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Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon
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Reviewed January 15, 2014

We booked our honeymoon at Ellaidhoo without knowing a thing about it, after finding a "bargain" trip through Virgin Holidays. We then spent an anxious six or so months constantly checking all the reviews on Tripadvisor that were published to make sure we weren't going to be disappointed!

Luckily, we weren't. We'd compared the price we'd paid with what an "average" holiday in the Maldives would cost, and we were well aware simply from the price that we weren't going to be in for an ultra-luxurious holiday. With that in mind, we were, in fact extremely happy with what we got.

Things you do need to know:

This is not a five-star resort in either appearance or facilities, it's about a three star, and yes, it is looking a bit dated. BUT, it is well-cared for if you report any problems with your room to the staff they are sorted out extremely quickly. It's not *quite* a barefoot island though, I still wore shoes every day!

There are mosquitos. This is not the hotel's fault - though they do fog twice a day, every day. Take LOTS of mosquito repellent, and ensure that the mosquito machine you have in your room is plugged in at all times.

Yes, premium drinks have a cost attached. However, the local drinks are fine, and you CAN drink things not on the "All-Inclusive" cocktail menu at no cost. We spent a fortnight drinking vodka & coke and gin & tonics, and weren't charged a penny. The cocktails aren't the only drinks on AI, but if you want Smirnoff etc, yes, you'll have to pay.

Yes, you do have to pay for some of the entertainment, if you want to take part. But, bearing in mind the price you've paid for this holiday (and it is a LOT cheaper than other hotels), is it really worth complaining about $6 for a game of bingo, or a beach party? Have a word with yourselves, if that'd ruin your trip - seriously!

The beach rooms are dark - deliberately, they have smoked glass - you will find taking a travel torch with you very handy. There are torches in the rooms for when you need to walk across the island, but you soon get used to the darkness. The island runs on a generator. Lightbulbs use more electricity the brighter they are, ask yourself if you'd prefer brighter lights in your room or no electricity at all (that said, the generator is elderly, and we had a couple of power outages during our stay, but they were minimal, and we understood they they were doing their best to fix it.

The service from the staff is phenomenal. You see the same faces in the same places, doing the same jobs day after day, after day. And yet they're always polite and cheerful, and smiling, even during torrential rain after an 18 hour day on their feet. I have no idea how they do it, but they do, and I, for one, was very grateful - even the grounds staff, the gardeners, the litter pickers, etc were polite and smiling whenever we saw them.

Yes, there is no beach around the whole island, and yes, there is a sea wall. And occasionally, there is a low tide and you can see more of the sea wall than you can of the sea. However, EVERY review on Tripadvisor mentions this, it's perfectly obvious from the photos both on here and on other websites, so if you've been here and complained about it ... you can't say you weren't warned! The snorkelling and the diving is fantastic - I've snorkelled in the Great Barrier Reef, and it wasn't a patch on this. But yes, it can be a bit difficult getting outside the wall if the tide is low, but the dive school will talk to you about the tide times, and you can plan your days accordingly - it's really not difficult.

Trips are a mixed bag, Dolphin hunting can be disappointing if you don't see any, but the "desert island" trip is not to be missed.

The food on the island is generally of extremely good standard, with a good mixure of dishes at every meal. The breads are excellent, but the deserts are not quite of the same high standard as everything else.

There is a doctor on the island if you need one, and you'll usually be seen very quickly. It costs $40. The unlimited laundry service is amazing.

In short, if you want a great, relaxed, not at all snobby holiday with great snorkelling and diving, with fantastic service, and great food, this is an excellent place to go that won't hurt your wallet that much. However, if you want butlers in your room, and private beaches, and five star accommodation at the expense of the personal touch, Ellaidhoo won't be for you. I have missed being there every single day since I got home, the staff on Ellaidhoo made my honeymoon the best holiday I ever had. I used to work in the travel industry, and I've never experienced service like it.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank Get_Lippie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellaidhoo_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

hello Get_Lippie,

16th January 2014

Warm Greetings from Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo...

Thank you for your time to share the review “Love this place!”.
We are grateful to hear that we meet your service expectations. Each of your words inspired us to continue our effort to give our best service. We are wishing you both to have a wonderful day ahead! Once again, thank you and hope to have a chance to welcoming you back and have a memorable anniversary holiday! :)

Cheers!

From Ellaidhoo Management and team.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We stayed here in a water hut for a week. Not our first visit to the Maldives so were expecting the usual high costs etc.
The island is surrounded by a break water, which is fairly ugly, however does create a calm lagoon to swim around in, although it's only deep enough during high tides.
The reef is amazing, with white and black tip sharks, turtles and rays all visible.
As far as the resort itself goes, it's average standards. The water huts do not have direct access to the lagoon, the beach it's self is not huge and there is a race in the mornings to get loungers with parasols.
The food was ok, not the best Maldives standard we have experienced. The staff were great though.

Having said all that, the island was fun for a week.

You get what you pay for in reality. This is one of the cheaper islands.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank run2thesun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellaidhoo_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Hi Run2thesun,

16th January 2014

Warm Greetings from Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo...

Thank you for your review “Average Standards”.
We are happy to know that you had fun for a week you stayed with us.
Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo is known for one of best reef with white tip and black tip sharks, rays together with giant turtles around. We are gladly that you found the amazing reef in our paradise island. We are looking forward to welcome you back as a repeat guest.
Till then, Cheers!

From the Ellaidhoo Management and team :)

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Reviewed January 11, 2014

We went for 10days with my sister & her husband who has been to the Maldives twice before. They stayed for 2 weeks . If you read the review from the Cushties below there is very little else to add they have it spot on. Make sure if you are staying in a Beach bungalow you ask for number 300 to 320 as they are on the only deep talcum powder part of the beach the others are in the tree's with very if any beach out side them.(perfect for Ginger/fair skinned folk)
The staff can't do enough for you they are all exceptional but it has to be said Harris is the best Barman/ person ever.
I must say I was shocked not to have any shell fish platters/Prawns ever on the menu unless you wanted to pay $60 each ! We did feel they were trying to get money out of you for anything they could offer including Gerrard the rep! But once you said no they do leave you alone.
The only thing that we did raise concern about which the staff can't do anything about is the Bird Aviary ! This is within the walls of the owners garden which he allows the guest to view. I wish we never had. There are too many birds in such a small enclosure such beautiful birds just stuffed into some very small parts of the aviary especially the cockatoo's & smaller parrots. If I'd packed a pair of wire cutters they would have been flying free by now which would let me sleep happier at night then & now. Please everyone visiting who reads this review do it for me or at least complain !
We fell in Love with the Island which isn't perfect apart from the reef which is describable

Room Tip: 309 310 311 312 all perfect location Beach Bungalows
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Nicola H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellaidhoo_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Hi Nicola H,

16th January 2014

Warm Greetings from Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo..

Thank you for sharing your review “Don't Listen to the bad reviews !”.
We are very glad to hear you fell in love on our paradise island Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo.
It pleases us that you've experienced the outstanding service from our staff.
We are look forward to welcoming you back to Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo :)
cheers!

From Ellaidhoo Management and team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

Well , having never posted a review on tripadvisor before in regard to our 15 christmas holidays , 8 of which include Maldives islands Villamendhoo , Kuramathi , Meedhupparu and Ellaidhoo , this seems rather strange .

However , Ellaidhoo , has to rank amongst the highest where the quality of staff is concerned .
Lets face it , we are all very fortunate to be in a financial position to be able to visit the Maldives , and although we may have gripes regarding the various smells or obstructions when entering the sea or the managers , trying to please us and meet the budgets set for them , they are running a business !
I can honestly say that if you treat the staff at all levels , the same as you wish to be treated you are half way to having a lovely holiday.

It is fair to say that the island is in need of alot of updating and there are issues that need attending , BUT , having spoken to the resort manager and shared views and opinions it was an eye opening tuition lesson that allowed me and my family to understand and appreciate the lengths and hours that the staff go to to please US ALL .

There was also alot of effort being put in to tidying the island with much progress being made , if you took time to look.
I am a great believer that you make your holiday but here the staff are quick to try hard to make YOUR holiday .
Its easy to criticize, But , when you Grunt to say thank you at home , you are greeted with a less than acceptable service , but here , the staff still serve with pleasure and professionalism ,

We stayed in a water villa having upgraded and met people who had stayed in various locations on the island and all had NO negative views of the island.
Some repeaters had 14 visits under their belts and most were British and professionals.

The chefs were only too pleased to cook any dish we requested and all of our food was fresh and cooked properly.They cooked the Wahoo & Barracuda that we caught on one of our many fishing trips.

We had the best kept room by the best room boys , We had the best laundry by the best laundry staff.It came back folded beautifully and smelt great.
We had the best waiters , the best dhoni crew for fishing, the best bar staff,
the best gardeners the best pool attendant,and not forgetting the best lady path sweepers, the best front desk staff the best shop assistants and the best engineering staff who put on an amazing 24th light array as well as many beech parties , the very best holiday rep (Gerard) and lastly HARRIS , what a waiter , first class !
We took a trip to a deserted island for the day. We called it Cushtie's island! It was natural and beautiful. Snorkelling here was exciting. The reef was a short walk from the beach.

On our many fishing trips out in the atoll, we saw many beautiful islands. We had dolphins most days, Barracuda flying out of the water, and Sailfish.
We also had the privilege of saving a a large green Turtle from certain death, after becoming entangled in debris and fishing net, something we will always remember. Seeing him swimming away free was really something!

Christmas Eve was the most privileged for me in particular but thats for the chosen few eh !!!
Thankyou Chris and Dinesh , that was a special night and it brought lots of joy to many !

If you put yourself out to make good friends with the staff and you are a happy go lucky type person, your holiday experience would be second to none here.

I am privileged to have become good friends with the staff at all levels and I now have a cocktail named after me called 'Cushtee's Wahoo'. I cannot wait to taste this on our return.

Lastly , thankyou to ALL the the staff who allowed us to join and dine with them in their canteen HOT CURRY , but good company!
Definitely returning ASAP .

Best Regards MR CUSHTEE & FAMILY

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank CUSHTIESWIFE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellaidhoo_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, responded to this reviewResponded January 15, 2014

Dear CUSHTIESWIFE,

16th January 2014

Warm Greetings from Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo...

We want to thank you for the time you share to the write the review “Christmas at Ellaidhoo”
It is such a pleasure to hear that you rank Ellaidhoo as a Highest quality of Staff among the 8 resorts you mention.
A big smile from us while reading of your detailed feedback with the heart warming that you had your best of everything from our gardeners and to all staff who contribute a memorable service with you.
Its our privileged to be with you on Christmas Night that's bring happiness for everyone!
Can't wait to welcome you and your family back to fantastic island Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo.
from all of us we wish you and your love ones all the best of the days! Cheers!


From Ellaidhoo Management and team :)

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Reviewed January 7, 2014

me and my boyfriend stayed here for 9 nights before christmas and had the most relaxing time away. We stayed in the water bungalows which were nice, the fresh water, beach towels and turn down evening service was good and it was nice having a fridge in our room to chill our water, air conditioning was excellent for a large space and well used!

The island was lovely, the house reef was the most amazing snorkelling i have ever done and right in front of the beach, the wall did not bother us if anything we felt protected from the elements. The beach is right next to the water bungalows which was great for us but did not scale round the whole island for the beach bungalows. The seperate restaurant for water bungalows was nice, very good range of food and cook to order meats with really personal service. We had a look at the beach bungalow restaurant which was also nice enough but catered to many more than 24 people that we had in our restaurant therefore felt more like a canteen environment.

We had all inclusive which was good, however the red/white wines were not very nice so we stuck to spirits and beer most of the trip, this could be changed. The only issue we had was when the bungalow next to ours had their sinks unblocked which made ours erupt with water over all our stuff. we were not told this was happening beforehand and my straighteners have broken since arriving home which is very annoying!

However we had the most amazing time, staff were fantastic, friendly and have amazing customer service, we'd like to say a special thanks to harris who looked after as throughout our holiday at Chaaya reef and would definitely recommend this resort.

Room Tip: water bungalows 401-412 will be able to see the sunset well from the balcony.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Sarah F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellaidhoo_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2014

Hello Sarah F,

8th January 2014

Warm Greetings from Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo...

Thank you for your lovely review “Amazing reef and lovely staff”
We are delighted to hear your praise regarding of our service and its inspire all of us
specially for those mention, to continue our customer service excellence
Once again, thank you and we are look forward to welcome you back to our lovely hotel.

Cheers! :)

From Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo Management and staff. :)



and you had amazing time with us.

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