The Miami of the Maldives. That’s how the staff of the new Jumeirah Maldives Ohahali Island described the resort. But don’t worry – no skyscrapers and city bustle await you on the island. Quite the opposite!
In this hotel review of the Jumeirah Maldives, you’ll find out all the details of our stay and how we liked the concept of the new and modern resort.
Location & Transfer
Not far from the airport in Male, yet quietly located in the North Male Atoll. That’s the best way to describe the location of the Jumeirah Maldives.
Upon arrival at Velana International Airport, we were met by the very friendly Jumeirah staff. You can choose between two ways on how to reach the resort: The most commonly used mode of transportation, is an approximately one-hour ride by a comfortable speedboat. Alternatively, the faster but more expensive transport by seaplane can be chosen. However, due to the check-in and waiting time, you will not necessarily be faster with it. But the Seaplane has one great advantage: The view from the air, of the picturesque islands, is incomparable!
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted with clapping and local drumming and welcomed by the managers of the various departments and by our Island Host. This is the name given to the personal butlers at the resort, who are the first point of contact for any wishes or concerns. The check in process then takes place directly in your own villa.
The Villas at Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island
Water villa with pool
During our stay at the Jumeirah Maldives, we stayed in a villa above the lagoon with private pool. Whereby the villa description “with pool” is actually not necessary, since every room category in the resort has its own!
Another special feature is the private roof terrace, which is located on every single villa. From the top, you can enjoy a great view of the island and lagoon and see both the sunrise and sunset.
The architecture of the villas differs significantly from most of the typical water villas in the Maldives: The villas at Jumeirah are very large, modernly furnished and painted white. Nevertheless, the interior is not cool, as you might think, but cozy and colorful. Even “the smallest” villas are very spacious and have a living room, which is separated from the bedroom. The highlight for me, however, is the spacious bathroom with a large shower and a freestanding bathtub. Through a glass door, you can enter a small garden where there is another outdoor shower. It almost made me forget that we are above the water!
Although I’m usually more of a fan of the traditionally designed overwater villas, I liked the ones at the Jumeirah Maldives surprisingly well.
Other room categories
Beach Villa with Pool
I can never really decide between beach villas and water villas. And the beautiful Beach Villas with Pool at the Jumeirah Maldives, don’t really make the decision any easier.
The design and interior is one to one like the water villas, with the difference that there is a beach access behind the pool.
Categories with more rooms
Of course, there are also larger villas for friends or families traveling together. The resort offers Two Bedroom Residences on the beach or over the water.
And then there is the largest accommodation in the whole resort: the Three Bedroom Beach Retreat on three floors! It has its own gym, office, huge pool, private beach, a dining area with kitchen and is without any doubt the jewel of the Jumeirah Maldives with extreme space and privacy.
Three Bedroom Beach Retreat
Two Bedroom Beach Residence
The Concept of the Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island
Stay Different is the motto of the Jumeirah Hotel Group and in their resort in the Maldives they have embodied this perfectly! Starting with the rather atypical villas to special activities and dining options:
Pool & Beach
We have been able to visit quite a few islands due to our many trips to the Maldives. But the beach of the Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island, left us speechless! The island is not very big, but with the surrounding deep blue lagoon and the white sandy beach it is one of the most photogenic and beautiful islands we have ever seen. You want to take out your camera at every corner, take pictures and then jump into the crystal clear water!
Although each villa category has a private pool, the resort has an additional main pool on the beach. It invites you to relax, but compared to other resorts it is rather small in size. You’ll find a second and bigger pool in front of the two restaurants Glow & Kayto.
The beach pool is located right next to the Restaurant and Lounge Shimmers. Surrounded by both dining tables, stylish sun loungers and cabanas, the atmosphere here is reminiscent of a hip beach club.
But the water in the lagoon is so incredibly beautiful and the entry into the water so shallow and gentle that we rarely saw guests in the pool. However, the lounging options are very popular in the afternoon to soak up the sun, enjoy cool drinks and later enjoy the sunset.
Water Sports & Snorkeling
As in pretty much all resorts in the Maldives, all non-motorized water sports can be used free of charge at the Jumeirah. Kayaks and stand up paddles are especially great! For the photogenic glass kaykas, a small surcharge of about 25 USD must be paid. Other activities on the water, such as jet skis can be booked for a fee. Very close to the resort is a sandbar where private dinners or picnics can be booked. The location is a great stop during a guided jet ski tour 🙂
Without snorkeling or diving, a trip to the Maldives would not be complete for me! Therefore, we always look at each resort’s house reef, as well as surrounding snorkeling spots. We booked a tour in a traditional Dhoni to a famous turtle spot. Unfortunately we didn’t see a turtle that day, but the great intact reef with colorful fish and small sharks.
Actually we had planned for our last day to explore the house reef of the Jumeirah Maldives, but unfortunately we had to cancel that activity due to an ear infection.
However, we heard from other guests and resort staff that snorkeling at the end of the jetty with the water villas, along the edge of the reef, is supposed to be very worth seeing!
Talise Spa & Wellness
The Jumeriah Maldives Talise Spa is designed in a similar style to the modern water villas. It is located completely above the water, with glassed-in treatment rooms that open up a gorgeous view of the blue lagoon. This makes you feel very close to the ocean during a treatment. Right under the massage tables is a little window located, through which the fish can be observed during the treatment.
The gym is located above the water as well and is equipped with cardio and other exercise machines. A tennis court and soccer field can also be found on the island. I loved that free sunrise yoga is offered every morning! It’s perfect for a relaxing start to the day.
The Jumeirah is very family friendly and has a great Kids Club for children over the age of three. This includes a small water park, as well as activities inside and on the island.
Breakfast & Restaurants
There are a total of three restaurants at the Jumeirah Maldives, none of which are really “main restaurants” as you would find at other resorts. All three restaurants have a different specialty menu and we were thrilled with the quality of the food!
The restaurants Glow & Kayto over the water
Glow is a great restaurant over the water with a Mediterranean flair and an international, very well chosen menu! It is open for both lunch and dinner. For breakfast, it connects with the neighboring Kayto restaurant. In the morning, there is a small buffet with cold dishes, fresh pastries and fruits & co, but the majority can be ordered à la carte. From breakfast classics to more unusual dishes. There is guaranteed to be something for everyone.
Only opened in fall 2022, Kayto is, for me, the best restaurant at Jumeirah. The concept is a mix of Peruvian & Japanese culinary. This may sound at first atypical, but it fits together wonderfully. Both meat lovers and vegetarians will love it here, as the quality and taste of the dishes is outstanding and the menu is diverse!
In fact, Kayto is a very popular restaurant concept that already exists in other Jumeirah resorts in Dubai.
As already mentioned, Shimmers is located by the beach and pool: a relaxed restaurant with bar and lounge, which is open from mid-morning until dinner. I loved the real pizza oven, as well as the selection of creative cocktails! Perfect for a daytime snack or drinks on the beach.
Currently (as of November 2022), Shimmers is being expanded to include a “Shimmers at the Beach”. This is to be another beach restaurant, with a hip and casual ambiance.
Just above the lobby is a coffee shop for all coffee and tea lovers, which even hosts latte art classes. However, the Café Lounge was a highlight for me for a different reason: it has a roof terrace with a gorgeous view over the island as well as a small bay. This small beach, looks rather inconspicuous from the ground, but from up here, it makes a great photo motif! So be sure to check it out 🙂
P.S. You prefer ice cream over coffee? The Gelateria serves homemade ice cream as well as frozen yogurt!
If you’re in the mood for something unusual or want to celebrate a special occasion, Jumeirah Maldives offers a number of private experiences. We’ve all heard of a floating breakfast, but at the Jumeirah you can even order a floating lunch on the villa. I also loved the Lagoon Breakfast, during which you sit with your feet in the sand at a table right at the water and enjoy your private à la carte breakfast.
Another recommendation from my side is the Private Cinema on your own roof terrace. Via a projector, the terrace is transformed into its own cinema, which the island hosts make especially cozy with warm popcorn and candlelight. What could be better than enjoying a movie under the stars and snuggling in?! A must do for me.
Résumé of our stay at the Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island
The ultimate Maldives feeling – but with a modern twist! The Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali is one of the most beautiful islands in the Maldives, with beaches that look like they were painted. If you are looking for something special and truly unique, this is the right place for you.
Also culinarily we were absolutely thrilled and the service was always top class! The only small drawback for me is the relatively small size of the island. I also would have loved a bar, which invites guests to linger in the evening. Usually the restaurants were empty very quickly after dinner, as all guests went back to their villa. In my opinion the beach club at Shimmers would have great potential for evening DJ sessions! But maybe this will change soon with the newly built Beach Restaurant.
We enjoyed our stay to the fullest and I can highly recommend the resort! Primarily for couples, for a relaxing and romantic getaway, but also for families or friends.
We had a sponsored stay at Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island, which does not influence my opinion and review about the hotel.