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“A perfect honeymoon” 5 of 5 stars
Review of JA Manafaru

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JA Manafaru
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 2062   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Manafaru Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Hong Kong, China
1 review
“A perfect honeymoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This place simply has the recipe of a perfect holiday: Friendly and helpful staff (who gave us a surprise birthday cake and card), well-decorated and well-lighted villas (we stayed two nights in water-villa, and two in beach bungalow), delicious restaurants, seamless arrangement from the moment they pick u up from the airport, to send you off. Above all, it has the extraordinary Maldives beauty of nature!

Tips: 1) in planning the flight to Male, make sure you arrive during day time in order to get on the sea plane to save you the tedious journey of domestic flight plus boat journey (u may liase with the hotel beforehand to ensure your arrival time allows for scheduled sea planes. 2) there is fish feeding every day at 5pm at Jetty which attracts two sea tortoisesl!

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this review, 4 days ago
Dear Michelle W,

Thank you very much for your kind comments.

We were delighted that you chose JA Manafaru to spend your honeymoon and hope that these memories stay with you forever.

Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Best Regards

Walter
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Athens
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
285 helpful votes 285 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This was my third time at this resort. The first was back in 2011, when it was the Waldorf Astoria. After that, in January 2014, when it was the Beach House, and now as the JA Manafaru. The resort is being upgraded and renovated (at least during our stay in January 2015), but it’s a soft remodeling (new furniture, colors, etc.).

My favorite thing about this resort is the island itself. Not too small, not too big, just perfect in overall size. The beaches are pristine, and very well kept. The sea is ultra clear, and teaming with life. Some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world can be enjoyed here. That’s because the resort is located far away from Male, in the northernmost and least developed atoll. Getting to the JA can be tricky, because transfer is usually by seaplane, and that flies only during daytime (our flight back home left Male at midnight, and we had to spend 8 hours at the lounge - an exclusive one just for JA customers, very nice - at the airport). The alternative, which can also be arranged if you ask for it in advance, is a local flight to the nearest airport (about one hour), and then a boat transfer (they have just bought a new, super premium boat for transfers, it’s very nice!) which lasts about another 30-40 minutes, depending on sea conditions. However, once there, you’ll be glad you chose this remote location. The serenity, the total lack of light pollution which makes the sky super clear at night, all make the difference.

We stayed at a Beach Villa, same one as the one we had stayed in January 2014, which was not yet renovated. But it was still great. For more details on the Villa please see my review of January 2014.

We were on an all inclusive package, which is a great value for money as far as I am concerned vs. the standard «breakfast only» rate. Great selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and fantastic food. Breakfast is still excellent, served from a wide variety buffet. We only had one lunch, at the ex-Amazon pool area, which serves amazing pizza. And for dinner, we alternated between the restaurant by the beach that serves mostly grilled meat and seafood, and the pan-Asian restaurant on stilts above the water. Everything we had was 5 star. Overall, F&B wise, the resort is excellent.

Service overall is also excellent. Friendly, to the right point, with «can do» attitude. I think the current Assistant General Manager, who is filling in for the vacant position of GM, is doing a fantastic job, and it’s not an easy one, having to manage a staff of over 300.

Overall, I believe that this is a great value for money resort. It’s not «cheap», but the money you pay vs. other resorts I’ve been to in the Maldives is 100% worth it. Would I return? I can’t wait to plan for it!

Room Tip: The beach Villas on the watersports center side have the best beach in front of them
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear AlbertR,

Thank you very much for your review.

We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us as much as we did hosting you on your third visit.

I have passed on your comments to the entire team including Nikolaos, who were thrilled to read such positive feedback.

I look forward to meeting you on your fourth visit.


Best personal regards,

Walter Hall
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maldives
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I searched long and hard looking at all the resorts and reviews trying to make a decision as to where I would like to celebrate my 50th. I made my decision based on reviews as most of the 5 star hotels were a bit pricey.

From the greating at the airport by their friendly staff to the greating at the resort by Walter and his team I knew this was the right decision.

We spent 6 nights there on a villa and what a villa it was.

The surprise privite birthday dinner that was arranged with resort in their underground wine cellar I have no words for. From the executive chief meeting us at the Cellar, dinner and Walters visit and wish's is something I will never forget. Then to top it off the bed layed out in rose peddles of a heart and the surprise cake waiting in our room you couldn't top it.

I highly recommend JA if you are wanting something special.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear Darren Patrick H,

Thank you very much for choosing JA Manafaru to celebrate your 50th birthday.

It was a privilege for us to share this experience with you and our team was very happy upon hearing your kind words.

We hope that you will return soon so that we can create many more memorable moments for you.

Best Regards,

Walter
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maldives
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

From our arrival and welcoming by the management team we enjoyed every minute of our stay. We travel a lot and can't recall a better experience. Staff ambience and resort were all of the highest order.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear John H,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our resort.

We very much appreciate your kind comments and we look forward to welcoming you back again.

Best personal regards,

Walter Hall
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Once you arrive at Male airport you can use the exclusive JA lounge while waiting for your seaplane, the 80 minute journey offers breathtaking views of the varied shaped lush islands and white sands.

The Beach Suite that we stayed in has all the space and facilities we needed during our stay, a comfortable king bed, flat screen Tv's in each room, a sizable lounge, huge bathroom with Jacuzzi, an outdoor lounge, 2 outdoor dining areas one of which is a raised private seating sala, direct beach access and your own sun loungers. In addition a private pool enclosure with covered daybed and more sun loungers, also outside an open-air shower.
We were welcomed by our own villa host who organises everything you need from trips to restaurant bookings, extra milk supplies etc., all in all the accommodation was fantastic.
The stunning beaches are yet another feature of this resort with it’s clear turquoise sea and moving slightly off the beach you have lush exotic flora. Just a word of caution; you have to be careful as the sun is very strong as it is so near to the Equator so use sun block always. For those who prefer a pool, you can use the deep blue infinity pool which is made to look like the sloping sea or Andiamo pool which is a place covered in trees to take a retreat from the sun.
If you don’t feel like a walk there are Trekking Bikes for every guest for getting around the resort that are ideal on the sandy pathways, even though on such a boutique island you are never far from anywhere. You sometimes feel there are no other guests on the resort and you have the island to yourself!
“Amazing staff” can be an over-used term but not in JA Manafaru. From the gardeners, to the housekeepers (ours was called Ashraf and was excellent) right through to Chef Nasser, who is a super chef and host and always makes the time to talk to guests and is eager to please.
It’s hard to choose your favourite restaurant among the many choice of places to drink and dine such as White Orchid, with its superb sushi, Ocean Grill offering choices from Land and Sea (some still alive for you to select) both of which are located on the beachfront. There’s also The Cellar which is a pure indulgence of food paired with wines served to an exclusive few each evening. Then there is Andiamo Pool Restaurant, it serves the tastiest of salads, pizzas and pasta dishes to have with a super chilled beer!
Be sure to book for the traditional Maldivian night, they serve traditional delicacies and sauces that are amazing and entertain you with their Maldivian traditional band and dancers, which you are encouraged to join in for a fun night. Kukuni is where you have your breakfast which is truly bountiful.
They also have a wonderful spa called Calm Spa which is located within the island in a beautiful serene setting. The couple massage treatment we had on Valentine’s Day was really good, comparable to all other 5 star Spas I have visited. Thank you JA for a wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear Eddy657,

Thank you very much for your detailed review of your customer journey at the resort.

Such kind comments are an inspiration for our team. I have spoken to Ashraf and Chef Nasser and they pass on their very best to you.

The Maldivian evening is proving very popular and we will continue to create new guest experiences throughout the resort.

We hope to see you back again soon.

Best personal regards,

Walter Hall
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you can only stay at 1 resort at Maldives, this is the one !
Absolutely amazing level of guest satisfaction. Fantastic options for food with no less than 7 dining options, you'll be spoilt for choice. The ocean villa has truly awesome views.
Great job by the new GM & team, I'm looking forward to going back soon !

  • Stayed February 2015
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear Leslie,

Thank you very much for sharing your review with our Trip Advisor readers and we are thrilled to know that you enjoyed and appreciated the amazing views from our Ocean Villa and the great dining options.

It was a pleasure having you here and it is fantastic to know that we will see you again.

Best personal regards,

Walter Hall
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

The island is top, you can enjoy your own private beach with nobody spoiling your time, but truly what is unique is combination of that with supersize beach villa perfectly designed and open from evevry angle. You will get your own private paradise there.

Food can be choosen from 7 outlets, high quality gourmet level in Ocean Grill and Wild Orchid. Only thing missing for me is "quick and dirty" simple asian wok food for lunch.

The service is super kind, not very very well trained with english stragling, but honest and with best atitudes, so it does not bother, if you are easy person, looking for real pearls of that region.

We have extended our stay by extra 2 days, didn't want to leave.

Highly reccomends !

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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

Review collected in partnership with OIT Hotels

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nikolaos_Sifounios, Executive Assistant Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Dear Mr. Tomasz,

Thank you for your wonderful review on your recent stay with us. We are delighted you had such a wonderful time and even has extended your stay at JA Manafaru.
You have gone into great detail on your vacation, which we really thank you for giving as I know it is not always easy to find different comments to make to assist future guests in making their decision to come and stay at the property.

It seems that you had thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of your stay with us. Our sprawling Island, spacious villas and 7 seven world class dining destinations.
I am happy to know that you enjoyed the food at both Ocean Grill and White Orchid. Our Culinary team are currently working on the menu improvement, which I am sure you will be delighted to see them upon your return.

Once again, thank you for your feedback. We look forward to your next visit and to the pleasure of welcoming you again.


Kind regards,

Nikolaos Sifounios
Executive Assistant Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JA Manafaru

Address: PO Box 2062
Location: Maldives > Haa Alif Atoll > Manafaru Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Manafaru Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — JA Manafaru 5*
Number of rooms: 84
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the northernmost atoll of the Maldives, Haa Alifu, JA Manafaru recreates the style and charm of traditional Maldivian hospitality, while seamlessly blending Asian traditions of simplicity and elegance to its overall appeal. The resort offers a level of serenity unsurpassed in the Maldives. Sleek and contemporary, it offers unparalleled luxury to the discerning few. Experience luxury in a inimitable style - effortlessly chic while maintaining the charm and tradition that is indigenous to the islands. With two additional private islands to escape to near the resort, you are promised a journey of discovery, and an array of delightful opportunities to experience the virgin beauty of Maldives. Take your pick from the beautifully designed contemporary thatched villas, complete with your own private pool and a Villa Host to attend to your every whim. Each villa is a celebration of sleek, contemporary Maldivian architecture, where floor to ceiling doors opening out onto a spacious deck blur the boundaries between the indoors and outdoors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Hotel Haa Aliff Atoll
Beach Hotel Alifu Atoll
The Beach Hotel

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