Hotels Trip Reports

Review: Sun Siyam Olhuveli Resort and Spa Maldives

[Click above for the video review.]

We stayed at the Sun Siyam Olhuveli for 3 nights in September 2020. We’ve visited the Maldives a few times already, but this was our first time in this resort. We were a bit worried since we were traveling in the middle of the pandemic and were unsure how safe it was in the Maldives and the resorts. It’s worth noting that all the resort staff we interacted with wore masks and kept a safe distance from us during our stay. Physical distancing was also observed in the resort restaurants, and I think it also helped that most activities in the resort are open air or outdoors. We felt comfortable and safe during our stay.

We booked an all-inclusive package, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks including a selection of alcohol beverages. A few weeks prior to our trip, we emailed the resort with our flight information and requests. They responded promptly and with instructions of the arrival and transfer procedures to and from the resort. They also notified us of the items included in our all-inclusive package.

Upon arriving in Malé airport, we found one the airport agents holding up a Sun Siyam sign at the arrivals hall. He took our names, tagged our bags, and asked us to have a seat as they were waiting for other guests arrive. We waited for about 45 minutes, and then we were called to board the speed boat that will take us to the resort. The boat crew took our bags and provided us with a hand sanitizer as we boarded.

The journey from the airport to the hotel took about 45 minutes. The speed boat was clean and well maintained. The boat crew were all wearing masks and alternating seats in the boat were marked for physical distancing. Please note that the time at the resort is one hour ahead of Malé.

When we arrived at the property, we were greeted by Maldivian drummers and the reception staff, who gave us some fresh flower leis. The front desk manager and GM introduced themselves and welcomed us. Check-in formalities were done and soon Mausoom, our check-in agent took us via buggy to our overwater villa.

We stayed in room 707 and 708 in their Grand Water Villa with Pool wing.  Mausoom walked us into our room and explained the basic features of the room, as well as the location of the restaurant, bars, and activity centers. He gave his WhatsApp contact info and asked that we message him for any questions or concerns.

The room was nicely appointed with a king size bed in the middle of the room and side tables at each end of the bed, and a bench on the foot part. There was also a lounge chair with a side table. One of the walls has a cutout that was converted into a couch and has a window. There was also a desk/vanity with a mirror, luggage stand on the opposite side of the room. The closet included plenty of hangers, bathrobes, iron, safety box, life vests, 2 pairs of flip flops, and bug spray.

There was also a coffee and tea making station, and a small fridge with a mini bar, which was included in our all-inclusive package. The mini bar was replenished daily.

My only critique with the room is that sometimes the air conditioning wasn’t enough to cool the room, especially during the day. At nighttime (when the outside temperature is cooler), it was fine.

The bathroom was bright and a good size with a free-standing bathtub, 2 sinks, a separate toilet with spray bidet (douchette), and shower. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hand soap were provided. The resort does not use single-use plastic toiletries, which is very much appreciated. There was a weird smell in the toilet on our first day, which I believe was due to the drain. We sprayed the floor with the douchette and the smell went away. The shower was also very slow to drain during our stay, which wasn’t an issue for us but could be for others.

2 sliding doors open the villa to the outside deck, which had an amazing ocean view. The patio had 2 sun beds, a couch, a pair of chairs and a small table. Of course, the icing on the cake was the plunge pool which was a good size and well maintained. There are also stairs that go down to the water, if you would like to take a dip in the ocean. Keep in mind that the water is quite deep, especially during high tide, so wear a life vest if you’re not a good swimmer. We saw a few species of fishes, sting rays, and even some small sharks (harmless) from our deck.

Olhuveli resort is a huge facility consisting of 3 islands, the main island, Dream Island, and Dream Island B.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the main island’s bars and restaurants were closed during our stay, except for the Sunrise Bar, and water sports center. We went to the Sunrise Bar a few times to take a dip in the pool and the beautiful resort lagoon. We also visited the water sports center. I’ve asked the staff and they mentioned that the main island will be fully re-opening late November 2020.

Much of the time in during our stay was spent in the Dream Island, which is where our villas were located. The island is rather “young”, so the plants and trees aren’t tall enough to give you shade when you’re walking about in the harsh Maldivian heat, so make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen. We made use of the resort’s buggy service to shuttle us from our room to the Dream Bar/Malaafaiy restaurant and back during the daytime. At night, it was a 10-minute leisurely walk from our villa to the restaurant. The Ocean Spa is also located near our villa, but we unfortunately did not get a chance to visit.

We had our meals at Malaafaiy, which is an open-air buffet restaurant. Due to the pandemic, you are seated and given a menu with the buffet selection. The server then takes your order and brings you the food, instead of getting it yourself. Our server Dilshan took good care of us and Nazim, the restaurant manager always came by to check on us during our entire stay. The food selection varied with every meal, which helped since we were going the buffet for all our meals for 3 nights. The presentation was very nice, though the quality of the meals also varied depending on the dish. Some were very good and some…not so much.

Our package also came included with an excursion, which sadly got cancelled, but Mausoom made some calls and instead offered us a jet ski package instead. Our group each had 15 minutes to go on the jet ski, which was more than enough time to experience it. It was an exhilarating experience to say the least!

On our last day, we requested a late checkout since we had an evening flight which was granted. 4 hours before our flight, we were asked to leave our luggage outside the villa for pickup. Mausoom then picked us up from our villa and were driven via buggy to the reception area. There was no bill to settle since our stay was all-inclusive and prepaid. We just relaxed until the boat arrived and it was a short 40-minute ride back to Male airport.

Overall, Sun Siyam Olhuveli offers a great value for the price, and we had an excellent stay. The airport transfer experience was easy and seamless, our villa was beautiful, and the resort was very well-maintained. If there’s one thing that stands out, I would have to say it was the service. The level of service we received from Mausoom and Dilshan was outstanding, and the rest of the staff were very warm and welcoming with a smile. Yes, there were also some minor misses, but if you can overlook those, then you’ll have an amazing time!

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