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Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives

5.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Just finished 9 nights on this magical island in a water villa. Superlatives fail to accurately describe how epic this place is - from waking up to step off into the crystal blue warm waters swimming with rays and parrot cycling around the serenely green and lush island on your own complimentary beach bike (I’m getting me one of these back home) sampling some of the greatest variety of food and wine I’ve ever experienced in such a resort holiday. This is total luxury and the greatest resort I personally have ever stayed in. A special shout out to chefs Michael and Daniel who made our last evening an Indian gastronomic delight. It isn’t cheap but I don’t think the food and wine was overly expensive either given you are in the middle of an ocean and don’t forget - paradise.

Incredible place. We tremendously enjoyed our vacations. The villa (Treehouse) was just amazing. The private swimming pool was warm and clean and thoroughly enjoyable. The view on the ocean (careful, you can't swim on that side of the island) was breathtaking. A/C and internet worked perfectly. The island is large and beautiful. A lot of nature, trees, flowers and animals (bats, frogs, crabs, ...). The hotel was trails that you can follow from one side of the island to the other and we had fun exploring. We also regularly used the electric car service to go from one point to the other and that was a perfect alternative. The hotel also offers bikes. All in all, this gives guests a large choice of options to go across the island. The food is good and it's fun to try the different restaurants. We ate well and quickly each time. They have a special menu for kids, which is also very good. We had lovely cocktails every evening, while admiring the sunset. Thanks to the cocktail team, always so nice with us. The "happy hour" is a bargain. It was somewhat strange that we were so few to enjoy that magical time. Well: more pleasure for us ! The beach is nice and the snorkeling from one of the jetties. The reef is great, although it's probably suffering from the heat. Indeed, the (very clean) water was 30 to 31° Celsius and near the entry point probably around 33°C. This means some alga, including alga growing on the corrals. But they are plenty of fishes. The hotel even has a turtle point nearby and a snorkeling excursion to reach it. We saw several large turtles very close. We also did the dolphin boat trip and saw dozens and dozens of dolphins, including many swimming right next to the boat. Not to be missed. Diving was amazing and the diving team just superb. Very confortable, friendly and safe. We saw sharks (black and white tips), including briefly a nurse shark; we saw a manta, octopus, morays. The corrals were also a delight. I did one spa treatment and found is very good. The entire staff is friendly, efficient, helpful and smiling. Bravo to the directors ! Congratulations also on the many environmental efforts. I hope their plans to "plant" corrals truly can work out in the long run. We enjoyed reading the labels regarding the flora and the fauna that were to be found throughout the island. All in all, it was one of our best vacations. It is costly, but definitely worth it. In that respect, we appreciated that the water was offered for free, that the kid menu was very reasonably priced, that the cocktails were 50% off during the happy hour and that many options on the various menus were priced very attractively (one of my best pad thai ever enjoyed in the room service while contemplating the sea). The only regret: no sharks to be seen from the sea shore. One advice: We could have benefitted from more information about the activities taking place on the island. We had to inquire at the respective locations (e.g., eco-center, health club). It would have been helpful to post at the breakfast a list of available activities day-by-day.

Thoroughly enjoyed this resort. The villas are absolutely amazing (we had an over-water villa) and being able to cycle around the island (through trees, past beaches) was idyllic. For the golfers, it adds another dimension and as it's 9 short holes and overlooking the ocean, you can even take your better half for the stroll. The team were great and the food was very very good.

This place is very good value for money. We were delighted with our water villa. Huge, very comfortable, any sort of amenities available, beautiful and spacious bathroom with outdoor shower. Excellent! Our island host took very good care of us. The food was delicious in all restaurants and we tried a design dinner in the jungle, which was great too. Although the food and ambiance in all outlets was great, service was slow, mainly coming from the kitchen as there were always enough staff running around. Overall it was very good tho. Josefina is probably the most qualified lady at the main restaurant and her service and recommendation were always just Excellent! We went diving and our instructor Tiago was very knowleagable and we had a very good time with him. The island is so big we enjoyed driving around on our bicyles. Snorkelling was very good, super colourful and we saw turtles, 1 stung ray, many reef sharks and beautiful fish at the house reef. We love nature so we really liked how wild it is in some areas and saw many flying foxes every day. Just Beautiful!

Shangri La Villingili was perfect in many ways. The crystal clear blue waters that greeted us everyday in front of our water villa, the well appointed and spacious villa, the comfortable and welcoming water terrace etc. It is a very big resort, great for guests wanting to do more than just hanging out in the villa everyday. There were plenty to do, and we almost felt like our stay was too short. Diving and snorkeling equipment was clean and well maintained, as expected of a resort of the Shangri La brand. Breakfast was more or less the same spread everyday, and wasn't huge, but still enjoyable, especially with lovely sea and beach views at the table. We could choose whatever fruit juice we wanted any time so that was good. Dinner at the Fashala restaurant was rather bad though. They screwed up both our lobster and wagyu beef, redid the beef but still failed and ended up giving us a free meal. What's really strange was that many of the local service staff were not as friendly as we would have expected at a Shangri La resort. We had to greet them good morning first, thank them and bid them goodbye. After a few days of this, the resort started losing a bit of its warmth and appeal. Nevertheless, the surroundings and scenery made up for a lot of these. Still worth a stay if a huge, luxury resort with plenty of activities to do is your top consideration.

We are at the end of a 6 night stay at this resort. The facilities are fantastic and our ocean view, tree villa was a great choice for privacy and luxury. We went to the gym every day (great facilities), went snorkeling (turtle quest is a must do) water skiing and jet skiing (and got to sit on the water in the middle of 30 dolphins!) and spent a lot of time relaxing. Our spa treatments were fantastic. If we had chosen a package with discounted spa treatments - I would have been there every day. We flew straight into Gan Airport from Colombo. I would recommend this. The benefit of the resort is that there are not too many other competitors around - this meant we got to feel like we were in the middle of nowhere! It was truly a magical experience. While the facilities can not be faulted, it is clear this resort is in the middle of a management overhaul - the restaurant food and service were unfortunately average and in need of improvement to classify this as a 5 Star experience. All staff are lovely and it is clear that nothing is too much trouble, but there just doesn’t seem to be the experience to be able to provide the service we hoped for. Long waits for food and drinks most times we went to the restaurants and constant reminders / queries to follow up on our orders. We had to get used to this by the end of the trip - but i found it extremely frustrating. I am writing this review as the ice I order from room service an hour ago still hasn’t arrived to my room. I called to query twenty minutes ago - still nothing. Although the service has room for improvement, we would still recommend the hotel. We had a fantastic holiday!

Wonderful resort. I went here with my husband and our daughter. We stayed in the water villa which was huge. We spent 8 days here. They provided us 3 bicycles for our villas. We biked to the restaurants, to swim at the beach, to do snorkeling. The coral at this resort was incredible. There were many kinds of coral and also huge corals. We found black-tip sharks, sea turtles, many kinds of fish here by just snorkeling from the beach of the resort. There were several restaurants which you could choose to enjoy each day. We had never got bored here. We will come back for sure. We love this resort.

We stayed for 5 nights in Jan 18 and we loved every minute. We had out 3 kids with us and were worried that they would be bored or not enough to keep them entertained but that wasn't the case at all. Room - was large and well presented. We had an issue with a light not working in the bathroom, but it didn't worry us - it was changed without us having to say anything. The pool was fantastic and the wi-fi worked well in the room. The bathroom was huge and the added outdoor shower was great (and private). Wi-fi - the wi-fi was hit and miss around the resort, so I wouldn't rely on it when you're not in your room. Being on holidays, wasn't too worried we didn't have the internet. Cool Zone - kids had a great time there and was enough variety for them. Restaurants - Javuu breakfast had a great range of food and we didn't feel like it was missing anything. Dr Ali and Buddha Bar were on the expensive side - if you don't have food included as part of your package then I would say that you will need to fork out a lot of money for dinner. The food was great though. Service - this was great and the personal chats from the staff (including senior level) made you feel welcome and added that little 'extra' to the trip. Buggy - I would suggest ringing about 5-10 mins earlier than you want to go somewhere as we had to wait a little at time for them to show up. Bikes - great way to explore the resort and we got use out of them. They also provide kids bikes and training wheels for those that need them. Water sports - lots of options like snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, water skiing etc. You can use the snorkeling equipment that they provide free of charge and of course the gorgeous beach to swim in. We loved every minute of our trip and there was nothing we would change. The staff were fantastic, the food was always great.

Kudos to the resort and its staff for making our stay memorable. We stayed in a Sunset Water Villa in Serenity Bay. The island and the property are absolutely beautiful and the villas are tastefully done. The service was very prompt and cheerful . Some of the staff even went out of their way and took us on small detours in the night to spot sea turtles in the lagoons - when all they were supposed to do was drop us to our destination restaurant / villa. The facilities were top notch. The breakfast spread was very lavish and full of variety. Most of the dishes at Jaavu and Dr. Ali's were very nicely done - especially the pastas , grilled seafood, sushis , salads and Indian curries. Although the Tiramisu in Dr. Ali's hit the right spot, the overall quality and selection of desserts could be better in my opinion. Fashala had a very nice crab linguine with caviar in their main course but their other dishes fell short. The island also had some really good spots for snorkelling - especially in Whispering Palms. So taking a Water villa in Whispering Palms ( instead of Serenity Bay ) would be the best choice if you want to snorkel often during your stay.

Well having traveled pretty much everywhere this resort really needs a mention as it site firming in our top 5 destinations globally. This is not just a Maldivian island its quite something different. It has 3 inland lagoons. Tropical forests, nature trails , golf course a stunning house reef along with amazing private villas and pools. Shangri-La have excelled again in terms of quality, style, service and privacy. We stayed in a Beach pool villa which was incredible. House keeping was 100% which is amazing considering the size of the villa and the amenities within. Nothing was ever left unfinished or not replaced. The resort boasts 3 good restaurants and bars, our favorite being Dr Ali . Great food and exceptional service.The Budda Bar DJ Marcos certainly set the mood and atmosphere at the beach during the day and at Dr Ali in the evening. This is a must do resort second to none in the Maldives with direct flights from Colombo to Gan and a 10 min boat transfer to the resort. Truly paradise.

Villingili Island Villingili Island

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa
  • Private beach

Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives places you 1.2 mi (2 km) from Gan Beach. This 132-room, 5-star resort has a private beach, a golf course, and a full-service spa. Hulhudhoo Harbor is also within the area of the resort, which is in the historical district.


Enjoy the ocean views at Javvu, one of 3 onsite restaurants. Order from 24-hour room service to satisfy your hunger without leaving your room, or make new friends over drinks at the bar/lounge.


All 132 air-conditioned rooms feature patios, iPod docks, and minibars. Guests can expect 40-inch LCD TVs with satellite channels and DVD players, along with free WiFi and wired Internet. Beds are dressed in premium bedding and pillow menus, and bathrooms offer free toiletries and bathrobes. Espresso makers, free newspapers, and free bottled water are also available.

Property features

Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives features a private beach, a golf course, and a full-service spa. Airport transportation is made easy with an airport shuttle for a fee (available 24 hours). A multilingual staff is on hand to assist with dry cleaning/laundry, concierge services, and securing valuables. Other amenities at this beach resort include an outdoor pool, a health club, and a sauna.

Room options

Villa, Beachside

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Deluxe Villa, Poolside

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Villa (Water)

King 1 | Sleeps 3

Villa, 2 Bedrooms, Beachside

King 1 | Sleeps 6

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

92% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1002 reviews