Before I get into the details, I first must address the absolutely amazing service that we experienced from the staff throughout our entire nine night stay. To put the level of service in context, earlier this year I reviewed a one night stay we had at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia. In brief, my comments were that the Marriott and Hilton high end properties (Ritz, St Regis, Waldolf, Conrad) need to take notice of the level of service that the Four Seasons provides, as it is truly exemplary. I can now say with absolute certainty that this St Regis property provides that level of service. Every staff member, from the hotel manager, to the butler, to the room attendants, to the chefs and servers, to the grounds keepers, and everyone else were so genuine in their effort to serve us during our stay. They were all truly happy to be working there and enjoyed getting to know us and to constantly anticipate what we may have needed during our stay. By the end of our stay most of the staff felt like family. We were serviced by many staff members and I’m sorry if I’ve missed some of you, but these members went above and beyond making our stay extra special.
The Amazing Staff:
Starting with the hotel manager Harish (the GM was on leave during our stay) he was very approachable and clearly the employees enjoyed working with him....Before I get into the details, I first must address the absolutely amazing service that we experienced from the staff throughout our entire nine night stay. To put the level of service in context, earlier this year I reviewed a one night stay we had at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia. In brief, my comments were that the Marriott and Hilton high end properties (Ritz, St Regis, Waldolf, Conrad) need to take notice of the level of service that the Four Seasons provides, as it is truly exemplary. I can now say with absolute certainty that this St Regis property provides that level of service. Every staff member, from the hotel manager, to the butler, to the room attendants, to the chefs and servers, to the grounds keepers, and everyone else were so genuine in their effort to serve us during our stay. They were all truly happy to be working there and enjoyed getting to know us and to constantly anticipate what we may have needed during our stay. By the end of our stay most of the staff felt like family. We were serviced by many staff members and I’m sorry if I’ve missed some of you, but these members went above and beyond making our stay extra special.
The Amazing Staff:
Starting with the hotel manager Harish (the GM was on leave during our stay) he was very approachable and clearly the employees enjoyed working with him. He always stopped over to say “Hi” and asked us how we were doing and if there was anything he could do.
Our butler Ubad was very responsive to all of our requests. He always provided us with answers and alternate options if a request was not possible. His personal service made our stay extra special! He always knew where we were and what we had scheduled and made sure the rest of the staff also knew. His professionalism and level of service was top notch! His delivery of French pressed coffee and cookies every morning was a great way to start the day.
Our villa attendants were Nasru for our St Regis Over Water Suite, then Muhammad for our Beach Villa. They both made sure our rooms were spotless, and with two full services a day we always had clean towels. They both also surprised us with various room decorations during our stay (see the pics for details, they were amazing!).
The chef’s all produced great food during our stay, I’d like to give an extra special shout out to Chandana and Sunil Dutt. Chandana made his special soup for us every morning and also made some great dishes for us at Oriental. Executive Sous Chef Sunil created the most incredibly delicious artwork for our custom wine cellar dinner in Decanter (see pics). Both always came out to talk to us anytime they saw us having a meal during our stay.
The sommelier for our Decanter wine dinner was Ahmed Athif. He was very knowledgeable and personable. His presentations throughout our dinner really made it a special event for us! Anxious to see him complete his SOMM certs!
Bartender Godfrey not only produced some original cocktails, but was so genuinely personable and loved to talk “shop”. As crafting cocktails has been a passion of mine for several years, I was able to pick his brain on some of his creations. I really enjoyed his cocktails, his personality, and his willingness to share his ideas.
I know I’m going to miss some names here, but all the servers were great! They all did everything and always were happy to provide you whatever you asked for. Special shout outs to Pop and Opi as I feel like we saw these two every day either at Alba for breakfast or at the Whale bar for sunset drinks, they both were so pleasant and always provided the highest level of service. Also a shout out to MG “the guy who peels the coconut with his teeth”, he served us at various venues and was always so personable and attentive.
Massage therapists May and Elvira both were personable, professional, and most importantly gave great Thai massages!
I’ll get into the details below, but I can’t emphasize enough how important the staff was in making our stay one of the best (if not, the best) we’ve ever had!
As a lifetime Titanium Bonvoy member with 1900+ nights (and a Hilton 5 year Diamond member with 400+ nights) I was able to book this bucket list trip using points. We stayed five nights in the St Regis Overwater Suite (#519), then four nights in the Beach Villa with Pool (#304). We travelled with another couple who booked a standard overwater villa with pool. The four of us enjoyed all of our meals and celebrations together. I'll describe the various benefits we received later in the appropriate section.
The St Regis Overwater Suites are the largest room category for overwater you can get (except for the enormous John Jacob Astor Estate – which is not available using points and costs about 22k per night!). The only issue I thought we’d have with this room category is that there is only one with a sunset view (#535). I did request this as my first choice, but they were not able to accommodate. My second choice was #519, and I‘m glad we ended up there for several reasons. First, it gets really hot at this resort (close to the equator) and this room’s deck got shade on half of it by 11am. So by the time we finished breakfast, we were able to enjoy the outside part of our suite for the rest of the day. Also, we went to the Whale Bar for every sunset to have pre dinner cocktails, so even if we had the sunset room we would have never been in it during the sunset. Next, the house reef is only a few feet off the deck. This made for great snorkeling for only needing to go a few yards from the ladder of the deck. Lastly, being on the end made for a very private outdoor deck. It somewhat faces the beach villas, but they are too far away to really see anything. Oh, and also it was nice to see the sunrise with your morning coffee and cookies delivery ;).
The Beach Villa with Pool (they all have pools) was a nice change from our overwater suite. It was not as large, but the beach access and the outdoor showers made up for that. We were in villa 304. Foliage provided privacy with still a partial ocean view. If you want a completely ocean view, but less privacy, and less beach front, then you’d want villas 311, 312, 314, and 315. I liked our villa’s mix of privacy, views, and beachfront. It was also not too close to the arrival jetty.
Both villas provided beach cruiser bikes that were in good condition. We used them to ride around the resort just about every day.
The hotel grounds and beaches were manicured daily. Workers were out in the early morning combing, clipping and trimming the grounds. All areas were well kept and always looked clean and neat.
The gym was nicely equipped. It had 2 treadmills, 1 elliptical, free weights, kettle bells, workout mats, and various nautical type machines. It was more that adequate for all of us to get an early morning workout before starting the day. You had to book your timeslot and they only allowed a maximum of six people per timeslot. Our foursome booked the gym from 7-8am every morning, it was always clean. We had the gym to ourselves every morning except once when another couple showed up. Masks were not required in the gym.
Five restaurants: Alba (breakfast, lunch, dinner) amazing breakfast most formal dinner environment and menu (beach resort smart dress). Crust & Craft (lunch) very casual with great pizzas and sandwiches. Cargo (dinner) casual outdoor Indian restaurant, small menu excellent food. Oriental (dinner) Japanese and Chinese dishes, tasty food great flavors. Whale Bar (dinner) great sunsets, cocktails, apps and entrees. My status gave us 20% off all food and beverage (including ALL alcohol/wine) at these venues.
Make sure that if you have status that you choose the free breakfast. If this is not possible, then make sure your rate includes breakfast. It was served at Alba from 7-10:30 and provided a ridiculous spread of anything you could imaging. Sweet, savory, Indian, Asian, standard American and so many other choices that it was truly the most important meal of the day. Also included with breakfast was unlimited Bloody Mary’s and Champagne mimosas. It is also important to note that you were able to order whatever you wanted off the menu as well as the buffet. You were not limited to just one or the other (as you may have encountered at other resorts). We often enjoyed a two-hour breakfast and then just relaxed until dinner time. I think we only got lunch twice during our stay.
Our Wine Cellar dinner at Decanter was absolutely decadent. The chef created a custom dinner where every dish not only looked amazing, but tasted amazing. The food was of a much higher caliber than that which was available at any restaurant. I’m not saying the restaurant food was bad (they were all great), but this meal was just a “whole noth’r level”. The sommelier provided all the details about each wine and was engaged in our conversation answering any questions we asked. Most importantly, the food/wine pairings were spot on, always complementing each other. The wine was free flowing, if you wanted more it was always available. The cellar itself was an amazing location, it was ultra-private and with our own personal chef and sommelier at our disposal, made for a very special event. A word of warning, remember you are in the Maldives and everything is expensive. This meal ended up being about 1k pp, so be prepared to shell out some extra $ for this extra special dinner event. If we stayed again I would definitely splurge for this wine dinner.
Our Jungle Cinema BBQ dinner and a movie was a nice outdoor event where our group of 4 ate a BBQ dinner in a cozy jungle setting while watching the movie of our choice. They provided noise cancelling wireless headsets for each of us to listen to the movie and had a large comfy circular chaise lounge with pillows for each couple to relax on when watching the movie after we finished dinner. This was a nice private event. The cost was about $900 per couple.
My status provided us a free 45 minute session in the Blue Hole. It is the huge salt water infinity pool with various jets that we enjoyed all to ourselves. The locker room, sauna and steam rooms were also reserved just for the two of us during this time. We took advantage of these facilities, they were all spotless and worked as expected.
We also booked massages on two different days. 3 Thai massages and 1 deep tissue massage. It was my first Thai massage and I have to say, I am now ruined ;) As someone who exercises a lot I am always looking to stretch out. The Thai massage was the best massage I ever had! I got it on two different days by two different therapists. Both were amazing! I don’t think I will get any other type of massage ever again. This was the best for stretching out my entire body. I felt great after each session. My status gave us 10% off these services.
It was one of our travelling partner’s birthday during our stay. On the day of, the staff presented him with a small ‘Happy Birthday’ dessert and all three of our meals that day. Singing Happy Birthday each time. It was absolutely amazing!
For our 22 wedding anniversary, they surprised us by decorating our suite while we were at dinner that night. Also included was an amazing ‘Rose Petal Cake’; we ate it with our morning French pressed coffee for the next few days.
Both of these exhibitions went above and beyond my expectation!
All staff wore masks everywhere. Guests only had to wear masks when walking indoors. Since every restaurant was outdoors, we only had to wear a mask when going inside to choose buffet items at breakfast. At Alba you also had the option to sit inside. So a mask would be required when you get up from you table.
Our butler arranged for our departure PCR tests. He scheduled it, picked us up and took us to it. It took about five min and was not an inconvenience at all. Unfortunately we both passed and were unable to extend our vacation ;)
The rooms, the food, the views, the ocean & beaches all were amazing…but the staff is what puts this resort over the top! I highly recommend that if you are going to the Maldives that you seriously considering staying at the St Regis. It will make your bucket list vacation extra special! It certainly made our 22 Anniversary vacation very memorable!
Thanks St Regis Staff!
Daryl & Susan MartensMore