23 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"After a long and exhausting flight from Switzerland, we finally reached our destination. Visible to us from the waterplane were: a long island and ocean.... Paradise... My first thought! And our vacation truly did turn out to be marvelous and just beyond words. Every single person on the island couldn't have been any friendlier, greeting us with a wide smile each morning and bidding us good night, once we headed back to our rooms. Our room... what a dream... located approximately 2 metres from the ocean, surrounded by tropical botany, allowing a view noone could ever imagine... unless seen with their own eyes! The management staff, especially the General Manager, was very caring and checked in on us every now and then, to see if everything was alright and to make sure we were perfectly happy. It made us feel very "precious" and I would like to say THANK YOU (in the name of my family) for making this vacation an unforgettable, everlasting memory filled with warmth (not only from the weather) and comfort. My compliments to the diving centre for letting me experience an underwaterworld beyond imagination... Absolutely stunning and beautiful! We will be back! :-)"
- Travel date: 24th July 2009
Viva la diva
"Our much anticipated beach holiday at Diva Resort, Maldives has finally arrived. After seeing pictures on it's website, there was a huge build-up of excitement in all of us. Coming from Hongkong, we flew in transit via Singapore, then connected on to another flight to Male. We stayed overnight in the Hulhule Hotel in Male due to our late arrival. We had an early start the next day to catch our flight to Diva at 6:30 am. The helpful and friendly resort representative brought us to the resort's nice lounge while waiting for our flight. We were already impressed by the very nicely decorated lounge. The 30 minute flight on a sea plane to the island resort was spectacular, but we weren't prepared for what welcomed us as we landed on this paradise resort. We were greeted by very friendly staff and were immediately given a quick tour of the island with a golf buggy. Wow! Such natural beauty! When we were brought in to our Beach Pool Villa....Wow, Wow! Very nice layout, with a huge verandah that overlooked the beach and the ocean. It gave us the feeling of being at our own private beach. The resort has 6 restaurants to choose from. We very much looked forward to our breakfasts at Noo's. They served a good selection of western as well as Asian dishes. Our lunches were mostly at Seasonâs. Food was always good and service friendly. We also got to chat with the resort's friendly general manager who was always around for quick hello's and hi's. We had fantastic dinners at the Allegria Italian Restaurant. I'd like to make a special mention of their tiramisu. Something for every future guests to try. It's amazing! We also dined at Senses Restaurant. They serve Middle Eastern, Moroccan & Indian food. Fantastic! We especially liked the Chicken Keemah. We ordered this same dish on both occasions when we had dinner there. Another restaurant that we also liked was the East Restaurant and Bar. We had a couple of nights spent at the bar for some great aperitifs while watching the sunset. Fantastic ambiance and atmosphere. Very, very romantic. East Restaurant serves Asian dishes. Great choices of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, Indian, Thai, and Filipino food. Aside from dinner, it also serves as another option for breakfast. Our son particularly enjoyed feeding the fishes that abound around the restaurant, waiting for some bread to be thrown at them. That was so much fun watching him feeding the fishes, leaping on top of each other to get their fair share of the leftover bread. At one time, we were feeling hungry and didn't really want to leave our nice villa, we ordered room service. We had the food served on the balcony. During the days when we felt the need to do something active, either we walked along the long stretch of powdery sandy beach, biked around the 1.8 kilometer long island, went to the gym, or just by simply swimming at the beautiful infinity Veli Pool or in the sea. The resort had all these to offer for us as an active family. We wanted to do more, but we gave more priorities to other activities that we truly enjoyed. There were days when we just simply hang around our beautiful villa. We were contented reading our books, sunbathing at our own private beach in total peace and tranquility. Just the rhythm of the splashing ocean waves and the gentle breeze. Everyday, just before sunset, there was shark feeding as well as stingray feeding. We had fun feeding the baby black-tipped reef sharks that swim playfully in the shallow parts of the resort. At another time, we fed the stingrays, and even got to touch them! They're huge creatures, and very gentle and friendly. Diva is also famous for itâs villas on stilts. And we were fortunate enough to have had the chance to be able to stay in one of their Family Water Villas. It was huge and very spacious. Very nicely decorated. We loved our canopy bed. There was an adjacent room for our son to sleep in. He had his own bath and shower. Both rooms had all doors directly open to the balcony and sundeck. Taking either a bath or a shower was such a delightful experience when we could look out to the ocean and the blue skies. The place was totally private. This is a fantastic option for a family of 4. Fishes, baby sharks, stingrays all swim by around these water villas. And thereâs plenty of them! This was one of our best beach holidays ever. Our memories of Diva will forever stay in our hearts. As I sit back and wander my mind back to this beautiful paradise in Maldives, where the sun shines the brightest, the skies the bluest, the turquoise aquamarine blue ocean, very rich marine life abounds. One day, perhaps, weâll be backâ¦â¦.."
- Travel date: 30th June 2009
Heaven on Earth
"This resort is truly luxurious. We stayed in a beach villa with a plunge pool, which was a truly luxurious room, with an outside bathroom and a beautiful verandah looking on to a pristine white sandy beach, no more than 100 feet to the turquois blue sea. The service was very good, and I think it will only get better. The food was excellent and I highly recommend reserving seating at the Italian Restaurant which has excellent variety and wonderful food. The island is relatively large for the Maldives and the wonderful paths around the island lead you to every bar and restaurant. The real fun comes in exploring the hidden bays around the island. Electric golf carts are driven around by the staff and they offer you a lift if the walk to the opposite end of the island is too far. The carts are always outside whenever you need one! Magic!"
- Travel date: 25th June 2009
trip to paradise
"maldives always has been a dream for me,after reading many reviews we chose diva resort and spa.trip from lebanon to maldives with qatar airways was very smooth. welcoming was great,we waited at their lounge for 2hrs,thanks Ashfaq,diva lounge is a luxe,when we arrived to the island;i had to mention that air taxi is a must;it was like a dream,turquoise water ,powder sand,great welcoming....................we were on our honeymoon but the travel agency didint mentioned that so they refused to give us a special treatment?????????? we stayed at a junior suite,very beautiful close to reception with great sea. i loved the many dining options,we were on half board it was more than enough.the prices of drink were expensive but it is a 5 star hotel so.... pools are great,beach not so clean but to do justice they clean it every day,but great for swimming. the island is great,u can walk and walk,so romantic. i had a balinese massage in a water villa spa,and it was great. my husband went on a fishing trip,also it is a must. diva resort and spa is a great resort in maldives,hope to visit it soon."
- Travel date: 28th May 2009
Fabulous island, fantastic resort.
"I stayed at Diva, Maldives in March 09 and I can honestly say it was my best holiday ever. I went with a friend of mine and had been a bit worried that it would be too couply there but the island is so big and with 6 restaurants this was never an issue. There are plenty of untouched beach on the island so every day we would find a new spot. â¨We stayed in the water villas at the far end (so as to at least get a little bit of exercising from walking) but it also meant that it was much more private. The beach up at that end is practically empty. There was some seaweed on one side of the island but they were cleaning it and the other side was perfect. We had so many fish around the water villas and black tipped baby sharks. At one point we spotted 7 at the same time. There was always something to look at. Especially in the morning it was fabulous to sit on the balcony with a coffee and just watch the ocean and the many fish. Never a dull moment. Our water villa was great although I think they are already starting to do some renovation or maintenance work even though resort only opened in October. The stairs to the sea need some sort of non slippery surface as they were under water and slippery. Our favourite restaurant was the Senses restaurant up at our end of the island. Fabulous Indian cuisine, and convenient for lunch when we would be at the pool by the restaurant. The other pool by the Veli bar was much more visited but the Veli bar was great for lunch too and the staff fabulous. In the evening we preferred the East restaurant on the water and with a great choice of fresh Sushi. We never once got bored, in fact 8 days wasnât enough for all we wanted to do. We went with the boat house to another island one day, it was great to see how the locals live and see the hospital, the school etc. They then took us to a small island for lunch which was true paradise, the most serene beach Iâve seen and lots of great snorkelling. â¨â¨Also the water sports centre was great and we booked a snorkelling trip with them and on the last day were lucky enough to have the chance to swim with a whale shark. Such a massive experience. I loved the many dining options and the champagne and East bar were great in the evening. We even went to the night club once but it was fairly empty. Still it was nice that it was there. The whole feel of the island is like a small town. It is lush and green with white sandy beaches and such a tranquil feel but still a good atmosphere and people were nice and friendly, both staff and other guests. I can only recommend Diva and the Maldives. Fabulous trip."
- Travel date: 30th April 2009
"We have just returned from our stay at the Diva as part of our second honeymoon and it really did exceed our expectations. We stayed in a water villa and it was beautiful, if we had not wanted to leave our room for a couple of days it would have been very easy to stay in there! There was not very much to see snorkelling wise directly out from our villa, but while we sat outside relaxing there was never more than a couple of mins go by without a reef shark or school of fish swim past. Our villa was located at the more isolated end of the island, with the watersports centre, reception & 4 of the islands 6 resturants located at the other end. We had noticed before we left that some reviews have commented on the lack of buggys available to take guests where they need to go on the island - yes if you ask for a buggy to come and pick you up it may take 10-15mins but hey, we were on a beautiful island where time shouldn't matter so it didn't bother us! We did end up hiring a couple of bikes as we felt bad for asking for a buggy to come and get us all the time and this is the only negative comment we could make on the place - the bikes are very, very average!! But they served a purpose so no big deal. We did 3 snorkelling trips while we were there and loved everyone of them. We have never seen so much fish and coral life! We were especially amazed at the house reef, so many different types of fish, mooray eels, octopus, turtles and we were very lucky to be able to swim with a manta ray! We spotted the ray just as the group had been told that time was up and the staff (Adam and San) were great, they let us stay in the water and follow the ray for about 15mins! We tried all the resturants except for the Indian one and they were all great. The night we arrived was Earth Hour" and all guests were invited to a champagne hour down on the beach and then to a beach buffet with everything you could want! We enjoyed the pool located at Ãast"better than the Veli pool, mainly because the Veli pool seemed to be where all the young children went and they were quite noisy which is obviously not what we were looking for! We met many of the staff and found them to all be very friendly and helpful, they would always do their best to accomodate any request - a couple of mentions must go to Mary-Lou, Adam, San, Rasheef and Shareeq who were all very helpful and always had a smile and friendly word with us. We hope that one day we can return to the Maldives, we wouldn't hesitate to return to this island - it was just fantastic."
- Travel date: 14th April 2009
Great place for honeymoon, but pricey
"We went to the Maldives for our honeymoon. Diva had just opened, so only half og the island was open. However, place was great and food fantastic. Some of the staff was in a "training mode", but that had limited impact on service levels. Staff members were very friendly! Food was fantastic and the many drinks made by the bar tenders were excellent. HOWEVER, its pricey, but I guess all of Maldives are. Drinks were around 15 bucks and a beer around 7-8. What to do at diva. Go diving as much as you can. Go both on snorkling trips and "safaris" and go scuba diving. Unbeleivable views under water. Massage is available, but was not more than average, although the spa area was really really nice. Rooms are brand new, and spacious and nice. We staid in a water villa. If you bring kids, stay in a beach villa!"
- Travel date: 7th April 2009
Not a 5 star resort
"We used to stay in good 5-star hotels on Mauritius and Thailand. But this hotel is not 5 star deluxe as mentioned on the webside. In my opinion they have a big management problem. It seems as if they do not train their staff properly. They are very nice, but not trained. They are not trained to clean the room (when we got our room, the wall in the toilet had brown spots from the previous guests ..), they are not trained to deal with a full beach bar restaurant (it took one hour to get the food) or to handle with families with small children (we always had to ask for a third plate for our little daughter, even not after we stayed more than a week!). I am sorry, but I can't recommend the hotel, I was annoyed every day which we spend there (for more than 1000 Dollar per day). For snorkeling"
- Travel date: 29th March 2009
Do yourself a favour....Go ....you'll love it
"First impressions are lasting impressions. We arrived late in Male and where greeted at the airport by DIVA airport repesentatives (the best airport representatives in Male i'm sure). Rasheed and Asfaqq (spelling!!) escourted us to our hotel for overnight. I didn't even book this hotel via DIVA, so that's service! Next morning we where picked up from the hotel and taken back to Male airport island where the seaplane terminal is. What a suprise to find that DIVA had their own departure lounge at the terminal. Great food, great location and great staff. We then took off in a seaplane from Male and we consdier ourselves lucky as normally the transfer is direct but we had to go via 3 other resorts/islands before arriving at DIVA. WOW what an experience to see the Atols from the air during daylight. Checkin was at the departure lounge at Male, so once we arrived at the DIVA resort we where escorted directly to our room via a buggy. WOW, WOW, WOW......Can't say a bad word about DIVA & hopefully our pictures tell 1000 words as we where so blown away as soon as we opened the door. The Water Villa's are huge, luxurious & breathtaking. We where in the new section of DIVA. The old section (previously Whitesands) at the other end of the island was still being renovated but we didn't hear any noise or distuption during the day. Naide are planning on opening them sometime in OCT08. The water was amazingly clear and your able to snorkel direct from your villa to the reef which you can see from your room. If there is any one thing that will convince you to stay at DIVA it has to be the staff. They where lovely.....a real credit to Naide and DIVA Maldives. I did a hotel inspection when there as I wanted to see what the other rooms types where like and what the new restaurants and facilities will be like. I took a photo of each room & here is my feedback- Junior Suite: Great for families as they are beach location with interconnecting. Love the outdoor bathrooms and beach access to lagoon. Beach Villa: Bigger than Junior suite and free standing with beach access to lagoon. Beautiful bathroom and worth upgrading from junior suite if you can afford it. Water Villa: Do it.....In my opinion if your going to the Maldives, you got to stay in an over water villa. Rooms are huge and I didn't move from the daybed on decking. Direct access to lagoon from water villa's. Beach Pool Villa: Bigger than Beach Villa and also has a plunge pool. Has that WOW factor and would be fantastic for Honeymooners. DIVA Villa: Lets put it this way.....if you can afford the presidential suite you know it's got to be good, why would you stay anywhere else. I can't wait to go back and for me the lasting memory of DIVA will be the staff. A 5* luxury resort is nothing without it's amazing staff."
- Travel date: 30th September 2008
We have just spent a wonderful two weeks...
"We have just spent a wonderful two weeks all inclusive in a water bungalow and cannot recommend the accommodation enough. The facilities, furnishings, views and service are superb. It is worth noting however that the accommodation and facilities available to all inclusive guests staying in the island/beach rooms are not of such a high standard. The variety and quality of food was brilliant, a different theme every night, the staff are friendly, polite and cannot do enough for you. The resort is spotless and whilst maintenance is ongoing it is unobtrusive and often interesting to watch. Several roofs were rethatched whilst we were there. Relaxation is very much the order of the day here. Which isn't difficult with cocktails available to compliment the views. Paradise! We did however have a couple of issues which stopped us rating white sands a perfect 10. First: the lagoon when we were there was barely 2 foot deep, not condusive to snorkelling in, (rocks sat out of the water), at high tide 3-4 feet, the currents were quite strong and you spent your time swimming constantly just to stay in one place. This was a big let down for us because the snorkelling was our primary reason for visiting. The house reef snorkelling is ok if you are a strong swimmer and don't mind looking into the abyss. The water here is very deep, the currents strong, (often a hard swim back to the boat) and the drop offs of coral walls are awesome!! Personally I hated it. My husband did some diving and came back with some amazing pictures, the visibility is very poor though and often 3-6 feet fish would be on top of you before you saw them. Not for the faint hearted. The coral is badly damaged from the natural disasters that have occurred in the last 8 years, so colours are very sparse and mainly only visible to divers up close. The dive centre is excellent and caters for all levels of divers. But if you like your water more on par with the red sea, like us- be prepared for disappointment. Second- a minor niggle but an annoyance just the same- beware of island hopping boat trips. The dhoni boats are fantastic, shabby the guide is superb, but- the visits are about shopping, not sight seeing, despite how they are advertised. We had to ask to be taken to see the sights we had booked up for, the second island is just another resort and is pointless, and this time could have been spent seeing the sights on the main island where the locals live. Lots of trips on offer, but all basically the same. Finally- the sea plane transfer. This is a great way to travel, but unfortunately it is never on time! Not so much of a problem on arrival at Male, but our first choice flight was (thankfully) delayed waiting for us to arrive. The sea plane left white sands at 10.30am, it is a 45 minute transfer and our flight was due to leave at 11.00am!!! A very stressful ending to an otherwise relaxing holiday. In conclusion if you are happy to watch the fish from the jetty or the deck of your water bungalow, this is the place for you. we saw sting rays, manta rays, eagle rays, lion fish, red snappers, black and white tipped reef sharks and loads more(including a turtle on a snorkelling trip- hire the speed boat and go to the coral garden)all in the lagoon, especially at night when the lights of the jetty are on. A fantastic sight but I would have preferred to see them whilst snorkelling. The weather was glorious, the sands soft and cool and the water was great for cooling off in. My one piece of advice would be to definitely book a water bungalow and go all inclusive. Enjoy. Ps; only pack one pair of flip flops- it really is no news, no shoes!! "
- Travel date: 28th September 2006
If you want total relaxation or a fun fi...
"If you want total relaxation or a fun filled holiday of water sports, snorkelling or scuba diving this is the island to visit. Flying with Emirates via Dubai is a must, compared to other airlines. It breaks up the 10-11 hour flight of a direct flight and the seating, entertainment and food is above other airlines. The hospitality is out of this world and they can't do enough for you. The great thing about most of the Maldivian islands is that they are cash free. At White Sands you pay a deposit at check in and sign for everything you have during your stay. On the last night of your stay you pay the remaining balance. The All Inclusive list is very good; all house spirits and draught beer as well as the 'Cocktail of the day' which is a nice treat. Accommodation is excellent at all levels. Your room will be cleaned twice a day by the same room boy and fresh bath and beach towels will be provided each day. Your bed sheets will be fresh each day with an array of patterns folded into the sheets. Daily, you will receive a newsletter with items about the island (excursions, weather in The Maldives and UK, 'Cocktail of the Day' and World News). The whole island is sand, which believe me is fab. If you are in the accommodation on the island your main restaurant is at one end of the island. A bit of a walk but shaded by the 'Giraffe' trees (you will understand if you visit!) and allows your food to go down. This floor of this restaurant is also covered in sand - fab, no shoes required! The main restaurant for the water villas looks over the lagoon and these guests can eat in either restaurants. Island guests receive a discount to eat at this restaurant. There is a third restaurant (Sunset Restaurant) that all guests have to pay and there are event nights on this side of the island which are payable. The food in all restaurants is fab. Buffet style but quality food in abundance (believe me, Iâm a fussy eater and I couldn't get enough). There is always at least one freshly cooked station (barbeque, pasta, stir fry, Omelette for breakfast. There are two bars which are very different. The bar looking over the lagoon is chilled, dimly lit, has board games and a book shelf for swapping as well as loungers close to the water. The bar on the island is where the entertainment takes place (a different theme each night: Dive Night is worth a watch even if you are not interested in diving). It also has a pool table, table football, internet access and a Pizza Oven (payable). The island was very quiet in August, no fighting for the loungers! A barman would bring out chilled towels during the day to help you cool down. The beach area near reception has a beach bar for refreshments and the water sports centre if you feel energetic. Even though August is classed as rainy season we had very little - it was a scorcher nearly every day. Even though there is no house reef on the edge of the lagoon boat trips go twice a day to a local reef. Snorkelling is definitely worth a try if you do not fancy/can't afford scuba diving. Night snorkelling (payable) is a must if you like the day snorkelling. Every night there is fish feeding which attracts the sting rays. Definitely worth a look! Making the effort to get up early to see the sunrise is also a must and staying in the bar to watch the sunset goes without saying. A fantastic relaxing holiday that I didn't want to leave after 10 days. I can't holiday anywhere else and ended up at Olhuveli Beach and Spa Resort in August 2006 - no comparison, White Sands every time. "
- Travel date: 17th September 2006
This really was the holiday of a lifetim...
"This really was the holiday of a lifetime. Lastminute made several mess ups on our booking but the resort staff and those at the transfer company couldnât do enough to help. The resort is wonderful, gorgeous beaches and fantastic snorkeling in the lagoon! I want to go back! The food was good and accommodation wonderful. We started n an Island bungalow which had a great walk in shower and was great for the "standard" everything you needed. Later in the week we treated ourselves to a Water Bungalow which was fantastic and worth the upgrade if you can afford it. I cant wait to go back one day!"
- Travel date: 30th July 2006
LUX South Ari Atoll is also called
- LUX* Maldives
- Diva Maldives
- White Sands and Spa Resort