Review: St. Regis Maldives Overwater Villa

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At many resorts in the Maldives, only a small percentage of rooms are overwater villas, and often require a big upcharge. In the case of the St. Regis Maldives, the resort has a total of 77 rooms, and about two thirds of them are overwater.

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St. Regis Maldives layout

All overwater villas are located on the same jetty.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villas

We were assigned room 518, which was a sunset overwater villa, located towards the end of the jetty.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villas

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa 518

There’s something surreal about staying in an overwater villa. Maybe it’s partly the novelty — this was “only” my third time staying in an overwater villa. But somehow overwater villas feel to me like adult treehouses.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa 518

My previous overwater villa stays were at the Park Hyatt Maldives, which has beautiful villas. However, this villa was stunning.

Just outside the door were two bikes.

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St. Regis Maldives bikes

Just inside the entrance was the living room, which featured a long table with four chairs.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa living room

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa living room

Past that was a couch and a chair, along with a TV. The seating faced the beautiful deck.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa living room

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa living room

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa living room

On the coffee table was a fruit plate and some chocolates.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa welcome fruit

Then along the window was a comfortable chair with ottoman, as well as a welcome bottle of sparkling wine.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa living room

Towards the bedroom was a cart with nine bottles of liquor, which were part of the minibar.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa minibar

The rest of the minibar was located behind the couch.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa minibar

There were a variety of snacks and nuts.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa minibar

Then there was a display with chocolates — unlike most of the rest of the minibar, these were free.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa minibar

Then there was complimentary bottled water, an illy espresso machine, and a kettle.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa coffee & bottled water

The minibar featured juice, water, and soft drinks.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa minibar

Then there was a separate fridge with bottles of wine. You can request to have them stock it with other things.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa wine fridge

Behind the minibar was the guest bathroom, featuring a sink and toilet.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa second bathroom

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa second bathroom

The living room was separated from the bedroom by a set of sliding doors. Unlike suites at most other hotels, the St. Regis Maldives overwater villas are designed so that the living room and bedroom are next to one another rather than behind one another, in order to maximizing the views from all rooms.

The bedroom featured the signature St. Regis mattress, along with high quality linens.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa bedroom

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa bedroom

To the left of the bed was a flat screen TV, while to the right of bed was a rocking chair. I can’t imagine ever watching TV when you have a view like this, though…

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa bedroom

A further set of sliding doors separated the bedroom from the bathroom.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa master bathroom

The bathroom had double sinks, a soaking tub, a partitioned off toilet, and a huge walk-in shower.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa master bathroom

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa soaking tub

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa toilet

The shower had both a rainforest showerhead and a handheld one.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa shower

Toiletries were Remede branded, as usual at St. Regis properties.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa Remede toiletries

Then behind the bedroom was a massive closet. It had a vanity and plenty of storage.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa closet

While the inside of the villa was gorgeous, the outside was most impressive. There was a huge deck, with a pool, a couple of daybeds, a table with two chairs, etc.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa deck

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa plunge pool

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa plunge pool

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa deck

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa deck

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa hammock & lounge chair

There were also a few hammocks of sorts. Along the side of the deck was some netting. It took me some time to “trust” the netting enough to actually lay down in it, but eventually I did.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa hammock & lounge chair

The villa also had direct access to the ocean.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa direct water access

The villa faced the rest of the island in the distance, and in the other direction you just had the ocean as far as the eye could see.

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St. Regis Maldives overwater villa view

Beyond that I should mention that wifi in the room was fast (not even just by Maldives standards, but legitimately fast). I also appreciated how functionally the room was designed. Outlets were everywhere you’d hope they would be, which unfortunately isn’t the case for many newly built hotels.

Since this is a St. Regis, you also receive complimentary coffee & tea via butler service 24/7, which is a great feature.

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St. Regis Maldives complimentary coffee

In the next installment I’ll talk more about the resort activities, dining, spa, etc.

St. Regis Maldives bottom line

I think the pictures of the overwater villas speak for themselves. This place is STUNNING. Usually you give some design leeway for secluded island resorts, recognizing the additional challenges of building such hotels. Well, the St. Regis Maldives made no compromises. The villa was beyond gorgeous.

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Ben – I hate to provide a correction, but the room that you had is actually called the “Overwater St. Regis Suite,” which is different than the “Overwater villa” and “Overwater sunset villa.” Specifically, it appears that the main differences are size in terms of your suite having a larger living area, the dining table, second bathroom and a wall between the living area and bedroom area. Finishes styling etc are all the same.

  2. Lucky, I love your blog, but please!! you should do something to improve your photography quality. The Points Guy had outstanding pics of this villa, yours make it look pretty bad.

  3. Like Patrick, I would like to know if this was booked with points, points + cash, or cash?

    Lucky – you’re very fortunate to be able to travel the way you do and stay the places you do. I know this is a very open-ended question but if you stayed on points, how in the world do you accumulate so many frigging points to stay at all the places you stay?? I mean, every well runs dry after a while.

  4. Looks stunning. But am I the only one that prefers a beachfront villa over an overwater villa? I’d rather be able to walk out to a nice sandy beach than just be over water and have a long jetty to walk/ride everytime you want to go somewhere.

  5. @ CJ & Patrick: Lucky said in a prior post:

    “When the hotel first opened they allowed redemptions for 26,000 Starpoints for overwater villas for a very brief period, which is a great deal. I made a few reservations using this deal, but canceled all but one.”

  6. @Marcos TPG had a professional photography crew on site…I’m sure Lucky’s pics would have been that good had he had one too.

  7. @Bill — still unanswered though, as far as I’ve seen, was whether this jump to an Overwater St. Regis Suite was a complimentary upgrade, a paid upsell, or something else?

  8. “only a small percentage of rooms are overwater villas, and often require a big upcharge. In the case of the St. Regis Maldives, the resort has a total of 77 rooms, and about two thirds of them are overwater”

    ~66% isn’t a small percentage…

  9. I just returned from 5 nights at the St. Regis on Monday. I was booked into a “Overwater Villa” but received a complementary upgrade to “Sunset Overwater villa.” Prior to arrival the hotel attempted to get me to commit to paying $350 per night for this upgrade. I will also say when I checked into the resort on 3/8 the occupancy was 37% so I would have expected a free upgrade easy to come by. The hotel seems to have a variety of policies on upgrades. We met one couple paying for their stay who booked into a beach villa and felt it was too small so asked the hotel to be moved to a bigger room. The hotel offered them the Overwater St. Regis Suite (same as Ben highligted above) but asked them to pay a $350 per night upgrade fee.

  10. @Marcos: Lucky’s candid photos (probably an iphone) are WAY more helpful and useful than professional camera shoots that end up getting edited and touched up and might as well be given from the hotel PR media team

  11. @Rakesh, reading comprehension is essential. Lucky said “At many resorts in the Maldives,…”

  12. It looks really, really gorgeous! I also can’t believe hotels put that kind of TVs in their rooms, those look like Bang & Olufsen that retail for $10-15k a piece…

  13. @JF For crude pics you can always check tripadvisor, plenty of bad photography there.

    Being low quality does not make a photo closer to reality. The shots on this review and TPG’s are pretty similar, but TPG’s have better light, color, focus and quality overall, allowing me to be able to judge the property better.

    Take for example the photo of the closet here and at TPG, they were shot almost from the same perspective and place, but the difference is as clear as the ocean in Maldives:
    http://onemileatatime.img.boardingarea.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/St-Regis-Maldives-Overwater-Villa-35.jpg#_ga=1.250741638.1067348869.1487953403
    https://i0.wp.com/thepointsguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DSC00492.jpg?zoom=2&resize=774%2C516&ssl=1

    I just would like to see better pics next to the top notch reviews Lucky does. There is no need of a photo crew, there are plenty of small portable cameras nowadays that take nice pics with little effort, although a class in photography might help as well 🙂

  14. Amazing. One of the best hotels I have ever seen. It’s time for me to save up points, going to the Maldives in August but not at the St Regis, might be able to make time for a stopover though

  15. What we all really want to know, like others have said, is how did you say there? Points, pointd & cash, or cash? I think it’s a little unfair to Jesus with this blog and then not tell us how you staying there.

    We read these blogs to learn things and have aspirations of our own. Showing me the pictures is nice but it doesn’t really help me stategize on how to get there.

  16. Was very curious to read this, having stayed at W Maldives recently (which I loved!) – how was the service overall?

    Stupid question – did they remove the face wash? We were recently at St Regis Langkawi and they didn’t have any (they did find it after 3 days and only 1 bottle which was enough for the stay, though). Was one of the things I was looking forward to! After that stay, we bought the st Regis pillows (on property) and pillowcases, and we love it. This week I ordered the rest of the bedding as it is so so good! But still kept my Sofitel featherbed as it’s second to none 😉

    Did you get any sun during your stay? Weather in the Maldives has been a bit touch and go!

  17. How was the air conditioning? I know it can be inefficient at some over-water bungalows at other resorts.

  18. @ Steven — Had no issues whatsoever with the AC, which I agree can be an issue at other resorts.

  19. @ @mrsoaroundworld — Service was much better than I’ve experiences in the Maldives in the past. It still wasn’t quite to the level you’d get in Bali or Fiji, for example, but was very good. As far as the face wash goes, that’s a good point, don’t think I saw it here. Lucky you for getting all the bedding, there’s no better way to sleep!

  20. Ben, do you worry about Zika? We were planning on staying at this hotel, and then on to Bali, but didn’t end up booking it due to Zika.

  21. Thanks for a great review Ben! I was there just after opening last year and loved it. But one of the things I loved best was the iPad room control – I live in hotels and it was so WONDERFUL not to have to play “hunt the light switch/TV remote” – don’t tell me they took them out???!!!!

  22. Also one comment about the Remede toiletries which surprised me when I was there – doesn’t the body wash (not the face soufflé) contain the little plastic scrubbing beads that kill marine life?
    I meant to mention it to the lovely GM Mark but forgot.

  23. Lucky, you mentioned that it was your third time staying at overwater villas, beside the Park Hyatt Maldives, which other overwater villas did you stayed?

    I did a French Polynesia island hopping over the New Year and stayed at islands (Huahine, Tahaa, and Tikehau) that people probably unheard of outside the points and miles world but I preferred those Polynesian styled overwater bungalows than those modernized overwater villas 🙂

    Speaking of how to take good vacation photos, check out my travel blog at: https://missvacation.wordpress.com

  24. I agree with MissVaction about liking the overwater suites in French Polynesia better. I recently stayed in an overwater suite at the Intercontinental Thalasso in Bora Bora and I must say compared to the St. Regis Maldives it was a lot more private when you went out the deck. They looked a lot more tropical outside but the inside was just as modern.

  25. @Eric W.

    Inaccurate. Zika has been shown to have adverse effects on males as well.

    That said, hotels in MLE, including the SR, actively fog for mosquitoes, and if I recall, there was only a single case in MLE and that person was not proven to be infected there.

  26. @Luis – I agree. Much prefer a beach villa than anything overwater. While at Conrad Maldives we had a beach villa to start with we were given a comp upgrade to one of the overwater villas (forget exactly which) & I much preferred the beach villa simply coz I got a better sleep without hearing the distant ocean waves crashing on the edge of the atoll.

  27. It seems there is little privacy for these villa, when there villas look directly onto your deck. Also the pool could be on the edge for infinity pool instead. The lack of privacy of these villas for me is the deal breaker for a Maldives vacation.

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