Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa
I headed back to the Maldives for my 3rd visit to see if the Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa lived up to its hype which opened during COVID-19 on September 1st, 2021. Being able to book it using Marriott Bonvoy points for a stay in October 2022 made it a no brainer. I stayed at the St. Regis Maldives just after their 1st anniversary as well which allows all the kinks of a new hotel to be worked out.
I was able to book the Sunrise Overwater Villa for 35,000 points + $50 upgrade per night (Redemption with Cash Upgrade) for 5 nights (5th night free) so it was 140,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $250. I then used 2 award certificates from my Marriott credit cards for 2 nights in a Beach Bungalow (base room), but they kept me in the Sunrise Overwater Villa for the entire 7 nights. This is a great value for using points as paid rates were around $500 per night therefore I was able to obtain 1.6 cents per point which is more than double the value of a Marriott point in my opinion. The annual award certificates “cost me” $95 each so another stellar value for a $500/night room.
The seaplane was $420 roundtrip per person which wasn’t bad comparing to what I paid for the St. Regis Maldives seaplane. We were able to get on the first seaplane out in the morning after spending a night at h78 Maldives Hulhumale which is on the same island as the international airport and seaplane terminal. The new seaplane terminal had just opened the day we departed to Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa. It’s a modern 4 story terminal with lounges available for each hotel. There was a basic lounge setup for Le Méridien, but as of February 2023 their fully outfitted lounge was in use. It was a major upgrade over the last seaplane terminal so guests now get a wonderful experience. Now they just need to complete the new international terminal to top it off which is expected to open in 2025. The flight ended up being 1 hour with 2 stops along the way at other resorts, but if it’s nonstop like our return flight it’s just 30 minutes.
We were assigned Room 241 which is a Sunrise Overwater Villa. It was beautiful and modern. The only thing missing which St. Regis Maldives had was a pool on the deck which there are a few, but the upgrade was $250 per night. A welcome bottle of champagne and sweets were waiting in our room upon arrival. Nice touch to kickoff a wonderful vacation!
There were multiple venues for food & beverages on the island. They offer meal plans which turned out to be a great value. We went with the Half Board for $65pp (includes Marriott Platinum status breakfast credit of $30) which includes breakfast and dinner. For 2 people, we ended up spending ~$560 on drinks/snacks so nowhere close to $1,620 for All Inclusive meal plan option. Drinking and eating ~$1K in additional spend would be hard.
- Turquoise was where breakfast was served and we had dinner there a few nights as well.
- Tabemasu was a paid upgrade option so we opted for their Omakase meal with wine pairing (+$110 pp with Half Board). If you like to drink, they do pour much more than a standard wine pour. The food was tasty as well! It’s the best restaurant on the island.
- Velaa Bar + Grill was included in the meal plan and offered excellent options. It was the best option for dinner most nights. We were able to do an afternoon pizza making class with Chef Enes. It was a blast to make our own pizza and compare it with his style. He ended up providing a recipe card so we could make his style back home in the US.
- Riviera Tapas & Bar was the hangout as there was a pool and beach lounge chair seating nearby. I fell in love with the fresh passionfruit mule so that was my go to drink during the trip. Shoutout to MJ (Manoj) as the best bartender on the island!
- Au Soleil (Special Event) was a buffet dinner on the beach just outside Turquoise and was a paid upgrade (+$110 pp with Half Board). The variety of options was amazing and included lobster, tuna, etc.
There are many activities to keep you busy on the island. We tried the “Honeymoon” Package which included 60 minutes jet ski excursion, 15 minutes fun tube, sunset dolphin cruise for $465 for 2 people. The sunset dolphin cruise is a MUST DO. It includes all you can drink beer and sparkling wine. Take a look at the video below. The morning housereef dive was a nice option as well and ended up being a private dive with the instructor. We were able to see turtles and many other sea life. Staying fit while traveling is hard when the hotel gym is terrible, but the Waves Fitness Centre was exceptional. The former fitness manager of W Maldives, Raj, runs this gym and he’s so lucky to have such nice equipment on the island. I enjoyed cycling, yoga and TRX. Explore Spa offered relaxing massage treatments over the water after a long day of activities. Marriott Platinum members were granted a 15min extension at no charge on massages which was a nice touch. We ended up going twice during the 7 night stay.
- Sunset Dolphin Cruise
- Scuba Diving
- Jet Skis
- Waves Fitness Centre
- Explore Spa
The amenities offered on the island included WiFi connectivity throughout, an onsite doctor which was available for no charge and a small gift shop. There is cellular service on the island with Ooredoo, but the WiFi was plenty fast at 10Mbps/10Mbps. The only connectivity we ran into was during a major rain storm on the final day, we lost power to the villa and we couldn’t make a phone call using the landline plus WiFi was down. Luckily, I had cellular service to send a WhatsApp message to the front desk.
Conclusion: If you have Marriott points and want the best value out of them in the Maldives, book Le Méridien Maldives! It’s well worth it and the prices aren’t as high as St. Regis Maldives. I wouldn’t hesitate to book it again 🙂
*All prices have increased since my stay so prices mentioned above were as of October 2022*