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“Amazing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of J Resorts Alidhoo

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J Resorts Alidhoo
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   minutes from Haa Alif Utheem (Formerly Cinnamon Island Alidhoo)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Alidhoo Island
Louth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2011

We just returned from a week’s all inclusive holiday at the J resort, Alidhoo (formally Cinnamon Island), and we quite literally had the holiday of a lifetime. We read a few negative reviews about the place prior to coming which had meant that our expectations were quite low, but we could not have been more impressed. I’ve included some photos in the hope that this will help you decide if this island is for you.

Flight and transfer: These were very good indeed. The international flight is long but fine – decent enough leg room and your own entertainment system (you can upgrade for £5 to get on-demand films). Polite air crew and overall a much nicer experience than flying long-haul with most of the major airlines. When we arrived in Male we were met by the Thompson rep who advised us to wait in the café area until the domestic flight left in a few hours. Actually it was only about an hour’s wait, the representative rounded everyone up, escorted us to the domestic terminal, and helped us get our bags checked in. The flight lasted about 45 minutes, and the views were absolutely breathtaking. Upon landing at the small airport in the North of the Maldives we were met by the J resort representative, who walked us to the waiting speedboats, which then took us to the island. This journey lasted about 20 minutes. I would have liked a little more information about this process prior to departing the UK – not having ever been on a package holiday in the past I was unsure how everything worked. However my fiancé had been on a Thompson holiday before and was very relaxed about it all, saying that we would be told what to do when we landed – we were, and the journey was stress free.

The island: Absolutely beautiful. The weather was gorgeous, and we truly felt as though we were in paradise. Quite a lot has been written about the lack of a decent beach on Alidhoo, but for us it was really everything that we imagined (and better). We stayed in one of the beach villas, and quite literally had a beautiful beach on our doorstep. On our second day we walked around the whole island on the beach barefoot (took about 20 minutes). I’ve included photos of the beach outside our villa (which was amazing), and also of the beach further up, where it was more rocky/coral than white sand. If you were in one of the villas without a sandy beach outside you would only have to walk for a minute to get a sandy stretch where you could lay out your sun-loungers. So basically there isn’t soft white sand all around the island, but it is still a beautiful setting and if you can’t lie on the beach outside your room you can still find plenty of nice sun bathing spots. We went snorkelling on the stretch of reef outside our room and were blown away (the island hadn’t been sold as having great snorkelling so this came as a lovely surprise). We spent about half an hour with a turtle on our last day, and saw an impressive range of reef fish, a huge eel, etc. I’ve included a couple of photos for good measure. The free trip to the sandbank was well worth it – we saw manta rays and although the reef wasn’t as pretty as that off Alidhoo, the blissful location (again some photos included) made this an amazing experience.

The accommodation: The room was fab, absolutely huge, and in great condition. One of the other guests who had been the to Maldives previously commented how good the accommodation was compared to other resorts. You get a Jacuzzi on your porch (both on the beach villas and the “water villas”), a TV, stereo, DVD player, minibar, ironing board – all the usual stuff – as well as an enormous bed. The “outside” bathroom is great – you are of course completely secluded but can see the trees while you shower (in one of the three showers). The Jacuzzi took a bit of figuring out but once we had done that we used it every evening. One night our air con stopped working and within 5 minutes of calling reception (at about 2am) the technician came and fixed it. There was free wired internet (some other rooms had wi-fi) which was a nice bonus. The water villas were larger than the beach ones, but we were delighted by being on the beach. Guests staying in the water villas were very positive about them, although a couple of people said that the noise from the waves made getting to sleep hard for the first couple of nights. The infinity pool and bar made a nice alternative location – we spent most of our nights there after dinner. There were a couple of themed evenings and two singers who performed each night, as well as a karaoke one night. Cheesy but funny and not intrusive if you just want a quiet drink.

The food: Again no complaints. It was varied and plentiful, and almost always delicious. Good salad selection (lettuce, olives, cheese, bread, tomatoes, cold meats, etc) with a wide range of mains (different types of delicious curries, fish, beef, chicken or lamb being cooked fresh on the grill while you watch, fresh pasta, and western-type dishes like lasagne). The best food was usually the fish or any of the more regional dishes like the curries. In addition to the three meals a day from the restaurant there were also snacks available from the bar between meals – so you definitely do not go hungry! We only made it to breakfast on our last day as we enjoyed a lie-in and after stuffing ourselves in the evenings we wanted to just lie on the beach in the mornings until lunch. You can have free drinks (wine, beer, soft drinks) with your meals, and can have free drinks throughout the day from the bar by the pool, including a range of cocktails. You can also have free beer or certain soft drinks from the mini bar in your room – best to check with reception though what you can have for free because it is not cheap if you do have something that isn’t included.

Extras: Although we are both divers we didn’t go diving - had we stayed longer we definitely would have done. We were very happy just snorkelling and lying around on the beach and by the pool. The diving is apparently very good, although it is quite costly (around $100 for 2 dives). There are numerous other things you can pay extra for like banana boat rides, kayaking, wind surfing, having dinner on the beach, certain cocktails etc, but these are not pushed on you so you don’t ever feel pressured to pay for extras.

Service: The staff were very polite, incredibly friendly, and always went out of their way to make sure you were having a good time. I think it is normal to tip, so we left tips at the end of the week for the room service team, the bar staff, our server in the restaurant (we had the same guy most days), and we also gave a small tip to the porters and the guy who fixed our air con at 2am. The Thompson team were very good we thought – we got a service call the day we arrived to check everything was ok, and we were given her contact details in case we had any problems. There was also a Thompson representative on-site in the last few days - she was lovely and very professional.

What would we have changed?: We’d have stayed a few more days! I felt as though we really got fantastic value – luxury accommodation in an idyllic setting.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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197 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Newcastle-under-Lyme, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2011

We didn't get off to a good start as our flight from Gatwick was delayed for hours and therefore meant we missed the connecting flight from Male where we then waiting around 4 and a half hours for the next flight followed by a short speedboat journey to the island.

We arrived on New Years eve, the Gala dinner was lovely despite us being exhausted and there was a good atmosphere for the whole evening. The hotel greeted us with fruit and smoothies in the reception and took us to our room via golf buggy.

Originally we had booked a beach bungalow which was lovely, the bathroom was very impressive with an open air shower, only problem with this being the small creatures that like to creep in, I would advise not leaving the bathroom door open at all as they will creep in to your bedroom area which is not pleasant! The room opens out at the back on to the decking with jacuzzi and direct access to the beach. We actually received an upgrade to a sea villa due to the trouble we had with flights etc which was absolutely lovely, very spacious, light and clean, the jacuzzi on the back deck is perfect overlooking the Indian ocean and had the open shower again but no lizzards as you are not surrounded by greenery as in the beach bungalow. I would highly recomment staying in the water villa. The sea is choppy at night that you can hear but no so much so that it disturbed our sleep.

The staff are lovely and decorated our bed with flowers one evening, most of the staff were more than happy to help and very friendly.

The food was ok, some days there didnt seem to be much choice at lunch and dinner but it was ok, we never got up in time for breakfast. We ordered room service a few times too which was very expensive but fine. The all inclusive drinks were ok with spirits and cocktails included although there wasnt really a choice of largers or beers to go at just San Miguel.

It is true that some parts of the beach are very rocky and covered in dead coral, but you have to walk around a little and find parts of the beach that are not so rocky which you can do easily and the staff are happy to bring out sun loungers for you once you find the right spot! The pool is also lovely and doesn't get very crowded as there are only a number of sunbeds set out.

There are several excursions you can do, we did a dolphin trip which was very good we saw many many dolphins on this trip and fishing trips are available as are the sanbank ones which we never went on.

Snorkelling equipment is available but very pricey, its around 12 dollars per person per day to rent.

The spa was very nice, not a huge range of treatments, we had a warm stone massage together which was excellent.

If you have booked this resort and read the bad reviews I would not worry, of course everyone has differnt opinions and standards but we enjoyed the holiday, the only things we would change was pherhaps the beach situation and more choice of food as we were told by other couples they had previously visited other islands for half the price with pristine beaches and excellent food but overall we had a lovely relaxing holiday which made the day and a half of travelling worth it and would definately return to the Maldives.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2011

I am astounded that people have actually praised this resort/island and can only assume it is their first experience of the maldives.

The resort needs serious investment (not to mention TLC) and in some areas it resembles a dump. So many problems encountered - telephones not working, air conditioning not working and dripping water onto bed etc, etc, etc.

What a waste of money and such a disappointment. On the plus side we only booked for a week! Couldn't wait to get home ...

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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bolton england
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

We travelled to Cinnamon from 14 Dec to 28 Dec 2010 and although we had become concerned by some of the reviews there was no need to worry.
Journey - Our journey door to door from Bolton was 20 hours. The transfer to and from Male is smooth but confusing as you do not have a ticket for the domestic flight and if the process had been explained better by Thomson I wouldn't have found this as stressful as I did. So that you know the procedure on the way out is you will sit in the cafe at MALE and eventually some-one will come and collect you and take you to domestic departures where you are checked in and should board your plane about 20 mins later, then once you land Cinnamon staff will be waiting for you to take you the short walk to the speedboat. The return is easier (or would have been if we knew what was happening), you leave your cases on the speedboat and you are escorted to a nice lounge at the airport with free refreshments and internet. Eventually some-one will come and collect your passports and sometime later will come back to escort you to the plane once it is ready to board - simple!

Rooms - we stayed in a water villa and I loved it, it was one of the nicest places I have ever stayed in. The sheets were changed almost daily, the beds were so comfy with eygptian cotton sheets changed almost daily an a lovely outdoor bathroom. The deck was a little bit dated but this is because at some point in its life it had been varnished which was wearing off. Jacuzzi worked fine and overall it was beautiful. My OH struggled sleeping due to the noise of the waves which actually sound like there is a storm in full flow but they never kept me awake!

Mini bar - the free drinks are 4 cans of pop, 4 cans of San Miguel and 1 litre of water but we tipped our room boy and he refilled the frifge each time he came to do the romm which was twice a day! The room boy also did an excellent job of cleaning our room, no complaints whatsoever.

Food - the first week we were thee although we were very impressed with the selection of food it wasn't boiling hot. This was because they were using electric heaters but the second week they changed back to gas and it was lovely and hot! There is a different theme each night, all are good but our favourite was the Indian.

Staff - so so lovely, very friendly and couldn't do enough to help you. We didn't tip any of the bar staff untill the end of our holiday but their service was still faultless.

Beach - as previous reports have said the beach does move around the island and we witnessed this in our two week stay. It is tricky to get in the water from the beach but possible with coral shoes. We snorkled of the main jetty and saw and abundance of fish including a very large moray eel. On 4 occassions we watched very large manta rays from our deck and it was fantastic.

Sandbank - this is beautiful but rubbish does wash up on shore which spoils it slightly. We suggested that the boat boys pick this up whilst the holiday makers are swimming and management took this on board and said they would implement this. The lagoon at the sandbnk is very shallow (hip depth) but even so we saw baby sharks and a turtle, it is well worth a trip or two especially as a school of dolphins swam with the boat on one of our trips!

Christmas - this was slightly bizarre lying around the pool listening to Christmas carols but the staff make such an effort and every bit of the bar area and restaurant are decorated and there is a Gala dinner around the pool on Christmas Eve (Xmas day is no different to a normal day). The effort that went into the Gala dinner was phenomonal and the food was out of this world, the staff sung carols and there were games and raffles - I could not fault this at all.

WIFI - free throughout the resort

Conclusion - if you are prepared for the very long journey and the beach I would heartily recommend a visit to Cinnamon Island - now called J resort Alidhoo

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Petersfield, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2010

Had read the bad reports on trip advisor before we left so had low expectations, however we were plesantly surprised.
Accomodation: we stayed in a water villa the outside was in need of a little refurbishment but the inside was spacious and comfortable and in relatively good order.
Beach: half of the island the beach was ok the other half it was coral and to get into the water on anyside was difficult due to the coral as mention before there is daily trip to a sandbank was idyllic the snorkelling good and even saw dolphins on the return journey.
Food: for all inclusive the food was very good a different theme each night such as italian, indian, BBQ etc was cooked in little kitchen areas in the restaurant each night so the food was hot and made to your specifications in some cases. We only made one breakfast and thought it was fine some people did complain that they didn't have proper bacon but it is a Muslim country
Staff: they were excellent and made the holiday you could interact with them as much or little as you chose but they were always helpful, friendly and good fun.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Poole, UK
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2010

We stayed 10th - 20th December. We were lucky in that the weather had just changed and was beautiful while we were there. After extensive research before we booked, we knew all about the lack of decent beach and difficulty snorkelling from the island. Although this was a shame, it did encourage us to go on the daily sandbar/snorkelling trip ....

What can I say - this was fantastic! Not only did you get two and a half hours on a magical deserted sandbar with great snorkelling on one side and a fantastic turquoise lagoon the other, you also got a brilliant boat journey both ways. I went 4 times and saw dolphins and manta rays 3 of the 4 times. Once we were so lucky to find a pod of well over 50 dolphins - the boat crew were great and went around in circles so we could stay with them for 40 minutes - truly the stuff memories are made of. Also loads of flying fish and 3 turtles.

My husband is a very experienced diver and did 7 dives - the fish life is abundant but the visibility not so good. They have a great and comfortable dive boat. The island was quiet while we were there so he dived with just him and the guide every time. The diving is relatively expensive but well run and worth it.

We also did the snorkelling trip organised by the dive centre - for most of the 45 minutes we were snorkelling with Manta Rays - another very memorable trip. They swam so close I could almost touch them - fantastic!

Watch out for things that bite - I always travel with lots of 50% DEET but was still bitten by both sandflies and mosquitoes.

We stayed in the beach villas - DVD player that plays UK DVD's, coffee and tea maker, free beer, great jaccuzi, outside bathroom with 3 showers and a large comfortable bed - lovely. Free Wifi but very slow.

As a previous reviewer has said, the rumours are that the new owners are going to spend some money creating a better beach and a lagoon in front of the pool area. In my opinion, this will make this island truly excellent.

Having come back 6 hours late after being diverted to Stansted because of the snow, I just wish we were still there .....

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Aylesford
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2010

Went to Cinnamon Island in late November.Cannot fault the staff and knew about the beach problem thanks to a more honest travel company (not Thomsons) .Our beach Villa was superb but had a few faults but if you mentioned them they got fixed no problem.Our beach had decided to move to another part of the Island but you could still get in the sea but could be tricky if the sea was slightly rough.The food got boring and could be nicer and a greater choice.The staff are great and very helpfull.I think the plan is to spend a lot of funds on the Island now its got new owners but Thomsons do not paint the right picture of this Island.If you want sandy beaches and good access to the sea choose another Island.To sum it up its not good for the money and theres better.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about J Resorts Alidhoo

Address: minutes from Haa Alif Utheem (Formerly Cinnamon Island Alidhoo)
Location: Maldives > Haa Alif Atoll > Alidhoo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Alidhoo Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — J Resorts Alidhoo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As you take your first step towards an unforgettable experience let us escort you to your very own personalized hideaway. Lose yourself in intimate luxury and choose and illuminating experience as we offer you to unwind yourself in harmony. All our rooms are located in the beach front or in the ocean waters. The island boasts of 45 Beach Villas, 7 Duplex Beach Villas, 46 Ocean Villas and 1 Presidential suite. The villas are designed by magnificent architectural craftsmanship symbolizing a harmonious delight for Him & for Her. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
j Resorts Alidhoo Hotel Haa Aliff Atoll
Cinnamon Island Alidhoo Hotel
Cinnamon Island Alidhoo Resort

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