We have just returned from a week at Vivanta Coral Reef. It was our return trip to the maldives for our anniversary having honeymooned there 10 years ago. We reserved a room only rate through virgin several months ago (that turned out to be B+B) so rather pleased. We thought we'd scored a real bargain until I enquired about transfers- these weren't included and I had to pay nearly £300 extra- the hotel declined to include these and said we had to organise through virgin.
We had to wait about an hour at Male for our speedboat transfer due to refuelling issue, but were shown to a local air conditioned cafe/lounge and given a drink. The transfer speedboat was more of a floating bus, but was comfortable and the journey about 45 mins. Check in was smooth and staff were courteous. This resort is tiny- only 60 or so rooms. Although we were told it was running at 70% or more capacity it felt so quiet and there were never any queues/flights for the pool loungers! Most of the clientele were Chinese/Japanese who made full use of the on site photo shoot service- every day another batch of couples appeared in various poses around the pool. there were a few Europeans and a few Australians.
The staff were exemplary- polite, courteous and pleasant and nothing was too much trouble. We met the manager on one evening and shared a cocktail and our experience of the resort which was a nice touch.
The food was mostly good. The main restaurant served a mixture of different styles- the Indian dishes were really excellent, the Thai food mediocre. Steaks were great. The breakfasts were similarly diverse with a cold buffet and then hot choices ranging from indonesian porridges, chinese noodle bowls to an English fry up. There was some odd looking bacon though!
We also ate in the grill one evening- south American themed. I loved it, by my husband was not so keen.
As with most other resorts in the Maldives, food and drink are NOT cheap. We paid 70usd/day to upgrade to half board. To pay for each course would be 22usd for starters, 35-45 main and 22 usd for desert.
Alcohol was very expensive- but that is also pretty universal in this country. The draught beer is the cheapest option at 6usd for a reasonable sized glass, house wine 8usd for 150mls. A bottle of the cheapest wine will set you back 50usd. The mini bar bizarrely was probably the most reasonable for wine- a half bottle costing 15usd.
We visited the spa- nice and my husband did 3 dives. The divers were well catered for with 4 different instructors of different nationality. David was excellent and we were really impressed by the dive service.
We stayed in a charm beach villa- all of these are situated at the quieter end of the island and was perfectly adequate, had a nice each at the door and was cleaned twice daily with petal arrangements on the bed. There was a hammock on the beach and an outdoor shower. TV channels in English were fairly limited- but then who wants to watch TV on holiday! The ipod dock was nice and there were DVDs available for rainy days.
The beaches at vivanta are small and its not always clear that the island does have several stone breakwaters- you have to choose your camera angles with care as they are a little ugly although necessary!
- 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