Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives
13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Beutiful place, nice people, relaxing getaway. . .
"This island is definately worth a visit if you fancy a vacation in the Maldives. Its great value, with everything you need for a relaxing break.
I wont bang on about ALL the plus and negative points, as its been done before, but this is what you need to know. . .
I definately rate it as a good 4 star. The Maldives lonley planet holiday guide rates it as in the higher end of the mid range resports.
The island is more suited to couples between late twenties and upward. Its not a party island, but then, i dont think you go to the Maldives for this anyway. The average age groups seemed to be early thirties. There is a good mixture of English, German, Japanese and Italians. The evening entertainment is a little low key. but there is always something on every night for a couple of hours, kareoke, crab racing, disco, etc. But after 11pm it gets quiet. This is because after 12pm, the all inclusive option at the bar stops. I would recommend the all inclusive option for anybody visiting, although beer is $3 and sprits are $4, cocktails are not included and cost about $8 to $12 each. So the money will soon add up. Breakfast would cost you $20 each, lunch $30 and dinner $40.
Also, If you can, pay the extra $150 per night and upgrade to a water villa with jacuzzi, even for the last few nights. Its well worth it. The rooms have that extra class and refinements. Although the standards of all rooms are great.
A service charge of 10% is added onto everything. June is a good time of year to visit as its very cheap, Â£700 each, all inclusive, for 1 week! It tends to rain for an hour or so in the late evenings about 10pm. The sun is extremely strong and burns at this time of year. The scattering of cloud gives some relief. The food is a buffet option in the main restuarant. With a good choice and different theme every night. Buts Its odd, that you are seated at the same seat every night, so you have to hope that you have good neighbours!
The diving, snorkelling and sight seeing tours are well worth it, sharks, dolphins, manta ray, lobster turtles, the lot. . .
So, all in all, there are lots of other options for the maldives, but this little hotel has it all at a good price. It is a well respected hotel and classy amongst so many others that are there.
- Travel date: Thu 21st of June 2007
OK, But not great.
"The holiday costed us 1000Â£ for 7 days including all the flights and transfers. we flew Monarch which was ok. Seats are very small, flight around 11 hours from London, food was quite good, the whole flight experience very tiring. Than an hour boat ride to the hotel. Hotel is good. a 4 star, no more. we booked a super deluc room which they call it so, actualy it is just a standart woom with a fancy name. we had 241 to start of with, on the first night i discovered a huge cocorouch in the bathroom, called the reception, packed my bags and demaned to be moved in to a water villa, they said no that night and moved us to a newly refurbished delux room. the next morning i went on arguing with them, spoke to the menager and we agreed that for 390$ we would spend 2 night in a normal water villa and 4 more nights in a jacuzzi water villa. 390$ was quite good, normally it would cost around 800$ for that, so my advice is to argue with them a lot and to bargain a lot. At the end they forgot to include those 390$ in the bil so we ended getting a free upgrade). Normal rooms are ok, but only the new refurbised ones, the ones by the tennis court, demand them, thay are 210-220 something, they will say that all rooms are the same, dotn belive them. Water villas are better but still old, jacuzzi water villas are nice, large room, large bathroom, and a nice terrzce with a small jacuzzi on it.
Food was not great. I would give food a 5/10. On an island you would expect to get lots of see food, which was not the case in the buffet, normal european food, nothing special. You could go to a restaurant and get nicer food but at a price of around 120-150$ for 2.
Diving is nice, the house reef is nothing special but some nice diving sights, but diving is more expensive than in europe or red sea.
Spa is good.
Service is also good, with the expceprion of a few unfrindly waitors.
Swimming pools are nice, beaches are very nice, although full of broken corals so no really sandy beaches as in carabean.
On the whole for 1000Â£ good holiday, would not pay the normal price of 2000Â£ or more during the high season.
Dont go there for a honeymoon, its too simple, normal 4 star hotel.
I Would not come back.
It depend what you expect, other reviews say its amazing, maybe if all your life you went for a holiday to majorka and now you go to maldives ti will be, but for experinced travllers, its not good enough."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of June 2007
"My husband and I have just returned from a wonderful 2 week holiday at Olhuveli. I haven't reviewed a holiday before, but found this site really useful before booking.
The island is really beautiful, but quite small, so if you want lots of entertainment, this probably isn't the island for you.
Accomodation -We were staying in the most basic of accomodation-the delux villa. Perfectly acceptable. All look out onto beach, bed comfy, fridge, good hairdryer etc! I wouldn't recc. if it's your honeymoon though, as the water villas looked very nice!
There are two pools.. the sunset one is quieter but despite a notice instructing people not to 'save' beds with their towels, the staff did let this happen, so you do have to arrive earlier. The sea is glorious..really warm and you can walk out very far when tide out, also extremely warm. If you are travelling now or in the next few months do expect cloud and rain. Our last day was a complete wash-out and we did have a bit of rain when we were there so very glad went for 2 weeks. Always warm though. Definitely don't take too many clothes and only a couple of pairs of shoes are needed..you'll be in flip-flops most of the time.
Food - Lots of variety, lovely pasta and fresh fish cooked in front of you. Some of the other food has been sitting around a bit, but lots to choose from..good salads.
drinks- These are v. expensive. It's really not worth going All Inclusive unless you drink A LOT and mostly beer. House wine is really horrible and we treated ourselves to one bottle of wine wwhich worked out over Â£30 for ordinary Aussie chardonay. We worked out that we'd have to spend Â£500 on drink to make A1 worth it...we didn't . We went full -board.
As has been mentioned before lots of added extras which I assume is same for whole of Maldives...10% service charge on everything.
spa- definitely worth a visit..try and wait til they have discounted days. We got a massage for about Â£20 which is cheaper then you get in London anyway and it's in a beautiful setting.
Tipping - the tour operator (first choice)didn't give much advice with this...we got a bit of hassle from our room boy who 'hinted' extremely heavily that he wanted a tip and annoyed us a bit, we were going to leave one anyway. We gave $30 for 2 weeks but average I think is $20.
We tipped our waiters and people who carried our luggage to boat, waiters and spa girls $2-$5 and also guys who rake the beach every day..nice to give them something as sure not used to getting anything. I must say, we seemed in the minority for tipping and our room boy did hint that the German families weren't too forthcoming,. I hasten to add this was his view! All the staff work increadibly long hours 7 days a week..and really appreciate it..they are really friendly.
The only real negatives was the cost which was more than we thought once you got there and the increadibly annoying, loud aqua aerobics which goes on in one of the pools every day about 11.30 run by Italian holiday reps..avoid at all costs...very loud!!!
I think it is an island that is particularly popular with Italians..did seem to dominate.
Would definitely reccommend this island...you will have a really relaxing break, but I would go to a more expensive island if on honeymoon."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of May 2007
"We visited Olhuveli in March and it is most definitely one of the best places we have visited.
The staff are very friendly and will go out their way to ensure you have a fantastic stay - we had a slight hicup on arrival but the compensation we received for this was more than adequate!
In terms of the resort facilities, the buffet style restaurant was very nice with lots to choose from and we could not fault our accomdation - if you can afford it then go for a jacquzzi water villa as they are fantastic. A visit to the spa is also recommended.
Should you choose to go half board then be warned it is quite expensive and you could quite easily rack up quite a bill as it's not particularly cheap for drinks etc; we chose the all inclusive option and whilst this seemed to be better value for money it was slightly confusing at times to remember what was/wasn't included - as not all drinks/restaurants were "all inclusive" as the name would suggest!
Overall we had an excellent holiday - very romantic and good for couples - so much so we are considering one of the honeymoon suites for our honeymoon next year!"
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of May 2007
"My husband and I stayed at Olhuveli in April/May for 2 weeks and overall it was fantastic - this was down to the amazing staff who went out of their way to make sure we had a great holiday. It is pretty in most places - the fish were great, and there are 3 house manta rays who visit the reef most nights (when the lights are working - which they weren't for a week....we were lucky and saw them as we were there for 2 weeks).
We've visited Meeru before so my expectations were based around that - quite a large island, long sandy beaches, sand so soft it was like talcum powder, clear seas, house reef etc, but I have to say I was a little disappointed when we arrived - the island was affected by the tsunami so some problems may still be due to that, but it was not as picture postcard pretty as hoped (as Meeru had been). The sand was full of broken coral etc so shoes were necessary in a lot of parts (quite often you don't need shoes in the Maldives as they actually rake the sand every day!!). The island was also fairly busy - even though it was only half full due to the season - so you didn't get that feeling of space etc (except when in the restaurant which was never very busy) - I think the managers/owners are basically there to make as much money as possible (its a business I know) but they have compromised some of the experience in doing this - everything costs extra - even when on all inclusive - all watersports are extra, use of the spa, sports facilities etc - only basic tea and coffee are included, no cocktails, restricted times for eating etc. We decided to stay half board, and I think this was the best option. I just didn't feel it was good value.
The food was good - lots of variety and of good quality on the whole. We went to the beach barbeque and the Japanese restaurant - both of which were very good - esepcially the barbeque - it was very romantic. When on half board, you get lunch free the next day which was great. We hadn't tried Japanese before so it was a great experience (the island is very popular with the Japanese and with Italians).
The alcohol was all fairly expensive as expected ($5 a beer (half litre) and $3.50 for a small glass of wine - bottles of wine were around $35 and a gin and tonic was $10) - there is a happy hour each night where you get 20% discount. They add 10% on absolutely everything that you purchase so be aware of this as you are spending if you are on a bdget as it can add up quite quickly. The cocktails were OK but a bit hit and miss.
The snorkelling was OK but difficult if you are not a strong/confident swimmer as you had to swim a fair way on occasions, and the sea was quite rough at this time of year. Its strange - the island is very small, and on one side you get a really strong breeze/wind (great for the watersports) and on the other it is like desert! It was 30-35 degrees every day - it did rain some days but it was over very quickly - its just coming into the rainy season but I think it was a great time to visit.
We stayed in a deluxe room (not a refurbished one) and the size was good but the decor was tired. The bathroom did often smell of sewers as others have mentioned - and as we were near the staff quarters there was a smell of buring from the incinerator, but nothing too much to worry about.
Cockroaches were a problem for some people but they do provide spray for this - best to spray each night before dinner - this usually does the trick. The other wildlife was great - some strange birds which make noises like Star Wars characters in battle, storks, bats, crabs, lots of ravens.
I wanted to say a huge huge thank you to all the staff at the pool bar (sunrise pool bar?) - they were fantastic. The service was outstanding which was impressive seeing as they often work 12-14 hour days 7 days a week. We really can not thank them enough - they did everything they could and more to make sure our stay was excellent. Genuinely nice people. Also, Ibrahim our waiter was fantastic - thank you Ibrahim - we will definitely stay in touch. Also, all the bar staff in the Sunset bar - they brought out our orders before we even ordered - perfect!
We had a massage at the spa (they had discounts on massages on a number of days) and they were very good - about $70 for an hour - the exchange rate made a big difference.
All in all, I think there are better islands to visit - this was great, and you will have a fantastic time if you go, but even on the one island we visited a few years ago, Meeru, you could not compare. For me, the Maldives is about that special holiday of total relaxation, where you feel like you are almost alone on a desert island - Olhuveli was at times like an upmarket Tenerife...sorry - quite harsh (and I had a fantastic time). I would avoid islands run by Sun Travels as I think this was the problem - but would recommend the Maldives to everyone! We will definitely be going back next year - just not to Olhuveli."
- Travel date: Tue 15th of May 2007
"Just got back from a beautiful fortnight in Olhuveli. We stayed for the first 11 nights in a standard room, which was perfectly adequate and very well maintained, although the toilet was occasionally a littel smelly (as per previous posts). We upgraded to a jacuzzi water bungalow for the last three nights, and if you get the chance/have the money, going in a water bungalow is definitely worth the extra as they are absolutely fantastic.
A few comments and tips - we went just off-peak season so it wasn't busy, but even so you need to get up fairly early to get a sunbed at either pool. The sunset pool is quieter, but windier (at this time of year). Both pools are lovely and the staff there are really helpful and friendly. If you are looking to completely chill out the sunset pool is better - the sunrise pool has water aerobics at 12 o'clock with horrific europop pumping out and an extremely loud, and fairly offensive, italian instrutor - which is quite odd for a spa resort which has such a focus on relaxation.
The spa is great and recommended (although not cheap) - if you book on any special offer just check what you are getting - we were told that if we went for an aromatherapy massage we would get a free flower bath. After the massage when we asked for the flower bath we were told it wasn't part of the offer and never had been. If you are someone who wears shorts/boardies rather than budgie smugglers/speedos then you will have to get naked for massages, which is a bit of a shock for repressed British psyches (but strangely liberating too).
Food is fine - we went half board and didn't spend very much on lunch etc. If you are wine drinkers check the cost of the bottles before ordering - wine that costs about Â£5 or Â£6 in the UK (e.g. Rosemount) costs about $80 US on Olhuveli - but in general drinks aren't too bad value, especially as it is a Muslim country. If you are looking for a big booze up and party then its probably not the best destination, but all inclusive would then make more sense. Best tip for evening meals is to go with whatever is being cooked fresh, but we have no complaints about any of the food, apart from one dessert on Maldivian night that seemed to be beef and onion jelly.
Watersports are fine, we had windsurfing lessons which were excellent, but diving is a must. The diving was as good as anything I have done anywhere and the time spent with the mantas on banana reef is unforgettable. If you dive already, prepare to spend quite a bit more time and money than you planned for (althogh check out the prices and what is included in the non-limit diving). Some reefs have been damaged by the tsunami, but most seem relatively undamaged or starting to recover. All of the diving staff and boat crew are brilliant and if you don't have a camera, hire one.
Tipping is a bit confusing as everything except the diving includes 10% service charge (including the spa). We tipped the room boy, the guy who sorts out the umbrellas/sunbeds and our waiter.
What else? Plugs are UK 3 pin, you don't need take any towels, take stacks of high factor suncream - we both tan well but didn't get to below factor 30 until well into the second week as the sun is so powerful, the mantas at night at the pier end are awesome (please don't try to feed them), guests are a mixture of UK, Italian, Japanese and German, and it is generally quiet and people keep themselves to themselves.
All in all Olhuveli is a pearl, its the only place we have been that we would definitely go back to."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of May 2007
"We stayed at Olhuveli between 4th and 19th March and would recommend it to anyone. We flew with Airtours from Manchester on a Thomas Cook Holiday and didn't experience any problems. On arrival in the Maldives we went to the Thomas Cook desk and a rep from Olhuveli escorted us to the speed boat for our transfer. The wait at the airport was only 10 minutes. The hotel is excellent, and the pictures in the brochure did not do it justice. The staff were friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. We ate every night in the buffet restaurant which had a different theme each night. Some of the food was cooked fresh in front of you, and there was plenty of choice. Being a fussy eater i thought i would struggle but didn't. We stayed in a beach villa which is situated between the two sets of Water Bungalows and if you want a little bit of extra luxury with an outside bathroom, its well worth it. We chose this resort for the dive centre which came highly recommended, and found the service and knowledge of the staff to be excellent. During the time we were there it was also the season for the Manta Rays to come and feed off the end of the jetty every night. We'd never seen them like this before, and my husband took this oportunity to do a night dive with them. We'd definately visit again."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of April 2007
great place for honeymooners
"We were at Olhuveli from 2nd to the 6th of April. We stayed at the JWV (number 301).
We come from Israel with Royal Jordanian to Sri Lanka and after a trip in Sri Lanka; we took a flight with Sri-Lanka airways. We waited in the airport about 30 minutes for the boat ride. The boat ride was excellent - the sea is so smooth so you don't get any sea sick.
It was the best vacation we had. The villa was amazing, the stuff very nice and kind.
We snorkeled in the reefs - a lot of marine life, Also under our Villa there were a lot of fish. Even one octopus.
The room is out of this world - from every corner you see the ocean. I really recommend paying more and getting the JWV.
We were H/B - more then enough. The only down side were the deserts that we didn't like.
Food is very expansive - club sandwich is 13$. Water is 3.5$.
As honeymooners we got a fruit basket and a candle light dinner from the hotel - very nice.
We are really sad to be leaving the place.
It's so beautiful here"
- Travel date: Thu 5th of April 2007
Peaceful Island with Great Diving
"27 feb to 6th March
Hello, Iâm the patient dive buddy mentioned below! Here is my take on the olhuveli. My wife and I stayed for 7 nights on a half board basis.
Pool/Beaches: This is one of the first places that I have visited that actually looks like the pictures in the broachers! The beaches are un-crowded and the sand is raked and clean, the water temperature in the lagoon was about 30 degrees and at depth (30 metres) was still between 26-28 degrees! The pools are of good size and in the afternoon reach 32 degrees!
Accommodation: We were slightly disappointed with this, we actually stayed in the same block of villas as the previous writer (theyâre in a two up two bock), although clean and functional, the dÃ©cor looked a bit tired, however, as the room was just a place to sleep and shower it didnât spoil our overall enjoyment. Be warned, in speaking to one of the other divers on the boat, I learnt that the far villas (near the staff quarters) should be avoided if you spend any length of time in them during the day (as did his wife), due to noise, and if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, a smell of sewage plus occasionally, smoke from an incinerator! The diver complained and was moved to one of the refurbed villas nearer the tennis courts, these are the ones to go for as they were re-built after the tsunami. These are easily recognised easily as the older ones have thatched roofs. Our villa was about two thirds of the way down, with a covered patio and beach/sea view. We did not experience any problems with noise (except the odd screeching bird!) or smell. Iâd rate our villa as three star and the refurbed ones as four.
Restaurant/Food: Our waiter was excellent with a smile and a welcome graeting. There was plenty of choice of food as mentioned by others, some dishes being cooked for you while you waited. We avoided the wine as this is expensive if your not AI and stuck to beer (Tiger) and water. Food is also severed by the pool. The staff by the pools are very attentive and even move you sunshade for you to stop you getting burnt!
Whether: Very pleasant, around 30 to 35 during the day with very little humidity. The evenings were warm, but not hot, so a short sleeve top and shorts were fine. We had one day with a bit of cloud, but no rain.
Diving: The dive centre is very good as are the staff and dive sites, some of the coral is bleached nearer the surface due to the el neno in 1999, though this is recovering well and OK at depth. Plenty of marine life as mentioned before a guarantee of sharks, rays etc. I personally liked the way that they organised two dives from the boat in the morning, which generally got you back to the island in time for lunch. This enabled me time to go to the pool for lunch with my wife and fall asleep under a sunshade in the afternoon!
Conclusions: A very quite and relaxing holiday with everything being almost perfect except for the room. I would imagine that you could get bored there in the rainy season unless you are a diver, but that can be said for a lot of places!
Would I go back again? Yes, but Iâd make sure I got a refurbed room.
- Travel date: Wed 4th of April 2007
Wonderful island - great holiday
"We have just spent a most enjoyable and relaxing week on this wonderful island. My wife and I with another couple chose Olhuveli from a sort list after reading the reviews on this web site. Although one or two seem a little negative the island lived up to all our expectations.
We had booked two deluxe water villas, however on arrival were upgraded, free of charge to one of two Presidential suites !!, without going into great detail the accommodation was excellent, we even had our own pool.
The island although fully booked was never over crowded and there was always plenty of room for those who wished to be on their own.
We were on a fully inclusive tariff, which proved very good, with meals well prepared and plenty of choice. A reasonable range of drinks.
The staff throughout were efficient and polite.
Snorkling was good at the end of the jetty, even for the novice.
Would recommend a massage at the spa and sauna, very relaxing.
For anyone considering a visit to the glorious Maldives, this island will not disappoint."
- Travel date: Wed 28th of March 2007
NOT VALUE FOR MONEY
"Booked 2 nights in Family Villa, all inclusive package via inner Maldives. Only able to connect to free wi-fi on 2nd day. Discovered that Family Villa is just 2 Deluxe Room with connecting doors!!!! We paid 3 times the price of deluxe room. Complaint with reception was useless. Asked us to discuss with Duty Manager. Emailed Inner Maldives and was told that the price were offered by resort. Manager came and explains that thatâs the normal price. Family Villa isnât listed in online hotel booking site so guest not able to see what it looks like. On complimentary basis, manager upgraded ONE ROOM to beach villa for ONE NIGHT only. Said it wasnât because we deserve better rooms for the prices paid, it was just a friendly gesture from resort! Read a lot of reviews about tourist given rooms not equivalent to prices paid in Maldives. Seems to be common practice throughout Maldives not just for hotels but also in other business establishments, off guard for one sec, theyâll take advantage. Be extra careful, need to clarify everything and do not expect them to practice professionalism in their business dealingsâ¦."
- Travel date: Fri 16th of December 2016
Ms K J Salthouse
"We arrived at the island after a 45 mins boat transfer, we were greeted by staff and drummed onto the island! It was a very well organised greeting where each party were allocated a member of staff to introduce them to the island and explain all about the facilities and escourt you to your accomodation.
We stayed in delux room which opened up onto the beach, it was very nice. The room was clean and the facilities are good. The maid attended the room twice a day and we had fresh bedding and towels daily.
The restaurants were very nice, you got to keep your own table throughout the holiday (which was really nice). The meals are buffett style and there is always a lot to choose from. All meals were lovely we didnt have any complaints at all, and the waiters who bring drinks and take away plates etc are very friendly.
The whole holiday was like being in paradise, the beaches were spotless and quiet, with a great ease of getting a sunbed at all times of the day.
There were lots of activities to choose from, diving, snorkelling,wind surfing, boats and katamaram hire, tennis and table tennis courts etc...
There was entertainment every night, it was repeated in the 2nd week though. However for such a small island the entertainment was very good. You could not say there was nothing to do in the evening.
Make sure you upgrade to all inclusive we saved approx Â£200 altogether!
Our only gripe was we couldn't keep our room on the last day, we were supposed to leave the island in the evening, all-inclusive finished at 12.30pm so we had to pay for our lunch and drinks after that. We were not flying from Male until 2.30am in the morning and the hotel made us leave the island at 6pm!. That meant we had to wait 8 hrs outside Male airport in a Cafe before we could check in for our flight. Thank goodness we didnt have children with us, what a day!
Oh and it rained a lot, but that didn't spoil a thing!
Go and enjoy it was fabulous!
- Travel date: Wed 5th of November 2008