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Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives
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Reviewed 23 February 2009

We returned from this beautiful island two days ago and can only say we have spent a fortnight in paradise. I am sure Raj and Jerome will be disappointed by some of the negative comments in the recent reviews and will very quickly address some of the things others have pointed out.

We arrived at the island by sea plane and I can only say it was an experience in itself, the views of other islands was amazing. On arrival at Chaaya Lagoon we were met by friendly smiles, cold towels and a refreshing drink. After a short chat with the lovely Raj, we were shown our water bungalow - we were in 162 and really do not have any complaints at all, big big bed, fantastic views, tv, fridge, DVD player; yes the bathrooms are in need of a refurb, but 5 minutes in the morning and the same in the evening - we really didn't care - the water was hot for a shower, the toilet immaculately clean and lovely fresh towels twice a day. We found a mix of nationalites, for us there were more Italians and French than English and we didn't find any more noisy than others. The beach side of the island quickly became our favourite as sitting on the deck of our water bungalow during the day was just too hot, if we return we would definately consider a superior beach bungalow; they looked lovely with their own little patio, sunbeds and umbrella. The food in the restaurant was freshly cooked and plentiful and again no complaints and we didn't find that it only catered for English taste buds. There was a bit of a hard sell for dinner on the beach etc. but we told our waiter it wasn't our thing and he didn't try again. Although we did do the Valentines night on the beach, the staff worked really hard to make it special - and it was.

One day we took time out with Jerome the Assistant Manager to look around the organic garden - he was so informative about the the way the island works. He showed us the efforts they go to to recycle plastic bottles and other waste that we make while we are there. Yes there was a smell around the back of the mid number water bungalows, but it really wasn't that bad, definately more preferable than finding waste floating in the ocean - it has to go somewhere!

The beach has plenty of sunbeds and there is never a sense of being too close to anyone. The lagoon water is crystal clear and warm; the colours seen in photographs do not do the island justice you just have to be there.

Things that made our holiday; Raj, Jerome, and Saaki a lovely Bangladeshi boy, the beach and sea, our water bungalow to relax in after a hard day on the sand, the snorkling and finally seeing the Octopus under one of the water bungalows, a walk along the deck each evening and looking back to see the island all lit up, laying in the lagoon water soaking up the sunshine, lazing in the hammocks amongst the coconut trees. Most of all each day just taking in the beauty of the island itself.

Things that we were a "little" disappointed with; Orange juice costing $5.50 each, expresso coffee $4.50 each, the prices of the extras was a bit excessive, we would have liked to sail everyday but the cost we thought was expensive, especially after other all inclusive holidays we've had when the sailing has been plentiful and free, also the water sports staff were not easy to locate.

Don't forget to take; reef shoes if you are staying in a water bungalow, plenty of sun cream the shop only stocks factor 30 and 50, plenty of sweets and snacks if thats your thing - you can't buy these on the island, an underwater camera we had to pay $33 for one and they're 2 for £5 in Heathrow airport, enough hair conditioner and toiletries.

Ladies you won't need; heels, I didn't wear any shoes for two weeks day or night except for one pair of flip flops when the deck was too hot to walk on. Really dressy clothes just sundresses, strappy tops etc nobody got too dressed up at night and you will definately need a sun hat.

Would we return to Chaaya Lagoon? for the first time ever after a holiday the answer would have to be yes definately.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Dee-in-Spain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2009

We Just returned from holyday at chajaa and I want to write a review for not only English guests but also guests from all over the world it seems to be that this resort is very popular by the English guests and you really can see it on all the things they offer breakfast for example is really English style we had only the choice for eggs cheese and sweet bread the rest off the buffed is English style also very big groups off English people,couples who get together and meet very loudly, the water villas are old the floor is not good any more and the bathrooms are really outdated and the smell off rotten eggs is terrible we had room 154 this was the bad stuff bud the Maldives is a place that you can only dream off I think in every resort! also the staff is very kind bud they are specially serve you if you give them tips otherwise you have to step back in the line the food was good bud not very special I was expecting a lat more the surfing is not ok the surfboards are terrible and they don’t have time to help you diving costs 150 dollar for a lesson and a dive by the rife bud this place is a place that you can remember for the rest off your live because the Maldives are great and this place is payable.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank christeljaap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2009

Just returned from our honeymoon at the resort, watever you do do not book it with Virgin, they offer no support or help, we had to fly home early due to a family emergency and they could not help with a return flight.
The resort is beautiful, the staff wonderful, however, the all-inclusive is not really all-inclusive ie fresh orange juice is $5.50 per glass at breakfast, every day the resort staff try and sell you a "special" meal or "special" dishes. The resort does not yet offer all-inclusive to Caribbean standard.
The rooms are a little tired and are being re-furbed in 2009, they need it.

Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
7  Thank oliver81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2009

We booked through Virgin Holidays for our first trip to the Maldives flying with SriLankan Airlines. We stayed 8 nights at Hakuraa and 6 nights on Rangali Island.

Virgin were not very helpful, not answering any of the questions I sent in with our final payment cheque and a subsequent letter so I wouldn’t recommend them.

The flight was okay, spending 10-11 hours upright in a seat is never going to be great. Took off 1.50 minutes late (and 1 hour 30 minutes late on the return flight so prepare for some delay). We also had about 2 hours wait at the seaplane lounge so be prepared with a few snacks.

Our water villa was very nice, we asked for a high number and stayed in 168, although it was quite a long walk to the restaurant, jetty and bar is was quiet and had a nice outlook with the uninhabited island. We found the sewage smell to be more confined to around 145-150 although this was on the island rather than out on the jetty so the smell may not have travelled to the water villas. The bathroom was tired and we had the obstruction in our glass window.

The bed was nice with soft linen; it was good to have tea making facilities, mini bar and TV and DVD player. The air Con also worked well and we found it comfortable to sleep with it turned off at night.

The buffet food was good; especially the days there were waffles and pancakes at breakfast. We do not normally eat much fish but the fish (mainly Tuna) was lovely and we were also pleasantly surprised to find veg including broccoli and carrots some nights. The fresh donuts were also lovely. We found packing some chocolate; sweets, crisps and marmite ensured we didn’t crave anything. Meal times were quite limited especially when the boat for snorkelling leaves at 9am and we found it hard to get to lunch with plenty of time to eat before it closed at 2pm

We did not dive as we thought $95 dollars for the refresher was quite steep but spent a lot of time snorkelling. The free snorkelling trips go at 9am and 3pm from the end of the jetty. They mostly go to the same reef, which was okay, but not as good as it could be. There is a small reef that can be reached just off the end of the jetty, which was okay for one snorkel. There are fish all around though; I found a Banded Boxer Shrimp under our water villa, small reef sharks and rays in the shallows and the Lion Fish that can sometimes be found under the bar!

We had hoped to go Dolphin watching but had two days of cloud and rain so couldn’t go. The Adam & Eve Island was nice. They have split this up so two couples get to go per day; we went early 8.30-3.30pm (including a bottle of wine with dinner and eating out on the decking that evening). The other option is 3.30pm-6pm with high tea on the island and dinner on the beach that evening in the resort. You get loads of food including croissants so could have breakfast and lunch but we had breakfast in the resort. We were disappointed to find a fisherman and then another speed boat come to our lagoon so we were not alone for most of the time. There was also no sun umbrella as promised meaning we couldn’t really use the two sun loungers as the sun is so strong.

The lagoon is a fantastic turquoise colour with sandbanks that come and go with the tide for good photo opportunities.

I would be pleased if the island was more environmentally friendly, there are no warnings not to touch or walk on the coral and small plastic water bottles are given out frequently, if they are recycled this is fine but our second island re used it’s own glass bottles.

We did find it was useful to have one comfortable pair of flat sandals/flip flops for wearing in the evening (as you cannot see what you are walking on.

Kaftans are useful for covering up to go to the restaurant and help keep the sun off

If snorkelling be careful of the sun, my long sleeved rash vest proved handy, a thin shortie wetsuit would be good too.

Ensure you have all you need as far as toiletries and medical supplies go as the shop is small, and not very well stocked.

WifFi Internet access was $3 for two hours or 10 hours for $11. It is available in the lounge next to the restaurant and in the bar. The connection was quite fast (compared to on our second island).

We found the reception staff not to be very informative or helpful and also requested further toiletries twice which never arrived.

We had a lovely stay on Hakuraa and have become instantly hooked on the Maldives but as a keen snorkeller I will try different islands next time.

Stayed: January 2009
3  Thank Bristolians
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2009

The reviews on this hotel are very good, the water bungalows are good but watch out for those from 140 to 170 as the smells from the sewage treatment plant can be terrible. The dining staff are superb and very helpful, but the food is not imaginative as curries were offered twice a day, very little seafood which is poor given the fact that you are staying in a water paradise. This is unless you want to pay $ 75 per person for a lobster or $ 45 for a plate of prawns !!!!. Drinks are all inclusive unless you want a brand name, for example Baileys where 25 ml will cost you $ 5.00, yes thats $ 150 if you want to buy a bottle. Was told by the bar manager Sharma that they make very little profit from the hotel side but capitalise on bar profits which is why they charge like this for brand names and close the bar at midnight to stop all night free drinking. Also I am certain the entertainment was designed to clear the bar as quickly as possible with the highlights of the week being bingo at $ 20 a go or crab racing at $ 5.00 per crab. As I said great place but watch the extras !!!!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank Nick007Norwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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