One thing is clear about the Taj Exotica, customer service is their absolute number one priority. I got the impression that they would move the hotel slightly to the left if I considered that the sun was not in the right place. Having stayed at Baros the week before, our transfer from Male Airport was again hassle free. We are shown to our speedboat transport and given life jackets, a bottle of water, a face towel and cookies. Upon our arrival at the hotel, we are greeted by name by the assistant manager and led to reception where we have a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and are then assigned a butler who gives us a brief tour of the facilities and then takes us to our room to explain what the room has to offer. We had booked a lagoon villa and having viewed the photos on the Taj Exotica website, were under the impression that our room was off the jetty at the far end of the island which have detached villas. We were however slightly surprised and disappointed to find that we were in one of about 20 semi-detached lagoon villas that run parallel with the island albeit technically over the lagoon. Our butler, Adi, informed us that they had recently upgraded the rooms that were accessed via the jetty over the lagoon to Deluxe Lagoon Villas so that all of them contained plunge pools, however as this was not what we had been lead to expect when booking, we brought it to the attention of the hotel who having looked into the issue noted the discrepancy on their website and immediately looked to upgrade us to a Deluxe Lagoon Villa. Unfortunately there were no other rooms available for the first 4 nights of our stay and that they could move us only for the last 3 nights of our stay. The next morning at breakfast we were greeted by Bjoern Hiller the Food and Beverage Director, who was in charge of the hotel in the absence of the General Manager, who apologised for the error personally and said they would make up for the error, and they did exactly that. We had a reduction in our food bill for the first 4 nights of our stay and even more satisfying than that was a surprise dinner set up on the Yoga Pavilion that was done for us free of charge with complimentary wine and champagne thrown in for good measure and our complimentary honeymoon dinner which was supposed to be at 24 Degrees Restaurant, was kept as a surprise until the night of it and done in the Presidential Suite at the Hotel and the experience of those moments will stay with us forever. Bjoern collected us both nights of our dinner experiences from our villa which made the experience that bit more special for us. We had practically forgotten why we were being given such special treatment. Having moved rooms on the Friday, we could certainly notice the difference between the Lagoon and Deluxe Lagoon Villa. The deluxe villa somehow felt slightly more modern, perhaps it was the decoration or the natural light from outside. The room was ever so slightly larger internally although the bathroom was slightly smaller. The external deck was of course larger because of the additional plunge pool which also had some jets within it. We did finally feel like we were in the room we booked, with the added bonus of a plunge pool. If we were to book again, we would definitely upgrade to a Deluxe Lagoon Villa. The rooms contained the usual mod cons with Molton Brown toiletries, complimentary filtered water (although you are charged $5 for this water in the restaurants), fruit, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary postcards for sending home. There was no iron or ironing board but one could be requested for the duration of your stay. The TV system had surround sound in the room with a 42 inch plasma screen in the Deluxe Villa and a slightly smaller TV in the base room. DVD hire is complimentary from the Library. We also returned to our room on our first night to be greeted by a chocolate cake, on another night a half bottle of Veuve Cliquot Champagne on the night before my wife’s birthday as a present from the hotel with a rose pettle covered bath tub and other sweet treats on other nights of the week including a Scream Mask made out of chocolate and a brownie on Halloween. The only unfortunate thing about the bathrooms was the size of the bath, 2 people certainly cannot get one there and it is barely big enough for one person. This is the same in both types of Villa. On the morning of my wife’s birthday staff greet her and wish her a happy birthday without any prompt from me. Breakfast in the morning is excellent. There are a vast array of different dishes on offer to suit all tastes. Having tried different eggs and a Full English, I opted for an aloo parantha with fresh set plain yoghurt and I never ate anything else for the rest of my stay, it was lovely as were all the other dishes. There is no buffet but you can order whatever and however much you like. We do not generally eat lunch on hot holidays as our appetites tend to shrink and the options available for dinner were excellent. The curries on offer at the 24 Degrees Restaurant were excellent as well as the cuisine at the Deep End Restaurant which was amazing. The crab, lobster and wagyu beef are all amazing. Eating the way we did generally with beers to accompany our meals unless wine was specifically called for without the discount cost around $800 for food and drink with one night of room service (where our waiter set up a table for us in our Villa and gave us complimentary large cookies) and our complimentary honeymoon dinner which was much cheaper than going half board and allowed us to sample the Deep End Restaurant on 2 occasions. We would also receive little extra courses at the Deep End and a small box of chocolates to take back to our room. The berry soufflé as a dessert was excellent; a must if you have a dessert in the Deep End. We were certainly glad that we did not choose the half board option considering we ended up paying much less and had the flexibility to eat at their top end restaurant. The complimentary cocktail drinks and canapés evening was a nice experience with Zok the Assistant Manager keeping us entertained with stories about the island and Male. The complimentary sunset cruise was a little cramped with 4 other couples on board the speedboat as it was a little difficult to get a good view although we were lucky enough to see Dolphins on our cruise. Whilst this hotel does not have a house reef, our snorkeling experience was by no means disappointing. We saw a vast array of sea life, including around 5 sting rays which hovered around our first Lagoon Villa and a puffer fish which hung around our second Deluxe Lagoon Villa. Under our second room were so many fish, here was no need for us to go very far at all. Walking out from the beach into the ocean was not a painful experience as there are not really any sharp rocks to have to navigate. The beach itself is excellent and sunloungers all come with towels and an ice box with complimentary water. Occasionally we were given complimentary fruit while we sat on the beach. The Spa treatments were amazing. Having had our complimentary 45 minute full body massages, I opted for a head massage and my wife a facial which we enjoyed very much. One thing we did notice were the price of the excursions and food and drink which was more expensive than the hotel we had stayed at in the previous week (Baros). I do think this hotel needs to look at the price of its excursions or consider switching its provider if it does not organise them. Wi-fi is complimentary in other hotels but you have to pay for it here, however there are fast computers in the library for use by guests. The planes overhead coming in to land at Male Airport were not really a problem for us although I can imagine they would be for some people as they are quite loud. There were also building works going on to produce upgraded rooms on the island which did not really cause us any problems except when the wind carried the noise to our Deluxe Lagoon Villa. This was not something we had been told about when we booked. In any case, I’m sure that these works will be finished shortly. All in all, the service here is excellent, the food and drink were amazing regardless of the price, everyone was very friendly and wanted to ensure that you had a memorable stay, our butler even going to the pains of having our slightly over noisy air conditioning system made quieter when I happened to mention that it was ever so slightly noisy. If you choose the Taj Exotica you will certainly have a memorable stay. Our thanks go to Bjoern Hiller who along with our Butler Adi made our stay that extra bit special.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Greetings from Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives.
We thank you for your feedback of the resort facilities and services post your recent stay with us. It gives us great pleasure to learn that your honeymoon was made memorable for you. Our General Manager, Girish Sehgal has communicated your comments to Adi, Bjoern, Zokh and the entire team at the resort who are very happy to have received the same. We are certain that this will serve as a source of inspiration for us to achieve higher standards of excellence in future.
We are happy to read that you enjoyed snorkeling around our lagoon which is the biggest single lagoon in whole of Maldives and is home to around 36 varieties of fish. Also it gives us immense joy to learn that you enjoyed our beach service of complimentary round of fruits, sorbets, cold towels, cold water and Evian spray.
You would also be pleased to know that our General Manager is working very closely with the Aviation Ministry on having the airplanes fly at the periphery of our lagoon as our resort lies out of the designated flight path and we have had success in reducing the number of aircrafts flying directly over us.
Please do accept our sincere apologies for the error in pictures available for virtual tours on our website. The same has been personally communicated by our General Manager to our Corporate Marketing and IT team who are working on having the same rectified. We will definitely follow-up on the same.
While the Half and Full board options are applicable only at 24 Degrees restaurant we do give certain credit for guests who are on meal plan to be able to dine at the Deep End.
We are also pleased to inform you of the addition to our dining experience – the Teppanyaki counter at the 24 Degrees our All Day Dining restaurant which is very interactive as the chef prepares the Teppan grills fresh right in front of the guest.
We have communicated your feedback on reduction of excursion prices to our Front Office In Charge Hassan Latheef who is looking at working with different operators to provide more competitive offerings.
Our WiFi connection is currently a third party service and while we offer complimentary internet access in the library, we will definitely raise your feedback to our corporate office. This decision will be implemented companywide to ensure consistency across all Taj hotels, resorts across the world. In the meantime based on the feedback we are delighted to inform you that we have reduced our wifi charges by approximately 30%.
We would also like to share with you some great news. We received two International Awards / recognitions within last couple of days – World’s Best Luxury Villa Resort by World Luxury Hotel Awards 2010-11. This is the 10th award for Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives in last one year. We have also been informed that Lyn Middlehurst and David Maslin of the highly reputable and respected Gallivanter’s Guide have voted us as one of 16 Best Escapes for Grown Ups in the World in their November 2010 edition which takes us to our 11th International award / recognition in the last thirteen months.
Once again we thank you for your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back at our island paradise for another memorable experience.
In the meanwhile if I can be of any assistance please do let me know at the email address below.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives
Email – email@example.com
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.