Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa
Best Experience: All Inclusive, Couples, Value
An idyllic retreat with impressive design, Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa is boutique lush resort that offers a laid-back luxury beach experience. Combining natural décor with modern luxuries, an affordable accommodation in Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa (former Vivanta By Taj - Coral Reef) attracts couples and rare families to the Maldives. The previous incarnation of this hotel, Taj Coral Reef, was known for its excellent service, but the resort's appearance did not seem to fit into the atmosphere of the Maldives. The new Vivanta by Taj opened by President Nasheed in 2009 is a full-fledged resort: large open rooms and even better food and drinks.
This boutique resort with lower rates (and less luxurious) than the sister property of Exotica attracts couples of many nationalities. In the natural form of the heart, the island has narrow but beautiful beaches and easy access for snorkeling. The house reef with a 1000-year-old coral is one of the highlights here. As well as thousands of tropical fish and stingrays, it has its very own coral-covered shipwreck 22 metres underwater – perfect for divers to discover without even needing to board a boat. All 62 villas with thatched roofs (including beach villas, water villas and two bedroom suites with private pools) have elegant, modern interiors and private open spaces; there may be minor maintenance problems (but usually a fast, efficient and friendly staff). For an island of such a tiny size there is delicious food and drinks, the program (the Taj brand) with four different restaurants, a café and a modern beach bar that is open until midnight. Although the landscape is not the most beautiful in the Maldives, at night the atmosphere turns into a romantic one, especially with candlesticks on tables along the beach where the chef stirs up appetites and teases guests with fresh seafood dishes on an outdoor grill. Everyone can refresh themselves in the main infinity swimming pool, as well as the resort has a diving center PADI, and back on land, the Jiva Spa offers soothing Indian-inspired massages.
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The Taj hospitality begins already at Male airport with a friendly welcome for newly arrived guests at both this resort and sister property Exotica. Once on the boat, the crew offers guests bottled water or juice, as well as refreshing napkins. Another welcome follows on arrival to the island: staff come out to the jetty with more complimentary drinks and then guests are escorted to the "lobby" for check-in. The first impression of the resort is the main beach with water sports and dining tables; these surroundings turns into a romantic beach area after sunset for a barbecue on the sand. Outside the beach is the main buffet restaurant Latitude open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there is also a lounge with air-conditioning for leisure with books, board games and coffee. On the other side of the jetty you will find a cocktail bar, an infinity swimming pool and other restaurants (Japanese, South American, pizza). All these structures, as well as the rooms were renovated in 2009 and decorated with modern and bright aesthetics with a light Indian touch.
The island is tiny and guests (mostly couples, but there are rare families) can easily inspect, although daylight will reveal areas that are begging for reconstruction; on the way, expect bland vegetation and slightly dilapidated grounds. At night, after the interactive stingrays' feeding the lighting is lit in a romantic key and the guests gather in the restaurant and lounge. The scene is pretty quiet, as most couples come on a honeymoon or wedding anniversary (or to renew vows) preferring to spend time after dinner in their rooms, instead of rowdying on Reef Bar's dance floor.
Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa is part of the Taj Group, based in Mumbai, with other hotels worldwide. Not surprisingly, the clientele is diverse and many guests come from India, as well as Great Britain, Russia and the Middle East (water villas are usually popular with the Chinese). The resort is considering the addition of several more overwater villas and restaurants in the future that will improve the island's landscape and the serene atmosphere.
Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa is located on a private island in North Male Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). After the customs at Velana International Airport guests are welcomed by the resort's representative and escorted to a speed boat to the island. The boat crew is very friendly and they offer guests drinking water, juices and cold towels during a sea transfer that lasts less than an hour. The resort's team comes out to greet the newcomers and then the guests are welcomed into the hotel restaurant for check-in. The Maldives consists of 1,192 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, along the north-south direction, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, making this one of the world's most dispersed countries. Each resort (more than 130) is set on a separate private island, providing peace and quiet for guests, as well as easy access to the ocean and vibrant marine life.
Taj Coral Reef nestles on a small island in the shape of a heart and guests need a little time to spot a place under the sun or walk around (especially great at sunset and sunrise hours). The resort has a diving center, water sports and free snorkeling equipment with easy access to the wreck. There is feeding stingrays on the beach daily that as on the hour come to the shore every day at about 5 pm in anticipation of another feed from the Vivanta's staff.
Villas and Suites
Sleek, modern design meets paradise scenery here at Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa, Maldives. This resort has 62 rooms around the island's outer edge. The villas have a rustic-luxe design, with neutral furnishings and natural features such as driftwood art pieces. Clean and modern design (all of it were renovated in 2009) with tiled floors, white walls, colorful photos, and subtle but ornate India-inspired touches. There are two types of beach villa: Superior Charm Beach Villas and more spacious Deluxe Delight Beach Villas, while overwater the Premium Indulgence Water Villas follow the curve of one side of the island. Guests are treated with fresh fruit (usually three oranges or apples), and you can listen to good music on TV (each room has a DVD player and speaker system). The rooms have a lot of free drinking water in glass bottles (regular or sparkling), and a daily check for coffee / tea. Mini-bar with soda, juices, beer, wine, and liquors (extra). The bathrooms have separate showers and hydromassage baths, a bathrobe and slippers; most also have an open shower. Some of the showers in the open air in the Beach Villas are in need of repair. Rooms have a furnished patio with sun loungers and a dining table for two. For maximum space and privacy, the Two Bedroom Nirvana Beach Suites with Pool are two-storey suites with a plunge pool on the large deck. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
Superior Charm Beach Villas (58 sqm) and slightly more spacious Deluxe Delight Beach Villas have direct access to the sand and are equipped with double beds. Each villa is equipped with two hammocks stretched between trees. The outdoor shower is available from the bedroom, but the pebble floor can be uncomfortable for barefoot. Beach Villas now have large French windows opening onto a fully sun-bleached wooden deck and a strip of cream-colored sand beyond. The inside-outside life is encouraged with a comfy sofa and chairs on the deck, coupled with mattressed sun-loungers and a hammock on the beach. Access is from a path inside the island not from the deck, so guests are no longer constantly passing in front of your room.
Inside, large mirrors expand the airiness and dimensions of a moderately proportional room. Light wood furniture and wicker, decorative elements are decorated in a rustic style where the bedspread, cushions and walls bear a seal of olive green and other rich tropical flowers. Open the mini bar, check iPod dock, wifi, or try on cotton bathrobes. The bathroom is also very bright, with a small shower in the garden and neat high-quality fittings.
On the other side of the island there are 32 Premium Indulgence Water Villas (66 sq.m.). While in other resorts water villas are built with a long jetty, these water villas are adjacent to the beach. The sundecks are equipped with an outdoor shower and steps to the lagoon. Inside, you are pampered with a large comfortable sea-facing bed, wardrobe and direct access to the outdoor deck from the bedroom & bathroom. Other furnishings include a day bed with comfortable and stylish furniture, the Treat Yourself mini bar including organic foods and beverages and bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, beautiful lagoon views, and rain showers. Let your tropical transformation begin.
Cribs and rollaways are available for families. Any minor maintenance issues, including Wi-Fi problems, will usually be handled promptly with a visit from staff.
You've found the most remarkable Suite on the island. Nirvana Beach Suite becomes whatever experience you seek. Your personal haven. An unmatched honeymoon. Your family's favourite holiday. The two Presidential Nirvana Suites are utterly remarkable, two-level, duplex villas with thatched roofs and the works! Each has two floors, two bedrooms and a large living area from which you can take in the immense views of the Indian Ocean outside. One of the highlights of the Presidential Nirvana Suite is its expansive wooden deck with refreshing plunge pool, sublime sun loungers, and crisp umbrellas to guard you from the rays. When you need to cool off, step into the outdoor rain shower or walk onto the beach or lagoon. If there is anything at all you need, the butler will be on hand in moments. Inside is non-stop luxury. A large comfortable master bed and twin beds provide a dreamy end to gorgeous island days. The spacious living area is a sitting and dining area with pantry. Nirvana guests luxuriate in a five-fixture master bath, and three-fixture powder room. Extra touches like a day bed complete with an elegant workstation make the experience complete.
Food really is the forte here. At Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa you feast. On the scenery, the culture, and most especially on the cuisine.The resort’s restaurants showcase a range of flavours and dining styles. The Taj brand is known worldwide for its cuisine and drinks, and this small island is no exception. While many competing hotels of the same size have only one restaurant, here guests will be able to evaluate several food options, where there is plenty to choose from "full board" or "all inclusive" plans. The indoor and outdoor venues are a treat for the senses. The flavours. The aromas. The live cooking sounds. And the artistic display. All come together in a fine harmony. Dig in. Be thrilled. Let the spirit of Vivanta by Taj enliven you.
Private Dinners can be arranged from within the intimate setting of the Wine Cellar to casual In-Villa barbeque evenings, with either a Chef Valet on hand or a 'DIY BBQ' with pre-marinated meats for guests to get involved. Water lovers can opt for the secret sandbank picnic location, surrounded by water only accessible at low tide.
Executive Chef, Richard Thompson has masterminded a diverse range of menus across his three restaurants. The focus is on fresh regional and international fare. From light bites to several indulgent courses, Richard skillfully guides diners through memorable holiday meals. Breakfast, in particular, is the main event with a chilled buffet that precedes the delicious fine cuisine on set menu with a large selection of Asian fare.
Bokkura is the main buffet all-day restaurant. It’s casual and modern, with a chic beach theme, ocean views and an à la carte menu specialising in contemporary Mediterranean and Indian Bokkura spoils you for choice by offering a fascinating range of Pan Asian cuisine. The look is chic, the vibe informal. Splashes of colour, trendy furnishings, and artistic food presentations set the tone. Mood lighting, eclectic world music and the menu spans across flavours from the Indian Ocean including Thai, Indonesian, Maldivian and Coastal Indian cuisine. All main course items are served a la carte from a menu that changes daily. The restaurant offers a private dining room along with a wine display, an ideal venue for private wine dinners offering tailor made menus by the Executive Chef.
The specialty restaurant (chargeable even for all-inclusive), Open The Grill boasting Pizzas, All Day Poolside Menu & South and Central American. Eating under the sky and stars is a must. Thus Vivanta by Taj presents Open - The Grill, an al fresco dining experience overlooking the lagoon and the swimming pool. Guests are treated to a newly introduced South American concept, first time in Maldives. South and Central American cuisine is soulful and full of robust flavors from the usage of a variety of dry chilies to its simplistic approach to plate presentations. Cuisine inspired from countries like Peru, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, creating and preparing all of their spice blends, sauces here in the kitchen. Both Central and South America multi - cultural influences that have shaped these regional cuisines. They offer hand rolled corn, flour tortillas along with traditional breads from this region. And to add to the contrast, there's a poolside, wood-fired pizza oven that ensures delicious, classic pizza is available all day long. Here too the specialist teppanyaki and sushi chef delivers memorable dinners al fresco.
Reef Bar - Cuisine types: Delicatessen. Overlooking the windswept infinity swimming pool and house reef, the Reef bar is designed to soothe the senses. Soak in the relaxed groove of this breezy open-air bar with live entertainment. Cool down. Chill out. Soak in the vibrant, modern scene. Reef Bar is where guests gather for the perfect evening of conversation and unexpected diversions. Sometimes it's a disco, other nights a magic show. You won't know unless you go!
And for your new experience and anecdote, Vivanta has a salt master to guide you through the sharp pleasures of Pink Himalayan, Red Hawaiian, Peruvian Maras and others. You might combine your favourite with Vivanta's collection of tequilas. Don't miss the Prince creation - The Six-Salt Tequilla Shot Tray. All arranged in one tray along with tequila and lime. Shoot it!
All Inclusive Plan
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner at any of the three restaurants; Bokkura, Open – The Grill and Pizzeria
• Selected drinks including mineral water, soft drinks, fresh juice, premium spirits, international beers, signature cocktails, wine and sparkling wine
• Minibar refilled daily
• 1 shared sunset cruise per stay
• Snorkelling equipment and 1 guided snorkelling tour of the house reef per stay
• Use of the gym, table tennis, indoor games and pool table.
There are some good beach areas around the island, although several sandy strips have signs of erosion. Many of the beach villas offer direct access to a sand. The main swimming pool is surrounded by soft sun loungers. Photoshoots at Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa - a common phenomenon that possibly distracts guests from the main - the magical atmosphere of the island.
Jive Spa in Indian style is equipped with three treatment rooms (two rooms designed for couples) for massage, wrapping and scrubs, Ayurvedic treatments using herbs and aromatic oils. Each room is equipped with a small own font. The modern 24-hour fitness center has large from floor to ceiling windows to delight visitors' eyes with an abundance of natural light.
There is a diving center in the island's heart and their menu features fun diving trips and PADI certification courses for all levels. Water sports include banana boat rides, water bicycles, kayaks, catamarans, skis and jet ski, wakeboarding and windsurfing. Guests are allowed to use two pairs of snorkel gear per room at no charge. Kayaks are free for guests as well. The activity desk offers excursions for additional fees, including boat rides to a nearby sand bar or deep sea fishing.
Every day at 5 pm there is an interactive stingray feeding at the main beach. While other resorts advertise this show as an active activity, not many allow guests to feed the stingrays. Other on-land activities includes culinary and cocktail-making classes.
Snorkeling is not recommended from the water villas, unless you are a confident swimmer, because of occasionally strong currents coming into and out of the atoll on this side. However quite a number of coral frames are creating interesting snorkeling inside the lagoon here. Snorkeling from the end of the jetty is not extensive but is pretty good and there is the wreck on the reef (15-22m) which is a big bonus. Twice a day there is a snorkeling excursion to a reef just 10 minutes away by speed boat.
The resort has all the positive reviews for an ideal tropical holiday in the Maldives, including an amazing ocean views and sunsets. Reviews of the Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa are generally fabulous, with nearly everyone being impressed by the 5-star standards of the hotel. The rooms get high marks, especially for the water villas, as does the setting and the food. Several guests have pointed out that this is one of the smallest Maldives resort islands, with no nightlife aside from one bar, so if that's what you are looking for then you've found it here. Some guests also point out that many small things seem very expensive once you are there, although that tends to be true all over the Maldives at private-island resorts. Most honeymoon guests appear to be perfectly satisfied, so this resort seems ideal for romantic holidays in particular.
...“Absolute paradise”, “Best Vacation Ever”, “Marvelous”, “Heavenly stay!!”,
“Divine location, facilities, food and experience!”, “Memorable trip in a gorgeous property!”, “A relaxing and beautiful place to spend great time. ”, “I loved it because of the ambience, the staff and the way the water villa was designed.”, “Great place to relax for couples and family.”, “Great experience except water sports activities”, “The ultimate luxurious experience”, “Beautiful island, great sea life and amazing staff”...
Why stay here? What Guests Love
- Excellent location in the North Malé Atoll, only 50 minute speedboat ride from Malé
- Nice beaches and an infinity swimming pool with views
- Very kind, professional and amazing staff
- Spacious and clean water villas
- Quite place and full privacy setting
- A great range of international cuisine with veggie offerings; a hearty breakfasts
- A range of excursions, such eco-snorkeling and fishing
- Sting Ray Feeding and snorkeling around the reef
- Dive center and water sports (free use of snorkel gear)
What You Need to Know
- Airport transfer time: Approx. 50 minutes by speedboat from Malé airport
- Check-out at 12 o'clock Check-in at 2 pm;
- The transfer from the airport is by speedboat so any late arrivals can get to the resort directly (the seaplanes do not fly after 6pm). Partly for this reason – and partly for the deserved reputation of the Taj hotels – some 50% of the guests here are Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
- Not the prettiest grounds or lushest vegetation in the Maldives
- Free Wi-Fi can be unreliable (fee for faster bandwidth)
- Minimum stay: 5 nights 24 Dec-05 Jan.
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