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Reviewed 28 April 2018

From the moment you step off the seaplane, it was clear that we were in for an amazing experience. The island itself, the hotel, the staff, the food, everything was just perfect! Haf the general manager himself and the staff greeted us at arrival and departure, which is such a great touch and made us feel very welcome and special. Thank you! The hotel is so very efficiently run, making you feel like you have just landed in paradise (wait, well that's actually the case!) and anything you need is just there, anytime. The over water studio overlooking the ocean, with its own private pool and jacuzzi would require a separate review alone - the views while sipping wine in the pool looking out are simply unreal. The staff are extremely friendly, among others I was impressed with Teddy's friendliness and professionalism, a great example of everyone working in hospitality, as well as the "wine guru" whose name sadly I have forgotten - who was very knowledgeable and passionate about his job.
A great touch was also the surf shack on a "remote" part of the island as well as the drinks where you have the chance to have a chat with the sr managemennt and all the staff, and the other guests. In short, a fantastic place that I highly recomend to feel pampered, special and to just switch-off in your own piece of paradise.

Room Tip: Over water studio was beautiful!
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Davide T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2018 via mobile

Where do I even begin. Reflecting back on our ten days here was just amazing. It began from the moment we arrived on the island and were greeted by our coolest, funniest and politest butler Roxanne ( Roxy) who introduced us to her Ferrari buggy and it was all uphill from there. We stayed in a over water pool villa and later to a beach villa.
Our accomodation was magical (esp the bungalow) every morning was heavenly waking up to that beautiful view ahead. The buffets and restaurant food options were unreal. A big shout out to Teddy and the team from Epicure and Zay from Farenheit (Roxy is still waiting for her promised dinner at Edge)
Want to say a big warm thank you for everything Roxy did for us to ensure our stay here was perfect. You truely went above and beyond for our family and friends by personalising all our requests. This added that touch of personal luxury that most 5 star hotels lack.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Rasha-333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2018

The staff from General Manager, Resort Manager, Assistant of General Manager, and your butler welcomed you and knowed your name when you unboard the seaplane to the jetty, they give us free upgrade to Two Bedroom Pavillion Villa as a "surprise" because we went to Maldives on celebration of my wife birthday. They also gave us sparkling wine and made special birthday cake for my wife when we had our birthday's dinner. I also appreciate our Thakaru (butler service) Mr. Shifaz for all the effort he made to service us very well. All The staff at Niyama tried to do their best in accomodating us, they really did it sincerely. The Two Bedroom Pavillion is magnificent, very enjoyable, with lot of amenities. The resort facilities is really complete so i assure you that you will never feel bored when you were here, there are always something to do and somewhere to go.
At last, like other reviewer said before : there are always tears when leaving Niyama...it is so true...very enjoyable and fill with lot of happiness...just remembering the stay make me feel joyful...will be back again...certainly

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank prekedel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2018

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday at Niyama. The highlight for our children aged 10 and 12 was the surfing school with Ricardo Jnr. They went from having no surfing experience to being actually able to stand up and move on the board in the beautiful ocean. They were exhilarated and as parents we could enjoy a lovely cocktail in the sun whilst watching them. A win win! Fantastic teacher and overall amazing holiday.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank debbieberman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2018

Niyama is very nice if you like the more “resorty “ and active type of resorts but still want to experience a Maldivian island that looks like a Maldivian island.
The resort is in fact on two islands with a short bridge to join them and they are quite beautiful (the interior of the second island called “play” is very nice indeed ) and though they are along the outer atoll reef they have a huge (shallow) lagoon on the outer side as well as the deeper inside lagoon and great long beaches all around. The main lagoon has many different depths so the variety of hues of blue is quite exceptional. As it has some direct waves entering the inner lagoon, I imagine due due to its being so close to a big inter-island channel, the water is often mixed with sand and so the usual turquoise becomes a milky pale blue that is quite unbelievable at times. The outer lagoon on the other hand gives you the more expected totally transparent turquoise mirror like crystal water when the tide is right and the wind calms down. From some places you cannot tell there are two separate islands so the beaches become like one that looks endless. The eastern end of the main island (called “chill”) has a sort of a short sand spit that at the right moment of the tide and with the right sun angle is a spectacular symphony in 1000 hues of blue with the odd baby shark and ray playing around in the crossing currents… On “chill”, near the cinema area , there are two or three little “hidden” beaches with no rooms that are a dream.

Service is fantastic and the resort is beautifully maintained and managed. You get an electronic bracelet key, which is very practical (why do they not use it to “sign" bills too?) and bikes. Room density is ok on both islands so the resort is not too over built and the rooms are quite separate and discretely placed inside the vegetation line so you get clean natural views when walking around. On “play” this is a bit less true than on the older, less greedy “chill” island, but it is still ok. Even at full occupancy the huge beaches feel mostly empty, though there can be a lot of buggy and bike traffic on the inner island paths !

For me it is a shame that too many and rather ugly concrete groynes break the natural flow of the long beaches . At low tide you loose the feeling of a desert island in some places because of them . If at least they would cover them with wood to make them more pleasing to the eye… Especially by villa 153 and on the Western end of the Blu beach, which look abandoned. It is also a shame (though understandable) there are all those big lagoon walls on the western end the “outer “side of “play” island, near the surf point, as that outer beach is otherwise gorgeous. They are regenerating coral in that area, which is a nice initiative, but I would be really angry to be in a room on that end with a view of the walls and the loud roar of the waves for the same price others are paying for the view of an endless peaceful lagoon…
Best beach rooms are the ones on the eastern end of the inner lagoon side of the original “chill” island and the middle rooms on the lagoon-side of “play" island . Though the rooms on the outer side of both islands do get that crystal water…..
Also a shame there are two water villa jetties on the same side of the island. I never like it when a beach is “enclosed” by jetties, and the beach that is enclosed here would have been more beautiful.

Best water villas are the ones on the Crescent jetty as they are more private. The “normal” ones are way too stuck together. And that lagoon is too shallow really, so you will not be swimming much in front of your over water room and what you see is the wave break on the outer reef. This is not the best water villa experience available in the Maldives…..

Nothing is super wow beautiful architecturally: the buildings and rooms are all nice enough but not inspired , except for the deliciously exotic and very spacious outdoor bathrooms of the beach villas. The style is all modern and “cold", especially in the water villas, but the terraces on those are quite big and comfortable. The public areas and dining venues seem to not be interested in the ocean at all. Epicure and Blue are on the beach but not really thought properly, so very few people can really enjoy the view and the other restaurants have no sea view at all (though the jungle view of Nest when you sit on the platforms up in the trees is very nice). Even Edge, the “floating” restaurant out in the lagoon is a disappointment since at night (when it is open) you cannot see anything . And it is a rather ugly bunker shaped building with yucky purple disco lighting at night (what would be wrong with elegant white ?). Why Edge is not a lunch café is a mystery to me. It is during the day you would get the fabulous views of the island from across the lagoon.The underwater night club/restaurant is hideous and looks like a cheap and slightly musty brothel to me. And you see nothing underwater in that area. Kihavah and Rangali islands have played that game way more successfully.
I also do not understand why the “deli" near epicure is stuck in a little dark space like a city Starbucks while what used to be the original dive centre just in front of it serves no useful purpose now that the dive centre is on the other island and could be a great deli space with tables on the”outer” side beach, providing a second lunch snack spot, on the opposite side of the island from Dune, the other, lovely, snack bar. That beach is unused and is very pretty. The deli being there would make it a beautiful spot lots would enjoy. It could be Starfish-bucks instead of Starbucks! LOL. Tribal, the biggest restaurant on “play”, is stuck under a big canopy that makes it hot and a bit oppressive when in fact it is right on that same pretty beach. Why oh why does it not extend out onto the beach?. Having dinner there at tables right on the sand would be amazing, and again, no one currently uses that bit of beach.
for that reason I wish one could have breakfast or dinner at Dune. It is by far the most comfortable of all the eateries, because it is the only one right on the sand.
Why do they feel they have to give “themes" to the restaurants? What is wrong with the Maldives feeling Maldivian? The loveliest and most delicious restaurant is Nest with an asian jungle theme and unnecessary theme park style pre-recorded bird song! The food there is among the best asian I have had outside of China and Thailand. Really excellent. The staff is delightful too. Tribal is good too but who needs a viewless indoor-feeling South American/African restaurant with Kenyan and Namibian waiters in the Maldives? The staff are great here too and lots of fun, but it all felt like Disneyland to me. Would it not be better to sit on the beach , by the water, as I said before, and get to chat to a Maldivian waiter about his own country? Similarly, why is there a Jamaica- themed surf shack with a Caribbean bar tender? Can it not be a Maldivian surf point? That surf point is fun though, and so different an experience in the Maldives! Spectacular on a big wave day at sunset or sunrise! Food at Edge, the “floating”restaurant, is overpriced, not really gourmet food.

There is no reception really, as all is dealt with by your personal “Thakuru”, and again, Maldivians would be much better than all the foreigners they have. The butler is just about your only chance to have a conversation with a Maldivian during your stay in this country. Instead you get a very capable and efficient but out of place French, Namibian or Chinese etc…

Coral in the area is dead, as mostly everywhere in the Maldives now, due to climate change, tragically. So the fact the Niyama islands have no reef to snorkel on makes no difference. If the coral were alive I think they should have a daily free excursion to a reef as most other reefless large lagoon type islands offer. There used to be stunning reefs around the pretty round islands that you see on the horizon from Epicure.

The dive center has the best dive boat and luxurious service ever. Great school at the dive centre too. With a training tank and all .

Parasailing is available and is a must to view the splendour of Dhaalu atoll’s southern string of islands . There are lovely badminton and tennis courts too. And of course, surfing right there. No need for a boat to get to the break. Just walk down a few steps! Jetskis, beautiful traditional dhonis to rent, free yoga at the surf point to give you energy in the morning…. It is all here. Kid’s club seems great. Lovely vegetable garden. The spa is very nice (Nothing amazing though in terms of the venue. Great treatment menu)

I think the seaplanes should have a platform out in the lagoon so as to not noisily approach the main beach several times a day.

There are splendid sand banks nearby to explore if you can afford the excursions or boat rental fees, but hurry. Three massive resorts are about to open either side of Niyama (two RIU mega resorts to the west right next to those three sand banks…. and Pulse resort’s HIriyafushi to the east where there is already their rather unnatural and invasive Kandima. This excess of resorts in the area will make Niyama's dive sites, picnic sand banks and uninhabited islands more crowded and will bring more garbage and boat traffic to the area...

All in all this is a beautiful fun place to be and you do get to experience proper Maldivian island and lagoon beauty as part of your stay in a young-feeling , modern and activity oriented resort that has perfect service , is great for families with kids and though it does not have great architectural flair or style, it at least has the good taste to not have totally destroyed the natural beauty of these two islands and lagoon.

So not my favourite resort in this price bracket and in this “active” “young" resort style (I would recommend Six Senses Laamu over Niyama , to compare similar price , island position and shape, size and resort intent, though Six Senses has too many water villas and Niyama has better beaches and a better island interior. Six senses is better thought out, more exotic, more uniquely desert island like, has an incredible sand bank right there and a fabulous reef (when it is alive) and , way more beautiful rooms).

A special mention to Qhadir our room boy for beach studio 46 , who did a brilliant job and would no doubt be a great Maldivian Thakuru
And to the Breakfast at Epicure with its huge international variety, including gluten free cakes and spirulina protein shakes. But more than anything for the amazing restaurant hostess Teddy, who is Maldivian and has the greatest gift for making guests feel truly welcome. She is a great asset to the resort. If there were “oscars” in hospitality for doing your job to the highest standard, she should win one.

I have certainly enjoyed my stay a lot and congratulate the manager and staff on how well this place treats its guests . The long beaches along the electric blue lagoons and the view from just about any of the beach rooms will stay in my memory way after the themed restaurants, buggies, artificial birds and bunched up water villas have faded !

Room Tip: Eastern end of Chill island
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Francisco N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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