Nestled on the beautiful island of Bolifushi in the north Malé Atoll, Jumeirah Vittaveli is a hotel blessed with gorgeous stretches of beaches and a stunning, multi-hued house reef.
What type of guest would appreciate Jumeirah Vittaveli the most?
Couples will love it just as much as families will. I came here with my fiancé and we loved how you can disconnect and throw yourself in to the on-site activities, or just lie on the beach and soak up the sun.
Is there a ‘best time’ to travel?
There are no real no-go months to be honest. February and March are particularly dry months and can produce some of the warmest days of the year, edging up to around 30 degrees. I visited during the wet season (May to December) when there are brief bouts of refreshing rainfall but these only cause the temperature to drops by 2 or 3 degrees.
How did you get from the airport to the hotel?
When we got off of our flight at Ibrahim International Airport in Malé we were immediately greeted by one of the Jumeirah Vittaveli airport representatives who took us to their lounge. We didn’t have to wait long before we moved onto the jetty and travelled for 20 minutes on a luxurious motorised catamaran. There was plenty of space, there was a sofa and even WIFI! We chose to make the transfer privately, but you can also travel on a shared catamaran. The trip from the airport was almost like an excursion itself as we skimmed past other islands on the clear blue waters.
What was your impression of the accommodation options at the hotel?
The good thing about the accommodation is that even the entry level villas have a swimming pool and it’s a good size too. You’re either going to be on the beach or above the waters and the Ocean Suites are only accessed by a short speedboat ride, which is a nice experience for honeymooners as it’s incredibly romantic if you’re going back to your villa by moonlight. I had a Sunrise Beach Villa and the pictures really don’t do them justice. The pool is massive and the bathrooms at the back of the villas are just as big as the bedroom at the front and I found that we had a lot of privacy, even though we had direct access to the beach. Room service is great too, the breakfast is just a tray charge so if you don’t want to leave your villa you don’t have to.
Which was your favourite restaurant at the hotel and why?
I loved everything about the restaurants at the hotel. It’s so easy to move about to another bar or restaurant, by buggy if you like, and drinks aren’t too expensive which is definitely a bonus! We mainly had our breakfast at the pool restaurant which was a buffet full of waffles, pancakes, crepes and organic fruit etc. For lunch we often went to Mu Beach Bar & Grill for the sushi starter and the delicious tuna steak main! In the evening we couldn’t resist the beach barbecue, the views of the ocean were amazing as were the shrimp and lobster. Fenesse was another highlight for me. It’s ideally set over water and we decided to go later on when the restaurant was dimly lit making it particularly romantic. It’s a great spot for an anniversary or a honeymoon and I highly recommend the exquisite duck dish.
The Maldives is known for its exceptional diving spots, is this also the case at Jumeirah Vittaveli?
We were really excited about exploring the ocean, although a little hesitant too! We booked onto the snorkelling for beginners early on in the holiday and were so glad we did. We learnt all about the fishes we were likely to see, how to best use our snorkel and how to swim with flippers; we also discovered how important it is to respect the fragile coral reef. Jumeirah Vittaveli has a house reef – which is only metres from the shore and it meant we could just wade in and snorkel whenever we wanted to. We really loved the organised trips out to other dive spots too. The boat would stop at a reef, we’d all jump off and ‘float’ on the current; our guide would point out unusual specimens as we went along. Because the coral is so close to the surface we ended up not doing the diving course but we have a taste for it now and would love to try it next time as the shipwrecks and lower level fishes seem to open up a whole new world.
Is this a family friendly resort? If so, what facilities are available for kids?
We travelled with our 11-year old and found the children’s club great, some parents reckon it is one of the best in the Maldives. There is heaps for them to do both indoors and out, they can learn to fish or taking swimming lessons or even make their own pizza. We loved our Two Bedroom Villa, which may have been a little extravagant but we think it was well worth it; there’s an upper floor with children’s bedrooms and plenty of space if you’d like to eat as a family in the villa. Thanks to Vittaveli’s great Kids Stay Free deal our daughter had free transfers and free full board – she had lots of choice on the children’s menu. We found activities, like snorkelling and other water sports can be done together as a family which makes for interesting conversations over dinner!
What was your favourite feature of the hotel?
It’s really hard to just pick one thing. One experience that sticks out is when we went on a yacht at sunset and had a meal with Champagne. On the cruise we saw dolphins frolicking in the water and witnessed an amazing Maldivian sunset, it was just a beautiful experience. I also think that the two complimentary bicycles you get in your villa are great. They make for a fun and practical way of getting around and exploring the island
What was your favourite personal experience whilst at Jumeirah Vittaveli?
Again this is going to be a tough one! Jumeirah Vittaveli has so many water sports options and activities to keep you busy if you want to be, especially the snorkelling and diving. If you come to the hotel on the boat transfer the staff are already waiting for you to arrive. You’re welcomed by drums and they give you a necklace made of flowers, take a picture of you and by the time you get to your room it’s waiting for you in a frame! Everything here is made to make you feel right at home.
How long would you suggest staying?
As long as possible! All joking aside I think anywhere between 5 nights and 2 weeks is perfect. This way you get the most out of the water sports, the diving, the spa (which you won’t ever want to leave) and the dining. You could even do 7 days at Jumeirah Vittaveli and 7 days at Jumeirah Dhevanfushi which is a more adult focused hotel. I’m actually going back later this year because I loved it so much. I can’t wait!