Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort
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Historical Traveler Reviews Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort South Male Atoll
7 wonderful days in absolute paradise
We spent 1 week HB at the wonderful Olhuveli in a deluxe room in the end of March 2006 and absolutely loved it. 7 days of sun, turquoise sea, colourful fish and very helpful and polite personnel in a relaxing environment. The food was good and plentiful considering you are on a small island in the middle of âno-whereâ. If the buffet style dining wasnât good enough there was always the other 3 restaurants to choose from where you could get better food than in most British restaurants (not included in HB of course). We had candle light dinner on the beach even though we were very happy with the buffet (many times better that the average+ British food).
We were perfectly fine with our deluxe room but when we were offered to upgrade to a Jacuzzi villa for the last 2 nights for a modest price of $50pp/pn, a total of $200 (Â£120) for 2 days in absolute luxury we couldnât resist.
Yes, alcohol is not cheap on the island (beer $5, GT ~$9 & a glass of house wine $3,40) and they charge you a service fee of 10% on everything you buy but because you are aware of this it is nothing to get upset about.
I think we have only one negative thing to say about the place and that is that sometimes there are just too many Italians to be comfortable for non-Italians. I wonât say anything more about that; everybody that has been there knows what I meanï
As a conclusion: if you are looking for a totally relaxing holiday with good food, perfect service and without any fuss I would strongly recommend Olhuveli. If you again are looking for party and cheap booze then I would suggest you save your money and go to the Canary Islands or the nearest pub.
We spent a delightful 10 nights, choosing the 'All inclusive' option. The 'jacuzzi' water villa was, as one might expect, situated over the lagoon and privacy was wonderful. The jacuzzi however, was merely a bath, and so not really the 'hot tub' we were expecting.
The 'all inclusive' option simply isn't. Those of you used to 'Sandals' style will definitely be disappointed. Just some examples: drinks after midnight are not included. Nor are cappucino's / latte's or any other coffee except for the stuff they serve at the meals.
The meals were ok at best.
If one chose to have anything away from the inclusive deal, then everything was charged at the hotel standard rate plus 10% service charge. Somehow we do not believe the service charge is anything other than a way of hiding the real cost of the facility!
On the positive side, we loved the lagoon and the water was truely crystal clear, seeing manta and sting rays basking and feeding was an amazing sight.
Our basic issue with the hotel is that many of the facilities seem to geared around making their lives easier. We wanted to stay in our room until late but were offered it at something like $350.00 for the extra 4 hours we needed. The 'complimentary shower' service we used, was no more than the shower attached to the pool area. They also required us to leave the island 2 hours before we needed to, making us wait an extra two hours at Male airport!
All in all, not much better than ok.
Heaven on earth
the Olhuveli is heavenly in every way. We stayed in a beach villa, large room and magnificent open air bathroom, terrace with table and chairs and sun beds just on the beach. it was only 10 paces to reach the sea from our villa. The two pools are lovely but the snorkeling was fabulous - Turtles, lion fish, moray eels, baby sharks and just about every size shape and colour of fish you could imagine!! the food (buffet) was very good for this style of eating and the choice was varied - this fussy eater was full to bursting! The staff - they were unobtrusive but there when you needed something and so helpful and knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble for them. the resort is peaceful and relaxing, but there are enough trips if you feel the need to do something. the dive centre staff are also extremely good and experienced.
I switched off, wound down and relaxed in the luxury of the resort. Absolutely nothing bad to say at all about the whole holiday. I can't wait to go again!!
I have just arrived back from my honeymoon in Olhuveli and can honestly say it was one of the best holidays I've ever had. The resort has only been open a couple of months after being totally rebuilt after the Tsunami. There is still some work being done on the staff residences at one end of the island, we could see the work but didn't hear anything, so it didn't affect our stay at all. The guest areas are all now finished.
We stayed in a Water Villa, which was very clean and spacious and extremely private. The air-conditioning worked perfectly, and there was never any shortage of hot water. A bath overlooking the lagoon was a luxury each night. The only noise we ever heard was that of the wind and sea. The steps from the villa lead to a shallow lagoon, a bit shallow for swimming at low-tide, but ideal for cooling down on the hot sunny afternoons. The lagoon on the other side of the island is less than 5 mins slow walk and ideal for swimming and snorkelling. There are two infinity pools- one where you can see the sun rise (if you are up in time) and one where you can see the sun set (fantastic).
The house reef was great for snorkelling and diving, but the dhoni boat dives are something else. This is the first time I have dived and the level of instruction was excellent. I felt perfectly safe at all times and am told I have seen things during the 10 dives I did that other people have not seen in 10 years of diving; turtles, sharks, moray eels, mantas, lion fish, scorpion fish etc. etc. It was like being in a tropical fish tank. The highlight was snorkelling with the 30-40 dolphins that the dhoni boat crew managed to find most days.
The food in the buffet restaurant was fine. Ok, it's not Michelin Star quality and there is a similar theme each night, but there is plenty of variety and once you know what they do well (salads, fish, lamb and beef dishes, pasta and curries with rice, and fresh friut, and what they don't do so well (turkey bacon, chicken sausages.. there is no pork produce, and some luminescent desserts) its easy to choose a really good meal and still have variety (and put unwanted pounds on!) The house wine was also fine, again not what you'd necessarily choose in a top restaurant, but still very drinkable.
The staff were all really friendly and helpful, which made us feel welcome. Our waiter even got up to do early breakfast (5am) on our departure day. The feel of the island is very much relaxed and informal, quite a contrast from our two days in Dubai at the Fairmont on the way home, fantastic in it's own way, just showy and ostentatious.
Whilst we were there the majority of guests were either Italian or Japanese, which was great as we don't particularly want to hoilday with huge numbers of Brits.
There are a couple of shops on the resort but they only offer a limited supply of things, a jewellers that is quite expensive, a photo processing shop- useful for seeing how rubbish you are at taking underwater photos, and a souvenir/supply shop, limited range of toiletries, snacks, sarongs etc.. My advise would be to make sure you take everything you need in relation to sun creams, shampoos, toliteries etc. (especially the ladies). You do not go to this resort if you want to go shopping.
My only suggestion to the resort was that there should be a no-smoking section to the restaurant for those who would rather not eat next to smokers. Though this was not too offensive owing to the open walls and overhead fans.
I would recommend this resort to those who want a relaxed and informal holiday. We booked with maldives direct who were really helpful tailoring our holiday to our specific needs (we wanted 9 nights in the Maldives and 2 nights in Dubai). Jim has first hand knowledge of the resorts and can make suggestions based on your budget and whether you prefer traditional no shoes, no news, plenty of activities or not, child friendly or more couply based, basic or more opulent marble and brass, sophisticated. I would definately use them again. He also booked Emirates flights for us which gave slighty extra leg room, good food and entertainment, making the long journey much more enjoyable.
Ohluveli resort, Faru and Dhonveli
My family (5 kids and 2 grandparents) were booked for a short 5 day holiday at the Dhonveli resort, North Male Atoll over the Xmas holidays. We arrived in Male via Singapore at midnight only to discover that our resort had overbooked and had re-booked us (without our knowledge) to Faru Island Resort. The Maldivian travel agency rep. who met us tried in vain to contact Dhonveli, but the resort did not answer any of our calls
Understandably my husband and I were livid -our booking for Dhonveli had cost us a small fortune. The prospect of spending our first night of our "paradise" vacation at the airport with 5 over tired children (the youngest, 16 months) or at a resort neither of us had even heard of, had us seeing red. Since it was by this time 1:30 am (4:30 am Singapore time) we reluctantly went off to Faru. This resort (previously Club Med) was very, very basic. The staff and particularly the manager were lovely and very kind to take us at the last minute. Nonetheless, it was not the resort we were expecting nor paid for.
After many calls to our Singapore travel agent the next morning we moved to Ohluveli Resort, South Male Atoll.
This resort was much more what we had anticipated. However, the island was still working out many "kinks" in their operations having only recently reopened post tsunami. We had to wait over 3 hours for our rooms apparently because they were unable to get water into the pipes. The 3 rooms we finally secured were stunning. The 2 water bungalows were breathtaking, and the deluxe beach bungalow had an outdoor bathroom (complete with claw foot soaker tub) that was so large, we could have housed another family.
As I mentioned, the resort had small post renovation glitches to work out. Our rooms occasionally were without water; the air conditioning in one of the water bungalows did not work properly ; the air conditioning in the beach bungalow dripped water continuously and only miliimeters from the back of the television. These were minor inconveniences. The resort overall was very good - the staff in particular were friendly and helpful; the food in the buffet was delicious.
There were no organized activities, clubs etc for young children but mine were thrilled to just hang out at the 2 pools or snorkel in the wonderful house reef.
Although one entire day of our short 5 day/4 night vacation was ruined by the people at Dhonveli Resort, our overall memories of our Maldivian adventure are fantastic. Thanks to the manager at Faru Island Resort and all the staff at the Ohluveli.
Brilliant Holiday (Holidays are what you make of them!)
Originally there were four of us going on this holiday to all celebrate being 25! However two pulled out so it was myself and Polly who went.
The resort is quite coupley so I think a lot of the staff thought we were partners! It did amuse our rep! (The Thomas Cook Rep was fantastic) Met some lovely couples on their honeymoon and we all tended to do a bit as a group which was fun.
I have no complaints about this holiday at all. (Except maybe the amount of Italians there, but we did get to meet the Godfather himself!) We had one of the superior rooms right on the end of the island and got the best view. Waking up every morning and looking outside was amazing. The water is so clear that you can sea the reef sharks, sting rays and fish - nothing to be scared of! The sharks swim right up to you but will quickly swim off if you move in the water.
I think the table seating plan for meals is a bit strange as once you're assigned a table you have to sit in the same place for the entire holiday - which is fine if you get on with the people you're sitting with!
The dive school staff are really friendly and helpful and encourage you to try a dive - which is good fun. The turtles we saw on the end of the pier were amazing!!!!
The excusions were great fun, getting off the island to go shopping in a Maldivian town was interesting. The tour was very good.
One of the best nights for entertainment is on a Friday night when the resort has The Sultans Band - absolutely amazing singers. Can sing in Maldiavian, English, German and Japanese! They can sing ANY song you request which is BRILLIANT! They had a number 1 album over there when we were there so very well known by the people who live in the Maldives!
Overall very friendly staff - especially the bar staff. Work long hard hours but are always happy to see you and tell you about things going on.
I would recommend the Maldives to anyone and I would also recommend Olhuveli - Great place!
No question - water bungalows the best
After reading others' reviews of the basic and superior rooms, I have to say that we thoroughly enjoyed the water bungalows. Not only were the rooms themselves fantastic, they were isolated from the rest of the island so we did not feel as crowded as others did. They are also some of the least expensive water bungalows in the Maldives. We were on half board, which I highly recommend because the a la carte lagoon restaurant was tremendous value with delicious food, never busy, and the staff was much friendlier than at the buffet restaurant. I did not find the drinks to be as expensive as on other islands. My partner did not appreciate being seated with another couple at the main buffet restaurant - but at least they were friendly and interesting.
I only hope Olhuveli can afford to rebuild - perhaps the other rooms will be much better now!
OK but wouldn't go again
We went in October 04, overall we enjoyed the holiday but a couple of things took the edge of it. We travelled with Emirates and they we OK but there were too few desks open at the airport and it took over two hours to check the luggage in, the service on board was OK but nothing to write home about. There was a short stop a Dubai on the way out which was fine, but on the way back the plane went via Sri Lanka, which on one had been advised about on booking which meant it took an extra two hours to get back to Dubai. We then stopped in Dubai for couple of days and that was fab. We have travelled with Qatar, Malaysian and Thai in the past and they all provided good service.
The transfer for the airport is about 40 mins. We were lucky and had calm weather so it wasn't a bad experience. The beach sea and wind are very different on the two sides of the island. One side is soft sand, windy and has seaweed growing. The other is more singly, very calm and clear water. A walk on the single beach will save you visiting a chiropodist for months.
I note the comment by another review about the drink prices, I fully agree they are expensive. But this does not only relate to alcohol but soft drinks, water, tea and coffee. If your on a budget go AI and you know what your holiday is going to cost. We were half board and enquired about AI they wanted $90 a day, I think you would get it cheaper booking in advance.
We found the food very enjoyable. There was plenty of choice a couple of curries each day, two types of pasta, an extensive salad bar and a wide range of hot food. However, they do like their chillies and the oriental market is catered for quite heavily The puds are a bit repetitive but some of the shortbreads and crumbles are quite yummy. There is a wide choice of fresh fruit.. Breakfast has croissants, cakes, toast, cereals (yes Kellogg's coco pops), curry !! and a range of hot foods.
We had a deluxe room and found it spacious and clean. The bathroom was small but clean and versatile with a good powerful shower. The room boy couldn't do enough and there was a copious supply of clean room and beach towels.
We found the home reef great. Yes there was quite a bit of dead corral but the range of fish was fantastic, we also saw manta's, turtles, moray eels and reef sharks. We paid to go to other reefs for a day but didn't see the variety or quaintly as we did on the home reef. My best tip is to go to the end of the jetty at night, there are a couple of arc lights pointed on the water and you can sit and watch the fish chasing the bugs or eating the bread people have brought form tea.(you can't see the lights until your almost to the end of the jetty past the dive huts).
We found the mix of nationalities good, with yes a heavy bias to the Italian and Japanese. But none were too noisy.
There is a small spa but it is very expensive and we didn't venture in there. There is a shop on the island but again everything is very expensive (captive audience), so make sure you take plenty of sun cream etc.
None of the bars and shops etc take money. Everything is put on your room to settle up at the end of the holiday. If you on a budget check during the holiday and remember there is a 10% service charge to go on everything you purchase and there are few price lists up in bars etc.
OK but there are much better
Went to this resort in Sept 2004.
Rooms are highly variable - we stayed in a deluxe room - this was adequate, but no finishing touches, bathroom was quite poor. Saw inside the waterbungalows, these were very special. Heard lots of complaints about the superior villas.
Food was edible, but repetitive, mass produced (pudding was cake, blamange, mouse, cake, blamange, mouse... you get this point). They try to sit you with another couple at the start of your holiday - if you don't want this you need to be very firm! Some people like this & you can make new friends, but we saw other couples sitting in stoney silience - quite awkward.
TV was good - but movie channel was unreliable (& repetitive) - reception were sometimes able to unfreeze the picture - this was irritating though if you were watching a film. New 21inch flat screens have been put in deluxe rooms and water-bungalows.
Beach was OK - lagoon looked quite pretty, but then so do all the maldivian islands - I have seen much better.
Reef was mixed - a lot of dead coral, but plenty of fish. You have to walk out on a long jetty to get to it - thus, it is not very convenient (not like on some islands where you just have to walk out of your room!). Also, it was quite choppy at times (but no current), not good if you are not a confident swimmer.
We stayed full-board, but wished we had gone half board as this gives you the option of eating in the lagoon restaurant for lunch or dinner, which was surprisingly cheap for the maldives e.g. around $6-10 for a pizza, $4 for a plate of chips, around $10 for a burger, or various curries, salads etc.
Drinks were quite dear in restaurants / bars e.g. $5 small beer, $3.50 soft drinks, 1.5 ltr bottle of water $3.50. Although, surprisingly a bit cheaper from the minibar in the room! e.g. $3 beer, $2.50 soft drink. They wack on the prices for mars bars etc $2 per bar. Take some snacks in your case!
All-inclusive would be good option if you like more than the occasional drink - but they are quite pedantic about the rules, e.g. drinks finish at 12pm.
Most staff were very friendly - but there were a few exceptions.
The island was pretty full when we got there - which meant the beaches were not quite as quiet as one might like. Also, the island is geared towards Italian guests - I do not want to sterotype, but the Italians who were there during our stay were quite loud & rude.
We flew with QATAR airlines - we have no complaints about this & would use this airline again. We have previously flown with Monarch - an experience which I would recommend avoiding at all cost (small seat pitch, poor service).
Overall, despite the criticisms we had an OK holiday, but we were disappointed with quite a few aspects of the resort. I suppose your view depends on your expectations and comparisons.
Although it is not a cheap holiday, I would definately recommend either upgrading room if you can afford it (to the waterbungalows) or spending a little more & choosing a different island - the rooms, food & reef were not terrible, but they were not particularly good either.
(We previously stayed in Filietheyo - although this was three years ago. This this island was much better on all fronts).
TripAdvisor Reviews Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort South Male Atoll
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