Island Paradise: W Maldives Review

W Maldives jetty from overwater bungalows to beach.

Nestled amidst the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a paradise on Earth, known for its pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and unparalleled luxury. For me it has always been a dream to visit.  With many luxury hotels to choose from I went with the W Maldives, and here is my review.

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Location and Arrival

Getting from the United States to the Maldives is no easy task. It took me over 32 hours of flying to reach the Maldives. I flew from Phoenix to Chicago, Chicago to Doha, and finally Doha to Malé. It was a long and exhausting few days of travel and I was only still in the capital city of the Maldives. I had yet one more flight to catch to reach the W Maldives. 

Sea Plane in the maldives with ocean water below

After clearing customs and grabbing my luggage I exited the airport and right in front is where all the resorts have little stands to start the check-in process. Luckily about 2 weeks beforehand the concierge at the W Maldives had reached out to book us our seaplane.

While the W Maldives does offer a transit lounge, we had come in just at the right time and only had to wait 10 minutes for our seaplane to the hotel, so we did not visit the lounge. Our transfer was with Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA). They allow 20kg of checked luggage, and 5kg of hand luggage per person. Anything extra will cost an additional amount, and yes, they do weigh everything.

We were led to the seaplane we were taking which only sat a handful of people and two barefoot pilots. We stopped at one other resort along our way to drop some passengers off before arriving at the W Maldives, in total it was about a 30-minute plane ride from the mainland to the resort.

Check In

When looking at my options I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford a cash booking. The W Maldives was averaging $950 USD/night. That was not including the transfer to the hotel or the government taxes and fees. I decided to use points for my stay. It cost 313,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to book a sunset overwater bungalow at the W Maldives. Remember that when booking with points the 5th night is free. 

While taxes were only about $10 USD a day the seaplane transfer $595 USD per/person and not covered by point redemption.

While the seaplane was pulling into the dock the staff of the W Maldives were waving and welcoming us. As we stepped off the plane, we were handed a glass of champagne and the general manager also gave a short speech to introduce himself and the property. Additionally, we met with the culinary department who asked about any dietary restrictions we might have.

After all the introductions we were picked up by a golf cart and whisked around the property to see the layout, restaurants, pool and finally our room.

The Room

As we were being dropped out, we were notified that our bags had already been placed in our room and were provided a WhatsApp number if we have any requests. 

Walking in it was hard to contain my excitement, staying in an overwater bungalow had long been a dream. Waiting in the room was a bottle of champagne as a welcome amenity. It was time to start exploring what this beautiful overwater villa had to offer. 

The villa being over 1,5000 sq. feet, there was plenty of room to fit everything in that was needed. In the middle a large king-sized bed looked out into the ocean through floor to ceiling retracting doors. A tv was placed on the wall with a retractable arm so that it would not disrupt the ocean view.

Next to the TV was a mini bar which included soft drinks, water, and alcohol. The soft drinks and water were all complementary and refilled daily without having to ask. One of the coolest features of the room was right next to the mini bar. A cut out in the floor covered by glass allowed me to see right into the ocean. I was able to see fish swimming right beneath my feet. 

Wardrobes fit on both sides of the bed with plenty of room to hang all my clothes, plus fit my suitcase. Not only did the bedroom have a sprawling footprint, but so did the bathroom. The shower and toilet were placed on the back wall, while a large tub was centered in front of a window to see into the ocean.

Floor hole W maldives

Walking out onto the deck of the room, I knew I would be spending a lot of time here. The privacy wall surrounding the sides was a comforting touch, ensuring no prying eyes from neighboring spaces. On one side of the deck, two sun loungers and a cabana beckoned relaxation, while the opposite side showcased a petite infinity pool. However, it’s worth noting that the pool wasn’t heated, making it a tad chilly for my liking. However, that did not stop me from enjoying it. 

Finally, a ladder from the deck went down right into the ocean. We requested snorkel gear using the WhatsApp phone number, which worked great and snorkeled away for the rest of the early evening. 

W Maldives Review - Beach

Restaurants, Gym and Other Amenities

Restaurants - W Maldives

There is a combination of 6 bars and restaurants at the W Maldives. KITCHEN is the main all-day bistro on the island that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Being a Marriott Bonvoy platinum member, I was able to receive free breakfast daily.

Breakfast at KITCHEN is buffet style with made to order eggs, a selection of western food and local Maldivian food. Over our 5-day stay, the menu items did rotate, but by the end of our visit, we had experienced nearly all the offerings. I felt that staying any longer might have led to a sense of repetitiveness or boredom with the available choices. Breakfast does include free alcoholic beverages such as mimosas and screw drivers. 

A few times we had lunch and dinner at KITCHEN, which was also very good. The portion size was pretty large, with consideration to what I expected. If you have read any other blogs about the Maldives in general, you will know food is expensive. Chicken fried rice cost me $35, but I must admit it was delicious.

SIP is a cocktail lounge located at the far end of the W Maldives. We spent multiple nights here watching the sunset with a cocktail and some sushi before dinner. They have these amazing nets that let you lay and lounge above the water. 

WET is a staple at all W hotels and is a pool bar with light food options and drinks. We visited here once and had a pizza on a day that we had a scuba diving trip. It was a nice little snack to help us make it to dinner. 

Sadly, we were never able to try KADA, a pop-up café where food is served family-style on sharing plates. This was a nice little area right on the beach with wooden tree stumps, we were just never able to make it there with our plans.

The last two restaurants on the island I recommend making reservations for beforehand as they have limited seating. FISH and FIRE are both only open for dinner service. I think it is pretty obvious the theme of FISH… it is seafood. However, they do have some options that are non-seafood such as pasta.

FIRE is a delicious steakhouse that is located in the sand. This was my favorite restaurant of the whole trip, and we went three of the five nights that we were at the W Maldives. 

There is also in-room dining that you can order. A QR code was in the room and a simple scan with your phone’s camera brought up the menu. We never used room services, but it did seem to be a limited menu.


Fitness Center and Spa - W Maldives

Above WET there is an office area (who is really doing work while on vacation here…) and fitness center. The fitness center is on the smaller side, a few treadmills and some free weights. They do offer a personal trainer to use if you want one. One day I was running, and the power went on and the treadmill stopped instantly, that was an experience.

The spa is located in a secluded area with a private jetty out into the water. The treatment rooms all have floor to ceiling windows that overlook the ocean. While I did not get any treatments, each room comes with a list of everything they offer.


Activities - W Maldives

Right near the fitness center is a large pool with plenty of sun loungers. Honestly, I only visited once and rarely saw many others in the pool. Every room at the resort comes with a private plunge pool, so there really is no need for this large one.

The W Maldives offers complimentary snorkel gear that can be rented and essentially you can snorkel anywhere on the island. One area you need to avoid is where seaplanes land and take off. If you want to spot a sea turtle head to the spa, they like to hang out in this area.

There are plenty of other activities that the W Maldives offers on request such as a yacht sunset cruise, snorkeling with whale watching, a sunset dolphin cruise. We requested to do the whale watching, which was about $450 per person, but sadly we did not meet the requirement. We also wanted to spend a day at Gaathafushi, which is an uninhabited island next to the hotel, but it was fully booked.

The W Maldives does have an on-site scuba shop, so we were able to get a couple of dives in, which was great. The coral reef here is amazing and there is an abundance of wildlife to see. Being in such a secluded area there were 2 dive masters and 3 of us, so that was nice. A two-tank boat dive with rented gear cost about $250 USD.


The W Maldives was paradise, and I loved every minute of it. However, the trip offered me some valuable insights. I discovered that I thrive on fast-paced adventures, which aligns more with my personal preferences. The W Maldives had plenty to do for the 5 nights I was there, but I think any longer would’ve been too long to keep me busy.

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