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Monicatandil
Marbella, Spain

Birthday trip with wish to see large amount of Mantas at Hanifaru Bay

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 11 Jun 2024
I personally really liked the beach villa with direct access to the beach and the good size pool. The actual villa had a smell of damp that we noticed throughout our stay, that maybe was caused by a leak during the heavy rain? We couldn't use the wardrobes, which were musty, and we had to live out of our suitcases for the week.

The bed was very comfortable and it was great that Nizan, our butler, could manage to change our bicycles for the newer green ones because the black ones were old and rusty, so we could not spin the pedals. He mentioned that they would soon receive new bikes...

I loved the rides around the island with mature gardens and greenery and seeing the huge fruit bats! The island is gorgeous. The house reef is fantastic with so much coral, plenty of fishes and the odd eagle ray and turtle also.

The only issue we had was what should have been the highlight of our trip and the reason why we choose the location of this hotel in BAA Resort: the amazing Manta Experience at Hanifaru Bay... which was very disappointing. I felt the advertising was in a way deceitful. I mentioned this to Diana, the instructor at the Ocean diving center. I was very happy with the hotel team picking me up from the Spa and taking me to the water sports for the manta on call program (you enlist on arrival and they call you with 15-20 minutes notice if the Mantas are spotted, so you don't waste time visiting if there is nothing to see).

When we were on our way to Hanifaru Bay we were told that the manta encounter was not guaranteed and should the mantas have moved we would have been taken to a snorkeling spot which came to a huge surprise to me.. I did not book a standard cheaper snorkeling trip and would have rather come back to the resort and go back another day? When I was picked up they guys said they believed 8 mantas had been spotted which I thought sounded ok. However, when we got there, the reality was that the sea was rather bumpy and I think we only saw 2 mantas at the beginning and then they moved to another spot, and we tried to follow and always saw the same mantas moving around?

My husband had gone on a diving trip and I was on my own, not being a confident swimmer I asked Diana if I could hold to the ring to feel safer, I only held the rope and there was another couple also holding the ring, with the lady being seasick all the trip and vomiting next to me ...

As I am writing this I remember my husband asking me what was the highlight of my trip to the Maldives and it makes me extremely sad that the manta trip wasn't the highlight, because this was the reason for us to specifically choose this place and this time of the year. We had been to the Maldives in March and hired a private boat and saw mantas, too. We had also seen mantas in Bali previously. I understand mantas are wild creatures but when a trip is offered at this rate of 255 dollars per person, then anyone would have expected to see more than what we got. And when my husband asked about the possibility to refund a small amount to account for his late arrival and poor experience, the Ocean dive centre manager requested for us to attend the dive centre so he could explain "how it works". My husband visited the manager reluctantly on holiday, as he didn't want to waste time on our last days of our holiday, for the manager to say "Did you see a Manta? If you did then you must pay the full price for the experience like everybody else"! The funny thing was that my husband, an experienced PADI IDC Staff Instructor with thousands of dives under his belt, had completed 2x boat dives that same morning and watched the mantas right next to him when diving, with amazing visibility, and paid less for the complete experience than he did for the 40 minutes Manta On Call! So he was also extremely disappointed with the HaniFaru experience, as it isn't cheap, and he was treated like a naughty schoolchild being summoned to the headmasters office, and then told off outside the dive centre, in front of the instructor and other staff. That is not how a manager should react or treat guests, in a dictator capacity!

Finding out that what the advertising shows, a huge number of mantas, is only seen in maybe 2% of the trips sounds dishonest marketing. I will also add that I was rather annoyed by the other groups of manta excursion that joined us in the bay, doing free diving and coming up in the same spot where we were with the safety ring making me feel unsafe, a girl nearly ended up inside the orange ring with the sick lady and me holding on to the ring rope. They also chased off, and scared the mantas, spoiling the experience for anybody else at the surface. These other snorkelling groups were encouraged by the instructor to chase the mantas, which goes against local ethos and stresses mantas. Very uncomfortable and disrespectful, especially after we were all told to strictly not try to touch or chase the mantas...
Date of stay: May 2024
Room Tip: The Hotel people are lovely and same for the restaurant employees. Great service
Trip type: Travelled with family
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jean-Louis Ripoche, General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives, responded to this review
Responded 3 weeks ago
Dear Monicatandil,

Thank you for taking the time to share your detailed feedback following your stay with us. We greatly appreciate your kind words about our beach villa, comfortable bed, island rides, and the exceptional house reef. It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed these aspects of your visit.

However, we are sorry to learn that your experience at Hanifaru Bay did not meet your expectations. We take great pride in offering memorable and unique experiences, and we regret that this particular excursion fell short for you.

Regarding your concerns about the Manta Experience, it is indeed true that manta sightings, being dependent on wild animals, can never be guaranteed. While our team does their utmost to provide accurate information and maximise the chances of sightings, the presence and number of mantas can be unpredictable. We understand how disappointing this must have been, especially given your previous positive encounters with mantas.

Your feedback about the communication and handling of the situation by our Ocean Dive Centre manager is very valuable to us. We strive to maintain the highest standards of guest service and regret that this incident did not reflect our usual level of hospitality. Please be assured that we will address this internally to ensure more empathetic and understanding interactions in the future.

Thank you for sharing your experience with other snorkelling groups and their behaviour, which understandably impacted your experience. Hanifaru Bay rangers have strict guidelines to ensure respectful and non-intrusive interactions with marine life, and it is disheartening to hear that these were not adhered to by others at the bay. Rest assured that rangers are continuously monitoring the manta interactions and offenses are recorded and acted upon.

In response to your feedback regarding the villa, we regret to hear about the musty smell and the inconvenience it caused during your stay. Our maintenance team will investigate this issue to prevent any recurrence.

Thank you for highlighting the excellent service provided by Nizam, your butler. He will be surely inspired to learn that his efforts made a positive impact on your stay.

Once again, our apologies for the shortcomings you experienced and we appreciate your constructive feedback. We hope you might consider giving us another opportunity to exceed your expectations in the future.

Graciously yours,
Jean-Louis and the Dusit Thani Maldives team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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3 - 8 of 2,679 reviews
Reviewed 26 May 2024

Amazing team , starts from sales , airport team front office and F&B team
Special thanks to
Rifaa , Tram, Tess , Abas , peach , gerald when extra mile with us also Mai , James
Hk Team mohamed

Thank you all for adding good memories to our albums

Sincere gratitude

Date of stay: May 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MohamedM16260
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jean-Louis Ripoche, General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2024

Hello MohamedM16260,

Thank you so much for your wonderful review. We are absolutely delighted to hear that you had such a memorable experience with us. Your kind words have been shared with the team, especially to all our colleagues who are inspired to be recognised by name. Creating good memories for our guests is our ultimate goal, and knowing that we have succeeded brings us great joy.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future and continuing to add wonderful moments to your photo albums.

Yours,
Jean-Louis and the Dusit Thani Maldives team

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Reviewed 25 May 2024

The most thoughtful group of people I’ve ever met. This was a birthday celebration for my double 20 and i absolutely made the
right choice. Everyone was so kind and accommodating. The ocean villa was amazing. The daily housekeeping was really nice, along with the butler that helped me navigate throughout the trip.
Unika B. & Co.

Room tip: May & June are the green season, so expect rain if you decide to book during this time of the year.
Date of stay: May 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Climber00653808820
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jean-Louis Ripoche, General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2024

Hello Climber00653808820,

Thank you so much for your splendid review! We are overjoyed to hear that you had such a delightful experience celebrating your special birthday with us. Your kind words about our ocean villa, housekeeping service, and butler are greatly appreciated. We strive to provide our guests with the highest level of comfort and hospitality, and it is wonderful to learn that we succeeded in making your celebration as amazing as possible.

Dear Unika B. and co., we will be sure to pass along your compliments. The team will be thrilled to know that they played a part in making your stay exceptional. Thank you once again for choosing our little piece of paradise for your birthday celebration. We look forward to welcoming you back for more unforgettable moments in the future.

Yours,
Jean-Louis and the Dusit Thani Maldives team

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Reviewed 7 May 2024

Dusit Thani is wonderful Resort. The island is full of greenery 💚💚 You can feel the nature very closely and the infinity pool is amazing ❤️ there is the Huge plan little inside the pool which is perfect for who wants to enjoy pool in afternoon

Date of stay: May 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tourist04297157343
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jean-Louis Ripoche, General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2024

Hello Tourist04297157343,

Thank you for taking the time to share your delightful review of your recent stay at Dusit Thani Maldives. It brings us great joy to learn that you found our resort to be wonderful. Indeed, Mudhdhoo Island holds natural treasures on land and underwater. The island is lush with vegetation and home to many species of birds, fruit bats and lizards. While underwater is a diverse marine ecosystem, home to some of the most breathtaking and vibrant coral reefs in the country. We take pride and responsibility in reef protection and many ecological activities to preserve the beauty of this unique location.

We are delighted that you appreciated the opportunity to connect closely with nature and enjoyed the serene ambience of our infinity pool. Your kind words truly motivate us to continue providing exceptional experiences to all our guests. We eagerly anticipate the pleasure of welcoming you back for another unforgettable stay.

Yours,
Jean-Louis and the Dusit Thani Maldives team

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Reviewed 30 April 2024 via mobile

It’s hard to imagine how relaxing a vacation can be, till personally experiencing it at Dusit Thani!

Our incredible Butler Muhey helped take care of our meal schedules, departure logistics and gave us helpful advice on getting the best experience in the island. He also braved the thunderous rain to bring us for dinner in the buggy.

The reefs here are a MUST see - we saw turtles, eagle rays, and even dolphins outside our ocean villa. So cool that the resort is in Baa Atoll, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve so lots of sea creatures and coral. My wife who has stayed at other resorts before was impressed!

Everyone here was focused on ensuring we had a good time - servers at breakfast (Mai, Shayam), Benjarong staff (Orbs), dive centre (Arzaan and Sina) and even the room service! The GM (Jean) and chief chef (Jans) personally make time tomeet guests, get feedback and even through a meet with guests over the sunset, cocktails and canapés.

Not to mention the ocean villa. It was huge, private, sunset view facing (which we were pleasantly surprised) and great reef outside.

Made this a perfect honeymoon and we have no regrets!

Room tip: Best season is Jan - April Be friendly to the staff and enjoy their reciprocal care Take lots of pics!
Date of stay: April 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank joshuaeuisawesome
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jean-Louis Ripoche, General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2024

Hello joshuaeuisawesome,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful honeymoon experience at Dusit Thani Maldives. It truly warms our hearts to read your awesome review.

We're thrilled to learn that Muhey, your dedicated Butler, went above and beyond to ensure your stay was seamless and memorable. Your kind words about our UNESCO Biosphere Reserve location and the abundance of marine life are deeply appreciated. It's indeed a privilege to be surrounded by such natural beauty, and we're delighted it left such a lasting impression on you and your wife.

Thank you for your enthusiastic praise and kind compliments of our team, especially to all our colleagues, who are inspired to be recognized by name. They all take great pride in delivering exceptional service and creating unforgettable moments for our guests.

On behalf of the team, Congratulations to you and your wife! We are so delighted that you chose to celebrate such a special occasion with us. We hope to have you back in the near future and take part in more of your life's celebrations and milestones.

Yours,
Jean-Louis and the Dusit Thani Maldives team

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Reviewed 28 April 2024

Overall resort is very beautiful, surrounded by the Maldivian nature. Room is spacious with direct access to the white sand beach. Food and drinks are very nice. Staff are very friendly and helpful. They can get everything you want within a blink. I should have spent my good time longer. Will definitely go back to make it up. Seaplane will take you around 30 minutes from Male'.

Date of stay: April 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank donkey_kyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jean-Louis Ripoche, General Manager at Dusit Thani Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2024

Hello donkey_kyo,

Thank you for taking the time to share your delightful review following your recent stay at our resort. We are absolutely thrilled to read about your wonderful experience amidst the stunning beauty of the Maldives, enjoying the natural surroundings, spacious villas and culinary experiences.

Our team is indeed our greatest asset, and your kind words regarding their friendliness and helpfulness warm our hearts. We strive to ensure that every guest feels not just welcomed, but truly cared for during their time with us.

We're humbled by your intention to return and make more memories with us. Rest assured, we'll be eagerly awaiting your next visit, ready to exceed your expectations once again.

Should you require any assistance with your future bookings or have any special requests, please do not hesitate to reach out. Until then, we wish you many more unforgettable adventures, and we look forward to welcoming you back to our little slice of paradise in the Maldives.

Yours,
Jean-Louis and the Dusit Thani Maldives team

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