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St. Regis Vommuli, Maldives

Each of my kids get to pick a destination for a special vacation, and my youngest daughter wanted to go somewhere with overwater villas. She didn't specify a location, just was fixated on staying in one. I had originally looked at Bora Bora because the island is lousy with them, but the logistics of getting there on One World with miles was not doable. So I kept searching and the #1 Marriott property in the world was shown as the St. Regis Maldives. Since it's in Asia, and with the points I had saved, well it all worked out after 2 1/2 years of fighting Covid cancellations and organizing business class flights and an over the water villa. I swear giving birth would be easier.

Arrival

I landed in Male, the capital of the Maldives and went through customs (mainly to check for alcohol - oh and Covid, seriously). Then I was met by the St. Regis representative immediately outside, and we checked my luggage to the resort. Then off to private transport (with wifi in the vehicle, wha?!?!) and over to the St. Regis arrivals lounge to wait for my sea plane flight to the island.
It's a long plane ride from Male to the resort

The Lounge

At the airport, the resort has a private lounge just for their guests while they wait for their flights (to or from the resort). Quite a nice affair.
The Great Room entrance by the Male airport
Drinks and snacks are available here complimentary
Lounge breakfast menu Lounge afternoon menu


The Resort

As I landed at the resort, my butler Kumie was waiting for us (along with what seemed like every other employee waving at the dock). Waiting in the arrival lounge was a coconut cut open and chilled (omg, no thank you) as a welcome drink.

We were whisked off to our villa to acclimate and rest. What a room, just beyond any expectations I could have had.
Crazy expensive minibar, prices shown below Welcome fruit and chocolates from the General Manager The bed which looks out over the deck and to the ocean
Welcome champagne from the hotel Personal infinity pool for the villa, my daughter used this a lot The sun deck, with hammocks.  Ocean noises included
My personal entrance to the ocean.  In practice this was not used very much A welcome letter from my butler on my benefits (being Marriott Lifetime Titanium) and some other things about the resort The prices of the 375ml bottles on the mini bar.  This might be a stronger incentive to go on the wagon than A.A.
But if you do decide to buy those bottles, here are your Rona drink glasses to mix them in The wine also, I guess they are expecting you to have friends over The very functional, never crowded, and exceptionally well lit, bathroom
With toilet and shower, the water was quite hot.  Every villa has its own water heating system In case you forgot your comb, razor, toothbrush, hair scrunchy, emery board, lost a button on your shirt, or more... replenished daily
Now, I have seen reviews by others for this champagne, but I found it very drinkable.  To each their own Ibrahim, our villa attendant, was a master Here you can get down to writing your friends (who might disown you now because you are rubbing it in their face where you are enjoying life), or catch up on some needed work (hahah, who is working while here??)

Types of lodging

The resort has many lodging options, on land villas, over water villas, and gratuitous mini mansions you can book. The price? Well, if you have to ask... (mine would have been $2200 a night if I had not used points).
Overwater suites, for families Same rooms, entrance side Various absolutely insane multi-room stand alone buildings
Each one a mansion in comparison, and each with its own uniqueness Named after historical figures from the St. Regis history The villas - Honestly I am torn between these and a beach front property now. If I go back I might switch it up
And the biggest of them all, uninterrupted sunset view, private end of the boardwalk, its own electric cart, gym, 3 bed rooms, dining room, and around $20,000 a night depending on the season
My view, every day, where the weather was perfect


Dining

There are 7 or so dining options on the island, and 3 bars. Food is very expensive and drinks more so (tax for alcohol is about 3x the purchase price, plus the markup for the property to make a profit, be warned).
Alba, the primary restaurant on the island The buffet is up and running, which, well, I love them for breakfast.
Not your standard American fare all the time Mmmm, Dooooohnuts And a more European slant on waking food
Now I include the menus as I found them during my stay in 2021 for your price comparisons. Also figure a 10% service fee, then a 12% tax on all of that.
Alba breakfast menu
Alba lunch menu
Alba dinner menu
Alba drinks menu
Orientale - the, well, oriental restaurant.  On the east shore, overlooking the ocean The yakatori, it was quite tasty Stunning prices for red wines; I had water
Orientale dinner menu
Orientale drinks menu
Crust and Craft, the pizza and lunchy type place.  Many afternoons were spent going here
Crust menu
The private, hidden, and exclusive Decanter wine cellar dining area 250 year old port anyone? The custom menu for a lucky couple that evening.  The cost is many thousands
6 liters of Cristal.  Now that is beyond baller level Need a glass, any glass, any amount?  I love this
Before dinner, sitting on the west end of the Whale Bar, as the sun begins its overnight journey around the other side of the world An entire reef fish, which was off the charts tasty and enough food for 3 or 4 people And there she goes, quite a show
Whale bar menu
Whale drinks menu
Whale dinner menu
Orientale Bar Alba Bar Whale Bar.  All prices the same at all three bars, but each has its own atmosphere and mood

The Property

A very functional gym if you don't have tunnel vision about how to work out, a game room and building, tennis, water sports, and many things to do around the island instead of being a slug (like I wanted to for most of my time there. Hey, work is brutal; I need a respite).
The gym in the Vommuli house wasn't decked out with every device under the sun, but if you know how to work out, everything you need is here The lemon water-soaked towels were awesome after working out Socialite recreation building, good family time activities
Ping pong on the lower level, open to the air Pool, Monopoly, air hockey, Scrabble, all airconditioned on the 2nd floor A nice place to relax and watch a movie
I feel this is a dying need these days, but still a fairly immaculate court The main pool on the west side of the island. My daughter liked this one more as the trip carried on Ice water and sun block (30 and 50 spf; you're near the equator, you need it)
Where you can get snorkeling gear, rent water bikes, go skiing, fishing, etc. Where you can outfit yourself for the water, and in a fluke of nature and memory, for once, I didn't need to buy a pair of trunks from forgetting to bring them this time! The spa, massages, treatments, pampering and care by professionals
The primary beach by the main pool, highly utilized on the trip The east beach, almost not utilized at all Many books, magazines, and a very sublime environment, of course, not used once
The organic garden where they are trying to become more sustainable.  You can arrange a dinner in here too The St. Regis Yacht.  $3000-$4000 an hour to rent and take around the island and to the neighbors or beyond The main lobby.  This was the first time I saw it as my Butler handled most of the things
Every room has bikes at your disposal, and every location has a bike rack to set them in.  Worked pretty well for getting around
Some of the impact of your stay, and a request to be kinder The Vommuli House.  Contains the gym, the kids jail (daycare), a hair salon, another game area, about 4 wings I think
And just so you never get lost, on a 1/3 mile long island, signs are everywhere.

Wilderness

The island is a groomed jungle ecosystem and very pleasant to be in, around, and walking through.
Seriously sometimes the place felt deserted

Nighttime

As the sun sets, the resort takes on a magical glow of ambient lighting and comforting radiance throughout. Do not go to bed early!
The sky south of the equator, a nice treat for an arctic dweller (well Minnesota) such as myself Seriously another world out of the same place
My villa, easy to find even at night So you know where the edge of the boardwalk is.  It's dark here at night

Shopping

The island has a gift shop with quite a large amount of items (about 3x what you would expect to pay on any of it) and a jewelry shop, aimed at clientele a couple levels above my spending habits.
St. Regis items, and various things you might want or need during your stay.  Sticker shock continues here Ivar, the jeweler.  I never called to have a viewing

Things that didn't categorize easily

Various pictures that add to the representation of the experience.
Being lazy, doing nothing Continuing to be lazy Gifts from my villa attendant on my last day
The very lucky little girl of mine Sunrise across the ocean Sunset and calm
This is what it takes to run this resort, 2 times a week.  I felt a little like a planet killer seeing this The going-away dessert for my daughter compliments of my breakfast attendant Ameen (who also arranged the private tour to Decanter for me) Ahhh, the tropics, my favorite climate on earth

Summary

When they say this is the #1 resort in Marriott, it's not hyperbole. It is seriously beyond belief. This review will only scratch the surface of the luxury here, but it does come at a cost. The food is very expensive. Alcohol is pretty much out of reach for a casual traveler. Activities are pretty pricey also. I used hotel points to pay for my room and for all of the food using Marriott's instant redemption and still the bill with seaplane, gift goods and covid testing to go home was another $2900.

If you have the money, this is one of those lifetime goals to reach for. I was very relaxed and very pampered (as was my daughter who had every whim answered). This is paradise.



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