ST REGIS MALDIVES VOMMULI RESORT
The St Regis Maldives is located in the Dhaalu Atoll, a 45 minute seaplane flight from Male. I thoroughly enjoy the seaplane rides. That birds eye view of the turquoise lagoons and tiny islands is precious. It is rare not to be wowed when flying over the atolls. Having been to the Maldives several times I am always excited when I can recognize some of the resorts from the air. Always try and get onto the seaplane before it fills up. You would definitely want a window seat. Also make sure you take your camera out of your hand luggage before boarding as all larger bags are stowed at the back of the plane. There are many photo opportunities and you can capture some amazing shots at lower altitude.
This was my first trip to the Dhaalu Atoll and I was excited to arrive on this island paradise. Our butler 'Ice' greeted us upon arrival and we were taken on a short tour of the resort island. The one thing that stood out for me was the incredible architecture. Although modern and quite futuristic the architecture draws its inspiration from the environment and the use of natural elements displays a richness. Over water villas are reminiscent of the manta ray. The spa with its pod like treatment rooms actually resembles a crab or lobster when viewed from the air. The one of a kind whale bar, draws its inspiration from the whale shark and is positioned to get the best view of sunset. You have to really explore the resort to appreciate what the architects have achieved. It's a photographer's delight.
I had the privilege of calling overwater 'St Regis suite' 520 my home for 5 days. Very spacious and private it is located at the tip of one end of the jetty, so it feels more secluded. The villa comes with all the amenities one would need. With a deck that has 5 over water hammocks, a large day bed, a wooden gazebo, 2 sun loungers and a dining area for two there's an abundance of lounging space outside. To top it off each suite comes with a 16 square meter private pool, not to mention steps that lead you right into the lagoon if you decided to take a dip or explore the house reef. What I loved about my villa is that it was completely private and had sunlight all the way from sunrise to around 4 pm. The house reef has a diversity of sea life and was pleasantly surprised to see very large schools of fish. I was lucky enough to see a pod of dolphins right in front of my villa one day!
The resort has several room categories: Garden villa with pool, beach villa with pool, over water villa and sunset over water villa with pool, St Regis Suite, 2 bedroom family villa with pool, 2 bedroom beach suite with pool, Caroline Aster Estate and John Jacob Aster Estate. For more information regarding accommodation check out the St Regis Maldives Vommuli website.
Before You Go
Request your room of choice before hand. Be it at the end of the jetty, island facing or more secluded, you are happiest when you get the villa/room location you prefer. Communicate this early with the travel agent or resort
If villa and deck privacy is a priority make this clear when booking your villa.
I prefer to book restaurants and activities such as diving well before the trip. If it is peak season things get booked up very quickly. This is especially the case for destination dining, private sandbank picnics and dive trips. With St Regis Vommuli I suggest you book the restaurants earlier as well. This way your days on the island are nicely planned out.
Communicate your arrival time and flight details when you make your booking.
Make sure you have your camera with you for the seaplane flight there. I normally have it in my hand luggage and take it out before we leave the international terminal in Male. The view from the seaplane is breathtaking! Try to get a window seat.
The resort has a lovely lounge called 'The Great Room' in the sea plane terminal at the airport. A private resort car takes you there as soon as you walk out of the airport. I loved the fact that your butler introduces herself/himself to you via a video message which the lounge staff show you so when you arrive on the island you already know who your butler is. All check in is done prior to boarding the seaplane.
The resort is located in Dhaalu Atoll and is approximately 45 minute from Male's Velana International airport by seaplane.
CHECK IN/ CHECK OUT
Check in time is 3 PM
Check out time is 12 PM
Villa categories include:
Garden villa with pool, beach villa with pool, over water villa and sunset over water villa with pool, St Regis Suite, 2 bedroom family villa with pool, 2 bedroom beach suite with pool, Caroline Aster Estate and John Jacob Aster Estate.
I stayed in over- water 'St Regis suite' 520 which is at one end of the jetty. It faces away from the island and is one of the more private and slightly larger over-water villas.
Sunrise villas face away from the island and offer more privacy
than sunset villas which face the island.
If you are travelling with family and if privacy is a concern double check before booking the 2 bedroom water villa. It faces the Whale Bar and is very close to the dive centre. So the deck may not be very private.
The two bedroom beach villas are closer to reception on the other side of the island and more private than the 2 bedroom water villas. My advice would be to check with the resort before booking.
All villas come with complimentary bikes. They are very comfortable to ride and come with a basket for your bag. I was happy I could put my camera in it :)
Book your dinners in advance. As seating is limited you might not always get the restaurant of your choice. This is especially important if booking your dinner at Cargo, the Middle Eastern street restaurant located in the islands tropical gardens. Regardless I would pre-book my dinners.
Fitness centre with an anti gravity yoga studio,
Dive and Water Sport Centre, Library, Boutique, Iridium Spa. Infinity pool, Kids Club. Salon, Outdoor Tennis Court
What I loved
I would have to say the service was outstanding. Everyone on the island went above and beyond.
I am in love with the architecture at this resort. Every little detail has been thought of.
Loved the villa deck's over water hammocks. There are 5 of them and when you get tired of that you can move to the sun loungers , large day bed , gazebo or table for two.
I could spend the whole day here! (only thing I wish the villa had was an umbrella for the sun loungers.)
The island's ice cream in a freshly made cone in the beach front 'Pantry' is not to be missed.
Don't miss the view from the third floor of the boutique. Take your camera and go out onto the balcony!
Stop by reception and take a photo of the mirror which reflects the turquoise sea and a lone palm tree. It looks just like a picture frame. Love it!
Island's photogenic Rating
I loved the clear kayak experience on the lagoon. While Kayaking on the island is complimentary there is an extra charge for the clear Kayak. Worth it in my opinion.
Dive Centre Rating
Beautiful design, great treatments!
Watch the sunset from the Whale Bar.
Explore the island, bike around.
Book a dive trip.
Book a private island picnic.
Have lunch at Crust. The pizzas are amazing!
Go op to the third floor of the boutique for a view of the island.
Stargazing from the deck on top of Alba restaurant.
Visit the Spa.
You are spoiled for choice with dining choices at the St Regis Maldives, each unique in style and concept. We had dinner at 'Alba' one night and got to sample its Italian menu. The breakfast buffet is also served at Alba and the choices are abundant. With a variety of options from both an a la carte menu and buffet everything is always served to perfection with a smile.
Alba is beautiful in design, with high ceilngs and an island elegance. It exudes a very relaxed atmosphere with both indoor and alfresco seating options perfectly situated to get a view of the blue pool and lagoon.
For a casual lunch on the beach head to 'Crust', the islands pizzeria, Create your own pizza and enjoy the sea breeze as your traditional thin crust pizza gets freshly baked in the restaurant's pizza oven.
For something sweet walk next door to pantry where you can enjoy an ice cream with a freshly made cone. I regret only having this once and wish I had gone back for more. It was so good!
If you're craving something Asian dine at Orientale. The elegant oak restaurant with beachfront setting is a must. With three kitchens offering a variety of cuisines and so much on the menu you have to eat there more than once. You can choose from a Japanese Sushi bar, Indian/Pakistani grills, or an Asian kitchen offering Cantonese, Sichuan or Korean dishes. Booking is recommended!
If you want to try something different altogether you can dine at Cargo, a restaurant that offers street style Middle Eastern food in the island's tropical gardens. As seating is limited it is highly advisable to book in advance.
THE WHALE BAR
Pick a spot and relax on this beautiful overwater lounge to watch the sunset. The beautifully designed 'Whale Bar' draws its design inspiration from the 'Whale Shark' and its classy earthy toned decor glows as the sun sinks down and lights up the interior. Head there an hour before sunset to enjoy the view.
The futuristic overwater spa with its pod like treatment rooms is an architectural marvel. A bird's eye view of the spa will reflect the inspiration behind the design; A crab. Personally, I think all spas in the Maldives should be overwater. What better place to relax than right over the crystal clear lagoon. Each couple's treatment room comes with an outdoor deck and bathtub. The spa has a total of 6 couple's treatment rooms, 2 rooms for ayurvedic treatments, a sauna and steam room, boutique and lounge area.
I booked my dive before arriving on the island and was very excited at the possibility of seeing mantas, sharks and rays on my dive. Little did I know that I would tick all of the above off my list during my single tank trip. The dive center has a great team of professionals who made sure I had a safe and enjoyable dive trip.
I also booked a private island picnic through the dive center. I have to say that besides swimming with a Manta this had to be the highlight of my trip. (Photos and video in the next section)
If you are a keen kayaker take advantage of the free kayaks and paddle around the island. Or you could try the islands clear kayak (which is charged) but a great way to see the reef below.
EXPLORE THE ISLAND
Take advantage of the complimentary bikes and go for a spin around the island. Take the stairs up to the third floor of the boutique for a spectacular panoramic view. The spiral staircase to the side of Alba leads you to the rooftop, which is another great spot for a photo. It is also a great spot for star gazing or viewing a full moon through the resorts telescope.
PRIVATE ISLAND PICNIC
I have been on so many trips to the Maldives but never experienced a sandbank or island picnic. I had booked it once during a trip to another resort but had to cancel due to bad weather. So, it was high time I scratched this off my bucket list.! The picnic was organised by Vommuli Dive and Water Sport Centre at the St Regis Maldives and booked prior to our arrival. Everything was set.
It was the perfect day for a picnic. Blue skies, bright sunshine and a gentle breeze. We got into the speedboat and were whisked away to our island paradise.
The view as we approached the island was stunning. Turquoise was visible beyond the deep blue. As we got closer coral reefs gave way to a crystal clear turquoise lagoon, powder white sands and a table for two under the shade of an umbrella. For four hours we had this island paradise all to ourselves!