as friendly staff, stunning setting, lots to do in terms of activities and great in room entertainment (helped on the only day it rained). Also I think the build quality, design and architecture of the resort were exceptional. The highlight was the private dinner on the beach where the chef delivered a birthday cake for my wife. The staff went to every effort to make us feel taken care of and the service was great on this occasion. Finally the snorkelling was sublime. I didn't expect to swim with turtles, baby sharks, manta rays and and endless array of tropical fish - but I did and all of the snorkelling kit was free to use. There were only a few things that the W got wrong. Before booking and spending a lot of money, I would recommend considering whether these things are of importance to you. They are mentioned below. MUSIC Firstly the music. Other reviewers have mentioned this already but wherever you are it's hard to escape the outdoor weather-proof speakers playing out mood music. In every bar or restaurant it's there. What makes it far worse is the fact that they seem so short of musical choice. After hearing the same Moby song for the 7th time in 2 days I actually got quite frustrated and less than chilled. I would recommend that the W allows the peaceful tranquillity of the Maldives to speak for itself rather than immerse the entire resort in chill-out and other mundane musical genres. It's not Ibiza it's the Maldives! FOOD Next the food. It's was just OK. I would rate it at around chain-restaurant (not haute cuisine). Especially 'Fire' which tries too hard to cover pretty much every type of food one can imagine. It all ended up tasting like a cheap BBQ with over-priced drinks. Some of the other options faired slightly better but given the limitless supply of sea-food and the hotel rating it could have been better. PEACE AND PRIVACY The other slight niggle were the gardeners. The flora and fauna is quite exquisite, but it was hard for us to enjoy privacy in our beach bungalow. Every other hour a gardener would come crashing through the undergrowth and walk straight past our pool. On one occasion 6 gardeners set to with pick axes and shovels. Some smoking, others talking, laughing and enjoying the shade. I was in my plunge pool and I couldn't hear myself think over the din as they watched over me in the pool. My wife had to loiter inside in her bikini until I could persuade the hotel staff to get them to move along. Also, in the brochure, it promised a private stretch of beach with the beach bungalows. So why were there children on our private beach shouting and hijacking our sun loungers and a continuous procession of people stomping past taking photos? It didn't bother me that it wasn't so private but W shouldn't suggest otherwise. COMMUNICATIONS I was surprised to find no wi-fi and only two very slow internet-enabled Macs on the entire island. The phones costs were ridiculously over-priced too. MINI-BAR AND SNACKS Silly prices. Drop the prices and more people would use these facilities. MARKETING, BRANDING AND ADHERANCE TO BRAND Finally, the W needs to work better on their marketing. The Whatever/Whenever brand is certainly misleading. The staff are helpful but not as flexible as the logo might suggest. Trying to find a place to shower after we had checked out but before enduring a 12-hour flight home kicked off by a stifling sea-plane journey was tiring. I was made to feel like I was asking a lot and it took 4-5 enquiries to have this request answered. Maybe it was because we had already settled the bill? I think the W is till struggling to define its target market and its branding. There seems to be a collision between promising 'cool' peace and tranquillity with a more party focussed atmosphere. The language used in the marketing is all very 90s and '.com' and the playful/party side of the marketing seem totally out of place. For example why feel the need to organise a full-moon party until 2am that blasts music and penetrating bass around the entire island? Is this meant to be a mini Ibiza or a haven from hassle and noise of modern life? I could hear the MC in my room on the other side of the island and his 'Let's hear it for DJ so-and-so' made me shudder with embarrassment - very naff. Had I had children on the island I would certainly have been sorely disappointed with this sort of carry-on. In summary I think the W has got off to a good start and has lot to play for in this increasingly competitive market and I enjoyed my stay very much. However it can't afford to confuse cool with quality of service and it should take care not to seem too desperate to be 'cool' or it will turn people off."
- Travel date: 14th April 2007
This was the second time in the Maldives...
"This was the second time in the Maldives and a truly fantastic experience an outstanding island. With superb coral reefs and fantastic array of fish. The beach was also superb and the outing to the deserted beach was also superb I never imagined being on a beach with 27 black tip sharks 2 metres away a hole where a turtle had been and six rabbits running around my feet trying to eat the leafs out of my hand it was amazing. The food got a little monotonous but only to be expected when everything is brought in on refrigerated boats. My only disappoint meant is that this island has now been refurbished and costs a fortune to visit I have never had such a lovely time on holiday memories will stay with me forever "
- Travel date: 29th March 2007
"I've always wanted to go to the Maldives and finally got it together to organize a trip with my wife and younger daughter a few weeks ago. Wow. The W really has its self sorted. Upon arrival in Male airport we were greeted by W staff who got us over to the domestic seaplane terminal and into their private lounge, where check-in takes place. The 40 minute seaplane journey was fun, and arrival at the resort is like that old American television show "Fantasy Island"....the plane pulls up to the dock, the staff greets you, and you hop into a buggy for a quick tour of the island before settling in. We had an 2 bedroom villa over the water. It was AMAZING. Bose sound system throughout - with hook-ups for iPods so you have your music anytime/anywhere - great terrace and lounge area - beautiful sunsets. The three restaurants were all good - pretty basic fare all well prepared, the only drawback being that the staff are still somewhat green and service can get backed up. Wine prices are through the roof - don't bother! Apart from that, the staff are wonderful - a mix of Maldivians, Asians and Europeans. They really do put the "whatever/whenever" credo into reality. The ambiance is very low key - apart from the aqua gym in the morning and the Latin dancing followed by pilates and meditation on the beach (all led by an absolutely wonderful fellow named Randall) there are no organized activities. The days just float by.....there is an outstanding Padi shop at the resort with all of the latest equipment, and the dive sites around the resort are breathtaking. On our first dive we found ourselves amidst 30 mantas at 20 m down - it was a religious experience. The clientele is very cool (in certain cases you could almost hear the song "I'm too sexy for my shirt" in the background....) - lots of honeymooners, some families with older kids, and apart from two tycoons, slinky companions, and scary looking bodyguards (guess where they were from!) there was always a good buzz at the beach, the pool, the disco, and restos. I wouldn't recommend this place to families with young kids - there were a couple of families with babies in prams and frankly, they ( the parents and babies) looked pretty bored. The hotel is baby friendly, ie they'll be friendly to your baby, but there really is no infrastructure for the little ones. One last note -- Blackberries don't work here, which was sheer heaven! We've already booked a return trip to this hotel in December. This place is the one!"
- Travel date: 17th March 2007
Great scenery, but bad service
"W Hotel Maldives is a fantastic resort. I canât compare it to other Maldivian resorts, but in comparison to other tropical paradises, this is certainly a top end resort. Design-wise, it falls nothing short of what I expected from a W Hotel. Design conscious, with a meticulous attention to the wellbeing of the body and mind. Being a new resort, itâs not as busy, as the others (based on hearsay), but one can judge that as soon as one arrives at the airport in Male. You are being met by a W representative and driven across the runway (yes, across the runway) to the W Lounge. We were only 3 couples in this lounge, the other lounges being quite busy. Then the short, but sticky and humid flight to the W resort follows and I was glad I did not pack away the little W cooling pack that I was given in the lounge. It contained a little fan, a cooling air spray and wet toilettes tissues. It was heavenly, especially when I watched the other 2 couples sweating heavily, as they have packed away their little pouches. As soon as we arrived to the resort, we were greeted with a cool towel and a refreshing drink, which was badly needed. We were shown around the island, which took 5 minutes, then to our lovely villa. First impression was very good, beautiful island, scenery, weather was amazing. The island is very small, you can walk around it in 5 minutes. No less, no more. I read some well seasoned travellers expressing fears that the island itâs too small and it could not comfortably accommodate the maximum of 150 people in their public areas, like restaurant, pool, sports centre. I perfectly agree with this, but I wonder if they will ever have 100% occupancy. When we arrived, Iâd say it was about 40-50% full, but at no time did I find it overcrowded. The opposite in fact, it felt deserted, except for the evenings, when you would meet the others at dinner. There are 2 a la carte restaurants and another buffet style restaurant, the latter being open 3 days a week only. At any time, I could not count more than 5 tables full for dinner. I ask you: is that busy? I donât think so. During the day, everyone seems to be in their resort (they call each villa, a resort). Iâm not surprised, they are so spacious and it has everything, why would you want to use the main pool? Each villa/resort has its own pool, however little, but you have the ocean right in front of you!!!! If anyone wants a pool, they should go to their local Holmes Place. There were a few unpleasant experiences too, which ruined the perfect image that it started building up. First of all, hard selling. The staff are quite new and I donât think they have been trained well. I know a business survives on sale figures, but these must be done tactfully and discretely, especially a resort as expensive as the W. The room service and the restaurant staff are continuously trying to sell you something. Myself, I am not a big eater. I eat normal portions and tend to stay away from buffet menus. Also, I do not drink alcohol. Well, that did not go down well with the restaurant staff. They could not understand that a young-ish person like me does not drink alcohol. Secondly, I was very ill for 2 days (the resort was not to blame at all â I have a chronic illness). During such attacks, all I could eat is potatoes and very little of that, too. I ordered mash potatoes via room service and I even got the manager ringing back, enquiring why am I placing such a small order? Another unpleasant service was the maid not replenishing the bathroom toiletries when needed. I had to ask for these. This is an Ultra Deluxe resort, not a B&B! Please be aware of the phone charges. I asked 3 times what the charges to the UK where and was assured that itâs 50 cents a minute. I did find that extremely cheap, but I was assured of the price. I made about 5 business calls of no more than 20 minutes in total. Expecting a bill of 10 USD, I almost fell of my chair when the phone bills where 400 USD. Outrageous. When confronted, the hotel was unable to give a breakdown of the calls, but was willing to give me a 50% discount. I had to argue long and hard, until I made them realise that I was going to pay the price that I was quoted (I had the name of the staff who gave me the phone rates). So, stay away from the 20 USD per minute phones. Overall, a pleasant experience, but I canât forget the feeling of stinginess in service. Staff always wanting me to spend, when all I wanted is to be left in peace. Nothing was thrown in for free, which I was not expecting, but at 1,500 USD per day, surely a bowl of apples in the room would not break the bank. Also, I am a SPG Gold member and the advertised welcome pack was never given, when compared to Dubai, I was upgraded to a Deluxe Suite (having booked the cheapest room), 2 bottles of champagne, free daily breakfast, a daily bottle of wine, free drinks at the bar and a daily box of chocolates â all for free (well, I assume because of the SGP Gold card). Both W Maldives and Grosvenor House, Dubai participate in the SPG programme, so itâs easy to determine who treats their customer better. Oh, and one more thing. I would recommend the beach villas in the W Maldives. The beach ones have an upper floor, where you can look out over the garden to the sea and itâs a perfect place to spend lunchtime, when the temperatures are unbearable out in the sun. These beach villas come with a beautiful lush green garden and a beach that itâs very private. There was no one, except for us two. The Water villas do not have a beach, nor a garden, nor an upper floor. Also they are very close together and whilst you canât see your neighbours, you can certainly hear them. If you want to go to the beach, the obvious option would be near the bar, which is not as private as you get if you are staying at the beach villas. Also, the beach villas are 40% cheaper than the water villas. Try and ask for the beach villas on the southern side of the island, i think villa nos: 115-125. These are the quietest and the best coral reefs are on this side."
- Travel date: 8th March 2007
W Maldives is also called
- Fesdu Fun Island
- w retreat hotel maldives
- w retreat resort maldives