Friday, 4 January 2013

Beauty Trip: Vilamendhoo Island Spa & Resort



Are you the kind of person whose idea of the perfect holiday involves laying on a beautiful beach or by a non- crowded pool while sipping a cocktail, reading a book, enjoying wonderful food and doing as much or as little as you like? 

Yep, me too.

Are you also the kind of person who loves to indulge in the occasional visit to stunning spas where you are pampered to within an inch of your life?

Yep that’ll be me again!
 


Are you thinking about the next location and venue for your holiday or possibly your honeymoon?

If you have said yes to all of the above, then you need look no further, because I’ve found your ideal paradise.


Vilamendhoo is a small island located in one of the most beautiful locations on earth, the Maldives.

Now wait, before you click off claiming that the Maldives is way out of your budget, bare with me.

You might just be surprised!


Vilamendhoo Island Resort is the only resort on the 900 meter long by 250 metre wide Island and boasts one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, perfect for snorkelers. 

Located in the South Ari Atoll, the island is a short, scenic 25 minute sea plane flight away from Male, the main International airport in the Maldives.

The Island comprises of 184 Rooms including 30 Jacuzzi Water Villas, 30 Jacuzzi Beach Villas, 111 Beach Villas and 13 Garden Rooms.


As you may have guessed, Water Villas are the indeed those rooms on stilts that sit above the water and are one of the most recognisable sights in the Maldives.

Now, when you start looking for somewhere to go in the Maldives you will find yourself overwhelmed by a HUGE array of stunning looking resorts. Where the hell do you start to short list the ones your interested in and can afford?
Trip Advisor is of course, hugely helpful, but you will find that most resorts receive similar comments.


‘’It was amazing’’, ‘’Beautiful’’, ‘’Paradise’’.

Indeed all the above are true, but you really can’t beat personal recommendations.

The Maldives, while it can be affordable is clearly not a cheap holiday.

Quite apart from the price it’s super far away (11 hour flight, followed by transfer to the sea plane airport, a 10-90 minute seaplane flight depending on your resort then a 10 minute boat ride to the island)



You really don’t want to be travelling so far and spending you hard earned money on something which is going to be anything less than amazing.

This is why I’m so glad I visited Vilamendhoo back in November 2012.

The best time to visit the Maldives is during its dry season which runs from December through to March, though I know of people who have visited out of season and had wonderful weather, its just more of a risk.



Me & my husband visited in November and of the 8 days we were there, we had 1 cloudy day (which was actually a pleasant respite from the searing heart and sun) and 1 morning of rain only.

Now, from the moment we stepped off the sea plane and onto the jetty in the sea some way from the Island, I knew we were somewhere special.



The boat to take us to the island promptly arrived and off we went. The sunlight bounced off the crystal clear sea and warmed my back as i looked towards our destination, paradise.

We stepped off the boat and onto the wooden jetty before being shown to the reception area where we were welcomed with an ice cold flannel and refreshing juice drink. 

We relaxed onto a luxurious sofa, cool under the cover of the wooden building that housed reception.



Our Thomson holiday rep came to us, talked us through the Island, gave us our keys and invited us to a welcome meeting later that day (which we later missed due to falling asleep on the beach!)

We were escorted to our villa through the Island’s gardens which were bursting with wildlife. Vocal birds squarked in the trees and lizards danced across our paths!



Now, to say our Villa was on the beach would do it an injustice. 

Our Villa was all of 10 steps from the sea! The warm, turquoise, beautiful sea!




Our balcony over looked over the beach and was so beautiful it would have been a still from a holiday brochure or postcard, yet this is the view we were treated to every single day!

The room was fab; spacious, cool and clean.


The view from our terrace

You will be in for a treat with the bathroom- It is partially uncovered!

Facing the gardens, you can be in the shower while watching birds (or bats) swoop from tree to tree!



Don’t worry, the walls around your villa are high so no one can see in (other than the birds that is) but there was something very special about it that made you feel closer to the Islands nature!

We were in a detached villa on the North Side of the Island (arguably the prettiest) and if you visit, I would encourage you to email reservations and request a villa this side of the island. 

One of the biggest selling points for us with Vilamendhoo was their all inclusive option.



Granted, there are other island in the Maldioves that offer an All Inclusive package, but boy will you pay for that!

Not so on Vilamendhoo.

All of your food- breakfast, lunch and dinner is included, along with soft drinks, beer, house wine and house spirits.



By going all Inclusive you are also entitled to several other amazing perks including a snorkelling lesson, windsurfing lesson, tennis lesson and free use of the islands Kayaks and windsurfers.

My favourite all inclusive perk was the Sunset Cruise, which was amazing!



Departing the island at around 5:30pm, the cruise takes you out and away from the island, so you can watch the sun set over the Maldives, takes some incredible photographs and even have the chance of seeing some dolphins while sipping a cool cocktail!

We did see a school of dolphins but alas by camera was not quick enough to capture them on film!



Now, if doing nothing is more your style, then prepare to be pampered and indulged in Vilamendhoo’s own spa, The Duniye Spa.



Situated over the sea like the water villas, this Spa is everything you could wish for and more.

Arrive at the spa and prepare to be greeted with a friendly face, an ice cold flannel and a refreshing herbal, iced tea.


Sink into their sofas, look over to the island and perhaps you’ll see one of their resident herons fishing for his supper, or one of their black tipped sharks (don’t worry, they’re small and non aggressive!) doing his daily lap of the island shallows.



Choose a treatment (and there are loads to choose from) and you will be led to your own private room over the ocean.



Allow me to recommend the Honeymoon Indulgence Treatment;

A Balinese or oriental massage, followed by a smoothing and toning coffee-chocolate body scrub, replenishing hair-scalp massage with warm coconut oil concluding with a tropical bath infusion with refreshment and  an application of moisturizing body lotion.
 
And the Sole to Soul massage;

 A healing combination of Indian head massage and reflexology to bring deep relaxation to body and mind while stimulating the body’s innate healing power.




Lay back on their cool beds while their skilled therapists work their magic to relax and rejuvenate both your body and soul.



Finish your spa experience by being escorted to the relaxation room, a room with a view out to sea and enjoy sipping your warm ginger tea while reclining on a bed and soaking up the experience.


Paradise.

One of my favourite parts of my holiday was my walk back to my villa from the spa.

I don’t mean to come across like a total hippie, but i really did feel at one with nature.



Tiny sand coloured crabs & hermit crabs would dance across the sand in front of me as I walked across the beach.

I’d look out to sea and see a huge range of beautiful fish bobbing around peacefully in the shallows before being disturbed by a passing black tipped shark on his lap of the island.


The Mr's feet, not mine!

Walk past almost any palm tree late afternoon and you’ll hear a racket! Look up and instead of seeing squabbling crows or birds, you’ll see squabbling bats!



Beautiful bats!

Step up to your villa and be prepared to be greeted by tiny geckoes scuttling away as you turn the light on and larger lizards scuttling up a tree and keeping their distance!



The feeling of being at one with nature and living in paradise remains unbroken in the evening too.

Getting about can be troublesome as there are no artificial lights to light your way from your beach villa to the restaurant where you have your breakfast, lunch and dinner.



Fear not though, a torch is provided in your room and I loved this!

On your way back from dinner, have a break and lay on a sunbed facing the sky.

Never before have i ever seen so many stars! Simply stunning!



Ok, so now I’ve whet your appetite, here’s the deal.

Holiday’s to Vilamendhoo are operated through Thomson Holidays, and indeed the resort is one of Thomson’s Platinum holidays.

To go to the Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa for a week in January, is roughly £1682 per person.



This is all inclusive, includes your return flights from Gatwick and both your sea plane transfers.

Compare this to many other resorts, you’re looking at saving around £1000 per person for essentially, the same holiday (Just different islands, obviously!) .



If you are looking for a relaxed, luxurious, breathtaking and beautiful holiday packed with plenty of things to see and do (only if you want to) or the facilities to lay back and do nothing (if you wish) at a price that isn’t going to break the bank, then Vilamendhoo is the only place I would recommend.

Many of the guests that we spoke to told us they have visited many resorts in the Maldives.



They then told us that they visited the island of Vilamendhoo regularly, often at least once a year and they rate it as one of the best in the Maldives for its beauty, relaxed nature and value for money.

I can’t argue, me and the Mr are trying to find an excuse to go back as soon as possible!


7 comments:

  1. good tip :) i was last summer in maafushivaru island and for this summer i am looking for change. going check it on tripadvisor :)
    enjoy it! :)

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    1. It is beatiful! Please let me know if you do go! X

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  2. My god that looks beautiful

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  3. Oh god that literally does look like heaven on earth, just a shame I couldn't afford to go anytime soon! x

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  4. This is absolutely stunning - thanks for sharing your pictures :)

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  5. very weekend i would like to vist some new places this time i choose to visit this place before i vist i read your blog really thanku your inforamtion helps me a lot act i am very new to that place ...next week i am planning to visit Bandipur Resort


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