Lily Beach Resort & Spa
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Historical Traveler Reviews Lily Beach Resort & Spa South Ari Atoll
Our First Visit To Lily Beach - Hopefully Not The Last!
This was our first trip to the maldives and Lily Beach after always going all inclusive to the Caribean so that is probably what we are comoaring this to.
We travelled by Qatar Airways and the downside of this beautiful island is the long journey it took to get there. Although once arrived it was worth it. If you can travel direct to Male without a transfer I would recommend it, if not seriously consider upgrading to premium/first class.
On arrival at the hotel you are greeted with cold flannels, flowers and a refreshing cocktail. This summed up the attention to detail througout the holiday.
Our room was 114 well placed for the beach (36 steps from the door). We travelled with 1 child and the room was plenty big enough to accomodate the extra single bed which was a proper bed not a rollaway. Our room was a standard. Did not have a look inside the water bungalows but felt the location of them was not as good as the standard rooms. You have a platform over the water but only when the tide is in and there is limited beach around them. Also there is no railing around the platform so would definately not be suitable if travelling with children. Personally I would suggest they were not worth the extra cost.
Snorkelling was out of this world. Never seen so many different fish and the breakers provide a safe and shallow area for swimming Perfect for children.
Each room is designated 2 sun loungers each so clearly marked with you room number together with pads. We thought this was really good. No need to get up early to reserve your spot. Additionally as there were 3 in our room without asking an additional lounger arrived on our first day. The allocated sunloungers are on the beach by your room but if you want to go to a different part of the island it is not a problem as you can just ask and they will be moved for you straight away. The room was kept immaculately clean throughout. Our clothes were even folded!
Every night whilst we were in the restaurant our beds were turned down. Our 7 year old son looked forward to seeing which pattern the sheets were done each night. We had flowers on the bed twice. 298 petals the first time - we counted them all!
On your first visit to the restaurant you are allocated a table and waiter for througout your stay. All meals are buffet style. Yes there can be queues at times but during the two weeks we were there they never ran out of anything. So whilst you may have to wait in a queue you can be sure that once you reach the end what you get is hot and the same as the first person in the queue got.
There is the option to upgrade to steak or lobster which we did one night for our son. Cost for lobster was $39. Was fantastic. Unsure if it is normally the case but they also put the table out on the beach for us to enjoy the stars which you can pay extra for any night.
Must admit we are not big drinkers so not the best experts to comment. House wine is OK, beer is good (Lion Beer). Slightly disappointed with choice of cocktail. Each night, 2 different cocktails are available free and we understand you can have as many of these 2 as you want. All other cocktails are charged extra avg $10.
The hotel offers a range of boat excursions, fishing, island hopping etc. Previous comments have suggested that due to minimum number requirements many did not take place. This did not seem to be the case whilst we were there. There is a free boat trip to a local island on a Sunday afternoon. This is probably the best time to get souvineers. There is a shop on Lily Beach, but more expensive and not as good a choice (Tip - If you go on the trip and go shopping dont be frightened to barter. You can get a good deal).
At the pool bar, the same bar man will serve you throughout your stay. After you have been there a short while you will not need to ask for anything. As soon as you arrive your favourite drink and a pool towel will arrive. Snacks are available from here throughout the day.
The staff were friendly all the time. They were always willing to help and go beyond expectations. Even giving presents to our son when we left.
Comments from a 7 year old boy - "Make sure you see the stingrays at 9.00pm. At 10.00am go to see the turtles feeding,hang around after and you'll probably be invited to go and feed the sea eagle...just dont forget your camera"
Having alway gone to Barbados / St. Lucia previously we were a little aprehensive about travelling this direction but were not disappointed. Yes the island is very small but we did not feel closed in or run out of things to do.
The people here are more reserved than in the Caribean but still very welcoming. My wife did not feel at all worried and made the comment that it is probaly a very safe place for single women to travel to.
Overall a fantastic place to holiday. I appreciate different people expect different things from a holiday but we find it hard to believe any body would be disappointed after a holiday here.
this was an unforgetable holiday!
the level and friendliness of this resort was superb.
a perfect place for a honeymoon or just somewhere two chill out.
loads of fish two see,not forgeting the turtle feeding,hand feeding of the sea eagle and the fruit bats!
the only down side was i was only there for a week!!!!!!!!!
My husband and i had booked 7 days at the Lily Beach Resort for our honeymoon. When we went to the travel agent, we specifically asked for a water villa. She had a look at her supplier and booked us in the water villa at the Lily Beach Resort.
When we arrived, i thought that there had been a terrible mistake as the porter showed us to our accomodation.
There was no pier into the ocean to get to the water villa (as i had expected), we were shown to accomodation on land that had a very small deck at the back of the bedroom. This was the brochures interpretation of a water villa. The deck would only be submerged into water when the tide was in!!
I was really upset, this was our honeymoon and we had specifically booked the maldives and this resort for the accomodation.
To top it all, we had an open air bathroom (and i know that if you go some where exotic, there are bound to be lizards), but let me tell you...... there wasn't the odd one or two, there were LOADS!!!!
I hate things like that and everytime i wanted to use the bathroom my husband would have to go first and check if there were any on the walls!!
Some of the baby ones managed to crawl into the bedroom too!!
Apart from that, our experience there was AMAZING!!!
The food is great (and if you have a fussy partner, like my husband), you need not worry as the variation of food was extensive and tasty.
The staff couldnt do enough to help you and as honeymooners, we had a special dinner on the beach on out last night. They covered the dinner table with flowers and candles.
I also remeber that the first night and last night our bed was beautifully decorated with flowers.
There isnt much to do, apart from swim, sleep and sunbathe but as it was our honeymoon.....it was perfect.
I would go back to the maldives but to another island where i will get to stay in a water villa!!!
PS forgot to tell you that if you do go to the Lily Beach make sure you try to have dinner before 9pm. If you do mamage it, go to the end of the pier, where scraps of fish is thrown into the sea. You get to see the BIGGEST sting rays ever!!!....it's AMAZING!!!. They do this every night and trust me, you will not be bored even if you went every night!!! there are other fish that come to feed too but i think the rays were the best!!!
Not much to do
I don't think this hotel is a 4 star - more like 3 star. The airconditioners don't go under 18 - which isn't particularly good. The food is nice and there were only 2 things I didn't really like about the resort. Firstly there really isn't anything to do so I guess if you don't mind that it's fine - but just be warned it gets very boring unless you want to spend all day on a very small island where all you can do is sunbathe or swim. The thing that really annoyed me was the trip situation - there are numerous payable trips you can go on but they all have a minumum number. Therefore if you are staying for a week and want to go somewhere to snorkel unless there are 8 people going or you're willing to pay for 8 people you can't go. Considering the money that is made on other trips that are constantly full you would think that once or twice a week they would go anyway.
We stayed at Lily Beach for a week and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our holiday, I would recommend it to anyone.
The staff were friendly, the food good and the rooms spacious and comfortable. We stayed in the standard rooms rather than the water villas and found them to be very good.
The lagoon was small giving easy access to the house reef. The number and variety of fish we saw while snorkelling was very good both inside the lagoon and outside the reef. I cannot speak of the diving thereabouts as we are not scuba divers but I didn't hear any complaints from those people who were.
I see another reviewer is complaining about "the wall of rocks" spoiling his view, this was built to stop the erosion of sand from the island and protect the resort.
We tend not to return to the same island twice but we would break our rule for Lily Beach.
A piece of paradise
Lily beach is a small portion of paradise, its staff are all polite and nothing is ever too much trouble.
We have been twice and are going back again
Pure Chill !!!
We went to Lily Beach in June/July and had a fantastic time. Unfortunately we had some bad monsoon weather hit us from India, but it definitely didn't spoil the holiday!! For all those asking, cash (dollars) useful for tipping the waiters/room staff at the end of the holiday, and also for the guys on the boats after trips etc. Otherwise everything else can be signed for if you need to, although almost everything else is included apart from certain drinks and food at the snack bar. Water Villas are not really over the water but have great views. (The walls (groynes) in front may spoil the view, but they're there to stop sand erosion, so it's a small inconvenience to ensure plenty more holiday makers get to enjoy the island in future). We were in room 302 at the end of the island away from the pool and it was great. Snorkelling equipment is adequate, would take your own snorkel though if you have one ! As for the mosquito's, depends on the season and how damp it is, we had a lot as it was wet, but people who've been in December still recommend taking some spray as they are there most of the time. Dive school is excellent, and the number of different dives to do is ace, and the house reef is brilliant. Will definitely be back soon, if only to try and find those ever so elusive Whale Sharks !!!!! Turtle feeding and the fish feeding each evening are an experience not to be missed, if only to see Lily the house turtle trying to take chunks out of peoples behinds if they get in her way of the food.
Overall this holiday was ideal, never thought that on an island that's only 500m by 100m I'd be so busy, but there's still plenty of time to chill out and relax.
As the Nike add says "Just Do It".
We visited the Lily Beach in March 2004. What a fantastic place! I was asstounded by the natural beauty of the island. The water is so clear, the sand is very white and the people are so friendly. The food was good too with fresh fish served every day.
We found that it is a place to go if you want to shut off from the real world and just totally relax. The beach doesn't get busy. In fact where our room was situated, we took around five steps and we were on the beach where sunbeds were provided. We were lucky if four or five couples passed us all day. We also felt very safe, leaving our room unlocked with valuables inside most of the time.
The water activities were great. We found using the snorkel was just like swimming in a large fishtank, with the odd turtle swimming by. We took advantage of the free trip to the local fishing village where we were taken around the local school and shops. We were treated like royalty. The people were so friendly.
The rooms are quite basic with no TV. Instead there is a CD player and a library of CDs at reception. The open air showers took a bit of getting used to but by the end of the holiday, I wished I had something similar at home!
My only regret about this hotel is that I wish I could have stayed longer!
We visited Lily Beach last November and it was superb. The food was fabulous, the staff friendly, the service was wonderful.
The only critisicm was that the room standard was not as good as at other Maldives resorts we have visited, (we upgraded to a water bugalow), and there is a hideous wall of rocks built around the island which ruins the view. Apart from that it was a great holiday. Check out the turtles that have hatched on the island, they even let you hold them! Great photo opportunity.
TripAdvisor Reviews Lily Beach Resort & Spa South Ari Atoll
Travel Blogs from South Ari Atoll
... the experience is totally about appealing to foreign tourists. Sitting in the lounge, the languages are varied, the people obviously well-heeled, and completely different than the manic bustle of Male’. After two weeks embedded
in “real life” in the capitol, I am intrigued to see the “other side” while surprisingly missing the sights, sounds, and smells of the last couple weeks. This idea was ...
... also was very excited to meet the famous basket-ball player Kevin Durant, who is staying at our hotel!
Jemima, Ollie and David also headed out on a snorkelling trip! It was amazing, and there was such a range of bright coral and fish!
Our favourite meal over the last few days would have had to be a seafood barbecue on the beach at night. The tables were surrounded with fire-torches and it was pretty beautiful, eating by ...
... coral gardens, on the atoll’s edge, inside the atoll, next to islands, next to sandbanks, etc. We saw fishes of all shapes and sizes, in a variety of amazing colours, discovering some we had never seen before. We each grew to have our favourites (the long-nose filefish for Jason and the surgeonfish for me), or our least favourites (for both of us it was the titan triggerfish as this one is quite big and can get a bit aggressive in protecting its nest). ...
... in my PJ's and ordered room service, watched a bit of CNN and read a bit and then went to bed.
I got up at 5:30 and I'm about to head to breakfast, then I hired a boat to take me to the middle of the ocean to surf. I'm a bit terrified. But what the hell...
It's gorgeous here but all I've seen is pretty much the villa... So, I'll write later tonight after my first full day here.
Hope all of you had a fabulous weekend.
One got to do snorkelling everyday. So today we were back to the beach in the morning with our snorkelling gears.
Today we had to leave. It seemed like we had just come and now its time to go back. The resort extended our check out time from 12 pm to 6 pm as we had a flight in the evening.
It was such a wonderful experience that one feels one can stay here forever :)
Will definitely visit Maldives once ...