After being at the sister island Chaaya Donvelhi for 3 days they asked if we would like to come to this island for 2 days as they were overbooked. For the experience of going in sea plane and being put in a water bungalow we said yes. This was our first time to the Maldives so to experience two islands in a week was great.
So glad we did as we were pleasantly surprised how good this island was for a 3 star plus compared to the other island being a 4 star.
We arrived by sea plane which is the best way to see the Maldives and it only took 25 mins to get to the island. You are greeted with a cold drink and towel while we got quickly checked in and then shown to our room. We were staying in one of the water bungalows which I have to say was lovely, it was large and spacious with an indoor toilet and shower with only the bath outside.
We had our best night sleep in this room really quiet, much better than the beach bungalow and the water villa suite back at the other island Chaaya Dhonvelli. The beach here is really nice with a fabulous reef with so much sea life which makes the diving and snorkelling really good. We hired flippers at $5 for the day which was quite cheap but we took our own mask, snorkel and beach shoes as this would work out quite expensive.
The food in the restaurant was really good and enough for anyone's food choice, I am veggie and there was never a problem for something to eat. The pasta gets cooked in front of you along with meats and fish of the day.
You get a reserved table that you will use every night which we liked as you know straight away were you are sitting. The staff are brilliant and really quick to come and take your order for your drinks. We were on a all inclusive package which was the best deal for us, it's all branded soft drinks, water, wine is quite good red or the white, the only thing I would have to say is the local spirits are very weak and you can hardly taste them in your drinks.
The pool area is lovely with an infinity pool overlooking the bar and the beach, you also get towels that can be changed every day so no need to take your own.
In the two days we were there we gathered that if you tip the pool guy at the start of your holiday he will reserve you the same bed around the pool everyday!! So unless you’re prepared to do that you might not get a bed around the pool, this didn't bother us as we love the beach and it is a stone’s throw away from the pool if you want to use the pool for a swim and there were plenty of beds on the beach.
They feed the fish everyday at this resort at 5.30pm and you get all sorts of big fish coming in to eat, including eels, tuna, and manta rays one way of seeing what is out on the reef if you don't want to go snorkelling?
There is a little shop selling the usual things but lot more expensive than at home, make sure you take plenty of sun cream with you as you will need it. With it being only 3 degrees from the equator the sun is very intense and you can burn very easily. The only thing I bought when I was there was a $3 internet card which lasts 2 hours just to Skype home which I thought was really good value considering you’re out in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
This island has more character than its sister island which we liked; it has a great gym with its own instructor there all day, not that we had time to use it. It has tennis courts, badminton, pool room all free to use. Some parts of the resort could do with a touch up here and there but overall we really liked this resort more than the other island and could recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo, like all nature's wonders, is blessed with a spectacular offering for marine enthusiasts, is known the world over as the dive island in the Maldives.In the shade. Under the palms. On the Beach. Over the water. There are plenty of stylish types of living spaces to choose from at Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo. The 112 rooms are delightfully designed to blend in with the tropical backdrop and its natural environment.A stunning location combined with star-class facilities and outstanding levels of service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo Hotel North Ari Atoll
- Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo Resort