What We Love
- Cast away for a full- or half-day on private Gaathafushi Island
- 15BELOW nightclub has DJ, dance floor and over 95 vodka varieties
- WiFi is free
What To Know
- Seaplane transfer costs $400 per person round trip (45 minutes)
- One way boat transfer is $250 per person (2+ hours)
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Room Service
From bi-level beachfront and lagoon rooms to two-bedroom overwater villas, there are no bad seats in this house. The posh playground at the W Resort & Spa Maldives has 78 air-conditioned designer digs with a laundry list of appointments, including 42-inch plasma TVs, BOSE sound systems, wine fridges and free WiFi. The AWAY Spa serves up a full menu of massage and Ayurvedic treatments in four private, waterfront treatment villas, using award-winning [Comfort Zone] and SUNDÃRI products. Open-air FISH lives up to its name with fresh-caught seafood tastings prepared to order. And nearby SIP lounge offers an après-dîner destination for the social set, while 15BELOW gets the party started by spinning the hottest tunes and pouring over 95 varieties of vodka.
In the Area
Hit up WAVE and take your pick of water sport diversions, with free snorkeling gear, Hobie kayaks, windsurfing boards and Molokini glass-bottom canoes. The center also offers excursions ranging from parasailing, big game fishing and traditional Maldivian night fishing to catamaran sailings, and day and overnight trips to the resort’s private Gaathafushi island at a surcharge. To go a little deeper, DOWN UNDER offers PADI dive certification, two-tank dives around the Fesdu and Halaveli wrecks, and an overnight whale shark expedition aboard the luxury yacht ESCAPE. Back on shore, WET infinity pool makes a strong case for staying at the hotel with a popular bar and uninterrupted views.
How to Get There
The Maldives is a magical place. It’s a bucket list location for many and I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit and glad I chose the W Maldives. I am a Marriott Elite member and contemplated between the St Regis, new JW Marriott and the W. Ultimately we chose the W because of the positive reviews, adult focus and signature whatever/whenever service the brand is known for.
When we arrived into Male, we were met by Luguin who guided us through the sea plane check-in process and escorted us to the W lounge. Many hotels have these waiting areas for the sea plane departures. He quickly gave us the hotel overview, checked us in and advised we had been upgraded to a lagoon view overwater villa! This was great news since we used points for the beach villa and have always wanted to experience the overwater rooms. It was a great first impression of the hotel. The sea planes are managed by Transmaldivian and the hotel simply arranges on your behalf. They have no control over the actual departures - so be ready to be flexible! Luckily ours was only slightly delayed but still arrived in time for sunset. The ride is about 25 minutes. Its a small plane with about 15 or so seats and usually makes another stop for customers at other hotels. We were stop 1. I recommend sitting on the left side of the aircraft with one seat so everyone can get a window view.
Upon arrival, you are greeted by the welcome team at the hotel and provided a cold towel and glass of champagne. We were introduced to many key folks of the hotel and then whisked away on a cart by Shafana who was so friendly. We got a quick tour of the island and then were taken to our oasis. The views were fantastic and the overwater room was everything we expected. We had a welcome amenity of fresh fruit, cookies and champagne. The room has direct access to the lagoon where you can snorkel, swim or enjoy sunbathing on the private deck and hammock. The room was great but we decided to ask if we could experience the beach villa for our last 2 nights. The W insider Chunky made it happen and provided us with the best ocean front room 123 with amazing snorkeling and sunrise views. It actually ended up being our favorite of the 2 and recommend you try both if the hotel can accommodate. The beach villas have a more personal tropical feel, have a second floor oasis with a large swing, and have the same personal plunge pool with sunbathing areas near the pool
and also on the beach. The bathtub and shower areas are actually outdoors which was pretty cool.
Breakfast each day at Kitchen is great and has nice variety. If you have loyalty status that includes free breakfast, its definitely the way to go! There is a nice upgraded buffet option with fresh juices, smoothies, fruit, pastries and other savory Asian influenced items. You can also order from the menu a la carte items such as eggs and sweets. The vanilla french toast and banana pancakes are to die for.
Lunch was generally at the beach or at Wet. The burger, chicken sandwich and local items were all excellent. Whats great is with whatever/whenever, you can order really anything from any restaurant and staff accommodate your request. Pad Thai at the beach? No problem! Happy hour 2 for 1 is all day everyday at Wet. Its a great value and a nice surprise. There was also 2 for 1 drinks at Sip 8-10 each evening.
For dinner, we tried all the restaurants. Fish and Fire are the signature restaurants but rotate openings/closings throughout the week. Its best to make a reservation in advance as they filled up quickly. Some nights feature a themed dinner with wine - the price was quite high sometimes at $185 per person so we did not participate. We enjoyed the a la carte menus on the other nights. Our favorites were the red snapper at Fish, the Australian short rib and grilled reef fish at Fire and the butter chicken at Kitchen. Honda at the Wet bar, Masae at the beach bar, Noor at Kitchen for breakfast and Hisham at Fish all took great care of us. As an Elite member, we enjoyed 20 percent off all food and beverage items with the exception of room service. It basically washes out the tax and service charges of 22% which are added to each bill. Everything is imported here - so you just have to understand there complexity to provide good food and service.
The spa was amazing! Make sure to experience it at least once during your stay. We had the best massages from Tshering and Sugi. The private rooms are over the water and very relaxing. The therapists have strong hands and the products they use are excellent. We only wish we had another massage or service before we left.
The gym is small but functional with cardio, machines and free weights. Raj was the personal trainer and yoga instructor. We took advantage of sunset yoga two nights and it was fantastic. Its at 530 on Monday and Wednesday and very relaxing. The sunset views on the beach were incredible. They also offer it during the morning on alternate days.
The house reef was the best part of the trip. Theres no need to take a snorkeling trip as you can see every color fish imaginable as well as sea turtles, stingrays and baby reef sharks. They are harmless and often more afraid of humans than we are of them. The areas between the spa and Fish are where you can see the most sea life. Its something we enjoyed multiple times during the day.
The most memorable part of the trip was because of the W Insider Chunky. Many of you may have read about him in reviews. I knew who he was and was excited to meet him. In all my years of travel, I’ve never personally met an Insider. Usually you receive an automated email in advance of your trip from this person. Chunky takes it to the next level by meeting guests in person, getting to know you and your preferences and meeting with you throughout your stay. He makes sure everything is perfect and helps with any special requests or issues during your stay. He is such a nice addition to the team and truly an ambassador of the W brand and the hotel. All the staff are so friendly and work to make sure your stay is perfect.
Thank you W Maldives for an incredible Maldivian holiday. The experience we will forever cherish and we hope to see you again!
This is where I want to live.....permanently! Took me a week to just get back to normal city life. This was easily the hardest good-bye for me.
The few days we spent at the W Maldives has just been an incredibly touching hospitality experience - never before have we witnessed such minute attention to detail, and that too by a wide variety of hotel staff, each of who made it a point to make our stay just perfect – Anuj, Dan, Greg, Mark, Ika, Ibrahim and everyone else who names I don’t remember (sorry!) and a special shoutout to Chunky Mathews (you are a gem of a person ????)!!!
We feel like we left a home behind, and so we are absolutely certain we will be coming back. Thank you to each and every one of the W Maldvies team, you were outstanding! THIS IS INDEED A PIECE OF PARADISE.
I arrived back from a memorable trip of a lifetime in the W Maldives. This is the 3rd time for me the island and definitely won’t be the last. I was visiting with a group of friends to celebrate the birthday of one of us.
The team excels in ensuring that they live up to their service slogan: “Whatever Whenever”.
We leave the room in need of major cleaning every single day because we use the beach and the pool extensively, but we always return to a spotless clean room!
Food & Beverage:
Excellent food options at reasonable prices -given that you are stuck on an island and comparing the prices with other resorts versus the quality, I think it’s great. -
The team also working in the restaurants are professional, courteous and knowledgable. I remembered also seeing common faces from my previous visits, Didi was one.
One of my friends is celiac, and this wasn’t too much trouble for the team to cater for needs.
I arrived to the island with a terrible back ache due to stress at work, and the first thing I planned a back massage. The technique used was excellent that I woke up the next day refreshed with no pain! Some call it magic, I call it quality of staff!
We attended one of the complementary yoga classes, and we were amazed at how the instructor paid attention to everyone equally to make the best of the session.
Guests of the hotel were invited on day one to a cocktail reception to mingle with the team of the hotel, and this was a great opportunity to hear about the new exciting developments of the hotel. Anuj, the GM was present at the welcome deck upon arrival and also to mingle with the guests. It was an enjoyable evening!
W insider Chunky made our trip one of the most memorable by celebrating the birthday of one of our friends. The effort that was put into this was something that I can only see in movies! Thanks chunky and the team for going the extra mile. Thanks for your personalized attention to us and other guests on the island!
The island has some of best snorkeling spots I have ever seen in the Maldives. When the weather permits, you will be able to see beautiful fish, turtles and sharks.
Finally, we were given complementary late check out to accommodate for our flight time back home which was extremely nice from the hotel.
Upon departure, I didn’t want to leave the island after I knew that there was also a movie night on the day we were leaving!
So yes, it’s a small cozy island, but it has a lot of character!!
We love the W and the people behind making this brand the way it is!