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Dive Review of Dive and Sail/Cinnamon Ellaidhoo Maidives in
Maldives/Ellaidhoo, North Ari Atoll

Dive and Sail/Cinnamon Ellaidhoo Maidives: "Hotel vacation in the Maldives", Nov, 2015,

by Bill Fletcher, QC, CA ( 2 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 8754 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Travel was easy, we took a direct flight to Istanbul, laid over for 3 days to visit the historic sites and continued on by direct flight to Male, the only international airport in the Maldives. Transfer to the destination island was by 25 minute seaplane ride, the seaplane port being adjacent to the main airport and using the main terminal for check-in.
We decided to opt for a hotel rather than liveaboard, hoping to avoid the problems of some reviewers who have experienced full weeks of high current diving on Maldivian ships. We don't mind spending a few dives in current looking for large fish but want to dive the coral and reef fish as well -- and hoped to have more input with a land based operation. We chose Ellaidhoo because of positive online reviews by divers, the excellent rating of the house reef and general positive feeling on TripAdvisor. It was an excellent choice.
The hotel occupies the entire island and has a variety of accommodation - overwater bungalows, beach bungalows and semi-detached rooms. It was fully booked while we were there with approx 250 guests onsite, of which, 75 were diving. This seems typical of Maldivian hotels, diving is just one of the vacation activities. Guests were a mixed European group with a few Chinese and Russian visitors. We were the only North Americans. The hotel staff is substantially all Maldivian/ Sri Lankan and the common language between staff and guests is English. What a wonderful world.
Our rooms - Beach Bungalows, were very nice. An early problem with air conditioning was immediately fixed and did not recur. Meals were all buffet service, which is not popular with my wife. On the other hand, it was a brilliant buffet with 5 chefs at buffet stations doing custom salads, noodle dishes, pastas etc. The menu was eclectic with an international theme that didn't repeat in the 13 days that we were there. Food quality was excellent.
Diving is provided at the adjacent dive center. There is a daily 2 dive morning boat and 1 dive afternoon boat with shore diving additional whenever you want. Extra excursions to a manta cleaning station and hammerhead / whale shark sites went on during the week. The whale shark expedition leaves at 3:45AM.
Diving equipment is kept at the dive center, BC's and wetsuits hanging with the balance of gear in numbered bins. Divers sign up for dives and put their bins out in advance and the staff moves everything onto the boats and back to the dive centre on return. Large wash tanks are available for rinse after the dive and 32% nitrox is available free of charge. There is a charge for all diving including shore dives with the rate depending on the kind of dive. Shore dives were less expensive than boat dives and expedition dives cost more again. We did just about everything offered and it averaged out to $50.00 per dive.
Most divers were very experienced and were allowed a lot of freedom to dive/photograph/whatever under the general provision of 100 feet max, 50 bars to start the exit and 60 minutes. The dive staff were extremely professional, with a divemaster in the water on every dive to accompany the less experienced and lead those who wanted to have things pointed out.
We had a low pressure hose fail on one dive and the dive center loaned us a reg for the next dive and replaced the hose overnight. Very satisfactory, very professional and friendly.
Diving was fun, visibility in the 50 to 75 foot range because of the high particulate. We did a number of dives in current, hanging onto the edge and looking at small sharks and rays. Return guests knew to bring reef hooks but the current wasn't severe and the balance of dives were in mild current with some wonderful coral and small fish. There were critters - pipe fish, mantis shrimp etc but not in the quantity that we had seen in the Philippines. The manta dive was spectacular with 4 mantas swooping all around us, coming in to 4 or 5 feet away and not leaving until we ran out of time. One of the rays followed us up to the safety stop.
Camera facilities were limited with a camera table on the boat and a dedicated rinse tank back at the dive center. There was no provision for battery charging/maintenance.
It was a very good dive vacation and we can certainly recommend Ellaidhoo.
Websites Dive and Sail   Cinnamon Ellaidhoo Maidives

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Australia, Galapagos, Indonesia, Philippines, Bonaire, Caymans, Cozumel, Curacao, Saba, Belize, Eastern Canada
Closest Airport Male Getting There Direct flight Istanbul to Male, transfer to hotel by seaplane or fast boat.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 84-84°F / 29-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Maximum 30 metres (100 feet), 60 minutes and dive over at 50 bars.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera table on boat, dedicated rinse tank at dive center.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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