Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

Best Experience for: Couples, Value, House Reef Snorkeling, Diving, All Inclusive

Book Your All Inclusive Vacation and save 25% in Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Maldives
Book Your All Inclusive Vacation and save 25% in Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Maldives

Feb, 2021

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon is located in Ari Atoll and its house reef and proximity to some of the most beautiful dive sites in the Maldives is the greatest attraction.

Acquired by a luxury brand from Sri Lanka, Cinnamon today has 112 rooms, of average price range, that's good for couples and families. On a beautiful island, there is complete cleanliness, and guests are served by a variety of facilities to choose from, including a spa, squash and tennis courts, a children's playground, a pool, and exciting excursions. New Water Villas are the brightest and most attractive rooms, but there are other categories of accommodation with good value, and avid divers and snorkel fans should not miss the chance to explore the famous Ellaidhoo's house reef. Regardless of the season, the serene atmosphere of a beautiful island, a lot of greenery, and the rustic spirit of Ellaidhoo await you.

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon, aerial view

The Island

Ellaidhoo became the Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts property in 2015, leading to extensive renovation. Regardless of the season, however, there is the quiet beauty of the island’s natural, green and tree-filled setting. In addition, the island's unique, bulging shape and its location in the channel provides some truly unique snorkeling and diving opportunities for couples and families, who usually come back here again and again. With the island's exotic beauty, the resort is a popular wedding destination.

Located about 42km away from the capital, an award winning, Green Globe-certified resort sits on the eastern fringe of North Ari Atoll – the largest of the 22 natural atolls that make up the Maldives. Abundantly lush, with shady palm trees and soft white sand, Ellaidhoo combines exquisite living and star-class service with a family spirit and connection to mother earth.

Some of the key sustainability projects carried out in 2020 include improved management of water resources and the onsite organic farm, tree conservation programs and a World Clean Up Day initiative.ndeavours include Read more

An indescribable bond connects the marine life to the people on the island, a beautiful sense of symbiosis and possibly a guideline for how the guests should respect and live with all wild life and marine life on this planet. The spectacular marine life from reef to shark to manta is the base for tourism – all beings around the island are your friends. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP

People come to Ellaidhoo from all over the world and year after year; the island and the marine life become addictive things, especially when you realize that the staff become your friends too.This is how you experience these enchanting island and connect with it's spirit.


An emerald island paradise, Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon is located on a small, private island in the North Ari Atoll. The pristine coral reefs have the most incredible underwater life, and a stay at the resort offers a wide variety of water sports, such as snorkeling around the island. Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo is sought after by dive and marine life enthusiasts the world over. You can explore the spectacular house reef, hallmark of the resort only 20 meters away from the beach or dive the surrounding reefs, some of them listed among the 100 best in the world!

Although guests can reach the resort by seaplane (25 minutes), many prefer a cheaper speedboat transfer from Male Airport (90 minutes), but when choosing this option, check the sea conditions. And, if you choose the latter, you should definitely take a bottle of water with you, since there is nothing on board (or paid). Transfers to/from Male airport are available between 06:15hrs - 16:00hrs.

Rooms and Bungalows

This luxury resort features 14 standard bungalows, 28 superior rooms, 46 beach bungalows, and 24 water bungalows. The most expensive water bungalows, duplexes above the water without direct access to the surrounding shallow water, but with a small open terrace with wicker furniture; open bathroom with corner bath; and wooden cabinets and deck chairs.

In 2017, Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon has unveiled a fresh look and feel for its Standard Rooms and Beach Bungalows. In one of the biggest upgrades since the resort's relaunch in 2006, a total of 62 rooms has been refurbished. It covers all the Standard Rooms and Beach Bungalows at the resort. With tropical garden views, the refurbished Standard Rooms now sport lighter colours and fresher settings, while maintaining their comfortable king-sized bed, outdoor showers and wide range of amenities, including sun loungers on the outside and modern flat screen TVs inside. There are no real differences between rooms, except for their location. Family rooms are placed in a row behind the others, and only relatively few of them have access to the western beach.

The new Beach Bungalows offer guests greater privacy and comfort than before, while featuring similar lighter colours and fresher settings as the refurbished Standard Rooms. Designed with tiled roofs, these quaint structures are located on the quieter quarter of the island, allowing guests to seclude themselves for private time on the island, should they so desire it. Wooden doors open onto a wooden deck, where comfortable divans and verandahs make for great look-out points. Invitingly plush king-sized bed, indoor seating area with a view of the sea, and work and dressing tables adorn the insides of the 526 sq ft bungalows, while an open air bathroom completes the offering.

New water bungalows were set in the western lagoon, without cluttering the beach and sea views. This meant an equivalent reduction in the number of rooms on the island, which is pretty good, although the total number is still high relative to the size of the island. The refurbished water bungalows sport lighter colours and fresher settings. Designed with new tiled roofs, these overwater villas now come with an extended wooden sundeck, where comfortable divans make for great look-out points across the ocean. An invitingly plush king size bed, indoor seating area, and work and dressing tables adorn the insides of the bungalows, while an open air bathroom completes the luxurious offering.

Continuing this lighter look and feel, the Malamathi Restaurant and Pool Bar, which are exclusive to guests staying in the water bungalows, have been redesigned with the bar being relocated to the left side of the pool. The space now feels more open, while the new furniture gives a modern, fresh look to the restaurant and bar as well as the pool area.


The resort has two main buffets - one for the guests of the water bungalows, and one for all other. A bit unusual, but Ellaidhoo has only buffet restaurants.

Located by the pool and on the doorstep of water bungalows, Malamathi Restaurant & Bar serves a short buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, mainly Asian and Italian dishes along with fresh salads, desserts and a la carte menu. The combination of an enchanting atmosphere with great taste this dining place is only for Water Bungalows guests, who are appointed with tables overlooking the pool and the sunset. A great buffet, great cocktails and multiple action stations, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Malamathi also serves select a-la-carte options at this exclusive semi-open venue that spreads out into the pool deck for a spacious outdoor atmosphere.

With a great continental buffet style meals, Madi restaurant for the rest of the island’s guests, is located in the south-eastern part of the island. Madi is a firm favourite with everyone on the island, because its giant roof provides shelter from tropical storms and hot island days. Constantly crowded with guests this is a large, indoor, open-air restaurant with sand under the foot and elements of lacquered natural wood. Here the buffet feels more diverse, but only by a dish or three.

Regardless of which restaurant or table is assigned to guests, there is a strict meal schedule, and those whose flight early morning cannot have breakfast before check out. Despite the daily style, swimwear is not allowed in any dining room. Breakfast is always included in the room rate and packages: half board, full board and all inclusive are also available. The all-inclusive plan includes beer, wine, alcohol, and a selection of cocktails at the bar; Guests with the Premium All-Inclusive package receive branded drinks, some extra cocktails, and a free minibar.

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

There are 2 bars on the island, where one is open until the last customer. In Malamathi there is a small Sand Bar with a wooden terrace by the pool, but only overlooking the sunset. This spacious, thatched-roof bar lets you dig your toes into the sand while you throw back some heady cocktails and continue with all the fun you were having on the island. It does not compare with the large Iruohsnee Bar, where the atmosphere for socialization is much hotter, and there is a large deck where guests can drink under the stars. In addition, while the Malamathi bar has a specific closing time, Irouhsenee closes only after the last client leaves.

Unlike Sand Bar, which lacks stools and atmosphere, Iruohsnee has a large round bar with a lot of seating, more obvious branded drinks, and afternoon tea. Located on the main decks of Ellaidhoo, this is a favourite hangout at any time of the day and night. Iruohsnee also offers great evening entertainment from DJs to classic rock bands and traditional Maldivian performances making the bar a firm favourite on any day of the week. But the main highlight is probably the daily evening feed. Buckets of fresh seafood are given to the school of Jack Fish, a Sting Ray and even some herons that never forget drop by for their daily feeding at 5:30.

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

The House Reef Snorkeling

The house reef of Ellaidhoo is globally known for its beauty amongst divers and thus, it is a true Eldorado for snorkellers. It does not matter if you put on a diving mask for the first time or if you are a traveled and experienced snorkeller – you will be astonished by the breathtaking beauty of our house reef! With a length of 1600 meters, the reef leads around the entire island.

The house reef (Chaaya Reef) has a consistent drop-off, good corals and amazing marine life. You can snorkel around the island and then return through any one of the 6 cut-out passes. Mantas, sharks and even whale sharks were often seen near the island. With an intermittent stream of snorkelers heading out near the jetty on the south side (where the best snorkeling is to be found) and other guests idling in the water and sunbathing on the main beach nearby, this is the centre of the daytime action, the place with the buzz.

Just 15 metres from the jetty is a wreck, which at 30 metres down is inaccessible for snorkelers but certainly adds something extra to the fine housereef diving. As the visiting big fish would indicate, there are occasional strong currents here which guests need to be aware of. Drop a handful of sand in the water first or consult the dive school.

The Beach

The main beach, located on the west side (facing sunset) is a large and wonderful stretch of white sand, definitely - a class! The problem is that this is the only beach on the island.

Due to the unique location of Ellaidhoo, the shores of the island are particularly prone to erosion. To stop the latter, a dam was set around the perimeter of the entire island. The resort has built several sea walls that slightly interrupt the panoramic view, but nevertheless help to keep what is called a small patch of sand. From this side, the beach is not very attractive, only with a meter of sand and an abundance of deck chairs barricaded by a sea wall with passages to the reef. However, on the island's southern side there are several more picturesque white sandy beaches overlooking a stretch of blue lagoon and an entrance to a house reef. Around the Water Bungalows jetty you can often watch groups of baby reef sharks. Plus, the island’s unique convex shape makes it easy to explore the underwater world of the house reef.

A saving grace is the neighboring island of Maaga, which belongs to the resort, and has been set up as an island of water sports, a base for diving lessons and general afternoon fun and sun spot. Every day there is a free transfer from the hotel to the island, every morning and after lunch, and once a week the team organizes a Maaga beach party with a barbecue dinner on the white beach.

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon


A dive school is an incredibly vibrant and enthusiastic spot. The dive center Dive & Sail on Ellaidhoo is managed by Alfons Straub since June 2006. The dive center has a shop / reception, workshop, two air-conditioned class rooms, spacious equipment storage and showers / bathrooms. In front of the building, facing the ocean, you will find a big terrace with groups of seats where you can chill out and meet up with friends any time. Divers prefer a morning dive, perhaps a double tank, and then and then relax in the afternoon. Professional German instructors also offer free introductory dives on the house reef for each of their clients. The 3 nearby Protected Marine Areas are just the beginning of what the region has to offer.

An international team of diving instructors work here to offer memorable experiences in diving, a variety of dive courses and further diver training. Dive base makes every effort to explain to guests that they are not only experienced divers. They are equally keen to help newcomers teaching on courses and pushing for the next step of PADI certification. The neighboring island of Maaga has small lagoons for training and and beginner dives. And sheltered dives are not hard to find, even for full day trips. The most polar dive sites: Maaya Thila, Ellaidhoo house reef, Orimas Thila, Fish Head and Madivaru Beyru.

Activities & Sports

A full range of services, including a spa, water sports center, children's playground and swimming pool. Ellaidhoo has many amenities and facilities that pack the island. The island offers a lot to do and see, even for guests who have never tried diving and snorkeling. Despite the stunning house reef and abundant marine life, most of the guests still hang around the pool and on the beach.

The island has one swimming pool: a curved landscape reservoir on the western outskirts near the water bungalows, a great place at sunset or during the day for sunbathing, surrounded by umbrellas and deck chairs. Right behind the pool is an open-air sports area with a decent-sized gym, with new cardio equipment, weights, TV; tennis court; Ping pong; and refreshing squash court. In the same complex there is also a billiard lounge, as well as the Chavana Spa on the second floor. The spa has spacious treatment rooms with wooden floors and partitions that do not fully reach the high, thatched A-roof.

Right behind the sports complex there is an Asian-style greenhouse, a children's playground, and an open courtyard with shady trees. Heading towards the beach, guests will find the Sail & Dive center on the menu, which features snorkeling and diving excursions, as well as the chance to get a low-priced PADI certificate for underwater scuba diving. The dive center also offers night dives and snorkeling, and rents equipment for water sports, including kayaks. Other excursions on the menu: island hopping, tours to Malé city, dolphin safaris, sandbanks and picnics trips, as well as several types of fishing.

The hotel has a medical clinic and doctors, as well as laundry services. It also offers a welcome drink and a cool towel upon arrival for each guest.

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon


The Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon gets generally excellent reviews, with a very low rate of any kind of dissatisfaction at all. Guests rave about the house reef, about the rooms, and especially about the staff and location. Essentially almost every part of this resort is considered a knockout. While there are plenty of things to do during the daytime, some do point out that the nightlife opportunities are rather mellow and limited. This is a plus for most guests, so this would be a very good choice for those looking for a larger resort without a raging party scene at night. In our opinion: Proximity to Malé airport, good value, and most importantly, the picturesque house reef and dive sites, many of which are among the top 100 in the world, make Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon a popular option for divers, families and all loves snorkeling.

Lovely place, great value; Perfecto, Fantastic apart from poor quality of alcohol, Best choice for honeymoon, The best holiday, Worth the money, a wonderful experience. I will be back, Great choice for a family, Fantastic snorkeling, Amazing getaway, A vacation to remember, Excellent. Will recommend for a "Do nothing" trip, Dream Vacation, Lovely Island and generally good hotel, great for a relaxing holiday and excellent for snokelling ...

Pros: Why to Stay Here

  • Great location only 20 minutes flight from Male airport
  • location is perfect for snorkeling and diving even for beginners
  • A beautiful and charming island with natural setting in the North Ari Atoll
  • Unique island shape allows for snorkeling or diving underneath island
  • The range and quality of food
  • Water Bungalows have private restaurant and bar
  • The staff is helpful and very friendly.
  • Fantastic house reef snorkeling
  • Dive school and scuba diving
  • Value for money
  • Maaga island beach life
  • Activity options
  • Infinity pool with panoramic views
  • All-inclusive plan
  • fishing and island hopping excursions
Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

What You Need to Know

  • The resort is located on a private island in North Ari Atoll in 25 minutes by seaplane from Male airport
  • Check-in from 14:00, Check-out before 12:00
  • All children are welcome.
  • The speedboat transfer is overpriced.
  • The water bungalows no have stairs leading down to the water directly from their terraces.
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Restaurants have set meal times and tables depending on category and room
  • No free water on the speedboat from Male
Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

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