Aspirational, luxurious, and simply breathtaking, our week-long stay at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort met the incredibly high expectations we had for our trip. The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort opened in 2017 and its newness is reflected in the coastal modern luxury design touches. During our trip, we were able to explore four different room types, including the Sunset Overwater Villa and the St. Regis Suite we booked, and ate and drank our way across the island. Here’s an in-depth look at our experience!
We booked our trip almost 11 months ahead of time on Marriott’s website as a Marriott award redemption. At the time, only the Garden Villa was available for award redemptions so we booked it, expecting to secure a paid upgrade closer to our arrival. I checked availability constantly ahead of our trip and was lucky enough to find available redemptions for higher categories of rooms closer to departure! As such, I rebooked our reservation about 45 days prior to arrival to a stay split between the Sunset Overwater Villa (five nights) and the St. Regis Suite (one night). In total, we spent 490,000 Marriott points with the full nightly breakdown in the last section of this post (“Booking The St. Regis Maldives Using Marriott Points”). Canceling our original reservation and rebooking was seamless on the Marriott website.
If booking a cash rate, consider booking with a Marriott STARS partner for additional perks on your booking.
Upon arrival at the Maldives international airport, MLE, guests are taken by a private chauffered vehicle to a private seaplane lounge operated by the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort. The seaplane lounge has a light menu of snacks and beverages for enjoyment as you wait for your seaplane departure.
The seaplane flight takes around 50 minutes and can involve a stop at another resort along the way; ours did make a stop prior to arriving at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort. It’s a loud ride so make sure to pack noise-canceling headphones!
Exploring The Resort’s Accommodations
We arrived during peak travel season for the Maldives, taking one of the first seaplane flights the day we landed, landing at the resort early. Many flight options do arrive early in the morning and if possible, I suggest arriving on such a flight. First, if you arrive later in the day, you risk needing to stay overnight near the airport as the last transfers of the day out to resorts usually depart around 3:30-4:30pm. It’s also just nice to maximize your first day of vacation!
As you’ll experience at most luxury resorts in the Maldives, the staff graciously accommodated us despite our early arrival.
Since our room was not ready yet, they put us into their base room category, a Garden Villa, for a few hours until our Sunset Overwater Villa was properly prepared to welcome us.
This resort features four Garden Villas, each one with its own private garden fronting a 1,614 square foot private villa, complete with a king bed, 258 square foot plunge pool, and a fully-furnished terrace. While these villas don’t have a water view, they’re only a short walk from the main beach and the island’s dining areas.
Regular Overwater Villas
While we didn’t get the opportunity to see one of the regular Overwater Villas during our stay, we chose our Sunset Overwater Villa carefully after noting that the regular Overwater Villas face inward towards the island. This makes them a tad less private and it also means they lose sunlight around midday, potentially leaving your deck pool chilly.
Sunset Overwater Villas
As soon as our villa was ready, the resort staff informed us of our room number and provided us with our keys so that we could acquaint ourselves with our accommodations.
We spent five nights in this villa, choosing it over the “regular” overwater villas since they’re more private and provide more sunlight (the sun begins hitting the deck midday and remains until sunset). The extra sunlight was a major plus as this helps warm the non-heated private pool and is ideal for tanning during downtime.
St. Regis Suite
I booked our stay so that, after five nights in the Sunset Overwater Villa, we would be moved to the St. Regis Suite for the final night of our stay. This large overwater villa features 1 king bedroom along with a sofa bed and its own private pool.
On the last day of our stay, we took the very last seaplane of the day out at around 4:30 in the evening. To accommodate us, the resort staff moved us to a Beach Villa until our seaplane arrived.
These 1-bedroom villas feature a king bed, sofa bed, and private pool. However, the conservative layout limits your ocean view to the master bedroom only, which looks out over your private terrace and plunge pool.
Additional Room Types
The variety of accommodations to be found at St. Regis allow for flexibility depending on your needs. Other room types include:
○ Two-bedroom Overwater Villa
○ Two-bedroom Beach Villa
○ The Knickerbocker Villa
○ The Cesar Balsa Villa
○ The Caroline Aster Estate
○ The John Jacob Aster Estate
The latter four, the specialty villas, are super luxe, especially the John Jacob Aster Estate. However, if you’re seeing that the two-bedroom villas are pricing out around the same as the Sunset Overwater Villa or St. Regis Suite, my advice for couples is to stick with a one-bedroom option as bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. For travelers who don’t need two bedrooms, the single bedroom villas offer larger, more spacious rooms than their two-bedroom counterparts.
I Preferred the Sunset Overwater Villa
While the St. Regis Suite is generally more expensive and far more expansive than the Sunset Overwater Villa, I preferred the latter during our stay.
Being 50% larger than the size of the standard Overwater Villas, I had high hopes for the St. Regis Suite and the more than 3,000 square feet of space that came with it. However, I was ultimately surprised to learn that the St. Regis Suites are not categorized by view the way the Overwater Villas are. While the St. Regis Suites themselves were stunning and preferred over the Overwater Villas, the inability to choose your view made the Sunset Overwater Villa a better choice for me.
If you’re heading to the Maldives and it’s important to you to stay in a villa that faces outward, the only way to guarantee that is to book a smaller Sunset Overwater Villa like we did.
Advice for Choosing a Sunset Overwater Villa
If you end up choosing a Sunset Overwater Villa, keep in mind that the villas closer to the jetty (numbers 542, 543, and 544) can be seen from the Whale Bar. I suggest going a bit further down the jetty if you’re prioritizing privacy, but that will mean a longer walk or bike ride to the island.
Other Room Notes
The rooms are smart rooms, meaning most controls can be found on an iPad provided in the room. The iPad controls so much – it was kind of fun to play around with! – including the curtains/sheers, TV placement, temperature, do not disturb light, and more.
Complimentary filtered water is replenished daily in the room in reusable glass bottles; we drink a lot of water and found that housekeeping was amazing at noticing and constantly restocking us/bringing extra bottles! Note that you do need to pay for water at any of the restaurants/bars. You can bring the water from your room to meals if you remember! We got better at remembering to do this after spending around $70 on just water at one meal… oops.
You can cast shows from your devices to the TV in your room. This is great if you want additional entertainment options. Since we were in the air on the way to the Maldives during the Super Bowl, we cast the epic JLo/Shakira halftime show from our iPad to the TV to catch up on what the internet was going crazy over. It was well worth the effort.
Eating and Drinking
We ate a lot of room service during our week-long stay as we found it hard to leave our beautiful villa, but couldn’t resist the urge to enjoy a complete dining experience either. For breakfast, we thought breakfast at Alba had a spectacular spread, but it runs around $60 per person so make sure you’re prepared for that! However, breakfast is free if you have Marriott Platinum status or higher. This restaurant also faces onto the main pool and beach which is beautiful.
In the evening, Alba turns into a dinner restaurant with special theme nights some days of the week, but – out of all the restaurant options – we liked the Whale Bar restaurant the best as the fresh caught reef fish was outstanding. This pick was closely followed by Orientale.
The Whale Bar is the place to be at sunset as it has a perfect view to enjoy the last minutes of daylight. At 6:30pm every day, there’s a champagne sabering at the Whale Bar, which includes music from a DJ and a free glass of champagne if you’re there for the sabering. This is the best place to watch the sunset if you don’t have a sunset-facing villa.
Added Touches and Amenities
We found the St. Regis to offer all the attention-to-detail you’d expect from this kind of luxurious resort, along with a lot of added touches and amenities that made our stay even more enjoyable.
Your Own Designated Bike
When it comes to getting around, everything is an easy walk or bike ride away. Each villa comes with two bikes which were a joy to ride around the island.
First time visitors get bikes with their villa number on the back. Return visitors get that number swapped out for a placard with their initials on it! You can bike around the whole island in around five minutes. Plus, each venue has bike racks to slide your bike into.
You Can Always Call a Golf Cart
Any guest can call a golf cart to take them anywhere on the island. For instance, if you take your bike to dinner and you don’t feel comfortable biking back to your villa in the dark (or maybe after a few drinks!), you can call a golf cart to take you back. Every morning, the resort does a full sweep of any bikes left at venues on the island and returns them back to the proper villas.
The resort features a full gym and even aerial yoga classes!
Sunrise from The Seaplane Jetty
Sunrise can be seen from the seaplane jetty; if you’re up early, bike to the seaplane jetty for an unobstructed view of the sunrise. The one morning I did this, I was the only one there!
While we didn’t spend much time there, the resort had a well-appointed reading room next to the main pool that was a calm respite from the heat.
You Should Definitely Visit the Spa
We had a couples massage which we greatly enjoyed in the Iridium Spa’s overwater treatment rooms! While the treatment rooms are overwater, the massage tables don’t look down into a cutout in the floor like some overwater massage options around the world.
The Blue Hole experience — which is a massive overwater jacuzzi that you can book solo or shared — gives you all social media-worthy content you could want. When booking shared usage, you can ask them nicely if they can book you at a time that no one else has booked a shared experience and they’ll do their best to still make it a private experience for you, though there are no guarantees. If you want guaranteed solo time there, you have to book a private session.
How Much Will a St. Regis Maldives Stay Cost?
A trip to the Maldives isn’t cheap. For the St. Regis in particular, you will have to budget in the required $745 seaplane flight from MLE to the resort (per person, roundtrip). Also budget an absolute bare minimum of $100 per person, per day for food, but more realistically $100 to $200 per person, per day. Drinks average $20 to $30 each.
To give you a rough idea of common activity costs, a couple’s massage will run you about $550, a jetski rental runs $205 for 30 minutes, and a clear kayak is relatively affordable at $60 per hour. Since the St. Regis is a butler property (meaning you are assigned a butler that helps you during your stay), it’s customary to tip them at the end of your stay; the general consensus suggests tipping $20 to $100 per day.
Booking The St. Regis Maldives Using Marriott Points
If you have an abundance of Marriott points, the St. Regis Maldives is one of, if not the, most aspirational properties in the Marriott portfolio to spend them on. Especially given the time it takes to get to the resort, you’re not going to want to make it a quick stay so definitely make use of the fifth night free benefit. The fifth night free benefit was the reason I had to string five consecutive nights together in the Sunset Overwater Villa instead of splitting time between that and the St. Regis Suite!
If you’re redeeming a stay at this resort using points, the Garden Villa is the room you’ll get with a non-upgraded redemption. The off-peak/standard/peak pricing for this category 8 property is 70k/85k/100k Marriott points a night, respectively, and you can book into rooms higher than that by adding on a supplementary points upgrade cost, summarized below:
- Overwater Villa: +5k points/night
- Beach Villa: +9k points/night
- Sunset Overwater Villa: +10k points/night
- St Regis Suite: +15k points/night
Here’s my actual point booking total:
- Nights 1-4 in a Sunset Overwater Villa: 85k points per night for the standard room + 10k points per night for the upgrade cost
- Night 5 in a Sunset Overwater Villa: fifth night free + 10k points for the upgrade cost
- Night 6 in a St. Regis Suite: 85k points + 15k points for the upgrade cost
In total I spent 490,000 Marriott points for six nights.
I had high expectations for our stay at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort as one of the most aspirational properties in the Marriott portfolio, and I wasn’t disappointed. Going during peak travel time meant the weather was unbelievable and we loved the sleek modern coastal vibe of the resort that exuded luxury in many ways. This is definitely a property to put on your bucket list!