Review: St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

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In the last installment I talked about the overwater suite I had at the St. Regis Maldives, while in this installment I’ll be talking about the rest of the resort. I’m going to keep it relatively brief, given how much there is to potentially cover.

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St. Regis Maldives sign

Does this place look like it’s straight off a postcard, or what?

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St. Regis Maldives

All the overwater villas were on one jetty, and at the end of that was the hotel’s main restaurant and pool.

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St. Regis Maldives

There’s a beautiful beach around most of the island, though unfortunately there’s no way to walk around the entire island on the beach, as there are some obstructions (taking a sunrise beach walk around the entire island is one of my favorite things to do at the Park Hyatt).

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St. Regis Maldives beach

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St. Regis Maldives beach

The pool area is nice, though I rarely saw anyone use it. Given that the villas have private pools, and also given how beautiful the ocean is, swimming in a “public” pool isn’t as desirable as it might be elsewhere.

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St. Regis Maldives pool

I was pleased to see that they had free sunscreen at the pool. Most other resorts charge for it, and it’s obscenely expensive, as you’d expect.

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St. Regis Maldives free sunscreen

While it’s normal for Maldivian resorts to have lots of nice outdoor areas, what impressed me about the St. Regis was the beautiful indoor spaces as well. There was a library just next to the pool, which was a nice place to cool down and get some work done.

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St. Regis Maldives library

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St. Regis Maldives library

Also not far away was the Vommuli House, which served a few different purposes.

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St. Regis Maldives Vommuli House

For one, it was a beautiful place to cool off.

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St. Regis Maldives Vommuli House

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St. Regis Maldives Vommuli House

It also housed the hotel’s gym, along with a beauty salon.

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St. Regis Maldives gym

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St. Regis Maldives gym

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St. Regis Maldives beauty salon

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St. Regis Maldives beauty salon

The resort offers yoga classes here, including anti-gravity yoga. I’ve only done yoga a couple of times before in my life, and both of those times were in the Maldives. So I figured I’d continue the tradition, and take take the next logical step of trying anti-gravity yoga (you basically hang upside down like a bat). Within about two minutes I learned it’s not for me — I’m about as flexible as a metal rod.

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St. Regis Maldives anti-gravity yoga

Outside the Vommuli House was a play area for kids, as well as a foosball and ping pong table.

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St. Regis Maldives play area for kids

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St. Regis Maldives game center

Ford and I played our fair share of ping pong (I won 11 games straight — I only mention that bceause it’s the only sport at which I’ll ever beat him). 😉

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St. Regis Maldives table tennis

The hotel also has a beautiful spa, which consists of five separate overwater buildings.

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St. Regis Maldives spa

The main spa area has a lovely design, with lots of seating as well as some see-through floor panels, so you can look into the ocean.

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St. Regis Maldives spa

There were a couple of types of tea, as well as a sauna and steam room.

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St. Regis Maldives spa

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St. Regis Maldives spa sauna

The most stunning part of the spa was the pool area.

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St. Regis Maldives spa pool

How gorgeous is that?

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St. Regis Maldives spa pool

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St. Regis Maldives spa pool

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St. Regis Maldives spa pool

Each overwater building was a separate treatment room, and they had outdoor bathtubs. I ended up getting a massage. It was pricey (I believe it was $175 for an hour), though it was excellent, and given where we were, it seemed worth it.

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St. Regis Maldives spa treatment room

Then there was a dive center. The Maldives is especially popular with snorkelers and divers. Personally I think the ocean is the shark’s house, and I do everything in my power not to enter it.

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St. Regis Maldives dive center

The one exception I made was to kayak. The hotel has complimentary kayaks you can use, or otherwise there’s a charge for glass bottom kayaks.

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St. Regis Maldives kayak

We ended up trying the glass bottom kayak. At first I assumed it would be a gimmick, but it was actually well worth it. Given the incredible coral reefs just off the resort, the glass bottom sort of acted like a magnifying glass, and you could look straight below you. It’s like snorkeling without getting in the water, which is my ideal situation anyway.

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St. Regis Maldives glass bottom kayak

Now let’s talk briefly about food. Food at the resort is really good but also really expensive. The Maldives is usually expensive, but the prices here were higher than at the Park Hyatt. That’s not all that surprising, but be ready to pay.

The hotel’s main restaurant is Alba, located next to the pool.

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant

The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as semi-outdoor seating. That’s to say that much of the seating is technically indoors (in the sense that there’s a roof), but there are floor-to-ceiling doors that they keep open.

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant

We sat in the semi-outdoor area every morning, which boasted incredible views. I brought my laptop and often sat there for an hour or two while sipping coffee — not a bad “office” view!

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant view

SPG Platinum members can choose breakfast as their Platinum welcome amenity, and it’s well worth it at this resort. The breakfast buffet was insane. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast buffet

In addition to the big buffet, you could also order food off the menu at no additional cost. The breakfast menu read as follows:

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Here are pictures of some of the things we ordered:

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast

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St. Regis Maldives Alba Restaurant breakfast

We had lunch one day at Crust, which is the pizza place on the beach.

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St. Regis Maldives Crust Restaurant

This is a pretty unbeatable setting from which to have lunch.

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St. Regis Maldives Crust Restaurant

The pizzas were excellent, among the best I’ve had outside Italy.

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St. Regis Maldives Crust Restaurant pizza

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St. Regis Maldives Crust Restaurant pizza

They were pricey too. Here’s the menu:

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We also had drinks two nights at Whale Bar, which is the hotel’s bar that’s shaped to look like a whale (as the name suggests).

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St. Regis Maldives Whale Bar

This is the ideal place from which to enjoy the sunset.

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St. Regis Maldives Whale Bar

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St. Regis Maldives Whale Bar

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St. Regis Maldives Whale Bar sunset

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St. Regis Maldives Whale Bar

The drinks were great, and they had an awesome Russian DJ six nights a week who played great music.

In addition to the above venues, the hotel has a few other dining options:

  • There’s Orientale, which is open for dinner and has three open kitchens serving all kinds of Asian dishes; we ate there one night and had a great meal
  • There’s Cargo, which is the hotel’s “pop-up” restaurant, serving Middle Eastern dishes; if you want to dine here make a reservation in advance, as it’s small, and we weren’t able to get a reservation here
  • There’s Decanter, which serves a five course meal with wine tasting, for 12 guests at most

I was also impressed by the service at the hotel. Service in the Maldives generally isn’t amazing, though at the St. Regis it was better than I’ve experienced in the past. A vast majority of the staff weren’t just friendly, but were also attentive and polished.

St. Regis Maldives bottom line

Physically this might be the most stunning resort I’ve been to. There’s quite a bit to do here, though more than anything, most people just relax and enjoy the views. The food at this hotel was also excellent, though expect it to be very expensive, even by Maldives standards. Even if you redeem points here, you’ll still pay quite a bit between the flight transfer, food, and activities.

This might be my favorite Starwood property in the world (too bad it’s so expensive, or I’d move there). 😉

If you can afford it (either in points or cash), I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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Comments

  1. This definitely made up my mind as far as “where to stay in the Maldives using points”…I know we cannot truly know the answer to this, but given the outrageous redemption rates [even if they run the 35% off program] do you think that this would be a spot better saved for when SPG and MR/RCR combine to make this a “Flight and Hotel” redemption…??? Or is the 35% off program [assuming they offer it] a better deal…???

    Also, is there any kind of complimentary Happy Hour/Sunset for SPG Plat members…???

  2. A very fine review of a resort that’s obviously for the super rich. You and Ford were lucky to experience it – the rest of us will just have to keep track of it in our dreams. I’m surprised you didn’t run into Jared and Ivanka there!

  3. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think Vommulicious belongs on a menu anywhere. Makes my mind go to vomit immediately. Stunning hotel otherwise!

  4. For me, when I went to the Maldives, I got a better value by going to a resort like Veligandu. For $500 per night I got all-inclusive (including alcohol), overwater jacuzzi suite (booked through Agoda, prices often drop a month or so before. Reservations are fully refundable up to a few days before the trip.) Given the number of points needed to book a room, it may be better to pay out of pocket.

  5. Those egg dishes look nice and rubbery; just the way I like them!

    Great review. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Obviosuly a beautiful property, and who wouldn’t want to stay here??? But, erm… the eggs like a free breakfast from a $30/night hotel in Bali or Southern Thailand. Hope it tasted better than it looks 🙂

  7. It’s odd odd that so many hotel restaurants don’t know how to cook eggs properly. I had terribly overcooked eggs at the Park Hyatt Sydney as well. You can walk in to a random breakfast joint in LA and get much better eggs than what I got there.

    The Whale bar looks amazing. Exactly the type of place I would enjoy.

  8. I second Jay above – it would be great to have a little more detailed pricing info about the dinner options. Thanks!

  9. Hey Lucky. That looks A-mazing. You gotta try the Conrad one day though, Ive been there 6 times and religiously book a year out on points every year, I love it so so much.

    Go there one year when Im there and I’ll show you exactly why it could be way better even than the St Regis. The staff are beyond incredible, 7 superb restaurants that are actually affordable, a house reef that is mind blowing, a lot to do and Diamond status recognition/ benefits top notch. Ive been to the Park Hyatt too, it is not even in the same stratosphere as the Conrad Rangali. Oh…and they have a surprise coming for hotel afficiandos such as yourself… a real first in the world.

  10. Lucky — It was nice meeting you and Ford at the SR MLE. (No idea how my wife spotted you; she either has Seattleite radar or must be more into this whole gig than I realize!)

    We’d both have to agree with your conclusion: the property and rooms are stunning, and the service was fantastic. Being able to WhatsApp my butler for my iced coffee in the morning or for a ride to the dive shop, was spectacular. [Though I will say that the diving in this part of the Maldives does not compare to other spots.] The highlight of our trip was probably when my wife pulled a 15 lb Red Snapper out of the water on the sunset fishing trip and eating it the following night, freshly prepared by the chef, who could not have been more accommodating.

    Though I can’t imagine spending $2500++ or 90K SPG per night there, I must say that a Bentley ride to a Sunset Over Water Villa for 26K was an absolute steal.

  11. The more you write about the Maldives, the more I want to go back to Bora Bora…(I’ve never been to the Maldives). Did you say you were going to French Polynesia? I’ll be interested to see what how you compare the two.

  12. Are the menu prices “real” or are they fake ones like those in New York?

    In other words, is the USD 36 on the menu for a pizza margherita equivalent to $26 on a NYC menu (+ 4% surcharge + 8.875% tax + 18-20% tip = $36 total)?

  13. The best way to enjoy food without feeling like you going to choke your money is usually getting half board or full board packages. Does St Regis provide one at the time of booking?

    Are there other options that you get with Luxury Privileges at St Regis?

  14. How’s the house reef and marine life at Vommuli? For many Maldives visitor that is the most important factor in choosing a resort. Is the reef in good health? What’s the level of coral bleaching at Vommuli?

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