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“Wow what a fantastic island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo

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Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Ellaidhoo Island   |  
Hotel amenities
Swanwick, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
160 helpful votes 160 helpful votes
“Wow what a fantastic island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2009

Banana banana banana banana don’t stand on the coral today…

We stayed here from the 23rd Feb to 9th March 2009. This was our 9th trip to the Maldives, 1st to Ellaidhoo and what a fantastic island. I would rate this in my top 3 but the overall holiday was number one. The staff were fantastic, the level of service you get is 5 star and I really wanted to cry when I left. The island has something about it that gives it a good feel which I think is a combination of many factors and very good management.

The Flights - Monarch, I have always said ‘They are not that bad’ but I have changed my mind. On the way out the ground staff had their grumpy pants on and pulled up very tight! We pre-booked extra leg room seats and we were one of the very first to check in. We asked for a window seat and the one next to it but were given seats B and C. When we got on the plane guess what - a lady had the window seat (A) and was separated from her partner across the isle by us!? They had checked in very late. We all moved to get the seats we had asked for. Why are Monarch so difficult? On the way home they ran out of bottled water after less than two hours, juice quickly after that. This is just crazy, they did provide a small 100ml cup if asked for but you needed one ever 15min and there was just not enough staff to serve ~330 passengers every 15min with 100ml water. I had taken my aspirin and was wearing my flight socks, I had done my bit to prevent DVT – where was my water? As you can’t take any onboard I suggest only fly Monarch if you are a camel or a sponge.

Seaplane - Upon landing in Male we did not have to wait ages for the seaplane as we had anticipated based on previous reviews – instead only had to wait ~40 minutes.

The Room - We stayed in a water bungalow and it was fantastic. This is the first time in the Maldives we have ever stayed in a room bright enough to adequately see what you were doing, there are a lot of windows to let in the light. The room is very well equipped with huge comfortable bed, sofa, desk, TV, bar fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, very large safe (fitted a netbook), iron and ironing board, rain coats, life jackets, dressing gowns, slippers, umbrellas, a torch, beach towels, hair dryer, body lotion, shower gel, soap, toothbrushes and razor but I would take you own toiletries. The water bungalow room had a very high ceiling with a mezzanine level that can’t be reached but adds to the light and airiness of the room. The balcony also seemed bigger than I imagined with fantastic views. Off the main bedroom area is a dressing room with two sinks and cupboard space and off that is a shower cubicle and toilet then an open air area with a corner bath and drying space. There is lots of cupboard and draw space although the hanging space is not very tall. The only thing I missed was not having a full length mirror in the room. We were in room 401 which was very close to the bar and restaurant and just off the main beach. You are not supposed to take drinks back to your room, we were on all inclusive and there was no problem taking back a couple of beers to watch the sunset or to take back your nightcap (just make sure you take your glasses back). The mini bar is expensive about $12.5 for a tiny bottle of wine.

The Restaurants - We ate at the water bungalow restaurant this serves buffet style meals for the water bungalow guests. I had the misconception before my trip regarding the use of this (the sea food) restaurant - basically the water bungalow restaurant doubles as a speciality restaurant for all guests but is used to serve the water bungalow guest their meals. I would not worry if you are in the main restaurant as if anything the main restaurant had more choice but this is because it caters for more people. We did go and look around the main restaurant and it looked lovely. Both restaurants would cater for a table for two. When we first arrived I was actually shocked at what appeared to be a very limited choice in food at the WB restaurant, but just like the reef you have to look over the edge as behind the counter the chefs cooked lots of food from scratch - pasta, chicken, steak, fish, samosas, omelettes - all sorts of things. There is a chef called Rhino he looks scary but has a real good sense of humour. The restaurant manager is Donald he is lovely and nothing is too much trouble for him. If you have any special eating requirement I am sure he would oblige. Speciality meals are around $100-150 for two, we had ours on the beach and had a 4 course meal with fillet steak but lobster and seafood also available, a lovely setting to celebrate a birthday or anniversary under the stars. There is also a small band that serenades you whilst you are eating - if you hear the banana song it will be with you forever! Thus the title of this review. At first we thought this a little cheesy but actually it added to our holiday experience. The other thing I would like to mention is that the dress code was very relaxed during the day and we even saw guests arrive to lunch in just a speedo costume although I do not think the island approved of this and they were asked to put on a top. My husband wore linen trousers or three quarters with a shirt most evenings and I wore sun dresses or sometimes a cocktail dress but nothing to dressy and always just flip flops or bare foot.

Bars - There are two/three bars - the main bar with lovely sea views also has an inside seating area if it rains and a pool bar at the water bungalow end. All guest can use all the bar areas. At 6.30pm there is ray feeding at the main bar and once a week crab racing courtesy of Donald (Thursday evenings). There is an all inclusive cocktail list which is quite good. Another review mentioned the wine tasting a little like port, this was true at first but seemed to get better after a few days. It may have been just a bad batch. The white and red on AI is Australian boxed wine and was actually quite good. They do have an extensive wine list available including champagne. A bottle of wine starts at around $30 so best to go AI unless you have unlimited funds. The beer is Fosters and San Miguel and always cold and tasty. Snacks are served at 4pm at both bars and in the evening before dinner you get a very tasty variation on Bombay mix with your pre-dinner drink.

The island - is surrounded by a wall - I guess if you are reading this you are aware of this already. I was surprised to meet some guests that did not know this prior to their arrival. There is a main beach, but whichever room you are in I would think you would find your own bit of beach or place by the pool. There never seemed to be a shortage of sun beds and the island was full when we went. The pool area is looked after by Anthony and if he knows you are coming everyday he saves you a space and you are provided with extra towels. He is a really friendly chap. We do not dive so did not use the dive school although we did go on one snorkelling trip which was excellent and cost $40 per person and visited 3 reefs. We did not use the spa but spoke to people who had who were very happy with the treatments. During our 14 night stay we were not bitten once by any mossies etc. The island is sprayed every couple of days.

Snorkelling - You can snorkel around the entire island. It is best to check with the dive school in regards to currents and best spots to exit from until you are acquainted with the reef. The best place to start is out at the front of the dive school you can even snorkel past the boat quay as there are few comings and goings and they will look out for you. This is one of the best house reefs we have experienced, with lots of coral re-growth. You will be able to see Maldivian Clown Fish (Nemos) which we have not seen at every island, we saw a great variety of sea life (sharks, rays, parrot, angel, trigger, eels etc) and even some that we had not encountered before. The Titan Triggers seemed to be more laid back here but we still gave them a wide berth. From the water bungalow decking area we saw 4 octopus – we’ve never seen these before and they were fascinating to watch. The snorkelling trip takes you to the house reef off Kandhulhu Island, we had actually been there before and has wonderful table top corals, so I would recommend that. Please do not stand on the coral, we saw too many guests do this.

Other Guests – A nice mix of friendly Italian, Russian, Japanese, French, German and English. We usually stick to ourselves but met some lovely people. Hello to Jan, Chris, Debbie, Iain, Joe, Jamie, Jean and Steve.

Staff – Manager Ghazzali, Donald, Deesan, Anthony, Predee, Hussain and room boy Karlo we think you are fantastic and if Mr John Keels is reading this you should feel proud as the staff make an island that is already paradise that little bit more special.

We hope to see you again very soon

Nick and Nat

Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
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  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
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    4.5 of 5 stars
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    4.5 of 5 stars
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    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2009

This is an account of our views of this holiday.
We arrived in Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo on the 3 February 2009 for our two week all inclusive holiday staying in one of the 24 water bungalows.
After setting off from Manchester to Dubai, then from Dubai to Male we hopped on our sea plane for a 25 min flight, as soon as we approached the island we recognised it as Ellaidhoo, due to research on the internet and looking at other people’s photographs and recognising the water bungalows on one side of the island.
We got off the plane onto a pontoon by the island because the sea plane can not get close enough because of the coral reefs. We were met by a Dhoni boat and the crew took care of our cases until we got established onto the island. We stepped onto the island and were met by the happy and friendly staff there who escorted us to reception.On walking into reception we were handed cold hand towels by the staff from spa/sancutuary, and given a cold fruit cocktail by reception staff and asked to take a seat.The reception area is unbelievable, in that you walk in from such a very warm atmosphere to cool air, there is even sand on the floor in reception, which makes you realise that you are definitely on a tropical island.Ali was the man who "meeted and greeted" us in reception who took our details and issued us with our all inclusive wrist bands and keys for the water bungalow. We then waited in reception for a short while whilst the other guest went through their details, etc. Whilst waiting the ladies from the Sanctuary/Spa gave us a voucher for a free 5 minute massage. We were then asked to identify our luggage for the staff to take them to our room and Ali then showed us the way to our water bungalow.
On entering our water bungalow, Ali showed us round and showed us what was available like the mini bar, phone, life jackets, umbrellas, raincoats, bathroom, toilet and shower, the air conditioning, TV, DVD player, iron & ironing board, safe and tea & coffee making facilities, bath towels, beach towels and the balcony area. Ali then left us to our room and said our luggage would be along shortly. As promised our luggage came to our room by the friendly staff. We then unpacked making our home for the next two weeks. The water bungalows are very large and spacious, with a very large comfortable bed. The rooms ane cleaned twice daily by the room boy, who even made us a folding boat out of a piece of wood and a sea turtle out of a coconut. He even put our sheets into patterns on the bed on some occasions.
After we got ourselves organised, we then took a walk on the island and did some paddling and saw very clearly the parrot fish and other species swimming around in the crystal clear water. We went to reception and met Ali again to finalise the details about the Renewal of Vows which we had pre-booked for 14 February 2009. Ali then introduced us to the Front Office Manager called Kosala, again another very friendly man, and he took us to his office to show us sample photographs of what our album would be like and to decide on colours for the flowers and cake. He also made the arrangements for our clothing and advised that we would hear from the tailor to be sized. He talked us through what would happen on the day and confirmed times, all of this is included in the Renewal of Vows package.
Later on, we then went to the Malamathi Restaurant and Bar which is for use by the water bungalows residents only, to make use of our all inclusive package. The restaurant and bar area is open to the front of the water bungalows but covered over. The draught beers are Fosters and San Miguel, there are also various cocktails which are available on the all inclusive package. There was two gentleman namely Dissa and Deloware who are the bar staff, again completely friendly people and ensured we had everything we wanted. We did notice throughout our holiday how precise they wanted to be about serving you with drinks, everything you requested when not sat directly at the bar was brought to you on a tray, even ashtrays were brought to you on a tray.
At the restaurant side, Donald who is the restaurant manager introduced himself to us and said if we needed anything let him know and he will sort this for us. He allocated us a table for our two week stay and showed us the different foods sections and how we got our food. The restaurant times are from 7.30am to 9.30am for breakfast, 12.30pm to 2.30pm for lunch and 7.30pm to 9.30pm for evening dinner, snacks were also available.
The food was amazing, and there was always something to suit our taste and you would not go hungry. Our first meal was an evening one.To start there was the starter section, which included either some kind of meat or fish and various salad items, with a good selection of dressings, if you did not opt for this, then soup was available, a different one everyday, with various bread rolls and butter. Moving on there was like a pre main meal appetiser section, with different meats and vegetables for stir fry again with a selection of sauces/dressings. Next was the main meal section which has two sections, one part was either choosing meat, fish or chicken and handing it to the chef to cook for you, alongside this was again a section of vegetables and salad items to choose from. The next section was a food cart which has ten trays each containing different kinds of meals based on other areas of the world, like paella, lasagne, stroganoff, curry, rice, potatoes, vegetables, as said there was always something to suit our taste. The desserts were in a tall fridge cabinet, with five different shelves and two/three different sweets on each shelf, again the option was wide and you could have something from more than one dish if you could fit it all in. This is just describing the evening meal, lunch meals were alike.Breakfast options would include toast, butter, jams and spreads, small cakes, warm croissants, warm Danish pastries, cereals, fruit juices, hot options, like scrambled eggs, friend bread, French toast, tomatoes. You could also request fried eggs, bacon and sausages from the kitchen staff who would bring it to you once cooked. You could even have a curry!!
The kitchen staff were very friendly and we even joked with them about having one of their hats. The kitchen and waiter staff was always happy and would always say hello and smile at you and make you feel at ease and were there to please.
On some occasions the group called Creations would come along and play tunes and songs on their guitars and a bongo type drum whilst you sat and ate your meal. They would even personally serenade you with a song from their culture or an English song.
Over the course of the holiday we experienced other events/entertainment, like the stingrays being fed at 6.30pm every night near the Irohsnee Bar by the staff, it is quite a sight to see, especially when you see the size of the stingrays. Another event was the Hermit crab racing, we did participate, but all of our five crabs lost, it was still fun though.
I had booked the Open Water Dive Course back in England and when we arrived I visited the Dive School to sort out about when I would be doing the course. Adam who is the Dive School manager introduced me to Hamza who was my allocated diving instructor. This was one of the parts I was looking forward to and was not let down at all.The course included watching the training DVD, doing quiz and knowledge reviews.
After passing this part I then signed up at an extra cost for the Advance Open Water Dive Course, which consisted of learning further skills whilst under the water, like navigation, deep diving, drift diving and multilevel diving. On one of the days doing this I went out on a boat, and did three separate dives, the lunch was included. This included going to a cleaning station for Manta Rays, if diving is one of your options then going to see the Manta Rays has to be a must, they are unbelievable creatures and very huge. I took my underwater camera where I captured some amazing photos and videos.
I had booked for doing some dives one day, but because I was not feeling 100% I thought it best not to go through with the dives and rest. I was easy enough to let Hamza know and he made you feel like it was not a massive problem anyway. I spent the day in the room resting to ensure I got enough rest for the remainder of the holiday. Donald the restaurant manager must have been concerned about us, because he called and asked why we had not been down for any food, after explaining, he asked if we wanted any food bring to our room. He then brought us a chicken sandwich and chips each, which we thought was very kind of him as he did not really have to go out of his way and do that for us. After the day of resting I then did some more dives which were easily sorted out with Hamza.

We had plenty to do on the holiday and felt like there was not enough time to do everything. We did do some snorkelling around the outside of the breakwater and also got some photos and video footage of the lovely sea life, so diving it not a complete must to be able to see some wonderful sights. The sunbathing and swimming pool is also good, Anthony who sorts out the pool and cleans it will save sun loungers for you, if he knows you want one, he will make sure there are towels left out for you to use. We also walked around the island a few times, bearing in mind that the island is very small, this only took a short time, even walking slow, but you would see small crabs, lizards, birds including herons. There is also two shops in the reception area. One sells mainly jewellery and the other sells many different kinds of souveniers (expensive).
It was a couple of days after we arrived the tailor came to our room as arranged by Kosala and he sized us for the traditional wedding clothes. It was a few days before the actual ceremony when the tailor came to our room again with a white shirt for me and a white blouse for my partner and two sarongs being the traditional colours for the Maldives.
On the day of the Renewal we decided to make use of Santuary/Spa and booked the Romantic Couple package for the morning. This consisted of a full body massage, facial and time spent in the Jacuzzi/hot tub with a bottle of sparkling white wine. I would strongly recommend this as you feel completely refreshed and renewed after it. Once you have got over the embarrassment of stripping off and wearing paper pants, you are put completely at ease and made to feel relaxed by the ladies who do the massage and facials. They even go as far as massaging each finger and each toe, a completely thorough job. When doing the facials, they use four different lots of creams and lotions and then leave you with a face pack for half an hour, after this they handed us dressing gowns and showed us the Jacuzzi. Donald also brought our wine for us to enjoy in the Jacuzzi.
Later on we then started getting ready for our Renewal of Vows ceremony. We had to be dressed and ready for 4.15pm. Kosala and other members of staff, came to our room with the photographer. Kosala gave us our flowers, and we had some photographs taken in the room and on our balcony. We then proceeded towards the reception and dive school areas on the beach to have more photographs taken and then walked slowly back towards the beach area nearer to the water bungalows to be serenaded all the way by the group Creations. All this time the photographer was catching everything for us and for our album. The staff had made a special stand for us for the actual ceremony to take place and we stood on this whilst songs and words were being sung and spoken to us, to actual renew our previously taken vows. As part of the ceremony they tied our small fingers together with string and poured water over them to what can only be described as ‘tying the knot’. We then exchanged rings and did the usual kiss the bride and they then smashed a coconut at the side of us and threw half over the top of the stand which is suppose to bring you luck. We were then handed fruit cocktails to refresh ourselves. We then went back to the Malamathi Restaurant and Bar area to sign our Renewal ofVows certificate. We was also given gifts from the management and staff which was an engraved wooden plaque congratulating us and giving us best wishes for our renewal of vows and our future together, the second gift was a photo frame which had the pattern of the Chaaya Reef logo ’the orange and cream footprint’. We also had our complimentary bottle of champagne and cut into our beautiful wedding cake. Again all this time the photographer was taking photographs for us. We then walked around the water bungalows so the photographer could get some more final shots for us. I would say the whole ceremony took about an hour and forty five minutes from the time we left the water bungalow.
After the ceremony part was over, we were left to take it all in before having a candle lit dinner, again with another bottle of sparking wine served by the beach. The table was very nicely decorated with “Congratulations” spelt out in dyed rice. Our first meal was a smoked salmon dish, followed by soup and rolls, we then had a fish platter as our main meal with vegetables, and pre dessert appetiser which was a fruit sorbet. We was completely full by this point, but then could have had another dessert with chocolate and coffee to end with. After our meal we then spent some time in the bar before retiring to our room to find our bed made up with flower petals and leaves on it in the shape of a double heart and a banner above our bed saying “Happy Wedded Life”. This was a perfect end to a perfect day.
Another part of our Renewal package was a day to the Adam an Eve island. This day was also my partner’s birthday which again was another day for celebrating. We took an hour long Dhoni boat trip to the deserted island to be left completely on our own until 4pm when they came to collect us. We did initially think that we may get bored over there, but this definitely was not the case. As soon as we were left to our own devices we ‘returned to nature’, knowing that we would not be seen or interrupted by anyone. They provided us with two cool boxes, one was filled with ice and bottled water, coke, beer and a bottle of wine, the second had salad, fruit, bread rolls and butter. They also provided us with one of their food warmers which had fish, chicken, potatoes, vegetables and rice in it. We walked round the deserted island about three times to see fish in the water, baby stingrays, crabs, coral pieces and some small shells. On this island they do have a hut to shelter from the sun and a toilet. We felt completely relaxed on this island and even said to each other, “if only we could stay here all night“, because we would have coped and been completely happy and safe on our own. They then picked us up as agreed at 4pm to take us back to Ellaidhoo.
As another part of my partner‘s birthday I paid for a special lobster meal. Again the table was creatively decorated with dyed rice being a message for her saying “Happy Birthday“. The meal was incredible, this was something similar to our wedding meal which again had a smoked salmon starter, soup and bread rolls, then came our main course which was three halves of lobster on a bed of vegetables with a plate of fries alongside. We were then given a chocolate mousse dessert to finish this off. The group Creations made another appearance to sing Happy Birthday to her and Donald brought over her birthday cake, with it personally iced for her. Again this was a good end to a good day.
A lot of what I have mentioned, bar the massage, lobster meal and birthday cake, was included with the Renewal of Vows package, like the clothing, flowers, wedding cake, fruit cocktails, photo package, gifts, bottle of wines, the candle lit dinner with wine served by the beach, the trip to the island with the picnic lunch and drinks. Also included was a sunset fishing excursion, where we did see the sunset and got some brilliant photos of it, we did not catch any fish but this did not dishearten the trip off the island. If we had caught some fish we could have taken them back to Ellaidhoo and they would have been cooked for our evening meal on the following night. This package is complete value for money at 1000 USD. Other parts to the package which we did not opt for was breakfast in bed, private dining, and butler service through out the stay all available on request. You could also purchase rings for the ceremony at 400 USD each, but we opted to use our own. We also could have had a full or half day island hopping excursion, but we ran out of time to do this alongside the diving and the Renewal ceremony and the Birthday.

I could go on forever about little things, like the bats flying round, the cheeky minor type birds who come up to you when you are sat eating your meal and sing a song for you to give them food, but I hope that I have covered the essentials. To try and draw this review to close, we would like to say that ultimately this holiday was the best, all the staff who helped us in some way as mentioned above and other staff members who we did not get the names of, were all completely happy, friendly and easy to approach with questions and requests. They really made our holiday what it was. We did give tips out to those who clearly deserved it and we bought and gave chocolate to the bar staff and dive school staff who really appreciated this. You really do have to go and see it to believe it. It is quite simply heaven on earth, which is a very quiet, peaceful and a beautiful place with great staff members.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2009

We visited Chaaya Reef for the first two weeks in February. We had a fantastic holiday. We stayed in a beach villa. When we first arrived they put us into a garden villa which is a big NO, NO. (This was more down to our travel Agent than the resort). The beach villas were dull and dingy, no outside shower, looked onto a bit of grass and right beside the staff quarters. We immediately complained and within about 5 mins the Manager came to see us and moved us to a beach bungalow which was big and airy and much better. Nothing seemed to be any bother for the staff.
We had to eat in the main restaurant which is buffet style and I thought I would get very bored with the food after two weeks. But definately not, the food was of a very high standard, the restaurant was immaculate (you can see the chef cook), and the menu changed daily with a huge choice. Donald (the manger for the water-bungalow restaurant) invited us to eat in there on our last night and although it was nice, I definately preferred the bigger restaurant. One point about it though is that it is very, very smokey and you should try to get a table towards the main entrance. They are addressing this problem we were told. You will be allocated a table for your two week stay.
You are well advised to go all inclusive as we did, otherwise, I think it would be quite expensive. As far as alcohol was concerned, the red wine is a bit like port and the white wine was okay some days and not so okay others, but it didn't really matter. I am not sure what brand of gin I was being served, but the tonice was Schweppes and you will get proper Coke, with diet brands available for soft drinks. Ice is fine to have in your drinks.
There is one wee shop in reception and it is very expensive. I ran out of shampoo and paid 10 dollars for a bottle that I know I can get for about £1.50 at home, but no big deal.
Although there are plenty of sun beds, there is a lack of shade. When we left they were in the process of building some shade umberalla things on the beach. Apart from walking on the beach and snorkelling we sun bathed around the infinity pool, which was lovingly looked after my Anthony. It was spotless. There is a bar there and at night its a great spot to watch the sun go down.
We used the gym a few times and it is well equipped with a good range of up to date equipment. In fact one of the days we were in all the electric equipment was being serviced. Snorkelling was great, we took our own gear cause again that is a bit expensive to hire. The fish are fantastic. One day there was a shoal of dolphins swimming just on the edge of the reef. We saw sharks, octupus, sting rays (being fed) and a whole load of other colourful fish.
There is no hard sell for trips, they are posted in reception and if you want to go on one you just sign the form the day before. We did the night fishing which cost 40 dollars each, no-one on the trip caught anything, and that aside, again I felt this was a bit expensive, but we saw a beautiful sunset.
You should note that if any of the above sound like complaints they really aren't, just observations.
All in all we had a fantastic, relaxing chilled holiday and if you are thinking about going to Chaaya Reef then don't hesitate. Book it now.

  • Stayed February 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 4
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4 hotel reviews
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7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2009

Just returned from two weeks at Ellaidhoo and had the perfect holiday. If you are thinking
of going do not hesitate, you will not be disappointed. This is third island we have visited
and was by far the best. We stayed in a water bugalow which was excellent. and bungalow guests have use of a seperate restaurant which is very good, the restaurant
manager Donald certainly made our holiday nothing is too much trouble for him and his staff. Donalds crab night is not to be missed.

  • Stayed February 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ledbury, Herefordshire
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2009

Our stay covered a significant birthday and Valentine's day. We were treated to special treatment for both. The restaurant manager (Gordon) went out his way to make our celebrations special. The Room Boy decorated our bed with beautiful blossom for the birthday and a red rose was given to the ladies on Valentine's night. The island is small, quiet and relaxing,with a sense of calm. We watched manta rays being fed at sunset, and were amazed at the oceanic wildlife which was visible around the harbour at night time. Although we did not partake, there is a very active diving school which caters for snorkel and scuba diving. The staff were brilliant, and we would recommend the all-inclusive option, which ensures that visitors are neither hungary nor thirsty at any time. The food is very varied, but not suitable for the "chip" brigade. As a romantic getaway, Ellaidhoo is perfect. Don't forget the suntan oil! We had been told how relaxing the Maldivian Islands are and they are certainly that. We have never been on a holiday where we could literally just chillout. We took plenty of books to read but there is a really good 'library' there with books in many different languages. In the evenings a trio came round singing and playing music, which added to the charm. The main restaurant floor is sand and we had to decide in the evenings whether to go formal (flip flops) of informal (bare foot) - the only hard decision we had to make for the 2 weeks we were there. There is another restaurant which is mainly for the water bungalows but if you arrange things with the restaurant manager then you can switch for the occassional evening. All in all the perfect holiday.

  • Stayed February 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2009

I'm writing in thanks for the personal attention we received on our trip.It was our silver wedding and the staff made every effort to make it memorable.The water bungalows were wonderful.Great big windows looking over the beautiful view,gentle breeze,private and well planned use of space.The restaurant felt a nice size and exclusive with a lovely outlook.The chefs cook your chosen meat to your prefered specifications.The buffet had a nice selection of traditional european dishes and curries and especially good sweets.If you wanted chips, they were "a la carte".
The reef was spectacular and easy to reach from shore.
We had a wonderful stay and would especially recommend the water bungalows.
If you travel from Glasgow,you can have the Male adventure before the early morning flight home.Cosmos looked after us well and it was an opportunity to experience how overcrowded Male is.

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, 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)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2009

Stayed in water villas at this resort (20th Jan to 5th Feb 09) slept with a sea breeze wafting into the room and the sound of gently lapping waves. Standards of cleanliness, service and smiling attention from all staff helped to make this a holiday to remember.

Downside to the Water Villas was that being in pairs and with sound transmission between them, we were reliant on quiet neighbours - unfortunately we had noisy ones and had to change room, handled promptly by reception.

Food at the Water Villas dedicated restaurant was fine, always something to enjoy, a lot of which is cooked to order. Our only disappointment was that having been billed as a seafood restaurant, the choice of fish was limited and repetitive although always very fresh.

Our one big complaint is not to do with the resort, but our Seaplane transfer from Male was excessive - from touchdown from UK at 10am to arriving at resort at 2.30pm (4.5 hrs!) - this is subject to a complaint to First Choice.

The house reef and the snorkelling are fantastic - so much variety of fish and coral that there was always something new each time we went out.

Thanks to all the staff who helped make this a wonderful holiday

John & Wendy

  • Liked — snorkelling. Staff
  • Disliked — Transfer of noise between rooms
  • Stayed January 2009, 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)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo

Address: Ellaidhoo Island
Location: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > North Ari Atoll > Ellaidhoo Island
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ellaidhoo Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo 4*
Number of rooms: 112
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

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