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“A wonderful experience - Cinnamon Island Resort”
Review of J Resorts Alidhoo

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J Resorts Alidhoo
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Alidhoo Island
Brighton, East Sussex
Level Contributor
44 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“A wonderful experience - Cinnamon Island Resort”
Reviewed February 29, 2008

Cinnamon Island Resort - Maldives (February 2008)
We have just returned from a near perfect holiday!
I read some mixed reviews beforehand and therefore thought I would like to let any potential visitors know about our experience.
It was a long journey (especially for just 1 week) but well worth it. We flew Monarch which should be avoided if at all possible.
We flew Gatwick to Male, then had a 2 hr wait at the domestic airport for a small island hopper plane to take us to Hanimaadoo (50 min flight). We were then picked up by a luxury speed boat to take us to our resort.
We had booked a beach villa but found on arrival that we had been allocated an Ocean villa (on stilts in the sea). The villa was wonderful & beautifully furnished. It seems that some people do not like being in these villas as you can hear the sea beneath you and can feel rather exposed. We however loved it - especially feeding the tropical fish that swim past all the time & looking out over the open sea. I was a little worried about the open air bathroom downstairs but again it was perfect.
The "Village" restaurant was OK ( The food at Veligandu was better ) but there was enough choice to always be able to find something we liked. We ate once at the poolside A La carte restaurant called "Waves" & the food there was excellent. We were on an all inclusive basis & this meant we got a 25% discount on the set menu at Waves.
The staff on the island were fantastic in every way. The restaurant waiters, the Bliss cocktail bar staff, our butler ..... they
were all very friendly & couldn't do enough for you. We were happy to tip each one of them well at the end of our stay as they all deserved it. Our butler (Lalithe) even accompanied us on the speed boat on the return journey!
My only complaint of the island was the beach & the fact that without good sea defences, the water on one side of the island could be quite rough. Again, I am comparing this to other islands I have vistied (Veligandu & Villamendhoo) which were
serenely calm. They did however run a twice daily Dhoni trip to a
remote sandbank island for swimming, & although this was qite surreal, we didn't want to do it more than once., We settled
for the pool on most days.
Would I go again? It was a perfect holiday & I would certainly recommend it but I would probably choose the experience of a different island for each visit.
Tips: If you are into snorkelling - Villamendhoo has a much better house reef which you can walk out to from the beach.
Board basis: I was glad we opted for All inclusive - which covers all meals in the Vllage restaurant & all soft drinks & most spirits. If you want cocktails / wines to be included, you should find out about the Premium All inclusive deal.
If you book to go, I will be jealous!!!!!.

  • Liked — New resort with comtemporary, High quality furnishings
  • Disliked — Can't think of anything
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Bookworm77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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204 reviews from our community

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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2008

We stayed at Cinnamon Island for 10 days in eary feb 2008. Before i say anything negative i want to say that we had an amazing time and the hotel staff all worked hard to make sure we had an unforgettable stay.

Firstly getting to and from the hotel - it is in the northernmost atol in the Maldives and can take a while to transfer. after a long flight from London all we wanted to do when we got to Male was to get to the hotel and have a shower. we unfortunately had to wait nearly two hours in male airport for our internal flight to Hanimhadoo. with a 50 minute flight to go and then 20 mins by speed boat we were knackered by the time we eventually got to the hotel. getting back for our return flight took even longer!

that said when we got to the hotel our initial impression was WOW! we were staying in a beach bungalow (number 131) and i can honestly say it was a beautiful and spacious room. the facilities were excellent and having that bit more space was excellent when the weather wasn't too good and we had to spend a large part of our day inside. there was satellite TV including channels (in English): Mnet movies 2 (a bit like sky movies premier), Hallmark Channel, National Geographic, ESPN (sports), another sports channel, BBC world and Aljezera news. my husband was especially pleased with the sports channels as they showed most ofthe big premiership football games. we also had a dvd player and the hotel reception had a reasonable selection of DVD's for all ages and tastes.

the beach bungalows really are the best accommodation on the island - they have the best beach (which is lovely with soft white sand) and are furnished to exacty the same standard as the more expensive accomodation . the duplex beach bungalows are just as lovely inside but the beach outside really is a disgrace (please see pictures) i can't understand how people can be charged even more to stay in accomodation with such a pathetic beach outside.

with regard to the water villas, again i would not recommend booking one. from the outside they are absolutely stunning but i do warn you, only about half a dozen get day long sun. most of the water bungalows are on the wrong side of the island to get any more than a couple hours sun in the early morning. we stayed in a water bungalow one night after an ant infestation in our room (dealt with quickly and efficiently by the hotel staff) and i have never had a worse nights sleep! the noise from the waves crashing under the bungalow was horrendous and i have to admit i was pretty terrified at times the noise was so bad. otherwise the standard of the room was excellent and very comfortable.

the food in the hotel was average. the main restaurant "the village" is buffet style with a different theme every night. to be honest it's a bit repetitive and if you were staying for more than a week you do get pretty fed up with the food. the a la carte "Waves" was a decent standard however service was slow. there was a good wine list with a good range of vintages with bottle prices ranging from 30 USD to 1500 USD!

A few other people ahve commented on the lagoon surrounding the island - there really isn't one! swimming around the island is not recommended by the hotel staff due to big waves and strong currents however my husband tried one day but found even getting into the water was problematic due to sharp rocks lacerating his feet at the waters edge. if you just want to swim then i can recommend the pool - it is lovely and has a nice deck with sun loungers all around. otherwise there are twice daily snorkling trips to nearby islands and lagoons which we thouraghly enjoyed - we saw several sea turtles, stingrays and lots of colourful fish. the hotel also runs twice daily trips to a sandbank for sunbathing however we never went because we had a perfectly lovely bit of beach outside our bungalow. people who had been said it had been lovely though but didn't make up for the lack of beach around the deluxe bungalows and the water villas.

the spa was lovely and i can recommend the massage treatments, especially the mandara and balinese massages - very relaxing and rejuvinating.

overall we had a lovely stay and i don't regret going at all however if we go back to the maldives i would probably choose a different resort with a house reef/ lagoon, and shorter transfer time from male.

  • Liked — the beach bungalow
  • Disliked — unable to swim in the sea surrounding the island
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank jmsteel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chichester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2008

This was our ideal holiday - it offered everything that we wanted - sit around - not do alot and order room service, and as I was not interested in going in the sea and seeing the fish (silly I know - but a bit of a fish phobia) for us it was PERFECT!

It's true, the beach is difficult to access in places and it is best to bring (or hire from reception) sea shoes but other than that - come on what more do you want. We had a beach bungalow that was everything that the brochure said it would be with our own sun deck and access to the beach (we were number 114 and has quite a large area of sandy beach, this does however change with the tides (accordingly to the local's) as the beach/sand move's around the island with the seasons).

The island offers you a holiday that is either very private with time being spent in and around your bungalow and having room service, with meals at an average of $18 (try the kids meals as well if want something different - they are a fraction of the price but are still hugh portion sizes) or you can go out and about and be as social as you want.

The Village restaurant offers buffet style food of 33$ for lunch and 44$ for dinner. There is a variety of food, with various theme nights, we felt that the food was nice but that we did not eat our monies worth.!!!!

The Waves "a la carte" restaurant offered a set lunch for 33$ or dinner for 44$, the food was very nice and could not be faulted. There was also an ordinary menu with main courses averaging about 24$. Waves also offer bar snacks for lunch - but if you don't want a burger/wrap for lunch then again - call room service. We found this service even better which suited our small appetite !!!

The food and the service were however excellent.

Cash - you really don't need any - everything is put on your tab (even the souveniors in the shop) and the only cash we did spend was to tip the room serivce guy and leaving tips at the end of our holiday for the room boy/special waitors etc.

We had a great time, but this may not suit everybody. There are lots of trips and excusions including a free 30 min trip to another island - pure sandy beaches - and a free snorkling trip - which according to people that we met on the island, is outstanding. However if you want to see fish from a far, take some bread from breakfast and feed them for one of the piers on the island.

I have not added pictures as it seems that most of them are already attached to other reviews but I do have some if anybody wants to see (Lots in fact) - also if anyone has any questions then please do not hesitate to contact me.

This island is a bit of a treck to get to (45 min on plane (with fantastic views which makes the trip worht it) from Male and then 20 on speed boat) but in our eyes well worth it.

What more can I say - you either love it or hate it (as applies with anything) AND WE LOVED IT!!!!!!!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank shergold08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
warwickshire
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2008

My partner and i have always enjoyed the Maldives and holiday there every year - we always choose a different island and have come to appreciate the diverseness between each, however Cinnamon Island for me has to rank as one of the most unforgettable visits to such a beautiful place and all for the wrong reasons. As other people have stated, there is neither a natural or man-made reef surrounding the whole or part of the island, so if you’re looking for a quite night’s sleep, don't book a water villa, the waves come crashing in and under the villa like something you couldn't imagine, they lost 3 villa’s decks while we were there... unfortunately this also means that just slipping into the aqua blue sea for a quick dip is out of the question - my legs where so bruised from the rocks and coral getting thrown up, that the pool was the only alternative or the Jacuzzi on the deck, that unfortunately didn’t work (in any of the water villa’s) The pool area was in fact lovely, but for me it defeated the object of going to such an island to relax and enjoy. Other than that the accommodation had to be the best we’d stayed in to date, but you don’t want to stay in your room all week, unless of course on the second day to catch a bug which gives you clinical dysentery which 10 days later still hasn’t cleared up! The best island to date for me has got to be Oluveli in a Jacuzzi water villa – 10/10 for that island.

  • Liked — Styling and layout
  • Disliked — Location in the sea.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank EJBWarwickshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GlobalAlfie
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2008

We just spent nine days in Alidhoo, which was our fourth trip to the Maldives in recent years. Unfortunately, Alidhoo was by far the least attractive island for numerous reasons.

Alidhoo is managed by the Cinnamon Hotels, a Sri Lankan Hotel chain, which explains why almost all the staff are from there instead of from the Maldives. While most of the staff is friendly and tries to do there best, it is evident that a clear lack of training and little abiltiy to speak english, leads to a service experience matching that of a three star hotel at best. The managment is mainly invisible and incompetent to the extent that I feel sorry for the staff working there.

Food is okay, if you go to he a la carte waves restaurant. The main restaurant called village is an average buffet experience lacking anything special.

The biggest drawback of the island however is that it is almost impossible to enter the water. While the beach looks like at certain parts of the island, it is full of corals and sones once you step into water. Even with swim shoes its a troubling experience, if you manage to swim at all.

Same applies for the water villas, which are built on unusally high stilts with no water access. The reason for this is that there built facing the open ocean with sometimes 2m high waves breaking under your villa. Normally one would built these villas in a lagoon, but there is none in Alidhoo.

The pool area and the rooms are some of the better features of the island, even if the y look already a bit worn, tired and dirty 6 month after opening. Do not expect to much privacy as the average distance between the villas and bungalows is about 3m all areound the island.

Overall I would rate this a three star hotel experience in tems of service quality and food, the rooms, spa and dive center equalling that of a four star resort. While we tried to make the best of our holiday, realxing and enjoying the natural beauty of the Maldives it was an often frustrating experience, compared to our earlier trips to the Maldives.

Keeping in mind that the transfer to and from Male can take up to six hours by plane and boat, while there are much better resorts just a short speed boat or seaplane ride away from the airport.

Unless, you book Cinnamon Island for an absolute bargain price and your not keen on swimming just wanting to relax without doing much I would certainly not recommend it.

  • Liked — size of the rooms
  • Disliked — no water access
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank GlobalAlfie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2008

I read the reviews before I finally decided to go (not much choice in my situation), they were helpful. It is indeed a Maldivean island with no house reef (you must go on a free twice-daily excursion for any decent snorkelling) and the beach, outwardly wide and lovely on part of the island at least, is coral (i.e. wear shoes or immerse from the jetty or join a "sand bank trip" which is 40 minutes by dhoni). Food is OK but I beg to differ from the previous reviewers -- nothing special, even the native Maldivian/Indian dishes. Waves a la carte restaurant is somewhat nicer than the buffet one, unsurprisingly. Service is OK I guess for a hotel that just opened this year, otherwise unexeptional. Diving is fine (minimum driving time 25 minutes)., but you get to see mantas as promised Butlers are a bad idea I think, useless and intrusive. Water villas (had one of them) are lovely houses but no direct access to water, must go to the beach or jetty. Lovely sun deck though. Two-storey beach villas are in the part of the island where the beach is completely eroded. Standard bungalows have the best beach, but nevertheless it is coral all the same, please see above re shoes, else sea urchins are abundant, just waiting for someone's unprotected feet. Generally I ove Maldives, it was not my first time, the vacation was fine, don't want this review to sound all negative. But amoung all the hotel islands this one is not exactly the choiciest. Will be back to the Maldives but not this particular hotel,if I can help it. Nearby Dhonakulhi would do fine :)

  • Liked — the water villa
  • Disliked — no reef, no lagoon
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Mslavina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex, England
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2007

Just reurned from a short (1 week) stay and can only rave about the resort. We've been to the Maldives 3 times before and this is by far the best we've seen. Ignoring the Monarch flight ( which really should be outlawed by some governing body or other) which we had to use due to our late booking, everything else was absolutely first class. You would have to be royalty or someone with a vastly overrated idea of their own importance to find fault with it. We had a beach villa which has everything that you could sensibly need, from bathrobes to dvd player and Krups espresso coffee machine included. The accommodation is spacious and split level. The huge bed is on the upper level and looks directly out across your own secluded deck area (with private hot tub) and beach to the ocean. The lower level is well furnished and offers an alternative area to watch the day go by from if the sun gets a bit too intense for you. We weren't expecting it, but we were met by our own butler who, like every other member of staff there, was only too pleased to assist in any way to ensure we enjoyed our stay. We have cruised with Cunard and other top lines in the past and the food in the Waves restaurant was the equal to any that we have enjoyed with them. I believe the chefs have been recruited from some of the leading hotels in the middle east, where only the best is good enough, and it shows.
We were there for nothing more than a totally relaxing break, but there was plenty of activity available for those seeking it, from the obvious dive school to various cruises and romantic dining experiences for the honeymooners.
We haven't been to the Hilton or Reethi Ra, but can't actually imagine what else they can offer to justify the huge extra cost involved. We did get shown around the water bungalows during our stay and could see no real advantage bearing in mind the supplement charged. They are equiped to exactly the same standard (although a lighter colour scheme) and actually suffer from having no direct access to either beach or sea. As mentioned by an earlier reviewer, they are pretty keen to take you everywhere by buggy...never found out why!
Any negatives? Well we did get attacked by sandflies, despite using repellant, but not a problem in the room. As said earlier, you would have to be more than a bit precious to not enjoy this island. Enjoy!

Helpful?
65 Thank GB47
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

Property: 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:4.5 star — J Resorts Alidhoo 4.5*
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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