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Reviewed 5 April 2018

Having travelled close to a day to get here, we were glad that it lived up to our high expectations.
Pick-up at the Male airport was as per e-mail and Ali couldn’t have been more helpful and directed us to a lovely air-conditioned coffee shop to await the arrival of other guests, who hadn’t cleared passport control/customs, before departing for the island via speed boat. With life jackets on, supplied with water and a refreshing towel to make us comfortable in the heat, we made great time on a smooth sea, with just enough of a breeze to keep you cool, during the journey.
Upon arrival at the jetty, we were greeted by what appeared at first to be the hotel’s full complement of staff, with each party assigned their own host, Jenica, to take us to our villa, where we were checked in. No queues to stand in here. Wish more places took this approach. This was followed by a quick tour of the villa, it's amenities and statement wrt the package we had purchased. We opted for a Superior Charm beach villa, which is literally 25 feet from the sea. Open the door from the villa, past the shaded seating area, hammock under the trees and across the beach leads you into the enticing clear water. Water that is so different from back home as its warm – just like clear bathwater. No shock to the system when entering the water here to go swimming or snorkelling. Just pure joy! With lots of colourful fish and marine life to see, in relatively shallow water.
The 20 year old tradition of feeding the stingrays at the main jetty, is something special, with guests being given substantial amounts of fish to feed the stingrays who come up the beach in the water to be fed at 17:00. This finishes with a ‘Hi Tea’, consisting of savoury delicacies and a tasty drink, which allows guests to mingle. We also had a pleasant surprise to find many large Stingrays (3-4m) resting in the sand, in the relatively shallow water close to shore, just outside our villa between 17:30 and 18:00 one day. Only spotted because their tails looked like mooring lines jutting out of the sand.
Our villa was just as in the brochure pictures. Large beautiful tiled bathroom, with indoor and outdoor shower, a comfortable, air-conditioned bedroom with large firm bed, TV which doubles as a media player if you have your own USB storage device, and comfortable sitting areas both inside and out. Two sun loungers are available just outside where you could tan even whilst under the trees.
The villa is cleaned twice daily, with the still and sparkling water replenished free of charge. It was great to see that refillable glass bottles, and not plastic, were being used to help look after this wonderful environment. The water is safe to drink . Many places should follow the lead that this place provides. The house keeping staff do a terrific job and go out of their way to ensure that the villa is to your satisfaction. Daily weather forecasts are provided in your room to set your expectations for the following day, which is a nice touch. There was a beautiful welcome on the bed upon arrival and Rishfaan always greeted us with a smile and enquiring if everything was ok and if there was anything needed. Mr Murali, the housekeeping executive, even arranged a meeting with us to ask if there was anything that could be improved and gave us the honour of planting a plant on the island and provided a framed picture of the occasion. On our last night, the housekeeper’s decorated our bed with a colourful butterfly and left a CD for us to remind us of our stay in paradise.
We were here on a half board basis, as we had found this to be more than sufficient in the past, avoiding piling on the pounds from the over indulgence that fully inclusive tends to imply (i.e. unlimited food & drink with insufficient exercise!). We found this to be more than sufficient here too, as there is a very good breakfast buffet (including freshly made pancakes and omelettes), in addition to a varied selection of menu items, that changes daily, that are made to order.
The menu at dinner in Latitude also changes daily, with ample food in the three courses you choose from. The food is excellent and the chef and his team, including front of house, are to be commended. Wines start at $30 USD (excluding GST and service taxes of approx. 20%, which appears the norm in Asia these days). All the staff were great but it would be unfair not to mention Sojanie who welcomed us in the restaurant and simply confirmed our room number before leading us to our table; Selim our happy/helpful server who is happy to offer an opinion when struggling to choose between dishes on the menu, Rana for taking care of us in the bar and restaurant and Zayaan who served us at the ‘Hi tea’ and restaurant, and seems to exude Tajness in all that he does. The only inconsistency apparent is with the bottled water which is supplied free in the room but is $6 USD (excluding tax) in the restaurant.
We enjoyed the couples massage in the Jiva spa, and it has to rate as the best massage we have experienced anywhere in the world. Quick completion of a health form, provided a refreshing drink before being taken to change before the massage. All very professional and before a very relaxing but thorough full body massage, whilst concentrating on the areas we had individually requested. Excellent!
Samir, you and your team need to be highly commended for the way your staff go out of their way to make everyone’s vacation enjoyable – everyone is so friendly, courteous, and helpful – nothing seems too much trouble. Seeing you hands on, leading by example in the restaurant, doing the daily checks/inspections and during the meet and greet sessions etc, alongside your staff spoke volumes to us. Ensuring that you were in touch with your customers and were making sure everyone experienced the best the resort had to offer. If this is Tajness at work, then you have set a high bar for others to follow.
Only pleased that we chose to stay at the Taj, joined your welcoming family for a short period, and experienced what your resort had to offer; as it gave us a welcome Easter break in the sun with many fond memories, before returning to the cold to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Can’t wait to return in the future, to see how the plant we planted will have grown.
Thanks for making our 30th anniversary special!

Room Tip: Superior Beach Charm Villas have direct access to a sandy beach from their balcony
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank family_spoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vivanta C, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Dear Guest,

On the onset we would like to thank you for staying with us at the Vivanta By Taj – Coral Reef, Maldives. We know that you have many choices when traveling and we appreciate you choosing to stay with us.

We are in receipt of your feedback form and are delighted to know that we succeeded in exceeding your expectations and create some beautiful memories of your stay with us. We would also like to thank you for your kind words; these words of encouragements help us strive to become better.

Please do let us know if we can be of any help to you in future.
Do let us know when you plan your next holiday with us.

Sincerely,
Samir Khanna
General Manager
Vivanta by Taj, Coral Reef - Maldives
samir.khanna@tajhotels.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

we stayed in the water villa and it was one of our best ever holidays. the views were superb, the room comfortable, the amenities plentiful, the sea and snorkelling a-ma-zing, the staff all 5 stars. we even had our own manta ray exclusive feeding hour which is a memory we'll never forget. thank you vivanta team!

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 4tress2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vivanta C, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Dear Guest,

On the onset we would like to thank you for staying with us at the Vivanta By Taj – Coral Reef, Maldives. We know that you have many choices when traveling and we appreciate you choosing to stay with us.

We are in receipt of your feedback form and are delighted to know that we succeeded in exceeding your expectations and create some beautiful memories of your stay with us. We would also like to thank you for your kind words; these words of encouragements help us strive to become better.

Please do let us know if we can be of any help to you in future.
Do let us know when you plan your next holiday with us.

Sincerely,
Samir Khanna
General Manager
Vivanta by Taj, Coral Reef - Maldives
samir.khanna@tajhotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

Nothing compares to Taj hospitality which is why we never think twice while celebrating a milestone. We were happy to come back to the same resort 10 yrs after our honeymoon with kids in tow this time. Every small gesture counts. The familiarity, the bed decorations, the cake, the wine, personalized notes, kids toys. The list is endless. Even the buffet breakfast is unparalleled. And good idea on keeping the open buffet to a minimum and having people order from a menu. Reduces food wastage. The service at latitude was fantastic and the waiters were super attentive. Even the food was well presented.

Same can’t be said for the grill though. Which is the only disappointment we had. Pricey for the offering and the silent zone at the pool is a difficult ask in a kid friendly resort.

Still happy we chose to come back. Oh added bonus is the amazing snorkeling around the entire island, breathtaking sunsets and stingray feedings.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
Thank Meander809117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vivanta C, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Dear Guest,

On the onset we would like to thank you for staying with us at the Vivanta By Taj – Coral Reef, Maldives. We know that you have many choices when traveling and we appreciate you choosing to stay with us.

We are in receipt of your feedback form and are delighted to know that we succeeded in exceeding your expectations and create some beautiful memories of your stay with us. We would also like to thank you for your kind words; these words of encouragements help us strive to become better.

Please do let us know if we can be of any help to you in future.
Do let us know when you plan your next holiday with us.

Sincerely,
Samir Khanna
General Manager
Vivanta by Taj, Coral Reef - Maldives
samir.khanna@tajhotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018 via mobile

It’s our last day at Vivanta by Taj and we are so sad to leave!

This place defines heaven and was a perfect chilled getaway for my partner and I.

At first we had our reservations before going as we’ve travelled a lot but this is definitely in our top three favourite holidays!

As soon as we had collected our bags at the airport we were greeted by friendly informative staff, the speed boat staff were on time and great.

The staff are so kind, helpful and very attentive. They define true hospitality, we were so impressed.

The food is outstanding/waiters and bar staff were exceptional and the marine life is so cool!

We had a massage at the spa which was the best we have ever had and the boat trips were brilliant - we got to swim with turtles.

I don’t want to give too much away but there were so many little surprises which made it so fun!

House keeping were so thorough and great too!

Thank you so much to everyone for having us and to top it off we got engaged on our water villa balcony during sunset .. after it happened sting rays swam past our villa .... couldn’t be anymore perfect!

If you ever read anything negative about this place then please ignore it as it couldn’t be any further from the truth - the place is magical and definitely worth a visit.

Thanks Hayley and Scott x

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank HayleyLoves2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vivanta C, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Dear Guest,

On the onset we would like to thank you for staying with us at the Vivanta By Taj – Coral Reef, Maldives. We know that you have many choices when traveling and we appreciate you choosing to stay with us.

We are in receipt of your feedback form and are delighted to know that we succeeded in exceeding your expectations and create some beautiful memories of your stay with us. We would also like to thank you for your kind words; these words of encouragements help us strive to become better.

Please do let us know if we can be of any help to you in future.
Do let us know when you plan your next holiday with us.

Sincerely,
Samir Khanna
General Manager
Vivanta by Taj, Coral Reef - Maldives
samir.khanna@tajhotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2018 via mobile

The best hotel we have ever stayed at. Impeccable service, all staff (except Dave centre and water sports) were without fault. The food was unbelievable. The gardening was very well kept. Stingray feeding was fun. Sunset cruise was ok.

We stayed in water villa and it was breathtaking. Well kept. Lots of attention to detail in terms of the amenities. Postcard views from balcony. Swimming with fishes right outside our room was perfect.

Never saw a mosquito since they fume the area twice a day.

I cannot say enough good things about the resort.

Tip for anyone trying to save some money (its the most expensive place we’ve ever stayed in): half board was a great option. All inclusive is almost too much food and drink before you break even. We upgraded for one day (paying at hotel after arrival) when we got here and that was enough to sample the cocktails, and lunch but we were fine with the breakfast and dinner. Best breakfast I’ve ever had. A la Carte ordering plus Buffett to finish.

A different menu for breakfast and dinner every day and all amazing quality. Unbelievable.

Oh and the massage we had was amazing also.

Feedback for hotel to improve on: I thought it was unnecessary to charge the $8 per person per day for the life jackets. The snorkelling gear is free so it seems you have to pay to be more safe. It’s only small money so better to give for free or make snorkelling gear and life jackets $8 and it seems like a better deal.

Also, we had half board and it felt cheap to charge us $7 for a bottle of water at the table when there were 3 of the same bottles given to us daily for free in our room. Seems unnecessary.

Lastly, since we were half board there were a number of times where it wasn’t clear to us what was included and what wasn’t in the price. Maybe an extra piece of paper in the room showing the differences in a table or something between the different packages so you know what’s free and isn’t?

These small gripes are only feedback for the hotel and in no way effected our trip. 5 stars, outstanding.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vivanta C, General Manager at Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef Maldives, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2018

Dear Guest,

On the onset we would like to thank you for staying with us at the Vivanta By Taj – Coral Reef, Maldives. We know that you have many choices when traveling and we appreciate you choosing to stay with us.

We are in receipt of your feedback form and are glad that we succeeded in exceeding your expectations and create some beautiful memories of your stay with us. We would also like to thank you for your kind words; these words of encouragements help us strive to become better.

We have made a note of your feedback regarding the Life Jacket, Water, package inclusions and assure you the same will be looked upon.

Please do let us know if we can be of any help to you in future.
Do let us know when you plan your next holiday with us.

Sincerely,
Samir Khanna
General Manager
Vivanta by Taj, Coral Reef - Maldives
samir.khanna@tajhotels.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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