11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Spend ur $$ elsewhere
"Well, the title says it all doesn't it?
We has the misfortune of experiencing a blackout due to a storm on the second night. There were no provisions made in the rooms for this. I walked out to the lobby to see what was going on and was told they were working on resotring power. At no point in time was I told when power will be resotred or even offered candles or a torch light. Surpisringly the Bar kept it's power thoughout this episode as even the lobby had intermittent power disruptions. I wonder what the management was thinking?
The staff at the resort are generally poorly trained & rude . Nightmares at the resturants where staff show a lousy attitude or cannot communicate effectively. One exception was the low-end coffee house. I found the waiters there were actually up to par!
Everything costs $$ there. Even the boat trips for diving are charged seperately. Dive sites are generally ok. Though I've seen better. And for almost $60 per dive (inclusive BCD, Regulator & dive computer), I think it's pricey for the view.
There is a constant reminder on money matters at this resort. You pay in full for room & board on checking in and you have to settle all accounts an HOUR before checkout. I mean where am I going to run off to? I'm on the island and there's no way off unless I can swim 12km to Male!
I will NEVER set foot on this sad excuse of a resort again. I'll spend my $$ elsewhere."
- Travel date: Sat 27th of May 2006
"we stayed in awater bungalow it was fantastic breakfast could be brought each morning if you wanted the service we recieved from all staff was second to none the island was beautifull very clean and well maintained we went diving and cannot recommend it highly enough the owner petra looked after us she was professional and as i was nervous she made every effort to reasure me and i did 4 dives it was brilliant i cannot thank her enough
- Travel date: Thu 11th of May 2006
Fantastic holidays !
"Just came back from Laguna Beach. All was OK!
Perfect if you only want to rest in a wonderful environment. The room (standard) was OK.
Towels changed everyday.
The only thing you have to do is enjoy the gardens (so well maintained) the beach and the clear waters of the lagoon.
Food was nice, they make their best to offer a large choice of dishes. if you don't find anything to please you, you're really a difficult one !!
People are fine. Of course they don't run ! but that's the way of life. Just relax !!
I shouldn't recommend the resort to people who wants activities and crazy nights ;o)
Better go to Cuba or big caribbean resorts !!
Really worth the price.
Should return there with great pleasure !"
- Travel date: Mon 8th of May 2006
3* resort 1* service
"I stayed in a deluxe beach bungalow and found the room to be well appointed, but poorly serviced. During my one week stay, the sheets were not changed. The bins were not emptied every day (although supposed to), towels and general replenishment of items (tea & coffee), toilet paper, tissues - only replaced when the empties were clearly presented or requested at reception.
Generally people were friendly enough, but everyone had a lackadaisical approach to service.
I was often frustrated by the bar staff, which numbered around eight each night, yet were too busy talking to each other to serve us. When you did get their attention they were friendly enough, but apathy was in abundance.
Another common problem was staff misunderstanding your request and having to repeat many times before successfully getting your order. The wrong orders were often brought and on occasion, items we didn't order turned up. On another occasion at the sunset bar I was asked 3 times by three different staff what I wanted to drink yet still had to ask the staff for the drinks as weâd not received them after waiting for 10 minutes! This may seem overly harsh, however when you are standing at the bar staring at the staff that are staring back at you blankly for 10 minutes rather than fixing you a drink â youâll see what I mean.
Although the dive master has a good reputation and the snorkeling is excellent, if you intend to use the restaurants or the bars - then be prepared for some appalling service. (it's not unbearable, but can lead to frustration, where the purpose of the trip is to relax.)
A further gripe is that the main restaurant allows smoking throughout. As the meals are buffet and allow for people to eat at different times you can find that you'll be sitting down to your meal and be surrounded by smokers as they are mid-meal or on their desserts.
You are also allocated "your table" for the week. The idea being that the waiter learns your desires and preferences and strikes up a rapport with you. That said, you will at least get the same table for the week.
Take the snorkeling trip - that is US$24 well spent. You get off the house reef/lagoon and get to see some quality deep reefs and different varieties of fish from the Laguna lagoon.
Half-Board was sufficient; the breakfasts are standard buffet selections and filling enough to see you through to the evening meal, with plenty of fruit/cereals/cheese choices if you don't want the bacon/eggs option. You can have room service for an extra US$1 per item and there is the flexibility for half-boarders to swap their evening meal for the lunch or for AI/FB and HB to trade in their evening buffet meal and receive 8 or 10 dollars of a meal in the other restaurants or on the beach special evenings respectively. Whenever they had a beach special - the quality of the service and food in the Summerfields restaurant suffered. If in doubt - go for the fish option as this tended to be the least brutalised food.
The evening meals are 3 nights of buffet (German, International and Curry - not the most romantic of meals) and four nights of table d'hote which tended to coincide with functions on the beach (bbq, Maldivian seafood night etc.) I felt that the set menus were awful and not even as good as the Singapore Airline food I had whereas the buffets were generally as good as any you'd find in a Spanish or Greek 3* hotel. Donât expect the staff to know the actual food is unless it is labeled â for that matter, the chefs didnât always know.
Ask for a West-facing room or you may end up looking at the smoke stacks of the Male waste incineration plant on the horizon. This is the downside to having a resort which is only 20minutes by boat from Male airport.
Friends dined at the Chinese restaurant - they said the food was excellent but the service was poor. (common theme) :(
It's a good resort but you'll save money on tips as you'll not be leaving many for the service. Despite being told before hand by the resort that tipping is discretionary and done at the end of the holiday â youâll find that the luggage boys expect US$1 per case on your arrival and departure.
With all things considered, the lagoon and reef snorkeling made up for any shortfall in the resort. During my stay I saw a sea snake, a lion fish, black-tipped reef sharks, sea horses, flying fish, darts and many other varieties of parrot, butterfly and trigger fish etc. I would recommend the resort as a beginnerâs resort for the Maldives, but donât have expectations of the perfect island retreat. It's a nice 3* hotel in a fantastic location (unless youâre unfortunate to have a room facing Male), but not that special."
- Travel date: Fri 14th of April 2006
we came back 1 week ago from our honeymoon at Laguna Beach. It belongs to Universal Resorts which own many hotels in the Maldives.
After our arrival at the airport, we were transfered to the hotel by speedboat (it takes about 20 min). Somebody took care of our luggage until the moment we arrived in our room. At the nice reception we were brought a nice (non alcohol)cocktail to welcome us.
We were upgraded, so our room was nice and clean, it was a bungalow bedroom with a open shower which was very nice through the day, but ... do not forget that you are in a tropical country so in the night this open shower allowed bugs to enter in the bedroom.
This bothered us a little. The room had a minibar, a safe but did not have a TV, so for the TV addicted, this could be a problem.
The beach was very nice. (look at the pictures i posted) You could see a lot of fishes in the Sea which was marvellous and a paradise for those who like aquatic sports, snorkeling, diving, reading a book on the beach or simply... doing nothing and enjoying sunbathing.
The palmtrees were impressive and the gardens with lots of vegetation and flowers were magnificent and very well maintained.
What we appreciated the most was the food and the kindness of the people working there (especially Amir from the chinese restaurant):
We advise you to stay with breakfast as we did. So you will able to choose one of the 5 restaurants.
For lunch (and dinner), you have only the choice between a snack restaurant and a buffet one.
And for dinner...
At the chinese and italian restaurant, the food was excellent and the service fantastic: Employees (especially Amir) were very nice and made their best to make us feel as good as possible. I advise you the pasta or the crabs. The BBQ restaurant on the beach can be a more expensive than the others but it is worth it. We were twice in that restaurant for theme dinners (arabic and BBQ night) and it was fantastic, we ate on the beach by night with only one little candlelight under a sky full of stars; the food was excellent and as usually the employees were very nice.
For your information:
A pasta or a snack (really nice ones) cost about 20 dollars , meat/fish/seafood between 25 and 35 and lobster about 45. The drinks costed 3 usd for a big bottle of water, 4 usd for a beer, between 6 and 12 for a cocktail.
If i go back again, i will:
- book a bungalow bedroom (because some other rooms look tired and need refurbishment)
- book breakfast in order to enjoy all the restaurants
- not forget my suncream and a good book
- never forget to tip the employees to reward their kindness.
- Travel date: Sat 8th of April 2006
"We finished our honeymoon with 6 nights at Laguna and couldn't have asked for more. We'd had a hectic week in Sri Lanka so chilled out at Laguna. We were supposed to stay in a standard room but were upgraded to a bungalow, which were very spacious with own terrace and outside bathroom.
We were all inclusive, and ate at the main restaurant which is either buffet or set menu, the food was fine, and you could eat as much as you want.
I was apprehensive about water being added on as an extra but it wasn't at laguna apart from if you took it out of the mini bar. Ordered it with food and then take the rest of the bottle away.
Drinks were aplenty and all named brands there is a different cocktail list for all inclusives but there was plenty to choose from.
All in all it topped off a wonderful honeymoon."
- Travel date: Fri 17th of February 2006
"We went to Laguna for our honeymoon and it was excellent - more than we could have wished for!
We stayed in a water bungalow which was simply furnished and very clean. The bathroom had a huge window so you could look out to sea whilst having a bath! The private balcony was huge and had two very comfortable sun beds and a day bed. We spotted many different varities of fish from the bungalow including rays, sharks, eels and many pretty tropical fish.
The food was fresh and lovely. Breakfast was brought to us in our room every morning, and the food was of a good quality. The Chinese restaurant and Grill were fantastic. Only problem with the food was there was so much of it that I put on half a stone in two weeks!
Spa brilliant - and good value for money.
The dive centre was fantastic. I was very nervous as hadn't been diving before but they were great with me and I absolutely loved the experience. Ended up going on 3 dives and saw the most amazing marine life.
I'd definitely recommend this hotel, and I'd go back tomorrow!"
- Travel date: Wed 15th of February 2006
"breakfast wasn't the greatest. dinner was excellent. snorkelling was good. rooms were very disappointing for the price. alcohol was very expensive. did a snorkelling excursion for 3 hours. snorkelling very good but no soft drinks etc on the boat. expensive excursion with no beverages included.
would I go back to the resort? no. would try another resort."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of December 2005
"We stayed in a water bungalow (313) which is located at the end of the bungalows (next the end suite) and it was nice. I was disapointed to find that we had a suite that was unfinished like our neighbours. There were shelves missing in the bar, no netting over the bed and the indoor shower hadn't been completed so whenever you had a shower you flooded the place.
I highly recommend getting a water bungalow if you are into snorkelling or enjoy privacy. However had they build the steps on the opposite side of the balconies there would have been total privacy on your deck, a small flaw though.
The food was good, not great, but good enough that we were happy. I've been to resorts where the food is exceptional and this wasn't one of them.
We ordered room service for lunch one day and it never showed up which was a pain as I was going out on a dive and had to skip a meal. No effort to deal with the error was made by the management or staff which surprised me for a 5 star resort.
I was also surprised by the lack of attention we were given on arrival, it would have been nice for the manager to welcome us or at least say hello at some point during the stay, it's a small enough resort that it would be possible. Two managers sat at the next table to us every night and only complained to each other about things going on (which wasn't exactly professioal) and never smiled and said hello, welcome to the island or anything (I know one was a manager and assume her friend was also a manager as she spoke like she was).
The scuba centre was really professional and well looked after. I felt really well looked after by Herby and the other lady (sorry I forget her name, Peta I think). They were 100% professional and made you feel really safe and yet free to enjoy your dive as well.
The snorkelling off the water bungalows was great we saw everything from small to large eels, turtles, octupus, and even a few large 5' sharks at the outer edges. Our neighbuors say they saw a manta ray out near where I told them to look for the sharks which would have been a highlight!
The boat ride from the airport was really nice, a nicely kept boat that was very comfortable and the trip back was on an even bigger and nicer boat. Very professional and well maintained with life vests and a great crew.
Some of the staff were a bit pushy when it came to tipping and that was a bit frustrating. For example when breakfast would come to the bungalow there would often be something missing, when they would bring the item they would stand there waiting to be tipped again. Not a big deal, just not something I would expect at a 5 star resort.
Initially I would say 100% yes I would return to this resort but the lack of caring makes me think I'll give one of the many others a shot next time..."
- Travel date: Sat 5th of November 2005
Perfect Honeymoon Island
"Steve and I have just returned from this fantastic island. We stayed 7nights for our honeymoon and we couldn't have asked for more. We stayed in a water bungalow which was decorated perfectly and to top it off it had a jacuzzi on the balcony, what more could you ask for either looking up at the stars or watching the sunset, both were fantastic. We found the food / drinks and service excellent. We went all inclusive which I would highly recommend because the drinks are quite expensive. The island itself was lovely, the sea was warmer than the pool and you only ever saw other people in the restaurants!
We will certainly be going again once we have saved up enough money and would recommend it to anyone.
Sandrine and Steve Roberts"
- Travel date: Tue 18th of October 2005
Stayed at the Laguna in June 2005 - room...
"Stayed at the Laguna in June 2005 - room 105 - deluxe bungalow. Excellent room, located well on the 'breezy' side of the island (West side). Room was very spacious & had a partly open air bathroom, but no bugs. Because of the high humidity, there were a few mozzies outside the room. The resort did spray the island for mozzies nearly everyday but mozzie-protection was still required. Dining facilities are very good, even if you are a vegetarian.
Note: don't just go by the items listed in the menu as not every item can be listed. Speak to the F&B Manager for any special requests/dishes. All our requests were catered for by the staff at the resort. All members of staff were very helpful & friendly. Point to note: a 1.5ltr bottle of water can cost around $3.80.
So get a few bottles from the restaurant outside the airport before you get transferred to the resort. Recreation activities are good. You have to try some of the treatments in the Spa. The resort lacks some local evening entertainment though. On the whole, I strongly recommend Laguna and will definitely visit it again in the future.
- Travel date: Wed 23rd of November 2005