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“WOW” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives

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Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Hembudhu Island, North Male Atoll   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hembadhu
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“WOW”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2007

Starting from the landing in Male , to the speedboat transfer to the resort as it slowly materialised from a little spec in the ocean. It was absolute heaven. the lagoon villa, opens into a private balcony with access right into the sea, heck who needs a pool, and the water is so clear, you waddle around with glasses, no snorkelling gear required to see the fishes. Absolutely fantastic! the service is unquestionable and ask the chef for japanese food, which is his specialty. Have a moonlight dinner on the beach, watch the stinrays come for the afternoon feed. Simply WOW. Expensive, but everything is expensive in maldives , and you only do it once :).
The massages were to rave about at the spa as well.

  • Liked — Service, Decor and everything !!!
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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506 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (138)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2007

Yet another break without the kids, stopping in Dubai en route.

Great little hotel and fantastic service.

Food a little on the basic side, but do you really want haute cuisine when your main activity is catnapping in a hammock? Me neither..

Island is circa 45 mins from Male on a nausea inducing speedboat, but once you arrive you can almost see the stresses and tensions of normal day to day life falling off you! I found that I got mobile reception when I arrived, but then forgot about work to such a degree that I never switched it on again.

I planned a bit of diving, but chilled to such an extent that some mild snorkling was all I could manage.

Rooms are clean, tidy and spacious, but perhaps a little early 80's for my taste. A refurb wouldn't go amiss here. Perhaps your expectations are raised a little too high by the sheer beauty of the island in the sun, but I was slightly dissapointed.

A couple of tips:
Ray feeding is fun and worth a photo or two
Do be careful of the cocktails - my head testified to them being rather more alcoholic than expected.

Not a bad place to take children actually - we will next time.

Recommended - not quite the unabashed luxury of the Taj Exotica, but then it is less than half the price!

  • Liked — The white sandy beaches and azure sea (honestly)
  • Disliked — Room a little dissapointing
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2007

After an hour speedboat transfer we arrived at the Taj Coral, we were met with a glass of something nice (not sure what!) & our luggage was whisked away to our water bungalow. Unfortunately for us our travel agent hadn't told them we were on our honeymoon, so we had to wait for one of the deluxe bungalows to be made up for us.

The accommodation was lovely. Clean, tidy & with all the usual things you'd expect in a 4*resort. The fact you had a little balcony of your own (with 2 sun loungers, 2 chairs & a little table) with steps into the sea was fantastic! NO SAND!!!!

The resort itself was quite small - you can make it round the island in about 8 minutes!! All the staff were very friendly & would go out of your way to help & chat to you.

We'd read a few reviews here about feeding the stingrays at 5pm - that is a must too!! Great fun!

We were all inclusive here - highly recommended!! It costs a small fortune otherwise! $8 for a beer, $12 for a Pina Colada - it all adds up far too quickly!! (Especially in that heat!)

June is in the middle of their South West Monsoon season so out of the 10 nights we were there - maybe 2 were overcast & it rained for about 1-2 hours for about 4 days (just in the afternoons & by then you've had a fair amount of sun.) The water did get very choppy though & so we couldn;t use the canoes etc for a few days too.

Snorkling is great ($12 per day to hire the stuff.) There are loads of clumps of coral to look at & the fish are fanastic. Watch out for the trigger fish though - big nasty beasts with massive rabbit like teeth!

The Spa was fab! We had 2 massages while we were there & I had a French Manicure. The massages were done together & were possibly 1 of the highlights of the stay.

Food was good - buffet style main restaurant, reasonable choice, although after 10 days we were starting to get a little bored with it. They also try & sell you a candle lit beach dinner - works out about $290 I think - 1 couple we met went & were not that impressed with it. It's dark by 7.30 so you can't see the beach, sand, sea etc so not really a great deal of point spending that when all the restaurants are next to the beach anyway!!! (It's a pretty hard sell too!)

To sum it up - lovely place but 10 nights was a little long for us. We like a little more to do than what's there....

We probably won't be visiting the Maldives again, but it was lovely to be there for our honeymoon & it is a beautiful place to be!

  • Liked — The water bungalow
  • Disliked — were there for too long
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2007

Trip of a lifetime – very relaxing and super special. The resort 4 stars – only as it’s a little old. The service 5.

Timing – The first week of May, little overcast but good sunny mornings and a couple of afternoon/nights of monsoon rain. Very warm and you can still swim. The island is tiny, and you’ll see other people but you’re not all on top of each other. We stayed 6 days. Only a few young kids and babies. Great mix of people.
Packages – we stayed in the deluxe beach villas, which were a bit tired but very comfortable and steps away from the beach. If you drink more than a few alcoholic beverages a day, consider the all inclusive. We liked the full board (drinks not included with lunch or dinner though). Water sports equipment etc all costs extra.
Food & Drink – the buffet is amazing. The biggest eater will not go hungry. We enjoyed a four course breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet is great, caters for all however if you don’t like Indian or Japanese then perhaps look at ala carte – we loved it. The Palm Grill is candlelight dining and on the expensive side, but worth a visit or two for fresh seafood. Drinks are expensive. $4 US for a softdrink and more for fresh juices. Cocktails are $15 US, but 2 for 1 happy hour runs 3-6pm everyday.
Things to Do – Great dive school. I only went to 10m but it is interesting enough. The wreck is about 16m. I was told the trip to Male and the Submarine trip was only ok. The seaplane was great as we arrived and left at night. Best snorkeling was in front of the Beach Bar, take a bit of bread or sausage out with you and fish eat out of your hand (so many, it’s almost overwhelming). Nightly entertainment was ok – it’s what you make of it. Much better after a few drinks and once you have met a few people to laugh with. Feed the stingrays at 5pm, near jetty. Look for the different wildlife on land and sea.
Service – Exemplary. I emailed them beforehand for price lists of sports, spa, menu’s so I knew what to expect- they replied promptly. There are many special touches that you will appreciate – I won’t mention them as they are best experienced as little surprises. Apparently you shouldn’t tip. Let them know if you (or your partner) like to play soccer or cricket and join the staff games! (I just got a ‘thank you’ email from the Chef!)

The big rip off – don’t buy drinks just outside the airport at the café (just outside to the right). Can coke & water $6US. Got a receipt for 25 Maldivian Rufia -actual conversion $1.9 US!!

Top tips- Budget to spend extra on drinks, equipment, spa, email when choosing to find out details. Don’t pack too much – no shoes, just one pair flip flops! Ask to sit at the top on the boat transfer. BYO; snorkel set, snacks, underwater camera (disposables are fine!), books, DVD’s (if you have TV and in case it rains).
Likes – staff service, special touches, great fish snorkeling, warm water, very safe in the water!
Dislikes – no drinks with lunch or dinner. Unfortunately most coral is damaged and beached.

  • Liked — staff service, special touches, great fish snorkeling (but coral bleached), warm water.
  • Disliked — expensive extras.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2007

We have just returned from a stay at the Taj Coral Reef in Maldives for 3 nights between 24th and 28th April. Having thought about going to Maldives for so long, I had done my research well, going through several sites and blogs. I just wanted to get it really right.
We booked with the property directly and waited with baited breath to get there.
After landing at the airport we were recived by the Taj staff who made us board a fancy white speedboat. 1 hour and various ocean colours later, we arrived at a tiny island that housed the Taj Coral Reef resort. We were welcomed with cool towels and ushered in for breakfast. (We had chosen the bed + all meals package).
After a sumptuous breakfast we were checked in and led to our Lagoon Villa. After reaching our villa, we were informed that a complimetary upgrade to a Deluxe Lagoon Villa had been given to us. The villa itslef was fabulous. The bedroom had a complete glass wall over looking the ocean. We had a private deck that had stairs leading into the ocean. I had never seen the ocean this blue.
The island is all of 7 acres and you can walk about it in only 10 mins. There is a well equipped Diving School that offers quipment rental and various excursions.
We spent all of our next few days snorkelling and admiring the colorful underwater world! We also went on the canoe. What an adventure!
The food - we had the most lip smacking food ever. The variety was great and so was the quality.
Service - You can never beat the Taj Group when it comes to service. We had really friendly staff wanting to help us at every moment. They showered us with plenty of complimentary treats like wine bottles and chocolates. The chefs cooked some of our favourite dishes when we told them what we liked. The housekeeping service decorated our beds everyday with flowers and left us little gifts like appertifs etc.
Overall - Maldives is a fantastic location. You cannot imagine how beautiful it is till you actually get there. No photograph can help you understand it.
But if there is something that makes your trip memorable it is the service at the Taj. The luxury and service is paramount.

  • Liked — The view and service
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, Suffolk
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2007

We stayed at the Taj Coral Reef 12-19 April 2007. We chose this island because a) we didn’t want a seaplane transfer, b) of the islands within speedboat distance (this one being 50 mins from Male airport), one with reasonably good snorkelling and c) availability of lagoon/water villas. The Taj ticked all these boxes.

As we booked reasonably close to arrival, the only water accommodation left was a Honeymoon Lagoon Villa and we were allocated Villa 103. This was very close to the bar/reception/main restaurant but if there was any noise from any evening entertainment etc it did not disturb us at all.

The Lagoon Villas are situated on the south side and as such we had sunshine on our verandah from sunrise to sunset. It was very comfortably furnished and had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lagoon. The bathroom also had glass walls looking out to the ocean but there were venetian blinds for privacy when required!

The area around the Honeymoon Villas was very much quieter than elsewhere and as there was no coral in the lagoon in front of these rooms, hardly any snorkellers past by either, just the odd inquisitive pedalo.

The other side of the island in front of the beach villas had much more coral and the snorkelling was fantastic, possibly the best we have experienced out of the 12 or so resorts we have stayed at previously.

Diving was off the menu for me this trip, but my partner did a few. Unusually, there is a wreck here which did attract divers from other nearby islands especially for night dives. However, the underwater life was more varied with all the usual suspects at other dive sites farther from the resort.

We had booked full board and all our meals were taken in the main restaurant and WELL DONE Taj, finally a resort where smoking and non-smoking sections are available in the restaurant.

The food was not fantastic but there was plenty of choice and neither of us struggled to find something we liked at each mealtime.

During the early part of our stay there were a significant number of Japanese clients therefore there were several Japanese dishes available at mealtimes. Towards the end of our stay the Japanese disappeared and were replaced by a significant number of Indian clients and therefore the menu consisted of European/Indian dishes.

There were also quite a lot of Italian families when we first arrived but we were told that the resort was being withdrawn from the Italian market therefore Italian clients would not be there in future.

We were surprised and disappointed with the number of families there and especially with those who allowed their children to run around the restaurant, bar etc as they pleased and disturb the peace of others.

Staff seemed genuinely friendly and helpful. Perhaps indicative of the smaller resorts.

We did have an issue during our stay which we addressed with the front-desk manager. All credit to him, the matter was resolved quickly and courteously. Unlike other resorts we have stayed in, we truly felt our patronage was welcomed. Perhaps other management teams such as those at Royal Island (see previous posting) should take note!

  • Liked — Quiet location of our particular villa
  • Disliked — Family with teenagers moving in next door a few days after our arrival and disrupting our peace. 'Honeymoon Villas' should be for couples only!
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives

Address: Hembudhu Island, North Male Atoll
Phone Number:
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Hembadhu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hembadhu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
VIVANTA BY TAJ. A FRESH NEW WAY TO HOLIDAY.Vivanta By Taj - Coral Reef, Maldives has all the exotic ocean views and dramatic sunsets that are de rigueur for any tropical holiday. The twist comes when you step into your villa and instead of the usual beach dcor, find a streamlined, sophisticated take on resort accommodations. Vivanta by Taj has revamped the resort experience from stem to stern and offers the ideal escape at a stunning value proposition. Divers, beach bunnies, and honeymooners - we welcome you. After you descend into Male airport, a luxury speedboat spirits you and your luggage away to Hembadhu Island, where you arrive at Vivanta by Taj - Coral Reef. The resort is a diver's dream destination with numerous diving sites and it's very own 1000 year old coral-reef and shipwreck to explore. For those that prefer to stay on land, the view of the lagoon dotted with water villas is hypnotic. No matter where you travelled from, your world is about to become filled with white sand and magnificent coconut palms. Let Vivanta by Taj introduce you to bliss. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef Maldives Hotel Hembadhu
Taj Coral Reef Hotel
Hotel Taj Coral Reef
Taj Coral Reef Maldives
Taj Coral Reef Resort Maldives
Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef Maldives Hembadhu

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