Independent
Maldives resort reviews

Beach House, Waldorf Astoria

72%
Overall Rating
from 2 ratings
Rating criteria
Rooms
7.5
75%
Service
8
80%
Beach
7.5
75%
Activities
8
80%
Dining
7.5
75%
Bar experience
8
80%
House reef
6.5
65%
Environment
6.5
65%
Look and feel
7.5
75%
Value
5
50%

Our Review

What the resort does very well is pampering. The rooms are luxurious, staff are wonderfully attentive and the food and beverage outlets are splendid. The restaurants, right on the sand or over the water, have been perfectly chosen for their setting and views. The cuisine is just as fine as you expect and hope for in a resort of this standard.

Black and White Look

The island was already a running resort when it was taken over and it had a great deal of black around: black lava stone for all the swimming pools and plunge pools, black painted columns, light holders on paths, wardrobes and so on. With the white of linen, drapes and walls, the overall black and white look doesn’t fit so well as the tans of thatch, sand, wood and the Maldivian grass mats. Having said that, many people will love the look. It is the hard, glossy edge to the rooms and buildings that is more out of step with the environment. 
 
Great hotel chains have great people working for them, this much I know. So the work has already begun to soften the settings and bring the colours and textures of nature inside. Indeed, as each Waldorf Astoria must have something unique to it, this one has chosen to showcase the Maldives. To this end it has the first art gallery in any resort and shows Maldivian artists exclusively. This is obviously a really good thing, although it is very hard to keep it running well with local contacts and a good curator.
 
The Maldivian Connection
 
Next to the art gallery is a Maldives ‘tea house’ serving a high tea in a Maldivian sort of way, with local sweet and savoury pastries. Other indigenous touches are the undhoali, or broad swings, on the water villa decks, echoes of traditional coral carving and locally styled bed footings.
 
With many water villas, this can be a quiet island for couples and honeymooners but it also works well for families. There is a good Kid’s Club for 3-12 year olds and a separate building for older children and adults to have fun in. As well as computer games and deejaying equipment, there is a golf simulator featuring all the classic courses around the world. Elsewhere there is plenty of top class sports facilities and a swimming pool. One of the two pools is for adults only.
 
Plenty of Action and Activity
 
All non-motorised watersport is free and this is a big and very well-stocked centre. There isn’t much room in the lagoon though, so it means getting outside the reef to get going properly and this is less calm than inside a lagoon.
 
A lovely beach goes all the way around the island and the reef drop-off is well within swimming distance from all the rooms. Sadly, the quality of the reef and numbers of fish is disappointing. I don’t know why the reef is poor but this atoll is famous for its fishermen, who also formerly specialised in shark fishing, to obvious effect.
 
What It Does Well Is Pampering
 
What the resort does very well is pampering. The rooms are luxurious, staff are wonderfully attentive and the food and beverage outlets are splendid. The restaurants, right on the sand or over the water, have been perfectly chosen for their setting and views.  The cuisine is just as fine as you expect and hope for in a resort of this standard.
 
Alone in the northernmost atoll in the country, Beach House feels as quiet and isolated as it actually is. Tourism is brand new to this area and guests get to visit the real Maldives on their excursions. A highlight is Utheemu, which is the country’s most revered island. It is the ancestral home of the great Maldivian hero who liberated the country from the Portuguese.
 
Remote is Remote
 
The downside to this romantic remoteness is the fact that it takes quite a long time to get to the resort from the international airport. The journey can be by luxury seaplane, ordinary seaplane, and direct or via Hilton Iru Fushi and with or without a boat journey. The special airport lounge is a great help but the boat journey should be avoided if possible as it can be long and bumpy.
 
Review by Adrian Neville.
 

Reader Reviews

(1)
Reviewed October 23, 2011 - 10:30 Beach House was a very good experience with my stay there. It is situated a long way north of the capital city of Male' - and you not only have to board a sea plane to...
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Advice Forum Posts

January 27, 2012 - 18:53 - Neil Merrett
December 17, 2011 - 19:26 - Neil Merrett
1 Replies
November 16, 2011 - 17:45 - Neil Merrett
November 12, 2011 - 17:16 - Neil Merrett
October 27, 2011 - 16:32 - Volunteer Maldives
Transfer time
Seaplane
90
Contact information
Tel
+(960) 650 0400
Fax
+(960) 650 0444
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Inhouse reviews by guidebook author Adrian Neville