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“Gorgeous Resort - Exceptional Staff”

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The Residence Maldives
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Falhumaafushi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 March 2017

We spent two weeks at the Residence and really enjoyed every minute. The trip is long, no way around that but we felt it was well worth ir when we arrived. The Residence handled everything from the moment we landed in Male until we departed again and everything was seemless and well handled.
Once we arrived at the resort again everything was very easy and painless. As we settled in we enjoyed several excursions - scuba diving, sunset dolphin cruise, visiting a native village and deep sea fishing at dawn.We enjoyed everything with the sunset dolphin cruise being our favorite as we saw dozens of dolphins that swam along with our boat and the team on board were lovely helping us take photos and get the most of the experience.
The main thing we need to say is that the staff was exceptional - every single person was absolutely lovely and welcoming and helpful. They take pride in everything they do and it shows. We had to switch rooms as our overwater bungalow wasn't available for the first couple of says so we had two butlers - Shamin and Francis - they were both wonderfu handling all our reservations, telling us what was going on each day and basically taking care of anything we needed. Armeez took care of our room and was terrific. When he learned of my husband's sweet tooth he brought him extra ookies every day and reminded us to stay hydrated in the heat - he was wonderful and we miss seeing him every day. The Diamond Bhatta at the Sunset Grille took excellent care of us as did Shyiaz who handled our private candle dinner en suite and made it perfect for us. Jojo and Selestri at the spa worked wonders and maybe our favorite of all was Lawrence who often picked us up and brought us back from our dinners. That being said every person in every restaurant - all the gardeners and really to a person the staff here is exceptional. It was lovely to begin your day with a bike ride to the dining room accompanied by a chorus of "good mornings" from everyone we passed.
Details big and small are thought of and we had an excepional time.
If we had one complaint it was the food - it was not up to par with the rest of the resort - breakfast was fine - and the beach bar food was also good but dinners left a lot to be desired. Fish in particular was overcooked in every iteration. I hope they upgrade the food as it was really the only thing that dampened our memories.
As for prices - I will say two things - these are remote islands - everything must be brought in so expect to pay - as you would in Hawaii, or Bora Bora or any other remote place. The complaining about this is irritating as it is no more expensive than any other similar place we have been. You can shop at duty free if you like and bring a couple of bottles if you want but we were put off by how many commented on the prices. The other thing I'd say is about tipping. If you can afford to come here - you can afford to tip the hard working people here. They go above and beyond and work very hard and I was embarrassed to see people walk away without tipping. By the way - the workers don't set the prices or earn what those prices might reflect so think about that when you go.
We thank everyone at the Residence Maldives for a wonderful stay and commend you on a job well done. We travel quite a lot and we have never had better service any where.

Room Tip: we chose the sunset side - a little windier but also a little cooler - it is all lovely though
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  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Maria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sundaram M, General Manager at The Residence Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2017

Dear Maria S,

Warm greetings from The Residence Maldives and thank you for sharing with us how much you enjoyed your two-week stay in our sunny island paradise.

We are most delighted to hear that you were received with the warmth of Maldivian hospitality and service, a trademark of “The Residence by Cenizaro”. Your compliments to Shamin, Francis, Armeez, Shiyaz, Jojo, Selestri, Lawrence and the rest of the team has been shared with them and are glad to have played a part in helping to create your island memories.

Thank you as well for your feedback with regards to the food offerings. We will look into our shortcomings in our lunch and dinner offerings and will be relooking the menu with our Executive Chef and his team.

We thank you for choosing to stay with us and would be delighted to welcome you back at The Residence Maldives.

Warm regards,

M Sundaram
General Manager

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Reviewed 6 March 2017 via mobile

Despite we suffered very bad weather, the staff of the hotel worked very hard on making our vacation as great as possible.
In particular, I would like to congratulate Hiranand for his work, he's always been fast and polite, We appreciate it.

Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
3  Thank Leonardo p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sundaram M, General Manager at The Residence Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2017

Dear Leonardo p,

Warm greetings from The Residence Maldives and we are glad to learn that you enjoyed your stay and that nothing could damper your stay, including the weather.

Your compliments to Hiranand has been shared with him and he is very motivated by your words.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our sunny island paradise.

Warm regards,

M Sundaram
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2017 via mobile

Obviously a bit of a trek from the uk with three flights but located on the largest atoll in the Maldives. Connections were all fine and the resort takes charge when you arrive in Male and ensures you make the final 45minute flight down.
A 7 minute boat trip across from Koodoo and you are welcomed as normal to a Maldivian resort with cold towel and drink. Check in is painless and you are then whisked away to your villa on electric buggies. All very efficient.
We had water villa 320 having previously requested one on the best snorkelling side of the resort. Again good service.
This can be windy but access to the reef is better.

The walk to the restaurants is about 1/4 mile but you are provided with bikes.

The villa is excellent with a sitting room, bedroom with very comfortable bed, bath and shower (inside and out). 5 * quality. Nespresso coffee machine, kettle TV and a good supply of bottled water and uht milk. The house keeping staff were very attentive to all our needs (thanks to Imran and Francis).
The Deck is very large with two beds and a good umbrella. A ladder goes down to the water. I'd have preferred steps and those with disabilities or wide hips might struggle using it! The hand rails to the top of the ladder are very narrow.

Snorkelling

The lagoon around the villa is mainly sand stretching out approx 150m to the drop off where the coral is beautiful and the fish life excellent. In a week I came across several black tip reef sharks, sweet lips, a couple of turtles (in the lagoon) and a vast selection of tropical fish. Best time to snorkel is low tide after walking out to the drop off. Beware the full ebb as it was difficult to swim against it even with fins. Generally a good place to learn to snorkel with care. Gear is on hire if you didn't bring your own

The resort snorkelling trip was not so good. We were kept waiting around for about an hour whilst the dive class had an induction. The reef we motored to was ok and you drifted along the face of the coral but I saw much more off the villa. 65$ plus another 20% for taxes.

Sunset dolphin cruise.

Lovely evening and saw two pods of spinner and bottle nose. Very disappointed that drinks were not included and you were asked to pay mini bar prices, even for bottled water. There was, however, a water fountain available. I wasn't worried about alcohol but I think soft drinks and maybe some snacks should have been available. A tip box was!!! 55$ plus taxes.

Food

The buffet style was all to a good quality with various themes throughout week. Mixture of Asian and European. Not a la carte but, for a price, there is separate restaurant for that.

Expensive?

You don't go to the Maldives expecting cheap. Local beer plus tax was getting on for £8 a bottle. I wouldn't even bother with wine. It won't have travelled well. As a keen fisherman I was very disappointed that the game fishing boat was $600 plus tax for two hours. That really is day light robbery. I've paid a similar amount for a whole day in Hawaii. Still that aside, costs were much as I and you should expect.

Conclusion

A lovely resort with lots going for it. Very quiet (no stereo systems in the rooms thank god) and, if it hadn't have been for the Chinese/Asian contingent, downright nearly empty. The food is very good and the staff couldn't be more helpful.
2nd visit to the Maldives and can recommend this resort.

Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Polybin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sundaram M, General Manager at The Residence Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2017

Dear Polybin,

Thank you for taking the time to write and share with us your stay experience in this detailed review.

We are pleased to learn that you had thoroughly enjoyed your spacious and comfortable Water Villa and its amenities. Imran and Francis are delighted to have enriched your stay with us.

Our island is located in one of the world’s largest and deepest atolls where plenty of untouched and unspoiled reefs filled with colourful corals and marine life await to be discovered.

We have also noted your feedback and shortcomings with regards to the snorkeling trip, sunset dolphin cruise and big game fishing excursions. These have been shared with our Dive School operator as well in order to improve the guest experience and to re-evaluate the price points of our activities.

We once again thank you for choosing to stay with us and would be delighted to welcome you back to The Residence Maldives.

Warm regards,

M Sundaram
General Manager

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Reviewed 5 March 2017

We booked a week's holiday at The Residence on a Secret Escape discount deal and were really impressed. We've visited the Maldives twice before over the past 10 years (Kuramathi and Moofushi) and had wonderful holidays on both those other islands, but this resort was up there with them. We were attracted to the fact that the deal included an over-water bungalow, and half board, and that there was access to a house reef, as we love to snorkel.
Our water villa number 316 was amazing - a lounge with complementary fruit and sweets, large bedroom with bed view straight out across the lagoon to the reef, huge bathroom with bath for 2 and 2 sinks, and then a separate shower from which there was also a second outdoor shower. There was also plenty of storage with 2 wardrobes in the bedroom and copious numbers of high quality towels and beach towels. Perfect. We didn't opt for a pool villa, and with that wonderful lagoon out front there was no need for it.
Our water villa was in the middle of the southern boardwalk of water villas and faced the sunset and house reef. This seemed like the best location as some other guests we met were envious, mentioning that the sea was very noisy on the north side of the island, and also that the sea was too shallow to swim. They are also currently building a long bridge to the next island, and these northerly villas are close to the start of these works so the view is less than perfect at the moment.
Each villa comes with 2 bikes which although somewhat basic and heavy, are perfect for a leisurely ride down the island, and to and from the various facilities, though its only a 10 min walk down to the dining room along the same sand track. If you don't want to cycle or walk, you can call for an electric golf buggy and they will quickly collect you.
The half board included breakfast and evening meal. Breakfast was a wide ranging buffet, with traditional hot English breakfast items including eggs or omelettes cooked to order, to Indian curries and noodle dishes, then sushi, salad and meats and cheeses, plus pastries and various breads, pancakes, porridge, juices, etc etc! All very tasty and fresh. We then managed most days to last through to the evening, where again there was an excellent buffet. This was themed, and we enjoyed Indian, Asian and Japanese nights particularly. Alternatively there is an a la carte menu if you ask.
Otherwise, you can book the Falhumaa restaurant, perched out over the water at the end of a jetty. This is an additional cost, although you do get a certain value discounted from your meal here. We found the atmosphere there a little sterile and although the food was very good and attractively presented it was still very expensive.
Another option is the Sunset Grill next to the bar which on certain nights has a seafood evening and BBQ. This was excellent - good value for the range of seafood offered which included lobster, crab, prawns and mussels as well as a number of meat options, and it was lovely to dine on the beach.
At lunchtime, if you are peckish, there is a long menu available at the pool bar which interesting dishes and we ate here a couple of times.
Having visited the Maldives previously, we were aware of the high price of food and drink. However it seemed particularly excessive this time, perhaps because of the current poor exchange rate of the pound to the dollar. However we found the price of a basic bottle of wine prohibitive (around 55 dollars before tax) so ended up buying a bottle for our minibar and just having a glass at sunset. Cocktails were around 20 dollars each so we limited ourselves. Suggest if you enjoy drinking that you enquire about a drinks plan, as when we were leaving another couple told us they'd asked about this and they'd signed up. Although not publicised by the resort it seemed more economical if you are likely to have at least 4 drinks a day each. We did feel the resort could to more in this area, such as a happy hour at the bar - this would encourage more socialising and probably bring in more income to them overall. We were also surprised, given the price of trips, that we had to purchase the soft drinks and beer on offer on the sunset cruise - it wouldn't take much to include a couple of drinks in the package.
Back to the positives - the island is attractive, with a lovely jungly interior where fruit bats come in each evening to roost. The turquoise seas are beautifully warm and teaming with sealife. We saw rays and turtles most days from our villa decking, and also dolphins in the distance past the reef on 3 days (but sadly not on the dolphin spotting sunset cruise!). The snorkelling was brilliant - very clear water, plus some interesting coral although like most places these days, there is a problem with bleaching. There is also a vast variety of fish and the odd reef shark for added interest! So do take an underwater camera if you can - a few pics attached.
The Spa was very nice - we had a couples complementary neck and shoulder massage in our package, which was rather robust but good! This kept us entertained on the one wet day.
Service at the resort generally is excellent and all staff are very friendly and welcoming from grounds staff to management. The only slight negative was the bit of a struggle we had getting tea and coffee delivered each morning at breakfast - they would ask what we wanted as we sat down but sometimes it would not arrive, and other times we would be looking for refills but be unable to get attention. Can we suggest that they arrange for a dedicated tea and coffee person who circulates offering refills in order to aid this process. I note a previous reviewer had the same issue.
We would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a week of relaxation and luxury in a beautiful environment.

Room Tip: Southerly sunset villas, numbers 310 - 320 are the most ideally located with best swimming and acces...
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  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Roundy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sundaram M, General Manager at The Residence Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2017

Dear Roundy,

Many thanks for your fantastic review of our resort and sharing with us your memories and experiences on our sunny island paradise.

I am happy to read that you had an enjoyable time discovering our island resort, from snorkeling out from your Water Villa, biking or taking a stroll around the lush gardens, exploring the various food offerings – from the theme buffets at dinner, our specialty overwater restaurant, The Falhumaa to a beach BBQ dinner at The Sunset Grill.

We appreciate as well the feedback and we do have a Happy Hour at The Library Bar for guests. We also apologise for the long wait for hot beverages at breakfast and have started reviewing the order process for a more efficient service. In addition, we also shared your comments for drinks to be included on the sunset dolphin cruise with our Dive School operator as well in order to improve the guest experience.

Once again, we thank you for sharing your review and feedback with us and look forward to welcoming you back in our resort.


Warm regards,

M Sundaram
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2017

From the moment we stepped out of the plane into this tiny island the dream began and it was a wonderful way of escaping the stressful world we live in. Everything is pleasing to the eyes the villas,the surroundings,the nature,the atoll but most important the people who make the residence stand out there is nothing better than the staff from all departments to say nothing is impossible but very possible
This stands to be one of the best hotel I stayed and having stayed in five to six star hotels this one is highly recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
3  Thank Nicolas D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sundaram M, General Manager at The Residence Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2017

Dear Nicolas D,

Thank you for taking your time in sharing your feedback and appreciation of our services of your time on our sunny island paradise.

We are delighted that you enjoyed the excellent services rendered by the team which is an integral part of the service culture here and in line with the brand vision of “The Residence by Cenizaro”.

We look forward to welcoming you back in our resort.

Warm regards,

M Sundaram
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Residence Maldives

Address: Falhumaafushi 2088
Region: Maldives > North Huvadhu (Gaafa Alifu) Atoll > Falhumaafushi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Falhumaafushi
Price Range: $785 - $2,203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Residence Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Residence Maldives is a world away from reality. This private island resort is anchored in one of the planet’s widest and deepest atolls, its sugary white sands lapped by sapphire blue waters, its pristine reefs the exclusive playground of its privileged guests. All 94 luxury villas lie on the beach or over the water, their traditional Maldivian architecture enhanced by anything from dedicated butlers to private pools. Dining is an international affair overlooking the Indian Ocean, The Spa by Clarins the only one you’ll find in the entire Maldives archipelago ... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Residence Maldives Falhumaafushi

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