St. Regis Vommuli, MaldivesEach of my kids get to pick a destination for a special vacation, and my youngest daughter wanted to go somewhere with overwater villas. She didn't specify a location, just was fixated on staying in one. I had originally looked at Bora Bora because the island is lousy with them, but the logistics of getting there on One World with miles was not doable. So I kept searching and the #1 Marriott property in the world was shown as the St. Regis Maldives. Since it's in Asia, and with the points I had saved, well it all worked out after 2 1/2 years of fighting Covid cancellations and organizing business class flights and an over the water villa. I swear giving birth would be easier.
ArrivalI landed in Male, the capital of the Maldives and went through customs (mainly to check for alcohol - oh and Covid, seriously). Then I was met by the St. Regis representative immediately outside, and we checked my luggage to the resort. Then off to private transport (with wifi in the vehicle, wha?!?!) and over to the St. Regis arrivals lounge to wait for my sea plane flight to the island.
The LoungeAt the airport, the resort has a private lounge just for their guests while they wait for their flights (to or from the resort). Quite a nice affair.
The ResortAs I landed at the resort, my butler Kumie was waiting for us (along with what seemed like every other employee waving at the dock). Waiting in the arrival lounge was a coconut cut open and chilled (omg, no thank you) as a welcome drink.
We were whisked off to our villa to acclimate and rest. What a room, just beyond any expectations I could have had.
Types of lodgingThe resort has many lodging options, on land villas, over water villas, and gratuitous mini mansions you can book. The price? Well, if you have to ask... (mine would have been $2200 a night if I had not used points).
DiningThere are 7 or so dining options on the island, and 3 bars. Food is very expensive and drinks more so (tax for alcohol is about 3x the purchase price, plus the markup for the property to make a profit, be warned).
Alba, the standard everything restaurant.
Alba breakfast menu & prices
Alba lunch menu & prices
Alba dinner menu & prices
Alba drinks menu & prices
Orientale, the Japanese Restaurant.
Orientale drinks menu
Decanter, the private dining venue in the cellar, hidden, exclusive, my private tour.
Whale drinks menu & prices
Whale dinner menu & prices
The PropertyA very functional gym if you don't have tunnel vision about how to work out, a game room and building, tennis, water sports, and many things to do around the island instead of being a slug (like I wanted to for most of my time there. Hey, work is brutal; I need a respite). Indoor places
WildernessThe island is a groomed jungle ecosystem and very pleasant to be in, around, and walking through.
NighttimeAs the sun sets, the resort takes on a magical glow of ambient lighting and comforting radiance throughout. Do not go to bed early!
ShoppingThe island has a gift shop with quite a large amount of items (about 3x what you would expect to pay on any of it) and a jewelry shop, aimed at clientele a couple levels above my spending habits.
Things that didn't categorize easilyVarious pictures that add to the representation of the experience.
SummaryWhen they say this is the #1 resort in Marriott, it's not hyperbole. It is seriously beyond belief. This review will only scratch the surface of the luxury here, but it does come at a cost. The food is very expensive. Alcohol is pretty much out of reach for a casual traveler. Activities are pretty pricey also. I used hotel points to pay for my room and for all of the food using Marriott's instant redemption and still the bill with seaplane, gift goods and covid testing to go home was another $2900.
If you have the money, this is one of those lifetime goals to reach for. I was very relaxed and very pampered (as was my daughter who had every whim answered). This is paradise.
Rochelle Smith - 2023-08-18
gareth - 2022-05-21