Overwater Bungalow at Le Meridien Maldives

Photos by Ready Set Jet Set

Hello from the Maldives – this was my first time to the Maldives and I can’t believe I got to visit this destination on my bucket list! This is a 27 hour trip from Austin to the Maldives, so we wanted to extend our stay to 2 weeks and stay 10 days at the new hotel. Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa. Le Méridien Maldives just opened in September 2021 and Ready Set Jet Set spotted five-night reward stays starting at 120,000 points (24,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, worth $192, according to the TPG review) on The Points Guy, so we chose this tropical getaway for the Thanksgiving holiday!

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The Maldives are a chain of 1192 islands located southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. Some of the islands are so small that many world maps do not show the Maldives. Fun fact: the largest land animal in the Maldives is a goat.


FAQs

What is the state travel process in the Maldives?

We traveled Nov 17-Dec 1, 2021 before the Omicron variant was announced, so not sure if the travel process has changed. A PCR report was required 48 hours in advance and a Maldives Travel Health Declaration (screenshot of this QR code on your phone). We are vaccinated so quarantine was not necessary.

At each gate stop at airports, we had to show:

  • Vaccination record
  • Boarding passes
  • Passport
  • PCR test – printed
  • Maldives Travel Health Statement

How to get from Male International Airport to Meridian Maldives?

You have to fly by Trans Maldivian Airways and it’s a 35 minute seaplane transfer. Le Meridien charges USD 420 (USD 426 after tax) per person for return transfers from Male Airport (MLE). These charges are billed directly to your room.

How was the registration process?

The staff met us at the dock and helped carry our luggage from the seaplane to the front desk concierge. Upon arrival, they gave us an overview of our stay, food options, activities, and a buggy tour around the property.

Are there meal plans?

Yes! Meal plans are optional, but I didn’t want to have to think about the price of this vacation. You can choose between half board (~$100/day) and full board (~$150/day with alcohol). We chose half board which included buffet breakfast ($30) and 3 course dinner (see prices below). Both plans require a 4-day minimum and additional meals/drinks are available at an additional cost.

As an indication, à la carte dinner items:

  • Shrimp Caesar Salad – $40
  • Lobster Bisque – $25
  • Australian 120 Day Beef – $80
  • Rack of lamb – $70
  • Catch of the day – $55
  • Lava Cake – $20

So you can see it adds up easily so we opted for the half board option.

Is wifi free?

Yes – the wifi is free and surprisingly fast and consistent considering you’re in the middle of the ocean.

What is the Marriott offer?

Stay 5, Pay 4: Receive a free night when you redeem for five consecutive nights.


Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa

Le Meridien Maldives

Le Méridien Maldives lobby

Le Meridien Maldives

What makes Le Méridien Maldives special and any other resort in the Maldives is that each resort is on its own private island and beach – this means no one can come onto the beach or the island. Le Méridien Maldives is nestled north of the Lamdives, on the island of Thilamaafushi, in the Lhaviyani atoll.

Le Meridien Maldives

Overwater bungalow balcony

Guest room

There are 154 rooms on the property, and you can choose from two different room types: beach or overwater villas. All rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, minibar, air conditioning, hairdryer, eco-friendly toiletries and flat-screen TV. Check the website for the room rate as it changes with the seasons.

On the beach:

  • Beach Bungalow – 1 Bedroom Villa, 1 King Bed, Lagoon Access
  • Beach Villa – 1 Bedroom Villa, 1 King Bed, Beach Access
  • Beachfront Pool & Garden Villa – 1 Bedroom Villa, 1 King, Beachfront Access, Private Pool
  • Beach Pool Villa – 1 Bedroom Villa, 1 King, Beach Front Access, Private Pool
  • Lagoon Villa – 1 Bedroom Villa, 1 King, Sunrise View, Lagoon View, Lagoon Access
  • 2 Bedroom Beach Pool Villa – 2 Bedroom Villa, Bedroom 1: 1 King Bed, Bedroom 2: 1 King Bed, Beachfront Access

Over water:

  • Sunrise Overwater Villa – 1 Bedroom Villa, 1 King, Sunrise View, Ocean View
  • Sunset Overwater Villa – 1 Bedroom Villa, 1 King, Sunset View, Ocean View
  • Sunset Overwater Pool – 1 Bedroom Villa, 1 King, Sunset View, Ocean View, Private Pool
  • 2 Bedroom Overwater Pool – 2 Bedroom Villa, Bedroom 1: 1 King Bed, Bedroom 2: 1 King Bed, Ocean View
  • Villa Thilamaafushi – 3 bedroom villa, Bedroom 1: 1 King bed, Bedroom 2: 1 King bed, Bedroom 3: 1 King bed

We stayed in the Sunset Overwater pool – it’s on the west side of the resort so we enjoyed the sunset every night. Loved having our own private pool too! Room service comes daily to change towels, bedding and more.

Le Meridien Maldives

Restaurants

There are three on-site restaurants with drinks and snacks available at the Waves Cafe, Latitude Cafe, and adults-only pools.

Turquoise

Turquoise is the main restaurant where you can order breakfast and dinner. We had the buffet breakfast every morning here and enjoyed trying each of the different food stalls – American, Omelet Station, Pancake/Waffle Station, Indian Station and Noodle Station. We also had some of our 3 course dinners here and at Velaa.

Velaa Bar + Grill

Open for lunch and dinner, we had lunch at Velaa several times. Reservations are required for dinner but we were able to do walk-ins. I enjoyed the menu at Velaa over Turquoise because of the local catch of the day and the steak.

Tabemasu Japanese Restaurant

Tabemasu is the upscale Japanese/French dining option here at Le Meridien which sits on the ocean. We had the 7 course teppanyaki omakase menu and it was delicious!

Le Meridien Maldives swimming pool

Drone shooting by Ready Set Jet Set

Pool

There are two outdoor pools — Velaa, the main pool, and Riviera, the adult-only pool, both with poolside bars. The swimming pools are not heated.

Le Meridien Maldives Spa

Spa

I had one of the best spa treatments here, the Chakra art experience. The treatment rooms have doors that open so you can see the ocean and there is a window in the floor so you can see the fish swimming when you look down!

Chakra art comes to life starting with an energetic balancing herbal tea and welcome foot massage. After a gentle exfoliation, a rhythmic, deeply relaxing hot oil massage helps to clear stagnant energy and activate ‘Prana’, or life force, which stimulates your body’s Chakras and life energy. You are then wrapped in warm sheets and your mind is lifted by a soothing head and neck massage. You’ll be refreshed with cool towels and the trip will end with a full body hydrating massage to ensure you leave the spa fully replenished, inspired and energized.

Other spa treatments include body scrubs and wraps, couples massages, facials, hair, and scalp treatments.


Activities

Snorkeling in the Maldives

Snorkeling

You can borrow snorkel gear and rent various water sports equipment at the water sports center near the main pool from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. We went snorkeling around the spa center and found that there are quite a few corals under the building so you can see many species of fish. We also swam from our bungalow to the house reef and snorkeled around the coral – the reef was beautiful with so many fish!

Glass bottom canoe / stand up paddle / kayak

The glass bottom canoe and stand-up paddle board (SUP) are free!

Sunset Dolphin Cruise – $80

It was a 120 minute cruise, they took us on a boat in the middle of the ocean where we say pods of dolphins swimming and jumping in the water. Free soft drinks, champagne and beer!

Other outings:

  • Jet ski (60 minutes for $250 and 90 minutes for $350)
  • Speedboat tour (60 minutes for $300 and 90 minutes for $450)
  • Angling at sunset (90 to 120 minutes for $80)
  • Snorkeling tour (90-120 minutes for $70)
  • Windsurf rental (60 minutes for $45)
  • Short catamaran course (180 minutes for $235)

Outdoor movie night

Outdoor movie night is currently every Thursday at 7 p.m. near the hub.

Yoga at sunrise/sunset

Free sunrise and sunset yoga throughout the week – I enjoyed the sunset yoga on the beach!

Marine Hub

There is a marine center on the property where you will learn about the coral reef and marine life.

Fitness Center

The fitness center is located on the second floor of Waves and is open 24/7. Did a quick workout here and enjoyed the ocean view.

The Kids Club

Le Meridien Maldives has an on-site kids’ club with a dedicated pool and playground.


Le Meridien Maldives

Le Meridien Maldives

Maldives white sand beach

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