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Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives
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Reviewed April 13, 2013

This was to be our holiday of a lifetime and boy it sure was that....and more!!!!!!
We flew with Qatar Airways from Heathrow changing at Doha where we had a 7 hour transit wait. No, surprisingly it wasn't a bind. Doha airport is spotlessly clean and the option for economy passengers to utilise the Oryx lounge and freshen up/have a shower and breakfast for a small fee was utilised by Angela whilst I attempted to smoke as many cigarettes in the smoking rooms which were available, simply because I could, such was my pleasure in an airport showing common sense and courtesy for those who smoke as well as for those who don't!! The time flew by quickly and the standard of the two flights to and from Doha within economy class exceeded any chartered flight premier class standard in every aspect. Qatar Airways really do reflect the deserved award received of best airline 2012.
An important anomaly which were unaware of is that the baggage allowance of 23kg (hold) and 7kg (cabin) with Qatar Airways is higher than that of the Maldivian air taxi service which is a straight 25kg per person. Still don't understand how as were quite a bit under with both pieces of hold luggage when we left Blighty but we ended up paying baggage excess at Male for the Air taxi (approx. $30). Not perturbed or aggrieved just a tip for future travellers.
The sea plane journey was an experience in itself with a 40-50 min flight during sunset which was beautiful. After a stop at the neighbouring island to Hakuraa Huraa we and a lovely French couple had a 5-10 min journey to the resort. We were met by a very friendly and informative young lady who offered us cool flannels to refresh ourselves and walked us down the long winding jetty to reception, a laid back open sided area with a sand floor.
We were offered a complimentary and most welcome cool drink whilst the essential information was passed onto us so we could move onto our water bungalow, freshen up and go to dinner.
We could not fault the accommodation. The main living space was extremely spacious with very effective air conditioning and the standard glass bottom panel under the coffee table through which we saw our first of many aquatic creatures, an Octopus!!!!! The fridge was ideal to keep water and cold drinks chilled and also housed a mini bar which comprised 5 or 6 miniatures of spirits, a couple of cans of beer, soft drinks and water. Be aware the beer and spirits in the room/mini bar are chargeable, which, although we were not concerned about, felt could have been included in the All Inclusive package or at least the beer could have been. Not a gripe but an observation and to be perfectly honest we used the mini bar often without another thought. Large sliding French doors opened up to a veranda kitted with two perfect sun loungers which we used often during our stay. The bathroom was also spacious with a walk in shower which a whole family could fit into - everything was perfect and clean!! We stayed in bungalow 142 which unbeknown to me had been requested by Angela via e-mail which ensured sunshine all day. Our cases arrived at the bungalow minutes after us as did our dedicated bungalow boy, Yousef, who introduced himself to us and ensured we had everything we needed for the night. We then proceeded to dinner.
Food
Quite simply out of this world. I've experienced many AI holidays particularly in the Caribbean where after a few days the fare seems to be the ‘same old same old’ with little variation. At Chaaya Lagoon the food was so varied every day with little or no exceptions and extremely healthy which was welcomed by this diabetic. I could go on and on about the food but I'd be here all day and to be perfectly honest anyone who has, does or will complain about the food are just pedantic!!!
Your table is numbered identically to your bungalow and is positioned in the same place every meal time with your own dedicated table waiter. Our wonderful waiter was Aleshah who was an absolute darling and a wonderfully helpful young man. Half way through our stay we arrived for a meal only to be shown to our table’s new position, a window seat overlooking the sea. From what we saw the table waiters do try and do this with all their clients which we thought was a nice touch. The option is yours but we tipped a couple of $’s every day and opted to tip a tad higher on the last night. Once again that’s your decision and in no way do you feel pressured to do so.
Get to know the guys cooking and serving behind their dedicated counters because they really enjoy chatting with the Brits and have a great sense of humour. Special mentions must go to Rubel who will cook your eggs and bacon to your taste in the morning and prepare your salads at lunch and dinner, once again as you require. Top man!!!! Ravi tended to be on Wok duties each night and concocted the most wonderful noodle dishes and always with a smile.

Layout of resort
The resort is sited exclusively on a 6 acre island which is easily walked around in a short period of time. There are no shops or other similar outlets. Just the resort. That’s all you need. There is a jewellers and souvenir shop in the vicinity of the dining area the latter of which offers many essential items you may have forgotten such as sandals, after sun etc. as well as other attractive items which if purchased are charged to your room. There is never a requirement for cash to change hands apart from when you want to settle your bills whether it be intermittently or in one go at the end of your stay, that is unless you use a credit or debit card.
The dining area, reception and outside bar are virtually next to each other. A slow walk to/from our bungalow situated in the middle of the crescent took just over five minutes so even the furthest residents would have no longer than a 10 minute stroll. The bar area juts out into the sea and is built on stilts. It hosts most of the entertainment events that are laid on in the evenings and has an open viewing square in the centre of it which allows viewing of the underwater word which changes all the time. It also has strategic spotlights positioned on the edge of the structure which allows for night time underworld entertainment whilst sipping your drinks or chatting with new friends. The only shark we saw was from the bar at night and there were always different forms of sea life to see and enjoy.
We did not utilise the spa centre but heard nothing but good regarding the services it provided.
The Dive Centre is positioned at the end of the long curving jetty we walked down when we had arrived. The staff at the centre were always busy due to the demand for snorkelling/dive trips. Day and night fishing trips departed from the end of the jetty as did The dinner for two on the Dhoni experience (more of that later) and the feeding of the stingrays at 4 pm each day.
The resort also had a more than adequate sport/activity centre on the dining/bar side of the isle and a small but well equipped gym centrally located which we used……………….just the once.
Apart from the water treatment area, male employee’s residence, the sick bay and the communication tower I cannot recall anything else sited on this small idyllic piece of paradise.


Dinner for two on the Dhoni
We opted for the romantic dinner for two on the Dhoni, a traditionally Maldivian style of boat, as our only excursion. It was expensive, admittedly, however the lure of something as exclusive and unique as this experience was difficult to turn down. Plus the fact that I was going to have a kilo of lobster amongst, other sea food, cooked in front of me whilst Angela opted for the Australian fillet and other meats made it easy for us to decide on getting us some special lovin’ time.
Ravi was our chef so smiles all round there. Our organiser and cheeky chappy who informed us about this unique opportunity was Pradeep. The boat crew consisted of three chaps who were rarely seen. The boat only leaves the resort and travels less than a quarter of a mile out but as soon as we left the side they surprised us with turning on of the special lights that dressed the ship. It really was a romantic setting and one we’ll never forget. The inclusive bottle is Asti-Spumante. Hot tip…if you’re like me and enjoy your champers ensure you arrange for which champagne (if any) you’d like as an additionally chargeable bottle prior to going out. Obviously they’d prefer to take a bottle of Don Pérignon out on the boat as the only alternative chargeable extra…. and in chargeable we are talking 4 or 5 times more than you can buy it for at home. Veuve Cliquot is what I opted for and once again that was very expensive but we just had to have the complete package on the night. We didn’t begrudge paying it but were shocked that we had, without moaning. ;-)

The bar

There are more than enough soft and alcoholic drinks including a menu of cocktails that are included in the AI price. It really is simple…if you want drinks other than those specified as AI then you pay. You sign a bill to confirm this and there is an AI drinks sheet that you annotate when you have an AI drink. There really wasn’t anything difficult about that system?
One of the larger than life characters on the resort is Naseer the bar manager. He is the master of the cocktails and there was never a dull moment when he was around. The cocktail evenings are held both on the beach and the bar and are chargeable but worth the $11.

Evening Entertainment
Various activities are put on each evening. Our favourite evenings were the crab racing but even then there is no sense of rowdiness or over exuberance. Simply a happy evening with some light banter and cheer.
A very very very special mention to the resident singers, Sheryl and Dexter. Sheryl has a beautiful voice and Dexter compliments her with backing and keyboards, singing tunes at your request. They sing in the dining area some evenings and the bar too. Dexter is also responsible for the music in between the evening’s entertainment. A lovely couple it was a pleasure to meet.
There is so many positives to ramble on about from the feeding of the sting rays to the clear waters and warm climate but I really should close otherwise this review will never be completed.

There are so many folk that return to Chaaya year after year and we can truly understand why. It’s an idyllic resort which holiday dreams are made of. The friendliness and hospitality of the staff is second to none and it was so pleasing to watch the respect the employees have for Raj the manager and more importantly which he has for them, a trait which I’m sure is essential in helping to make this resort so successful and loved by its visitors.
Hats off to you Raj and all your wonderful staff. Many thanks for making our stay a dream holiday.

PS – We met a super couple from Yorkshire. Joyce and Dave, we hope you arrived home safely. Touch base with you soon.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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13  Thank Steve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hakuraa, Guest Relations Manager at Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Dear Guest, Greetings from Hakuraa team. Thank you for this detailed review that we enjoyed reading. It’s a great pleasure that you chose our resort to be your holiday destination. We can say from your lovely feedback that you really had an amazing time with us and of course had enjoyed our hospitality and all that we offer.
Joining all the excursions and entertainment offered is really fun and so happy that you had a wonderful time especially the “Dhoni Dinner” which you mentioned a unique experience.

Above all, it is nice to know that you appreciated all the staff’s effort to make your stay a holiday of a life time. We motivate our staff’s through your words as we know it is the best tool to keep them growing. You are right we have increased the number of our repeat guest due to continue improving our services and resort facilities.

We could not be more pleased that you enjoyed so many things during your stay with us,resort layout, the food, great entertainment and our lovely team.
We hope to see you back soon as you wish to have another Maldivian Holiday.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

What a place! We had the most amazing holiday in what can only be described as paradise. For such a small island, none of our 11 days were the same - lazing on the beach; spa treatments; reef snorkelling; relaxing in the bar; paddling in the warm blue waters; watching the fish; feeding the rays and of course eating gorgeous meals (special mention to the salad and pastry chefs). A must would be the free boat out to snorkel on the reef. We were astounded by the number and variety of fish there. We just wish there were such things as underwater tripods as trying to capture the sights whilst swimming was really hard and we ended up with loads of photos of coral and hardly any of fish! All the staff were very friendly and did their jobs brilliantly which contributed to making our holiday what it was - perfect! Our holiday was part of 40th birthday celebrations and we are now trying to work out what big celebration is next so we can book to go back!

Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Si69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hakuraa, Guest Relations Manager at Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Dear Guest, from all of us at Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa warm and friendly greetings!
Thank you for the wonderful feedback “Heavenly bliss” recently shared on TripAdvisor for our team. It was a real pleasure for us to know that you had an enjoyable time. Letting us know that we were able to give you a perfect holiday is heaven. Our team greatly looks forward to welcome you back to celebrate another big occasion on your next holiday visit.

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Reviewed April 12, 2013

We are just back from a week's break in the Chaaya Lagoon. We stayed from the 5th to the 12th of April so it was quite hot and humid but what a wonderful place! It was the best holiday of our lives! We were nervous bringing our 13 month old baby with us but need not have worried. She was like a celebrity there! Everyone made such an effort to welcome and assist us at all times.
From the moment we arrived, the cool cloths and drinks immediately relaxed us. Everything about our all-inclusive package was explained clearly to us. Our water bungalow was beautiful, casual style and completely in-keeping with the island feel and the free snorkelling equipment was super. (What a bonus to have our own sun-deck!) We saw so many kinds of fish just snorkelling around our bungalow. Our room was clean and tidy and cleaned twice a day by our lovely room boy Mohammed. The food was unbelievable. We had three fabulous meals a day plus snacks and drinks. The beach was always lovely and quiet. This island is really beautiful. My photos don't even do it justice. I had a fabulous massage in the spa...bliss!
As working parents with a baby, all we did for the entire break was eat, sleep, swim, snorkel and sunbathe. I managed to read three books on the holiday, something I haven't done since before I had my daughter!
We chose to stay on the resort for the entire holiday but there were lots of activities to do e.g. dolphin watching, island hopping etc. There were also night activities like cinema under the stars, crab racing etc. We dined in the main restaurant every night but one, when we dined in Crabs restauraunt. (Pino recommended it to us, what a lovely man might I add!) It was amazing!!! There was only one other couple in the restaurant and the chef came out to speak to us and everything.
We had an absolutely amazing holiday and would definitely go back.
The best thing about this resort is the wonderful staff; the reception staff, waiters, chefs, houseboys, gardeners, maintenance staff all had smiles on their faces, always greeted us and we felt so welcome. I could not fault our holiday at all! Well done to the management and staff of this fabulous resort. We will be back!!

Room Tip: Choose a water bungalow with a higher number for all day sunshine. Great for snorkelling!
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank lovely-irish-girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hakuraa, Guest Relations Manager at Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Dear Guest,Thank you for taking time to share your lovely experience with us. We are surely joyful to know that you had a fantastic holiday with us, from the excellent welcome given till the day that you wished to be back.

Our beautifully built Water Bungalows has respective sun-deck and glass panel to make your holiday more bliss… No doubt that we have a wide variety of food serve that caters the taste around the world which has been commended excellent by our valued guest like you. We hope that you could try those activities mentioned on your next holiday visit; we know it will be fun!

Thank you for the wonderful words for our staffs we will surely convey you’re words to them. We will certainly welcome you back as our repeat guest soon.

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Reviewed April 11, 2013

One of the best holidays we have ever had. Everything about this place is great. Clean rooms, good food, great staff, outstanding location. We were in room 160 so had lots of sun in the afternoon.

Well worth the money. Special thanks to Ali (our waiter), Athif (our room boy) and Raj for running a superb hotel / island. All staff, without exception are friendly and helpful at all times.

Anyone thinking of booking should not hesitate its brilliant!!

Room Tip: High numbered bungalows off more sun in the afternoon.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank 724davidG724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hakuraa, Guest Relations Manager at Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Greetings from Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa. What a nice review "Truly Exceptional" posted on TripAdvisor for our resort. Thank you for sharing that you had a great time with us. We are happy that you had an enjoyable stay entirely which shows through your wonderful comments posted.

Your feedback reflects that we succeeded in making your holiday memorable. Thank you once again, our team looks forward to welcome you back for another brilliant holiday experience.

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

We had a wonderful time on this perfect island. From start to finish the staff were friendly and can't do enough for you. We were greeted by Lyn who went out of her way to make us feel welcome. The bungalows are lovely and the room boys keep them clean and tidy twice a day. It was our silver wedding anniversary whilst we were there, they made us a cake and turned our bed down with a lovely dressing of petals and the sheet was folded in a hear shape. The food was excellent although the restaurant is very hot as its not air conditioned as its open to the beach. Rubel made beautiful salads twice a day for us and always with a smile and conversation. The buffet had lots of choice with food prepared and cooked in front of you sometimes on the beach. I have never eaten so heathily. We were a little disappointed that all of the evening entertained was at an extra cost . But this still didn't detract from this perfect holiday. Even on our early departure they made sure breakfast was available at 6.00am. Considering this resort is only three star, apparently the only reason is because it does't have a swimming pool, I certainly can't see any other reason that it's only a three star. First class resort.

Room Tip: Some bungalows are being given a face lift, we stayed in 159 and it had been modernised.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank b5evs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hakuraa, Guest Relations Manager at Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear Guest, Greetings from Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa. Thank you for this very nice review for our team “Wonderful escape from it all!” posted on TripAdvisor. We are very glad to read that you had good memories of your stay with us especially the special touch prepared by your room boy at turn down service on your silver wedding anniversary. We can feel that you really had an enjoyable time with us through the colorful words used to describe your stay, from the excellent food with high quality of service from staffs who will certainly felt good that you appreciated them.
Our team work hard to make sure that you’ll have a perfect stay and considering us as a first class resort is simply amazing! We are waiting to see you once again on your next holiday visit.

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