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Reviewed 11 September 2012

One of the most recently opened resorts in the Maldives, located in baa atoll - which is a protected reserve and just a few minutes from the famed hanifaru bay known for its whale shark and manta population.

the rooms are not extremely large but very sensibly lay-outed, making it ideal and very comfortable.

two things i noted most from my overnight stay though - the extremely friendly and helpful staff and the food - which is outstanding.

a definite 'must visit again'.

Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank xedaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 9 September 2012

I first visited the Maldives in 1994 (an economical Club Med trip!) and got my PADI Open Water Diving certification. I was thrilled to have the chance to return, this time staying at the 6 star Dusit resort which just celebrated its official opening after a six month soft launch. Maldives is a country of many small islands and Dusit's Baa Atoll location (same area as Four Seasons and Anantara) is a 1/2 hour flight from the capital Male ("Ma-Lay"), so we had to transit to a sea taxi airport and take a seaplane to get there. It's a bit of a hassle but supposedly next year a domestic airport will be opening close to the resort allowing for more transit options.

The plus side is once you arrive and walk down the jetty to the sand-floored reception, you feel completely detached from civilization. We were greeted by our butler Aisha who shuttled us in an electric buggy to our Ocean Villa. These are set over the water and look straight out to the beautiful sea through large sliding glass doors. There's high ceilings, a spacious bathroom and oceanfront deck with infinity plunge pool, lounge chaises and outdoor shower. There are plenty of nice room touches like Samsung HD TV, Nespresso machine, wine fridge & glassware, waffle cotton robes, life jackets, free no-login WiFi, Molton Brown toiletries and some lovely cedar massage oil. The rooms are airy and newer/nicer than those at the Four Seasons. As the atoll is around 700m across, you can request complimentary bicycles which are handy for riding around, or just have the butler pick you up in the buggy if you feel lazy. There's even a tureen of water outside the room to rinse sand off your feet. The bed was extremely comfortable; I slept very well here.

The Dusit chain is famous in Thailand for the standard of its hospitality and food, and that expertise has been transferred to this Maldives location. The buffet breakfast was excellent, with everything from Thai soup noodles to pancakes to salad. They had gluten-free bread available on request even though I didn't request it in advance. My husband said the chocolate croissants were very good and light. There was an incredible array of jams and spreads - I have never seen so many choices - and maybe a dozen types of honey. One night we had the buffet dinner, the highlights of which were the lamb chops, curries and Thai-influenced salads. The macarons are the best I've had, especially mango and peanut flavor. The Thai food was quite authentic and tasty.

The dive operator was very professional with good equipment and experienced guides. They comply with what I learned are rather strict Maldivian rules. Do not expect to dive if you don't bring your certification, unlike Palau where anything goes. We did a dive off the house reef and another boat dive at a nearby reef. I was really impressed with the Dusit's own reef - aqua water with a huge variety of reef fish, coral and the occasional sea turtles. There are sometimes rays and dolphins but we didn't get to see those. I also liked the non-chlorine infinity swim pool (nearly 50m long), good for laps.

Incidentally, I got to meet the resort's head engineer and learned that they are aiming for carbon neutrality. The produce their own reverse osmosis filtered water to avoid the need for water importation and avoid plastic bottles. They recycle glass, compost food waste and use the air con exhaust to heat the water for the showers. They preserved much of the foliage on the island and have more coconuts than they know what to do with. This is a progressively managed resort, which I appreciate.

The service was outstanding throughout the resort. When I had mentioned the bathroom lighting was a bit dim, they changed the wall lightbulbs the same day! Our butler was very attentive and helpful. We had a wonderful long weekend and hope to return to this special resort soon.

Room tip: 202-222 are Ocean Villas with water front and back - and face north where you never see any boats just stunning open ocean. The reef is a bit shallow there so you can't just jump off the deck. 601-621 are lagoon villas, facing south and quite close to the arrival jetty. You see occasional boat traffic but you can snorkel right off the back.
Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
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9  Thank SnowjoHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 8 September 2012

The island:

They managed very well to integrate all the amenities of a luxury resort into the natural appearance of this beautiful Maldivian island. The island has a very nice vegetation with not only palms but also some big trees, quite different to other Maldivian resort islands we've been before but very nice. When you walk along the beach you almost feel like on an inhabited "Robinson Crusoe" island as the beach bungalows are set back a bit behind trees and plants which makes them almost invisible. The house reef is marvellous, the diversity and amount of marine life is just amazing. We saw many turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, one guitar shark, even a big group of dolphins and of course a lot of fish.

The room:

We had a beach villa, the "standard" one without plunge pool. The villas are close to the beach but as mentioned before a bit "hidden" behind natural vegetation, some more, some less, depending on the villa number, so don't expect full sea view here or you'll probably be disappointed if this is important for you. We found it very nice to have some shady trees in front, this also provides more privacy. The room was bright and nicely decorated. It had enough space, two large wardrobes, good lighting, efficient and quiet air condition, a comfortable bed, a large TV with surround sound system, a wine fridge, minibar, water kettle and Nespresso machine. The bathroom was large and open, featuring a glass cabin shower, a toilet, two separate washbasins, a large design bathtub and an open shower.
If there is something to complain about: there were no sunloungers in front of our terrace, but we got two on request.

The staff:

Friendliness and professionalism of all staff was outstanding, everyone is really commited to you as a guest and your satisfaction has top priority. Above all this, everything seems to come from everyone's heart, from the moment you arrive until the very last second of your stay. We have been travelling a lot so far and were staying at several top-end resorts, including the Maldives, but never before did we experience such a high level of hospitality and commitment. A special THANK YOU goes to "our" waiter Mohamed Muraadhu as well as to Mr. Surasak and Mr. Norman Nava from Sala Bar.

Food & drinks:

We were on half board.

Buffet breakfast was served at the main restaurant "Market". The buffet offered a wide selection. Everything was of high quality and nicely displayed. If you order coffee you'll get a very good one, freshly brewed cup by cup which is often not the case at other top-end resorts.

Our first dinner was the barbecue night which they do once a week on the beach in front of the Market restaurant. The atmosphere was very nice and food was fantastic. It included a wide selection of starters, salads and side dishes from the buffet, a choice of freshly grilled meat and seafood and a dessert buffet which was truly HEAVEN.

On the other evenings we had the choice of either a la carte at the Sea Grill restaurant or a la carte at Benjarong, the Thai restaurant. For guests on half board meal plan one starter, one main course and one dessert from the complete a la carte selection is included at both restaurants without any surcharge or credit limit, but I don't know if they stick to this very nice concept in the future. We have been told that after the grand opening, which was due soon after our stay, the Market restaurant will also be open in the evenings with buffet dinner for half board guests, but we did not ask if there will be any changes to the "dine around" concept. Food, atmosphere and service at both restaurants was simply extraordinary.

The Sea Grill restaurant is located at the resort's very large infinity pool which is beautifully illuminated by night like a starry sky, providig a very romantic atmosphere. The restaurant is half open and you may choose to have a table either "inside", al fresco right beside the pool or on the separate terrace. The Thai restaurant Benjarong is built on stilts offering separated terraces overlooking the indian ocean. Together with the extraordinary Thai food this place is just amazing. The Sala bar located on the top floor of the same building is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy a fantastic drink or two before or after dinner (or both ;-)

The dive center:

Everyone at the dive center was very friendly and diving with them was great fun. They are very open for individual requests for diving spots and really care to ensure a nice diving experience for everyone, from beginners to the more experienced divers. The team is quite big so you can be pretty sure to enjoy diving in small groups. They also offer snorkeling trips to Hanifaru Bay, the Unesco biosphere reserve. Depending on the season, the current and last but not least a bit of luck you have the chance to see a lot of Manta Rays there. I was out of luck on my only trip but my spouse gave it a second try which turned out to be a good decision, she was rewarded with dozens of Mantas. Needless to say that I hated myself for not joining her...

Final conclusion: Dusit Thani Maldives is not nearly perfect, it is PERFECT IN EVERY WAY!

Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank arbi_72
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 28 August 2012

Visited this beautiful hotel in August 2012 as a family with our 2 children - 11 year old and a 17 month old. What an amazing experience! Personalized butler service is fantastic - everyone will really go out of their way to accommodate all your requests. Hats off to Shaaz - the best butler ever! He really made our trip so much better - our 17 month old son adored him and still asks for him every day :-)

Stayed in a beach villa with private pool. Our pool was between the villa and the sea...perfect! Some have pools in the open-air bathroom but if you can score the ones where the pool is in the garden, better! Villa was big enough for all of us - sofa bed and a cot were set up to accommodate the kiddies.

Don't bother bringing a push-chair/stroller for your kids. First of all the paths are sand so it wouldn't be easy to push the stroller. Secondly your butler is available at all times to take you via buggy to wherever you want to go. Thirdly the island is small enough to walk without needing a ride everywhere.

Currency is USD. You can charge everything to your room but suggest you keep some cash on hand to tip your housekeeper and butler. Average prices of things FYI:
Room service or restaurant main courses: 20-40$
Drinks: 12.50$
Spa treatments: 100$+
Lucky Manta trip: 75$/person. There are other trips though that range upwards of 150$/person

PROS:
- Service: they will really go out of their way to accommodate ALL your requests. Thanks Shaaz! You rock!
- Beautiful lush green island
- Quiet, private - you almost feel like you've got the whole island to yourself!
- Amazing house reef, it's like snorkeling in someone's aquarium. No need to snorkel elsewhere (although the Manta trip is quite something and recommended)
- Top notch beach villas with open air bathrooms
- On-site doctor/clinic
- Great choice for breakfast
- Delicious barbecues on Sunday nights with live Maldivian dancing/music
- Hotel organizes little extras like movies-under-the-stars
- Everyone is so great with the kids!
- You can get your snorkel gear (free) from the Dive Center and keep it with you for the entire trip (no need to keep going back daily)

CONS
- Mosquitos (since the island is so green, mosquitos abound. the hotel sprays the island twice a day and offers bugspray, but bring some of your own too. all in all though, the mosquitos are not enough to ruin the trip - don't worry)
- Kids club is smaller than expected (however they are so welcoming and wonderful with kids all over the hotel so this isn't a big issue). They even let us keep our toddler at the kids club without charging us the extra for a private baby-sitter...wonderful!
- On-site store is VERY limited in what it offers (upside is that the hotel will offer you many things complimentary (such as toothpaste, bugspray, re-chargable batteries that you return upon your departure, etc). However suggest you bring your own snacks or munchies for the room.

All in all you can't go wrong with Dusit Thani! Dreaming of going back again!

Room tip: If you have a beach villa with pool - ask for one where the pool is OUTSIDE (not in the open-air bathroom)...just gorgeous! I'm sure the others are just as pretty but it's nice to be able to sit in the pool and have the turquoise sea within view.
Date of stay: August 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank Weemie
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 24 August 2012

the best hotel we have ever stayed. Our holiday started with a very well organized reception at Male airport, a nice flight to the island and a very warm welcome at the resort. Our beach villa was very spacious and luxurious with a beautiful outdoor bathroom - everything very nicely set up and super clean. The staff is exceptionally well trained and friendly and assists whenever we asked. The beaches are beautiful and the reefs offer the best snorkeling we have ever done. The restaurants are serving delicious food and drinks and we absolutely loved the breakfast... the spa is divine and a must-to-go. The Dusit is the perfect place to relax and come down from a busy job and to enjoy time with the family... we will come back for sure to this little pearl in the indian ocean - thanks to Dusit for our unforgettable week - we enjoyed absolutely every minute

Room tip: the beach Villa doesn't have the private pool - but the best access to the white sandy beaches with lots of privacy
Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
2  Thank GabiB202
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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