Ellaidhoo, Maledives - October 2006 Hotel:                      Ellaidhoo Resort Diving centre:       Duration:                14 days Dive experience:   Advanced Open Water, Dive 202-235 Assessment: Hotel Satisfaction in % Comments     Overall impression 40 best time gone by Room 40 lack of coordination between staff ended with missing towels for a couple of days  Meals 60 pancakes, fruites, not very inventive in the evening, desserts were awful Atmosphere of restaurant 40 barn Service at restaurant 40 very nice attentive waiter in the beginning that left the island due to very bad conditions at staff housing  and food Ratio of price/ performance 40 judged by the normal price, the last minute price of 80% was okay Resort 60       Pool n/a   Cleanliness/ hygiene 60       Beach 50 whole island with view on wave breakers, there is a nice beach in the west (rated 75) but the rest rather looks like a port wall Diving Satisfaction in % Comments     Variety of diving spots 60 a lot of spots but the dive center approached the same spots over and over again Quality of diving spots 75 hard corals grow slowly, lots of sharks and lots of fish and lots of variety (!) Quality of boat 65 typical Maledivian Dhonis with toilet on board. Costs for those boats are charged extra (typical for Maledives): $18 for 2-tank in the morning, $13 for 1-tank in the afternoon! Service on board 100   standard crew offered excellent service, changed equipment, offered coconut and tea Meals on board n/a   Service at diving centre 95 very friendly, very outgoing, very helpful ! Quality of diving centre 75 not the newest Ratio of price/ performance 60 boat dives were rather expensive due to the rental costs, otherwise fair pricing at the end of all dives Equipment     Briefings/ Safety 90   Nitrox available, maps of dive spots were drawn anew with chalk for briefings, some dive masters did not elaborate on the expected fish   Location Satisfaction in % Comments     Accessibility/ transport connection 80 Direct flight from Frankfurt to Male, a torture with LTU because of the sqeezed seating, few toilets, and uncordial service Nightlife 10 Italian event manager, not everyones flavor, not as loud as Giravaru. Beach bar with life-band walking from table to table Shopping facilities 40 Shops sell picture postcards, tooth brush, shampoo, sun lotion, etc. Water costs about 3 US$ for a 1,5litre bottle, no happy hour on soft drinks !!!! Other activities 70 tennis, squash, fitness, spa, playground, island hopping etc.   Dessert, well nice looking indeed...but as quite often with mid-class Hotels in this area usually a much to sweet experience with no other taste between the different offers - just amazingly sweet. Soups a good choice most of the times, main courses (meat) very well done and as such dry like a desert. But what a surprise: noudles were alway al dente and the last hope if the main dishes didnt look apealing at all. Please dont missunderstand us, we didnt reduce our weight but this is mainly caused by the fact that diving makes hungry!  Sometimes we ask ourselves why everything on the maledives is so blody expensive, right: everything is imported which may not be as cheap as if one produces the needed goods in ones own country. But as we live in an expanding world this is the case in all industrialised countrys and honestly I dont belive that Oranges are growing closer to Germany than to the Maledives. How can countrys like Egypt and Thailand manage to be that much cheaper while maintaing the same quality? But what do we talk about while the island was fully booked and thus we accept the price as its aswell accepted by the market. Its a good thing, that the island is renovated at present. The beach was pretty small if at all there and delivers rather the atmosphere of a habour and it surely dosnt look invitating for a nice plash. The problem re the staffing is already addressed above. Certainly its not acceptable to deliver this poor service for nice money. We belive this is mainly a management problem not to train and motivate the staff in the right way. We assume that a) its not worth it anymore as the staff will be fired anyway and any effort is just wasted or b) that the management itself is cluless about how to run a hotel and to give a holiday a holiday feeling. You think we are too negative about it? Well, because of the hotel we wouldnt go there again, but one can certainly deal with it if the rest gives it back. Diving: There are 30 plus reefs and as Kai - the german dive guide told us - so much to see that an enlargement of the diving base is not to the cost of the quality. Hm, but then why did we visit the same reef sometimes 2-3 times?! Well, Maaya Thila is worth it esp. for a night dive. One can see in the light of the tourches hunting reef sharks, moray eals and 2 almost fully grown up baracudas, sleeping turtels etc - a really excellent night dive, but other reefs are pretty average - no big deal to have a jumb there actually - but then just once please. If one is reading the discriptions about the rest of the reefs which are in cruise distance of Ellaidhoo then we fail to understand why there was not a single daytrip being offered to those reefs which are a bit further away. We asked for it and we were promised to have it but then nothing happend. We saw a lot of white tip reef sharks, a few grey reefsharks, once 4-5 manta rays, 2-3 eagle rays, turtels and so forth. Some reefs didnt recover yet from the coral bleaching a couple of years ago, others look healthy however. Diving at drop-offs we saw a lot of sand lying on the edges and in holes of the reef and aswell on corals. Most likely relcits from the tsunami. Its important however to say that there is a lot of current and current and current. Our reef-hokes which we bought in Palau did another good service to us even though at the edge of the reef plateaus there is alway a split of currents to find with alomost no current. Its good fun to stay in those while the rest of the divers fight against the current  ;-) Conclusion: Bottom line: Diving is pretty good there. We used for the first time a diving video-camera and put together 20min of a good film which delivered a hugh diversity of marine live and happenings which might have faded away otherwise. So: Ellaidhoo is worth to visit and it remains on us to hope for a successful refurnishing of the island and that the individual diving spots dont have to carry any harm away because of it. Since most of the time we were the only group diving there! If one is accepting the not service nor quality linked maledivian mark-up one can fly there quickly (10hrs from Germany) and escape from the day to day life and then return fully relaxed and supplied with a lot of nice memories home. But see for yourself: