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“No not 5 star”

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Royal Island Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
58 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“No not 5 star”
Reviewed 7 November 2013

I have returned recently from a 7 day stay on this resort, and was fortunate to have brilliant weather. The accommodations consist of wooden bungalows on the beach front on the surrounds of the island. I stayed in two different bungalows due to an extended stay. Both accommodations were in excellent condition and cleaned daily. Housekeeping were attentive and ensured that sunbeds and towels were laid out each morning ready for use on the beach (outside the front door).
The pool area is good and less crowded as most preferred to use their private beaches.
This is a beautiful island and the staff are fantastic, it is peaceful and the waters are perfect blue in colour.
Food is well presented with Maldivian selections and european. Ensure that you check out what the chefs are cooking each day. Food on offer is not of the highest standard but toursts must remember that all food products in the Maldives are imported - there are no fresh diary, meats or fruits. So the chefs and staff do well with what is available.
I had a wonderful stay on this island - no it is not 5 star but it is nearly - staff were fantastic and the location is heaven.
Exercusions here are not as expensive as other resorts and the spa was also excellent (look out for the different offers available).

Wonderful relaxing stay - Thank-you to all the staff

Room Tip: 160 and up
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jake S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2013

RI is a beautiful island resort with a great spa, and more than enough 5 star facilities to keep anyone busy. It is not a super lux secluded island, but a very casual, relaxed, 5 star resort. I have stayed in many more luxurious hotels around the world, but have never had such a relaxing and positive holiday. The staff are excellent, food is good although largely buffet style, and facilities are generally good. The beach (sunrise side) is beautiful and the lagoon great for beginner snorkelling although experienced people will want to venture to other islands on trips to get a better range. I thoroughly recommend this hotel as a value for money get away.

Room Tip: Book villas on sunrise side of island as this is best beach and lagoon, approximately room numbers 2...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BrianE300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 19 October 2013

Nice accommodation in large wooden cabins on the beach, cleaned twice per day. Good selection of food in a buffet style breakfast and dinner. Only down was no non smoking area in other bar and restaurant.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ragalbraith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2013 via mobile

To reach the resort, you have to first take a domestic flight from Male to Dharavandhoo, and then a speedboat to the island. All the hours spent travelling and dealing with the incompetence of airport officials, all becomes worthwhile when you approach the island. In the middle of the Indian Ocean, beautiful white sand beaches, full of huge palm trees and other greeneries. After getting off the boat, you're greeted by drinks of coconut water as you fill out the paperwork.
There's a water sports center, where you can go canoeing, jet skiing, wind surfing or fishing. Canoeing around the island takes around an hour, make sure to use your sunscreen or tanning products. Windsurfing is free and so is borrowing snorkelling gear for the duration of your stay. Unfortunately, parasailing wasn't available during our visit.
Then there's a Dutch-run Delphis diving center. They provide different diving courses. The south side of the island is better for snorkelling/diving beyond the reef. Unfortunately, most of the corals close to the island are either dead or dying, but, there are a variety of fish to be seen in different sizes and colors.
Other sports activities available are lawn tennis, table tennis, beach volleyball, a football ground and squash.
There are two restaurants, the main one is Makana, where buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. The servers are very friendly. The price for lunch or dinner is $50 per person, which includes on-site BBQing of meats and seafood in addition to the usual dishes found at 5 star hotels. So, if you're not in the mood for daily buffets, take some snacks with you.
The second restaurant is located on the south side of the island, A la cartė. They have candle-lit tables right at the beach. Again servers are very friendly and helpful. If you as a couple can prove that you were married in the preceding 6 months, you're given a complimentary three-course candle-lit dinner, with the words "Happy Honeymoon" written on the tablecloth using colored rice.
We went for a night fishing trip that cost $46 per person. We saw some dolphins and a huge rainbow. I was able to catch three fishes, including two barracudas. And for another $15, they cook the catch for you, grilled or fried, where you can enjoy it at the a la cartė restaurant. Served with mixed salad, steamed rice and pineapple chutney. They also have a wide range of selection for drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, with lots of tropical fruit choices, along with the usual cocktails. The main bar is called Boli bar, which is situated right next to the large pool and is open 24/7. There's free wi-fi here and at the a la cartė restaurant. There's also a fun pub, with a DJ and a dance floor. However, we didn't see any drunkards making trouble. It was obvious people were there to relax and unwind.
Walking around the island is always pleasant and the walkways are adequately lighted at night. Don't be surprised to find a few reptiles. There are small wooden descriptions of these animals, posted around the island, so that guests don't get scared. There are dragon lizards, crabs, crows and lots of bats. My wife, as most women are was scared of the lizards and bats. She had a past experience, when one of her neighbor's daughters had a bat attach itself to her face with its claws, and it wouldn't come off until a drummer made it dance, I know, weird, right! Thankfully, none of that happened on the island.
The beach villas are very cozy, with wooden interiors. The toilet only has three walls and where the fourth one should be, takes you to an open air shower and a clothesline. They provide everything you'd expect from a 5-star resort, except, the only water available for your toileting needs is from the bidet.
A complimentary fruit basket is given at check-in and daily bottle of drinking water. The rest of the foodstuffs and minibar are overpriced. The back of the villa has a small porch with chairs for relaxing. Three beach chairs are on the beach with every villa. Here, you can enjoy the tropical weather while getting tanned, reading a book, with soothing sound of the waves. Your access to the beach isn't isolated, but, people are not prying at all.
There are a few shops, that sell jewellery, souvenirs and things you might need to use on the island.
That's kind of the gist of it. Overall, it was a very pleasurable experience, that I'd like to repeat, to get away from the hectic routine of daily life. I would recommend this resort, without any hesitation.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Akram A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bunbury, Australia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2013

In Dec 2012, we booked and paid in full for a trip to Royal Island with HB plus sea plane transfers. On 21st April 2013 we arrived at the Maldives airport at 10.30am and was met by the booking agent, Island Paradise, representative.

We were advised that the sea plane to Royal Island would not depart until 5pm so we were transferred to an old Inn at the rear of the airport island while we waited. We were advised the taxi will collect us at 4pm. At 4.15pm the lift did not arrive. When we rang Hassan to request where the taxi was, he responded “ we can’t get you on Royal Island, so we have booked you onto an equivalent island, Sun Island”, the reason later provided was his staff had participated in embezzlement and he sacked them and some emails were lost at this time. We were completely shocked, not only because he would have known this 5 hours prior and kept up a pretence that the trip was still occurring, but this is the SECOND time that we have been to the Maldives, booking via a Maldivian operator and the same sequence of events occurred. We were not given any options and as it was now late at night, we had no choice but to go to Sun Island.

The offer for compensate was over water accommodation at Sun Island, upgrade to FB and we finally received 240USD compensation, though this did not compensate for the lost value (flights to Maldives $3200, Sea Plane $800 plus the 7 days Royal accommodation/HB) and the stress and severity of related issues experienced during the week. We didn't even get the sea plane money refunded. We also had to argue for the $240, as even though it was offered, on the date of departure, we were still trying to extract the money. We received a letter to offer free accommodation in 2014 and 2015, however it is only applicable to the low season and the trust of it being honoured is low, so for both reasons it is not worth the risk of returning to the Maldives.

We had no guarantee of accommodation for greater than three nights so there was no certainty of arrangements for the remainder of the holiday, and there no communication form the agent of the situation, we only found out when the resort was indicating we had to depart our room. We offered to pay more to get to more appropriate accommodation that could provide assurance for the rest of the week, however the agent did not support with alternative arrangements at all.

Sun Island was not the type of holiday we wanted and we did not enjoy it at all. Royal Island and Sun Island are owned by the same Company so it seems the Company still got their cut of the money.

So in summary, we never got on a sea plane, we never saw Royal Island, we never enjoyed our trip (was completely miserable as we fought the whole week for any compensation). Dont book through a local Maldivian agent and I would not recommend an island owned by this company.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
31 Thank Tropicstraveller_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2013

As a family we chose this resort because of the different activities it offered as well as the convenience of accommodation. I can say that we weren't disappointed. There is so much to do for both adults and children - from the many water activities (jetski, canoeing, banana boat, snorkelling excursions) to the island sports activities such as the tennis courts, gym, badminton, table tennis etc. In terms of social life, we spent different afternoons and evenings in the Boli Bar where we enjoyed the local entertainment shows, or quiet evening drinks by the swimming pool area. This was unfortunately one of only two places that offered Wifi on the island which I think needs to change.

The sea is beautiful for swimming/snorkeling. Snorkelling equipment is free. My children and I went out beyond the reef and even had a dip off the main jetty. The water was clear and there is a variety of sea life to see!

All the staff were polite and went out of their way to help. Speaking to staff, it was evident that this was an ethos instilled and promoted by all staff (400 of them) at the resort. In particular I would like to express our thanks to Sham, our dedicated restaurant waiter; Rashid who went out of his way to talk to our children and build a friendship with them. Also to Samee & Ibrahim who always kept our villa clean and tidy. This was our second visit after many years (we were a couple then), and the resort did everything to show how much they valued this.

BUT...yes there is a BUT!!! Unfortunately there is little consideration in terms of expense for families. We knew before we went how expensive Maldives is, even if you're a couple. However, surely Royal need to realise that if you always charge per person for everything, many of the activities, as well as the food/drink becomes completely unaffordable for a family of 4 or 5. Typical examples of this is the cost of All Inclusiive or the cost of 2 adults and 3 children wanting to go jetskiiing. And yet it's clear that the island (unlike many others in the Maldives) caters for families and want them to visit. Don't get me wrong, I generally expect to pay more in the Maldives but the cost for families is disporpotionate and therefore I hope the resort decides to offer better family deals for meals & activities.

Overall this resort gets a big thumbs up! We loved it and would recommend it highly to anyone considering a tropical holiday in and absolutely idyllic setting with friendly staff.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TripAdviser_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2013

The island is very beautiful the hotel was wonderful but its very expensive vacations the prices everywhere followed high levels....
Private pic nic 180 dollars per person?
Masage for two 200 dol.per person.
And the weather in august in maldives is not good
Maybe in april is the best month to stay there!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank karafylangeliki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Island Resort & Spa

Property: Royal Island Resort & Spa
Address:
Region: Maldives > Baa Atoll > Horubadhoo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Horubadhoo Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Island Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come experience the Maldives you’ve always dreamt of at Royal Island Resort & Spa. Amidst the sparkling jewels of the Indian Ocean, our exquisite Maldives luxury hotel shines and dazzles above all. Indulge and immerse yourself in a colorful journey of discovery, where shores lined with luxuriant banyans and lush palms yield to a majestic underwater world that will render you speechless. Enjoy unmatched services and facilities, including the lavish Araamu Spa and a fabulous selection of restaurants and bars. Relax and unwind with a vast selection of resort activities , including a fully equipped gymnasium, tennis, and squash to scuba diving and water skiing. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Island Resort And Spa
Royal Island Hotel Baa Atoll
Royal Island Resort Maldives

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