Greetings from the Maldives, where I have spent the past 5 days at the beautiful and ever-luxurious St. Regis Maldives & Vommuli!
Like many, the Maldives has been at the top of my bucket list for quite some time. I knew the stash of miles and points I have been saving would be easily poured into making every aspect of a Maldives vacation perfect. And, it truly has been points well spent.
As my trip comes to an end, I wanted to share 7 immediate thoughts for anyone who’s considering a visit to the Maldives and interested in staying at the St. Regis. From May’s swiftly changing weather to selecting the right villa type for the right price, here are some tidbits to help you ensure you’re planning process is well-informed.
1. The Weather - May is historically the start of the rainy season, which typically lasts until November. These months are considered off-peak for its unpredictable and temperamental weather. While no two days are alike, my time had its fair share of flash storms and strong winds. The trip started with plenty of tropical rain and overcast days and progressively got sunnier. I had a total of 2 bright, beautiful, and clear sunny days and 3 overcast ones, which I consider to be lucky. The overcast days was a perfect reason to stay inside and enjoy the villa.
2. The Wind - The second aspect of weather in May is the wind, which I found seldom mentioned during my research.. It’s important to mention and take note of the wind as you’re selecting your villa. Depending on where your villa is facing, the wind can be very strong and unpleasant. For the St. Regis, the more expensive and sought after sunset villas were actually more wind prone than those facing the island. The room I checked into was an island facing one, though halfway through my visit, our Butler offered an upgrade to a sunset villa. I turned that down as the wind was quite strong on overcast days, making it difficult to enjoy the patio.
3. The Crowd - One of the benefits of May in the Maldives are fewer crowds. The St. Regis was apparently at 60% occupancy, which made finding a day bed easy. However, as I learned, the resort adjusts its restaurant schedule by alternating locations depending on occupancy rates. This rotating approach made confirming dinner reservations difficult. For someone who prefers to eat on the earlier side, I unfortunately had to accept a 9PM or second seating as that was the best they could do.
4. The Room Rate - Generally speaking, the room rates during the rainy season tend to be lower, although not by much. Where you save in room rates, I’m sure you’ll spend elsewhere so I consider this a moot point.
5. The Villa - As mentioned above under #2, where your overwater villa faces has its pros and cons. Sunset villas definitely enjoy more sun during the day, which compensates for the wind, while inward or regular overwater villas block the wind, but make for chillier afternoons. Frankly, I didn’t think it is worth the additional $200 per night for a sunset villa when the resort guests would typically congregate at The Whale Bar, the resort’s posh sunset facing bar, most evenings to watch the sunset.
6. The Costs - Wow, is it expensive to be here. While my stay has been covered with points, I was in utter shock to find out how much it cost to eat and participate in the activities. Before even stepping foot onto the island, the seaplane costs alone are above $700 roundtrip and a pizza started at $37 for a personal pan.
7. The Breakfast Buffet - This may have been my favorite time of the day. The Breakfast Buffet was just fantastic. From lobster omelettes to unlimited fresh fruit, I could not get enough of the Breakfast Buffet which is luckily free for Platinum members.
May in the Maldives has been known to come with affordable room rates, lower demand, and unpredictable weather - even more so than other monsoon season months. It’s during this time of year where many find the best rates and value. Why wouldn’t you pay a discounted rate for a destination that typically commands a premium? Well, everything comes with its price.
Of my 5 day stay, I would consider 2 days of full-on sun while the other 3 were a mix of rain and wind. The location is still pleasant with plenty of tropical vibes, although, the wind is a big factor to weigh-in when selecting your room. I found sunset villas were more prone to high winds than those facing the opposite direction, though sunset villas were generally warmer especially for afternoon sunbathing and pool time.
While I had an absolutely remarkable time, I would reconsider visiting the Maldives in May for weather and wind.