There’s a charming simplicity to the Maldives that’s unrivalled in the world of island escapes. The pristine beaches and tropical surroundings conjure a sense of wanderlust when the name is merely mentioned.
Built atop Vommuli Island in the Maldives, St. Regis has truly created one of the most incredible and luxurious island resorts in the world. Seeing photos prior to our arrival had us excited, and we’d heard rumours that the place was pretty spectacular, however, it wasn’t until we arrived that we were able to take in the entirety of its beauty. St. Regis Vommuli is definitely one for the bucket list.
As the island was quite far away from Malé international airport we had to take a seaplane. Flying in towards Vommuli was breathtaking. The crystal clear waters and untouched sand-bars already had us won over, even before we landed.
Docking by a jetty, the St. Regis staff made us feel right at home immediately. The open-air arrival pergola had cool face-towels and refreshments at the ready, which were most welcome after a cramped 45 minutes in the seaplane. The friendly staff introduced us to our butler, who was standing next to a buggy, ready to take us to our overwater villa. Our butler seemed to encompass the local’s charm from the get-go, and once he drove us to our villa, we were given a tour of our room and how everything worked inside.
The island itself is tiny, its circumference is lined with a fine sand that looked like it’s never been touched. The encroaching water was reminiscent of something out of a film, and was most inviting even on overcast mornings.
It doesn’t take long to explore each and every beach. We made a mental note of the more secluded sections for when we had time to spare – which we had ample. When it comes to having things to do, tiny islands like Vommuli can sometimes be deceiving. However, you’ll quickly realise that the breathtaking surroundings and a long list of activities are more than enough to keep you entertained.
St. Regis’ private villas exceeded all expectations. Walking in the front door, we immediately noticed the massive ocean-facing balcony. Equipped with daybeds, a pool and cargo nets lazily slung over the water, we naturally gravitated there first – at least after a quick stop by the mini bar for a chilled champagne. The villa had a spacious open-plan lounge and bedroom and huge floor to ceiling sliding doors allowing the room to be drenched with sun throughout the entirety of the day.
The walk-in wardrobe followed suit with its size. There’s definitely more space than your luggage limit allows for. Upon arrival, our butler even offered to hang our clothing for us.
There were a few more neat touches spread throughout the villa. Especially impressive was the small mirror in the bathroom. Why? Because it was also a TV. It faced the rather roomy bathtub, perfect for the end of a night spent sipping on cocktails. There was also an iPad that controls everything in the room, including the angle of the main television, a Bang & Olufsen may we add. This essentially meant we could score some screen-time no matter where we positioned ourselves in the villa. St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort offers so much more than just in-room entertainment, though. Make sure you explore the island to its fullest.
After a restful first night, we got up bright and early to check out what the Vommuli breakfast entailed. The spread was by far one of the best we’ve seen in a resort, ever. There was an expansive buffet spanning across pastries, nuts, cereals, Japanese and local Maldivian cuisine. For anyone who couldn’t find something here – and you’d have to be seriously fussy not to – the a la carte menu went further down the rabbit hole with a very large variety of options. Vegetarians were catered for in abundance, and everything that could be made fresh, was. They also had a barista on site, who knew what he was doing behind the coffee machine – something often off the mark in remote resorts. For anyone needing to kickstart their morning with something stronger than caffeine, the Island Mary, St. Regis’ take on a Bloody Mary, is a great option.
The evenings were often best spent at the Whale Bar. Its exterior rings true to the name and takes a similar shape to the ocean mammal. Whale Bar is semi covered, with a sun deck that just seems to keep extending into the ocean. We spent most sunsets here with a few more Island Mary’s and copious amounts of lobster popcorn – a snack that’s signature to the resort.
St. Regis place specific focus on keeping their guests very relaxed and comfortable. That’s not to say you can’t keep yourself active around the island, though. While we were disappointed in the lack of sea-turtles, the school’s of electric blue and nemo-esque fish made for a positive underwater experience. We ended up spending an extra hour or so exploring the shallows.
Stand up paddle boards and canoes are free to hire if you feel the need to work off your indulgent breakfast. If you’d rather stay on land, jump on one of the two pushbikes that come standard with each villa and make your way around the numerous jetties; the simple wooden infrastructure is perfect for unwinding, or you could head back to the bar.
You probably won’t find one of those water-charged hover boards in action at Vommuli. What you will find is one of the most peaceful and well thought out resorts in the Maldives. The hospitality was second to none, and the staff make a point of reminding you that they’re available whenever needed.
If you need to further unwind the mind, why not take a few antigravity yoga classes? Or, for a higher intensity workout, aerobics classes are available to guests, too.