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Reviewed May 3, 2015

We have been fortunate to have been to many places in the world but this resort is by far the best we have ever been to. From the moment we arrived nothing was to much trouble the service is World Class plus, no matter were you go on the island. Ziraar our villa host was outstanding, the food is out of this world , the setting is paradise you run out of superlatives very quickly, just when you think things cannot get any better they do and on a daily basis. Our thanks to Walter and ALL of his team for giving us the holiday of lifetime. WE WILL BE BACK X

Room tip: Any all World Class (We stayed in the Grand Water Lodge )
Date of stay: April 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Mark A
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2015

Dear Mark,

Thank you so much for your gracious comments about our resort.

It was an absolute pleasure to host you and Pat for the week.

I have passed your feedback to Ziraar, Richard and everyone else at the resort.

We are all delighted that you will be returning to JA Manafaru and we promise to make your next trip just as memorable.

Best Personal Regards

Walter

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2015

We stayed here for our honeymoon in June 2015.

The food is absolutely outstanding- I've never had better food in my life. Curries for breakfast (it sounds weird but is amazing!), dinner on the beach in private with candles and our own chef, special Maldivian dinner & amazing restaurants.

The staff were amazing- birthday presents (massage oils), birthday cake, rose petals on the bed, etc. We had our own butler who would organise our dinner reservations etc. All of the staff are so lovely and want to have a chat.

The grounds of the resort are beautiful- the infinity pool is great and there is another pool that feels like you are in a rainforest.

Our overwater bungalow room was beautiful- our own pool, swing, outside shower, huge bath, etc. We really didn't need to leave the room!

The downsides were that at that time of year the water is really rough so all water sports are out. The snorkelling is this part of the island isn't great (we went on a snorkelling trip but the water wasn't that clear and was rough). Maldives is an alcohol free country so you cant bring in any alcohol (it is illegal). So all alcohol is VERY expensive- around $40US for the cheapest wine and $25US for a cocktail.

Overall very special people and an exotic island.

Room tip: sunset and overwater bungalow (with private pool)
Date of stay: June 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank mbnightingale
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this reviewResponded May 3, 2015

Dear Mbnightingale,

Thank you very much for your feedback on your stay with us at JA Manafaru.

We were delighted that you chose JA Manafaru to spend your honeymoon and hope that these memories stay with you forever.

I have passed on your kind comments to the team and all of the Kitchen brigade, they were thrilled to read such positive feedback.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.


Best personal regards,

Walter Hall
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2015

my husband and i made this lovely trip in Manafaru on Feb 14-18.
it was the most beautiful trip we have ever experienced.
we flied from Beijing, made a trans airline at Singapore, landed Manafaru at exactly on Valentine's Day.
2 days sand house, 2 days water house, both are good, for the first-time guests, try them both.

SNORKELING

we participated in snorkeling as my villa host suggested. Snorkeling is good, do it a lot please, don't always hide in rooms, i know it beautiful and comfortable to stay in rooms, but it really not the best way to feel this magical lsland trust me!

after the first time snorkeling with a boat and lot of guests out there, we started to try our own.

we did snorkeling when stuff feed the fish at 5 o'clock sharp in the afternoon. u can see thousands of fishes coming up together ! and there were turtles, big, and stingrey, elegance!

it is better to do snorkeling in the morning, before 11 o'clock, the water most clean and waves calm. waves can make it hard to swim, so better choose the time when sea as calm as possible. when i snorkeling in east spot of the island, met a group of Squid, like submarine fleet, i love them so.

and u can see thousands of a kind of yellow fishes around the pillar under water. beautiful like paintings.

JET driving

i and husband tried driving a jet on the sea, for half an hour, it's good and strongly recommended. feel like horsing on the water, u need to keep stand and feel that waves under ur feet up and down.

SPA

we tried Mildivian SPA. girls were pretty and with soft hands, one of them Malaysian and the other Indonesians. i like them.oil smells good, and i bought several bottles of that Mildivian oil, it smells like chocolate.

ABOUT FOOD

we tried every restaurant for each night. i love every one of them.
but for Chinese guest, be prepared for one thing: food served really slow, u can take a nap while waiting..........but i can tell for sure food is really tasty and authentic.

for Asians guests only: don't pick the Asian style food coz western cooks are much better with western food. choose what they best at !

and considering our eating clock, which is 3 meals one day, exactly in morning 8-10 o' clock, noon around 1 o'clock, and dinner around 7 o'clock, something u can eat in noon for a quick and simple lunch is strongly suggested. or else u have to wait for the food serving by restaurant, and it really slow and will take ur too much time waiting.

SEAFOOD NIGHT

there were 2 meals i've been most impressed, one is "seafood night", there is a sauce named "butter and garlic sauce", i think its the most tasty and wonderful sauce i've ever met.

the other is a really big humburger , i forgot the name, it's 35 dollars around, and it's served at the restaurant with singers, maybe Ocien Grill? it is really worth that money, it's the most professional humburger i've ever had.

STUFF and SERVICE

Manafaru is an excellent island, not only bcoz the scene, but also bcoz lovely people there. everyone smiles a lot and greet nicely, make us feel friendly. after a few days living here, my personality even get a subtle change, i became more alive,open and energetic, trust people more, relaxing more, and smiled a lot. stuff here serious and professional, sometimes very thoughtful.

VILLA HOST----the most important person to a guest, is the villa host. Our villa host is Ahmed Mahmood, with his help i made good plans for the vacation. in fact, all the fun we had, is out of his advise and suggestion, we were satisfied and sometimes surprised.

besides, he was a warmhearted boy with good sense of humor and professional working habits. He was good at his work, always make us feel kind and funny.

i believe that when guests get good communication with their villa host, trust their villa host, guests will find a lot more fun when having this vacation.

of course, we will contribute a lot more money also. hehe............and we love our host Ahmed and trust him a lot, even my husband who cannot speak English also fall in love with him too......ok it's not what i mean.

when leaving, we felt want to cry because of him, and when i asked him just before we board, have u ever seen snow? my hometown is snowing now, and he said with a smile: come back next time and bring some to me!

i really want to bring some snow for him next time. even though we haven't figured out how, hehe

PICK UP and the first and last people i met there in Male Airport, is a stuff named Ahula or Ahura (not sure about the spell, he told me his name meaning dream in English), i think he would remember me coz we had good chat during the way to and way back.

when we leave, we heard of that cute little yellow duck in our room is available to take away. and Ahula and his colleague helped us to take the duck for us 4 people, so thankful for that!

COACH ON DUTY and the most poor person i think is the snorkeling coach at snorkeling spot on duty. he is watching everyone's life safety everyday, and all he could do is watching at the sea for the whole working hours. i think it is boring and he has to be focus for every minute.

it's bust be lonely, coz most of guests don't pay attention to the coach. but i told him u did a good job, and showed him our photos, which need to keep running for several circles around the spot. i think he is pleasant that day. coz he told me i was really a good swimmer and he watched me over all the time.

so, thank u all~~~what u did is meaningful, u did a great job !

MANAGER --i also want to thank the manager there, sir manager, sorry i forgot ur name, but we met at the seafood night and u saw us taking pictures with Ahmed, and u smiled and said:

wow it seems Ahmed is the popular star here~~i think he is, and i think u did a good job managing such an excellent resort for us. thank u!

SUGGESTION

i think communication with villa host is so important that it directly determined the quality of guest's vacation.
most guest in China bought their trip from an trip agency, and we don't know what we will meet or confront with before we arrive at last.
so, i would make a strong suggestion that JA send some senior villa host to learn some Chinese, not to much, just something about food, the outdoors, the basic communications are good enough.

in China there is a lot of short Chinese lectures or training in Universities, 1 month to half a year, if JA wants to level up Chinese guests experience there, u can try enhance training in language. or u can hire someone to u, and do the training on the island.

i work for a media group focus on education, if u have needs, do not feel shy to contact me. Email liuxuezazhi@126.com, <STUDYING ABROAD> MAGAZINE.

and if u cannot do this for now, there are 2 points strongly recommend,

firstly, the introduction in every room, in Chinese, trust me it was translated so bad that as a Chinese i have trouble to understand it. please find someone professional to check it and translate it for ur resort. someone like me even can do better than what u have got now.

secondly, most of Chinese guests cannot speak English good enough to communicate with host or stuff, plus, our national personality is much more shy than westerns, we won't feel good if we think "oh i cause a trouble or problem to my host".

so they are always shy to ask questions. please understand that, and for this, strongly recommend to add some list of "ACTIVITIES YOU CAN CHOOSE ON THIS LOVELY ISLAND", with appealing description and price on it, in Chinese of course. so they just won't to hide in rooms and miss so much fun outside! and this will also bring ur company more money, right? if people don't know what to do to have fun, how can they spend money on it?

sorry for being critical, but trust me it's my true thoughts. again, it was a pleasant trip and i will come back again someday, for sure.

Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Yang1025
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2015

Dear Yang1025,

Thank you so much for sharing in detail your customer journey at JA Manafaru.

We very much appreciate your feedback and I have passed on your best wishes to Ahmed.

You made some very valid points and we are currently in the process of increasing the number of Chinese speakers in our team.

We do hope that you come and stay with us again.

Best Regards,

Walter Hall
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2015

I am not usually the sort of guy who fills out these things but this just had to be shared with you. This island has the ultimate relaxation of accommodation and facilities I have ever encountered. I have been in many different countries in my life span of 57 years and experienced many forms of accommodation but nothing can compare to this. The Islands Manager, Walter, who greeted me on arrival by the sea plane took great care of my wife and I throughout the holiday. The water villa was amazing with its own infinity pool were we watched the sunset with our daily provision of Perseco and Champagne not to mention the fruit, chocolates and the minibar.
We eat in several of the restaurants and every meal was an experience. The food was absolutely amazing and plentiful. The Chef made sure we were happy and every member of staff was genuinely pleasant and well mannered.
I can honestly say I had a tear in my eye when I left. Thank you to all the staff in the Spa for an amazing massage. The fitness suite with the gym kept the pounds off and early morning tennis was great. The cocktail party was fun which included an advent full sail boat experience. Thank you to Kyra for the amazing anniversary cake we received for our 37 wedding anniversary. Our butler Rameez was always there for us at all times with his buggy and any issues such as the light under our villa was sorted immediately. Nothing was to much for any of the staff. Thank you to you all at Ja Manafaru. You truly are paradise.

Room tip: Water villa is a must and pick the farthest so when you go snorkeling of your own jetty you have deep water when the tide is either in or out. No need for photos as the web site does not lie. what you see is how it is and more.
Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Simonfrench137
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this reviewResponded April 13, 2015

Dear Simonfrench137,

Thank you so much for your very positive review.

We are delighted that you had such an enjoyable time and I have passed on your best to Rameez, Kyra, Kate and all of the Kitchen brigade.

Your infectious enthusiasm permeated the resort during your stay and we were sorry to see you leave.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best Personal Regards

Walter Hall
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2015

This is our 2nd time back. The first was in 2011 when it was still Waldorf Astoria. We chose to come back here even though it's one of the furthest resorts and sea plane timings are so restrictive because once we get here, we really feel like we are in paradise! We like that the resort is not too overcrowded, there's enough room for everyone at the various restaurants, and the staff are friendly. What we love most is the wide array of sea sports and excursions that the resort has. From Dolphin cruise to snorkeling to fishing, we truly enjoyed ourself. Snorkeling around our villa is also great with nice enough fishes and corals. We were afraid to come back to a resort that is totally different than before but we are glad that it's more or less the same, just some minor refurbishments. JA Manafaru is really paradise on earth!

Date of stay: April 2015
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank OliviaCheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walter H, General Manager at JA Manafaru, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2015

Dear OliviaCheryl,

We were so happy that you decided to come back and stay with us again.

It is always nice for the team to welcome back friends and they really appreciated the fact that once again you had a memorable experience.

We look forward to your next visit.

Thanks and Best Regards

Walter Hall
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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