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“Absolute Paradise - Best holiday ever.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chaaya Island Dhonveli

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Chaaya Island Dhonveli
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Kanuoiy Huraa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Absolute Paradise - Best holiday ever.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2010

My husband and I went to Chaaya for our honeymoon Oct 2009. We had the best time and holiday ever... so much so, were struggling now to find a holiday to match it for the same price this yr!
If your looking for relaxation, crystal clear waters with excellent snorkelling and great food.... this is your place!

Beach - Is everything to me! It makes my holiday. Water was warm, clear and clean an calm. There is a large reef 12 feet from the waters edge, which is full of all the fish you could possibly imagine. Everything from damsels, butterfly fish, triggerfish to puffers, stingrays and even reef sharks! - Which we did see and swim with. The sharks however are not dangerous. As the beach is a lagoon, large sharks cannot enter.

The sand is quite sharp, being mostly ground coral, so i strongly advise jelly shoes. I wore these getting to and from the water. This is not a problem.
If you like soft sand and a large beach - chaaya does not provise this. The sanded area is quite thin.

Sunbeds seemed to be a bit of a bother to some. The traditional white sun beds with parasols were snapped up early - and Im talking by 6 / 7am. So im afraid getting up early is a necessity if you want one.
The fixed white sunbeds were often available, but are very unconfortable. Okay for us being 25 years old, but many older people could not lie on them at all.

We stayed in a family beach bungalow. We paid and extra suppliment of £14.00 per night for the bungalow, but recieved the larger family bungalow which we were thrilled with! We did tell frist choice that we were honeymooners when we booked our trip - which may have helped.
Our room was clean, massive and very comfy! Huge outdoor bathroom, with two sinks, clean shower and jacuzzi bathtub with water fountain. (Unfortunately fountain was broken).
We had an upstairs where our bed was, with outdoor balcony - fantastic! If you can get this room! Do try! We had our own private pattio area, which had sun beds which we could use if beds were taken on the beach.
The over water suites did look nice inside, but not much to look at on the outside. They were also away from the beach - which some older visiters we met said was a pain - especially when trying to get a sun bed!

My husband went diving, which he said was the best he'd ever done. Seeing fantastic fish and even turtles. Its is a PADI approved centre and provides a free taster. The staff were very freindly and full of knowledge.

Food - buffet food available only, with a section of special food being freshly cooked at every meal. Fresh pasta was available also. Food was fresh, varied and very good. We really enjoyed, but did become a little repetative towards the end of week 2. But very good and lovely sweets. Wait service was excellent - my glass was never empty. Bottled water is free and available form the bars which can be taken to your room. Mini bar is not free!

We paid extra and had special candle lit dinners of the beach a couple of times - under the stars which was lovely and very romantic. Price was reasonable and food very tasty!
We paid for a bottle of wine - which was quite expensive and no better than the free house wine! So id recommend sticking with the all inclusive option!
We went to the seafood night - which was a little dissapointing with the prawns being a little mushy. Fish was good - but i was a bit 'fished out' by the end of it!

There was not much entertainment. We went in October - ? out of season. We didnt mind though - as its not really our thing. They did do a few things like crab racing which was fun, bingo and had a few music nights with visiting bands which was good.
The surf bar is excellent - with very attentive and friendly waiters. Every night there were the most amaizing sunsets, major photo apportunity!

The surf bar overlooked the sea, which was the rougher waters - fantastic for surfing. Excellent to watch! Please note that UK visiters cannot get insurance to surf here, which was dissapointing. However, the waves did go very close to the coral which a a little scarey!

All staff were very freindly and helpfull, we had no complaints at all! We did tip our waiter and room boy at the end of the week, which was appreciated. We also tipped the bar waiters, as they work hard and deserve it!

Pool was lovely - beds always available. Clean and warm.

We paid a low amount to go on a dolphin excursion through the resort. We travelled only 15 mins from the island, and found a huge school of dolphins! Best thing ever and very entertaining - lovely to see them how they should be and not in a goldfish bowl!

Transfer was easy and fun - travelling by boat! We were met at recpetion with cold flannel and cocktail - v.refreshing! Bell boys brought our luggage and showed us to our room. On the transfer home we even saw our friendly dolphins up close again!

Rain? What rain? we were there for two weeks and it spat for about 10 mins one evening and that was it!!!! FAB!

Overall - 10/10. Fantastic - dont hesitate and book with confidence! Hope this has helped you, sorry its very long!!!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2010

As we had been to the Maldives before we thought we knew what to expect - clean, good quality good food and service along with a prestine white sandy beach (just like the picture in the First Choice brochure).
Not so at this resort the food was terrible the hot food was cold and the cold food was warm & even melting in the heat. The ants crawling over the bread rolls at dinner had to be the low light of the holiday.
Even though the First Choice brochure says there are 2 restaurants (indicating a choice of food) there is no choice at all everyone eats the same food but in different dinning rooms with different staff. The three dinning rooms range from school dinner style to a half reasonable self service restaurant.
The snacks at the bar are available within the AI package are served for only 2 hours a day 10:30 - 11:30 and 22:30 - 23:30.
On the whole the staff were OK - we did have our first waiter changed as he was useless, I would still highly suggest you pay a little extra and stay at another Island.
Everything here is based around getting you to part with even more $ from crab racing to paying even more for the terrible food to be served to you on the beach.
To call the beach man made suggests that they would look after it - if this were the case there would not be huge lumps of concrete and rocks all over the place.
It really could be a nice resort but it needs to be closed for a couple of months and considerable investment made to make the improvements required along with an ongoing maintenance programme.
The First Choice rep, Nigel, tries hard to keep the guests happy but he cannot improve the beach, change the managements attitude or make the food better.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2010

This was our dream holiday that nearly ended in a nightmare. We stayed at the island over Xmas and New Year and although the staff worked very hard to provide the atmosphere, Xmas lights an all. The gala dinners were a dissapointment, The turkey seemed to be rationed. The desserts and fruit were plentiful but not refridgerated. You were expected to buy tickets the grande raffle at $10 each and sold in the restaurants at meal times leading up to each event. The most negative thing about our holiday was our accommodation which was beach bungalow 228. The main room was spacious and clean with a giant size bed and a single one also.The lighting was very poor, not bright enough to see to open the safe in the wardrobe without using the torch provided or to read after dark, which was important to us because for four out of the first five days of our holiday it rained all day, plastic macks and umbrellas were supplied.Thankfully after that the weather was beautiful. Our patio windows opened onto a beach minus of sand but of jagged coral which was dangerous to walk on, if you dared to step down onto it , as our patio area was quite elevated. see photo's. We did not ask for a move because the resort was overbooked and our neighbours in 226 did and were offered a room on the centre of the island that was surrounded with trees making it very gloomy, they elected to stay put in 226 the room being the lesser of two evils. Our bathroom was half indoors and half out with the shower area outside the floor was only partially tiled, the rest being a mixture of bare concrete and coral pieces and a small bush. We used the shower mainly but midway through our stay my wife said she'd like to soak in the bath, when she removedthe rubber bath mat it revealed a large hole in the bath that had been repairede with resin tape, see photo's. The staff were very attentive, particularly the room boy who came in twice a day to clean and provide fresh towels. Our restuarant was Koimala, in itself very nice, but as previously mentioned the food in the heated taureens was not hot and the dessert table and cheeseboards were not refridgerated. The best food was that cooked freshly for you by Manik and other chefs. Manik was the pasta man and always cheerful and helpful. In fact all the staff were polite and helpful. The organised trips were expensive as were the massages etc. at the spa, full massage about $160. The bars and entertainment were ok, the highlight being the crab race, $5 a crab to enter. Other guests who were better situated than ourselves were shocked to see our beach and bathroom conditions. There are three shops in the resort that are expensive but poorly stocked so take plenty of cigarretes, lighters, chocolate and sweets with you if you risk coming this resort. Beach bungalows 226 to 232 should be avoided at all cost.

Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge England
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

I stayed at Dhonveli with my boyfriend in sept 2009. Before we went we were concerned after reading the reviews on here. If you do anything i would say to ignore them. If people are going to be that fussy while they are in the MALDIVES then nothing will please them!

when we got off the plane it was straight on to a speed boat! What a way to start our holiday. we were lucky enough to see dolphins on the way to the island too. When we arrived we were greeted with cold towels and juice and then i knew that this was going to be an amazing experience. Check in was quite quick and our bags were quickly brought to our rooms.

As soon as we got there i changed straight into my bikini and went snorkelling. It is definately worth taking your own. We picked ours up for £12 from the airport....alot cheaper than hiring them from the island and much easier too. We were in room 230. The beach bungalow was amazing and yes it is a little dark in there but your eyes soon adjust. This bungalow had some rocks outside but hey i was in the MALDIVES! Who cared bout a few rocks. You do have to wear beach shoes on the beach and when in the sea so having these rocks didnt make any difference to me as i had to have shoes on anyway.

We dont several of the trips. Snorkelling, Kuda Bandos, Dolphin watching to name a few. Kuda Bandos is definately worth doing. the beach is amazing and we even brought some of the samd home with us from here. We also done the diving course. Neither of us had dived before and it was an experience i will never forget! We went down 40ft and saw Nemo fish and the stragest thing was having fish swim above me!

There is a nearby island that is within walking distance which we walked/swam to one day. It was worth doing as if we managed some lovely photos but if you do this please be careful. People are telling the truth when they say the current is strong and we were very lucky not to get caught in it when we went. Check that it is safe first!

I'm a vegaterian so i thought that finding something to eat would be difficut. However there was something for me every day. I did find the food a little repetitive but my boyfriend really enjoyed it as there was obviously more choice for him. I would definately recommend taking some chocolate or sweets with you if you are a fan. the shop charges something like $6 for a bar of chocolate!

I am very jealous of anyone who is going here and would ask if you could take me with you! It is a fantastic place and everyone is so friendly. It is a place i would recommend for any age as we were 20/23 and had a fantastic time. If you want to know any more please get in touch! Any one who wants a chilled out holiday this is for you!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

had a fantastic time here although xmas week was a bit of a wash out weather wise the following week was great,dont come here if you are looking for an up beat time its totally laid back and is for relaxation ,even the entertainment and activies are very downbeat ,i dont think it would suit families with kids as activities are snorkeling and swimming it does have a fitness centre and tennis court but i didnt see anyone using them.the food is A1 and the rooms are spacey and very well looked after the cleaner is in twice a day,really you will be better off getting any pressies you need at the airport as the shop is very pricey,the trips also are on the expensive side but if you want to see stuff off the island its the only way to do it.if you want the best in relaxation this is the place for you the most exciting thing is the snorkelling the fish are amazing and watch out for the sharks they are harmless but still can give a bit of a fright when they swim up behind you,i deffo turned the air blue on more than one occasion.forgot to mention the rooms have english type sockets for your hairdryers etc.on the whole great holiday great staff if your on your way enjoy.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
309 helpful votes 309 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

After enjoying our visit to Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa in Feb/March, we were so impressed by the ethos of John Keels resorts that we decided to try the other 2 popular Chaaya resorts and have a week at each. We had found lots of information on chaayamaldivesforum.co.uk which prepared us for our visits.
Our first destination was Chaaya Island Dhonveli.
We were very fortunate to stay in an Over Water Suite which was absolutely fantastic!
The current in the Lagoon was a bit challenging at times and the snorkelling not as good as I hoped for but I am comparing it to the Hakuraa Huraa resort.
Meredis is the organisation that runs the diving, they were brand new to Dhonveli and the building was under construction but will be finished by now. The diving was nice but extremely challenging in the fierce currents!
We were allocated the Rehendi restaurant but also ate at the other 2. The food was very good, even for a picky eater like me. I could always find something nice to eat.
Dhonveli was the largest of the 3 islands we've now visited and it was great to have 3 bars to choose from, if you don't like the entertainment in one then walk to another one, it's not very far.
The staff were fabulous and obviously have good training, this trait runs through all 3 resorts!
We loved the pool at Dhonveli, there is a sunny side and a shady side and the pool boys are very helpful and friendly.
The beach at Dhonveli is a bit 'corally' so you will need water shoes but that is hardly a hardship.
I had one treatment in the Spa and it was very good if a little expensive. We also enjoyed a special meal at the Rehendi one evening. I had Lobster and my husband had steak. It was a great meal but again, a little on the expensive side.
The shining light of Chaaya Island is definitely Nigel, the First Choice rep for whom nothing was too much trouble. He is such a top guy and works incredibly hard and is a credit to both the island and First Choice.
It wasn't easy putting together a split centre holiday when it wasn't 'on the system'. Dhonveli is exclusive to First Choice from the UK but it was well worth the effort that the young lady Emily but into it for us.
I would have no hesitation going back Dhonveli, (preferably in an Over Water Suite although I would opt for cheaper if I had to) even though the snorkelling wasn’t as fantastic as I expected and the diving was challenging. The food was good, the staff were great and overall it has a great vibe!
When you visit these islands, do engage the staff in conversation. They love to speak about their loved ones as they spend very long periods of time apart from their families and ‘if’ they are on a cell phone, be a little patient with them as it’s the only communication they can have an it’s often the highlight of their day.
We left at Chaaya Island at 7.30 in the morning and arrived at Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo within 2 hours which is where the next review can be found.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Sofia, Bulgaria
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

The best place for relax, dive and good time. Don't think just do it.

Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about Chaaya Island Dhonveli

Address: Kanuoiy Huraa
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Farukolhufushi Island
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Farukolhufushi Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Chaaya Island Dhonveli 4*
Number of rooms: 148
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chaaya Island Dhonveli is Kaafu Atoll's best-kept secret for its world famous surf point known as Pasta Point. Located in the heart of the best surf areas, the island is a paradise for water sports lovers. Surfing, Diving, Snorkeling, Canoeing, Pedalo are hot favorites while Outdoor sports such as Tennis, Beach Volley Ball and Badminton are also available. This exqusite island resort offers lavish living spaces with 148 stylish rooms and six restaurants and bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chaaya Island Dhonveli Hotel North Male Atoll
Chaaya Island Dhonveli Resort
Dhonveli Beach Spa

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