There are so many Maldives resorts that it is hard to decide which one is right for you; I spent countless hours reviewing so many different resorts in the Maldives that my head was spinning. However, I am glad we chose this wonderful beach oasis in the North Ari atoll as the W Maldives was everything we were looking for and more.
W Maldives Review
The resort itself was opened in 2005; however, you would not have guessed it! The W Maldives has that “wow ocean haven” feel as it has all the signature touches that the W Hotel franchise does well; this stylish resort will have you “oohing and ahhing” the moment you land. This luxury playground is ideally built for that perfect romantic getaway; however, I am here to say it is more than that!
Things to know before you go
Best time to travel
We decided to travel in April, just after the school holidays and Easter long weekend, which seemed the perfect time with almost perfect weather (1 Nights rain in total) and very few guests. So you will find everything you need to know here about other months.
How to get there
The W Maldives is approximately a 20-minute flight from Male; however, if you have passengers to drop off on the way, this trip could take up to 1 hour. You won’t know your scheduled time until the day before, as flight schedules will depend on other guests at other areas within the Atoll. There is a waiting lounge for the W Maldives which most other resorts do not have, kind of like your airline lounge in other airports designed especially for W Maldives guests.
The seaplane is truly an unforgettable experience and well worth the trip to Fesdu Island; however, remember to bring earplugs. The noise is pretty loud, and if you are afraid of flying, the seaplane is pretty tiny, so you may not love it as much as I had. I booked my flight directly with the hotel, but if you would prefer to book direct, then you can do that too.
About the W Maldives resort
This beach oasis is part of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, so you can either book through points or pay for a package online. We opted for all-inclusive (excluding drinks) for our stay. A word of warning, alcohol is expensive on the island; however, I do not think we would have used the entire package if we had chosen the drink inclusion.
Things to note: The inclusive Package does not include drinks (it is separate), eating outside of the required dining times, in-room dining and Sip bar are also excluded. You will also have to pay extra for certain restaurants like Fish (but it is worth it).
What to expect On arrival
When landing, I felt a little bit like we were filming an episode of fantasy island. But, don’t get me wrong, very appreciative and somewhat excited by being greeted by the staff when we descended from the seaplane. After being guided by the team to the waiting area with a glass of bubbly, we were then formally welcomed by the General Manager and staff. It was quite a memorable experience to start our long-awaited trip, which continued with a ride around the island on a golf buggy and a tour of our hotel room and its facilities. The best part was the WhatsApp number given to interact with the concierge – now that made the trip that little more special!
Types of accommodation
- One bedroom overwater bungalows with a private pool.
- One-Bedroom Villa with one King bed and a Sofa bed, with a balcony and Beach view
- One-Bedroom Villa with two Queen beds and a Sofa bed with a Balcony and beach view
- One-Bedroom Villa with one King, Hammock, private pool and Lagoon view
- WOW Ocean Escape is two Bedroom Villa with one King bed, two Queen beds and a Sofa bed with an Oceanview
- Extreme WOW Ocean Haven two Bedroom Villa, two King beds and a Sofabed
Restaurants and bars
Kitchen is where you will be served breakfast, with an extensive choice of buffet-style food, everything from omelettes to doughnuts and everything in between, including a champagne breakfast! The staff are friendly, and nothing is ever too much to ask. You can dine inside or outside (including half in the water, great experience if you have come back sweaty from the gym).
Recommendation: If you like Tuna, the local Tuna salad is impressive; I think I might have eaten it almost every day. Open daily from:
- 7:00 AM-10:30 AM
- 12:00 PM-3:00 PM
- 7:00 PM-10:30 PM
FIRE is my favourite restaurant at the W Maldives, with its outside dining in front of a massive open fire, sitting upon the sand, making you feel right like you are on an island vacation. Dress is smart casual, and food is grilled/BBQ’d four different ways; every dish that came our way was absolutely delicious. Booking is essential and is only open for dinner on selected days.
Recommendation – book early as we were disappointed we couldn’t get a booking the first night there.
You will need to pay extra to dine at Fish, and the verdict is still out whether it is worth it. Although the atmosphere is lovely and the food was great, I am not sure we loved it as much as the other restaurants and bars around the W Maldives. I usually love seafood, so I was pretty excited to visit the restaurant. However, I wasn’t overly impressed with what we ordered, and we were pretty tired when we reached the restaurant (combining sunset drinks with jetlag), so perhaps this too ruined the experience. The dress code is smart casual and is only open on alternative nights for dinner.
Recommendation: Ask to sit next to the water’s edge; we saw stingrays, fish, and sharks while sitting while eating dinner.
If you love a good sunset (as I do), you must try and reach the SIP bar before the sun goes down. It is by far the best place to watch it. The backdrop is fantastic, the drinks are delicious (and rather expensive), and the DJ’s cool music pulls it all together. If you are going to eat there, remember that the food is not in the all-inclusive package. The dress code is casual, and the bar is open From 05.00 pm to 12.00 am daily.
Recommendation The sushi was excellent, fresh and delicious, so I highly recommend it if you choose to eat something light.
The Wet bar is right next to the pool (funny that), where you can spend your entire day (or night) drinking and eating in a chilled atmosphere. Unfortunately, although activities like pool parties were advertised in the past, they were not available while we were there. The restaurant serves bar food and snacks such as nachos and burgers, while the bar sells everything you can imagine. Opened daily from 10.00 am to 11.00 pm.
KADA is a restaurant with local Maldivian food, hot and spicy curries and fresh local seafood. You can order some of these dishes at the Kitchen restaurant during lunchtime to try them. The cost at Kada in the evening is extra; however, if you like to dive deep into the Maldives culture, you probably don’t want to miss this restaurant.
Opened daily from 12:00 pm-10:00 pm
Recommendation – If you want something a little special you can organise a romantic table setting for two on the beach (weather permitting). The set-up is amazing, the mood is total privacy and the experience is priceless.
Things to do at the W Maldives
Take advantage of the Spa Maldives.
Away Spa is situated right on the water’s edge, and yes, the view from the waiting area is impressive unless you choose to make a reservation when a storm hits. Although we strategically decided the day it was due to rain, because we thought there wouldn’t be much else to do in that type of weather, we didn’t realise that the Away Spa has nowhere to hide from the rain, as it is open plan which is bliss in the sunshine.
During breakfast, the lovely staff came around to book our spa treatment and asked if we would like to book a treatment for the week. Of course, prices are on the higher side, but can I say “totally worth it”. I highly recommend the seaweed wrap if you are sunburnt!!!!
Book yourself a romantic tour
A few different tours are on offer; however, the most popular seemed to be the private island tour. You can indulge yourself in a day or overnight stay on your own private island. Yep, just you, your partner and the wilderness (oh and the signature W bed with your own personal chef who can organise a candlelight BBQ or luxury picnic.
Enjoy the wonderful beach at your fingertips.
Soak up your surroundings by relaxing on the beach and taking in the ocean haven. If you stay at one of the beach bungalows, you will have your own private beach access. So swim in this beautiful ocean oasis, enjoy a book by relaxing on one of the sun lounges, and take in the fantastic views.
Take up the complimentary water sports on offer.
From Stand Up Paddling to kayaking, there is something for everyone. Enjoy your time in the Indian Ocean by exploring the surrounding area; the island is so tiny that you could paddle around it in less than an hour. There are also other water toys such as jet skis and windsurfing equipment.
Discover spectacular marine life Snorkeling
Either utilise the complimentary snorkelling equipment from the hotel and enjoy your time snorkelling off your overwater bungalow or take a trip at night and join the experienced staff while you go snorkelling hopping. If you are a novice, not to worry, there is a beginner’s course or a guided tour of the house reef.
Wind down with Yoga on the beach
Although most group activities were not running while we were there, they offered sunrise yoga, sunset yoga and pilates (oh, and I think maybe a HIIT class). If you are an early riser like myself, it is the perfect way to start the day right; actually, I don’t think you can start the day wrong in the Maldives. If this isn’t your thing, you could always head up to the gym to do a workout or book a session with the personal trainer (at an extra cost).
Spend your day in total relaxation
Whether you have a plunge pool within your accommodation or take advantage of the infinity pool next to the bar, there are many places to unwind in and around the resort. From swings to cabanas, the resort has it all; it is one significant zen experience at your doorstep.
Enjoy the wonders deep into the sea.
If you like to scuba dive, you have to do it here! I have been told that the Maldives is one of the best locations to scuba dive globally. If you ask any of the staff at the W Maldives, they will be able to show you the proof (generally on their phones) of how magical the waters are here.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!
Other things you need to know
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