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“Brilliant - but if you are from the UK don't book with Kuoni!!!”

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Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hembadhu
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Brilliant - but if you are from the UK don't book with Kuoni!!!”
Reviewed February 13, 2011

Went to Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef for a week, last minute booking in Jan 11. Firstly, I would not recommend booking with Kuoni - after paying for the holiday up front they inform me the hotel does not have rooms. I checked the hotel website and it was showing a number of rooms, so I contacted the hotel directly who said there were rooms available. The hotel replied via email within 5 minutes. I then told kuoni, who took 3 days to confirm that there actually WAS a room available, but it would cost an extra £198. Fine, paid that. Waited. 48 hours later was told they needed another £98 (unsure why), to be able to confirm the holiday (they already had over £4k of our money). Over a week after initially trying to book, we finally got confirmation we had booked a holiday - this wouldn't be an issue but it only came through a few days before we departed and only occured because of me directly liasing with the hotel...kuoni - utterly useless. Virgin and Destinology also offer this hotel for UK customers so would recommend to book with them.

ANYWAY...the hotel itself is great. The island is very small, can be walked around in about 10 minutes. Staff cannot do enough for you, and there are atleast 3 per person.

The food is EXCELLENT. We went all inclusive which includes a cooked to order breakfast, 3 course al a carte lunch, 3 course al a carte dinner. There are a lot of choices and the quality of food is better than a lot of the top tier London restarants. Wine, cocktails and branded spirits are also included, and given the prices $10+ for a drink the all inclusive is very good value.

We stayed in a deluxe beach villa which I would recommend over the superior charm, as you are at the best part of the beach which doesn't have a sea wall, so you can hear the lapping waves from the room - lovely. Room was clean, large and very luxurious. We also stayed in a water villa for one night which was amazing - and has a massive bath where you can watch the sun go down.

Most people at the island were on their honeymoon, although some people had brought their children, who looked utterly bored and were not in keeping with all the honeymooning couples.

There was no entertainment at night, which can be a positive or negative - the barman is great and plays whatever music you request and the cocktails are great, so that kept us busy! most couples seemed to retreat to their rooms after dinner.

The snorkelling was brilliant- much better than the acclaimed Chayya reef where we went last year, this hotel has a reef straight from the beach which can be difficult if you are not a strong swimmer, but it also has coral in a sheltered area where the water villas are. There are also lots of fish, rays, sharks and eels to be seen from the beach/jetty.

Overall a great holiday with the rooms, staff, food and snorkelling all fantastic.

Improvements - more DVDs to choose from, one meal at the outdoor place included in the all inclusive package, free wifi & no kids!!!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank londongirl44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllwynDrego, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this review, February 14, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a detailed review of our quaint and lovely resort. I am glad to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and will certainly convey your gracious words of praise and appreciation to my entire team. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed snorkelling in our House reef but it does concern me that you had a tough time trying to book us thru Kuoni directly. I will certainly be discussing this with our Travel partners - Kuoni.

Thank you once again and Do keep me informed whenever you plan your next trip to our part of the water world.

Allwyn Drego
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2011

After a long journey we arrived at Male airport where we were told that the hotel overbooked and we were the unfortunates who had to go to another - cheaper - resort.
I have been to several TAJ-hotels in India and was always satisfied with the service. But how can you overbook a small hotel where all guests will come for sure because they have to book their flights and vacation long in advance?

Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
12 Thank TravelMike7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllwynDrego, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this review, February 14, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting this review, well I request you to email me the details of your reservation
dates, full name and the travel agency you made this reservation with because from our records In the last 6 months we have not sent any guests booked with us to any other resort in Maldives on account of overbooking,

In fact we have never reached a sold out situation to do so in the last few months. Hence this request,. My email address is allwyn.drego@tajhotels.com

Its pretty obvious that the Travel Agent you booked thru is misleading you, because should this have been the case our Airport Representatives who are based at the Aairport would have personally met you on arrival to convey the same to you alongwith an apology letter from the General Manager.

I look forward to hearing from you , so that the truth can surface.

Yours sincerely,
Allwyn Drego
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2011

Wow just came back from a wonderful vacation at maldives-taj vivantta-superb maraine life.it is just fantastic for snorkelling & dive sites are all nearby.the staff has been trained "not to say NO to the guests ". All our needs were catered to- be it vegetarian food or othe activities -everything was "just like the DOCTOR ORDERED".Perfect place for honeymooers or otherwise like us on a vacation without kids.Feeling guilty as we didn't bring the kids-Must bring the kids next time to this place as my kids will freak out in the water around the island.the drinking water is freely available.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nikhilzaveri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllwynDrego, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this review, February 14, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a lovely review of our quaint resort. I am glad to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and will certainly convey your gracious words of praise and appreciation to my entire team.

Thank you once again and Do keep me informed whenever you plan your next trip to our part of the water world.

Allwyn Drego
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2011

I will start by agreeing with all the other reviews, the island is beautiful, the food is 5*, the facilities are great and the snorkelling was, quite literally, out of this world. Also the staff was amazing and overall it would have been THE perfect holiday.....apart from the smell of mould in the room. Although the room was very clean, the curtains had black spots of mould on them and there was a strong, unpleasant smell of mould. In the end we asked for an air freshener and that helped a bit but you could still smell it. I don't know if this was only in our room (a premium beach villa), and I can understand that given the moisture in the air, it's a constant problem..... but still, in my opinion, a room in a 5* hotel should not smell of mould and the curtains should be clean.....

This is the only reason why I can't give this hotel top marks, but to be honest, I would recommend it as everything else was perfect.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sarpe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllwynDrego, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this review, January 19, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a detailed review of our lovely resort. I am glad to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and will certainly convey your gracious words of praise and appreciation to my entire team.

I have noted your detailed observations and please do acept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience faced.

Thank you once again and Do keep me informed whenever you plan your next trip to our part of the water world.

Allwyn Drego
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2011

Rooms - great - we stayed in a water villa. They are concrete structures with wooden decks and steps into the water and are semi-detached. Beautifully decorated, clean with lovely bathrooms. Cute slippers
Island - small, pictureque, lush, great snorkelling just off the beach/villas, cool daily stingray visit and feeding, small shark sightings, friendly local heron
Staff - polite, on the cooler side of friendly, but perfect if you don't like to be over-serviced
Food - good variety, beautifully cooked and presented

So it was almost perfect, but a bit spoilt by the way the pricing works. You do expect it to be pricey, but I do expect to be properly informed before being presented with a large bill. At no stage were we advised that the airport transfers would be USD 280. We were not informed that a dinner we booked for New Year's Eve was supplementary to the 'set' dinner - we were presented with a bill for USD 450 for a dinner we did not eat in addition to the bill we were expecting for USD 425 for the food (includes USD 100 for one bottle of wine) that we did eat. USD 875 for a dinner for two - totally outrageous - even if it is on a tropical island and for New Year - excluding alcohol! If we had been informed of the gala dinner situation we would not have agreed to the grill option. In addition the hotel tried to pass on the booking fee from booking.com to us in addition to the hotel bill and the standard taxes. We found all this out at 06.30 on departure - check was incredibly stressful as the very nice man who as handling check-out was not empowered to handle our queries and concerns over the extra and unknown charges. So check out took 45 minutes whilst the appropriate people were consulted over the phone (all the while we were late for the boat to the airport). Eventually the hotel agreed to waive the additional dinner fee and extra booking charges. But I left feeling totally stressed out and not as expected after 5 nights in paradise :(

If you are thinking of travelling here, I would imagine a full/half board reservation is much more cost effective. The cheapest thing to drink is beer at USD 8 - a fruit juice is USD14. You have to pay USD 30 per day for internet and even USD 7 per day for a life jacket - snorkelling kit is probably the only free thing ;)

So it was a lovely holiday and it is a lovely hotel, but be prepared for the charges in advance. If we return to the Maldives we would probably try another hotel, but look out for the same charging processes - I'm sure it probably is not just Taj group.

Feedback for the hotel: Give your guests the bill the night before to avoid stressing them out on departure. Inform you guests of 'set' charges in advance! Provide life jackets and drinking water at meals free of charge. Plus free (working) internet access. A beach basket in the room may be a nice touch - you could even make more money by charging for them if people want to take them home....

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BuzzyB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllwynDrego, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this review, January 19, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a detailed review of our quaint and lovely resort. I am glad to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and will certainly convey your gracious words of praise and appreciation to my entire team.

Please do accept my sincere apologies for the inconveniences faced, I have also noted your recommendations and will endeavor to have the same incorporated at the earliest.

Thank you once again and Do keep me informed whenever you plan your next trip to our part of the water world.

Allwyn Drego
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Scotland
Level Contributor
51 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2010

My husband and I spent 7 nights at Taj last month and cannot speak highly enough of it, the food was amazing and very special thanks to Prince who was very extremely helpful and on his recommendation I tried a couple of dishes not tried before and I loved them, he goes out his way to ensure you have best stay. All staff were excelle and friendly, the menu at Latitude is fabulous and loads of choice, We went all inclusive and paid for a meal at the Grill and it is a shame that even one night not included for this. The Spa was excellent and we both had a very relaxing massage, do try it. The rooms were very comfortable indeed, we stayed in beach villa and being able to wander out to sun beds at front or if got too hot, lie on the hammock under the tree nearby was bliss. The island is very small and I thought would be bored after a few days, not so it was so chilled!!!
Thank you all for a brill time, we will be back

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WendyPerth_Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllwynDrego, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this review, December 24, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a wonderful review of our lovely resort. I am glad to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and will certainly convey your gracious words of praise and appreciation to my entire team.

Thank you once again and Do keep me informed whenever you plan your next trip to our part of the water world.

Allwyn Drego
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LONDON
Level Contributor
139 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2010

This was a last minute booking so the only villa available was the charm beach villa. It had all the mod cons, flat screen TV, dvd player and so on, nice bathroom with an additional shower outdoors. A good covered deck space outside with table/chairs and bench, leading straight down to the beach with hammock and two sun loungers. All very nice, but a little small, so my advice would be, book the deluxe beach villa or the water villa would be even better. This is a tiny island which took a little getting used to, as last year we stayed at the Reethi Rah which is big,villas are huge and come with bikes and you can even have the use of a buggy. The Vivanta you can walk round in 10 minutes. Everything is beautifully maintained and once you get used to the fact that you are on a tiny island, you realise how sweet it is. There is an excellent spa, my husband who is a spa freak, said he had a couple of the best massages he has ever had, a nicely equipped gym which no-one seemed to use and there is also a room next to the main restaurant where you can read, play games, borrow dvds and get a free coffee. I should say at this point that this is definitely a honeymoon destination but this didn't make us feel out of place as an old married couple! The food was wonderful, a combination of Japanese, Indian, Maldivian and European - service was excellent and, the staff which seem to outnumber guests 3 to 1, are friendly and smiley. Wine is really expensive but that is to be expected, there is no night life and everyone seems to go to bed early.

At 5.00 in the afternoon there is regular sting ray feeding on the beach which is the most bizarre thing you will ever see. One of the staff comes down to the beach with a bucket of fish bits and the rays come swimming in and land up way up looking like stealth bombers. It has to be seen to be believed and then there is Henry the tame heron who is always around.

Word of caution, internet access is very pricey - a day's use is $20 dollars although you can purchase 30 mins, one hour etc. It soon mounts up so be warned.

So a good and chilled time was had by all. My only complaint if you can call it that, was instead of a kettle and horrible instant coffee sachets, the rooms ought to be equipped with N'Espresso machines, for instance, which seems more fitting for a 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank shoegirlat44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AllwynDrego, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this review, December 16, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a wonderful review of our quaint and lovely resort. I am glad to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and will certainly convey your gracious words of praise and appreciation to my entire team.

I have also noted your recommendations and will endeavor to have the same incorporated at the earliest.

Thank you once again and Do keep me informed whenever you plan your next trip to our part of the water world.

Allwyn Drego
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 Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives

Property: Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives
Address: Hembudhu Island, North Male Atoll
Phone Number:
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Hembadhu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hembadhu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
VIVANTA BY TAJ. A FRESH NEW WAY TO HOLIDAY.Vivanta By Taj - Coral Reef, Maldives has all the exotic ocean views and dramatic sunsets that are de rigueur for any tropical holiday. The twist comes when you step into your villa and instead of the usual beach dcor, find a streamlined, sophisticated take on resort accommodations. Vivanta by Taj has revamped the resort experience from stem to stern and offers the ideal escape at a stunning value proposition. Divers, beach bunnies, and honeymooners - we welcome you. After you descend into Male airport, a luxury speedboat spirits you and your luggage away to Hembadhu Island, where you arrive at Vivanta by Taj - Coral Reef. The resort is a diver's dream destination with numerous diving sites and it's very own 1000 year old coral-reef and shipwreck to explore. For those that prefer to stay on land, the view of the lagoon dotted with water villas is hypnotic. No matter where you travelled from, your world is about to become filled with white sand and magnificent coconut palms. Let Vivanta by Taj introduce you to bliss. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef Maldives Hotel Hembadhu
Taj Coral Reef Hotel
Hotel Taj Coral Reef
Taj Coral Reef Maldives
Taj Coral Reef Resort Maldives
Vivanta By Taj Coral Reef Maldives Hembadhu

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