Royal Island Resort & Spa – Hotel Review

We decided to break from our usual spontaneous travel style and visit Royal Island Resort, a five-star resort island located in the Baa Atoll biosphere reserve. It was a new experience for us, as we typically plan our trips independently. In advance, we were not sure if we would actually like it. 

Table of Contents

Warm Welcome at Royal Island

We met Olaf, the guest manager of the Villa Resorts at Male airport. Olaf provided a friendly greeting and introduction, sharing insightful information about Villa Resorts and recounting his personal experiences during his 8-year tenure in the Maldives.

The journey to the resort was easy going. After a picturesque flight from Male to Dharavandu, a speedboat ride followed, leading to Royal Island. The island’s prime location inside the Baa Atoll, surrounded by vibrant turquoise water, was breathtaking.

The warm welcome extended further with Aaron, the Front Office Manager. We felt like coming home right away, because of Aarons warm hearted, friendly nature and his professional and attentive way of classy high-class service. Aaron provided anextensive tour of the resort as well, detailing the available amenities, ensuring we felt beyond comfortable and well-informed throughout our stay. We were so happy to have him as our go-to person for anyting we needed, as he would do everything to make it possible.

One of the highlights was the island’s house reef, a prime snorkeling spot that offered us the opportunity to explore underwater wonders right from our doorstep. 

The Beach Villa

Entering our Beach Villa, we were immediately struck by its charm. The villa seamlessly blended traditional Maldivian architecture with modern comforts, providing an ideal setting to unwind.

Every detail, from the plush bedding to the intricate woodwork, was thoughtfully chosen, reflecting a perfect balance of luxury and local culture. The villa’s location ensured that the beach was just steps away, inviting us for morning dips and sunset walks. 

The sound of the waves, coupled with the serenity of the surroundings, created an ambiance of absolute tranquility.

The Main Restaurant (Maakana)

Arriving at the Royal Island at early afternoon, our immediate attention was drawn to the buffet restaurant. It serves as the main dining area for all guests, whether they have opted for all-inclusive or full-board packages. 


Arriving at the Royal Island at early afternoon, our immediate attention was drawn to the buffet restaurant. It serves as the main dining area for all guests, whether they have opted for all-inclusive or full-board packages. 

The culinary spread was truly remarkable. With a wide range of options ranging from a variety of seafood dishes, meats, and poultry, to vegetarian and vegan alternatives, there was something for everyone. 

The buffet showcased a myriad of cuisines, from European, Indian and Chinese to local Maldivian specialties. The buffet included a lush salad buffet at all meals as well as chutneys and pickles, some infused with rich Indian spices and others with tangy vinegar bases. 

For those with a penchant for heat, freshly made chili pastes and a selection of fresh chilis were on offer, some home grown on the former football ground. Freshly baked bread and rolls, served with butter, rotating chutneys, and pestos, added a rustic touch to the meals. And of course, there was a wide variety of deserts as well to round off our meals.

One commendable aspect of the buffet was the perfect seasoning of every dish. This, combined with the live cooking station that featured at least two different dishes every evening, elevated our dining.

The ambiance, set against the backdrop of the beach, further enhanced the culinary journey. The buffet restaurant truly took the culinary aspect of our stay to the next level, making each meal a delightful experience.

The ambiance, set against the backdrop of the beach, further enhanced the culinary journey. The buffet restaurant truly took the culinary aspect of our stay to the next level, making each meal a delightful experience.

The á la Carte Restaurant (Raabondhi)

The à la carte dining experience at Royal Island was distinctively more refined compared to the buffet restaurant. The location at the beach was even more cozy and beautiful than the main restaurant.

The menu was curated with precision presenting a decent but not too vast amount of dishes blending traditional flavors with contemporary techniques. The restaurant was originally presented as a seafood restaurant, which is basically true, but they have some options for non-seafood eaters as well.

The restaurant exuded elegance, starting from the welcome, its sophisticated setting to the pretty presentation of each dish. Every course was a proof of the skills and expertise of Chef Kamar and his team, showcasing culinary artistry on every plate. 

The service was splendid throughout, reflecting a perfect blend of warmth and professionalism. Personalized recommendations, detailed explanations of dishes, and the beverages complimenting the menu made the dining experience truly memorable. 

The à la carte restaurant was more than just a meal. It was a culinary journey that tantalized the senses. Special thanks to Mityla and Tulasa (we hope the names are spelled correctly) for making our dining really special. We felt like dining at a michelin-starred restaurant.

Relaxing at the Spa

As soon as we entered the spa, a sense of calm greeted us. One highlight was their Jetlag Treatment — a one-hour full-body massage, not just to shake off travel tiredness but for a complete relaxation.

We started with a cold ginger tea, setting the mood for the session ahead. Our therapist was welcoming and made sure to understand our needs to tailor the massage just right.

The spa’s setting was peaceful, surrounded by a lovely garden with quiet ponds and birds. We weren’t in a typical room but an open space with two massage beds. Before the massage, we had a foot bath with a salt scrub, which felt great.

The massage itself was top-notch. The soothing oils, soft background music, and the skill of our therapist made it a relaxing experience. It was more than just a massage; it was a chance to unwind and feel refreshed.

Sports Facilities

At Royal Island Resort, there wasn’t just relaxation on offer but also plenty of opportunities to stay active and get moving. Given the tropical heat and humidity during our visit, indoor activities were a welcome escape. 

There was  a well-equipped gym with modern, clean equipment and a yoga space, both air-conditioned. Other indoor facilities included a squash court and a badminton court with professional-looking wooden flooring. The resort also offered outdoor sports facilities like tennis courts, a beach volleyball court (though the sand was a bit hard), a table tennis hall with two tables and a futsal pitch. 

The chance to play volleyball or futsal with the hotel staff in the afternoon at around 4 pm was a fun way to mix and socialize.

Diving and Watersports

At Royal Island’s dive center, we got a glimpse into the Maldives’ underwater world. Although we couldn’t dive this time, our experience with the center was top-notch.

Mifrah, our dive guide, was cool and knowledgeable. He took care of every detail, ensuring that our manta snorkeling trip was safe and enjoyable. He also shared tips about respecting the marine environment, which was much appreciated.

For those who prefer staying above water, the resort’s water sports center was the place to be. Activities like jet skiing, sailing, and wakeboarding kept the adrenaline pumping. There were even unique options like the flying board for those wanting something different. And for those wanting a change of scenery, the center also arranged trips to nearby islands or sand banks.

Our Overall Experience

Set amidst the beautiful Maldivian seascape, Royal Island Resort & Spa offers a unique mix of nature and luxury. The island is surrounded by a beautiful coral reef and has a thick forest at its core, creating a tranquil escape for visitors. 

Sustainability is a clear priority here. They’ve transformed spaces to make the most of what they have, like turning a football field into a little garden growing eggplants and chilies. Furthermore, the Villa Resorts are not only a hotel group, but they also operate their own airline, boasting their own supply chain and private brands, setting them apart from other resort chains.

Wildlife is a treat, with curious fruit bats in the trees and playful birds along the paths. And if you dive into the waters, you might just find yourself snorkeling alongside graceful turtles dolphins if you are really lucky.

What stood out during our stay was the impeccable service. The staff, especially Aaron, went above and beyond to ensure our stay was perfect. With its mix of nature, luxury, and warm hospitality, our time at the resort was a memoralble experience.

Thanks a lot and see you soon!

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