More about Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa
We booked Hakuraa through Thomas Cook's Tropical Shores brouchure from the UK
14 nights on an all inclusive basis and the reason we chose this island is that the water bungalows are the featured rooms, instead of having to pay upwards of £50 per person, per night as on most other islands.
The meals are all served buffet style together with freshly cooked items every meal from the specialist chefs, these included a beach B-B-Q, and roast meats on Sunday.
The food was constantly topped up by the staff and included dishes to suit every palate.
Drinks available included, soft drinks, beers,wines and spirits by the glass from the excellent Fernando and his staff in the overwater bar, from where we watched the baby sharks, turtles, stingrays and fish going about their normal lives just a few feet below us.
Night life is low-key and relaxed here but crab-racing, bingo, and local dancers kept us entertained and was about right, after all, that's why you go to the Maldives. They even set up a big-screen in the bar so we could watch the F A Cup Final, and I would assume also for the World Cup games.
Service all-round was excellent and the PADI Dive & Sail team, Adam, Tim, Ruth and Bruno were superb as they took Deb for her first ever taste of Scuba diving ( Intro dive $40 ) and she is now hooked and wants to complete her Open Water course next time. They will even lend you a snorkelling set including fins for the length of your stay at no cost, which I think is excellent service.
I managed 14 dives and the underwater life was the best I have ever seen, including various Sharks, Moray Eels, Turtles, Baraccuda, Stingrays and even Mantas!
There is a small shop which offers t-shirts $10-15, postcards and other souvenirs. Sun lotion and after-sun cream is $15 per bottle, so ensure you are fully stocked, because the sun was intense. The natural beauty of Hakuraa is the thing that drew us there, you can walk around it in about 15 minutes, the sand is a brilliant white and sunglasses are a must!
There are 70 water bungalows which include a glass panel in the floor so you can see the fish swimming underneath, each has a decking area for sunbathing and steps leading down into the Ocean.
There are also 10 beach bungalows set amongst the beautiful palm trees for those that want to be land based.
The views are outstanding, there is also an island that you can walk to at low tide.
The island has just opened a Spa staffed by Balinese ladies but we never used this luxury, although we did hear excellent reports.
On all the paths leading around the island, there are moving shells which are the local hermit crabs and they are great fun to watch.
For me a water bungalow is a must when staying in the Maldives. The sound of the sea lapping against the legs of the bungalow lull you to sleep and also gently wake you up.
Hakuraa's bungalows also have the added bonus of being detached, you have a large balcony which has sunloungers so you don't need to speak to any one allday if you don't want to. The bungalows have been updated since our visit due to being destroyed by the Tsunami. They now have a glass panel in the floor to watch the sea life beneath your feet. You can sunbathe on your Balcony all day if you want. Straight in to the sea from your Balcony for a cool off or a swim (depending on the tide)The best time of day for me was about 6pm reading a book on the balcony a cup of coffee waiting for the sun to set. You can watch the sun set every night and the colours of the sky are amazing. Rooms are cleaned every day by your room boy and clean beach towels are left every night he also makes patterns with the sheets on the bed and puts flowers and decorations on the bed Warning.. make sure you take a photo before turning on the aircon!!!
Stayed at the Hakuraa Huraa for a week and it was fantastic. We were really tired from the long flight (fly direct if poss) but when we arrived our tierdness was soon forgotten. Usually places don't live up to expectations, but this exceeded them. The water bungalows are well equipped and you have a sundeck with sunbeds and steps leading into the crystal clear water. The staff are friendly and helpful, the food is of good quality with lots of choice. I would recommend wearing something on your feet as there is lots of coral around which, can be sharp. We saw so many different types of fish, rays and sharks from our bungalow. The weather was really hot each day, luckily the bungalows are air conditioned. Most people stay around their bungalow, so you only really see other people when you go for meals. We would definately return.
Just back from paradise
The Maldives is a stunning part of the world, so it would be difficult to have a terrible time there. Hakuraa Huraa is a good value resort in this beautiful corner of the world, although there are a few things to look out for, namely: -
1. The lagoon in front of the bungalows is quite shallow and only really suitable for swimming at high tide. Also, the floor of the lagoon is covered in broken, dead coral, so you need to bring shoes to protect your feet ("wetsuit" shoes are ideal).
2. The food is fresh and well cooked, but gets a bit repetitive, since every meal is buffet;
3. The meal times (07:30-09:30, 12:30-14:00, 19:30-21:00) may not suit everyone, although you can also enjoy a mid-afternoon snack (16:00-17:00) in the lovely over-water bar;
4. The water bungalows have been nicely refurbished, with the exception of the bathrooms, which (in our case) was pretty cruddy, i.e. the shower hose didn't stay up, the toilet pan leaked steadily and (probably due to the above) there was a bad smell in the bathroom.
To counter these negatives are some very positive positives: -
1. Great location, beauthiful weater;
2. Very friendly and helpful local staff;
3. You are assigned your own waiter for the duration of the stay, which makes the experience more personal;
4. Good dive school and free use of snorkel, mask and fins.
In conclusion, the old maxim "you get what you pay for" applies - Hakuraa Huraa is very good value for the Maldives and provided you don't expect 5-star luxury, you won't be disappointed.
Dream holiday, idyllic location, we had an amazing time.
I'm not sure if the person who wrote the review before me in January stayed in the same place! I think he had very high expectations!
We had an amazing time in Hakura Huraa, the staff were friendly and helpful, the rooms were clean and very comfortable and we wished we'd stayed a month not a week.
We arrived (following a 2 hr wait for a sea taxi..not good) to cold towels and happy faces.
The sea plane was an experience to behold in itself and i found my mouth open most of the way in awe of the unbelievable beauty of nature below.
We walked towards the island, having disembarked and 5 black ray were visibly swimming out in the lagoon, what an amazing welcome!..another mouth open moment!
We were in water bungalow 170 (the last one!) which was rather a long walk to and from but i think all the exercise out weighed the amazing food and deserts we found ourselves enjoying!..be prepared to walk, the jetty is 500m long as was the walk to our bungalow.
It was very hot whilst we were there but there was usually a welcome breeze to keep you reasonably dry.
The lagoon out the back of the bungalow was shallow at low tide but this enabled us to walk to a little deserted island, watch fish or walk out to the breaking waves in the distance, where we came across and swam with a turtle one day, so we didn't ever see it as a bad thing. TAKE REEF SHOES, the brochure advised it and we ummed and arred but so glad we did. The tides turned quite quickly so you were never far away from a snorkelling opportunity.
The sea life was fantastic, we took the opportunity to scuba dive and found the dive staff professional, fun and such a laugh. I would take your own fins, snorkel and mask but hire the other bits when you're there to save on excess baggage.
We saw loads of different fish, rays, puffer fish, barakuda, black tip reef sharks and a turtle just in the lagoon around the island and when we went diving manta ray, green and hawksbill turtles, moray eels, octopus, sharks, giant clams and millions of different beautiful fish to name a few.
The staff were always cheery and helpful even if they didn't speak english (although 99% did), they always tried to make conversation and our room was cleaned to a gold standard twice a day without fail. Our waiter "Soba" was also faultless and nothing was ever too much trouble.
LADIES the best bit of info i took from another travellers advice was not to take heels. I took 3 pairs of flats which were great, the ground is sand or slatted jetties...full stop...go and invest before you go!
There is a tiny shop on the island and an expensive jeweler...that's it so if you need it take it with you.
Overall this was an out of this world holiday, which we enjoyed thoroughly. I would recommend it to anyone...make your booking today.
Have been to better islands
My wife and I, stayed at Hakura for first 2 weeks in May. This was our third trip to the Maldives and our first at Hakura. The weather was good we had a few storms but these were at night. We stayed in the water bungalows which were excellent, very clean and spacious with lovely views of the sea. As keen divers we dived every other day, the dive team were very good, as was the equipment and dive boat service. The dives themselves were well managed and there was plenty to see - sharks, turtles and mantas. There was also no minimum diver limit so there we days when I dived with only the instructor which was great. As with all Maldives islands there was plenty of pelagic life which cruised around the island and beaches, eagle rays, sting rays and baby black tip reef sharks which was brilliant. (All relatively harmless I might add). The long jetty was great for romantic walks at night after dinner. (Wear shoes in day or you will burn your feet as the sun heats the wood very quickly). Beaches themselves were very clean, lovely white sand and generally not busy at all. Sun beds were always available,
Right that’s the good stuff done. Now the not so good, we felt the service in the restaurant was poor, very slow at the best of times, this included the bar. Some staff were generally always happy others looked quite miserable. Restaurant food was ok generally fish, meat, salads and veg. The fruit choice was dreadfully limited, only water melon. The restaurant tables were much too close together, approximately a 12 inches apart, this made having a nice private romantic meal very difficult, and basically wasn’t an enjoyable experience.
Probably the worst aspect of the Island was the surrounding lagoon, it was just too shallow and when I say shallow I mean ankle to knee deep, and when the tide was low it disappeared completely. There is nothing worse than baking in the sun and having no sea to cool off in. The deeper water didn’t start until you reached the perimeter of the lagoon, an approx 300 meter walk
However lets put things in perspective, I am comparing this island to other Maldivian island's that we have been to, where the service was better and there we excellent deep house reefs 50 feet from the shore. At the end of the day this is the Maldives you are on an idyllic island so things are not that bad. If you have only ever holidayed in Europe then this will be paradise. If you have been to other Maldivian islands then potentially you will find fault with this one. If you’re heart is set on going to the Maldives there are better Island’s out there.
Just returned from this lovely island a lovely place to relax, water bungalow are really great very spacious glass panel brilliant plenty of fish. Staff really friendly water bar great for fish watching.Jetty is also good for fish ,stingray and reef sharks.
Best place to snorkel is on the jetty and swimming also has the water is to shallow in lagoon,Food was excellent plenty of choise each day we were really impressed with the variety.
You do need to find a shaded place if you are on the beach it does get very hot,tho we did go on the hammocks under the shade which were very relaxing.You do need shoes to walk in the lagoon has there is dead coral.If you want a quiet room ask for high number a bit further away from facilities but lovely walking down the lagoon or beach.There are trips we did the Dolpin Safari which was well worth the money and Adam and Eve a desert island which was also well worth it.
We had candle lit dinner on the beach that was fantastic staff made it really special has it was also my 50th Birthday and the room boy decorated my bed a lovely surprise excellent holiday
"Arriving in Male"
Having waited almost a year since booking Our first trip to the Maldives I can't explain how excited I was when we arrived.
Getting through the main airport wasn't too bad compared with other airports. Then we arrived at the stands where the travel reps are and I just stood in shock at how beautiful everything was beyond the airport. The Sea is really that blue. From that moment I felt like I was treated like royalty people taking your bags and suitcases but not expecting a tip in return and so happy when you did.
The seaplane airport is just like a minature airport you check your luggage in and wait for your seaplane to be called - not usually very long. While you wait there is a balcony where you can watch the seaplanes land and take off. This was my first experiance of the Maldives heat, a very cold beer helped a great deal.
The seaplane journey is very hot and very noisey, earplugs are supplied and the smell of fuel is also very strong. If the plane is full it is very stuffy. Make sure you have a bottle of water for the journey ours was about 40 mins stopping off at a couple of islands to drop people off.
If you can try to be at the front of the plane as there are 2 tiny fans which only reach the first couple of seats.
"Have your camera at the ready"
The best thing about the seaplane journey is the view.
Have your camera ready as there are some amazing views of the islands
"Arriving at Hakuraa"
The seaplanes land at various points on Islands depending on the depth of the sea. Hakuraa has a very long jetty but to get to that the seaplane lands in the sea some distanc from the jetty. We were then told to get off the plane on to a raft ( I was terrified at first but it just added to the excitment) a Dhoni was waiting at the other side of the raft and we were taken by the Dhoni to the jetty.
"Arriving at Hakuraa"
The Dhoni only takes a few minutes to get to the Jetty where you then face the long walk on to the island ( this is the only bad thing about this island)
"A long Walk"
.... but what a view
HAKURAA CLUB RESORT
No pain, no gain as the saying goes, and despite the best efforts of Monarch Airlines, we had a fantastic holiday in Hakuraa.
"Maldive Air Taxi"
The capital island, Male is around 11 hours flying time from the UK and once there, your luggage is X-rayed as alcohol is not allowed to be brought into The Maldives, as they are a Muslim country. If found, it is confiscated until your return flight.
Hakuraa is located in the Meemu attol about 149 Km south from Male and is a 40 minute Seaplane journey.
Once cleared of Immigration and Customs, in what surely is one of the prettiest airports you will ever find, you see your holiday rep who arranges your onward transfer to your chosen island, the nearer ones use either speedboats or local Dhoni boats or as in our case, Seaplanes operated by Maldive Air Taxis.
A bus takes you to the seaplane port and very quickly, they check you in for your flight using a DH-6 Twin Otter 18 seat aircraft, you even get issued with earplugs, as they can get a bit noisy inside!
I was really looking forward to the seaplane journey, as I'd never been in one before, and it was great! To fly over the Indian Ocean and see all of the different islands surrounded by beautiful blue and green water, and brilliant white sand was the first glimpse of why we chose the Maldives, and we were not disappointed.
Chayaa Lagoon Hakuraa Club
"Full Review May-June 2007"
We booked through Virgin Holidays and after being subjected to Monaaaarrgh Airlines last year and vowing never to travel with them again, we took the option of using Sri Lankan Airlines on their scheduled service this time.They even gave us an extra 10kg allowance for our dive equipment, so top marks for that.
After a short mini-bus ride to the Maldive Air Taxi terminal, we checked in and paid $16 excess baggage for our dive gear, which is very reasonable, as this covered both trips.
The sea-plane flight was excellent and we had the plane to ourselves for the last hop to Hakuraa. The pilot even did a flight round the Island, so I could film the landing !
There are 170 Water bungalows, each with sundeck and steps into the lagoon and 10 beach bungalows.
Rooms are spacious and have a glass panel in the floor to watch the fish through, there is even a light to use after dark.
TV and mini-bar,soft drinks and water included, huge bed and storage space for clothing are all here waiting for the weary traveller.
The roomboy visits twice daily, towels and bedding changed every day and the bed sheeting was arranged in different patterns every night. Rooms and bathroom very clean.
It took about 15 minutes to walk round the island, but if you cut across, it's only about 5 minutes, pathways are swept everyday by the staff, who are all so friendly and all say hello to you.
The restaurant is all-inclusive buffet style with a great variety to please the fussiest eater. Soup, salad-bar, curry, pasta, roast fish and meat every evening along with other choices, we were very impressed with the choices available even including ice-cream one nght!
Water shoes are a must for the lagoon side as there is broken coral, from the Tsunami, outside the water bungalows but the beach is fine sand and fine to walk on in bare feet.
Various excursions are offered, Dolphin Safari, Night fishing, Island hopping, Snorkelling, all charged at $30 and last about 3 hours. There is an Adam & Eve trip for about $200 where a couple are taken by boat to an uninhabited island with a picnic basket of food and drink ( there is a table set out for the meal) and a mobile phone and you have the place to yourselves until you are ready to return, when you just phone for the boat.
They also have a romantic meal on a dhoni boat for 2 , or on the beach at night.
The diving is operated by Dive & Sail who offer 50+ dive sites from the island. 2 tank boat dives at 0830 and 1 tank dive at 1430 every day, even if you are the only person booked.
The also offer night dives at 1730, early morning at 0515 and some Saturdays a 3 dive all day trip to further reefs.
Prices are $50 for all equipment and $42 if only tanks and weights are needed.
Snorkelling equipment is supplied free for the duration of your holiday as well.
The Instructors, Adam, Ruth, Bruno and Magic are all excellent. My partner took a resort dive last year and returned this time and passed her PADI open water course with Ruth, so many thanks to her for her friendly help and advice.
The weather was Scorchio, we had 1 storm which lasted about 3 hours and uprooted a palmtree and 2 other showers which lasted about 20-30 minutes but other than that, the weather was beautiful.
For entertainment in the Bar, which is open-air and built over the lagoon, they offer bingo, hermit crab racing, disco, local drummers/dancers and an acrobat show.
We were just content to sit and look out over the water and watch the Stingrays, baby black-tip sharks, turtles and fish swimming about, you can't beat that for entertainmnet in my book!
All standard drinks, beer, spirits,wine are included, together with a selection of a few cocktails but they also have a list of cocktails for $9 each.
There is a small souvenir shop on the island selling cards, t-shirts and basic toileteries but it's quite expensive.
Just for your info, theduty free shop at Male is very reasonable, cigs $22 for 200 and $34 for 400. 1 Ltr scotch $16, Vodka $14.
All in all, it was fantastic, our best holiday ever.
Did we feel bored ? No.
Will we return?? Hell yeah!
Hakuraa Club resort from the Seaplane
Hi, just wondering if anyone's been to the Hakuraa Club since it reopened and have any info on the resort's present condition?
RE: Hakuraa Club
Hi anybody been to this resort recently? Any precious feedback for me? Need to know expecially if their house reef is good. Is it possible to just snorkel off the beach? Thank you very much.
RE: Hakuraa Club
I expect you have already been answered on this - but if you go to MSN groups, and go to the Hakuraa Forum you will find all the information you need. We have been twice (once in the October before the tsunami and again in October 2005 when the resort reopened). Had such a marvellous time there we are going back again this October. Can't wait. You can snorkel off the beach, from the jetty, or (water level permitting) from the steps of the water bungalows. Everyone who went out on the diving or snorkelling trips said they were amazing - so much to see. However, we are not that brave - the lagoon was enough for us where we saw Manta and Eagle Rays, black tipped reef sharks, picasso clown fish and oh so many more (even a few turtles). Hope this helps.
Diving In Hakuraa Club
Pls confirm with me that I am making the right decision in booking for Hakuraa Club. Its my first trip to Maldives. I can only affort 3 nites. Is it sufficient if I wanted to learn diving?
Is the beginner diving courses expensive?