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“Nice place, but overrated”

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Lily Beach Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 October 2013

We just returned from our 8th trip to the Maldives (always a different island resort). Often people ask which one is the best. All locations have there key strengths and weaknesses: I don't think there is "the" single best. It is definitively not Lilly Beach.
Lilly Beach offers a very nice island experience in South Ari Atoll. It is however clearly over-rated and does not play in the same league than some other islands (Halaveli, Four Seasons Landaa, Kanuhura). The strengths are it's pool infrastructure (Aqua Bar for sunset is very nice, Vibes Bar for more kids-oriented activities also good) and it's house-reef (very nice, very long, easy accessible). The service level is ok, but not great (never flowers on the bed, tables at dinner inside instead of outside when there is a slight chance of rain). The Spa is ok, but not great (nevertheless as expensive as the great ones).
The dive-center is very professional. While we did not see one single big shark in 16 dives (only small white tip), we were able to see a whale shark (full day dhoni tour to the southern edge of the ari atoll, but non-divers can take a speed boat) and dozens of mantas (just 30 minutes away form Lilly Beach). Nice corals and colors.
The water villa (321) was very nice and is worth the upgrade from the non-recommendable Lagoon-villas (small like beach villas, in a diesel-smelling part of the island). Beach villas are rather small, but ok, if you don't mind having adjacent neighbor. We recommend water villa numbers 319-321 for sunset and nicest view (on the other side the view is on Vilamendhoo Island)
The platinum plan and the food were disappointing. The choice of wine, spirits and other included items is much more limited than for example in Moofushi. The food was not what I expect from a 5 star resort. In the Maldives I truly enjoy getting super fresh fish in different forms (sushi, sashimi, carpaccio, tartar, grilled etc.), fresh fruit juices and healthy food. I am not suggesting there was no fish served, but for our taste, it was not at all in the spirit of other dinner experiences you can have in the Maldives. The island manager argued he had just lost his chef and his replacement would fix the problem.
The island has also some bizarre rules which we have never seen before in any other island: Snorkelling after 1730 and swimming after 1800 (in lagoon as well as in the pools) is forbidden (appearantly because a lot of guest cannot swim....)

So, in summary, Lilly Beach offers a good holiday experience. But do not expect a truly 5 star island, so make sure you do not pay a 5 or even 6 star hotel package price. Islands like Moofushi or Halaveli offer better price-value.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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15  Thank turtle-diver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IH_Management, and all team at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2013

Dear Valued Guest,

First of all, thank you for reviewing our resort and giving useful feedbacks. We take into serious your positive as well as negative comments, in order to improve day by day.
Though, we would like to clarify a few points. As you probably know weather in Maldives is quite unpredictable and sometimes we have to take decisions when there’s even a small chance of rain. This is to avoid the risk of unpleasant situations for our guests. Regarding food, we always receive good feedbacks and especially about fish. It is absolutely fresh and cooked in many different ways. However we understand that everyone has different tastes and we respect them. We were just trying to explain you that an experienced executive chef was on his way to Lily Beach to bring a breath of fresh air to our buffet. Last, we would like to underline that our policy does not allow to swim after 5.30pm, again, to avoid risk that might compromise our guests’ holiday. After sunset is not safe and we only want to protect you. We thank you again and we hope indeed to have the chance to welcome you back to Lily Beach Resort & Spa!

Kind Regards,

Pascal BILLON
General Manager

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Reviewed 13 October 2013

Two main points to make.

Firstly a quick review of the main points. The island is beautiful and the accommodation fantastic. My wife and I had a lagoon villa and it was stunning. Large deck outside which looked straight onto the reef and over the beautiful blue sea. The facilities are excellent, a well stocked gym, a good pool for swimming in and another for chilling watching the sunset over a cocktail. The is excellent through out, both in the main buffet and al a carte. The wine list. . . . Is phenomenal. On top of all this, the service is excellent and professional from top to bottom. The tea, clearly have a passion for what they do and it shows in the care they give everyone.

To end - a real example of this. While we were at lily my wife fainted from the heat. There was a first aider there within a minute, a medic there within 3 accompanied by a manager who took personal responsibility for looking after her. They couldn't do enough for us and we were really well looked after.

This is a professional team who seem to love their work. Can't fault them in any way and we look forward to many returns over the years.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank RikMcBroon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IH_Management, and all team at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 November 2013

Dear Mr & Mrs McBroon,
It was a pleasure for us having assisted you during that small incident and making sure everything was all right. You wrote something absolutely true: the whole Team of Lily Beach love their job and this clearly comes up in the day by day operations. Thanks for having noticed it. Also, thank you for the beautiful comments about service, wine list and facilities. We look forward to welcoming you again with even more choices and improvements! See you soon and take care!

Kind Regards,

Pascal BILLON
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 9 October 2013

Lily Beach resort did not meet our expectations, it exceeded it by miles! From the minute you step off the seaplane, you are greeted by the staff like a long lost relative. Every member of staff, be it a gardener, cleaner, maintenance personnel, management, greeted us with friendliness and enthusiasm.

The rooms are spacious, very clean and refreshed twice a day.

The buffets served at Lily Maa were out of this world, while lunches served at both Aqua bar and Vibes offerered a variation to the buffet lunches. We specially enjoyed the atmosphere at the Vibes bar, and found the bar men here extremely friendly. They recognized us after one day, and always made sure that our favorite drinks were available as soon as we arrived.

Most exciting to tourists like ourselves who come from South Africa, was the fantastic wine collection, and we were happy to find our favorite South African wine on the menu.

Snorkeling trips is a wonderful experience, the Coral Gardens are amazing, and attention to detail on the boat, such as provision of towels, snacks, water etc. was just great.

For those who wish to walk a few steps and snorkel, Lily Beach is the answer. The house reef is amazing, and snorkeling around the island is safe, and fascinating.

The secret to Lily Beach's success is the attention to detail. Pascal, to you and everyone of the 300 staff members on the island, Well done, and thank you for making us feel like royalty. Last but not least, a special thank you to Hussain, our waiter, who took care of us with great enthusiasm.

We will definately return to Lily Beach.

Room Tip: We stayed in Beach Villa no 135. It is central to everything, on the beach, and close to the water s...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank AvWRsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IH_Management, and all team at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 October 2013

Dear Valued Guest,
It is such a pleasure to know that we exceeded your expectations! Providing “extra miles service” it’s the base of Lily Beach Resort & Spa and we are definitely more than happy to read feedbacks like yours. As you noticed the choice of drinks available is huge and for everyone’s taste. It’s great that you found your favorite one! Your positive message has been passed to Hussain and rest assured he will be proud of it. Thank you very much for writing about us and recommending our resort! We wait for you, maybe next year? We hope so, take care!

Kind Regards,

Pascal BILLON
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 6 October 2013

We were here for our honeymoon in September and had a wonderful 6 nights on the island. The island had 160 people staying on it at the time (around 2/3 capacity) and it frequently felt you could be alone! The bars and restaurants rarely felt busy. The food and drink selection was fantastic and it was difficult to choose our favourite from the 'themed' nights in the Lily Maa restaurant (BBQ, seafood, Indian Ocean, Asian, French, Italian etc.). The service and friendliness of all staff was the best we've ever experienced and this made the stay particularly special. Particular thanks to Joseph in Aqva and Abdullah in Lily Maa, and to management who made our tour of the kitchen and island operations very interesting. We learnt to scuba dive for the first time and the rooms, with direct access onto the beach were fantastic.

Room Tip: We stayed in a beach villa and I don't think there would be any bad choice in these throughout t...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Daniel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IH_Management, and all team at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2013

Dear Valued Guest,
Joseph, Adbullah and the rest of the Team read your review and sent you their regards and a big thanks! As you know when the staff is happy can make their guests happy too. This is exactly what happens at Lily Beach Resort & Spa. Providing friendly and, at the same time, professional service is the only way to make you feel special. We are glad you enjoyed the kitchen & engineering tour and that you had also the chance to experience the amazing underwater world of Maldives. We hope all this will give the feeling to come back, for another great holiday! Than you for the time you took in writing your feedback and see you soon!


Kind Regards

Pascal BILLON
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 6 October 2013

This was our second trip to Lily Beach, a week last time, and lucky enough to enjoy 2 weeks this time. Amazing service, beautiful setting and honestly couldnt fault our time there once again. The seaplane transfers and VIP lounge are such a relaxing experience after international flights and the staff at airport and lounge great. Enjoyed Diving with the new dive team, Johanna was excellent, and our daily kayaks around the island as well as some of the watersports (wakeboarding, Hobie Cat), where the entire team was great fun every day. The food is divine, the waiters were brilliant, and made good use of AQVA and Vibes, where we are spoilt rotten by the lovely staff. We hope to come back again.

Room Tip: We stay in the beach villas and prefer 120-130 away from the noise. Amazingly we got the exact same...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jill Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IH_Management, and all team at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 October 2013

Dear Valued Guest,
Thank you for having chosen Lily Beach Resort & Spa for the second time, as your favorite holiday destination. It is such a pleasure reading a comment like this from someone who has terms of comparison with a previous stay. The whole Team works very hard in order to provide notch service and they certainly thank you for having notice their effort.
Once again, we thank you and we look forward to welcoming you back!

Kind Regards

Pascal BILLON
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 4 October 2013

Lily Beach - probably the best way to experience the Maldives !

as soon as we lande we were entranced by the colour of the water in the Maldives. Its exactly like stock pics youll find in google !
And then came the gorgeous gorgeous Lily Beach hotel just sitting plum on an island that apperaed out of nowhere !
we got off our speed boat ( we chose not to take the sea plane since we had a group of 25 heading here ) and were met at the hotel boardwalk by a Maldivian drummer !
After that it was pure luxury and fab service.
We were on the platinum plan with the hotel that encompasses all 3 meals and drinks ( this is important as the Maldives does not allow alcohol to be brought in by passengers as its an islamic state )
This island had almost every water sport to offer ! jet Skis, para sailing, deep sea fishing ( we caught 5 fish in under 2 hours just with line and bait ) and the most amazing diving ever !
But what will take your breath away is the wall of coral around the island ! even a simple swimmer can experience the beauty of underwater life and the coral gardens at a hands distance with snorkelling !
Great restaurants ! one that comes to mind is the beautiful pan asian - Tamarind. Its location over the water and its lighting at nite is simply magical ! great choice of food and wine !
Arguably the best swimming pool experience Ive ever had was at a resto called Aqva where the infinity pool tile and the fabulous sunset vista over the maldives is something that one really has to experience ! it seriously helps that the bartenders here make great cocktails!
The all day dining buffet is fantastic and the service is efficient and extremely friendly !
Im quite sure ill be back !

Room Tip: try and get a room next to Aqva ! its close to the best parts of the resort and closest to Aqva- my...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank AviMadras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IH_Management, and all team at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2013

Dear Valued Guest,
We are touched and grateful for the amazing comment about the resort and the Team. Rest assured, your feedback will be an absolute driving force for the staff in keeping high level of service and, especially, in working with passion. The first line of your review says it all: “Lily Beach - probably the best way to experience the Maldives”. This is exactly what we work hard for and we are glad to read that you enjoyed your stay at 360 degrees. Thank you, thank you, thank you! See you again soon!

Kind Regards

Pascal BILLON
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 1 October 2013

I wanted somewhere special to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary and my Birthday. I knew I wanted to visit the Maldives, so after a great deal of research I settled on Lily Beach. I wasn't disappointed. From the minute we arrived to the minute we left, we received a 5 star treatment. We arrived by sea plane (which is an adventure in itself) then took a short boat trip to the Island, during which we received cold scented towels to freshen up. A warm welcome was received from the management and a Maldivian drummer. We chose a Lagoon Villa and were very pleased with the location and facilities. We felt it was a happy medium between the beach villas and the water villas. Having your own steps into the sea and the view from the decking were amazing. The mini bar was well stocked with snacks and drinks which were replaced daily. The first (and only) day was a bit cloudy so we took the Spa package and we both fully enjoyed the relaxation, even my husband who doesn't usually like such things. Having a massage whilst looking down at all the fish made me feel chilled out. The food in all venues was of a high standard and the choice overwhelming. We never went hungry. For variety, we tended to have lunch at Vibes or Aqva, then evening meal at Lily Maa. For our Anniversary and my Birthday we ate at Tamarind which was delightful. The Island didn't seem too busy althought it was 80% full, we always found a quiet area. Our favourite in an afternoon was a little canopied seating near Vibes. We did the sunset fishing and coral garden snokelling which were great fun, I even caught a fish. I must highly recommend you do the Ocean Adventure, as it is worth every penny. To snorkel with Manta Rays and Whale Sharks is an unforgettable experience. The service we received by all staff was excellent, always polite and saying hello, but some deserve a special mention. The little things that make a holiday special - Joseph in the Aqva bar made us most welcome. Always a friendly smiling face, and he soon came to know our tastes. He seemed to anticipate what we wanted before we knew ourselves. Even having our favourite cocktails ready without asking. Solih in Lily Maa each evening greeted us and found a nice table. He looked after us by taking our plates to the table and pulling out our chairs. He is a real gentleman. We hope he enjoys his time off next month, he deserves it. Senarath at the Spirit Bar was always smiling, cheerful and attentive when we called in for a night cap on the way back to our villa. Hambi looked after us on our Snorkel trips, he even took our water camera to take photos for us, which was very kind. As I went on the Ocean Adventure on my Birthday my husband told Hambi and he made sure I got a great view of the Manta and Whale Sharks. We attended the management cocktail evening which is a great chance to meet the team, however they are always visible. Pascal is often seen watching over things, which is good to see. Daniel was very pleasant and always stopped for a chat, making sure we were enjoying our stay. Lastly big thanks to Ismail who had a few lovely surprises for us. I had e-mailed him prior to our arrival to book in the Tamarind for our special occasions. On our Wedding Anniversary we received a cake with our meal and when we got back to our villa we found a flower petal arrangement on the bed plus a gift. The jacuzzi was filled with water and flowers and a love songs CD on. Very Romantic. Then for my Birthday I also received a cake and the waiters sang Happy Birthday to me. Again there were petals on the bed. Lovely touches. Thanks again to Pascal and your team, you have given us so many memories. I spent ages researching and looking on Trip Advisor before I came across a post which said if your still thinking about it....don't.... just book Lily Beach, and I totally agree.

Angela & Mark Smith

  • Stayed: September 2013
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1  Thank Craftyange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IH_Management, and all team at Lily Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 17 October 2013

Dear Valued Guest,
It is indeed a pleasure reading your review and we thank you for having thought about us. We managed to make you happy and experience “something special”, as you said.
You chose Lily Beach to celebrate your birthday and anniversary…and we are really touched for that.
Our hardest and, at the same time, most satisfactory challenge is always providing great holiday, fond memories & lovely time. Realizing that we have done it with you is absolutely priceless.
Daniele, Ismail, myself and the whole Team thank you again for your kind comment & hope see you soon!

Kind Regards,

Pascal BILLON
Resident Manager

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Additional Information about Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Huvahandhoo Island
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > Southern Ari Atoll > Huvahandhoo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Huvahandhoo Island
Price Range: £639 - £1,708 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Lily Beach Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 125
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the deep blue sea of the Indian Ocean, among the scattered small Islands known as the Garland of Flowers (Maldive Islands) of indescribable nature, Lily Beach Resort is the island - Huvahendhoo at the South East Ari-Atoll. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lily Beach Hotel South Ari Atoll
Lily Beach Resort And Spa
Lily Beach Resort All Inclusive
Lily Beach Maldives

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