Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
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Travel Blogs from Emboodhu Finolhu
... the Drum into the Airplane..... lots of "fun" in the 100deg. heat. Went quick over to the Airport to re- position the SX to a more secure place where I don't have to fear it being blown away by the the big Airplanes starting up and turning. Azim one of the Airport staff is very helpful to get in touch with all the right People and knows his way around here working for the past 20 years at the Male ...
... in the US. His brother is at the Naval Academy in Annapolis on a scholarship, so there's no reason he can't do the same thing! He found us at the pool on our last day and asked to take a picture with us. He sent a nice email with the picture and said he's been motivated to work hard and accomplish his dream of being a pilot! I hope it happens for him! We didn't leave the PH until 3pm yesterday, so we enjoyed every last moment of our stay there! ...
... that never lived up to the massive hype. From when I crossed the border from San Diego into Mexico to all the way down through Argentina and into Uruguay , it was two and a half months before I came back up for air to pound the streets of Vegas with my mate for a week, before heading off to Australia. In those two and a half months there was a huge amount of frustration and a lot of trouble, with an insufficient number of positives to balance ...
... of tropical fish as well as small reef sharks most mornings and a large snake like fish hiding in the caves. On our all inclusive deal we made full use of the buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. The international buffet changed with every sitting and we did our very best to sample most items on offer. Although the food was of a varying quality, I'm no good at saying no to trying new things, hence my stomach was full to bursting with every sitting and I was glad to know I ...
... t do a brief refresh PADI course onsite and did a couple of dives. So that's another thing added onto my TODO list for Dubai.
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Continental Breakfast
- Shuttle bus service
- Swimming pool
- Room service
Historical Traveler Reviews Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Emboodhu Finolhu
My wife and I have just returned from the most wonderful break at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa. It simply could not have been better. The surroundings are beautiful - intimate size island, turquiose blue seas, beautiful sandy beach. The room was sensational - we had a deluxe lagoon villa perched directly over the water which had the most amazing views. The service was impeccable - wonderfully friendly without being over familiar or intrusive. The food was beautiful in both restaurants - fresh ingredients, Asian influenced with a huge amount plenty of choice to last throughout our week's stay. Great diving , snorkelling etc. And when the Jiva spa is open then that will add a whole new dimension.
Probably not the best place to bring young children as there would be relatively little for them to do. But for the archetypal romantic and relaxing couple's holiday I can't imagine how the Taj could be bettered.
My view on criticisms on other postings - the Male view is just a few lights on the horizon ( which we thought was quite nice actually ) and whilst it is on the flight path there are only 4 or 5 flights a day - it's hardly Heathrow !
We spent our honeymoon here and I find it hard to express how amazing this resort is. It might be helpful if I add that my husband and I are pretty fussy, and we have stayed in many 5 star hotels, but the Taj Exotica was genuinely faultless.
We stayed in a deluxe lagoon villa (on the right hand side) and I would HIGHLY recommend it. If you come all the way to the Maldives I believe it is worth spending the extra to be able to dive off your own private deck into the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. No view of Male, no sound of aircraft at all, just endless turquoise water and plenty of fish to snorkel around.
What makes this resort so special?
1. The staff. Quite simply they are incredible, there when you need them but never too intrusive.
2. The rooms. Gorgeous, private, luxurious. All the room types are wonderful, but I wouldn't choose the beach villas that don't have a pool just because they're not as private.
3. The setting. Stunning beach and infinity pool where you are brought fresh sorbet, fruit platters, cool towels and water all day long. Wonderful snorkelling, kayaks if you have the energy to take them out in the heat.
4. The bar. This is a magical spot right on the beach. Beers and complimentary marinated olives as the sun goes down make for a perfect evening every night. Wine is definitely more expensive, so it's great if you're happy with beers or cocktails most nights, or be prepared to splash out a bit more.
5. The restaurants. The food was faultless and we found enough variety to keep us more than happy for 8 nights. There are some spicy dishes as other people have mentioned, but plenty of other dishes that aren't. We loved the spice as it was so full of great flavour, the local curries were particularly impressive. There are two restaurants, one more Asian style and the other has a Mediterranean influenced menu. Both are spectacularly located (they are at opposite ends of the island, one is next to the bar and the other is about 5 minutes walk down towards the overwater villas) and the food exceeds your expectations on this tiny island.
6. The little touches. The bath that looks out over the Indian ocean, the delicious-smelling Bvlgari amenities, the free raspberry and lime sorbets at the pool, the pots of cool water everywhere so you can dunk your feet, the beautiful sandy walkway under the trees, the funky background music in the bar, the waiter who orders you a mango smoothie at breakfast (complimentary) just because it's his favourite and he thinks you'll like it, the staff's huge smiles every time they see you.
GO THERE. It will be the best thing you've ever done.
This place was incredible! From the moment you arrive. you are treated like royalty!
We stayed in a beach villa & both thought the Exotica was a fantastic resort and would recommend that you should take a Beach Villa over a water villa. However both deluxe or standard are both out of this world (obviously the former is slightly more expensive!).
Service and food was fantastic and the cheese cake was to die for! Compliments to the chef! The waiters were friendly and polite. They would also endevour to please even when (in our opinion) a fellow guest (not in our party) was rude to them without any justification.
My wife fell ill (nothing to do with the resort!) and the staff were really & genuinely concerned about her. We went by speed boat to Male and when to the hospital. It was actually an experience - the hospital was better than those at home (London) and the cost, whilst covered by insurance, was minimal. Whilst some might say that this may have been a downer on reflection the staff were excellent! It is not how badly things go wrong, it is how those around you react & help. They went above & beyond the call of duty!
Snorkelling off the beach is excellent for spotting rays and fish.
The resort is currently closed for some repairs but this will hopefully result in a more luxurious resort!
On a scale of 1 to 10, this place is a 10!
Beach Villa Paradise
I just wanted to add a couple of comments about the proximity of Male and how in my opinion it is only a positive. Having stayed elsewhere in the Maldives and had a 2 hour boat transfer I was actually relieved at the 15 minute transfer from Male.
15 minutes does not however mean that Male is right in front of you. Firstly it is right on the horizon and hardly visible except the twinkling lights at night and secondly from the beach side of the island it is not visible at all. I would imagine that it is also not visible from the majority of the water villas on the windward side of the island, only to one wing of the cluster of villas built out on a jetty.
I was staying in a beach villa and completely forgot the proximity to Male and I must confess that I do not remember seeing or hearing any aircraft.
More generally I thought the Exotica was a fantastic resort and my top tip would be to actually take a Beach Villa over a water villa. On most Islands I would immediately recomend a water villa but on the Exotica there are a couple of Beach villas with plunge pools which in my opinion were the best on the Island for privacy, view and the lagoon which is much more beautiful on the beach side than the water villa side. Don't take the ones without plunge pools however as they do not have the secluded outside seating area.
Snorkelling off the beach is interesting for spotting rays, they are huge and sleep in the sand however there is little coral immediately visible from the beach unlike other smaller islands. The lagoon is enormous and you will need a boat trip to get to the reef itself though there is some coral in the lagoon itself and a platform which can be reached by boat. I do not have my PADI but was able to take 3 dives down to about 15 metres and I was quite simply blown away by the beauty of the reef itself and the drop off once you swim over and down.
Service and food was fantastic though after 2 weeks perhaps more variation would have been nice but that is only nittpicking. My wife and I had a truly fantastic time and in fact are going to the new Taj resort on Mauritius this month based on the positive experience we had on the Exotica.
Paradise on Earth
I first went to Taj Exotica in the Maldives in early 2003 and returned later that year in early October. I had planned to go back in February 2005 but due to the unfortunate events of 26th December 04 was unable to do so. However rather than go somewhere else I decided to wait and now I am to go back in the Autumn after the hotel reopens at the end of September.
I have been to many places in the World for many different reasons and have continued to do so since my first stay at Taj. However the only place I would recommend for complete regeneration of spirit and soul is this tiny, beautiful spit of land.... Once there you realize what nirvana is. No outside influences (unless you decide to watch the tv channels).... You might as well be on a different planet. Nothing can touch you but you are touched and healed from all the stresses western life seems to conjure up.
The island is idyllic ..... you swim with the fish and watch them from your room or from the restaurant..... Having been to the sand bank on a picnic snorkelling amongst so many exotic fish is an incredible experience and again you are away from it all with only the crew for company.....
My heart broke when I learned of its fate and the damage that had taken place. I had to ring them to find out if they were all alright. I cannot wait to get back to see how they have coped.
There again the service is impeccable and unobtrusive. The staff from the locals to the management are so friendly and helpful..... They go out of their way to make your stay one of the highlights of your entire life. A great fuss was made of my companion on his birthday.... Starting with an incredible breakfast.... on our private balcony. The food is great and room service is available at the drop of a hat. Meals are organized on the beach should you so wish with tailored made dishes.....
Should you wish to see local life then take a trip to Male as well as to one of the islands inhabited by the indigenous population you will not be disappointed.
In reality words fail to express the beauty of this incredible place. Do go and see for yourselves....
Impressive Taj Exotica
We stayed at the Taj Exotica in a deluxe lagoon villa in October 2003 and by and large had an amazing time. The deluxe lagoon villas are individual units set aside from the standard lagoon villas on their own private jetty built into the sea in a formation to reflect the veins of a leaf.
It is worth pointing out that if you book a deluxe lagoon villa make sure you ask to be housed on the right hand side of the jetty as far to the end as possible. The left hand side of the jetty has views of Male. A couple we befriended showed us their view of Male from such a villa. I personally would have been disappointed having spent thousands expecting the postcard endless horizon view only to be presented with a view of Male.
Furthermore you are underneath the flight path. I agree with a previous posted thread that it turned out to be no big deal, although some people may object.
The standard of food is excellent and providing you like it spicy, if you don't then you may struggle. Unlike other 5* resorts in the area if you go half-board the meals are by waiter service so it is not food sweating under a buffet hot plate. I would have to say that the breakfasts are amazing, loads of choice from home made granola to banana pancakes and smoothies and milk shakes on tap.
Wine is expensive we chose to drink by the glass as in the heat you don't need a great deal to feel light headed. Beer and cocktails are strangely very reasonably priced in comparison to the wine.
There is a very nice Mandara spa at the resort; I would personally recommend taking a massage. What makes the Taj so captivating is the setting and the standard of the accommodation. We could have stayed there for much longer that our 10 nights it really is a special place, we lost count of the ice cool face towels and sorbets offered to us around the pool, it really is beck and call service.
If you are into diving there is also a resident PADI dive school run by a swiss guy called Albert who is very good and safety conscious. For those who are not into diving there are plenty of excursions. One memorable trip was being taken to a local island and then eating a packed lunch on a deserted sandbank in the ocean, although the price was also very memorable too, but it was the first time I've ate a packed lunch from a mahogany box with sandwiches tied in silk bows.
The only thing that was missing was the absence of any night time entertainment, maybe a piano or some low key jazz would not go amiss.
This place is beyond words...... but I'll give it a try.
Firstly let me comment on what the first reviewer has said about the aircraft noise and the view of Male....For those considering this hotel, please use your loaf : The advantage of a mere 10 min transfer form the airport means you are going to hear aircraft noise. I personally didn't find it obtrusive - in fact it was fun to watch, and the minus of aircraft noise is far outweighed by the plus of a short transfer. I would say there were 4 or 5 a day - possible less, it's easy not to even notice. We had heard of many stories of people waiting up to 2 hours for seaplane transfers, or having to overnight in a hotel near the airport should your arrival/departure be outside daylight hours.
Secondly, being only 8 km from Male means that you will have some view of it if staying in the lagoon villas, or the deluxe lagoon villas on the left hand side. It is very faint, and you can only just make out the buildings if you squint. At night, the lights of the capital twinkle in the (very far) distance, a view I found pretty and interesting. Research is the key, and we found out the above 2 facts only a few clicks away, and so knew what to expect. I must state that these 2 things did not, in any way, detract from our wonderful holiday.
We stayed in a lagoon villa. After originally trying to book a beach villa, I'm glad they were fully booked - they are beautiful, specially the deluxe beach villa, but are nowhere near as private as the lagoon villas, as you can easily have people walking along the beach in front. The lagoon villas are on the opposite side, and at most had a kayaking pass once a day in the distance.
The rooms are lovely. Bath tub over looking the lagoon, twin sinks, seperate shower cubicle with rainfall showerhead, and marble everywhere. Outside, the deck and furniture was in a purposeful distressed wood look. Two comfy sunbeds, a dining table and 2 chairs and steps leading down into the (truly) crystal clear lagoon. We nearly booked a Deluxe lagoon villa, they have the advantage of being detached but are very slightly smaller. In the end I preferred the location of our lagoon villa, as we were pretty much equal distance from everything on the island. The bedroom has a queensize bed, the most comfy pillows, tv, dvd player, minibar, polished wooden floors. A sala day bed lies next to the floor to ceiling windows, so you can read while looking out on the lagoon if the heat gets too much.
We went in October, and despite it being the end of the rainy season, we had 11 days of truly wonderful weather. Pure sunshine all the time apart from one morning when it rained till 10am, and one afternoon where it rained for about 1/2 hour at about 5pm - we took the opportunity of swiming in the sea in the rain.
Food - exquisite - each dish a masterpiece. Curries, seafood, mediterranean, international, japanese, plus anything you asked for. We didn't have one meal that was anything short excellent. On average our dinners in the main 24 Degrees restaurant were in the region of $100 - $120 (with a $40 bottle of wine included) and in the Deep End restaurant appx. $140 - $200, again wine included. I promise that each meal is worth it, and these prices are for 3 course meals of middle-high end of the menu. Wine by the bottle ranged from $40 - $1200.00. We we lucky enough to indulge in 2 private dining experiences, the ocean pavillion, ( a boat drops you at an appx 15 x15' wooden pavillion in the middle of the ocean) where fine food and wine await, sala beds on the floor, flowers scattered all over the deck, lanterns, and white billowing curtains attached to the 4 pillars - you are dropped off, given a mobile phone, and told to call when you want picking up. Also, the private 7 course dinner in the wine room was the most amazing food experience, as well as the most expnesive, but it's worth it without a doubt.
Depsite the exquisite food, the beautiful rooms, and the stunning scenery, the staff were easily what made our holiday. Never have my husband or I felt so special and individual, even though there were another 100 guests present. Sit by the pool, and a complimentary platter of exotic fruits is placed for you to gain some refreshment from the sun. Get up from your chair at dinner, and it's like a race form the staff to assist you.
Don't think about, DO IT! It has the most beautiful staff, scenery and ambiance, that all out other travels don't come close to.
Taj Exotica has suffered damage in the tsunami, but plans to open in the Autumn. What better way to support them than to book a holiday there this winter 2005/6 at the beauty that is the Taj Exotica. Altough I will be extremely envious!
I went to the Taj Exotica for my honeymoon in July 2004- it was fantastic!! I have spent 6 months travelling the world- so think I havea pretty good idea about nice hotels etc but this resort was wonderful. It was the most perfect holiday.
The food was fabulous - a huge amount of choice and all freshly prepared, The beachfront rooms were beautifully decorated and very luxurious. The beach was wonderful and the water was very clean and lovely and warm. The resort has a nice bar and the staff in the hotel are all very friendly and cant do enough for you. THe spa was also great and very relaxing and facilities such as the gym and pool. The majority of guests were couples but there were a few families.
Alcholic drinks are expensive- but this was as expected...
Cannot forget the smiles on everyones faces
My family and I visited the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa in the Maldives in August 2004 and could not have been treated better anywhere in the world. The staff there attend to your every need and will go out of their way to make sure you are happy. Everyone on this island smiles no matter what time of day.
We were even invited to a special award ceremony where some members of our family were given the privelege of giving out these awards to members of staff who undoubtedly deserved them. The chef even went out of his way to make sure that we had everything we required and made us special meals when requested.
We all felt totally spoiled after only a few days there.
We all really hope that the hotal gets back to normal again soon after this terrible tragedy and all our best wishes go to all of the staff and the General Manager who also made us very welcome.
Should say it all
My partner and I had a 7-night vacation. We were returning to the Maldives, having stay before at Club Med and Rangali Hilton. We wanted to treat ourselves to a honeymoon-like vacation, and get the best money can buy.
This place is all the brochures and web site say about it. Gorgeous water villas, fabulous infinity pool, great architecture, tasteful decor, quiet because small, dream spa, very good service.
They also say it is peaceful and lost in the middle of the ocean. Which is not quite true, I must say.
Conveniently, it is close to the capital-city and airport, which makes it a quick 15 minutes away by speed-boat. Right.
After a 17-hour trip from home, we were shoawed to our DeLuxe Water villa. Impressive, and absolutely fabulous. Except that it had a city view, believe it or not, with Malé's skyline. OK, this is not Manhattan, but still I had not been travelling that long, nor paying that kind of money just to see buildings from my King size bed or my private lanai. I was getting cranky, and made my point clear to the reception, who did not seem surprised, and we were moved 6 hours later (time to get some check-outs and tidying-up), to the same villa, only the other side. That was lovely.
What was not lovely, was the island location however, and nobody can help it anymore. It right in the axis of the airport runway, 8 km away, which means that you have got jetliners landing passing above your head 15-20 times a day, 1,000 ft high or so. OK, might not be a big deal, but I feel that for that kind of money ($11,000 for 2, halfboard, including business tickets from France), this just should not be. And should not come as a surprise, especially since once you are trapped there, you can't go anywhere else !
However, the whole thing was extremely enjoyable : it is a small resort, and eventhough the island is small it is quiet. The bar is great. The food is good, mostlly with indian-asian oriented food, of which you get tired of after a few days. And a chinese night is their idea of a change ! We were dreaming of a chargrilled lobster or fish, which just was too simple and not chic enough for them.
We had a problem on the invoice on checking-out, and never got to see someone in charge -they were all mysteriously busy. But even that was fixed back in Paris, we a couple of faxes to the manager and Taj HQ !
SO : very good. Could be better, but they wan't help it, apart from moving to another island ! Thay should tell ...