11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We stayed at the Taj Coral Reef for our...
"We stayed at the Taj Coral Reef for our honeymoon and it was great. A very small tranquil island. My husband and I enjoy diving, there is a dive centre on the island and they will give lessons to beginners and boat trips for more experienced. The island has it's own wreck which is very popular. We had a fantastic holiday, the food was excellent, the staff are friendly and helpfull. I would love to go again."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of June 2008
"After a 36+hour journey to get to the Taj Coral our spirits were immediately lifted by the welcome from the staff and the sheer beauty of the island. We were relieved as well after seeing weather forecasts for rain that the sun was shining in perfectly blue skies (and it stayed that way for the whole trip).The beach was perfect and the sea was amazing. The temperature and clarity of the water made snorkelling an ideal way to pass the time each day and as the resort has it's own reef you could spend hours in the water just looking at all the beautifully coloured fish. If you want to have a relaxing holiday with no concept of time & day then this is the place to go. The hardest decision to make each day is when & what to eat. Which brings me on to the food. I have been on all inclusive holidays before and have never experienced the consistently high quality of the food and service at this resort. No request is too much for the chefs who genuinely want you to enjoy the food at every meal. Even dishes not on the buffet will be cooked at your request. (and in our case at the suggestion of the chef himself). The fresh pasta was to die for as were the curries. The spa was extremely good value with one of the best facials I have ever had. Definitely try to pluck up the courage to feed the stingrays - it's not as scary as it first looks. (the worst thing is the smell of fish off your hands afterwords) and the kids are so enthusiastic they put the adults to shame really. Most importantly - the bar staff were fantastic. What a selection of mocktails & cocktails they made for us. We felt like they had become our friends by the time we were leaving and even came to wave us off on the boat on the trip back to the airport. Make sure if you're staing at the resort that you try a Tom, Bobby or Canon "special". I can guarantee that you'll enjoy the drink & the company. The only downside was they we had to leave.........but we will definitely be back. Thank you to all the staff who made our experience at the Taj Coral a most memorable one!!!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of September 2006
"We travelled here on 1st may 2006 for our honeymoon. On arrival we were transported to the island on a beautiful speedboat and given a cold towel and water.
We had booked a lagoon villa and on arrival we found out we had been upgraded to the deluxe honeymoon villa which was amazing. Huge room, huge bed, flat screen tv, bathroom marble and a beautiful deck area going into the sea.
The island is tiny - you can walk round it in minutes but it really is paradise. The staff could notbe more helpful. I have various food allergies and the chefs met with me on the first night and offered to cook all my meals from the kitchen every day - they were fantastic and the food was wonderful.
Just one bit of advice - we went all inclusive - I would recommend this option as it was VERY expensive if you were half board. We worked out that if we had booked Half Board we would have spent twice as much as what we paid to go all inclusive (Â£700 each) . For example a beer was 8 dollars, cocktails between 10- 14 dollars.
The weather was perfect everyday and I would recommend swimming with the stingrays that came in every day at 4pm to be fed - am amazing site.
We cannot fault anything about this island - we paid alot of money but it was worth every penny and I would recommend it to anyone!!"
- Travel date: Tue 6th of June 2006
great stay at coral reef
"my family had great time at this place. we stayed in lagoon villa and experience was too good. you can see the lagoon from your room.we had nice time snorkeling, got good weather,.kids enjoyed water sports.people here are very friendly.food is good and lot of varitey.suchean at rourkie(main reastaurant) was nice,polite and friendly.mr. rajeev the chef is also very frienly and he saw to it v as vegetarian got good food. hoptality was superb. over alll v had great vacation.v wuld like to cm again 4 holidy ."
- Travel date: Wed 31st of May 2006
Good resort for first-timer in the Maldives but there are so much better
"We have just come back from 7 nights at Taj Coral reef resort. Had a great time but there are few things I just have to mention.
After arriving at Male airport we were swiftly taken to the resort. You get a welcome drink with cold towel - nice touch and very refreshing! First impression of the island is good. The view of the island from the jetty is beautiful but this is the best view you are going to get. Beach erosion seems to be a big problem here. There are unsightly netted coral walls in front of all the lagoon villas, which spoils the view .There is beach on one side of the island only and this has groynes and coral walls all along it. I understand these are there to protect the beach but that does not change the fact that it looks very unsightly and not quite like the tropical paradise you might be expecting. Another surprise is the beach furniture - white plastic chairs and plastic loungers and yellow cheap looking sun umbrellas. I just feel that there should be no plastic in the Maldives and all the resorts we visited previously had wooden beach furniture.
The snorkelling is nice, all hard coral. Best snorkelling is on the reef in front of the first lagoon villa (just left of the jetty). We saw moray eels, rays, octopus, lion fish plus all the other fish you normally see in the Maldives. The rays come up to the beach to be fed at 5 pm every evening. It was amazing to see just how tame they are and you can touch them and stroke them.
The food is nice but choice is very limited. I was also suprised to see that 4-5 dishes were repeated every evening. Very Maldivian / Italian orientated and absolutely no choice for kids. We had my 11 year old niece with us and it was a bit of a challenge to find things for her to eat. Saying that, the chef was more then happy to cook something extra if you asked for it.
The beach bar was fine, the choice of food, again, very limited. The happy hour was quite poor - buy 2 cocktails, get one free (and it had to be the same type). In other Maldivian resorts we visited there was usually Buy one get one free happy hour.
The staff were pleasant, our waiter Hazeef was excellent. Very friendly and polite. People on the reception were not that great. The sunbed in our villa was broken and it took 3 phone calls and 2 days until they came to replace it - not sure what the problem was there.
All in all, this is a pleasant resort but is more suited for someone visiting Maldives for the first time (so unable to compare with other islands).
If you want tropical hideway with beautiful unspoilt beaches look elsewhere. I would recommend Filitheyo - this is in similar price bracket but with stunning beaches, amazing food and brilliant snorkelling."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of May 2006
Dream Came True
"Well I had a dream that I would spend my Honeymoon on the Island and after reading reviews on this site and few other sites I decided to go to Taj Coral Reef and I would say I had my dream came true.
The resort is excellent and my wife went crazy after we reach there. We had lagoon villa (Water villa) and I would definately recoomend to get water villa if you are going to Taj Coral Reef. The food was excellent. They had different themes for dinner every day.
We stayed there for 5 nights - 6 days. The water is so crystal clear that you can see 4-5 feet down below the water.
As most of the people wrote here, the staff is really excellent in service and they would make you feel a prince and princess. Staff was very friendly and I made few friends there as well. I used to play badminton with staff members in the evening time sometimes. :-)
Overall.. it was an excellent experience. I would definately agree with all others who says its a "Paradise"
:-) I am attaching few pictures taken at Taj Coral Reef."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of March 2006
Taj Coral Reef -Perfect
"We visited the Taj Coral Reef on the tiny island of Hembadu at the beginning of the month and stayed for 7 nights in a deluxe lagoon villa.
The first thing that we were greeted with at Male airport was our island rep pointing us in the direction of our awaiting speedboat-just a tip here, if you are as white as I am then sit below deck-the views are still good but you will not burn.
The boat trip takes about 50 mins, and you pass various other resorts, but when you arrive at the Taj you will be overwhelmed with its natural beauty.( you can walk round the island in 15 mins)
We were greeted by the island management and given hot towels and a cocktail.
Our bags were wisked from us at this point and taken to ur awaiting rooms. We were given a tour of the island on our way to the room and shown the major areas.
The lagoon villas have a private sundeck and 2 loungers and as many beach towels as you need.
The lagoon itself is a place of underwater beauty and I saw fish ranging from rays to squid to tuna and puffer fish
Make friends with your room cleaner (they visit and clean twice a day) and they will make your stay unforgettable-we had a different arrangement on the bed every day, and even fresh coconuts to drink from on one day.
The accomodation is good, and you do not want for anything in the rooms.
The best feature of the island is without doubt the attention to detail via the service. Nothing is too much trouble for the teams, with particular credit going to Prince Joseph and Haneef in the restaurant-we had the fish we caught on an excursion cooked for us within 30 minutes of coming ashore.
Just because an item does not appear on the buffet, it does not mean it is not available. The chef walked the room every day asking for feedback and any suggestions.
The food from the buffet was varied daily-with an Italian, English, Japanese, Maldivian and Asian selection each day.
We went all inclusive and could never keep up with the staff offering to pour us more drinks etc.
A word of warning-all the staff are mad on premiership football-so know your facts before you fly there!!!
The only downside was the departure-7 night was not long enough-and even at the airport whilst other islands guests were struggling, you get a baggage assistant meeting you from the boat and steering you through the Male airport lounge.
I will certainly be returning to this island, and cannot fault it at all."
- Travel date: Thu 16th of March 2006
"Arrived in blue skies and it never changed for the 7 days.Stayed in a lagoon villa with steps down into warm clear blue sea,amazing fish swimming with you in the heat.The staff on the island were so attentive and GENUINELY friendly,nothing was a problem to them.Massage by indonesian/bali girls is a must do during your stay.We went evening fishing and when you get back the chef cooks what you caught and brings it to the table,fresh or what!!!Everybody we met among the guests were so friendly and the beach disco with dj and everybody joining in made it a holiday to remember,special thanks to staff members Prince Joseph
and Suchan in restaurant and Boby and Tom in bar,we shall return.
Ian & June"
- Travel date: Mon 6th of March 2006
lovely resort and excellent service
"My wife and I stayed at this resort earlier this month. We were there for a week and had one of the best holidays ever. The service at this relaxed resort is excellent.
When we arrived at the airport we were met by one of the staff and taken by speed boat to the resort. This was our first trip to the Maldives and were taken by sheer beauty of the place. On arrival at the resort we were met by more staff with cold towels and more cold water. The check in formality was very quick and we were then personally shown around the resort. It is a tiny place so takes only a few minutes! We had a water villa and this was excellent. It is clean and spacious with a private decking leading into the water.
The rest of the week went by very quickly. The food is very good although if you are going to all inclusive you might find the buffets a little repetative. The restaurant on the beach is excellent. This though is not a place for those looking for night time entertainment.
We spent most of our time on the decking in our villa as we could snorkel from there right into the water. The beach is nice but lacks cover from the sun.
All in all a great holiday and would certainly return if we were back in the Maldives."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of February 2006
"We have just stayed here for 6 nights as part of our honeymoon.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a huge party of staff, all welcoming us to the island and quickly making us feel at home.
We stayed in a beach villa, and agree with a previous reviewer that after seeing the lagoon villa, we also preferred being near the beach and the hammocks.
Our room was very spacious with a fan and air conditioning. We appreciated being able to only use the fan as we are not keen on air conditioning.
We were on a full board basis, which meant all meals were taking at the main restaurant which had a buffet daily. The choices were comprehensive, although sometimes it felt that the majority of the cuisine was tailored towards the italian guests - for example, pasta every day at lunch! Having said that, there was always other choices, indian, maldivian, japanese and chinese food, plus salads, soup and dessert.
The chefs were incredible, interacting with us daily to check if we were happy with the food and also taking our special requests and catering for them! They made each guest feel very special by providing a personalised service. The waiters would remember your drinks choices and preferences and ensure that each day you didn't have to ask - for example we would need ketchup and chilli sauce and they picked up on this and kept it on our table for us.
The diving school is good and you can do your PADI course here, with practice first in the swimming pool.
There is limited evening entertainment, and therefore we thought 6 nights was enough here, unless you are planning to do alot of diving.
The downsides here for honeymooners wanting peace and quiet are that this is very much a family resort and therefore you have to share the beach with alot of children, however the beach is amazing and so we didn't mind too much.
Overall I cannot emphasis enough how amazing the staff at this resort are, they are willing to help you with anything, they are always smiling and even manage to remember each and every single guest (around 120 total) and their specific preferences. This is probably Taj training and the fact that they really look after their staff.
I would recommend this resort for families, vegetarians or anyone with food requirements (although remember this is the Maldives and therefore they can't just get anything you need all the time), and anyone who loves the beach."
- Travel date: Fri 9th of December 2005
Taj Coral Reef Resort
"I have just returned today (12th May 2005) from the Taj Coral Reef Resort for my honeymoon.
If you are considering going but are not sure? Please go, it will be the best thing you ever did.
The island Hembadhu is very small and takes about 5 minutes to walk around it, and it is easy to snorkel your way completely around it too, we did this quite by accident:-)
You can't tell the tsunami ever happened, the island is fantastic and clean and maintained so well.
All the pictures you have seen on the internet, are all 100% accurate. It looks every bit as beautiful in real life as it does in the brochures.
The food was amazing. I am a fussy eater and mainly vegetarian and I had such a huge selection of vegetarian food to choose from ( as well as meat dishes for my husband). The food is truly international, from italian pastas to indian curries, all cooked to perfection.
The diving is the best I have ever seen and the people are so friendly and helpful. They truly make your stay as wonderful as possible.
I can not recommend it highly enough."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of May 2005