My Maldives experience at Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa

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EMERALD MALDIVES RESORT & SPA IS A NEW ALL-INCLUSIVE MALDIVES RESORT THAT WAS OPENED IN AUGUST 2019. THE HOTEL WRITES ON ITS INSTAGRAM AND WEBSITE THAT IT IS A 5-STAR LUXURY HOTEL, BUT IS THIS REALLY THE CASE?

Me and my man decided to book a Maldives water villa at Emerald a month before it opened, they had no reviews, no videos, no ads from bloggers, only official photos and one video on their website and on google. I usually never book a room in a hotel that hasn’t been opened yet, so it was risky, but who doesn’t take risks doesn’t travel, right? 
Our Maldives experience at the Emerald Maldives resort & Spa started long before we arrived there. I wrote an email to the Hotel to ask few questions, but to get an answer from them become a real challenge, I was waiting for their feedback for TWO WEEKS! I found their Instagram and contacted them about my email and that I’m waiting already long time, it goes a few days before I got lucky – I finally received an answer and apology from Emerald Maldives resort & Spa – yay! This situation happened again a month later, I had another question and wrote them new email and what do you think happened?– Nothing! I had to wait again, so busy people. A few days later, I received a classic response on Instagram, “We are so sorry about this. “Are they really sorry about it? I don’t think so. I’ve never experienced this before, waiting for one simple response from a 5-star hotel for so long is not acceptable!  5-star hotels should provide good service not only in the hotel, but also through email, phone calls and social networks, especially those Hotels that want to be Luxury ones. However, we still decided to try this hotel. Was it a big mistake?

ARRIVAL:
We arrived at Male airport around 11 am, picked up our Luggage  and went straight to the meeting point where a person from the hotel was waiting for us (this is a common procedure on Maldives, all 5-star hotels provide a meeting service). He took our Luggage and led us to the seaplane check-in Desk where we again sent our Luggage and received our plane tickets. Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa doesn’t have its own airport  lounge, so we were provided with one of the airport waiting rooms to wait for other guests who were supposed to arrive in male in about an hour. When the time came, we and other hotel guests were provided to a seaplane. The flight from Male to the Hotel Maldives island took 45 minutes. At the arrival point, we were greeted with a glass of champagne and warm towels, our Luggage was taken from the plane and placed on the buggy. Our Villa host, whom they call “butlers” (in case he has nothing to do with a real Butler), took us to our Maldives Water Villa where we quickly checked in, which is quite convenient.

FOOD:
Booking dinner at this hotel is quite annoying. When you arrive on the island, the Villa host informs you that he has already made all the dinner reservations for you for the whole stay, and this happens without contacting you earlier. It is not possible to change at least one reservation once you arrived there. No one asks what food you prefer or what diet you have, no one really cares if you are OK with the time of dinner reservations (ours were often at 21.00, which is late for us). We stayed for 8 days and the first 5 we were having dinners at two restaurants, one is a buffet and the other one is a la carte grill, so we only had the opportunity to try the other two restaurants at the end of our stay. The main restaurant with a buffet and grill is the only two which are also open for breakfast and lunch, so for 5 days we were eating Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same places. I can’t believe I survived! I’m a foodie and it’s a big problem for me if I don’t eat what, where and when I want. What is also funny is that on their official website, the General Manager writes this phrase: “Deluxe all-inclusive allows guests to dine at any of the resort’s four restaurants as many times as they wish during their stay.”  Wow…Really? Although I didn’t see that when I was there! 
In my opinion and experience 5-star luxury Hotels should be flexible and never say “no” to a customer, especially when you stuck on a small island!  It’s not relaxing when you’re on vacation and you have to follow some strange rules of a “luxury” Maldives resort. However,I want to be honest and admit that the food in all four restaurants was good and fresh, at least something good.

MALDIVES BEACH:
How do you imagine Maldives islands? Soft white sand, beautiful green palm trees, relaxing atmosphere, wonderful turquoise color of the ocean, am I right?
The Emerald Maldives hotel and spa has a beautiful green island with white sand, but the only beach that has soft sand as we imagine it when someone talks about Maldives is near the water villas and a small part of the beach next to the main restaurant Aqua. The other part of the island is terrible, there is almost no sand, just corals. I feel sorry for those people who have booked a beach Villa in Maldives and was looking forward to spend a great time, but got a Villa with such an ugly beach. This is not what you expect to see in Maldives. We made a tour around the island by walk, and on that ugly part of the beach it was really difficult to walk even in sandals or other shoes. If you still want to go to this hotel  after reading my blog, I definitely recommend you to book a Maldives water villa there and not a beach Villa.      
Another bad thing about Emerald Maldives resort & Spa is beach cleaning, please find more information about this below in the important notes. 

IMPORTANT NOTES:
While we stayed at this hotel, we found many times many plastic bottles on the beach that were left there by hotel guests. I wrote an Honest Review on TripAdvisor and got a very strange response from the General Manager of Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa. He wrote that he was absolutely sure of the cleanliness of the beach in the hotel and all the bottles just came from other Islands and fishing boats. Oh, my God… it’s so funny because the brand of water bottles was exactly the same as they had in the mini bar, and all the bottles were laying the middle of the beach, I don’t think all these bottles have little feet and hands and they were climbing to the top of the sand by themselves. Or is it a magic island?  
There were also some runaways, such as an inflatable Flamingo and a fashion magazine, who were swimming near our water Villa, which probably fell from a fishing boat, according to the General Manager opinion. Everyone knows that fishermen follow fashion, right? But the funniest thing is that we spoke about this problem to our Villa host and he told us that he was very sad that the guests do not have respect for the environment, and he reported this to the General Manager and they are thinking how to solve this issue. 
I think it’s ridiculous when a hotel pretends to care about the environment by giving paper straws and not cleaning the beach of glass and plastic! 
The General Manager also pointed out that all the guests of their “luxury” hotel have a high profile and care about the environment. Hm… let me disagree with this, I’ve seen so much in this hotel and would like to tell some things: many times during lunch I have seen people come in wet clothes and sit on chairs that don’t dry out quickly, why should other guests get wet after them too? There are the bamboo structures in all water Villas and in our Villa I found a note which made by “high-profile ” people! I’ve never seen such things before, on the street Yes, in 5-star hotels never!
On our last day, we had lunch at a grill restaurant and saw a strange show: there was a table of 4 people – 2 couples who suddenly got up during lunch, ran out of the restaurant and jumped into the sea, meanwhile throwing their clothes around, maybe some people say: “it’s OK, people are having fun,” but I think hotels shouldn’t let people do this while other guests are trying to enjoy their lunch. I don’t want to see three adults run out of the restaurant and drop their clothes on the way, then come back completely wet after swimming and jump into chairs. Again, who should sit in these chairs after them?Not everyone goes to lunch in beach clothes and swimsuits.
Several times during Breakfast, I had to cover my face with my hand and saw other people do it too, because some bloggers don’t respect other guests, they took videos of people having Breakfast and choosing food in the buffet, at the same time these bloggers were talking very loudly to their followers so that everyone in the restaurant could hear it. I’ve been to many popular hotels for travel bloggers, but I’ve never had this problem. Usually 5-star hotels care about the privacy and comfort of their guests and do not allow people to take videos of other people. Some of you might say “But you’re a blogger, too! Why do you care?” I am, but I don’t bother other guests at the hotel, especially when they are eating, I understand that not everyone is a blogger. It’s normal when you shoot a video at some party or on the street and people randomly appear on your videos, but you don’t need to annoy people in hotels or restaurants. And I think it’s not just my opinion, why otherwise many luxury hotels have restrictions on videos and photos?  
Do you want to get privacy during your stay in Maldives? I think the answer is Yes, you won’t get it at this hotel, forget it, they don’t know what it means. 
I have photos and a screenshot of my TripAdvisor review and response of the General Manager of Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa below

SERVICE AT THE HOTEL:
Our Villa host (they call them Butlers, but this has nothing to do with a real Butler)  was very unhelpful, he couldn’t change the dinner reservations, he also told me on our second day that he would arrange something nice during our stay for our anniversary, but he didn’t even arrange a cake, we got absolutely nothing. This further degrades the hotel’s image. The work of the Villa hosts is not organized at all, their task is mainly to be at the reception, ride a buggy, manage room service, manage reservations, answer emails and maybe something else. I no longer wonder why I waited so long for feedback at the very beginning, how the hotel reception can work well if there always happens cycle of people, obviously it is difficult for them to organize  their work in such conditions.   
Buggy is the fastest and easiest way to get from your Villa to any restaurant or other spot of the island, but the problem is that the waiting time was often too long. One time it didn’t even arrive, so I had to walk from our water Villa, which was almost at the end of the bridge, to get to the Spa, and I was late, but I was lucky that my masseur didn’t have other appointment after me, so I could get a 60 minutes of Balinese massage.  Waiting for a buggy on a small island for 20-25 minutes is too long, I get a taxi or Uber in a big city much faster. 
The service in all four restaurants was in most cases good, everyone was friendly and polite, especially the managers of the restaurants “Beach Grill “and “Asiatico” were very helpful and friendly.  
Cleaning service: the guys who do Villa cleaning were awesome, they had a lot of mirrors and I never found а spot! Good job!   
Room service: this hotel is all inclusive deluxe, this means that all drinks and snacks throughout the hotel, including the mini-bar in the villas, are also included in the price, but not room service.The Emerald Hotel is also for some reason a member of “Leading Hotels of the World”, so I decided to fill out a form to get a membership and gave it to our Villa host. The hotel was supposed to send me a membership confirmation via email, but of course it didn’t happen this time, they didn’t send me any email, although I’m not surprised!  
I have more to say about this hotel, but it will become a really huge blog, and I don’t want you to get bored reading long texts. If you have any further questions about my stay at this hotel, please contact me. 

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