Dhigali – Maldives – Hotel Review

Dhigali Maldives is a modern and luxurious five-star Premium All-Inclusive resort in the Raa Atoll in the Maldives, which offers a beautiful natural island setting and everything else your heart desires for a luxurious dream vacation. The heavenly hideaway features azure lagoons and powdery white sandy beaches, contemporary design, stunning rooms, various dining outlets, and so much more. This hotel review will have a closer look at Dhigali’s highlights and features, so you know what to expect when vacating here.

The Location

Dhigali Maldives lies about 45 minutes north of the capital Malé and Velana International Airport. The resort is located in the south of the beautiful Raa Atoll and can be reached by a scenic seaplane flight (around 45 minutes), or alternatively by taking a domestic flight to a nearby island and an additional speedboat ride (about 1h 15 mins altogether). We recommend taking the seaplane flight directly to the resort.

The resort has opened its shores in 2017 and kept about 80% of its original lush jungle-like fauna and vegetation in the center of the island. The island is fringed by a crystal-clear lagoon, a pristine house reef and beautiful white sandy beaches.

The Transfer & Check-in

Arriving at Velana airport, we were greeted by a friendly resort representative who escorted us right to the seaplane check-in. After the quick check-in, we got a private shuttle to the newly-built seaplane terminal where we waited in the seaplane lounge for our flight to depart.

Once it was time for our departure at the gate, we were told by a representative of the seaplane operator that not all of our luggage would come with us on this flight as, apparently, the seaplane was too heavy. Therefore, we (and other passengers) had to grab a few things from our suitcase that stayed behind which also led to a delay of our departure. The remaining luggage was sent to the resort with the next flight only a few hours later.

The scenic flight took 45 minutes as we stopped at other resorts in the atoll en route. When we arrived, we were welcomed by the resort’s staff and guided to a separate modern arrival lounge. While we were waiting for the check-in to be completed, we received some refreshing towels as well as delicious bubbly welcome drinks. At the same time, we also got a full introduction to the resort, including Dhigali’s unique mobile resort app, which I will tell you more about later on.

After the check-in, we were taken on a small island tour with a buggy and got some more information about the island, the resort, and the facilities. We really liked the personal and detailed introduction to the resort. In the end, we were dropped off at our beautiful beach villa where we got welcomed with some sweets and fruits.

The Property & Amenities

Dhigali Maldives offers everything you need for a luxurious island vacation. The resort’s facilities and all rooms are built in a contemporary and clean design which radiates modern luxury, while at the same time blending in effortlessly with the natural surroundings of the island. All buildings (except the water villas of course) are nestled into the island’s lush vegetation and look as if they belong there. There is even a small jungle walk across the island where you can learn more about the original vegetation. Moreover, the resort has a lively house reef just a stone throw (20 meters) away from the beach.

The property itself is divided into three main areas. The first area includes the main buildings close to the jetty such as the open-style reception, the day lounge where we had our check-in, a café, a gym, a retail boutique, a photo shop, and the resort’s watersports center.

On the Eastern side of the island, there is a beautiful pool area with 3 different pools and the East Beach providing lots of palm-fringed sunbeds and umbrellas with beautiful views onto the ocean. There, you can also find the main bar (East Bar) and its accompanying beach outlet, the main restaurant Capers as well as the all-day dining restaurant Jade. The “Play” kids club is also located on the island’s Eastern side.

On the opposite side of the island, in the West, there are two food outlets (Faru and the pop-up Pizzeria) as well as the Haali Bar that is the perfect location for relaxed evenings and sunset watching on the beach.

To get around the island, you can either walk (the island is about 1km long) or flag down one of the two hop-on hop-off buggies that circle the island.

The PADI-certified dive center in the north of the island, the Dhigali Spa in the middle of the island, and the resort’s signature restaurant Battuta amidst the luscious jungle complete the facilities of this tropical haven. 

Ultimately, Dhigali’s Premium All-Inclusive package is the best way to enjoy what this little paradise has to offer. It’s totally different from most AI packages in the Maldives. Not only breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included, but also all the drinks (including fresh juices, coffee specialties, premium wines, cocktails, mocktails, premium branded spirits, etc. – the beverage menu is endless), all dining outlets, including the a-la-carte specialty restaurants, and the bars. Also, the entire minibar including snacks and alcoholic beverages is part of the AI package.

In addition, you get snorkeling equipment, non-motorized water sports, group yoga sessions, complimentary excursions (1 glass bottom boat trip & 1 dolphin cruise per stay), as well as complimentary VIP lounge access once you arrive at Velana International Airport. This package truly ensures that you have a worry-free holiday and that every need is taken care of! Plus, it’s not even bound to any check-in/check-out times. We really loved the Premium All-Inclusive package at Dhigali! It’s the best AI package we’ve experienced so far in the Maldives.

The Rooms

Dhigali Maldives features about 180 modern villas, that are divided into eight accommodation categories. If you love being close to the beach, you can select one of the following beach categories: Beach Bungalows, Deluxe Beach Bungalows, Beach Villas, Beach Villas with Pool, Beach Suites with Pool or the exclusive two-bedroom Dhigali Suite. If you prefer staying over the water, you can opt for one of the Water Villas or Water Villas with Pool. WiFi is complimentary throughout the resort.

We stayed in a spacious Beach Villa with direct access to the beach and the beautiful lagoon. Here are some more information about our Beach Villa:

Beach Villa

Dhigali’s Beach Villas are located on both sides of the island. We stayed in a Beach Villa on the southern side during our stay at the resort. The villa itself was quite spacious (115 square meters) and featured a modern, contemporary, and minimalistic design. Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling doors and windows in the bedroom, the villas are very bright.

In general, the villas feature three areas: a bedroom, a large semi-outdoor bathroom, and an outside veranda. The bedroom consists of a comfortable king-sized bed, a sofa corner, a working desk that can also serve as a dressing table thanks to its large mirror, and a wardrobe. While we loved the comfortable bed, our highlight was the generous minibar as absolutely everything was included, even wine and snacks. The perfect combo for relaxed evenings on our patio!

The large semi-outdoor bathroom is mostly covered except for the beautiful outdoor rain shower. There is also a big free-standing bathtub, a vanity with mirror, and an indoor shower. We really loved the bathroom design and layout.

On our terrace, we had a daybed as well as a small seating area. We could also relax on two sun loungers right on the beach and listen to the sound of the ocean.

Unfortunately, we had one of the few villas that shares a wall and a connecting door with the neighboring beach villa. While this is great for larger families, we didn’t like it too much as we heard everything our noisy neighbors were saying and they were always very loud until late at night. Therefore, we would recommend getting a room without a connecting door/wall if you’re not traveling as a family.

The Restaurants & Bars

Dhigali Maldives has five dining outlets, one café and two bars to cater to your culinary wellbeing. Moreover, the resort also offers room service in case you want to dine in the privacy of your own villa.

Capers is the main restaurant of the resort, serving breakfast, lunch, and themed dinner. We really liked the generous international and local food selection as well as the live cooking stations. The quality of the dishes at Capers was always very good. Ample seating options and views onto the ocean make it a great place to start your day. Right next to it is the all-day dining restaurant Jade that serves lunch, late lunch, and dinner. On our first evening, we dined at Jade outside on the beach right under the tall palm trees and really enjoyed the delicious Asian seafood dishes in this beautiful setting.

On the other side of the island, you will find the resort’s grill restaurant Faru that specializes in continental cuisine, grilled meat, seafood, and burgers. We headed there for lunch and dinner and always had good meals – whether it was a starter, main, or desert. Right behind Faru is the Pop-up Pizzeria. We went there twice and really loved the concept. You simply order what you crave and take it with you wherever you like – whether it’s your room, the beanbags at the bar to watch the sunset, or any other location on the island. The pizzas were really amazing!

We also enjoyed our complimentary dinner at Dhigali’s elegant signature dinner restaurant Battuta that is nestled into the jungle in the center of the island. The restaurant serves North African, Middle Eastern and Asian dishes inspired by the travels of Ibn Battuta, one of the most famous travelers of the 14th century. We tried two Indian vegetarian dishes that were both very tasty! We also loved the unique setting of this restaurant.

If you want to have dinner at the specialty restaurants Jade, Faru, and Battuta you need to make a booking in advance through the app. As all restaurants are included in the Premium All-Inclusive, places fill up really quickly.

On the island, you will also come across two bars: the main bar East Bar, including a small beach outlet on the East Beach, and Haali Bar on the western side, which has a cool beach bar atmosphere with a seating deck upstairs and hanging seats at the bar. We really loved this place – it’s totally our kind of vibe! Haali Bar is also the place to be if you want to watch a beautiful Maldivian sunset and listen to live music or DJs. There are also numerous beanbags that invite you to just relax with a drink in your hand. It’s definitely one of our favorite spots on the island!

The Staff

While staying at Dhigali Maldives, we always felt welcome when interacting with the resort staff. As most of the guest’s requests can be managed with the excellent resort app, the contact to the staff is reduced to a minimum and was mainly limited to the restaurants and bars.

While the restaurant staff in all dining outlets was very attentive and quick to take orders, we felt that they were always very brief in their communication. We personally love to have some small chats and feel a more personal connection. In our opinion, this is something that could be improved. In addition, the dining experience at Battuta felt a little bit rushed because the staff was a bit too fast with everything. But that was just our personal feeling as we prefer enjoying a relaxed dinner over high efficiency. However, that might be different for everyone.

Regarding the housekeeping staff, they did a good job but we personally found it a bit too late that our room was always cleaned between 3 and 4pm in the afternoon. Thus, the room always looked not “ready” for half of the day. We would have preferred if the room would have been cleaned earlier in the day like in all other resorts we stayed at so far. Moreover, our housekeeper once forgot his cleaning towel, left some rubbish on the sofa, and did not replenish the bathroom products such as the bathing salt. Maybe he was in a rush during that day but, still, this should not happen.

In general, the resort staff at Dhigali did a great job and there are only minor things that can be improved to make it perfect, in our opinion.

Activities

The resort offers a diverse program of daily activities and events. The schedule can be found in the resort app, so you can always check what’s happening every day during your stay. You can also join one of the various excursions offered at Dhigali Maldives. While your stay already includes a complimentary glass-bottom boat tour and a dolphin cruise, other excursions such as a sunset cruise, fishing trips, snorkeling safaris, and excursions to a local island nearby are also offered. We joined the dolphin cruise and it was a wonderful experience. During the shared cruise, we saw three different types of dolphins (spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins & pilot whales) and also one pink dolphin which is very rare! They also served drinks and small snacks during the cruise. I can highly recommend joining a dolphin cruise at Dhigali!

At the Splash watersports center, you can rent kayaks and SUPs free of charge or enjoy chargeable activities such as jet skiing, waterskiing, and parasailing. If you want to explore the beautiful house reef and marine life around the island, grab your complimentary snorkel equipment from the dive center or have the PADI-certified dive crew take you to one of the various dive spots in the area.

A fully equipped fitness center, morning yoga, and fitness sessions with the local island host ensure that you stay in shape no matter how much you indulge in the resort’s premium all-inclusive dining offers. 😉

Spa & Wellness

The Dhigali Spa is hidden in the center of the island amongst palm trees and thick, tropical jungle vegetation. The spa features 12 modern treatment rooms, a steam room, multiple daybeds, and an outdoor pool.

This lush sanctuary has an array of treatments on offer. You can choose from signature treatments that combine Eastern and Western approaches, Asian full body massages, Indian wellness treatments, and entire multi-day spa packages. Moreover, classic treatments such as body scrubs, facials, or nail & hair treatments are also available. As the resort is also quite popular with families, they have an entire section in spa menu that is dedicated to families. This includes mother/daughter and father/son treatments, junior spa options as well as pregnancy body care.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t try the spa ourselves during our short stay but that’s a good reason to go back to Dhigali and try it next time.

Sustainability

At Dhigali Maldives, sustainability is taken very seriously. That’s why they implemented numerous environmental initiatives right from the start. It all starts with the preservation of the original flora and fauna. About 80% of its dense vegetation is still untouched. A jungle walk makes it possible to experience coconut palms, Indian almonds, Banyan trees, and other plants from up-close.

Other initiatives include having a sewage treatment plant to produce treated wastewater for watering the gardens, turning organic waste into mulch which goes back to the garden, bottling their own water to reduce plastic waste, and harvesting exhaust heat to power steam generators.

Ultimately, they support the local community as well. Dhigali Maldives has a local DJ and invites local artists to showcase and present their work or have them perform cultural shows such as the typical boduberu. Moreover, many of Dhigali’s team members come from the islands close to the resort.

The One Unique Thing

In the case of Dhigali Maldives, I actually want to highlight Two Unique Things instead of just one because they are both unique in my eyes. One is the resort’s excellent resort app and the other is the extensive Premium All-Inclusive concept.

Truly every information about the resort can be found in the Dhigali Maldives app. You can book tables at restaurants, find useful information such as opening times and restaurant menus including pictures, request extra room amenities, follow the upcoming events, see your personal daily schedule, and much more. Another excellent feature of the app we really loved is the interactive resort map that shows the locations of all facilities, your room, your real-time location, and where the circulating buggies currently are, so you can wait for them and flag them down. The app truly is a fantastic feature of the resort!

The second thing is the spectacular Premium All-Inclusive concept which really deserves its name! It starts as soon as you step onto the island and ends once you depart – no more stressing about limits and times! As all restaurants, meals and beverages are included, we could simply pick what we fancied and enjoy it to the fullest. The minibar in our room was extensive and even included different wines as well as snacks that were replenished daily. Free of charge! The Premium All-Inclusive package at Dhigali definitely belongs to the absolute best we’ve experienced in the Maldives so far!

Conclusion

Dhigali Maldives is a 5-star luxury resort in the Maldives. The resort stands out with its original lush vegetation (80% of the island), an incredible house reef and stunning turquoise lagoons. It’s the perfect place if you are looking for true Maldivian bliss in combination with contemporary luxury. Dhigali Maldives offers everything you need – from modern villas to endless culinary options to amazing activities. The highlight of this resort is the excellent Premium All-Inclusive package that includes absolutely everything you need for a relaxing vacation. It’s a wonderful destination for couples, families as well as honeymooners. I can highly recommend staying at Dhigali Maldives and would go back in a heartbeat! It definitely belongs to our Top 5 favorite resorts in the Maldives.

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Dhigali Maldives Hotel Review

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