We visited Hakurra from Sri Lanka as part of a twin centre holiday with Virgin for our 20th wedding anniversary.
On our transfer day we flew with Sri lankan airways from Columbo very early morning in the hope of spending a full day at Hakurra, however our hopes were dashed due to a power cut at Male airport which left the seaplane departures in total chaos. After trying to get through customs ASAP (after completing swine flu declaration and being asked whether we were carrying any alcohol which we weren’t and observed many random searches with bottles taken from some travellers)- We ended up waiting 4 hours before being able to board our seaplane. The most frustrating part was watching some other resorts being given priority. The seaplane lounge is an interesting and comfortable place to wait though and cold drinks were available at a reasonable cost. After making a nuisance of myself to staff we finally got our sea-plane at lunchtime, the Canadian pilots (barefooted!) were very friendly and amusing. This is an amazing experience and the views below are breathtaking; a camera/video is a necessity and although it’s a bit hot and noisy its FAB.
Despite reading every review (Many times over I add!) and looking at all the pictures on TA our arrival at Hakurra was better than I could have ever imagined – the sun was shining on a crystal clear turquoise ocean and the beauty of it is beyond my words. After a quick transfer by Dhoni we were walking down the jetty to be met by Manager Raj with welcome cold towels and drinks. Due to waiting for other passengers to arrive we were offered lunch before our welcome meeting. Much to the delight of everyone (including staff) the next seaplane landed on the beach, what a way to arrive!!
After a wonderful lunch we were taken to our water bungalow, number 126. Our luggage was waiting for us and the rooms really are stunning. Much larger than imagined, beautifully clean and the view – well totally beautiful, it looked like our own personal reef. The decks are large and private and we pulled open the doors and curtains and wasted no time in getting in the water. The current is very strong here and can make swimming difficult but the snorkelling was brilliant and worth the effort. You really do need water shoes because of the sharp coral underfoot. Weather was amazing – (we were lucky after 2 weeks poor weather with rain)
Our room boy Habib was so friendly and always made an excellent job of keeping our room clean and tidy. On our last night he left us 2 lovely palm leaf birds on our bed. On the note of bathrooms, as previously noted not superb standard but come on - do you really notice? The glass viewing panel in the room was bigger than it looked and we saw lionfish, parrot fish, two puffer fish and a reef shark as well as numerous colourful small fish in and out of the coral. We took an extension lead to enable us to charge all our cameras.
After reading a previous review we packed a few crisps, sweets and nuts with us. What a total waste of time, we were so full from the amazing selection of food that we ended up taking it all back with us. The restaurant was lovely, on our 2nd day our table was moved to the edge of the room so that we had a wonderful view of the beach and some of the breeze from the sea. Our waiter Adam was so friendly and attentative, he talked with us and made our mealtimes very pleasant ; our drinks were often waiting at the table for us. The selection of food is some of the best I have seen – Breakfast : fresh bread and rolls, pastries and croissants, cold meats and salad, sausage, potato, curry and rice, fresh grilled bacon, omelette and eggs cooked to order and fresh waffle or pancake. Always fresh fruit and juices try cucumber and water melon. Lunch – fresh bread and rolls, soup, salads, fresh fish, pasta cooked to order, various curry, vegetables and meat, beautiful puddings and fresh fruit. Dinner – as per lunch but with more choices of curry and always a joint of meat and the best Naan bread you will ever taste – Puddings to die for! The presentation is superb with so much attention to detail. It was great having the same table, we met some lovely people who shared our enjoyment of Hakurra to talk about the days diving experiences and the great views. We heard the word Paradise and perfect said so many times. Hi to Ann & Gary who sat next to us and to Dave and Chris on their honeymoon.
No hard sell for special dinners, we were asked once and declined with no pressure; on our last night we bought a bottle of wine and had our meal on the outside veranda next to the beach. A beautiful end to our holiday.
The diving was the real reason we visited the Maldives, although my husband is qualified I am not and after finding out through a fab forum www.chaayamaldivesforum.co.uk that I could take a resort dive and dive with my husband I was well pleased. The forum is a wealth of real knowledge and advice from previous travellers and dive staff at Hakurra – Thanks Tracy.
Hubby did his check dive with Anne – I did my resort dive with Magic – he is the most patient, kind and encouraging teacher you could ever ask for. I was very somewhat anxious and at times felt I could not do the tasks required. His encouragement and persistence did the trick and after a short dive in the lagoon I was able to join my husband on the following afternoon boat dive. Dive set up is great with 2 consecutive 60 min boat dives in the morning with a 1 hour break to travel to alternative site . His dream was to see turtles or sharks or even Manta. His first 2 dives with Derek surpassed his expectations and he was lucky enough to see everything in 1 dive, the 3 Manta being his real highlight. On our dive together, Magic’s kindness and support was immeasurable and I was so lucky to see a beautiful turtle gracefully swim past me.WOW! He never let go of my hand except to take a photo and I always felt safe – we now have a lovely photo of us diving together to remind us of our amazing experience. Hubby also wanted to mention Amjay and the boat boys who do so much for you!
The beach was beautiful, powder white sands and was usually empty, the lagoon empties with the tide leaving pools of warm water to lie in to cool down. The walk along the jetty is not to be missed when the tide is coming in as the sealife is stunning, rays and reef shark often frequent the area to feed. Couples often congregate at the end of the beach to watch the sun set together - very romantic and truly stunning.
The bar was a great place to meet with lovely views of the lagoon around you. Hi to our lovely German friends! The crab racing a real hoot and not to be missed, good selection of drinks and great service. Snacks available in the afternoon and night, watch out for the crows who will steal from your plate if given the opportunity. The disco was too loud but the underwater film brilliant to watch. Thanks Magic!
I used the Spa for a pedicure, it took 90 minutes and was so amazingly relaxing, I would have had more treatments if time had allowed. Very relaxing and a professional with friendly and happy therapists.
On our final day we were so sad to leave; after an early breakfast and time to say goodbye to everyone Raj waved us off. Seaplane journey with some rain was a little bumpy, but as beautiful as our arrival. Homeward flight with Sri Lanka – excellent, after joining flysmiles we reserved seats 10 H&K there and back, loads of leg room excellent service, wide choice of meals and drinks and good movies. On a last note the service from Virgin reps at Male airport was outstanding - Thanks for that guys!
Overall we had an amazing holiday. This is the most beautiful place we have ever seen and it will always reserve a special place in our hearts – so much so we are looking to return in 2010
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The first glimpse of Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives from the air leaves visitors speechless. Pure white-capped roofs of the resort's 70 Water Bungalows, set in knee deep crystal waters of the lagoon, can be a rare sight. A walk around this strip of island covered with green-topped palm trees will reveal 10 charming Beach Bungalows strategically placed with the lagoon as the front yard. Hakuraa Huraa means "Reef above water". What makes this reef even more special is the spectacular island resort that has been designed to complements the splendor of the island. It's called Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa Hotel Meemu Atoll