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Reviewed 8 May 2009

The hotel is very good and beautiful and the island it is situated on is wonderful. The water in Maldives is just outstanding.

The problem is with the service. The people of the hotel are just too cheap and rude. Everything is frightfully expensive (food, travel) and the staff never smiles and does not want to even listen to your requests. We had to fight with them to get a room of our choice (we were given a room with a nasty view despite the fact that we paid and booked a sea facing room).

The hotel is now bought by Sheraton but that still does not change anything as such. The duty manager Mr.Mohammad is very sly and unhelpful.

The hotel is cheap and if you are prepared for very very expensive food and travel (the staff charges over $300 to leave the island!!) then consider staying here.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank mrijay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2009

My wife and I spend 10 nights on a 2nd honeymoon, in a Water Villa. This was our first time in the Maldives, and booked the Full Moon as we are SPG members. We however booked through Kuoni as the price differential between a tour operator and booking direct with Sheraton was huge - 10 nights was the same cost as booking 3 direct with Sheraton.
Sheraton took over this resort last year, and they have already made several changes which appear to have benefited the resort. The rooms are all going through modernisation and have been repainted. The reception and welcome area was very contemporary, and the computer room which was new was excellent. I have given my thoughts on the key areas below -
Island -
The Full moon is 10 minutes boat transfer from Male. It was very quick and the welcome from the Sheraton staff was excellent. If perhaps like me you imagine the Maldives to have far reaching uninterupted views of the ocean or other picturesque islands, your first impression may be dissappointing. From the beach villas you can clearly see Male, and all the big ships and tankers that surround its busy harbour. From the water bungalows you face the near by fishing island that has some small buildings. This did not bother us, but its not the picture postcard image I had in mind.

Villa -
We booked a water bungalow, but were upgraded to a water villa. This was slightly larger than a water bungalow, with a 4 poster bed, bigger seating area, bigger decked terrace , and bathroom (it had twin sinks, bigger shower area than the standard bungalow). I could not say the difference would have been worth paying for, but given the low occupancy of the resort, the ugrade was very welcome. The fact that only the water villa's provide an umbrella on the decked area I found suprising given the strength of the sun.
If you stay in a villa, or water bungalow, you should request a room nearer to the dive centre. This is because the beech area there is very sandy, and the snorkelling towards the reef is superb. Bungalows towards the spa had more of a coral beach, which could not be used for relaxing on. Having said that you can use any beach regardless of where you stay. Other nice touches about the vila were the replacement of drinking water each day, the cleanliness, and the air con - I would never stay in a resort without this in the Maldives given the heat and humidity. The villa bed was huge and very comfortable with luxury bedding.
Restaurants -
The resort boasts 5 restaurants -
Full moon - the main breakfast / dining area for half board / full board guests. This is a buffet style. Breakfast is very good - typical mix of cold and warm foods - English / American with eggs cooked to order. In other resorts I have stayed in there has been more variation to the buffet breakfasts with pan -Asian options. Every night is a different theme for the buffet. The cost was $55 per person +10% (on everything in the hotel) and excluding drinks. We ended up upgrading to half board through Kuoni for a week, as again this was much cheaper than paying the local charge.
Anchorage bar - the more casual bar with terrace over the lagoon. This serves the same menu as in Sands Cafe. Burgers, pizza, sandwiches, pasta etc. Expect to pay $19 for a salad, or pizza. On the odd occassion we did eat lunch here, we found sharing a pizza was adequate after a big breakfast. We found this place was more of a evening chill out area, as it serves great coctails (around $12) and has some good evening entertainment.
Sands cafe - same menu as above, but more of a formal feel than the bar. Great views accross the lagoon.
Atoll grill - we ate here on a few occassions. It is right on the beach and is a lovely atmosphere in the evening. The food is good, but there is no change to the a le carte menu. Fish of the day was always the same, and cooked the same. I would have expected more variety especially with a seaful of fresh fish on the doorstep!
Baan Thai - a nice Thai restaurant - we tried this once and it was very good - but expensive.
Casa Luna (I think that is the spelling) - described as their signature restaurant, this was more formal and gave you the impression of being a 'special occassion' type of setting. We only ate there once - tuna was served to me still frozen in the middle. When I sent it back they said that it was supposed to be like that - really?? My wife had the tasting menu and that was excellent. The main course was cooked in front of you to your liking - it was cooked by the waiter rather than the chef which I found a little odd. Especially when you think of how much it is costing you.


Overall the food variety was OK, but 10 nights half board would be too much. If you are half board, you can eat in the other restaurants, but will only get $10 towards the cost of the bill. This will just about cover the service charge. Again, this doesnt add up to me. If they charge $55 per person to eat in the buffet, why only credit you with $10 to eat in another restaurant? My recommendation would be to go B&B for 7 nights, or alternatively, if you are 2 weeks, to go 1 week B&B and 1 week half board. This way you get the opportunity to try all the restaurants without feeling you are wasting your money.

Also, although they have 5 restaurants, given 2 of them serve the same menu, and on every other night 1 of the other restaurants will be closed (it rotates each evening), you dont have as many options as you may think.

Facilities -
I am a keen diver and the dive school was excellent.. They will provide a free refresher dive if it has been a couple of years (like me) since your last dive. Book 5 dives for the best deal. Each day will be a different dive, and you will see something different each time.
Snorkelling off the back of the water villa was excellent. Some other reviews comment that there isnt much sea life. This is true if you stay in and around the villas, but if you swim to the reef at the back of the water villas (it is perfectly safe to do so - better in the afternoon when there is high tide) you will see everyting that is local to the maldives! We saw 2 turtles, a large reef shark, eels, rays, and so many small fish which are just beautiful. There are life jackets in each of the rooms which my wife swam with. Take your own snorkelling gear though. We snorkelled every day and every day saw something different. We did an organised snorkelling trip with the hotel - this was also well worth doing as you will see more corals.
Trips - we did the sunset picnic through Kuoni. This was a full day - sea plane, boat excursion to some of the other lslands. It was an excellent day and well worth the $200 per person.
Sheraton organise a coctail beach party every week for an hour - giving you the oppportunity to talk to the staff and management. This was really enjoyable, - the staff are really very welcoming.
We also did the sunset fishing. It was a good trip - you are almost guaranteed to catch something. My only complaint was having caught the fish - the restaurant will charge $30 to prepare it, per fish. So catch a big one!
Pool - very nice area - lovely setting and very clean. A small pool for the toddlers is next to it. The hotel only had 30% occupancy when we stayed, and we never struggled to find a place to sit.
Spa - my wife used the spa and enjoyed her treatments.

Overall we really enjoyed our time at Sheraton Full Moon. It was clear from the number of tour companies visiting and taking photos for their new brochures that Sheraton is putting a lot of effort in to rebranding the resort. We were told it would soon be re classed as a 5* resort. It seemed to be most popular with the Japanese market. Having stayed at Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton resorts, I would not say it is on a par with that level of service. But we didnt pay those prices and therefore I have no complaints.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank Alex123London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2009

Great service. Really beautiful island and hotel facilities. Stayed here for a week for my honeymoon and both of us had the best of times. The complimentary breakfast was awesome and wholesome. They gave us a complimentary dinner on the beach at the Atoll Grill which was great as well. Nice restaurants and bars in the hotel. The Baan Thai restaurant had the best thai food I have ever in spite of the exorbitant prices. The beach facing cottage was spacious and luxurious. The attached open air bathrooms were a nice experience as well. Overall great service and experience. Would definitely visit again to stay at the more exotic looking water cottages.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Barricuda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2009

This hotel is not far from Male international Airport and sea transfer just 30 min away. Its idial for the honeymoon or family with or with out child.

Its one the the good property to stay in Male and crystal clear sea water & Dolphin watching on sunset cruise.

The best to go for all inclusive. because bottle of water will cost around £4.00.

This hotel now belong to Sheraton.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled with friends
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2  Thank satheesh13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2009

My husband and I just returned from 5-nights at the Sheraton Full Moon resort. We saved our Starwood points and traded them in for a stay here after several nights in Dubai. We arrived about midnight and came out of the airport to about 30 people holding hotel signs, but quickly found the Full moon resort. The man took our bags for us and took us out to the boat. We were greeted with cool towels. The boat ride to the hotel is about 10 minutes. As the boat pulled up, the staff was there waiting (and waving to welcome us, very cute). We were greeted with more cool towels and some iced tea. Check-in was very quick, we were put on a golf cart and taken to our room. The man pointed out all the restaurants, lobby, etc, while we were on our way, even though it was dark.

We arrived early in the morning on my husband's birthday and the staff had left a birthday cake in the room for him (I had alerted them to his birthday). That was a really nice touch.

As far as the rooms go, we saw the standard room, but ended up staying in the Beach Cottage. The standard room is fine and if you're on a budget I'm sure it would be good enough (but you shouldn't come to the Maldives if you're on a budget;) The room itself was large and nice enough furnishing, beachy feel, although a little rough around the edges (chipped paint, closet door didn't shut properly). Again, nothing terrible that I would refuse to stay in the room, but not ultimate luxury. The bathroom is interesting, fairly large and updated, however there was only a shower, no tub. There was a balcony in the room with 2 chairs (not big enough for lounge chairs), however the one we saw was up on the second floor -- meaning you don't have direct access to the beach. There are sets of chairs on the beach below, but it almost looks like they're for the beach with the unit below you. I know this is not the case, it's more first come, first serve, but we found the standard room a bit awkward and not what we would expect for a luxury beach holiday on a small island. Staying in a room like this would be better in Waikiki, Hawaii, for example, but in the Maldives you expect to be right on the beach, even in a standard room.

The beach cottage was exceptional. We did not go in the overwater bungalows, although they looked nice from the outside, but we really loved our beach cottage. First of all, it's much more spacious than standard room and much, much nicer. If you can afford it, go for this one as the difference is huge. Staying in one of these you truly feel like you're on a luxury beach holiday. The bed was very comfortable and the air conditioner was great (sometimes too cold!), the TV and stereo were great and had lots of English options. The closets were twice the size of the standard room (although they are very stingy on hangers and we had to order more). There was plenty of space for each of us to have our suitcases in the closet, plus all our clothes hanging, etc.

But the best part was definitely the outdoor bathroom. This was just great. It has an outdoor shower that's open above, then a great bath tub (the standard room doesn't even have a tub!) and nice sink area. Still one sink and I prefer 2, but the bathroom was really cool. We took several baths outside and really enjoyed it.

The patio was also nice, we were about 2 back from the actual water which was fine for us. The 2 couples in the units closer to the water seemed to like to be right on their patio, not even on the beach, but we liked the privacy of our patio a bit more and obviously it's only about 15 steps away anyway! there are always plenty of chairs, although I have to say, the chairs were very uncomfortable. I would've expected better, but maybe it's because they sit outside on the beach and aren't by the pool for example. I also have to say that they could invest in some better, larger beach towels.

The Maldives is absolutely beautiful and the water is perfect, warm but refreshing too. We snorkeling over by the water bungalows and this was much better than on the lagoon side by the beach cottages, but still not a lot of fish. We did take the snorkeling trip (just the short one) and it was well worth it. Absolutely amazing everything you see. Plus, they have several guides that go snorkeling with you and point out cool stuff. it was a great trip.

As far as the food, overall we were impressed with the quality. We were on a B&B basis, and the breakfast was fine, although definitely gets a bit old by day 5. There are plenty of choices, but I would recommend that they do one 'special' item each day to change it up. Maybe pancakes one day or a quiche or something. But regardless, there's always eggs, bread, cereal, etc so you can always get something decent.

We ate at the Atoll seafood restaurant and that was very good. My husband had the lobster and steak and I had the fish kebabs which were excellent. The Thai restaurant was also good, my complaint about both of these is that they're all a la carte. Which means if you want any side dish, fries, vegetables, even rice to go with curry, it's $9 each! it adds a lot on top of you're already pricey meal.

We also really liked the cafe that's attached to the pool area (I think it's called Sands?). We got several lunches here and the food was always really good, although sometimes a bit slow. We also ate dinner there one night and got the lobster curry and snapper and both were good. As far as overall prices, it's expensive, but you're also on an island so it's kind of like, what can you expect. For the a la carte restaurants, the prices were overall pretty fair, it was just $9 for white rice to go with my curry that was a little over the top.

The dinner buffet was average at best and for the price of that, we would definitely choose to eat at one of the other restaurants as the difference wasn't that big. Drinks, as expected, were really expensive and I'd avoid the mixed drinks if possible. They're very precise in the pouring, so don't expect to get more than 1oz of alcohol per drink. The mixed drinks overall weren't that good either. My husband stuck to $6 beers and their selection of wines was decent enough. The beach bar, at the far end of the lagoon by the beach cottages is not that great. Very limited selection. Overall, we were fine with the prices since you can't bring your own alcohol into the Maldives anyway, but the mixed drinks were average at best.

We used the spa on our last day as our flight didn't leave until 2am and we were already checked out of our room. We had a Thai couples massage at 4:30pm. Neither of us had ever had a Thai massage so I think we were a bit surprised that it's not exactly relaxing, but they did an excellent job. The prices were on par with a massage at home so I was impressed by that. The spa area is nice, they have a small plunge pool and lounge chairs outside (separate for men and women). They only had a sauna and shower though, no steam room, so on that level, I wasn't too impressed with the spa area. Also, I found it odd that they didn't have any products out, no lotion, only a shampoo/conditioner combo and body wash in the shower. i find this so odd b/c there are several walls of products available for sale when you walk in the reception at the spa -- I would think that they'd want to get these products into the changing area so that people may be tempted to buy after trying them. I was especially disappointed with the shampoo/conditioner combo, you wouldn't find that at an upscale spa.

Since we were changing there for our flight home later that night as we no longer had our room, I also needed a blowdryer, which was not in the area. I went to reception and they were very helpful, they gave me body lotion and a blow dryer after calling to have someone else bring one. I guess most people just go back to their room after their treatment, but I would figure that other people would be in our same situation often since Emirates has that 2am flight back to Dubai. Overall it worked out fine.

We also lucked out because they have a great business centre. 4 computers with really big screens, although the connection is a bit slow. no complaints though :) What's also nice is that they have couches, a TV and magazine and books. This was great for us as after we went to the spa and had dinner, we still had about 4 hours to kill before heading to the airport for our late flight.

The staff are very helpful and everyone is so friendly. You can tell that everyone is trying to please at the restaurants and anyone you come across walking around the resort. They do what they can to make sure that you're having a great stay and if there's a problem, they take care of it.

Although the hotel was very nice, I wouldn't necessarily put it on par with some of the 5-star hotels I've stayed at in the past. They had things like turndown service, well sort-of. They came in and closed the blinds and cleaned up the bathroom, but didnt' actually turn down the bed. They always left fresh bottled waters, that was nice. I think it's more the things like the towels and beach chairs, these little things would take this hotel to the next level.

Overall though, a great stay, with wonderful staff and good food. And definitely go for the beach cottage if you can!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank laurengucsb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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