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Hotel Review: The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Dhaalu Atoll in the Maldives

Anna Myers experiences the best of Maldivian hospitality at this luxury retreat.

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The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
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Words by Anna Myers

Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, “how inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly ocean,” and my version of it would read: “how unseemly to call anything else luxury when The St. Regis Maldives exists.” I know that’s quite the bold statement, but believe me, it’s only well-deserved.

From the moment I got off the private seaplane and stepped onto the boardwalk leading to the resort, one thing was clear: between cerulean waters, ivory beaches, and impeccable service right from the get-go, this was going to be an unforgettable week. Everything I’d heard about the Maldives was true. This was paradise.


st regis maldives lobby
The welcoming reception area has views across the Indian Ocean

From the moment I set foot on the island, I was met with exemplary service: a cold flannel, coconut water served in a coconut, and a team of staff who seemed to take genuine pleasure in welcoming me. This included Akram, my personal point of reference from the legendary St. Regis Butler Service, who looked after me during my stay and was always only one WhatsApp message away if I needed to be driven anywhere by buggy, wanted my clothes steamed, or had any questions.

Designed by Singaporean firm WOW Architects | Warner Wong Design and set against a backdrop of thriving marine life, the St Regis Maldives boasts highly original design inspired by the natural setting it calls home. The lagoon villas are shaped like manta rays, the spa like a lobster, the library like a spiral shell, and the signature Whale Bar presents, as the name suggests, in the shape of a whale shark.

An intimate space in close contact with preciously guarded marine life, the resort is somewhat boutique with 33 on-land villas and 44 overwater ones, all with private plunge pools and gorgeous bathtubs overlooking the Indian Ocean, either on the sunset side or the sunrise one. From the refined design to the finest restaurants and the one-of-a-kind wellness centre, the emphasis is on sophistication and elevated tradition. Whether it’s catering to a romantic holiday or a one-of-a-kind family experience, the resort offers curated experiences that always feel just as authentic as they do luxurious, with modern comforts expertly combined with local craftsmanship and history.


st regis maldives villa
Overwater villas come with a private deck and stairs leading directly to the ocean

I wish I’d asked Akram to take a picture of my face as I opened the door to my villa, because I’m pretty sure awe and wonder wouldn’t have come close to describing it. I was lucky enough to stay in one of the overwater villas, which come with a private deck and stairs leading directly to the ocean, a grand living room and private swimming pool, and floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the breath-taking view.

With sophisticated cream interiors and bolder azure touches, the villas are elegantly decorated with a modern style that feels lavish, but never unapproachable. Tech enthusiasts will be in their element: the villas are all smartly operated and equipped with tablets from which to regulate lights, temperature, blinds, or order a little room service treat.

As Akram opened the bottle of champagne waiting for me, I surveyed the complimentary basket of fruits, chocolates, snacks and sweets, and when I say basket, I mean feast, complete with a manta-shaped chocolate sculpture. I chose to settle into my room (read: head straight to the pool on my deck) but should you choose to visit the beach or have a cocktail at the Whale Bar instead, your personal butler can unpack your bags for you while you do so.

I got to tour the beach villas and the larger two- and three-bedroom villas, including the stunning overwater John Jacob Astor Estate, named after the founder of the St. Regis Brand, which the World Travel Awards just named ‘Leading Luxury Hotel Villa’ for the third year. If you’re part of a larger group or a family looking to pull out all the stops, the estate is a sprawling jewel, the largest overwater villa in all of the Maldives, boasting a soundproof movie theatre, an infinity pool, an exercise room and yoga studio, a furnished overwater terrace and its own private beach. That’s true luxury, right there.


st regis maldives food
Alba is the resort’s signature restaurant offering modern classics

The food – oh, where do I begin! I’m Italian, so I know a thing or two about good food. Having said that, the five-course degustation and wine pairing dinner at Decanter, the resort’s underground wine cellar (home to more than 615 labels from 23 countries) took my breath away. With Rahul Kulkarni as the executive sous chef, and Sunny Chuang as the director of food and beverage both in attendance, we were spoiled from the very beginning with an amuse-bouche of Maldivian tuna, tomato compote, black olive and anchovy paste with parmesan crisp and sweet basil oil, paired with a Nicolas Maillart Grand Cru Brut Rosé.

Also worthy of special mention were the crab and cauliflower espuma, with poached egg, green peas and bottarga, as well as the quinoa risotto with morel mushroom, truffle foam, and modelled basil pesto. I may have shed a few (literal, very real) tears by the time the apple tarte tatin appeared in front of me, but they were only tears of joy and pure pleasure.

Although Decanter was my absolute favourite, we had the chance to try the other five glorious restaurants on Vommuli Island, and they didn’t disappoint. Alba, the resort’s signature restaurant, offers modern classics made with locally sourced ingredients, which we enjoyed with stunning views over the resort’s main beach.

Open only at night, Cargo serves Middle Eastern dishes surrounded by unspoiled jungle, while Orientale is here to redefine pan-Asian haute cuisine in an open-air setting and beach-front shack style joint Crust and Craft serves the best lobster burger I’ve ever had. For a truly memorable experience, you could even dine under the stars with a romantic private experience on the beach, illuminated by scenic candlelight and accompanied by the sounds of the ocean.

Breakfast, served at Alba, was infinitely more mouth-watering than any other hotel spread I’ve witnessed. Besides a towering buffet with specialties from several different cuisines, it also offers à la carte dishes like lobster eggs benedict or lobster omelette, delicious smoothies and even a full-on lunch. Yum!

We were also among the first ones to try the newly unveiled Violet Hour menu at the stylish Whale Bar, featuring 40 cocktail recipes inspired by five New York neighbourhoods as a way of honouring the House of Astor legacy. Sipping a signature cocktail while enjoying stunning views of a purple and bubble-gum pink sunset, real life felt so distant, and I felt so blessed.


st regis maldives spa
Spa facilities include a Blue Hole hydrotherapy seawater pool

In 2021, the Iridium Spa received the ‘Spa Award’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Best Resort Spa’ at the World Travel Awards for the fourth consecutive year, and it’s easy to see why. The unrivalled wellness facility enjoys six overwater treatment rooms and a Blue Hole hydrotherapy seawater pool with a wide variety of jets, so no matter where you are in your personal wellness journey, there’s something for everyone’s liking. Throughout an expansive array of treatments and activities, special attention is paid to ancient Ayurvedic practices: the resort is unveiling an all-new Monsoon Stay Package, which aims to take guests on a healing and transformative journey under the guidance of Ayurvedic physician and spa manager Dr. Sudhi Suresh.

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Sudhi Suresh during a personal consultation in which he analysed my doshas (bio-energy centres in Ayurvedic medicine, derived from the Sanskrit dosa) and explained how I could better balance them in my day-to-day activities.

I then tried the Jambira Pinda Sweda treatment ($400 per person), a 120 minute ‘sudation’ (therapeutic sweating) technique that aids the body in eliminating toxins and reducing inflammation in the joints and muscles. It’s performed with pouches containing a refreshing blend of fresh lime and grated coconut infused with Ayurvedic herbs and spices, as well as castor oil to deeply nurture the skin, which are then warmed up and used to massage the body.

Jambira Pinda Sweda is meant to enhance blood circulation, heal pigmentation, and reduce body aches, and trust me, it did. With two masseuses massaging my body in synchronisation, I felt cared for and nourished in entirely new ways and retained the physical benefits I’d immediately noticed for a few more days following my treatment.

To do

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Guests can rent the resort’s luxury yacht for a romantic getaway or overnight trip

I’m going to be honest, you could be perfectly happy doing absolutely nothing throughout the duration of your stay at the St. Regis Vommuli. Private plunge pools, sunbathing decks, dramatic sunset views and sunrise ocean dips, what more could you ask for?

However, should you be the kind of person who gets bored easily, you won’t be disappointed. From yoga and aqua aerobics to tabata, circuit training and pool bike fitness, wellness activities abound. For the more adventurous types, head over to the Dive and Watersports Centre, where you’ll find more than enough to keep you occupied: diving and snorkelling excursions, windsurfing or parasailing lessons and glass-bottom kayak tours, as well as guided dolphin exploration and coral garden trips. We had the chance to visit the nearby immaculate sandbanks for a private picnic followed by Seabob lessons, perfect for a fun day out or just quiet basking in luxurious seclusion.

The Fitness Centre is open every day from 7am to 7.30pm, and is equipped with steam rooms and sauna rooms as well as extensive gym machinery. You could get lessons at the outdoor tennis court just minutes away from the Fitness Centre, or rent Norma, the resort’s luxury Azimut Flybridge 66 yacht, for a romantic getaway or an overnight trip.

And naturally, there are activities tailored to the little ones. The Children’s Club offers non toxic toys and painting, origami, and yoga classes in a safe setting, but kids are also welcome to enjoy the infinity pool next to Alba or head to Socialite for table tennis, foosball, pool and air hockey as well as video and board games.

Getting there

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The resort is situated on a private island in the Dhaalu Atoll

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is situated on a private island in the Dhaalu Atoll, in the Indian Ocean, and is only accessible via seaplane from Velana International Airport in the Maldivian capital of Malé. I was lucky to fly Business Class with Qatar Airways, which was a great decision as the flight from Milan to Malé is no joke, and being able to sleep on the plane made my journey infinitely more pleasurable.

I had a short layover in Doha, Qatar, which boasts the most impressive Business Lounge I’ve ever set foot in: with more than 100,000 square feet spread across two levels and equipped with showers and sleeping pods, meeting rooms and what feels like infinite seating space, as well as an on-site sushi chef preparing my choice of homemade rolls right in front of me, it was easy to feel at home.

Once I got to Malé, a lovely member of the St. Regis staff came to pick me up and whisk me away – in a limousine, just a casual Thursday – to the Business Lounge, where I could wait to board the private seaplane for the last leg of my journey to the resort. It was my first time on a seaplane, and even though it was a short trip (around 40-45 minutes), flying over pristine sandbanks and brushes of turquoise on cobalt felt quite special, and definitely spellbinding. But it was once we got to Vommuli Island, home to The St. Regis Maldives Resort, that the real magic began.

In a nutshell

The only problem you’ll have staying at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is you will not want to leave. With attentive staff ready to go above and beyond for their guests, fine dining of the highest quality and spectacular views of what can only be defined as a natural paradise, it will have you under its spell in no time. I already can’t wait to go back.


Anna Myers was a guest at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, where nightly rates start from £1,233 ($1421) per night based on single occupancy.

The Ayurveda Monsoon Stay package starts from £1,866 ($2150) per night based on single occupancy (rates are excluding tax, service charge and seaplane transfer; seven-night stay minimum)

Address: Vommuli Island Dhaalu Atoll, 13080, Maldives
Phone: +960 676 6333 / +1 844 631 0595

All imagery supplied by The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.

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The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
LLM may receive some revenue if you click BOOK NOW & book a stay via See terms of use.

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