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W Maldives
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Reviews (934)
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Reviewed 5 June 2012

Stayed at the ocean veiw water villas (if you are an avid snorkler you'll want to stay at this side versus the lagoon side),you may have the occasional seaplane landing but its nothing of disturbance ,its too far out.I was delighted by the amount of fish i saw under my villa , reef sharks,rays, and so many colorful tropical fish. But once it gets high tide , the water is too strong to swim in from this side.They have allocated the best place to snorkle is between the spa and the restaurant FISH,we saw turtles , sharks , puffer fish,lion fish ,the works :)

My favourite meal of the day was breakfast ,a beautiful array of different fruits ,pastries, healthy dishes ,eggs,pancakes,maldivian dishes......Im telling you i was sooooo full that id skip lunch,and have a light dinner.Fish serves mainly seafood , WET serves fun appetizers(lots of yummy finger foods), and FIRE was their bbq grill restaurant.

The resort offers many activities nighttime snorklling which we enjoyed ,and fishing , cruises,and the usual watersports.The spa is top notch , my friend loved their signature massage and i did the facial,we thoroughly enjoyed it.

They have a gaming room , where u can play pool ,or table tennis,adjacent to their libary.And lastly ,every few corners the hotel has sweet stations where you get served free icecream +beverages.

Room Tip: For snorkling select ocean veiw,but for turquiose waters select lagoon veiw(although you sacrifice your privacy unless you select the far end villas).
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Tulips76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurensWMaldives, Hotel Manager at W Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2012

Thanks for sharing your recent stay with us with Trip Advisor’s travelers. I am happy to read that you had a great time at W Maldives and I look forward to welcoming back again!
Laurens

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Reviewed 1 June 2012

One thing you have to keep in mind. Your are welcome at W Retreat & Spa Maldives only for +13 years old. Must stay at W and enjoy their service and spa.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AAlreziza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurensWMaldives, Hotel Manager at W Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2012

Thanks for your review on Trip Advisor, I am glad to read you enjoyed your stay with us.

We look forward to welcoming you soon again,
Regards,
Laurens

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2012

Having stayed at 6 different resorts over the last few years in the Maldives i feel very qualified to provide a review on this property.
My wife and i booked 7 nights stay in May 2012 and after 3 night asked to leave we were so disapointed with this resort. Yes if you dont have any other property in the Maldives to benchmark against i can appreciate you being impressed with the W , but as a 5 star luxury resort it doesnt come close to say The Four Season Kuda Hurra, which is the resort we transferred to which is also slightly lower in cost.
So let me cut to the chase - Food - not a large choice, small portions, very very expensive and in their signature Fish restaurant poor quality as well,
Service - It may look cool and trendy to allow your staff to wear their long and have beads and piercings and beleive me with a son in a rock band im fine with this however this relaxed style gave way to relaxed service - i certainly would not call them "talent"
One night the Maitre d' of the Fish restaurant was so rude to both myself and my wife we complained to the food and beverage director during breakfast the next day, Although he was of course apoplogetic the serving staff them totally messed up the breakfast order.
I would say however the as a keen diver i found their diving staff excellent however the cost of diving and i have my own equipment was not just the most expensive i have experienced in the Maldives but probably the world.
In conclusion if you are looking for a 5 star luxury property, with excellent service, food, beaches, diving and accomodation stay at one of the 2 Four Seasons resorts - you wont be disappointed

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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22  Thank g t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurensWMaldives, Hotel Manager at W Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2012

Thank you for your notes about your recent stay with us, I am sorry to read that we did not meet your expectations. I will make sure to review your comments with our team.

We look forward to welcoming you to our other W Retreats around the world.
Regards,
Laurens

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Reviewed 29 May 2012

Being a platinum SPG member traveling to W Retreat during the low season, we've got a complementary upgrade for our 6 nights stay from Beach Oasis to Ocean Oasis facing the lagoon side, what a nice touch!

Villa:
Love the hip style of the room décor, especially the lovely white round day bed on the deck. Laying on the bed and watching the stars at night is the most wonderful thing in W, due to the remote location of the island within North ari atoll, I saw the most beautiful milky way in W if compare with other resorts in Maldives. If you love to see stars, try to pick up the New moon period to go.
The plunge pool is a bit small and chilly to swim, when you have a big ocean in front of you, the pool seems to be kind of waste, even non-swimmer might also find it too small to hang around.
The size of the indoor area of the villa is relatively small if compare with the same price range of 5 stars resorts in Maldives, the bed is close to the entrance, no in door dining table, without a proper size of closet, I've got no where to place my luggage. The bathroom is just average and not as chic as the W should be (it might because the resort was since 2006, quite a few years old already). Be careful when taking a bath without closing the curtains, as we are in the lagoon side, during the day time, there could be some people canoeing or swimming in front of your bathroom, but who want to take a bath in Maldives without the sea view?
We've got stuck outside the villa one day after snorkeling, something wrong with the lock system, after 45 minutes of waiting, the staff finally fixed it, we were treated with a big complimentary fruit basket as compensation.

Beach:
The main beach area is a bit small and just right next to the arrival jetty, the water villas blocked some of the view too, but there are millions of small fishes hiding from big fishes which stay close to the shore, some sting rays stay under the jetty next to the beach as well. When you look down from the arrival jetty, you will immediately see a lot of fishes, squid, baby sharks, even sea turtles. When walking around the island, we found W is having the cleanest beach I've seen in Maldives, no leaves, no seaweed, of course not even a single rubbish or plastic bottle, we saw local workers start to clean up the beach since sun rise (but they all finish quickly, so it won't bother you unless you swim at 7:00am), thank you for bringing us such a nice environment, although it sounds a bit crazy.
For beach lovers, better choose to stay in the Beach Oasis, some of them are having very good private beach.

Food:
We get used to the expensive food in Maldives, but paying over USD400 for a local lobster in Fish restaurant could be a bit overwhelming. The BBQ buffet in Fire is a good choice (even we don't like buffet most of the time). Highly recommend a self BBQ dinner on your deck start from late afternoon/ early evening, it’s a romantic and relax dinner facing the beautiful ocean.

Spa:
The spa treatment is not bad, good to have a try if you have budget. There are many corals right in front of the Spa, took a walk in the early morning and we saw baby sharks, pufferfish, sting rays and more.

Snorkeling:
Stunning, the best place to snorkel is in between the spa and Fish restaurant, departure from the beach next to the spa, you reach the house reef in a minute, the corals is not as huge and healthy as the Park Hyatt, but there are much more fishes, more than one sea turtle live there and we met him regularly during our stay. I've never been snorkeled from the Ocean Oasis facing the Ocean side, heard from people that is very nice too and they could see many corals and fishes just right in front of their villa.
Pls. note there is not much to see from the Ocean Oasis Lagoon side, and the water at the lagoon is quite deep, don't expect something like the Four seasons LG with a large lagoon like a natural swimming pool right in front of the Sunset water villa.

Activities:
We joined the following activities during our stay:
1. Discovery Dive - we went for 2 times, somewhere around the house reef next to the Spa, good for beginner. The Dive center staff are very friendly and attentive, far better than those we met in Shangri-La.
2. Catamaran trip with captain - a tour around the island, we requested the captain to bring us to the resort's desert island (if there is no guest over there) to look around. It’s a very nice tour for people who do not know how to operate a catamaran.

Room Tip: If you are looking for higher privacy, pls. choose an Ocean Oasis facing the Ocean side, towards the end of the jetty, avoid not to be too close to the arrival jetty as the seaplane noise might be annoying, but be prepared it will be a long walk back to your villa.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Frequent T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurensWMaldives, Hotel Manager at W Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2012

Hello Frequent Traveler, first of all thank you for your loyalty to SPG and congratulations on your Platinum status.
It is great to read such a detailed review about your recent stay with us, I appreciate all your comments and will review them with the team.

We look forward to welcoming you back to W Retreat & Spa Maldives when you are next in the Maldives!
Laurens

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Reviewed 28 May 2012

Prior to arriving at the quaint Fesdu Island in the N. Ari Atoll, I researched all the hotel options in the Maldives. I continued to come back to the W Retreat & Spa . . . .and felt it met my requirements.

The island is close enough to Male, yet far enough away to feel like you're truly in paradise. The waters are clean and the house reef is spectacular! If you are a diver, you can do a beach dive just steps away from your bungalow. Or, you may chose to explore the other highlights surrounding the island. If you decide to become a certified diver, doing this course in the Maldives is a plus! The staff at the Down Under dive shop were very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful! Sonja Brieger was our dive instructor, and she was terrific!

Although the island is small, the service is impeccable! I'm a vegetarian and Chef Benji went out of his way to make me amazing, creative meals. They catered to my wishes and special requests, which I very much appreciated.

We stayed in the Beach Oasis . . . and this was a special experience, because we were within close proximity to the restaurants, spa, main pool, etc. Having a second story deck with swinging sofa was so relaxing, as it was a wonderful place to read and enjoy the views to the ocean. The bungalow was luxurious with great amenities. It was cool to have an outdoor bathroom as well, while still enjoying ample privacy. Speaking of, they provide very high-quality Bliss products, from face wash to shampoo to conditioner to body wash to body butter! It's a classy touch.

The Sweet Spot with cool drinks and ice cream . . . was very nice! They did get rid of the Haagen Dazs, which was unfortunate . . . but it was a great treat anyways.

The only complaint I have is the daily spraying of a very smoky, toxic-smelling bug spray throughout the premises. Since the bathroom is open, just make sure you are not in the shower around 5:30 pm. The smell is disgusting! Yes, it keeps the bugs away . . . but! If you are in an over-water bungalow, you will not have this issue. However, as long as you aware of this daily inconvenience, you can plan your time accordingly. :-)

I would recommend the breakfast buffet over breakfast in the bungalow. The reason . . . for $25 per person, it's all you can eat vs. the same price for only two small items sent to the room.

if you eat in your bungalow, you may want to ensure they bring larger portions . . . . as a little tip! They tend to serve things "gourmet style", which means small portions for a large price. If you make them aware of this, they will make you a delicious, satisfying meal. We did have a few little shocking moments, but the disappointment was remedied by crediting the meal, giving us a nice bottle or red wine and a beautiful fruit plate.

We were picked up and dropped off in a special shuttle to the seaplane, the staff helped with the luggage, etc. These are little details that I appreciate.

Despite the small island, they have a very nice underground bar with DJ. Many just go back to their bungalow, after dinner, but it would be fun if more of the guests would take advantage of this little night club. One night they had a bar and DJ on the beach, with lounge pillows and fire, to add a little spunk to the otherwise very quiet trip. To mix it up further, they flew in a DJ from London the last night we were there, which was a nice bonus!

If you want to enjoy the spa, they have a variety of services. They also have a steam room, free of charge. However, if you would like to utilize it, it's best to call in advance. We had the opportunity to go twice, and it was great! The shower again is in the open, with views to the ocean . . . . :-)

We had a few more days of rain than we had hoped for! However, nobody we made the best of it, by taking a few more diving courses.

Overall, the one-week vacation was amazing! The staff goes above and beyond to ensure your stay is a memorable one! So, I recommend the W Retreat & Spa, for sure! I have traveled all over the world, and I appreciated the friendly, hospitable nature of the people!

Room Tip: Beach Oasis 125 is a terrific location
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Sibylle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaurensWMaldives, Hotel Manager at W Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2012

Many thanks for such a detailed review, we appreciate your comments and recommendations for Trip Advisor’s travelers.
I will make sure to share your comments with our team, especially the one you mentioned by names.

I am glad to read that you felt like you were truly in paradise, we look forward to welcoming you back again!

Regards,
Laurens

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