Last Updated: June 6, 2023
We traveled halfway around the world to explore paradise. We found it. Le Méridien Maldives Resort and Spa is the ultimate destination away from the crowds. We stayed at this new resort in December 2021 and returned a year later to update this post for 2023.
We found that there isn’t enough information available about the resort. We decided to write this extensive ultimate guide to the private island. It includes all information about the island, booking, prices, and restaurants. If anything is missing, please let us know, and we will add it to our ultimate guide. We also made a blog about 5-must do activities at the resort, whether all-inclusive is worth it, and the best time to visit Le Meridien Maldives.
Say hello to the new General Manager, Thomas Schult from Avoid-Crowds.com
Why should you consider Le Meridien Maldives Resort and Spa?
We believe that the Maldives is the ultimate destination away from the crowds. For most tourists, staying in the Maldives includes staying at a luxurious secluded private island only accessible by speedboat or waterplane. You will find white sandy beaches, palm trees, and the famous overwater beach villas on the island. Underwater you can experience the amazing marine life of the Maldives as you can snorkel and dive at your resort’s house reef, where you are likely to encounter manta rays.
The Le Méridien Resort and Spa is a new resort on Thilamaafushi island within the Lhaviyani Atoll north of the Maldives capital and central tourist hub, Malé. You can only reach the island by waterplane from Malé’s Velana International Airport.
At the resort, you can expect a quiet beach vacation. You can choose from three different restaurants, or you can stay in your private villa. All villas offer direct access to the beach or the resort’s water. Some of these villas even feature plunge pools. Water activities are the main attraction, and the only thing to worry about on a day at Le Méridien is what you will do in the afternoon or where you will enjoy the sunset.
Booking with or without points (2023 updated)
Booking your stay at Le Méridien Resort & Spa is as easy as booking any other hotel. You can find the resort on all major accommodation booking websites, including Booking.com. Based on our experience, pricing is similar on all websites.
You can also book through the resort’s dedicated website, depending on your preferences. As part of Marriott, you can earn or use points while staying at the resort. Alternatively, you can benefit from cashback through your booking method, including Booking.com.
5 Must-Do Activities at Le Méridien Maldives
What to pack for the Maldives
It is good to know that many guests at Le Méridien Maldives are using good Marriott Bonvoy points deals. Before the Marriott loyalty scheme changed, the hotel was listed as a category five hotel. This made the resort the lowest-category hotel in the country. As a result, Le Méridien is also the ‘cheapest’ resort in the Maldives for those traveling on Marriott Bonvoy points. Although the system changed in 2022, this is still true. In October 2022, a five-night stay with Marriott Bonvoy points would cost you 209.000 points at Le Meridien Maldives compared to 400.000 at the JW Marriott or 328.000 at the W Maldives.
Even after the change, Marriott Bonvoy still gives you the fifth night free when you book four nights. At this moment the lowest price we found for 2023 was 209.000 points. For which you will get a beach villa. Good to know: if you pay your stay with points, there is no service charge, resort fee, or taxes to pay on top of the standard price. This makes it attractive to buy points to stay at this resort.
Location & surroundings
You will find Le Méridien Maldives Resort and Spa on top of a small private island named Thilamaafushi, located in the southern part of the Lhaviyani Atoll. The atoll and resort are part of the more northern islands of the Maldives. The area is rapidly developing, but you can still find fewer resorts and inhabited islands than, for example, around the Male atoll.
A seaplane will take you to and from the island. Tourists are exclusively transferred by seaplanes while (some of) the island’s supplies are brought in by boats. The resort is relatively excluded, meaning you will not see much air or water traffic to and from other alternatives. You will benefit from this by having a relatively quiet place and less smell of the seaplane’s kerosine.
The island is a white-sanded land with palm trees and vegetation in the middle. The resort uses the island to its fullest as many activities are built on the water, including the spa, diving center, Japanese restaurant, and water villas. Staff quarters and hotel operations are in the middle part of the island.
House reef and lagoon
The island is surrounded by a house reef a few hundred meters away from the island’s beach. The water is shallow enough to walk from the beach to the reef. This part of the island’s waters is a lagoon (not sure if you call it so). The house reef sits where the shallow part around the island ends, and the sea’s significant drop is the part where Nemo shouldn’t have gone.
You can find lots of seagrasses and (some) fish pass through in the lagoon, but it isn’t crowded. The reef is full of sea life, and you can see endless sorts of small, medium, and big fish. We saw rays and lots of small fish within the lagoon during our stay, while we saw giant manta rays while snorkeling at the house reef. We also got lucky inside the lagoon. We spotted different rays from the overwater villas, all located within the lagoon. We even spotted a curious but harmless blacktip reef shark from our estate.
You can also find spots with lots of smaller fish within the lagoon. Some of these spots include artificial bases for reefs to grow. Others are parts of the reef that are home to lots of fish. You can easily swim up to these darker spots in the water. The reef is only accessible from the beach or overwater villas for good swimmers. You can also book a guided excursion from the diving center for those who aren’t too comfortable in the water. A boat will drop you off at the house reef, and a guide, or even the resort’s marine biologist, will accompany you in the water.
Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa Accommodation types
Like any resort in the Maldives, Le Méridien has different accommodation types with pros and cons. The most eye-catching kind of accommodation is the overwater villa. The overwater villa is a large room or suite built on poles directly above the water. These overwater villas are beautiful and help the resorts optimize the use of space. Building rooms over the water increases the number of guests hosted on the island.
While most couples would prefer an overwater villa, unfortunately, it often comes with the most significant price tag. There is high demand for overwater villas in the Maldives, and supply is limited, which leads to even higher prices for the rooms built on poles in the water. Meanwhile, staying in an overwater villa isn’t even possible for families with young children, as small children can easily fall from the deck into the water.
During our stay at le Méridien, we both stayed in a beach villa and an overwater villa. Changing villas halfway was a great combination as it allows us to share your experiences. We didn’t try all kinds of rooms, but we know where they are located and what kind of perks they come with. We are aware that the resort distinguishes between beach villas and beach bungalows. Since all staff calls all rooms villas, we don’t understand the difference between the two, nor do we know if we had a villa or a bungalow.
Beach Villas & Beach Bungalows
Beach Villas and Beach Bungalows appear to be the same. They are, however, located on different sides of the island. While the beach villas are adjacent to the large beach on the busier part of the island, which is home to water sports and restaurants, the beach bungalows look out over the quieter area on the spa side of the island. Both buildings, however, have direct beach access and are the same.
Each beach villa is your spacious vacation home with a large and comfortable king-size bed. The villas have sliding doors that open into your semi-private, beachside garden. Large plans shield you from people passing by on the beach. You can find comfortable seats in this private garden and a small table. If you keep the curtains open, you can directly view the ocean from your bed. The television, which you might not need since you are in the Maldives, is not so smartly placed and hangs from a wall you cannot see from the bed. However, you can see it from a small, comfortable coach in the room.
All villas are spacious and fully equipped. Similar to other Le Méridien resorts, the style boasts a Polynesian vibe. All colors are light and bright, with lots of ocean blue used throughout the resort and villas. The villas have lots of room to store luggage, with a spacious walk-in closet. The closet features a standard hotel safe, a few dressers, and space to hang dresses and shirts. In addition, there is also room to store your luggage, and you’ll find two differently-sized life vests in there. Although there isn’t that much space in the closet, there is additional storage space in the room.
The most remarkable thing about the beach villas is the spacious back garden and bathroom. This bathroom features a covered area where you can find two sinks with standard hotel amenities like clean white towels, soaps, and other amenities. You can also find one of the two showers there. This first shower is closed off by glass doors and is a relatively standard shower with a regular and rain showerhead. We found this shower perfect to wash off the salty water after spending some time in the sea.
However, the other shower is in the middle of your closed-off private garden, right in the open air. This rain shower is surrounded by plants and makes you feel like you are showering in the jungle. Some friendly and harmless lizards might even accompany you while showering. The rooms are brand new, well-maintained, and spotless. We also greatly appreciated the evening turn-down service with their fluffy bath mats!
Beach villas or bungalows are a good choice for families with young children. While they might not fit the romantic picture of a vacation in the Maldives, they come with some advantages. There is quite some distance to the water and no risk of falling into the deep, unlike overwater villas. The beach, with two beach chairs and an umbrella per villa, will keep kids entertained for hours, right where you can see them. The distance to the water makes the beach villas better equipped for families with young children than overwater villas. It is good to know that these villas are usually lower priced than their overwater brothers and sisters for budget-conscious travelers.
Beach villa with pool
In addition to the standard beach villas and bungalows, several villas have private plunge pools. This pool is either located within the outdoor bathroom area, replacing the outside shower, or integrated into the patio on the villa’s beachside. What is essential to know is that a plunge pool is small. It is not made for swimming but rather to enjoy the comfort of being in the water. The villas themselves seemed very similar to the one we stayed in.
There are different beach villas and bungalow options, such as a family option with two adjacent villas, the plunge pool in a slightly different setup, and multiple-bedroom beach villas. While we haven’t stayed at one of these pool villas, we did see pictures and sneak a peek at one of the beachfront pools.
Overwater villas & overwater villas with pool
When they think of the Maldives, most people picture sandy white beaches and crystal blue oceans filled with exotic fish and corals. The first type of accommodation that comes to mind is luxurious, small villas on poles above the water. These villas usually come with direct access to the water via stairs or a slide and beautiful views right from your bed or bath. At Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa, that typical Maldives luxury stay is what you should expect if you stay in an overwater villa.
Standard overwater villas are closer to the island than those with a pool at the end of the pier. Each villa is situated directly above the water and has a little ladder allowing you to swim or snorkel right from your accommodation. The resort has two piers full of overwater villas.
On our first visit to the Maldives, we stayed at a sunrise overwater villa without a pool, and on our second stay, we had the version that came with a collection where we could enjoy the sunset. During both visits, the experience was terrific and completely fit the romanticized picture of a vacation in the Maldives. When you enter the room for the first time, you directly look out over the water. With opened curtains, it’s all ocean and blue skies that you see, and don’t worry, the glass is tinted, so it’s not possible to look in from the outside.
You can open sliding doors from the bedroom that give access to a wooden overwater terrace. You can find a seating area on the deck with a small table and two comfortable chairs. There is also a large net from which you can take in the fantastic views and take those wonderful influencer-style pictures. There are also two comfortable lounge chairs to lie down on.
One of the highlights of the overwater villas is the bathroom. There is a shower and a bathtub from which you can directly take in the beautiful panoramic views. Although some snorkelers or swimmers might look at your private overwater terrace, it will be challenging to look into the bathroom because of the tinted windows.
Like the beach villas, the overwater villas have enough space to store your belongings. Again, there is a spacious walk-in closet where you can keep your bags and whatever you bring inside of them. In addition, there are lots of cabinets and drawers all over the villa and a make-up table. The make-up table’s lighting isn’t the best for putting on make-up.
Sunrise versus sunset villas at Le Méridien Maldives
If you are looking at staying at Le Méridien, you might have noticed that some overwater villas are marketed as sunset while others are sold as the sunset. Selling sunset is standard practice in the Maldives. Sunset is mainly seen as more premium as you can enjoy the famous and beautiful sunset in the evening. Meanwhile, the sunrise can be equally beautiful.
Sunset over water villas at Le Méridien Maldives is considerably more expensive than sunrise villas. And despite the price difference, these villas don’t offer additional perks. Like the popular American reality TV show, the hotel owners sell sunset. Whether that evening view is worth it is up to you.
What is good to know is that the southern part of Maldives is located directly on top of the equator. The equator is only about 289 miles (465km) south of Male. Due to its close distance to the sun, daylight is highly predictable.
The time for sunrise and sunset is the same year around. The sun rises around 6 AM and sets around 6 PM. If you are an early riser, the lights are beautiful. It’s good to know that you can also enjoy the beautiful sunset at Riviera bar, with an adults-only pool, and directly on the beach. This doesn’t cost you extra, and you might be able to enjoy the sunset with your favorite drink in your hand.
One benefit, or downside, is that the sunrise pools offer more protection from the sun during hot afternoons. They will have a bit more shade compared to the sunset water villas.
Overwater villa with pool
The overwater villas with a pool at Le Méridien Maldives offer a truly one-of-a-kind vacation experience for travelers seeking a luxurious and private retreat. These villas are located at the end of the pier and feature a plunge pool overlooking the water, providing a level of exclusivity not found in standard overwater villas. The option to book adjacent villas or choose a villa with extra bedrooms allows for flexibility and customization to suit the needs of your group.
If you are considering a stay at Le Méridien, you may have noticed that some overwater villas are marketed as “sunset” while others are sold as “sunrise.” This is a common practice in the Maldives, with sunset villas often seen as more premium due to the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sunset in the evening. However, it’s worth noting that the sunrise can be equally beautiful and that sunset villas at Le Méridien come with a higher price tag, but do not offer any additional perks.
While the sunset view may be a desirable feature for some travelers, it’s important to consider whether it is worth the additional cost. It’s also worth considering that even if you opt for a sunrise villa, you will still have the opportunity to experience the stunning sunrise over the water, as well as all the amenities and activities available at the resort. Ultimately, the decision of whether to choose a sunset or sunrise villa is a personal one and depends on your preferences and budget.
Is the pool worth the extra money?
We highly enjoyed the pool and think it is worth the money if you are in a sunset water villa. During the late afternoon, it can get boiling on your sundeck. The water pool allows you to cool down quickly without going down the stairs into the Indian Ocean. It also looks nice in pictures ;).
Lagoon Villas are like standard overwater villas. But instead of being connected to a large bridge, you can access them from the beach. There are not many lagoon villas at Le Méridien, but all of them are strategically located near reception and the main restaurants and pool.
2 Bedroom Overwater Pool
The 2 Bedroom Overwater Pool Villa at Le Méridien Maldives is a luxurious and spacious option for families or groups looking for a private and exclusive vacation experience. Situated at the end of the jetty, these villas offer direct access to the reef and corals, providing a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world.
Each villa features two bedrooms, each with a plush king bed and private bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen and living room. The standout feature of these villas is the private pool, located on the sundeck and overlooking the stunning ocean below. The sundeck also features a net for relaxing and taking in the views. The living room, with its partially glass bottom, allows you to enjoy the beauty of the underwater world while relaxing in the common area.
With its luxurious amenities and private setting, the 2 Bedroom Overwater Pool Villa at Le Méridien Maldives is the perfect choice for those seeking an extraordinary vacation experience. Its unique location at the end of the jetty, providing direct access to the reef and corals, adds an extra element of adventure and discovery to your vacation. It is sure to offer an unforgettable getaway for you and your family.
The Thilamaafushi Villa at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa is the ultimate luxury retreat for families or small groups seeking the ultimate Maldives experience. Situated on a quiet part of the island, this villa offers breathtaking ocean views, a private hot tub, and a large pool directly overlooking the sea and lagoon. The spacious living room and outdoor dining area make it perfect for entertaining. At the same time, the three bedrooms with plush king beds and private bathrooms offer ultimate comfort and exclusivity.
The main living room of the Thilamaafushi Villa features a beautifully designed seating area and a fully equipped bar, adding an extra touch of sophistication to your vacation. The villa’s outdoor space is where the true luxury lies, with plenty of room to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The large dining table is perfect for al fresco meals, while the hot tub and pool provide the ultimate relaxation and indulgence.
With its high price, the Thilamaafushi Villa often remains unoccupied, making it a unique but often available retreat. We believe that the unique private experience it offers, combined with all the amenities and activities available at the resort, make it worth considering for a special occasion or a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. It can easily compete with top alternatives in the area, such as the Four Seasons and the Anantara, and is sure to provide an unforgettable Maldives experience for you and your group.
Getting to Le Méridien Maldives
Getting to the Maldives requires hopping on a plane to Malé international airport named Velena airport. This airport is built on a small stretch of land next to the country’s capital. Most larger international airlines operate flights to and from Malé, and arrivals are usually in the morning.
At the start of the 2023 season, you no longer have to worry about any COVID-19 entry requirements. Somehow, the registration formalities stayed. All those arriving and leaving the country need to fill in the IMUGA Health Declaration. Proof of a PCR test or vaccination is no longer required. Unlike 2021, the immigration process is smooth and quick. A quick scan of the passport will be enough for the officer.
For those who had forgotten to fill out the form, a computer in the immigration hall seemed to be there for those travelers not having completed IMUGA. However, we would not recommend taking that risk as your airline might refuse you from boarding a plane to Male.
After you have cleared immigration, you can pick up your luggage and start the next phase of your journey to the Maldives: hopping on the unique Maldives seaplanes.
Seaplane to Le Méridien the Maldives + waiting lounge
Le Méridien Maldives is located approximately 120 km / 75 miles north of Velena International Airport. The resort is too far from the international airport to transfer tourists in a speed boat. All passengers are therefore transferred by seaplane.
The resort sets the seaplane costs in cooperation with Trans Maldivian Airways. As a tourist, you have no choice but to accept the charges. You have to pay these costs at check out, and at the moment (January 2023), the transfer costs 515 USD per person + taxes. For 515, you get a return flight tailored to your arrival and departure time at Velena airport in Malé.
You will also get access to a shared lounge at the airport where you wait for your seaplane. This lounge is nothing special; couches, soft drinks, and small bites. Some hotels have dedicated private lounges, such as the W hotel, St. Regis. Or the Fairmont, but not all of them have windows.
Compared to 2023, a new TMA Seaplane Terminal has opened.
The TMA Seaplane Terminal at the Male airport is where travelers wait to board the water planes to Le Méridien Maldives. While the building has undoubtedly made catching a water plane more efficient, the overall experience leaves something to be desired. The building has the feel of an unfinished hospital, and the “luxury lounges” do not live up to their name. In addition, Le Meridien staff at the TMA building may not be as welcoming and friendly as you would expect from a luxury resort. It can be a long and somewhat transactional experience, with waits of at least two hours not uncommon.
Le Méridien is aware of these issues and is working on creating its lounge within the TMA building to provide a more welcoming and upscale start to your vacation. The signature Le Méridien vibe and atmosphere will be present in this lounge, setting the tone for the rest of your stay at the resort. We hope these efforts will help enhance the overall experience and make the TMA building a more enjoyable place to begin your vacation.
Waiting for the seaplane can be extended. It can be short. Once again, we heard stories from fellow tourists who waited for fifteen to thirteen minutes. In December 2022, our wait was just under two hours, But we weren’t as lucky as the year before. Landing at Velena International Airport to arriving at Le Méridien took about five and a half hours. This time included two and a half hours of waiting time for the seaplane.
Please be aware that water planes can only fly during daylight. If your scheduled arrival time is after 4 PM or your flight is delayed, you could be forced to spend the night in one of the hotels near the airport before you can check in at Le Méridien.
Restaurants and bars
The resort has around six different bars and restaurants. We’ll describe most of them in detail here. We don’t mind playing favorites, so here it is: Riviera is our favorite bar. It is an adult-only bar with a small pool surrounding the bar. From Riviera, you have an unobstructed view of the ocean and a beautiful sunset at night. From time to time, a DJ adds a relaxed young vibe into the mix during the day and evening, and on Fridays, they offer a barbecue. The staff seemed to be a bit more experienced here, and the small bites on the menu are perfect for a light lunch or snack during the day.
Tabemasu, Le Méridien Maldives’ Japanese restaurant, is a must-visit dining destination during your stay. Located at the corner of the island and built on top of the water, this beautiful restaurant offers breathtaking views during lunch and a relaxed vibe during dinner.
We had the pleasure of dining at Tabemasu multiple times during our stay and were consistently impressed by the friendly and attentive staff and the outstanding food quality. The menu at Tabemasu is seemingly endless, offering something for everyone and ensuring that even the most discerning diners will find something to love. The Teppanyaki experience is a real highlight, with one station seating up to 12 people and available for lunch and dinner by reservation.
It’s worth noting that if you purchase the all-inclusive package at Le Méridien Maldives, dining at Tabemasu is included. This makes it an excellent value and an easy choice for an unforgettable dining experience during your stay. Tabemasu is a popular choice among guests at the resort, and it’s no surprise, given the excellent service and delicious food. The ambiance at the restaurant is lovely, but the staff truly makes it a memorable dining experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a meal at Tabemasu during your stay at Le Méridien Maldives.
The Waves Café at Le Méridien Maldives is a hidden gem that we, unfortunately, missed during our first visit but made sure to try during our second stay. Located next to the Riviera Bar and near the art gallery and fitness center, this café is a convenient and peaceful spot for mindful and conscious dining and drinking. The café celebrates the power of produce with its focus on organic and sustainably sourced ingredients, presented in a simple and uncomplicated fashion.
One of the standout features of the Waves Café is its excellent late breakfast, arguably better than the main restaurant. It’s a bit of a secret, but the late breakfast at Waves is included in the all-inclusive package at the resort. We wish we had discovered this gem earlier in our stay and highly recommend it to other travelers. The café is a great place to nourish your soul with wholesome ingredients and relax in a peaceful setting.
Riviera Bar at Le Méridien Maldives quickly became our favorite spot during our stay. This adults-only bar serves up amazing drinks and delicious small bites, and the bar service directly at the pool is a convenient and luxurious touch. The pool itself is beautifully designed and features a shallow depth, making it easy to stand and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. On some days, a DJ adds to the ambiance with laid-back electronic summer tunes.
But the real highlight of Riviera Bar is the sunset views. The views from this bar are absolutely incredible and make it the perfect spot to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the resort. Whether you’re sipping on a refreshing drink or snacking on something tasty, the sunset views at Riviera Bar are not to be missed.
Latitude - Coffee corner at the Hub
Latitude is a café within Le Méridien Hub, the hotel’s interpretation of a traditional lobby. It offers coffee, tea, and small bites to arriving and departing guests. Although it is open beyond the transfer window, it isn’t heavily used, and we only visited Latitude for a small breakfast just before our departure.
According to the resort’s website, Latitude is “the social hub of our Maldives resort; this restaurant transitions from a relaxed café serving refreshing eye-openers, Illy coffee, and deli bites to a sparkling evening spot featuring a modern apéritif hour serving artistic liqueurs and petite plates.” It sounds like a great spot to relax and socialize, whether for a quick caffeine fix in the morning or a sophisticated evening drink if you’re looking for a casual and convenient place to grab a drink or a bite to eat at Le Méridien Maldives.
Velaa Bar & Grill
elaa Bar & Grill is one of our favorite restaurants at Le Méridien Maldives. Located in a relaxed and laid-back setting, Velaa offers both indoor and outdoor seating with views of the sea. The restaurant is a great spot to watch the entertainment of guests trying stand-up paddleboarding or canoeing for the first time.
Velaa’s kitchen serves up a variety of international dishes including steaks, pizzas, burgers, and fish, all with a local Maldivian twist. For those not as keen on fish, there are plenty of other options available. The food quality is excellent, and we believe it can easily compete with top steak restaurants in Europe or the United States. In fact, we noticed a significant improvement in the quality and service at Velaa from our visit in 2021 to our visit in 2022.
In addition to lunch and dinner, Velaa is also a great spot for a fresh coffee or a scoop of ice cream. The restaurant also serves as the pool bar, with waiters on hand to help you with your pool lounge chair. The vibe at Velaa is casual and relaxed, fitting in perfectly with the overall French Polynesian design of Le Méridien Maldives.
One of the best things about Velaa is its convenient opening hours. The restaurant is open from the morning until midnight, making it a great choice for a meal at almost any time of day. However, as Velaa is a trendy restaurant, we recommend making reservations for lunch and dinner to ensure you get a table. Velaa is also covered, with staff able to close the sides of the otherwise open restaurant to protect against rain.
Turquoise is Le Méridien Maldives’ main restaurant and the go-to spot for guests on a half-board package. The restaurant serves three meals per day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – all of which are buffet style, with drinks served to your table. Turquoise offers an extensive buffet with daily changing special dishes based on a theme. During our stay, we enjoyed a Dim Sum evening, a lobster evening, and many more.
In addition to the themed meals, Turquoise also has a wide variety of Western and Asian dishes to choose from, with multiple live cooking stations to cater to everyone’s tastes. There is also an extensive dessert station and dishes for children.
Turquoise is set in a vast veranda with tables set at a comfortable distance from each other. You can choose to sit under the porch or outside, and from all tables, you’ll have a direct view of the beach and ocean. The setting is comfortable and relaxing, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a meal during your stay at Le Méridien Maldives.
Are you considering a meal package at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa but wondering what it’s going to cost you? It can be tough to find information on food and beverage prices, but we’ve done the legwork for you. Here’s a breakdown of some common drinks and meals at the resort to help you make an informed decision.
Soft drinks will run you about $6, while coffee or tea starts at $6. Fresh juices are priced at $10. A beer at Le Méridien will cost $11 for a Heineken and $12 for a Corona. Wine by the glass starts at $13, and the cheapest bottle of wine at Riviera is $55. Classic cocktails like Margaritas and mojitos are priced at $18 and $17, respectively.
Keep reading for more detailed pricing information on food and drinks at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa.
Meal plans at Le Méridien Maldives
Food and beverages at Le Méridien Maldives can be expensive, with individual dishes ranging in price from $20 to $40, not including the additional service charge and taxes, which can add a significant amount to your final bill. However, the resort does offer several meals and drink plans to help mitigate these costs. The basic package includes a bed and breakfast, while the all-inclusive package includes access to special all-inclusive menus within each restaurant. It’s worth noting that no meal plans have perks like destination dining or room service. It’s also important to remember that many Marriott Bonvoy elite members (platinum and above) can choose breakfast as their welcome choice gift. If you’re trying to decide which meal plan is right for you, it’s helpful to know that all plans include all taxes and service charges.
It’s also good to know that drinking water on the island is free and comes in large, chilled bottles. This can help offset the costs of other beverages, which can be especially expensive if they contain alcohol.
Overall, dining at Le Méridien Maldives can be a luxurious experience, with various international and Maldivian-inspired dishes and drinks. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option, the resort’s meal and drink plans can help make the experience more manageable, and the beautiful setting, delicious food, and attentive service can make it well worth the splurge.
Turquoise serves breakfast from 7:00 am to 10:30 am every day. The buffet includes hot and cold items such as eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurt, fruit, pastries, and more. There is also a live cooking station where you can order eggs made to your liking. The buffet also features local Maldivian dishes, such as mas huni, a traditional breakfast dish made with grated coconut, chili, and tuna.
The B&B package is a good option for those who do not drink alcohol or do not plan on eating many meals at the resort’s restaurants. It allows you to save on food and beverage costs and allows you to dine at local restaurants or explore the island for other dining options. However, if you plan on eating and drinking at the resort, choosing a meal package that includes more meals and drinks may be more cost-effective.
Costs: 35 USD per person, per day (17.50 USD for children) – Updated January 2023
The half board package at Le Méridien Maldives includes breakfast at Turquoise, the hotel’s main buffet restaurant, as well as dinner at either Turquoise or Velaa Bar + Grill. Turquoise features themed evenings such as Dim Sum or Lobster night, which are included in the half board package in addition to the regular buffet offerings. Velaa Bar + Grill, located next to Turquoise, is a more upscale option with a menu featuring steaks, grilled fish, burgers, and more. Guests on the half board package can choose from a selection of dishes at Velaa Bar + Grill. Please note that beverages are not included in the half board package.
Costs: 110 USD per person, per day (55 USD for children) – Updated January 2023
Full Board Plus
Full board simply means that you will be served three meals per day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Additionally, the Full Board Plus package includes a selection of non-alcoholic beverages such as sodas, coffee, tea, and juices. These can be consumed at any time of the day, not just during meals.
One of the main advantages of the Full Board Plus package is the flexibility it offers. You can choose to have all three meals at Turquoise, or mix and match with Velaa Bar + Grill. This allows you to try a variety of dining options and experience the different atmospheres and cuisines each restaurant has to offer.
It’s worth noting that the Full Board Plus package does not include specialty dining experiences or room service. However, it does offer a convenient and cost-effective way to enjoy a variety of drinks and meals throughout your stay at Le Méridien Maldives.
Costs: 185 USD per person, per day (92.50 USD for children)
All Inclusive at Le Méridien
The All Inclusive package at Le Méridien Maldives truly offers a luxurious and hassle-free vacation experience. In addition to all meals and drinks at Turquoise, Velaa Bar + Grill, Tabemasu, Riviera, Waves Café, and Latitude, the package also includes the fully stocked minibar in your villa. This means that you can enjoy all of your favorite beverages and snacks without worrying about any additional costs. The package also includes the weekly barbeque at Riviera, where you can savor delicious grilled specialties while taking in the stunning sunset views.
One of the standout features of the All Inclusive package is the inclusion of Tabemasu, the resort’s highly acclaimed Japanese restaurant. Here, you can indulge in a wide variety of traditional Japanese dishes, including sashimi, tempura, and sushi, all prepared with the freshest ingredients. The All Inclusive package also allows you to enjoy the weekly Teppanyaki experience, where you can watch as skilled chefs prepare your meal right before your eyes.
In addition to the All Inclusive package’s extensive dining and drinking options, it also offers great value for money. By pre-paying for your meals and drinks, you can relax and fully enjoy your vacation without worrying about budgeting or calculating costs. The package also includes all applicable taxes and service charges, so you can easily plan and budget for your trip. Overall, the All Inclusive package at Le Méridien Maldives is a fantastic choice for those looking for a hassle-free, luxurious vacation experience.
Costs: 260 USD per person, per day (130 USD for children)
Is all-inclusive at Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa worth it?
Eating and drinking at a resort in the Maldives is expensive. The all-inclusive package at Le Méridien is also costly but worth it for many travelers. It all depends on how much you are expecting to eat and drink. Based on the prices above, you can make the calculations yourself. We noticed the following.
The breakfast package costs 30 USD. Going to breakfast without the package costs about 37 UDS (including taxes and gratuity). Suppose you are a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum member or above. In that case, you can get complimentary breakfast as your welcome gift, so for many travelers, breakfast should be left out in this calculation.
So for most travelers, it would be all about lunch, dinner, and occasional drinks.
If you don’t want to spend too much on lunch, you can get a single dish at Velaa Bar + Grill for about 30 USD. One soft drink will add 6 USD to the bill. If you add an appetizer or dessert, you will be looking at an additional 15 USD. An extra soft drink, remember it’s hot, will add another 6 USD to the invoice. Without doing anything crazy, lunch will cost you 50 USD. On top of that will come tax and gratuity, which will bring your total invoice to 62 USD.
Dinner in the evening is more expensive. A small dinner in the Maldives will cost 20 USD for the appetizer, 40 USD for the main meal, and 15 USD for the dessert. Two accompanying glasses of wine will add 30 USD to the bill. A relatively low-cost dinner will cost you 105 USD. Taxes and gratuity will bring your total to 130 USD.
Without doing anything crazy, you will spend 229 USD on three meals per day (192 USD for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum and up). By not doing anything crazy, I meant “keeping things conservative.” If you like a few beers at sunset and maybe take a few things from the minibar, which is included with the all-inclusive package, your total expenses quickly go up to 300-400 USD per day without a meal plan.
The Le Méridien spa is a luxurious retreat that offers a variety of treatments for guests looking to relax and rejuvenate during their stay. Located on the southern part of the island, the spa is an overwater villa that provides stunning views of the lagoon and the marine life beneath it. Guests who have visited the spa have raved about the experience and even spotted octopuses in the surrounding waters. The spa is open daily from 9 AM to 9 PM and offers a range of treatments including Ayurvedic therapies, body scrubs, facials, couples massages, and more. In addition to traditional spa treatments, the spa also offers massage lessons and fitness counseling for guests looking to take a bit of the spa experience home with them.
Beach and pool areas
The Meridien resort is home to a fantastic coastline and several white-sanded exotic beaches. Here is an overview of what to expect.
Le Méridien Maldives is built on top of a beautiful exotic island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The island is surrounded by a house reef about 100m or 110 yards away from the resort’s white sandy beaches. Except for the seaplane station, you can enter the water anywhere around the island.
The water is mostly shallow and doesn’t reach the waste of most adults until you are pretty far from the island’s beach. The shallow water surrounding the island makes the ocean ideal for most swimmers. Inexperienced swimmers can pick up a free life vest from the water sports station.
The water itself is comfortably warm. There isn’t a noticeable current inside the lagoon, but you are in the open sea as soon as you pass the house reef. You can see some ocean life within the lagoon, such as seagrass, corals, and an occasional large fish. More about this is below in the section about sea life. Life vests are recommended for those swimming or snorkeling further away from shore, and guests are urged not to go out alone.
Le Meridien Resort & Spa has two pools. One pool, located at the Velaa Bar + Grill restaurant, is the resort’s main pool. It is a medium-sized pool that all resort guests can access. Unlike the other pool, it is also accessible for kids. From the pool, you have a nice view of the ocean and all the action at the water sports center. There is also a small shallow pool for younger children. We haven’t seen whether an active lifeguard is present.
Next to the pool, you can find a beach volleyball court. Every few days, the staff hosts a game just before sunset. When we were at the resort, we joined volleyball one evening. The staff was both friendly, inclusive, and enjoyably competitive. We played both guests versus staff as well as mixed teams.
In addition to the main pool at Velaa, there is an adults-only pool at Riviera. This pool is much smaller, but you will have a beautiful view over the sunset part of the ocean. You will have bar service directly at the pool, which is nicely designed around the Riviera bar. Some days, a DJ makes the experience even better with relaxed electronic summer tunes. The pool itself is relatively shallow, and you can stand in it.
The best thing to do at Riveira is enjoying the sunset. The views are incredible.
Water activities & dive center
Situated on an island, Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa offers many water activities. Some water activities are paid for, while others need to be paid. In general, all non-motorized water sports are free, and those that require an engine to be started come at a start.
Water sports center
The water sports center is located in the island’s northern part, right next door to Velaa Bar + Grill. There is lots of brand-new equipment that you can borrow for free. You do need to sign a waiver, but except for that, the use of the equipment is unlimited.
We tried a few different non-motorized sports. The first thing we jumped on was a stand-up paddleboard. You can choose between the standard inflatable boards or unique speed boards. If you are new to Supping, we would recommend the traditional boards.
The area where you can play around with the SUP is right in front of the water sports area. You are asked not to go beyond the house reef. Going over it is also not recommended as it can be very shallow, and you could hurt yourself if you happen to fall. While supping your biggest challenge will be the wind, you could be lucky and spot some fish while standing over the water.
We also tried the canoes. You can pick one or two-person canoes, and we tried the second. Being completely inexperienced canoers, it was as fun as challenging. We did enjoy it a lot but didn’t stay out of the water too long.
You are asked to stay away from the overwater villas during all water activities. This is to prevent guests of the villas from being disturbed while enjoying their privacy.
Next to the non-motorized water sports, there is a full menu of motorized water sports to choose from. For example, you can hop on a water ski, try jet skiing or hop on an inflatable banana tied behind a water sports powerboat. All activities can be booked at the water sports center.
The dive center is the island’s heart for all those interested in exploring what is underneath the Maldives’ blue waters. At the dive center, you can book evening trips, day trips, a few hours of snorkeling, and complete PADI diving courses.
We believe the activities at the dive center can be divided into three buckets: snorkeling, diving, and other activities.
First and foremost, you don’t need to necessarily pay anything at the dive center to be able to snorkel at Le Méridien. The house reef is accessible from the beach for experienced swimmers (life jackets recommended!), and you can pick up free snorkel gear at the dive center. However, the wind and current can be strong, requiring some effort to get back. Going snorkeling through the dive center is the safer choice.
However, we recommend going on an organized snorkel trip from the dive center. There are multiple excursions possible, and we did two. We joined the marine biologist at the house reef and saw endless species of fish and coral. The highlight of that snorkel trip was when two beautiful Manta Rays gracefully glided through the water near us. We found this excursion typically good because a boat brought us to the starting point and picked us back up. We were guided throughout the snorkel excursion, and there was an inflatable bow available in case you got tired.
Next to the house reef excursions, you can also join a snorkel excursion to a nearby reef. You will join a group of fellow tourists staying at the resort for this excursion. The boat trip takes about 15 minutes, and the reef is entirely different. Here we saw even more fish, turtles, and even a (harmless) blacktip reef shark. Also, here, we felt safe as we could get back on the boat at any time.
There is also a snorkeling excursion for beginners. The basics of staying afloat and breathing through the snorkel are explained here. As we are OK swimmers, with a tiny bit of snorkeling experience, we were recommended to skip this beginner’s course.
Before we start writing about the diving center’s diving facilities and experience, we must disclose that we never dived before going to the Maldives. It isn’t easy to compare the center to any other diving center. Nevertheless, here are our two cents as we did try a supervised introduction dive.
The diving center at Le Méridien looks very clean and well organized. The staff is amicable, and there are lots of different possibilities to take beginner and advanced courses. Other guests, who we spoke about taking the Open Water Diver course, were extremely glad for the course and staff.
My experience during one tank ‘introduction to diving’ dive in the house reef was the same. Having never spent any time underwater, I decided to try it. That is why I booked the excursion to find out what divers are enthusiastic about.
After a good and clear explanation, I joined one of the experienced divers underwater. The boat brought us to the house reef, and I experienced the underwater world. I always felt safe and saw beautiful reefs and species of fish from up close. I would recommend joining this introduction to the diving excursion to any guest of Le Méridien, except maybe for certified divers who can choose from endless more advanced experiences.
While diving and snorkeling might be the most obvious things to do at the dive center, there are even more activities to choose from. We believe the best activity, which would be foolish to skip, is the sunset dolphin cruise.
The sunset dolphin cruise is almost a guarantee to see not just one pod of dolphins but maybe even a hundred dolphins at the same time. The cruise leaves around 4 PM and sets sail to what is referred to as ‘the canal’: an opening between the outer atoll islands. In the evening, this is where the dolphins feast on food coming to the surface of the water.
We saw hundreds of dolphins during our cruise while we enjoyed complimentary drinks such as beer, sparkling wine, and soft drinks. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the beautiful sunset while you create memories that will last for a lifetime.
Socializing and other guests
The atmosphere at Le Méridien Maldives is very laid back. Everything on the island just moves a bit slower while the days are full of activities. We believe you can make the experience however you like it.
If you want to socialize or not is up to you. Unlike Club Med, mixing is not actively encouraged, and you can do whatever you prefer. If you choose to mingle with other guests, we recommend going to the Turquoise bar at sunset.
We liked Le Méridien Maldives because the guests were a nice international mix. There was not a clear majority of guests coming from a single country or region. Nevertheless, because the island is part of Marriott and currently offers attractive point deals, many (Northern) American and European guests were.
We did experience some inconveniences because of other guests’ behavior. We saw drones flying on multiple occasions, even above other guests in the water. Also, our neighbors in the overwater villa liked to play loud lounge music. Luckily, we enjoyed their taste in music, but we can imagine this can be not very enjoyable to others.
We visited the island only four months after it opened, and we were expecting some start-up issues. Although these were very limited, we did experience some problems. The biggest issue that we had was the organization was somewhat chaotic from time to time. This chaos was mainly related to the activities being organized. Not all program items were happening, or it wasn’t clear what the exact times were. Some even contradicted each other. The best place to keep up-to-date about what is going on is the activities program on your villa TV.
Although we didn’t experience this ourselves, we did hear a negative story about the cocktail course. The course was below expectations for our fellow guests. While they were expecting to be taught how to make delicious tropical cocktails, it turned out to be nothing like that. Without too much explanation, they were simply served a few cocktails.
While we visited the Méridien Maldives resort, we didn’t experience it as busy. Although the occupancy was explained as high and not all staff had arrived yet, we found it relatively quiet. The only problem was the restaurants where you must make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
I am a bit worried about the future crowdedness at the resort. While we were there (December 2021), an entire wing of overwater villas wasn’t operational yet. When this opens, many extra tourists will come to the island, making the restaurant problem worse and potentially leading to some overcrowding.
We often believe that the difference between an outstanding hotel or a bad and a horrible hotel is shown in the way issues are resolved. Earlier this year, we wrote about a bad experience deteriorating due to hotel staff completely mishandling a problem we had with Avila Beach in Curaçao.
Issues cannot always be avoided, but how the staff deals with such situations can make guests with a sub-par experience into loyal customers for life. We experienced a severe problem during our stay, but it was handled professionally and in a friendly manner.
The first few nights of our stay, we stayed in a beach villa. We noticed that the electricity wasn’t normally working during the third day. Some lights didn’t work, and an emergency light had come on. We immediately called reception, who sent maintenance. After dinner, we were informed the issue had been resolved, and we decided to go to bed early.
At 11 PM, we were rudely woken up by the bright emergency lights, right on top of the bed, coming on again and all other electricity failing again. We called reception once again, and a mechanic immediately fixed the problem. We went to sleep once again.
Unfortunately, at 3 AM, the issue came back. The emergency lights came on again, reception sent a mechanic, and seemingly resolved the problem. At 7 AM, the entire cycle repeated, and this time the mechanic decided to cut all power to the villa completely.
The following day, without too much sleep, I went to reception to make sure we would change to a properly functioning villa and get reimbursed for the night. Although the staff member at reception needed to consult his superiors, a good solution was immediately offered. We would get an upgrade to the overwater villas and a full refund for the lost night. Later that day, we fell asleep in our beautiful overwater villa and were only woken up by sunlight coming through the windows.
Receiving Marriott Bonvoy points
Marriott Bonvoy caused a second issue points not correctly sent to my account after my stay. It first took longer than expected, and second, the wrong number of points were added to my account.
At first, I received 0 points, and I feared that the hotel would claim that taking the all-inclusive package would lead to getting 0 points for food and beverage. This was a fear I had after reading the Marriott Bonvoy T&Cs. Food and beverage costs at all-inclusive resorts are not eligible for points. Luckily this is only the case for entirely all-inclusive resorts, which Le Meridien isn’t.
After sending an e-mail to Le Méridien, I received a friendly e-mail to investigate the issue. After a few days, points were added to my account, but only about 1/10 of what I expected. I sent yet another e-mail, and after all that follow-up, I received the number of points I was expecting.
While the issue was ultimately resolved, it did leave me with a not-so-great impression. It took two rounds of following up. What would have happened if I hadn’t followed up? What happens to the points of guests who aren’t tracking their points? It all felt a bit strange.
Marriott Bonvoy Elite Benefits
As a Platinum Elite member of Marriott Bonvoy, you never know what to expect upon check-in. Sometimes you receive an upgrade, and occasionally there is a complimentary drinks evening. Sometimes the welcome gift is excellent, often it is entirely forgotten by staff, and sometimes hotels are very reluctant to give you any benefits. There are lots of Marriott Bonvoy members at the Meridien Maldives due to the favorable points rate. This means lots of guests will be demanding lots of upgrades.
Most Marriott Bonvoy Elite Members should see their room upgraded based on availability. Full of hope did, we step out of the airplane and entered the hotel lobby, the Hub, and were very eager to find out if we would get upgraded from our standard beach villa.
Upon check-in, we didn’t receive an upgrade; no explanation was offered about why an upgrade wasn’t provided. However, upon asking whether an upgrade was possible, staff started investigating it. They wondered if it would be OK for us to move villas halfway through our stay. That way we could get lucky for the last days of our visit. Staff would contact us shortly if such an opportunity existed.
After not hearing back for over a day, I regularly checked in on the upgrade. After a few friendly check-ins, the reception staff informed me that we would be able to receive an upgrade for the last three nights of our seven nights stay. We moved from our beach villa to an overwater villa. Grateful for this beautiful upgrade, we happily accepted.
The upgrade process did leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths. While we were happy and thankful for the upgrade, we wondered if we would have received it without pushing for it.
The welcome gift is a traditional but affordable sari, and the complimentary breakfast is only a good alternative if you don’t take one of the meal plans. For most Marriott Bonvoy Elite Members, the 1,000 points would be the best choice for a welcome gift as long as they also take a meal plan. Otherwise, breakfast is the recommended choice.
While we indicated we wanted the sari as the welcome gift, we didn’t receive it. Like the upgrade, I had to remind staff on multiple occasions that while we chose the amenity, we hadn’t received it. Only after another reminder at check-out did we finally receive the sari.
If you are wondering whether the Meridien Maldives has a lounge, it doesn’t. Like most resorts, no lounge is offered, and no lounge access is provided to Marriott Bonvoy Elite members.
During our stay in December 2021, no other Marriott Bonvoy perks were offered. Later, we learned that new perks have started up like other Marriott properties in Asia. These improved perks include Marriott Bonvoy Elite Members drinks organized at the resort’s Marine Center.
Maintenance & Cleanliness
Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa opened its doors in September 2021. During our visit, in December of that same year, the resort was still brand new. All facilities, rooms, furniture, and other things you could see or touch just came out of its packaging or were newly installed.
While you might expect many teething issues for something so new, this isn’t the case. Most critical parts of the resorts are operational without any problems. All the resort’s facilities are working and clean. What is, however, good to know is that one pier full of overwater villas hasn’t yet opened.
While there are no significant issues, there are some things the resort still must fix. The electricity in our villa wasn’t working correctly on some days, and the sewage system in our bathroom wasn’t properly functioning due to it being filled with sand.
Overall, the beaches and the island’s inland are exceptionally well maintained. The beaches, paths, and common areas are continuously raked to keep them clean. You can always see staff keeping the island clean and preventing any kind of trash from making it into the sea or plants.
You can find occasional plastic in the water and on the beach, mostly around rock formations or under some of the piers. Some of that trash has been there longer than a few days and hasn’t been cleaned.
I think that most of this pollution isn’t coming from the island itself. Staff and guests can quickly help the environment a bit by cleaning. We, for example, fished out a kitchen sponge while canoeing.
Are you wondering whether there are mosquitoes in the Maldives? The answer is yes. Despite the lack of still standing sweet water, the bugs still survive. We have been bitten on multiple occasions while staying at the Meridien Maldives.
While mosquitoes are present, we believe the situation is much better than most other tropical tourist destinations. Using mosquito repellent in the evenings was enough for us to go through the night without red mosquito bites.
The resort also said that they are using large-scale mosquito repellent. We have seen this in other resorts outside the Maldives. This is best described as using smoke and chemicals to kill mosquitos. We haven’t seen that in action.
Service Charge and Tax at Le Meridien Maldives
At Le Meridien Maldives, a service charge of 10% is added to most bills, including food and beverage charges and other services such as spa treatments and water sports activities. This charge is typically used to cover the cost of staff wages, benefits, and training.
In addition to the service charge, there is also a tax called the Tourism Goods and Services Tax (TGST) of 16%, which is applied to most purchases made at the resort. This tax is used to fund the development and promotion of the tourism industry in the Maldives.
If you have purchased an all-inclusive package at Le Meridien Maldives, the service charge and TGST will be included in the upfront cost of the package. You won’t have to worry about paying these charges during your stay. However, if you are paying for meals, drinks, and other amenities on an à la carte basis, you will be responsible for paying the service charge and TGST on top of the listed prices.
It’s worth noting that the service charge and TGST are standard practices in the Maldivian tourism industry and are applied at most hotels and resorts in the country. By understanding these charges and how they are applied, you can make a better budget for your vacation expenses at Le Meridien Maldives.
The weather in the Maldives is perfect. You can expect sun on every single day. However, you should also expect occasional overcast and occasional rain. There are two distinct rainy seasons in the Maldives. The Northeast Monsoon season primarily affects the northern atoll where the Meridien is located. The Northern Monsoon occurs between November and March. The second rain season usually takes place in July and August but mainly affects the southern part of the Maldives (away from Le Méridien).
What to do when it rains in the Maldives
If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives, you may be wondering what the weather will be like. While the Maldives generally experiences warm and sunny weather year-round, it is worth noting that the north of Male, the capital city, can experience more rain during certain times of the year. The rainy season in the Maldives typically runs from May to November, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in June and July. However, it’s important to note that rain in the Maldives tends to be highly unpredictable and can happen at any time. While it’s not uncommon to see some rain during a trip to the Maldives, it’s usually not enough to ruin your vacation. If it does rain, there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy, such as visiting one of the resort’s restaurants or relaxing in the spa. Just be sure to check the weather forecast and be prepared for a bit of rain just in case.
The Maldives has two monsoon seasons each year. The north-east monsoon season, also known as the dry season, is from December to April. The south-west monsoon season, also known as the wet season, is from May to November. During the wet season, the Maldives experiences more rainfall and cloudy skies.
What is #destinationunlocked all about?
Around the island, you will find signs saying #destinationunlocked, for example, on the picture-perfect swings located on several islands’ viewpoints. Like us, you might be wondering what that hashtag is all about.
So, what is #destinationunlocked all about? The hashtag refers to the old days of Le Méridien. In the 19th century, tourism hardly existed. To help the national airline of France, Air France, expand, more tourist facilities needed to be created to make sure destinations could deal with the increased number of tourists. That is how Le Méridien hotel chain was founded back in 1972.
When a Le Meridien hotel or resort was opened, the destination would be open (or unlocked) to tourists. Opening new hotels and resorts were crucial for Air France’s expansion strategy in the 1970s. Now, over 50 years later, Le Méridien uses that rich history to give a unique dynamic to its new hotel openings. Although destinations aren’t ‘unlocked’ necessarily, it does provide an excellent historical background to new hotel openings.
Sealife at Le Méridien Maldives
Next to the sandy white beaches, most tourists in the Maldives will also want to spot some of the beautiful sea life and birds on and around the island. These are some of the fish we spotted in and around the house reef.
Endless sorts of small and medium fish
New resorts usually see most sea life moving away from the island due to the sounds and vibrations of the construction work. Most fish will only return when things have calmed down. At Le Méridien Maldives, being a new resort, you can expect more and more sea life as time progresses. Nevertheless, the Méridien Maldives Maldives is already home to many different kinds of mesmerizing sea life!
Within the lagoon, you can find more minor kinds of fish. These smaller fish can be found in the seagrass, on and around the overwater villas, or at some of the scattered coral in the lagoon. You can expect needlefish, Picasso triggerfish, as well as tens of other species. At the house reef can, you can find even more!
The most beautiful fish can be found at the house reef. The island lagoon ends, and the deep(er) sea starts. Here you can find endless amounts of smaller and medium fish. You can expect the funny and colorful parrotfish, lots of Moorish Idol, some trumpet fish, and endless amounts of blue surgeonfish. During a dive trip at the house reef, I spotted a very chilled and safe lionfish.
Some of the bigger fish that we spotted in or around the house reef include two manta rays a curious (but harmless) blacktip reef shark. Different species of rays include beautiful eagle rays and stingrays. During a snorkel excursion just outside our resort, we also spotted sea turtles. If you are interested in everything underwater around the resort, we recommend looking at the Dive Center’s Instagram account: @subocean.lemeridien.
On the island, you can also expect to see tropical animals. There are lots of small and medium-sized crabs on the beach that will hurry to safety as you approach them. In the air and the trees, you can expect giant fruit bats to come out as the sun sets, while some birds will hunt for food on the beaches.
The least favorite thing to talk about at Le Méridien Maldives is your departure. But like any vacation, the end of your time in paradise is unavoidable. Although the departure process is very straightforward, it isn’t very well communicated. This is partially due to the resort heavily relying on its seaplane partner TMA announcing schedules just the evening before you leave the island. This is what we experienced and believe to be the standard experience.
We hadn’t heard anything about our departure or what we were supposed to do halfway through our last day. Our flight would depart from Male at 10:25, and around 3 PM, I went to the front desk in the Hub to ask what was going on.
At the Hub, I found out that the hotel will not get flight itineraries from TMA until at least 18:00. That would mean we wouldn’t know what time we would fly away from the island until in the evening. However, we were informed that it was likely to be very early, at around 7 AM. You should expect to board the seaplane about 3,5 hours before your flight in Male.
Although the departure process wasn’t very clearly communicated, it was seamless. We were picked up from the villa about an hour before departure and brought to The Hub. Here we got a small breakfast and drinks while we checked out. The invoice was sent to our e-mail the night before, and the only thing to still do was settle the account.
The available snacks were a limited choice of small breakfast bites. If you leave later in the morning or early afternoon, you will enjoy your regular breakfast at Turquoise, which would be much better than the small bites.
The bags are entirely taken care of by hotel staff. Your bags will be picked up at your villa, tagged, and carried into the airplane.
Sunstainability at Le Meridien Maldives
Sustainability is a critical issue in the Maldives, as the country is composed of 26 coral atolls, each made up of small islands. These atolls are low-lying, and any impact on the environment can have significant consequences. The Maldivian government has implemented several measures to protect the environment and reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
Le Méridien Maldives is doing its part to support sustainability in the Maldives. We were given a tour of the resort’s sustainability efforts and were impressed by what we saw. The resort has implemented several initiatives to reduce its environmental impact, including limiting plastic usage, using solar power, providing refillable glass water bottles, making its own fresh water through reverse osmosis, collecting rainwater, and having its own greenhouse that produces more than enough food for the resort.
The resort is also committed to recycling, including glass and food waste, which is used as fertilizer. Additionally, the resort uses sustainable materials and has a policy of not removing seagrass, which is essential to the health of the lagoon. The resort also tracks marine life and has implemented measures to conserve energy, such as turning off air conditioning when doors in the villas are open.
While we were impressed by the resort’s sustainability efforts, we did notice that the private island could be cleaned up more regularly. We saw washed-up waste, including plastic, on the beach that had come from outside the resort. It is essential to keep the island clean to preserve the natural beauty of the Maldives.
Overall, Le Méridien Maldives is doing a good job of implementing sustainability measures. We were pleased to see the resort’s commitment to protecting the environment and preserving the natural beauty of the Maldives.
Full Island Tour video
Just before sunset, I decided to walk around the island with my GoPro camera. Below is the result of that walk. You view the full island tour on YouTube.
Le Meridien Maldives has a new General Manager
Regular guests of Le Meridien Maldives will need to adjust to a new face as Nilesh Singh steps down as General Manager, making way for Thomas Schult to take the reins. Schult brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles, including his notable tenure at Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa and Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua Resort. In response to a recent interview with HotelInsidermv.com, Schult expressed his excitement about his new position and the opportunity to showcase the resort’s unique offerings. Guests can look forward to fresh perspectives and a renewed commitment to delivering exceptional experiences under Schult’s leadership.