The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
What We Love
- Fresh coconut water and eucalyptus-scented towels presented upon arrival
- Relaxation nets that hang off the sea deck outside your villa
- A jaw-dropping breakfast buffet, spread across several interconnecting rooms
- The limousine pick-up from Male International Airport
What To Know
- The lights and television in your villa are all iPad controlled
- Be sure to reserve scuba diving sessions in advance—tours typically fill up
- The resort’s most coveted accommodation, the John Jacob Astor Estate, is the largest overwater villa in the Maldives
- Zero gravity yoga and bootcamp classes are part of the menu at the onsite gym
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
With their coral chandeliers and recycled glass headboards, each of the 77 villas—choose from categories including garden, beach, or overwater—at this swish tropical resort are slices of a Maldivian lagoon. Each is decked with its own private pool, though you’ll likely spend much your time in the far more enticing waters of the neighboring Indian Ocean, where a snorkeling excursion or glass-bottomed kayak ride (the hotel also offers paragliding) can result in tête-à-têtes with spinner dolphins and turtles. The ocean-accented interiors don’t end there: the library is lobster-shaped, the boutique is designed to mirror a conch, and the overwater cocktail lounge takes visual cues from a whale shark. Days here, which begin with sunrise yoga, followed by lobster omelettes and bottomless mimosas, are delightfully languid. At the Iridium Spa, full-body massages and Ayurvedic consultations come with a view of the sea, courtesy of the portholes that stud its soothing white oak interiors. Devote one evening to a five-course degustation menu at Decanter, in the hotel’s generously stocked wine cellar—there’s even a bottle that dates back to the late 18th century—before retiring to your villa for a lazy midnight soak.
In the Area
A 40-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport will bring you to this remote resort. Large swaths of the Dhaalu Atoll still remain undeveloped, so marine enthusiasts won’t get enough of its unvarnished cobalt waters. Explore them via sunset cruises (your butler can arrange one), on a fishing adventure aboard a dhoni, a traditional Maldivian boat, or through dives to the surrounding sea caves and cliffs—note that guests must be older than 8 for lessons, offered at the resort’s PADI-certified diving center. The staff can also arrange more family-focused activities, including a postcard-perfect photo shoot or a sandbank barbecue.
How to Get There
My wife and I just returned from a 6 night stay at the St. Regis. We have been fortunate enough to have also stayed at the W (7-8 years ago), and both Four Seasons resorts. We had a great time, and can strongly recommend the resort. Will also try to make some comparisons vs. the W and Four Seasons in case you are trying to decide between them. Some comments:
1) The service was really, really good. We really liked the "butler" service, and while all St. Regis' have this, and the Four Seasons has a similar program, the Vommuli resort has the best implementation i have experienced. Our butler, Tom, found us every morning at breakfast, and we would normally see him once or twice more during the day. He gave us his Whatsapp number, which was an AMAZING way to communicate and make requests... We found it was much easier to Whatsapp Tom than to call the general number. He was able to make and change dinner reservations, get more coffee/water for the suite, iron clothes, answer questions about the resort, etc... Tom is a great butler, and we were happy to have his services as part of the holiday.
2) The Internet! was fantastic. They actually encourage you (technology wise) to stream netflix to your in suite TV (if you want to watch anything). The internet bandwidth was great, wifi was prevelant, and they also had a cell phone tower on or near the island. We have Google Fi, and were happily making calls and getting txts (for free) using our normal phones with no additional charges. For some, this may be a negative, but we appreciated the full connectivity.
3) Snorkeling (GREAT) - The W had a house reef that (to that point) was the best snorkeling i have done ever). I have been told that the bleaching over the past decade has significantly harmed the reef (at the W). Likewise, at both Four Seasons Resorts, we found the snorkeling off the house reef to be poor. Our expectations for the St. Regis were low, but we were blown away with how good it was. I've attached a crude map of where we went and what we saw. Note, we are strong swimmers and felt comfortable snorkeling around the outlying overwater suites, but there is NO ACCESS on the jetty except to your own room. If you are staying on the main island, you need to snorkel out, and back... No jumping in from the jetty, or getting back out. With that safety disclaimer, we saw white and black tip sharks every time out, as well as spotted eagle rays (twice), turtles, moray eels, clown fish, and huge schools of various other fish. Im trying to put a You Tube video montage of the highlights. We snorkeled every morning (8-9am) and evening (4-5pm). The best snorkeling was in front of the John Jacob Astor Suite, but it was good everywhere from the far end of the jetty to the Astor Suite (and continuing in towards the Whale Bar).
4) Scuba Diving was disappointing! We were very disappointed with the dive center. Their service, flexibility, and attitude. (note: the dive center is not managed by the St. Regis. We talked to the St. Regis manager, and he was able to intercede on our behalf, but they outsource the diving and watersports to another entity for liability reasons). Specifically, the local dive center has a unique requirement to do a "check out dive". And they make you pay $250 for that privilege. Yes, a dive with rental gear (and the boat fee, which they price separately) is about $250. My wife and I are both advanced Open water PADI divers with dives within the past year. I was only interested in doing 1 or 2 dives, so wanted to do "good ones"... Deeper, currents, etc... They were ok to book the dives, but said my first dive needed to be "easy", and was essentially a check out dive for them to verify your skills. I did not want to waste $250 and a morning of my vacation doing a check out dive, so declined. My wife did 1 dive anyway, and was very disappointed. Not only was the dive lackluster, but her assigned "buddy" was a beginning diver, do the dive master was handholding this novice diver the entire time and didn't point out anything... After we saw how good the snorkeling was at the house reef, we asked if we could dive the wall by the resort, perhaps even just going off from our overwater suite... no need for a boat, etc... They said no. Lastly, the dive center provides all of the complimentary fins for the rooms for guests to use for snorkeling. The fins they provide are "crap". Very low end, beat up, and made my wife's feet bleed. The fins they use for scuba are much nicer, but they would not let us use them for snorketing... We ended up talking to our butler and the resort manager who got her access tot he better fins, but what a hassle. For $2,000 a night, i think it is reasonable to have reasonable fins for snorkeling. All in all, very unimpressed with the dive center, but super happy with the snorkeling.
5) The food. We tried the whale bar (great view, great food, get reservations, but limited menu), Orientale (favorite place, get there at 630 or 645pm for a prime table by the water) and Alba (biggest food selection, but ambiance just "ok"). All in all the food was very good. As everyone cites, it is expensive, but you need to include this in your planning and just go with it... They have a grill next to Alba that does pizza, tacos, quesadillas, etc... But they are only open till 4pm. I was encourage the hotel to open this up for dinner... After heavy dinners all week, we were craving a pizza or something simple for one night.
6) The fitness center was good, but not large. Plenty of weight equipment, but only 2 treadmills and 1 elliptical and 1 bike. One morning, all 4 were used, the next morning, i was by myself... I would suggest adding a second elliptical. I tried the "included" yoga one morning. It was good but not outstanding... Seemed like typical resort yoga... 10 people in the class, and was pretty easy. Location was beautiful though.
7) Children: more than i recall compared to the W or the Four Seasons... there seemed to be a relatively large % of families there. It could have been because we were there over Chinese New Year and there were a lot of Chines families, but i was surprised with the amount of children. The only time you really noticed was at breakfast and because the restaurant was so full, you usually had a family table within 10-20' of you. Not a big deal, but something to be prepared for.
Comparisons to W and Four Seasons:
- We really liked the W, and want to go back someday. I recall it having a "cooler" and younger vibe, less families, and they had free ice cream on the jetty (at least they used to). However, i think the St. Regis has the W beat (assuming same price). The St Regis has better food options, better snorkeling (now), and fantastic butler service.
- Comparing to the Four Seasons... We stayed at both Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru. The St. Regis beats Kuda Huraa hands down... More remote, better reef, better service, better food. However, Landaa Giraavaru is a great property, and is better in some ways (and worst in others). Landaa feels more "exclusive" and a little more luxurious. Landaa is a bigger island, so has a much larger beach, a small island you can kayak to, and better dining options. While they dont have a dedicated butler (St Regis wins this hands down), they have fantastic service. We also liked the variety of dining options. However, the snorkeling at Landaa was very poor. All in all, the St. Regis and Four Seasons Landaa are both excellent and beat out the W and the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa.
The St Regis Maldives is one of those phenomenal aspirational trips that you read and hear about. People describe fantasy private islands that seem too good to be true.
From the moment we landed in Male to the time our flight left Male we were amazed by the attention to detail that they provided.
When you arrive they wait for you at the airport for a transfer (Bentley) to the Seaplane terminal. Have a snack, juice, coffee to refresh before the seaplane ride to the resort.
Once on this secluded getaway you won’t want to come back!
We had a butler for the stay, Ahmed, aka. “Tom” who helped unpack, arrange restaurant reservations, pick us up by golf cart, and even pack when you leave.
No need was too small or too big.
The resort is as all the pictures show, amazingly beautiful, the water, if I didn’t know better I would think they sprinkle kool-aid every morning to make it so blue-green/cerulean.
I have never seen clearer water anywhere.
The housekeeping staff (Anil) was superb!
The great room at the airport was also phenomenal special thanks to Areef for helping us have a snack and to Shiyan, who truly was a shining star in making sure everything was perfect!!
This is a must visit resort, it is worth the long travel and will make for the trip of a lifetime!
Amaaazing! Went here on our honeymoon earlier this year and it was the trip of a lifetime. I could write a book about this trip, but I'll try to keep it short.
The setting? Spectacular. Try to find a bad view. Spoiler alert: you can't.
The rooms? Impeccable. We stayed in an overwater villa facing the beach. Sliding glass doors across the entire villa give you a view from literally every part of the room but the toilet! Tap on the in-room iPad to raise the blinds and enjoy sunrise from bed with a cup of coffee from the machine in the room. Read a book on comfy outdoor cushions. Frolic in the waves, which you step into from your private deck. Dip your toes into your very own plunge pool and then pull them back out because the pool doesn't get much sun and the water's always cold. Whatever! You don't need a pool because you're floating right above the Arabian Sea.
What's there to do, you ask. Nothing! Or everything! I took lazy walks, went to the gym, and read by the pool. My new husband signed us up for: guided snorkeling; tennis; a dolphin boat tour; parasailing; anti-gravity yoga; a massage; a manicure; more tennis; and stick mobility and ginastica natural (those last two were led by excellent guest trainer Richie). While many of these activities were add-ons, there are workouts that are included with the cost of your room.
In my opinion, the food was the only weak point. The prices were sky-high -- even for an island resort. And the taste or portion size of a dish didn't always reflect the price. That being said -- I ate constantly and eagerly. Some of the highlights were: the spectacular breakfast buffet at Alba. The interactive lunch in the gorgeous garden at Elements. The Indian and Chinese food at Orientale. Anything grilled. And you can't go wrong with pizza and beer on the beach at Crust (our cheapest meals).
And last, but most importantly, the staff was spectacular. Adam was the butler who ran the villa we stayed in and he was helpful, patient, informative and helped make our celebratory trip even more special. Dominic, the resort manager, was ever-present and made us feel well taken care of and appreciated. Kiran magically improved my tennis game in two sessions and gave us an unbelievable workout. If Faizal opened up an anti-gravity yoga studio in LA, we'd be his first clients. Mayank, the sommelier, helped us pick a 1959 Puligny-Montrachet from the amazing cellar that we've been telling people about for weeks. Rachel did an impeccable job in the salon and was fun to talk to. And Joyce, Pop, Ernie, Naufal, and many others remembered our names, preferences, and made us feel welcome in the restaurants we rotated through.
A few other random tips... There aren't many staples in the island store, so be sure to bring all the basics you need. (Although the St. Regis provides flip-flops, sunscreen, bug spray, hats, and a beach bag in your room.) Leave the heels at home -- you'll have to walk through sand and across wooden platforms to get to dinner. I'm from the Deep South in the US and even the heat and humidity got to me! Plan to take time to adjust and bring some hair spray. There's a doctor available to guests. He hooked us up with some Calamine lotion to help with a heat rash/plankton allergy situation.
I could write a book about this trip, but I'll try to keep it short.
The setting? Spectacular. Try to find a bad view. Spoiler alert: you can't.
The rooms? Impeccable. We stayed in an overwater villa facing the beach. Sliding glass doors across the entire villa give you a view from literally every part of the room but the toilet! Enjoy sunrise and a cup of coffee from the machine in the room. Read a book on the spacious deck. Frolic in the waves, which you step into from your private deck. Dip your toes into your very own plunge pool and then pull them back out because the pool doesn't get much sun and the water's always cold. Whatever! You don't need a pool because you're floating right above the Arabian Sea.
What's there to do, you ask. Nothing! Or everything! I took lazy walks, went to the gym, and read by the pool. My new husband signed us up for: guided snorkeling; tennis coaching; a dolphin boat tour; parasailing; a body wrap; anti-gravity yoga; a massage; a manicure; more tennis; and stick mobility and ginastica natural (those last two were led by guest trainer Richie). While most of these activities were add-ons, there are workouts that are included with the cost of your room.
In my opinion, the food was the only weak point. The prices were sky-high -- even for an island resort. I didn't see a price list for any of the snacks in our room so I didn't touch them because I couldn't help but wonder: if an edamame appetizer is $32, how much are they gonna charge us for gummy bears? And the taste or portion size of a dish didn't always reflect the price. That being said -- I ate constantly and eagerly. Some of the highlights were: the spectacular breakfast buffet at Alba. The interactive lunch in the garden at Elements. The Indian and Chinese food at Orientale. Anything grilled. And you can't go wrong with pizza and beer on the beach at Crust (our cheapest meals).
And last, but most importantly, the staff was spectacular. Adam was the butler who ran the villa we stayed in and he was amazing. Helpful, patient, informative and always on the ball, he helped make our celebratory trip very special. Dominic, the resort manager, was ever-present and made us feel well taken care of and appreciated. They were both on the dock when our sea plane arrived, greeted us by name, and thanked us for being in the SPG program. Kiran magically improved my tennis game in two sessions and gave us an unbelievable workout. If Faizal opened up an anti-gravity yoga studio in LA, we'd be his first clients. The sommelier helped us pick a wine from the amazing cellar that we've been telling people about for weeks. Rachel did an impeccable job in the salon and was fun to talk to. And Joyce, Pop, Ernie, Naufal, and many others remembered our names, preferences, and made us feel welcome in the restaurants we rotated through.
A few other random tips... There aren't many staples in the island store, so be sure to bring all the basics you need. Leave the heels at home -- you'll have to walk through sand and across wooden platforms to get to dinner. I'm from the Deep South in the US and even the heat and humidity got to me! Plan to take time to adjust and bring some hair spray.
Background: This was our second time staying at the resort. We first stayed at the resort back in early 2016 when the resort opened for less than a year. During our first stay, we split our stay between the OWV and OWV sunset. The rooms are identical except for the view. During our latest stay, we stayed at the St Regis overwater suite. The suite is much larger than the OWV. The size of the suite is 3000 square ft vs. the standard 2000 sq ft. In addition, there is also a second bathroom and jetted swimming pool. Of the three room type, I really enjoyed the suite given the larger open space and I thought the house reef was better on this side as we snorkeled everyday and even saw turtle on our last day.
Food: I wouldn’t say the food is expensive given the effort it takes to transport it here. We enjoyed the Maldivian lobster, catch of the day. chicken sandwich, steak, butter chicken and the French toast. Breakfast buffet is a must, i never seen a buffer this extensive with lots of luxury items such as fois gras, rib-eye, lobster, you will not be disappointed if you went. Though I felt compared to my first visit, there were less cheese options/desert options this time around.
Activities: We mainly went scuba and snorkeling. The coral garden snorkeling is amazing the first time we went, as we saw turtles/lobster/ jelly fish etc. for the most recent trip, we were disappointed with the coral garden snorkeling as water visibility was poor and we didn’t think our snorkeling guide was that great. Again, we do recommend the snorkel excursion if you do not intended to go scuba.
SPA: the blue hole is a must try. It’s basically a jetted tub on steroids and with an amazing Infiniti view of the ocean. We did a couple massage, the service was good but nothing too special relative to other hotel massage service we been to.
Platinum status: I was upgraded during both of my stays. I think the key to room upgrade is to make sure you already have a OWV booked. I do believe had I booked a garden villa, it would be hard to get upgraded to OWV as these are typically close to full occupancy.
Service: maybe due to the resort’s higher occupancy, we didn’t feel the personal touch that we experienced during our time. For example, during our first visit, the waiters remember our names and what we ordered during breakfast and would automatically bring our juices to us. This time, the food service was a bit slow. I think on certain nights, we had to ask for the bill multiple times as it took some time to get serviced. Butler service is good and I would say better than other st Regis I have stayed. As for guests, keep in mind this is not a 1:1 butler service. Your butler has other guest they must attend to.
What I enjoyed most about this resort is the exclusivity and privacy it offers. I like that the resort isn’t crowded, I barely saw anyone playing on the main beach and pool as people tend to stay in their OWV or their own beach property rather than venture into public territory. The resort is just beautiful, and anyone staying here would be impressed by the hardware of this luxury resort. As for the service, while I thought the service has more of a personal touch the first time, you will not be disappointed with it. Hope to be back a third time in the next few years.
This hotel is insanely gorgeous. The customer service is phenomenal. They went above and beyond for our honeymoon. The spa services were incredible. The restaurants and buffet were delicious. We can’t wait to go back.