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The Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean, is a nation made up of around 1,200 islands. Some are so small that they are just sand and trees, but others are home to some of the planet’s most beautiful resorts. Such is the case with Vommuli Island, home to The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, and one of the many Marriott Bonvoy properties in the country.
If you want a sneak peek into what makes the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort just so grand, read on.
On a private island about 45 minutes south of Male by seaplane, the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is a dream destination. While not exactly a budget-friendly spot, it’s the type of place to save up for a bucket list trip, and Marriott Bonvoy points can certainly come in handy to redeem for a stay.
The round-trip seaplane cost is $808 per person. When departing Male's airport, Velana International Airport, guests can await the seaplane flight in a special lounge with complimentary snacks and drinks.
Once at the resort, everything is situated on the main island or the separate section of overwater villas, which is reached through a wooden boardwalk.
» Learn more: 10 stunning Maldives resorts to stay on points
The contemporary design is different from other thatch-roofed resorts in the Maldives. Here, there is a focus on eco-friendly operations while still reflecting local Maldivian culture and traditions.
The property is divided into four zones. First, there’s the beach and lagoon zones, the latter being home to the overwater villas and the former to the land-based accommodations. The jungle zone has several garden villas shrouded by trees. Finally, the coastal zone has a dozen family villas either on or over the water’s edge, which are designed to look like traditional Maldivian dhoni boats.
On arrival at the jetty, guests are welcomed by staff with fresh coconuts and are then ushered to their accommodations in golf carts. Sandy pathways connect all zones except for the lagoon zone, where a wooden boardwalk over the sea leads to the overwater villas. The facilities are spread around the island, and guests can use bikes to get around if they prefer not to call their butler for a golf cart ride.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Food and beverage
If you think you’ll go hungry staying on a private island, you’re wrong. Since travelers have no other options, the St. Regis offers a long roster of restaurants and bars to allow guests to dine in different places each day or return to some of their favorites.
Among the newest options is T-Pan, a teppanyaki venue with two tables showcasing panoramic views. Guests can enjoy the Omakase tasting menu while tasting flights of sake or other specialty liquors. The resort has the largest sake collection in the entire country and is the only resort to have its own sake sommelier.
The Whale Bar, an overwater lounge, is famous for its sundowner cocktails. The menu extends from cocktails and drinks to a Spanish-themed tapas selection of beautifully presented and impressive plates. The chef is expert at taking traditional cuisine and adding contemporary island twists to it. This is also a popular spot to sample the resort’s own version of the bloody mary, a cocktail that originated at the St. Regis in New York.
Today, each St. Regis has its own version of the popular drink, including here with “The Island Mary,” which uses kala namak salt, a regional flavor used in cuisine. This is also the spot to watch another famous St. Regis ritual: Champagne sabering at sunset.
Alba is the all-day dining venue serving buffet fare at the Champagne-fueled breakfast and à la carte meals the rest of the day. Live cooking stations, a smoothie and acai bowl station, made-to-order egg dishes and more pastries than the eye can see await each morning. Guests can dine inside or on the pool-facing terrace. Later in the day, the menu shifts to Italian and Mediterranean flavors.
Orientale is home to sushi and pan-Asian cuisine on a sea-facing terrace while Cargo concentrates on Middle Eastern flavors in a garden-enshrouded space where guests can keep their toes in the sand.
For something more casual during the day, Crust & Craft makes delectable pizzas in its wood-fired pizza oven as well as an array of salads and drinks that can be enjoyed on the beach.
Special dining options include romantic dinners on the sand, wine pairings in Decanter and even a sandbank picnic with a menu curated by the hotel’s chefs. A popular activity for guests at least once during their stay is ordering a floating breakfast delivered to their villa to enjoy in the pool.
» Learn more: Redeem your points for your dream trip — Here's how
Many people prefer the novelty of sleeping in an overwater villa, and there are plenty of them here. Each features a beautiful bedroom with plush mattresses and cozy duvets beneath ceiling fans. In-room functions, including the TV, air conditioning, lights and room service menus, are controlled by a tablet.
Beautiful terraces have plunge pools overlooking the water as well as steps that lead down into the sea for an impromptu dip. Indoor and outdoor showers in the glamorously appointed marble bathrooms add to the elegance.
Deep soaking tubs and his-and-hers closets are available; the latter has flip flops, beach bags and hats to use around the property that guests can take home with them.
Overwater villas have sofa beds, and many face the sunset. Some are suites with second bedrooms, larger living room space and more expansive patios. The most exclusive is the three-bedroom John Jacob Astor Estate — said to be one of the largest in the Indian Ocean.
Back on land, the garden and beach villas have their own plunge pools and similar interior spaces to the overwaters. The only difference is that they are a few sandy steps from the sea rather than perched directly above it. Beautiful high ceilings are a hallmark of these units, and all have drapery that opens and closes in dramatic fashion (like a theater curtain) at the touch of a button.
Butlers attend to any request, and they are available at any hour through WhatsApp or telephone. Turndown service arrives nightly to replenish glass bottles of water, toiletries and bring more towels. St. Regis is known for other butler services like unpacking or repacking luggage as well as delivering coffee or tea at any hour.
The resort, like the JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, gives guests making points redemptions an overwater villa as the standard room category. This represents major value for points since these rooms can be quite pricey. If the standard overwater villa is available, it is an option for redemption. That is not something that all Maldivian resorts offer to guests redeeming points.
Guests can also use Marriott Bonvoy points to reduce the cost of certain expenses on their bill. While this may seem like a tempting offer, it is not a great use of points, given that 250 points only shaves off $1 from the invoice.
» Learn more: The best ways to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points
For being on an island, there is so much to do to keep busy here. From the kids’ club for younger guests to the overwater Iridium Spa with private treatment villas, every age has something to keep them entertained. There’s also a fitness villa with modern workout equipment as well as scheduled classes that guests can join like traditional yoga, laughing yoga and antigravity yoga. A first in the Maldives, the resort is also home to a jumping fitness system.
The main swimming pool has an infinity edge and is surrounded by umbrella-shaded lounge chairs on the patio and along the beach. A second pool beneath the palm trees is for children. The Blue Hole Pool at the spa spills into the ocean with massaging jets and a private patio. This is available to reserve for private use.
A watersports and dive center gives guests access to all types of in-water activities, including diving, parasailing, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling and sailing. Land-based activities include tennis and table tennis plus an entertainment pavilion with a billiard table, air hockey table and video games.
How to get to the St. Regis Maldives
No U.S. airline flies to the Maldives, but you can use miles through airline partners to get there. The global airline alliances offer service to the Maldives through different carriers. These include Singapore and Turkish Airlines from Star Alliance; Air France and Saudia from SkyTeam; and Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan from Oneworld alliance.
American AAdvantage has two partners (Etihad and Qatar) with regular service to the Maldives; AAdvantage classifies the Maldives as part of the Indian Subcontinent region. Another option — if you can’t find award space directly from Male — is to take one of the many flights on Sri Lankan Airlines to Colombo. You can use points and miles to reach Colombo since it is also part of Oneworld.
Etihad Airways, as an American Airlines partner, flies to several U.S. airports like New York-JFK, Los Angeles and Chicago-O’Hare, among others, linking the Maldives through Abu Dhabi. A redemption costs 40,000 AAdvantage miles for a one-way redemption from the U.S. to Male in economy or 70,000 miles each way in business.
Another great option is Qatar Airways’ enclosed Qsuites in business class, which are available from a dozen U.S. cities for similar prices as Etihad, except transiting in Doha instead.
Redemption rates at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort vary with Marriott Bonvoy’s new dynamic pricing system. The lowest rates on the dates we checked in 2023 were 88,000 points, which if you put enough spending on Marriott co-branded credit cards, or take advantage of sign-up bonuses, could have you in paradise in no time.
(Top photo courtesy of Marriott)
How to maximize your rewards
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Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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