Prestige Vadoo, is one of seven hotels belonging to the Adaaran Group in the Maldives. The Japanese-themed Vadoo is a small private resort that looks more like a lodge than an exotic hotel. The island is small and has no beach accommodation. The specificity of Vadoo is its rather impressive manicured gardens that have been inspired by Japanese landscaping techniques. The Japanese theme originates from the history of the hotel, which used to belong to a Japanese hotelier. Apparently Vadoo was the first resort to build a water villa - the very first villa can still be visited on the resort. The atmosphere here is very calm and feels very secluded. Better suited to couples looking for peace and quiet, the hotel welcomes a large fraction of guests from China, Japan and Korea.
The Maldives consists of over a thousand islands arranged into what is commonly-known as atolls, or groups of islands, although the word 'atoll' actually denotes an island made of coral surrounded by a lagoon.Adaaran Prestige Vadoo is located in the South Malé Atoll and is reached via a 15 minute speedboat ride.
Around 200 islands of the archipelago are inhabited (recorded at the time of our visit in April 2010). Each hotel has its own island (unless you stay in the capital or Hulhule, the airport island). Among the 200 or so inhabited islands, some are inhabited by locals only - hotels and locals rarely mix unless in a work environment within a hotel structure. By this, we mean that there are no local villages which share a hotel's island and vice versa. Tourism and local life are kept separate. This means that there are no cultural activities on hotel islands, although most hotels tend to organise excursions to neighbouring local islands for the day.
Upon arrival at the airport, everything may seem very confusing, with people milling around all over the place looking lost - you will notice a row of hotel kiosks, and a row of Maldivian Air Taxi or Trans Maldivian Airline kiosks behind that. When you come out of the arrival doors, just look out for your host who should be waving an Adaaran Prestige Vadoo placard. Go with him/her. You host will then take you to the jetty so that you can board the speedboat to the hotel.
Prestige Vadoo is set on a small island that feels extremely private and calm. Upon arrival guests are given a warm welcome by the staff. The hotel is actually closed off from the jetty with a large wooden gate which increases the feeling of seclusion. As the gate opens, a beautiful garden is unveiled with colourful blossoming flowers and singing birds. The main hotel building is set in the middle of the island and looks more like a lodge hotel rather than an exotic island setting. The gardens wrap around most of the island and are impressively well-kempt. The resort atmosphere is relaxing and calm but a little eerie as guests are rarely seen or heard on the resort. This is probably due to there being no land accommodation; guests tend to spend a lot of time in their water villas. The hotel was opened over 20 years ago by a Japanese owner, hence the Japanese theme of the resort. The first water villa is said to have cropped up here. This villa can be visited and is found in an enclosed part on the jetty leading to the working villas. There is actually a small museum with a handful of artefacts from when the hotel first opened. The hotel was taken over by Adaaran in 2009.
Reception is found to the right of the entrance. The pool is close by as is one of the bars. The hotel has a small gym and a small Coconut Spa. There are also two restaurants and a second bar which is located off the beach over water. There are some lovely views here.
There are 50 water villas and no land accommodation. The villas are all found along the main jetty. They look like paper doll houses and do not feel very sturdy on first impression. There are six Japanese themed villas. The entrance is surrounded by a fence and a small Japanese garden making the villa extra private. Inside it is spacious and light. The décor is a little outdated and hasn't been finished to a high standard but the expected mod-cons are all there. All the villas have an outdoor bathroom with a hot tub. The decks are very private and are completely closed off. There is no access to the sea; there is no view of the sea either. This hotel is for people wishing to holiday in the utmost privacy. The rest of the villas are modern but look very similar to the Japanese themed accommodation. There are also four Honeymoon villas which are completely isolated in the middle of the sea and are accessed via a small boat.
There are two restaurants at the hotel. The main restaurant, open for all three meals, is situated on the ground floor of the main hotel building. The restaurant serves a range of international cuisine presented as a buffet. The second restaurant is the Japan speciality restaurant situated on the first floor of the building. All the food here is cooked by a Japanese chef. Japanese traditions are conserved here to give the area a genuine Japanese atmosphere.
The island, like all the Maldivian islands is suffering from beach erosion so the beach can be narrow in some areas but otherwise it is a very peasant white sandy palm-fringed beach. The water is turquoise and transparent although a it is a little choppier than most lagoons in the archipelago.
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