Resort review: Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives
Go Coconuts at Chi Spa
You’ve heard about the many health benefits of coconut oil? Now put them to the test with a traditional Kandu Boli ritual, which features a full-body massage that include face and hair, every inch of which will be treated with pure coconut oil.
INFO: $180 for 90 mins
Have Many a Happy Hour on the Beach
Pull up a bean-bag by the beach at M lounge and enjoy spectacular sunset views and a live DJ. Happy hours offering two-for-one drinks deals run from 5pm to 6pm and from 9pm to 10pm every day, and shisha is also served starting from $40.
Sample Maldivian Cuisine
Javvu restaurant serves up local cuisine laced with fresh coconut and straight-from-the-sea tuna. Taste the wide variety of traditional curries with grilled fish. INFO: Set menu costs $110 per person
Dine by Design
Experience the resort’s secret dining locations. From adventurous torch-lit dinners under banyan trees in the jungle to a relaxing dinners after hours in the spa’s meditation pavilion overlooking the ocean, the team at this resort have plenty of locations to surprise you with.
INFO: Private dining costs $165-$220
Eat Exotic Pan Asian at Dr Ali’s
Flavours of Asia and Arabia mix at this amazing restaurant. Take your taste buds on a tour of India, China, Arabia and Vietnam.
INFO: Dinner costs from $180 for two
See the Coral Reef
With the world’s corals rapidly depleting this is one place where you can still see them with a respectful excursion that will leave the coral intact and you spellbound by the colourful marine life.
INFO: $50 per person for a Turtle Quest Snorkeling Tour or a two-hour Guided Snorkeling Tour
The first and only one of its kind in the Maldives, Villingili is home to a nine-hole golf course that includes par three and par four holes, averaging 112m in length. It’s a recreational course designed to entertain both experienced golfers and beginners. Spectacular challenges and vistas await at each of the nine holes with coconut palms, white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons and pounding Indian Ocean swells along the fairways. There’s a clubhouse and a golf supplies too.
INFO: $65 for a Golf Introduction course
Kayaking is complimentary every day from early morning till sunset.
Bring the Kids!
Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa is one of the most child-friendly resorts in the Maldives. Here’s how your offspring can get their holiday vibe on…
There are several guided kids’ activities from the Nature, Art and Craft class to Jungle Discovery and a dedicated kids’ play area, plus the resort also provides private baby-sitting.
Ice Cream Making Classes
The kids can meet the resort’s Pastry Chef and make ice cream Hagen Daaz would be proud of. Parents will love this too – we made the panaba sorbet with passion fruit and fresh addu bananas. Delish!
INFO: $25 per person
Coconut-Tree Climbers Showcase
Responsible for the maintenance and health of the 17,000 coconut trees on the island, coconut-tree climbers showcase the art of climbing and cutting down coconuts for guests to enjoy while you drink the fresh coconut water.
Sail the beautiful ocean to spot dolphins with a gorgeous sunset cruise from 4pm to 6pm daily.
INFO: $55 per person
Glass Boat Experience
See the exotic marine life from the comfort of a glass-bottomed boat that can accommodate up to 10 people. INFO: $55 per person
Let an expert guide the little ones via buggy or foot around the entire island, discovering the myriad flora and fauna. Chef’s Garden is a must-see with its homegrown fruits and veg.
INFO: Free, check resort timetable for scheduled tours
Flights: Dubai to Male return flights cost from approximately Dhs2,250 with FlyDubai and Dhs3,500 with Emirates. From Male to Gan Island costs $475 return.
Currency: On the resort everything is charged in US dollars. $1 = Dhs3.67
Accomodation: Tree Houses cost from $900 during low season and $1,800 during peak season, one-bedroom beach villas cost $1,050-$2,500, water villas cost $745-$1,735, the Presidential Laalu Villa costs $6,000-$9,000
NB: All prices listed in this article exclude taxes.